“Saruman has long studied the arts of the Enemy himself, and thus we have often been able to forestall him. It was by the devices of Saruman that we drove him from Dol Guldur.”
    – Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring

The Dark Lord’s power grows in the East. How large have his armies grown? How soon will he strike, and where? Though the answers to those questions will echo throughout all of Middle-earth, the Dark Lord’s plans remain hidden in Mordor, behind the tall, black peaks of the Mountains of Shadow. Still, there are some who scour the lands and delve into ancient tomes for the knowledge they believe may help them someday oppose the Enemy. The mightiest of these is Saruman the White.

The Voice of Isengard is the third deluxe expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game and transports your adventures to Isengard and its surrounding environs. With its 156 cards (including three copies of each player card), The Voice of Isengard introduces three new scenarios in which your heroes must race to gain knowledge of the Enemy while the time remains to strike. Additionally, a wealth of new player cards and new heroes reflect the strength of Orthanc and the neighboring Rohirrim.

The Road Goes Ever On

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game offers a unique, narrative play experience for cooperative or solo play. Middle-earth’s heroes undertake fantastic quests that lead them to distant and dangerous locations. Along their journeys, they must battle past enemies and steer away from the Dark Lord’s reach and the treachery he plots against them.

The story that began with the Core Set continues to expand further into the world of Middle-earth with each new release.

The Core Set and Shadows of Mirkwood cycle of Adventure Packs explored the forests of Mirkwood and related the trials of chasing creatures through forests and swamps. The Khazad-dûm expansion and the Dwarrowdelf cycle evoked the ominous dread of a dark and perilous journey through the Misty Mountains and Moria’s abandoned tunnels. Heirs of Númenor and the Against the Shadow cycle depicted the desperate struggles and high adventures of an embattled realm. Now, The Voice of Isengard leads you into a divided realm, full of wild men, strange creatures, and secrets that date back to the ancient days of Númenor.

Knowledge to Confront the Enemy

While the darkness gathering in Mordor may soon spread throughout all of Middle-earth, the Rohirrim and their neighbors face troubles of their own. Wild men from Dunland descend upon the Gap of Rohan, vicious Orcs prowl the southern spear of The Misty Mountains, and dangerous creatures lurk in the shadows of Fangorn Forest.

Each of these threats must be resolved, but the first step is to determine their true natures. How large are the Dunlending hordes, and where will they strike? What brings the Orcs down from the mountains? What makes Fangorn such a dangerous forest? In The 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.

If your heroes succeed, they may gain the information necessary to take decisive action, but only if they return with enough time to act. Accordingly, each of the scenarios in The Voice of Isengard features the new Time X mechanic, which creates time counters that track down the little time you have and represents the urgency of your tasks.

Ride to Ruin

“Death! Ride, ride to ruin and the world's ending!”
    –Éomer, The Return of the King

While the scenarios of The Voice of Isengard introduce the Time X keyword, its new player cards keep pace with the Doomed X keyword.

Dark times engender great gambles, and The Voice of Isengard explores the risk and reward of such schemes with the introduction of the Doomed X keyword. Whenever a card with the Doomed X keyword is played, each player must raise his threat by the value of “X.”

This mechanic introduces an alternate cost and balance for the powerful benefits the set’s cards offer. For example, any player can benefit from allying himself with Saruman ( The Voice of Isengard , 3), but open shows of great power are quickly reported to the Dark Lord. Thus, even though Saruman plays for two less resources than the game’s other Istari, he comes with the additional “cost” of Doomed 3.

Other cards, such as Keys of Orthanc ( The Voice of Isengard , 10), further support the Doomed X keyword, even though they don’t have the text themselves.

Finally, as Middle-earth faces the greatest crisis of its Third Age, the Men of Rohan face dire crises of their own. In the end, will they fall to the perils that surround them? Or will they rally and ride in the face of ruin, charging forward, heedless of the world’s ending? If the expansion’s version of the new hero, Éomer ( The Voice of Isengard , 1), is any indication, the Rohirrim are far from defeated, even in the face of death and danger.

Heeding the Wise

From Orcs and Trolls to Ringwraiths and Dragons, Middle-earth is a rich and expansive world, filled with a fantastic array of creatures and threats. As you travel out of the Vale of Isen, you’ll experience an adventure in Middle-earth far removed from the settings and creatures represented by the Core Set encounter cards. Wild men will assail you with unbridled ferocity, Orcs will bellow their war cries, and you’ll battle for survival against the forest itself.

That’s why, in addition to expanding your existing game experience, The Voice of Isengard introduces nine all-new encounter sets! These unique sets, when combined into encounter decks (as instructed by the rules), make up the expansion’s three included scenarios.

It’s also important to note that these new encounter sets lay the foundation for the scenarios of the subsequent cycle of Adventure Packs, The Ring-maker .

So while the The Voice of Isengard expansion is an exciting addition in its own right, it’s also the first glimpse players will have of a region that will continue to grow and of an epic narrative that will continue to unfold.

There is no time to waste. Dark times have fallen, and all are at risk. Gather your arms, ride to Isengard, and lend your aid!