The Wargs Have Come
Race Across Harad Is Now Available for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
"Suddenly Aragorn leapt to his feet. 'How the wind howls!' he cried. 'It is howling with wolf-voices. The Wargs have come.'"
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
With the Wargs and Orcs hard on your heels, you'll need to spur your Oliphaunts to pick up their pace. While Wargs and Orcs are no match for your Oliphaunts in limited numbers, there's no way you and your allies would survive a protracted encounter with the ever-growing horde behind you. Your only hope? An all-out sprint for the River Harnen.
The Desperate Race for Survival
Back in the announcement of the Haradrim cycle, developer Caleb Grace explained how the decision to transport Middle-earth's heroes to the remote and hostile south of Harad resonated throughout its scenarios.
In his words, the cycle is "the story of how this brave group of adventurers make the long and perilous journey back to Gondor and the safety it offers. And the survivalist nature of this story gives each scenario in the Haradrim cycle a tinge of desperation. It's more than five-hundred miles to Gondor, much of that is inhospitable desert, and each adventure feels like it could be the heroes' last."
In Race Across Harad, this desperation comes to the fore immediately as you and your friends find yourself pitted in a race against the scenarios' many Orcs and Wargs. While you're pushing your Tamed Mûmakil (Race Across Harad, 38) toward the Ford, the Orcs and Wargs are racing through their own series of quests.
It is this "dueling quest decks" design that truly distinguishes Race Across Harad and makes it so that you can almost feel the creatures' hot breath on the back of your neck. At the beginning of your adventure, you'll create the Orcs' area, a new play area where you'll find many of the Orcs and Wargs trying to overtake you. So long as you're at differently numbered stages, those Orcs and Wargs are immune to player card effects, they don't add their threat to your staging area, and they won’t engage you because they haven’t caught up to you yet. Still, you can see them getting closer and closer as they make progress on their stage.
And when you end up at quest stages with matching numbers, those enemies attack you as fiercely and savagely as possible, driven by their hatred and the harsh commands of their Uruk Chieftain (The Sands of Harad, 61), whom you'll place into the Orcs' area during setup.
Finally, there is one other matter complicating your efforts to escape. Like Stage 2B, each of the scenario's different stages limits the amount of progress you can place on the quest in any given round. And because that restriction is relaxed if you commit your Tamed Mûmakil to the quest, you'll find yourself faced each round with a difficult choice: will you ride your Tamed Mûmakil as fast as you can to the River, or will you keep it ready to crush the Orcs and Wargs in combat?
Ride for the Ford
Of course, as with every new Adventure Pack for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, Race Across Harad supports your heroes' fight for survival by supplying you with access to a new hero and a host of player cards.
As fits the cycle's themes of discovery and unexpected alliances, Race Across Harad introduces a new side quest, plus the hero Thurindir (Race Across Harad, 28), who combines perfectly with the pack's side quest—and just about every side quest. You'll also find a new Harad ally in the Leadership sphere, a Tactics attachment than grants its bearer the Warrior trait, and a Tactics event that triggers when you have a pair of characters, one with the Ranger trait and one with the Warrior trait.
More than this, though, it adds a new Mount to the game, meaning that your Tamed Mûmakil needn't be the only beast to carry you toward the Ford. For just one resource, the Steed of the North (Race Across Harad, 30) is a fantastic attachment to play upon any Dúnedain or Ranger hero who can contribute meaningfully to both the quest and combat phases.
Furthermore, the Steed's ready effect is likely to prove even more interesting in really clever decks. For example, you might exhaust a hero to draw cards with Peace, and Thought (Shadow and Flame, 135) and then play a Dúnedain Hunter (The Lost Realm, 3) to engage an enemy in the planning phase, commit your character to the quest, and then ready that character again during the engagement phase. In this way, your rider can really get around—participating in card draw, questing, and your eventual attacks.
Spur Your Oliphaunt to Action
Quick! Put the spurs to your Mûmakil and any other steeds you may have. You can hear the distant baying of Wargs on the wind. The race is on…
Race Across Harad (MEC57) is now available at your local retailer. So don't wait for the Wargs to catch you—pick up your copy today!
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