LOTR LCG: The Great Wall of Endless Text

Currently, my main gaming focus is on Lord of the Rings the card game. I feel the need to rant and rave about my strategic and mental transgressions and figure it is better to not clog up the forum with it.

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The Druadan Forest – How It Has Changed The Game

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Steward’s Fear single handedly redefined optimal game play. So from a game changing perspective, it should come as no surprise that Druadan Forest comes up notably short of the influence from its predecessor. That said, there was clearly a lofty goal of making mono-sphere decks a more viable if not desirable option. Such a change would be truly game changing . . . if they were to succeed.
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Sun Jun 23, 2013 4:37 pm
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Outlands Deck Building + Ally Rankings and other thoughts

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It is a very exciting time for Lord of the Rings the card game. With the recent spoilers for Druadan Forest we are seeing introductions of cards that push for a variety of strategies. It barely seems like we’ve had a chance for the dust to settle from the atom splitting significance of the introduction of Outlands. This post was intended to focus on deck building with Outlands, but I’ll go ahead and touch on some other notable strategies that will be available once the 2nd adventure packs finally make it to our eagerly waiting hands.

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Fri May 31, 2013 2:39 am
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The Steward's Fear – How It Has Changed The Game

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I never could quite gather up the excitement to talk about the second Hobbit expansion. The player cards can be easily summed up with 3 words: "Dwarves got better". In a world where Dwarf decks are already the strongest option, this just wasn't a particularly ground breaking expansion. All in all, I think it did very little to change the game. What's worse, this was the only release during a 4 months stretch where the news pipeline from FFG was a bit limited. I certainly got some enjoyment out of the expansion both in reworking my dwarf decks a couple of times and playing the quests, but the strategic juices just weren't flowing. Even going back another few months to encompass Heirs of Numenor reveals a player card pool that just isn't that influential to viable strategies (for now), especially after the Master of Lore nerf. HoN's + On the Doorstep’s influence was more around its quests (the third in each being a lot of fun to play). But the lifeblood of my passion for this game is in the deckbuilding, and I haven't done nearly enough of it over the past 6 months. But now Steward's Fear is here, and it brings us back what I hope are regular adventure packs and regular news updates from FFG teasing the cards. At a minimum, it has made an immediate splash in deck construction with the highly impactful development of the Outlands trait.

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Mon May 20, 2013 4:17 am
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Deck Meta Strategies

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The introduction of the Great Yew Bow to the player card pool presents yet another way to assault the staging area directly. Dunhere has been available since the beginning, so this is by no means a new ability. However, there are numerous reasons why a character like Legolas or Bard the Bowman is going to be able to power up better than Dunhere. Dunhere's boosts are mostly limited to Dunedain Marks and the somewhat expensive Dwarven Axe. Legolas can use Rivendell Blade + Rivendell Bow, Bard is already boosted with his special ability, and support of the eagles can be naturally played on both heroes without songs. So I set out to build a deck that would leverage and maximize these abilities. While I want to talk a bit about the details of putting such a deck together, my play testing reminded me of what I already knew but keep conveniently forgetting: When a staging area attack deck works, it tends to work very well. When it doesn't work, it doesn't work very well. This ranks perhaps as the most tautologically inane statement that I've made in a while, but nonetheless there is some truth. Furthermore, it got me thinking more broadly about the meta-strategies that are possible in the game. I am going to attempt to enumerate the most viable ones and discuss their strengths and weaknesses.

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Sat Apr 6, 2013 4:18 pm
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Heirs of Numenor – How It Has Changed The Game

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My last posting was an in depth state of the union on deck-building. It couldn’t have been done at a worse time as much of what I said needs to be reviewed again. While FFG has clearly endeavored to create encounter sets + quests that present a new challenge to players, the impacts have been mostly incremental and somewhat modest. Sure, I needed a slight tweak to respond to the massive card suck that was The Long Dark. Shadow + Flame and Laketown told us right off the bat how they were going to kick our ass both with their initial set up and their official DL – but still a well rounded deck mostly just required some deck tweaks to be able to handle it. Heirs of Numenor is a revolution - all the more so if the concepts it has introduced carry over into the adventure packs of cycle.
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Mon Jan 21, 2013 4:29 pm
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Deck-building Manifesto Featuring Hero Rankings + Deck-building Ten Commandments

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I was very excited about Heirs of Numenor. I was excited about the day that Gondorian reinforcements would ride in allowing the race of men to be properly represented in LOTR TCG. I was excited to simply get more cards! But are the Gondorians up to task? With the game having as many cards as it has now, there are always more tricks to discover. So I've decided to make some meta-reflections after awaking from my recent deck-building coma.
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Sat Dec 1, 2012 6:29 pm
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The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill - How It Has Changed the Game

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The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill is the first foray into a new category of expansions: the Saga Expansion. This is nearly indistinguishable from a Deluxe Expansion for all practical purposes beyond there being no intention to have a chain of expansions that depend on it. There is slightly more continuity between the quests, but I found these aspects to not be significant. Of course, there is nothing wrong with simply being another Deluxe Expansion. I just want to emphasize that I find this Saga Expansion to be definitively NOT game changing as it relates to the basic game format. On the other hand, the quests and player cards certainly provided us plenty to think about as we go deck building and questing.

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Sun Oct 7, 2012 2:41 pm
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Shadow And Flame: How It Has Changed the Game

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With exceedingly strong player cards introducing multiple new strategies for deck design AND an epic quest, Shadow And Flame is truly a fantastic expansion pack. If you haven't played this expansion yet, go out and get the expansion pack and play it now. It is an exceedingly strong conclusion to the Darrowdelf cycle combining together the best parts of Journey down the Anduin and Flight from Moria. Spoilers a plenty will follow as I dive into how Shadow And Flame has changed the game.

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Wed Aug 15, 2012 6:31 pm
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Building with Elrond

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Elrond is massively powerful with Vilya and is eminently worth building around. It has effectively pushed me to tear down my decks and build from scratch in order to best utilize Elrond's strengths. Traditionally when I am deck building, I am usually looking for a combination of 4 relatively straight forward things:

1. Resource acceleration
2. Card draw
3. Card combos fueled by 1 and 2
4. A hero/sphere selection that enables the strategy defined by the first 3
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Sat Jul 28, 2012 11:36 am
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Foundations of Stone: How it has changed the game + Updated Decks

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Foundations of Stone is unquestionably a very significant expansion. It presents player card options that are as influential to Boromir style deck construction as we’ve seen in quite a while. All in all the quest and player cards add to a strong Darrowdelf lineup. Let’s dive in and see how it has changed the game.
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Wed Jul 4, 2012 11:30 pm
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