|Travel Through Mirkwood
A preview of the first Adventure Pack for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
|The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game | Published 14 June 2011|
Two days later they found their path going downwards, and before long they were in a valley filled almost entirely with a mighty growth of oaks.
“Is there no end to this accursed forest?” said Thorin. “Somebody must climb a tree and see if he can get his head above the roof and have a look round.”
One of the aspects of J.R.R. Tolkien’s writing that sets him apart from other fantasy authors is his tremendous attention to setting. Middle-earth doesn’t just exist in name or on a map like many other fantasy settings; it breathes. His characters continually explore richly-drawn forests, cold and clammy marshes, and dark mountains. Locations like Bag End, Moria, and Isengard evoke iconic associations with comfort, peril, and treachery that live in our minds.
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game venerates the living geography of Middle-earth by letting heroes explore locations during the Travel Phase. While locations add an integral component to every encounter strategy, the number you’ll find in a given encounter deck varies, depending whether the Quest focuses on combat or exploration. The Hunt for Gollum focuses on exploration, and your heroes will face many different challenges along their journey.
No hero in The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game has yet died during the exploration of a new location. While Hill Trolls, Marsh Adders, or Hunters from Mordor mass against you, the decision whether to explore one location or another might not cause your pulse to rise in the same manner. Still, neglected locations all contribute threat that slowly but surely traps your heroes beneath Sauron’s unyielding gaze. Players often don’t recognize the full necessity of exploring those locations until it’s too late.
This will change. The Travel Phase will become a more immediate concern with the release of The Hunt for Gollum. Not only will the encounter deck be heavier on locations, but with locations like The Old Ford, players won’t be able to ignore the threat they pose.
It Pays to Find an Experienced Guide
Fortunately, players gain another tool in The Hunt for Gollum to Quest successfully against a staging area filled with locations. Strider’s Path allows you to get a location out of the staging area before resolving the Quest Phase. This can mean that you travel to The Old Ford before completing the quest, easily reducing your total threat in the staging area by four to eight points in a multiplayer game–possibly over a dozen. Alternately, it can mean that you swap your active location, The East Bight, with its one threat and six quest point buffer, for The Brown Lands that was just revealed and about to make you fail your Quest by several points.
If you think about it, Strider’s Path is, in its way, an efficient means to reduce your threat or add progress tokens to your current Quest.
Though Strider’s Path doesn’t completely ignore a location’s threat for a turn like Secret Paths, it offers a different flexibility. A strong Lore deck might even run both cards, especially given that each is only 1 resource to play. This means a player needn’t even run a dedicated Lore deck to make use of Strider’s Path, but could splash a few Lore cards into a deck with a hero like Beravor or Bilbo for constant card draw advantages.
One of the exciting design aspects of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is that its Quests drive gameplay in different directions. Players can look forward to all sorts of new challenges in The Hunt for Gollum.
Until the Adventure Pack hits the store shelves nearest you, visit our community forums to discuss how you might use the new cards revealed in this article, and keep checking back here for updates.
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.
Yeah, given that it was soo bad before,... :p
is it me or is the card art getting better and better?
Sweet, it's getting more and more serious. And another reason why I love Hasty Stroke.
Strider's Path seems awesome at first sight. Hopefully this will still be the case when I start with the Lore sphere once again. Till now I didn't get the concept or the other spheres where just too appealing... Has anyone a time machine?
As for Old Ford's Shadow effect: would old ford itself count towards the number of Riverland locations in play. I.e., are shadow cards considered to be in play?
hmm, so what happens if an ally is defending when discrded from play? Attack is undefended? OUCH.
I really like that evil things should do something about number of allies. That is sweet and also goes with the overall theam of LotR where the number of the Fellowship should be kept rather small.
I love Strider's Path, included it already. Even in the original quests, esp. Anduin, it seems super strong, it is an ideal way to get rid of Brown Lands and even when the East Bight is active. And I'm sure it will get much more useful with the new quest(s).
Sweet! New locations. Much fun.
Am I the only one who wants to use these as inspiration for RPGs?
Wow... could the art on these cards be more beautiful? Me thinks not. The Old Ford looks pretty, but as #1 and #2 said: painful.
Yeah, Old Ford makes the encounter deck feel like it's getting better as you get better. That was one of the great things about the Hunt for Gollum scenario in general.
Ouch. The Old Ford could be a nasty location card to come out late game. Even it's shadow effect could have some serious repercussions.