Michael
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General overview

The Long Dark is the fourth expansion pack of the "Dwarrowdelf" cycle for the Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. The quest requires the core set as well as the Khazad-dum expansion to be played. The Long Dark makes use of the "Twists and Turns" and "Deeps of Moria" encounter decks. The quest is officially listed with a difficulty rating of 7.



The Hero


The new Hero is a surprising addition given this cycle's focus on elves and dwarves: Hama, a doorward of the Golden Hall in Edoras, enriches the Tactics sphere and Rohan decks alike. While Hamas is not the first Tactics hero with an Attack of 3 and a Will of 1. However, his ability to reuse Tactics Event cards make him feel unique. In the games I played him, he proved very valuable once I drew "Feint" (Core Set) but lacked the defensive capabilities missing for Rohan decks at the moment. See the following threat for an example on how to build a Rohan deck that makes use of Hama: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/856916/rohan-tri-sphere-deck
I really like the inclusion of Hama as it gives a much-wanted addition to the Rohan theme and an interesting mechanic. Strangely enough, Hama does not receive any character-depending support cards as so common in the Dwarrowdelf Cycle (see Aragorn, Glorfindel and Elrond in other expansions).



The other Player Cards

The player cards are among the best I have seen in this cycle. The Lore sphere is enriched by an amazing healer that caters to allies and heroes alike and sever card drawing power in both, quantity and quality. Even Leadership has been granted an ally that helps drawing useful cards and thus making use of the abundance of resources often associated with this sphere. There are technically three (but practically four, Battlemaster of Erebor) specific cards that you will only include if you play a Secrecy deck or if you have dwarves or hobbits in your party. However, the Ring Mail attachment greatly increases the playability of Bilbo, who was often left out due to his susceptibility to Treachery Cards. Similarly, Frodo will absorb more damage before increasing your Threat Level, and if you have the Hobbit expansion and put the Ring Mail on a Sting-wielding Bilbo Baggins, look out goblins!




The Scenario

The Long Dark attempts to recreate the feel of marching through endless, labyrinthine tunnels. To achieve this, Locations gain a bonus to threat, and a new mechanic is introduced.



To even things up, one of your heroes may equip the Cave Torch card, familiar form the Khazad-dum expansion. This card allows to explore locations more quickly but adds the risk of running into more enemies. Having the choice of facing locations or enemies is certainly welcome and opens up possibilities for decks heavy on Will power or combat prowess alike.

The new mechanic is the "locate test" which sounds similar to the "escape test" in the Hunt for Gollum but vastly differs from it. When an Encounter Card forces you to make a locate test, you must discard cards from your hand to "buy" the right to flip up Encounter Cards. If the revealed Encounter Card contains a "PASS" entry, your heroes have kept their wits about them. If you fail, you are lost which results in various types of punishment as specified on the Encounter Cards.



Given the scarcity of "PASS" cards in the Encounter Deck (roughly one in four), I often found it better to simply accept the negative effect and not to risk losing my cards. There is a notable exception which you will hope not to trigger at any cost:


A certain goodbye to your allies in play or those on your hand? A tough choice.

In fact, successive draws of Foul Air (and the discarding of my complete hand) is one of the reasons why I lost two of my first ten solo games. I dislike all kinds of instant loss cards (e.g. Sudden Pitfall from Khazad-dum), but Foul Air does not exactly fall into this category. Once you have played the scenario a few times, you will realize the importance of enhanced card draw (to pass locate tests) and dealing with treacheries is on the top of your to-do list against most scenarios, anyway.
The second reason is one of the worst combinations of Encounter Cards you will have come across:


You will often ignore Twisting Passage, but once you draw four straight goblins, you might regret it...

Finally, there is an Encounter Card which has only positive effects for you and feels like an unexpected break when you draw it.

Note the absence of the "Guarded" and "Surge" keywords and rejoice!

Interestingly, I thought this scenario was easier solo compared with a two player game. The reason for this might be the accumulation of Lost cards and a greater chance of them to be triggered. Solo players expecting a near-impossible challenge as in other official DL 7 scenarios such as Dol Guldur or Return to Mirkwood should not shy away from purchasing this expansion.

My Verdict

Theme
The dread of facing the long dark of Moria is well captured.


Artwork
Given that all locations are underground, the artwork is stunning. No complaints about enemies, treacheries or player cards, either.


Hero
A useful addition that provides something unique. FFG have to keep Hama in mind when designing future Tactics Event.


Other Player Cards
Great general applicability of some very useful cards that encourage thematic builds but four cards are very specific. If you care for dwarves, add one star, if you hate dwarves, take one off.


Scenario
A location-heavy quest that provides not a lot of excitement and may feel swingy due to terribly easy or insanely difficult cards.


Overall
Good player cards and a solid scenario further enhance the Lord of the Rings Card Game.


Edited to add empty stars in verdict.
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denny prijadi
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is it possible to play the 6 Dwarrowdelf scenario without owning Khazad-dum expansion ?

i think i will get my 6 Dwarrowdelf AP in mail soon but the Khazadum exp is still not processed
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Michael
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dprijadi wrote:
is it possible to play the 6 Dwarrowdelf scenario without owning Khazad-dum expansion ?

i think i will get my 6 Dwarrowdelf AP in mail soon but the Khazadum exp is still not processed


No, sorry. All Dwarrowdel expansions (at least the four that I have) require Encounter Decks that came with the Khazad-dum expansion.

I guess you'll still got some use out of your adventure packs. Six packs full of player cards will ease the waiting time for Khazad-dum!
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Oleg volobujev
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Long Dark should be played with 3 up player. Only then you can see all power of encounter deck. Really hard quest!!! Much more harder then Dol-Guldor or Return to Mirkwood. But with 2 or solo is very easy. Strongly recommend play 3 up players.In my opinion LD one of the best quest for coop. But for solo or even for 2 players is to easy.
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denny prijadi
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Zwerg wrote:
dprijadi wrote:
is it possible to play the 6 Dwarrowdelf scenario without owning Khazad-dum expansion ?

i think i will get my 6 Dwarrowdelf AP in mail soon but the Khazadum exp is still not processed


No, sorry. All Dwarrowdel expansions (at least the four that I have) require Encounter Decks that came with the Khazad-dum expansion.

I guess you'll still got some use out of your adventure packs. Six packs full of player cards will ease the waiting time for Khazad-dum!


groan -_-'

how come everywhere i look , Khazadum is out of stock.. what im going to do with my Dwarrowdelf APs grr.. i hate to proxy the whole Khazadum while my order is processing for who knows how long...

FFG should learn from this and print more Numenor expansion to avoid this kind of shortage
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denny prijadi
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Glaurung2 wrote:
Long Dark should be played with 3 up player. Only then you can see all power of encounter deck. Really hard quest!!! Much more harder then Dol-Guldor or Return to Mirkwood. But with 2 or solo is very easy. Strongly recommend play 3 up players.In my opinion LD one of the best quest for coop. But for solo or even for 2 players is to easy.


i never thought more player will cause scenario to ballon up in difficulty ?? i thought SOLO is always the hardest
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Paul Stone
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Agreed- VERY easy solo!
 
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