“Travellers scowl at us, and countrymen give us scornful names. ‘Strider’ I am to one fat man who lives within a day’s march of foes that would freeze his heart, or lay his little town to ruin, if he were not guarded ceaselessly. Yet we would not have it otherwise. If simple folk are free from care and fear, simple they will be, and we must be secret to keep them so.”
– Aragorn, The Fellowship of the Ring
The Lost Realm is the fourth deluxe expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game . Its 165 cards transport players to the northern reaches of Eriador where generations of vigilant Dúnedain have long protected the region’s towns and cities from the many evils that lurk among the neighboring hills and countryside.
Led by a new version of Aragorn ( The Lost Realm , 1), the Dúnedain heroes and allies of The Lost Realm excel at hunting down the Dark Lord’s many servants. Among the forty-one player cards in The Lost Realm , you’ll find a new Tactics version of Aragorn, one other Dúnedain hero, new Dúnedain allies for each of the game’s four spheres of influence, and a handful of events and attachments that help your Dúnedain , Rangers , and other characters track down and defeat foes that might otherwise threaten the simpler folk of the North.
Meanwhile, three new scenarios allow you to explore the North and its dangers. As The Lost Realm transports the game to the North, its three scenarios draw upon nine new encounter sets, each of which offers a different take on the Orcs, Undead, and other perils of the region. While each of these scenarios offers its own distinctive challenges and rewards when played individually, they can be played in sequence as three separate acts in a larger narrative in which an early Orc hunt sets your heroes upon a trail that leads them to a much darker and deadlier power.
The Rangers of the North
The residents of Hobbiton, Bag End, Bree, and the surrounding lands have long enjoyed quiet and peaceful lives. However, their peace is purchased at a cost, and a high one at that. For many generations, the Rangers of the North have roamed the neighboring lands in secret, tirelessly hunting the servants of the Enemy.
In The Lost Realm , their efforts are recognized and rewarded. The Dúnedain and Rangers in the expansion encourage a range of strategies built around engaging your enemies, and though such strategies inherently present a high degree of risk, these highly skilled hunters have developed a diverse arsenal of tricks that allow them to take their foes by surprise.
For example, when you bring the zero-cost Dúnedain Hunter ( The Lost Realm , 4) into play, he lures an enemy out of the encounter deck and forces it to engage you directly. Not only does this negate any “when revealed” ability the enemy might have, it also drives the synergies provided by other Dúnedain like the Sarn Ford Sentry ( The Lost Realm , 5), who then provides you an additional card draw.
Once they engage their foes, these Dúnedain strike hard and fast. Most of them, like the Dúnedain Hunter and Sarn Ford Sentry, possess abilities they can trigger when they enter play, meaning they can make an immediate impact, even if all they do is launch a Sneak Attack ( Core Set , 23) before fading back into the shadows. Moreover, they can strike from anywhere, even the encounter deck. The Lost Realm introduces the “Encounter” keyword on the non-unique Ranger of the North ( The Lost Realm , 15).
This ally doesn’t go into your draw deck or count against your minimum deck size, but if you can call it to your aid with a Ranger Summons ( The Lost Realm , 7), it shuffles into the encounter deck and, when revealed, springs to your aid by immediately damaging an enemy or placing progress on a location.
A Fork in the Road
Meanwhile, the three scenarios in The Lost Realm are full of Orcs , Undead , and other dangers that will test you to the utmost. They are also full of cards that force you to make choices that will shape your journeys and your adventures. The Northern reaches stretch for leagues upon leagues, and the Rangers of the North are limited in number. They can’t be everywhere at once, so when you’re following one threat and a new threat emerges, what will you do?
As you hunt the Dark Lord’s servants throughout the North, The Lost Realm introduces a number of new side quests. When these side quests are revealed from the encounter deck, they fork your path.
So long as a side quest is in the staging area, it functions like any other quest card, with a couple of important exceptions:
Whenever you encounter one of these side quests, it forces you to make important decisions with long-term ramifications. Can you afford to take the time to complete your side quests? Can you afford to ignore them?
Protect the North
For generations, the Rangers of the North have hunted the Dark Lord’s servants throughout the hills, forests, and wilds of the lands surrounding the Shire and neighboring towns. Now, as a new evil gains strength and threatens the region, the Rangers call upon a few of Middle-earth’s greatest heroes to lend their aid.
Journey to the North. Aid the Rangers. Confront the perils of three new scenarios and nine new encounter sets. In The Lost Realm , you must hunt the Dark Lord’s servants wherever they go if you wish to preserve the region’s peace.