Happy New Year

Happy New Year Everyone! I do hope that you all had a great Holiday and that these past few weeks have given you the chance to spend time with friends, family and other loved ones. Despite the reprieve the holidays give us from the day-to-day it is often difficult to still find time to enjoy our hobbies, and this card game is no exception. Despite my struggle this year to take in all the content this game has to offer I have had nothing but fun with this game.

I have been loving this game since I first received a core set last year. Having played many CCG’s throughout my life it was refreshing to have a game I could “collect” but also know exactly what I am getting into. I can see the same drawbacks with this LCG format that come with being a CCG enthusiast but at the very least I think it is easier for the consumer to control themselves. What makes this game more fantastic, aside from knowing what each pack contains, is that there is no super competitive meta where last cycle’s card has quickly become obsolete and that card you could’ve purchased for $7 has now spiked to $25. I’m of the opinion that the designers are doing the best they can and have done a great job in keeping this game thematic and as true as they can get to the feel of Tolkien’s world. A common complaint I’m sure we all have heard from Tolkien enthusiasts and from the Tolkien estate themselves is that the Lord of the Rings Brand has been sort of tarnished, twisted into a violent, action pack driven world where the goal is to take down evil in flashy and epic ways. This can be seen in some of the recent video games that have been released as well as the (in)famous Hobbit Trilogy. This brings us to the card game. The LOTR: LCG is not without it’s fair share of violence, and I think the combat in the game is done in such as way that it never feels over the top or overly violent. Admittedly, without the combat the game would lose a lot of the “fun” factor. It is obvious how careful the early designers and the new have been in trying to get that Lord of the Rings feeling and how well they have succeeded. I am very excited to see what the future will bring with this game as we get to explore the obscure parts of Middle Earth and the more exciting plot points of the original story.

As for the content we’ve received this year it has been hard for me to form an opinion. This was my first year with this game and it has taken up a lot of my time simply trying to familiarize myself with past cards as well as staying up to date with the Ringmaker Cycle. I did get my fair share of time with The Road Darkens however, and my best friend and I enjoyed the opportunity to relive the second half of the Fellowship of the Ring even though we had our collective asses handed back to us. As far as player cards go I have been loving every release this year. I have not been able to try out every card with every quest but from a strictly deck building perspective, this last cycle and saga expansion have been exciting to experiment with.

IMG_0450I want to also throw out there that last night I received a LCG insert from The Broken Token. The insert was laser cut wood (I’ll have to look up the type of wood) and even came with some basic instructions. It was designed to fit with all the FFG LCG boxes and hold sleeved cards as well as the various resources the games tend to come with. Despite a rough starting assembly (due to my incompetence, not the insert’s) I was able to get the insert nice and snuggled in my Core Set Box.I was very impressed with how it all turned out and it was nice to have all of my cards condensed into one location. The only thing I wasn’t able to fit in my core box were my decks, threat counter, and my player cards that I keep in a binder. In the coming months I do plan on buying one last core set and therefore one more custom insert. I’m not really upset by this fact either since my insert is nearly full and with the coming Saga Expansion and new Deluxe Expansion it’d be silly to try and get everything in one box. Regardless, thank you Broken Token for your awesome insert! I will definitely be using your store again (there’s a certain Pathfinder Card Game I own that could desperately use an insert as well).

With the New Year always comes New Year’s Resolutions and this year, among my other personal goals, I hope to continue playing this card game and am making it a resolution to catch up on this last cycle and play through the various quests I have yet to try. Lastly I will be attempting to get some sort of local play group going. There are other things I’d like to accomplish, specifically with this game too, but one step at a time right?

What are some of your goals for this New Year? Are you excited about the content to come? How was your year with this game as a whole?

-The Secondhand Took

Featured Image Art from Joe Gilronan. Check out his blog here.

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3 thoughts on “Happy New Year

  1. Thanks for a lovely new year’s reflection on your experience of the game. The point that resonated most with me was about the nature of violence in the game. I agree with you that it is sufficiently abstract so that it never becomes glamorized in the way possible with a video game and film. I do wish that travel was a better mechanic as my favorite quests are the ones (like Celebrimbor’s Secret and The Ring Goes South) which make the locations more interesting. At any rate, here’s to another year of thematic Tolkien gaming with the LOTR LCG. Cheers!

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    1. I think that there is still a chance to make Locations interesting, or rather more interesting than they currently are. The biggest issue is that the locations don’t scale well as the number of players increase. The guys over at the Grey Company, I think it was Dan, said that future quests could have a location deck, similar to the Raven deck from this cycle. It may not solve the issue but could be a minor improvement. But yes, here’s to a another year of awesome gaming! Thanks for the comment Master of Lore! Cheers 🙂

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