|Battles and Battlegrounds
A Spotlight on Heirs of Númenor for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
|The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game | Published 17 September 2012||Rating||15 votes|
“And what of Cair Andros?” said the Prince. “That, too, must be held, if Osgiliath is defended. Let us not forget the danger on our left.”
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
Fantasy Flight Games recently announced the upcoming release of Heirs of Númenor, the second deluxe expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. Much as Khazad-dûm transported the game past the doors of Moria and lay the foundation for the Dwarrowdelf cycle of Adventure Packs, Heirs of Númenor promises to explore new territory…and new threats…as it transports the game to the mighty realm of Gondor.
Players who read the expansion’s announcement article or information page have already seen some of its new player cards and enemies, but there’s far more to the battles and battlegrounds of the bulwark of the West than just new allies and enemies!
Battles and Sieges
Gondor is the first and greatest defense against the threat of Mordor. Its walled fortresses stand between the land of Shadow and the lands to the West. Its soldiers remain ever vigilant. From their fortress walls, the men of Gondor watch for the Dark Lord’s armies, for they know the Dark Lord desires to claim all of Middle-earth and that to do so, he must break through their defenses first.
The threats faced by the men of Gondor are different than those within the game’s Core Set and the mines of Moria. Gondor is a nation on the brink of war with the Dark Lord and his armies. Accordingly, Heirs of Númenor introduces two new keywords that change the way players approach the quest phase.
The Battle and Siege keywords force players to use attributes other than Willpower to progress along the current quest. Quests with the Battle keyword compare the total Attack Strength of all characters committed to the quest against the total threat in the staging area, where quests with the Siege keyword force characters to quest with their Defense Strength.
The impact of these keywords is subtle and thematic. Players will find they need to commit characters to quests that they would normally save to defend against attacks or to destroy enemies, but these are the characters best able to contribute during the siege of a Gondorian stronghold or while pressing the battle against a horde of Orcs. As you play through the scenarios in Heirs of Númenor, these keywords will also trigger a number of encounter card effects to further reinforce the sense that your heroes are participating in large-scale combats that can determine the fate of Middle-earth.
What is a battle without a battleground? When it reaches the climactic combats of its final scenario, Heirs of Númenor further expands the game by introducing a number of Battleground locations.
Like The Citadel (Heirs of Númenor, 33), each Battleground represents a hotly contested location. As you race to win each Battleground to your victory pile, they are assaulted by the encounter deck and enemies like Siege Raft (Heirs of Númenor, 32). If a Battleground suffers too much damage, it is removed from the game.
Losing a Battleground is highly detrimental to your efforts, so you’ll need to find ways to battle the minions of Mordor effectively on each new front.
The Shadow Gathers
Get ready to hold perilous Battlegrounds during the deadly Battles and Sieges of Heirs of Númenor when this second deluxe expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game arrives at retailers everywhere in the fourth quarter of 2012. Until then, strengthen your walls, sharpen your blades, and prepare to confront the teeming masses of Mordor!
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.