As if the rush of Lord of the Rings LCG and other news from GenCon was not enough, Fantasy Flight games has officially bought CardGameDB and is going to incorporate it as an official company resource, while maintaining and improving the tools and utilities there for players.
I think this can only be AWESOME for the future of every LCG, it is going to mean a lot more interplay between FFG announcements and forum discussion and the CardgameDB forums and card stuff. For example FFG can post an official suggested deck build as a link to that deck on CardGameDB now. It’s not specifically said, but presumably they are paying Drew now so he can put even more time into the website.
It’s definitely a win-win, but it’s also a very fascinating turn of events as this sort of thing is not common with any gaming community that I’m aware of. Usually companies maintain their own websites and resources as strictly separate from community ones.
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In probably the biggest news for the Lord of the Rings LCG since the saga expansions Fantasy Flight Games has announced both “Nightmare mode”expansions for existing quests and Game Night Kits to support organized play at game store venues, complete with a couple extra little goodies and rules for “optional competitive play”.
The Nightmare mode concept was spoiled a while ago; the basic idea is tweaking an existing quest with a small set of cards that replace some of the existing cards in the encounter deck. Fantasy Flight has even come up with a card layout art scheme that makes these Nightmare cards stand out from the standard encounter cards in a truly creepy way. It looks like the main art for the cards is all new and unique also, which is pretty impressive.
This first package of Nightmare cards will include 22 cards for each of the three original quests which includes a (more…)
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Well I had originally planned to write a post about my concern for the lack of information on future expansions for the Lord of the Rings LCG, but fortunately at Gencon Fantasy Flight revealed the “Heirs of Númenor” which will be a Gondor-focused deluxe expansion followed by an adventure pack cycle titled “Against the Shadow”. From picking through the released information and the few spoiled cards, it looks like Gondor will be a heavily defensive themed faction, with a 4 defense Tactics hero (Beregond) and a 4 defense ally already revealed along with at least 1 card boosting defense for Gondor characters.
This is all great news and very re-assuring as for quite a while there it appeared Fantasy Flight had no releases planned following the Hobbit saga expansions. As the game evolves the importance of synergistic keywords is increasing and currently, the factions (such as they exist in this game) are vastly imbalanced with huge numbers of dwarves while Rohan, Eagles, and Elves on a decidedly lower tier. Gondor and Hobbits are barely supported. Hopefully this next cycle will balance some things out.
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For clarification, Juicebox is the username of an individual on the Fantasy Flight community forums for the Lord of the Rings Living Card Game who has taken it upon himself to create a structured comparative play method and leaderboard for the official released quests. As of right now, this is the closest thing the community has to official play and it’s interesting take a look at how it’s been set up.
It’s worth noting that Fantasy Flight’s decision to even include a scoring system with their cooperative game was somewhat controversial, and some players were openly negative about introducing a competitive element to a game that was supposed to be all about teamwork. The original scoring method was also somewhat broken, since it encouraged players to take as long as possible recycling certain cards in order to reduce their threat down to zero and maximize (or minimize ,in this case) their score. FFG later put out a revised scoring system that added a hefty penalty per turn and greatly improved the possibilities of the scoring system for competitive play. However, Fantasy Flight hasn’t mentioned anything about organized competitive play or how it would work as of yet. Enter Juicebox. (more…)
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I was on Coolstuffinc earlier today and in their boardgame category Lord of the Rings LCG was 4 of the 11 top selling products, with Khazad Dum coming in at 11 and 3 of the recent Adventure packs coming in at 3,4, and 8.
So people are still buying the game in droves and Fantasy Flight is still raking it in. With the first Hobbit film releasing later this year and the expected wave of LOTR enthusiasm I don’t see that dropping off anytime soon.
