News for October 2011
A True-Hearted Man for The Dead Marshes 22
A preview of the fifth Adventure Pack for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game | Published 17 October 2011

“True-hearted Men, they will not be corrupted. We of Minas Tirith have been staunch through long years of trial. We do not desire the power of wizard-lords, only strength to defend ourselves, strength in a just cause. And behold! in our need chance brings to light the Ring of Power… What could not a warrior do in this hour, a great leader? What could not Aragorn do? Or if he refuses, why not Boromir?… How I would drive the hosts of Mordor, and all men would flock to my banner!”
    –Boromir, The Fellowship of the Ring

There is irony in Boromir’s words. Within the space of a paragraph, we follow his corruption by the Ring even as he claims the warriors of Minas Tirith would put it to good use against the Enemy. It is Boromir’s confidence–his pride–that hastens his downfall. Boromir grows angry when Frodo refuses to accompany him to Minas Tirith, and he tries to take the Ring by force.

Still, in the pages of J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Boromir is not a villain. He’s a hero, but one who falls. He wishes to do good, but his dreams of glory in battle consume him until his actions splinter the Fellowship and threaten Frodo’s quest.

With the upcoming release of The Dead Marshes, players of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game will finally have the opportunity to include Boromir (The Dead Marshes, 95) in their fellowships. Will this great Gondorian warrior lead your quest and slay your enemies along a path to victory? Or will his pride threaten your quest and lead you to ruin?

Neither thief nor tracker

Boromir was neither thief nor tracker. He was a warrior of Minas Tirith, and though he sought to do good, his primary concern was never for the fate of the Ring but for the fate of Minas Tirith. His loyalties remain divided in The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. Though he may help your fellowship quest, his heart remains with Minas Tirith, the Men of Gondor, and the glories of their battles against the forces of Mordor.

Like Aragorn (Core Set, 1) and Prince Imrahil (A Journey to Rhosgobel, 50), Boromir joins your company with the built-in ability to ready himself. Unlike Aragorn and Prince Imrahil, however, Boromir can ready himself multiple times per round and doesn’t need any support to do so. Aragorn needs to pay a resource. Prince Imrahil only readies after another character makes a heroic sacrifice. Boromir dashes headlong into the fray, throwing aside caution, dreaming of glory.

While Boromir’s three Attack strength and eagerness to chase down your enemies make him powerful, his heedless attacks may draw unwanted attention to your company, trapping them deep in threat against a mass of enemies too tough to slay… Or he may prove his cause. If Boromir presses the attack against all your foes, he can leave the way clear for your fellowship to redouble their efforts on the quest. Prepared with one or more copies of Dúnedain Warning (Conflict at the Carrock, 26), Boromir can ready himself to defend against multiple attacks. Then, supported with a Dúnedain Mark (The Hunt for Gollum, 2) or three, Boromir can make short work of most enemies.

A hero redeemed

A mile, maybe, from Parth Galen in a little glade not far from the lake he found Boromir. He was sitting with his back to a great tree, as if he was resting. But Aragorn saw that he was pierced with many black-feathered arrows; his sword was still in his hand, but it was broken near the hilt; his horn cloven in two was at his side. Many Orcs lay slain, piled all about him and at his feet.
J. R. R. Tolkien, The Two Towers

If standing ready until Sauron takes personal notice wasn’t quite enough, Boromir has yet another ability. He can make the ultimate sacrifice, discarding himself from play to damage all enemies engaged with a single player.

In the novels, Boromir sacrificed himself in an attempt to safeguard the Hobbits, Merry and Pippin. Though he failed to protect them, he survived long enough to tell Aragorn of their abduction, and Aragorn’s later pursuit of the Hobbits led to many of the greatest and most dramatic moments in The Lord of the Rings.

In the card game, Boromir’s ability is most effective when all, or nearly all, the enemies in the game have engaged with a single player. Cards like Son of Arnor (Core Set, 15) and A Light in the Dark (Core Set, 52) can let you shuffle enemies from one player to another and might be excellent tools for anyone hoping to have Boromir exit in a blaze of glory.

Boromir’s ability is also more effective if the enemies each have only two health remaining. He may be able to set up his own dramatic exit by whittling at foes, attacking them and reducing them to one or two health. You may also be able to set up his annihilation effect with a card that has seen little play to this point but that may soon find its way into more decks. Rain of Arrows (Core Set, 33) may be a new late-game clincher when paired with Boromir, especially given the introduction of more Ranged allies like Haldir (A Journey to Rhosgobel, 57) and the new attachment, Dúnedain Cache (The Dead Marshes, 97), which can give any hero the Ranged trait. While it may require drawing and playing several pieces of a puzzle, it’s possible for Boromir to clear out every enemy on the table in one furious charge!

Which Boromir will join your fellowship when The Dead Marshes arrives? Will it be the brash and arrogant warrior who threatens to destroy your company? Or will it be the valiant noble who redeems himself through selfless sacrifice? Prepare yourselves. The Dead Marshes are nearly within sight.

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.

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Comments (22)

Published: 10/19/2011 10:18:49 PM

Tactics used to be my least favorite, but with Boromir, it might well become my favorite!

USS Daedalus
Published: 10/18/2011 5:39:35 PM

Not trying to be super picky or defensive... and I guess I recognize the points earlier about Faramir being more off mark. I guess he's always been a hero to me, even though he was flawed. The reason is because of his flaws he's more relatable. But I still think the Movie made him seem worse just because in the books his thought process is more explained. Yes he really only thinks of Minas Tirith, but he does so out of loyalty and love. He doesn't stop Faramir to get the glory, but to be the better older brother.

