Previewing the Heroes of The Wilds of Rhovanion
“When you think of the great Battle of Pelennor, do not forget the battles in Dale and the valour of Durin’s Folk. Think of what might have been. Dragon-fire and savage swords in Eriador, night in Rivendell. There might be no Queen in Gondor.”
–Gandalf, The Return of the King
In The Wilds of Rhovanion, you have been tasked with protecting a band of Haradrim refugees as they flee far from the grasping claws of Mordor and seek asylum in the Wilderlands. There is no way of knowing what awaits you at the Edge of the Wild, and this journey is not for the faint of heart. To lead your troupe through the trials ahead, you will need to call upon a new collection of heroes—heroes bound by honor and by blood.
Today, we're pleased to offer you a closer look at the heroes of The Wilds of Rhovanion, the new deluxe expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game—now available for pre-order at your local retailer or here on our website!
A Proud Heritage
The Wilds of Rhovanion transports you and your fellow players to one of the most treacherous and wild areas of Middle-earth on a mission to resettle the survivors of a Haradrim tribe, just a few of the many lives destroyed by the violence and greed of Mordor. (You may recognize this Haradrim tribe if you've already played through the game's Harad cycle!) This expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game explores the vast, untamed country of Rhovanion in three original scenarios that take you and those in your care to the kingdom of Dale, where your last hope of refuge resides. When you accompany the survivors of the Haradrim tribe along the banks of the Anduin, through Mirkwood, and into the city of Dale, you will need to help them receive the blessing of asylum from Brand son of Bain (The Wilds of Rhovanion, 1). Grandson of the famed Bard the Bowman (On the Doorstep, 3), who slew Smaug near the end of the adventures chronicled in The Hobbit, Brand succeeded his father Bain as King of Dale in the year 3007 of the Third Age. As his legacy would suggest, his first priority is the safety of his denizens. If you want Brand to accept a group of people into his realm who have historically been enemies, you will need to use all your tact and powers of persuasion.
This task may be simplified, however, by your history with the king. While perhaps wizened and hardened by the passage of time, he is no stranger to you and your team of adventurers. Brand son of Bain first appeared in The Hills of Emyn Muil Adventure Pack for the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle. By the time you reach The Wilds of Rhovanion, Brand has gained the Noble keyword, focusing more on the care of his people than adventuring in the Wilderlands. Over the years, he has grown into a powerful king who has extended his kingdom’s reach far south and east of Esgaroth. Brand son of Bain also has a new, enhanced ability, which states that while he is in play, each Dale character you control with a player attachment benefits from increased willpower. And as a benevolent leader of the tradesmen, Brand prospers as his people do: whenever you bestow an attachment on a Dale character who does not already have one, Brand son of Bain lets you draw a card!
Brand is not the only nobleman you find in The Wilds of Rhovanion. Brand's firstborn, Bard son of Brand (The Wilds of Rhovanion, 2), is the heir to the Kingdom of Dale. Beyond being a Noble, Bard Son of Brand is a spirited warrior, able to inspire those who fight alongside him. While you're playing an Item attachment, Bard is considered to have leadership, lore, and tactics icons, allowing you to use his resources to pay for Item attachments from any sphere. What's more, as a member of your party, this leader of the Dale tradesmen will protect your interests with unparalleled efficiency, ensuring that you retain your resources over the course of your adventure. Whenever one of your characters leaves play, any of their attachments are restored to your hand, preparing you to play them again at any time.
Line of Succession
The laws of succession in Middle-earth may appear indisputable, but in The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, the story is in your hands. You may choose to crown either of your noble heroes King of Dale (The Wilds of Rhovanion, 8). This Title, which can be bestowed upon either a hero of Dale or one of Esgaroth (also known as Lake-town), can be exhausted to reduce the cost of the next Dale ally you play one for each different attachment your new king has. As a King, the hero who bears this attachment rules of all the people of Dale, regardless of their sphere, and as a final boon to assembling your army, the ally that you play does not need to have a resource match.
While The Wilds of Rhovanion will change how you use items and attachments throughout your journeys in Middle-earth, making them easier to use and more readily available, you must be careful not to become Weighed Down (The Wilds of Rhovanion, 27). When revealed, this treachery card goes to the hero with the most attachments. That hero becomes exhausted, falling under the weight of all they carry. As the game progresses, they must continually discard attachments until only Weighed Down remains, at which point they regain their strength, discard the card, and may begin to carry attachments once more.
Though he has taken his place as ruler, Brand’s adventuring days may not be completely behind him, and young Bard has a hunger for the glory passed down from the stories of his ancestors’ deeds. But while they may be brave, these noble men are not foolish and would never embark on a journey unarmed. You may equip either of these heroes with a mighty Bow of Yew (The Wilds of Rhovanion, 9). This Weapon attachment can be carried by any Warrior or citizen of Dale—and it lets you launch a punishing volley to begin any attack. After the character bearing this attachment is declared as an attacker, you exhaust Bow of Yew to deal one damage to the defending enemy. In Esgaroth’s darkest hour, Bard the Bowmen was able use his own bow to find the single chink in Smaug’s armor and bring the Dragon’s reign of fire to an end. Will your arrows strike as true?
Enter the Wilderlands
Embark on a new quest in the dangerous realm of Rhovanion. Protect the legacy of Bard the Bowman, and lead the Haradrim people to a new dawn of hope!
Pre-order The Wilds of Rhovanion (MEC65) today at your local retailer or on the Fantasy Flight Games website here!
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