Personally I’m trying to decide what I’m going to do. After trying out the core set and gaining an appreciation for the depth of the mechanics and the possibility of the system, I committed to the first adventure cycle. I’ve since purchased Khazad Dum and committed to the second adventure cycle, and I’m certain I’ll pick up the Hobbit 2-part expansion series and probably the second deluxe expansion that comes out in that same timeframe (assuming one comes out in addition to the Hobbit saga expansions). Where I may draw the line, for now, is at the start of the third adventure cycle; at that point I’ll have a huge pool of cards and a lot of replayable quest content. And with the ease of online retailers it would be relatively easy to come back later and buy the entire third adventure cycle in one go for around $60.
The real dangerous draw for me is the individual faction synergies that they keep releasing stuff for, that’s where the completionist in me wants to keep buying stuff beyond when I might otherwise want to take a break. It’s easy to say no to an as-yet unannounced product but when that product turns out to be the cards to finally make a Gondor-themed deck feasible or something I’m suddenly tempted since it not just adds new cards but also increases the value of cards I already own. That’s the dangerous hook that Fantasy Flight has created with this system and the brilliant mechanics of the game offer them all sorts of possibilities.
There’s also the looming possibility of Fantasy Flight someday creating organized competitive play which would probably have some draw for me, since I basically got into this game at the ground floor and could actually be competitive. Right now there are no signs of that happening anytime soon but it’s been discussed and certainly Fantasy Flight is perfectly capable of attempting it. Whether or not it would succeed with this form of game is another question but that might be yet another hook this game could get in to me.
As a side note, it looks like Fantasy Flight has 7 of the top 15 selling games on Coolstuff, pretty darn impressive.
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Fantasy Flight Games has announced a new “Saga” expansion for the Lord of the Rings Living Card Game: “The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill”.
My friend Tim and I have been debating back and forth the possibility of Fantasy Flight ever using the license and game mechanics for the LOTR LCG to create game expansions specifically focused on the actual books. Tim was generally in favor of the idea and believed it was inevitable, while I was more skeptical since Fantasy Flight seemed to be content incorporating the characters, items, and locations from the lore into new, non-canonical adventures that fit loosely within the game’s timeline. It appears that Tim is indeed correct and Fantasy Flight is going to be coming out with at least two major expansions that will cover the story from “The Hobbit”, and it’s not very difficult to speculate that the main trilogy may follow.
Of course the Hobbit movie coming out this year was probably a strong motivation for Fantasy Flight to go this route.
What we know
So let’s look real quick at what we know. This “Saga” expansion will feature: (more…)
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I have started a major new personal project to convert all of my parents old family videos from VCR to digital using this, which is going to result in long periods of time where I’m just letting the videos convert and I need to go find something else to work on. It’s a good excuse to pull out my Lord of the Rings LCG and finally tackle the Khazad Dum quests. I’ve had a couple dwarf-based decks built for a while so last night I went ahead and shuffled up the first quest, “Into the Pit”.
After dealing out the opening hand to each of my decks I proceeded to reveal the 2 cards from the top of the encounter deck as instructed by the quest card. First encounter card: Goblin Follower. Meh, kind of annoying and decently tough little dude. But not a huge concern, and at least he’s out of the staging area as soon as he’s drawn. Encounter card number two: Crumbling Ruin. Huh. Well, I start with my Eowyn/Dwalin/Bifur deck. This deck has very few expensive cards but just in case I choose Dwalin since he has the most hitpoints, exhaust him, and flip the top card. Northern Tracker. Well crap. Goodbye Dwalin. I switch to the Dain/Gloin/Thalin deck and choose Gloin. Card flip: Veteran of Nandhurion (the only copy in that deck). Double crap. Goodbye Gloin.
I’ve just lost 2 of my 6 heroes and basically the whole game during the setup phase due to ridiculously bad luck in card draws. I actually played through a couple rounds just for fun but the remainder of the party was chopped to pieces by goblins very quickly.
The best part about this whole thing is the narrative that came into my head of Dwalin and Gloin admiring the dwarven craftsmanship of the East Gate when suddenly a giant slab of stone smashes both of them. Good for a chuckle at least!
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