“Isengard is a circle of sheer rocks that enclose a valley as with a wall, and in the midst of that valley is a tower of stone called Orthanc. It was not made by Saruman, but by the Men of Númenor long ago; and it is very tall and has many secrets.”
–The Fellowship of the Ring
With its 156 cards (including three copies of each player card), The Voice of Isengard transports fans of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game to one of the most important regions of Middle-earth previously unexplored within the game. Within the shadows of Orthanc, your heroes will undertake the perilous quests of three new scenarios, explore iconic locations, battle the region’s deadliest enemies, and gain the aid of a host of new allies. Additionally, two notable new heroes offer their services!
Meanwhile, like the Khazad-dûm and Heirs of Númenor deluxe expansions before it, The Voice of Isengard introduces new encounter sets that establish the distinctive themes of the region’s threats and lay the groundwork for the following cycle of Adventure Packs, The Ring-maker .
Forestall the Enemy
Wild men from Dunland descend upon the Gap of Rohan. Vicious Orcs prowl the southern spear of The Misty Mountains. Dangerous creatures lurk in the shadows of Fangorn Forest…
These are dangerous times for the Rohirrim and their neighbors, and in T he Voice of Isengard , you and your friends command some of Middle-earth’s greatest heroes as they quest in the service of Saruman the White, helping the wizard locate answers to the region’s threats.
Playable separately or woven together into a larger narrative arc that continues into The Ring-maker cycle, the expansion’s three scenarios challenge you to learn more about the threats you face. As your heroes ride to the aid of a group of Rohirrim beset by Dunlendings, capture a powerful Orc leader, and travel through the darkest corners of Fangorn, they will gain valuable knowledge of the region and the dangers that face it, knowledge that may be used against the Enemy.
Though the acquisition of knowledge is important, it is only useful while enough time remains to make use of what you learn. Thus, each of the expansion’s scenarios features the new Time X mechanic, which helps to convey the urgency of your tasks. Time X cards create “time counters” that track the amount of time you have remaining to complete your tasks before suffering the impact of new triggered effects.
Forestall Your Doom
How will knowledge of the Enemy possibly help you? It takes great strength to travel close to evil without falling prey to corruption. But those who share that strength may be able to use the discovery of the Enemy’s designs to devise traps within which they can ensnare him, much as Aragorn used the palantir to draw the Dark Lord’s gaze away from the soft footfalls of the Hobbits that inched toward the fires of Mount Doom and the eventual salvation of all Middle-earth.
Of course, such daring gambits are necessarily filled with risk, and The Voice of Isengard explores the risk and reward of such schemes with the introduction of a new Doomed X keyword, and a number of potent player cards that feature it. Whenever these cards are played, each player must raise his threat by the value of “X.” However, the effects the cards provide you powerful and versatile answers to the challenges of your quests. For example, the effects of Legacy of Númenor ( The Voice of Isengard , 11) and Deep Knowledge ( The Voice of Isengard , 12) greatly outpace comparatively costed events.
Furthermore, you’ll find other cards, like the Orthanc Guard ( The Voice of Isengard , 4), that give the mechanic additional depth without raising your threat.
A New Source of Counsel
“What of Saruman? He is learned in the lore of the Rings, yet he is not among us. What is his counsel?”
–The Fellowship of the Ring
To this point, one can easily imagine that the heroes of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game have set upon the majority of their adventures while driven by self-interest or motivated by the counsel of Gandalf the Grey. Now, in The Voice of Isengard , that changes. There were five Wizards, or Istari, who worked to oppose the Dark Lord, and as the deluxe expansion leads you into a new region of Middle-earth, it also leads you to a new Wizard, Saruman the White, the mightiest of the five and the leader of the White Council.
As an ally, Saruman ( The Voice of Isengard , 3), can provide tremendous assistance in nearly any circumstance. Not only can he make a mighty contribution to your quest or in battle, but he can temporarily remove a non-unique enemy or location from the staging area, treating it as though it's out of play. This ability is not to be overlooked as it can prove the difference between losing a hero and defeating the remainder of your foes, and you’ll find that Saruman’s aid is often well worth the three threat you suffer as he draws attention from the Dark Lord and his minions.
Moreover, Saruman’s guidance will later provide you a whole new outlet for your heroic adventuring; the nine encounter sets in The Voice of Isengard , along with the story that unfolds throughout its three scenarios, establish the foundation for The Ring-maker cycle of Adventure Packs.
Knowledge Is Power
Will you heed The Voice of Isengard and learn how to thwart the Enemy’s plans? You’ll be able to enjoy its new scenarios, player cards, and heroes once this deluxe expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game arrives at retailers in the fourth quarter of 2013.
Until then, check the expansion’s description page and keep your eye to the nearest palantir for more information, including the official announcement of The Ring-maker cycle of Adventure Packs!
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.