When Frodo came at last up on to the flet he found Legolas seated with three other Elves. They were clad in shadowy-grey, and could not be seen among the tree-stems, unless they moved suddenly.
    –The Fellowship of the Ring

In The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game , each sphere of influence has its own distinctive advantages. Lore excels at card draw and healing, two aspects of the game that make the sphere a natural fit for players inclined to focus on helping others.

With Beravor ( Core Set , 12) and Bilbo ( The Hunt for Gollum , 1), Lore players can grant other players the additional card draw they need to find cards critical to their strategies or to build timely combinations. Does the Leadership player need to find a Steward of Gondor ( Core Set , 26) early? Would the tactics player keep one of his heroes alive if he could just find a copy of Feint ( Core Set , 34)? Lore players are often asked to use their heroes to provide others with the vital advantage of extra card draw. For this reason, Beravor is often driven to call upon Unexpected Courage ( Core Set , 57) during the game’s quests.

However, the Lore player’s ability to help supply card draw comes with a cost. Beravor often exhausts strictly for card draw, leaving her unable to quest, defend against enemies, or attack. Bilbo may not need to exhaust to supply players with cards, but his two hit points leave him ill-suited to defend against anything bigger than a common orc.

A guide from Lothlórien

In A Journey to Rhosgobel , Lore players can call upon the assistance of Haldir, one of the wardens of Lothlórien.

Haldir ( A Journey to Rhosgobel , 57) provides Lore players some welcome assistance of their own, though he also excels at coming to the aid of others, further supporting that aspect of the Lore sphere. With two Willpower, Haldir can make a solid contribution to any quest phase. Still, players will think twice about committing him to quest because of how strong his abilities are in combat. His two attack and two defense are as good as those of most heroes, but his greatest strength is his combination of both the Ranged and Sentinel abilities. With Haldir ready in the fellowship, no player needs to stand alone against an attack.

Leadership demands sacrifice

Gimli drew his axe from his belt. Haldir and his companions bent their bows. “A plague on Dwarves and their stiff necks!” said Legolas.
    “Come!” said Aragorn. “If I am still to lead this Company, you must do as I bid. It is hard upon the Dwarf to be thus singled out. We will all be blindfolded, even Legolas. That will be best, though it will make the journey slow and dull.”
    –The Fellowship of the Ring

The Fellowship could have been destroyed by in-fighting at the Naith of Lórien but for Aragorn’s leadership. The long-standing enmity between Elves and Dwarves nearly brought the Company to blows.

In The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game , allies each have a cost. In part, this cost reflects the ally’s prominence in Middle-earth, and allies with positions of greater prominence, or stiffer necks, generally cost more to bring into play. Haldir’s cost of four, while by no means excessive, prevents a Lore player from bringing him into play on the first turn without assistance. However, with some Parting Gifts ( A Journey to Rhosgobel , 52), a Leadership player may convince the Elf to join the quest.

Leadership features greater potential for resource acceleration than any other sphere, and Parting Gifts now allows Leadership players to spread the wealth. Tactics players have frequently looked wistfully at copies of Beorn ( Core Set , 31) in their hands and wished for the six resources to play him. Spirit players often have difficulty saving resources to play copies of Northern Tracker ( Core Set , 45) while they need to pay for events to cancel deadly Treachery and Shadow effects. Of course, Haldir isn’t cheap either, and Lore players often need their resources to pay for healing cards like Lore of Imladris (Core Set, 63).

While Leadership players can build their decks to hoard resources to themselves and Lore players can hoard card draw, The Lord of the Rings rewards players who know when and how to make key sacrifices–of resources, card draw, or even characters. One of the hallmarks of a true leader is the ability to identify and make key sacrifices to push forward toward the common goal.

Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth

And so the companies came and were hailed and cheered and passed through the Gate… last and proudest, Imrahil, Prince of Dol Amroth, kinsman of the Lord, with gilded banners bearing his token of the Ship and the Silver Swan, and a company of knights in full harness riding grey horses; and behind them seven hundreds of men at arms, tall as lords, grey-eyed, dark-haired, singing as they came.
    –The Return of the King

Prince Imrahil joined the siege of Gondor with all the troops he could spare. When Gandalf and Aragorn advocated an assault upon the Black Gates of Mordor, he rode unflinchingly to support their cause, though he found dark humor in flinging seven thousand men against the much greater defenses of the mountains and gates.

In A Journey to Rhosgobel , Prince Imrahil ( A Journey to Rhosgobel , 50) rides to support the cause of the heroes of Middle-earth. A kinsman of Aragorn ( Core Set , 1), he shares similar Willpower, Attack, and Defense strengths. As another Gondorian noble, he also echoes Aragorn’s ability to ready himself, though under different circumstances. While, in games, Prince Imrahil may frequently ready to ride forth to combat an enemy that just felled a Snowbourn Scout ( Core Set , 16), he can also ready when a character leaves play through means other than defeat in combat. If you commit Prince Imrahil to a quest, along with a Gandalf ( Core Set , 73) played via Sneak Attack ( Core Set , 23), he can ready at the end of the Quest Phase to defend or attack during combat.

A Journey to Rhosgobel continues to offer players new ways to aid each other along their journeys. Haldir, Parting Gifts, and Prince Imrahil are just three of the new player cards you’ll find to help you confront the new encounter cards from this Adventure Pack and others.

Get ready for this exciting new Adventure Pack, coming to store shelves soon!

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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