|Race for the River Crossing
Trouble in Tharbad Is Now Available for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
|The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game | Published 21 August 2014|
“There are some of us still who go abroad for the gathering of news and the watching of our enemies, and they speak the languages of other lands. I am one. Haldir is my name.”
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
The river town of Tharbad is little more than a collection of dilapidated buildings set amid ruined and crumbling causeways. However, this haven of freelancers and highwaymen is also home to Nalir, the Dwarf with a map to Celebrimbor’s hidden forge, the secrets of which may give the White Council some new strength to fight back against the growing Shadow. Accordingly, Saruman the White has tasked several of Middle-earth’s greatest heroes with recovering those secrets and returning them to Isengard, but they aren’t the only ones who have been sent to find Nalir and his map…
In Trouble in Tharbad, Spies and Orcs harry your heroes at every turn. Confronted by their overwhelming hordes, your heroes must find a safe route out of the city and take Nalir with them. The Orcs are howling. It’s time to slip out of The Empty Mug and race for the river crossing. Move swiftly and silently. The chase is on!
The Trouble in Tharbad begins with Nalir (Trouble in Tharbad, 68). The Dwarf who sells you the map to Celebrimbor’s hidden forge has unfortunately also made previous arrangements to deliver it to one of Mordor’s spies, Bellach (Trouble in Tharbad, 70).
As Bellach shows up to collect the map, Nalir darts for the tavern door, and your heroes follow, using the momentary chaos to slip out into the city’s rundown streets. There, Orcs and spies hunt you down, and the scenario from Trouble in Tharbad begins as a dramatic chase scene. You have limited time to make your way out of the city before Bellach can direct his agents to seal off its exits, and his forces outnumber yours too badly for you to fight your way to freedom. Instead, the order of the day is secrecy.
Throughout Double Dealings (Trouble in Tharbad, 66), the scenario’s first quest stage, your heroes are ducking and weaving through Tharbad’s abandoned alleys and crumbling causeways.
You’re trying to elude the Orcs and spies that are hunting you down, even as you work your way to the river crossing. Mechanically, this translates to a reduction in threat; to slip free from your pursuers, you must reduce your threat to zero. Instead of requiring you to place progress on the quest stage, then, Double Dealings comes with a Forced effect that allows you to reduce your threat:
“Forced: After 1 or more progress is placed on this quest, cancel all progress and reduce each player’s threat by an equal amount.”
However, if you hope to get out of Tharbad, you’ll first need to put some distance between yourself and The Empty Mug (Trouble in Tharbad, 69), and that means that its Forced effect will be sitting in your victory display:
“Forced: After a player card effect reduces a player’s threat, remove it from the game.”
Among other things, this means that Trouble in Tharbad offers Secrecy decks their moment to shine. Not only do they start further along the path to victory, but they will find a built-in quest mechanic to help them reduce their threat and gain the full benefits of their Secrecy discounts. The only problem is that they’ll also have to deal with Nalir, who proves to be an ongoing liability. Because he knows the location to Celebrimbor’s forge, you can’t leave him behind, but you’ll probably wish you could. Nalir also comes with a Forced effect, one that makes him the center of attention wherever he goes:
“Forced: At the beginning of the refresh phase, raise your threat by 1 for each player in the game.”
Even as your heroes race to escape the Trouble in Tharbad, the Adventure Pack introduces a number of new allies that may come to their aid. Chief among these is the new hero, Haldir of Lórien (Trouble in Tharbad, 56).
Roaming far from his home in Lothlórien, Haldir is a Ranger and Scout who extends the cycle’s exploration of the Silvan trait to new territories. With two Willpower, he can make valuable contributions to your quests, but his Ranged keyword and Combat Action may allow him to make even more valuable contributions to your fellowship’s efforts within the Combat phase.
“Combat Action: If you have not engaged an enemy this round, exhaust Haldir of Lórien to declare him as an attacker (and resolve his attack) against an enemy not engaged with you. Limit once per round.”
Notably, Haldir’s ability allows him to declare an attack against an enemy before it would attack your teammate, and it even allows him to attack an enemy in the staging area. Altogether, it allows Haldir to turn the tables on any foes that would seek to assail your fellowship… like the many Orcs and spies in Tharbad.
However, even Haldir’s talents won’t be enough, on their own, to see you safely through the roads of Tharbad. Fortunately, Trouble in Tharbad offers you plenty of other support. There are two Silvan allies, including the Galadhrim Minstrel (Trouble in Tharbad, 63), which can help fetch powerful events like Pursuing the Enemy (Trouble in Tharbad, 60); there’s Gwaihir (Trouble in Tharbad, 59), the great king of the Eagles, and there’s even help from Gondor, as the Herald of Anórien (Trouble in Tharbad, 57) arrives. Better yet, if you feel you’re truly doomed, you can give the Herald “doomed 2” when you play him and bring into play another ally of printed cost two or less. In this way, the Herald even allows you – or a teammate – to recruit allies that don’t match your spheres of influence, expanding your deck-building options by allowing a mono-Leadership deck to recruit powerful allies like Gléowine (Core Set, 62) or Arwen Undómiel (The Watcher in the Water, 58), whose game texts can change how your deck functions.
There’s No Time to Lose!
There’s no time to lose! Bellach and his horde of Orcs are moving swiftly to seal the city and hunt you down. Trouble in Tharbad is now available at your local retailer and online through our webstore. Pick up your copy today!
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.