Proudfeet – My Journey to Mordor

“But in the meantime what course am I to take?” said Frodo. “Towards danger; but not too rashly, nor too straight,” answered the wizard [Gandalf]. “If you want my advice, make for Rivendell. That journey should not prove too perilous, though the Road is less easy than it was, and it will grow worse as the year fails.”

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Art in the LOTR: LCG – Katy Grierson

Katy Grierson is a freelance illustrator and concept artist who has provided the art for a number of cards in the Lord of the Rings: The Card Game for quite awhile. Outside of Lord of the Rings, Katy Grierson has a diverse portfolio containing a variety of subjects for other IP’s and otherwise.

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First Impressions: Beneath the Sands

“The Broodmother Awaits You.” These foreboding words define Fantasy Flight Game’s newest Adventure Pack in the Haradrim Cycle: Beneath the Sands. I’ve had a chance to play the quest 3 times now (where did all this free time come from?). Is this quest a nail-biting, tension heavy “monster” quest akin to the Alien films, or is it another slogfest running rampant with locations?

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One Year* with the Took

So maybe not quite a year. More like a year and a week. Though it had a rough start, it was October last year that I decided to start writing a blog focused on the LOTR: LCG. I struggled with a lot of things, what do I write about, what do I call it, can I keep this up for a year, would anyone read it? Though I feel like I’ve succeeded in some areas, and still need improvement in others, it’s been an experience for which I am very thankful and I don’t see myself stopping anytime soon.

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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.

Second Chance for the Secondhand Took!

Good Evening Everyone! And Happy Holidays!

First of all, I’d like to apologize for my prolonged absence. Work and life and everything in between caught me by surprise and the next thing I knew the blog seemed to get further and farther away from me, and just as I was getting started.

For those of you who have provided input, comments, suggestions, and so forth I thank you! Now hopefully I can get things back on track.

One of the goals of the blog was to have a monthly feature aptly titled: Hero of the Month. Given that my November hero, Sam Gamgee, received no more than a few articles, I will try and finish out these last two weeks of the year with my favorite Hobbit and will begin the next month (and New Year!) with the Hero that received the most votes from my Hero of the Month Poll.

With the blog taking the back-burner so has my attention to this lovely game, sad to say. I will take the next few weeks (and most likely the month of January) to re-familiarize myself with the recent AP’s that have come out. I don’t want to provide input on cards that I have little knowledge of outside of what they do in a vacuum. For now I will simply continue with the Hero of the Month posts as I ease my way into other relevant posts. I would welcome any other suggestions or requests on the types of things people would like to see!

So there you have it. The Secondhand Took is going to give this blog a Second Chance. I look forward to closing out the year with a few more posts on good ol’ Sam Gamgee and I look forward to starting the New Year strong. Again, thanks so much for all the input and help so far!

The Secondhand Took