Preview the Hobbits of A Shadow in the East
“Shire-folk have been so comfortable so long they don’t know what to do. They just want a match, though, and they’ll go up in fire.”
–Merry, The Return of the King
In A Shadow in the East, you explore the largely unknown lands of Dorwinion while attempting to aid a people who live too near the shadow of Mordor. This land may be far from the Shire and the folk who live there, but sometimes heroes are found in the unlikeliest places. Soon, Hobbits can sway the fortunes of all Middle-earth, even those from lands as distant as Dorwinion.
Today, we’re pleased to offer you a closer look at the Hobbits of A Shadow in the East, the eighth deluxe expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game!
Bearing the Burden
A Shadow in the East promises to take your party even farther to the east than the wild and untamed lands of Rhovanion as you investigate the darkness that has befallen Dorwinion. Leaving King Brand and the city of Dale behind, this expansion’s three scenarios see you venturing deeper into Dorwinion and closer to the source of this gathering shadow. Such a treacherous journey requires hearty adventurers prepared for the hardships of such a quest, especially if one of them is also carrying the copy of The One Ring (A Shadow in the East, 1) included in this expansion.
While Hobbits may be used to living in comfortable holes in the ground, they have also shown great resolve in times of need, and no one may be more uniquely suited to carry the Ring than Frodo Baggins (A Shadow in the East, 2). Already accustomed to bearing this burden throughout The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game’s Saga expansions, Frodo is ready to take on a Leadership role in A Shadow in the East. He knows that whoever carries the Ring doesn’t have to endure the rigors of the quest alone, and by spending a resource, he can ready another unique character committed to the quest. What’s more, the extra help Frodo receives on quests helps him to mitigate the threat that comes with wielding the power of the Ring.
Naturally, whoever carries the One Ring is sure to become a target for the dark forces of Mordor. While a being as small as a Hobbit may seem like easy prey for enemies like a Rider of Rhûn (A Shadow in the East, 18), Frodo or another hero can always use new Master cards to even the playing field. The One Ring holds dominion over all the other rings of power and—as The Ruling Ring (A Shadow in the East, 10)—the Ring-bearer can prevent a non-Nazgûl enemy from attacking them. Similarly, The Ring of Power (A Shadow in the East, 11) can also enhance its bearer’s natural characteristics, fortifying them for whatever challenges they may face.
The Smallest Heroes
Even with the power of the One Ring on their side, the boldest heroes know that they cannot stand against the power of Mordor alone. Like other The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game scenarios, the trials you face in A Shadow in the East require an entire band of heroes and allies to overcome. Despite their small stature and low health, Hobbits remain loyal to each other and are ready to enhance your entire party.
An ally like Merry (A Shadow in the East, 3), for example, helps Frodo Baggins quest successfully by raising the willpower of all your unique allies until the end of the round. This further enhances the usefulness of an ally such as Faramir (A Shadow in the East, 5), who can contribute to your quest even after dealing damage to a non-unique enemy when he enters play.
Pippin (A Shadow in the East, 4), on the other hand, is willing to stand up to enemies several times his size. Not only does he get an better attack while attacking an enemy with an engagement cost higher than your threat, he also readies after engaging such an enemy. As a scenario wears on and your threat increases, this ability’s usefulness is sure to wane, but an ally like Derufin (A Shadow in the East, 6) can reduce a player’s threat to allow Pippin to stay on the offensive.
No matter what heroes or allies you choose to join your adventure, you are almost certainly stronger together. A Shadow in the East cements this bond between your characters with the new Fellowship (A Shadow in the East, 74) contract card. This new type of player card can represent a literal contract like the one Bilbo signed with the Dwarves before setting out for Erebor, or they can represent a social contract, like the bond of trust shared by all nine members of the Fellowship of the Ring.
Either way, contracts are never included in a player’s deck and do not count towards a player’s minimum deck size. Instead, each player may choose one contract to put into play along with their heroes at the beginning of the game with its “A” side face up. When certain conditions are met, a contract is then flipped to unlock special abilities. In the case of Fellowship, each character you control gets a boost to their willpower, attack, and defense so long as you can maintain a party of nine unique characters.
Dorwinion may be far from the comforts of the Shire, but the bravest Hobbits are always ready to help those in need. Form your Fellowship and set off for the unknown lands of Dorwinion!
Pre-order your copy of A Shadow in the East (MEC77) at your local retailer today or online through our website with free shipping in the continental US here! Otherwise, be sure to look for this deluxe expansion when it hits retailers in the third quarter of 2019!