I suppose hobbits need some description nowadays, since they have become rare and shy of the Big People, as they call us. They are (or were) a little people, about half our height, and smaller than the bearded dwarves. Hobbits have no beards. There is little or no magic about them, except the ordinary everyday sort which helps them to disappear quietly and quickly when large stupid folk like you and me come blundering along.
   –J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

In last week’s preview of A Journey to Rhosgobel , we caught a glance at a couple of the biggest, splashiest cards from the Adventure Pack, Prince Imrahil ( A Journey to Rhosgobel , 50) and Haldir ( A Journey to Rhosgobel , 57), the versatile Elf ally. Today, we remind you that just as the fate of Middle-earth relied upon the unlikeliest of heroes, those small folk, the hobbits, each game of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game relies upon the productive use of cards beyond the big heroes and allies.

Bag of tricks

Sometimes things which are initially overlooked prove to be quite handy, even essential, at later points. Indeed, the fate of all Middle-earth rested upon the destruction upon the One Ring, which for a long time Bilbo held in the Shire, thinking of it simply as a magic ring that could turn him invisible. Still, a ring that can turn one invisible is no mere trifle, so no hobbit would ever set it aside with his mathom, those things which hobbits can’t bear to discard entirely, yet for which they can find no use.

All the same, hobbits are not generally prone to adventuring and, therefore, have little use for many of those things other heroes of Middle-earth may seek. Perhaps among the hobbits’ Ancient Mathom ( A Journey to Rhosgobel , 56), other heroes may find something to aid them in their journeys.

Ancient Mathom allows Spirit players to gain card draw advantage by doing what they do best, staying focused on questing. It joins the ranks of other cards offering draw advantage, which include Beravor ( Core Set , 12), Bilbo ( The Hunt for Gollum , 1), and Campfire Tales ( The Hunt for Gollum , 3). Draw advantage is only as useful as the options it provides, but now that three Spheres have different ways to get extra cards into players’ hands, it becomes increasingly likely those extra cards can turn up something useful at the right moment… sometimes, just the right moment!

Unlikely assistance

There could not be much doubt: there was fighting in the tower, the orcs must be at war among themselves, Shagrat and Gorbag had come to blows.
    – The Return of the King

Frodo would have failed to deliver the One Ring to Mount Doom but for Orcish infighting at the tower of Cirith Ungol. Nearly a couple hundred orcs slew each other, allowing Frodo to escape from the tower and continue his journey.

In The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game , the heroes of Middle-earth can face foes too strong and terrible to defeat without aid, but Infighting ( A Journey to Rhosgobel , 58) may claim even the most powerful enemies.

Confict at the Carrock pitted the heroes against a fearsome pack of trolls whose high Defense Strengths and Hit Points make them very hard to destroy, especially for Lore and Spirit players. While Haldir provides Lore players with some welcome Attack Strength, he still can’t hit hard enough on his own to cut into a troll and wound it. Likewise, Spirit players excel at questing, but once they find themselves engaged with the trolls, they often need help. Ranged characters and Gandalf often make timely interventions, but if players find themselves simultaneously engaged with a horde of enemies–as can happen in Conflict at the Carrock –those characters find their hands full. Infighting offers an additional resource to players finding themselves hard-pressed to damage enemies with high Defense Strengths.

As long as players can find a way to survive the big, tough enemies, they can chip away at enemies with lower Defense Strengths and then provoke Infighting among their enemies to turn all the damage against the tougher, deadlier foes. Infighting also allows players to apply damage to enemies in the Staging Area and to some of the deadlier enemies from A Journey to Rhosgobel who, despite their relatively low Defense Strengths, can’t be easily targeted by many of the game’s hardier heroes.

The continuing journey

Each Adventure Pack for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game presents players with new deck-building options. While it’s natural and easy to think of ways to include big, splashy cards like Prince Imrahil and Haldir into your decks, cards like Ancient Mathom and Infighting let you draw from your bag of tricks and find timely, unusual aid.

Work these cards and others into your strategies when A Journey to Rhosgobel reaches the stores!

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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