|The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game | Published 15 December 2010|
Heroes are mighty individuals, strong in mind and body. However, in the fight against the Shadow, heroes cannot stand alone. Not only must they band together, but they must also gather allies and build lasting fellowships, for the war is about to begin.
Welcome back for another glimpse into The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. So far we have seen an overview of the game, how Quests work, and a few card previews from the sphere of Spirit. Today, we’ll take a look at another sphere of influence; one that governs the ability to lead heroes and allies while generating resources and providing players with unique benefits.
The sphere of Leadership has many cards that focus on aiding heroes and allies. We’ve already discussed heroes in previous articles, but what about allies? Much like heroes, allies can commit to quests and fight in combat, and they can also be the target of many abilities. Unlike heroes, however, they do not gather resources (which are used to pay for cards).
Each player can expand his party by playing allies into his play area. This not only gives players more options on their turn, but it also opens many doors for players using the Leadership sphere. For example, Leadership cards like Valiant Sacrifice can be triggered by any player’s ally leaving play. Allies also serve as additional battle strength, since multiple characters can attack the same target. But beware, fielding too many combatants will not always go unnoticed. There are cards like Pursued by Shadow in the Encounter Deck that can seriously penalize you for having too many allies in play, forcing players to increase their threat for each character they control that is not committed to the quest.
Leadership also focuses on making other cards more powerful. A player using a Leadership deck will be able to provide himself and his companions with an array of bonuses with cards that can target one or more of your fellow players. A good example of this is Celebrían's Stone, which effectively boosts the willpower of the character it is attached to. These bonuses can really help your party pull through in a pinch.
The Leadership sphere is good for generating resources as well. For example, one of the three Leadership heroes from the core set is Théodred. His controller can choose to have one of their heroes gain additional resources, or let another player benefit from this ability instead. When Theéodred commits to a quest, his controller can add a resource to any hero’s resource pool. Abilities like this are flexible, letting you benefit a player of your choosing, which should in turn further the entire group's cause.
While the focus of the Leadership deck isn’t on direct combat, there are several powerful combos available that can help your team out. If, for example, there are too many Orc cards in the staging area during the Quest Phase, you could use Sneak Attack to bring in the ally Longbeard Orc Slayer, damaging every Orc in play. That should make the upcoming Encounter Phase a little less brutal.
Leadership really encourages coordination between players. Openly discussing tactics and solutions in the face of challenging obstacles is part of the game experience. Since The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is the first cooperative Living Card Game, it is crucial to focus on how your cards can effectively play off of other players’ cards. A good example of this is Steward of Gondor card, which can be attached to a hero of your choosing, not just your own. Spread the wealth!
Check back next time when we look at another sphere of influence in The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game!
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a cooperative card game that puts 1-2 players (or up to four with an additional Core Set) in control of the most powerful characters and artifacts of Middle-earth. Players will select heroes, gather allies, acquire artifacts, and coordinate their efforts to face Middle-earth’s most dangerous fiends. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Adventure Pack expansions to the core game.
Awesome. Day 1 purchase.
Is there a release date yet? Is it still "Winter 2011"? (or did I dream that?)
So excited about it!!! Hope to have it for my march birthday ;-)
Shame this won't be out for Christmas, I'd buy it right now!
cant wait for this game
Agreed - the artwork is fantastic!
This game is looking better and better with every preview!