Anyway to get back to the card game, I really like the picture. Not many of them show the heroes mid-battle and this one shows off Boromir's adventerous spirit.

Published: 10/18/2011 9:32:33 AM

I agree again. I felt like that especially with Aragorn, in the movies. I have a hard time describing it, I really liked the character in the book (though it was not my favourite), I like VM as an actor, I even think he's got the looks, but there is something that does not quite ring true there for me.

Then I also missed the right Denethor, and his relationship with Faramir, there are some great scenes between the two in the books (and with Gandalf in Minas Tirith) that have diminished into pure madness in the movies. I still think the movies were a grand fantastic achievement, yet some of the details that were probably done due to main stream audiance to grasp the whole thing make it less enjoyable for me.

I think there will be less restrains with making the Hobbit (now that most of the restrains have been overcome) and we are set for a treat. To come back and connect this mess of a message of mine, Thorin is sort of a similar character to Boromir, I feel. At least in his guilt and redemption mechanism. I am really looking forward to seeing that. As much as I am looking forward to playing the game with Boromir as a hero.

Published: 10/18/2011 6:57:03 AM

 @Ileimmoen: And I said nothing to the contrary. Boromir might be my favorite character in the movie version. And his story was compelling in the novel because he was humanly flawed. As such he is in stark contrast to characters like Aragorn and Faramir, who are so much larger-than-life that the reader cannot relate to them -- which is why Jackson did what he did in many places, because as a film maker he could not rely solely on the hobbits' perspective for emotional investment. I just feel that some of his attempts to bring Aragorn and Faramir down a few notches on the hero-scale were a bit heavy-handed, and as such a bit alienating (at least to lovers of the books).

Published: 10/18/2011 6:29:02 AM

Saturnine, whilst I agree there are differences, it is exactly what Jackson has always said, that his version is just a fan take of the original which will always be the book, and only that.

I feel Boromir's redemption is one of the most human-like qualities of the narrative, and I think the movie portrayed it very well, too. Then they did not think it wise to have Faramir right from the start, I am not saying it was a right decision but if you did not read the book, it would certainly make sense - I mean the way he acted in the given circumstances. I also find the scenes in Osgiliath super important and wonder why indeed were they cut from the theatrical version, 'cause there are scenes that scream they could have got the treatment instead.

As for the Cache, it is the attachment where I find the 'move-ability' most useful. The least being the Quest.

Published: 10/18/2011 6:20:07 AM

I have to say I love what Boromir does...its awesome. But I really hate the artwork...sorry. :(

Published: 10/18/2011 5:38:33 AM

 @Mighty Jim: Absolutely. Faramir was leagues and leagues removed from what he was in the books. Same with Aragorn, really, though it's more obvious with Faramir. This is illustrative of how the movies should be considered an interpretation of the source material, and not a retelling. In that regard, I'm cool with many of the changes Jackson and his writers introduced to the story. But I do feel they overshot the mark a little with Faramir, to the point where his story feels awkward and out-of-place and his character inconsistent.

Mighty Jim
Published: 10/18/2011 3:59:15 AM

@Saturnine - yes they certainly narrowed the gap between Boromir and Faramir in the films, but I think Boromir is the more accurately depicted. Having Frodo and Sam kidnapped and taken most of the way back to Minas Tirith is miles off the mark (in terms of how it depicts Faramir's character) - I'm surprised Peter Jackson hasn't been sued for defamation of Faramir.

Published: 10/18/2011 3:26:53 AM

 @Daedalus: I've found Boromir in the movie to be a more sympathetic character than in the books (no doubt in part due to Sean Bean's engaging performance). I think he's more dodgy in the books. The whole business about him going to Elrond's Council instead of Faramir --  who clearly was the one "invited" -- suggests he is more deeply flawed than his family drama background in the movie suggests. They really narrowed the gap between Faramir and Boromir in the movies, where in the book they could hardly be more different.

Published: 10/18/2011 1:07:20 AM

I'm surprised I never noticed you could defend several attacks with one guy if you have ways to ready him. I love how thematic Boromir is. I'll have to keep the ability to bring back characters in my spirit deck to bring Boromir back to do it again!

USS Daedalus
Published: 10/17/2011 10:48:22 PM

Boromir has always had a bad reputation, especially to the uninformed. The movies didn't really portray him in that good of a light, as the scene of him in Osgiliath was only shown in the extended. Which really is the normal version, I call the "main" one the short version. Anyway I honestly thought they would have Boromir be first tactics hero and was surprised at Brand. But he makes sense with the whole Dwarf, Eagle, Beroning Tactics thing going on. I hope they will release a Merry, Pippen, Sam and Gandalf as heroes, for a three player Fellowship. Wouldn't make sense fluff wise, but still would be fun to play.

Published: 10/17/2011 5:17:46 PM

He could definitely get a spot in my spirit/tactic deck. As I play solo it's easy to get a lot of enemies engaged at once. I can just see a nice combo coming up. "Exhaust Boromir, play Rain of Arrows=1 damage to all engaged enemies. Pay one treat to ready him, play another Rain of Arrows. 1 treat, last Rain of arrows. Discard him, deal 2 damage. Play Fortune or Fate and get him back in the game. And then maybe discard him a second time for additional 2 damage. That's a total of 7 damage! Of cause you need a good portion of luck to pull it off but still :D Me like

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