This is the first game completed on the first Season of our 10 x 10, and I will get right into it.
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a Living Card Game (if you want to know more about LCG’s click here). I stay away from the term deck building game because of the connotation associated with that type of game; but, in essence, it is a game where you build a hero deck based around 4 different spheres of influence. The lore sphere is good at drawing cards and healing your characters, the leadership sphere is good at generating resources, the tactics sphere is good at fighting and defense, and the spirit sphere is great at going on quests. Each deck’s sphere is determined by the heroes you choose to use, who each have a sphere associated them. Then it generates resources to use to play cards from those spheres. These decks are used to engage in quests. These quests are made by shuffling various encounter decks together and there are certain objectives. It is important to mention that this game is fully multiplayer. So you are all working together to complete the quests. Players win when they complete the final quest card. They can lose any number of ways, such as, losing all of their heroes, reaching 50 threat, or any random quest scenario’s special rules.
The first few games we played we engaged in the second quest Journey Along the Anduin. The reason I say the first few games is because you start off having to engage a hill troll as you are trying to escape the Murkwood on a raft. The toll hits hard like to raise your threat when you do no block him. After completing the Journey Down the Anduin quests one of our heroes was kidnapped and locked in a dungeon needing rescue. This is how the quest Escape From Dol Guldur starts, we were already one hero down, things look grim from the beginning. After a few more difficult games we completed Escape From Dol Guldur, by rescuing our hero and having to find the item that slowed our players down, but that we needed to get out of the dungeon. Next few plays we participated in the Hunt for Golum. We failed this at first because we didn’t get enough clues in the first few phases, but we beat it the second time around. Lastly we played Conflict at the Carrick. We were so close to beating this quest the first time through, but you have to fight four trolls at once in the last stage and we took them on too early and threated out.
If you are a Lord of The Rings fan you will love the amount of references in this game. Those who are a bit too die hard will have issues with how some of the heroes can interact and how some of the quests play out. I was constantly comparing this game to the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game, another game on our list. Both of these games have a deck that you use to complete different quests decks. This game blows that game out of the water. The only thing Pathfinder ACG does better is progression. Once you have the rules down, the games happen fairly fast and you can get lots of them played in a few hours. I think the fact that I have bought the majority of expansions for this game speaks to how much i liked it.