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Confessions of a newb—a new players perspective/discussion *UPDATED through 1.0.2 Journey Down the Anduin*


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#1 JonofPDX

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 09:31 PM

 Hi guys—I'm Jon.

 

As the title implies, I am a completely new player—not just to the Lord of the Rings LCG but to card games in general. The last card game I played w/ any frequency was Magic: the Gathering and I haven't played that since about 2004. What's more, I am mostly new to the entire concept of coop gaming on this level (I break out Forbidden Island/Pandemic on occasion, and I have played in tabletop RPGs, but this is a very different experience). To be honest, being rather indifferent to Tolkien and not experienced in the gaming genre, I probably wouldn't have picked up the game in the first place if I had just seen it on a game store's shelf.

 

But, as luck would have it, I won a copy of the core set/first cycle of expansions in a raffle @ my local game store. It was cool, and exciting to win, but I honestly didn't care much about the prize. But I was bored when I got home so I cracked it open and flipped through the rule book while listening to some music. And then I turned tho the first page and started reading w/ more interest. And then I read it again because the system was so interesting.

 

As I read through the phases and glanced through the cards, those old MTG juices started flowing and I started to break apart the starting decks and rebuild them @ the 50 card “tournament” size. I didn't know what I was doing (and, w/ a grand total of ONE game under my belt, I really still don't) but deck building was always better than half of the fun of Magic and I was having fun pouring over the cards and finding the synergies and building clever little tricks.

 

That was Thursday, and after taking some time this weekend to teach the rules to my girlfriend (the owner of the game store suggested that the game is much more fun w/ 2+ people) we just tried out our first game. And I am totally hooked.

 

So here I am. I plan on using this thread over the next several weeks as a kind of hub where I can ask questions, give my opinions on the game/quest scenarios as I tackle them, get some much needed deck building advice and generally just learn more about a game I have decided to invest my time in (and money—I have already gone out and bought the next set of expansions).

 

I know personally I always love to get a fresh perspective on something I enjoy and I know as a new player I would love to get any pointers from you more experienced veterans. I am here to learn from the masters ;) Though, I would prefer if you guys keep narrative spoilers to a minimum in this thread :)

 

As I have only completed the “tutorial”quest @ this point, I will be pretty brief w/ my thoughts.

 

Quest: Passage Through Mirkwood

 

I really enjoyed this quest (though I suppose I don't have much to compare it to).

 

The first thing that stood out to me was the amazing art on the “Forest Spider” card. Creepy, but SO good. The flavor text on several of the cards was also awesome and went a long way on selling me on the setting. Like I said, I am not a huge Tolkien fan but I am totally buying into the world here as I follow along w/ the quest narrative. Love it.

 

As for the encounter itself, I had a great time and me and my girlfriend were able to defeat Ungoliant Spawn to complete the quest. I will say that for a tutorial quest (w/ a difficulty rating of one), we were surprised by just how hard that final encounter was as we pulled Ungoliant Spawn just before having to draw 2 more spiders from the encounter deck for the last stage of the quest, by which point we had 2 characters caught in a web. That things a monster!

 

We were using leadership/tactics and mono-spirit (to be able to both quest and fight):

 

Tactics: Boromir/Elrohir/Eladan (pretty sure all of those are misspelled)

 

Spirit: Dunhere/Eleanor/Eowyn

 

Any suggestions on a better hero setup for the core scenarios? Or does it vary from quest to quest? Are we just that bad ;) ?

 

I did have one question regarding set-up (and forgive my newb-ness): At the beginning of the quest I began w/ Forest Spider and The Old Forest Road in the staging area. Would I then draw 2 MORE cards from the encounter deck at the beginning of the first quest phase? Or just on all subsequent turns? We drew the extra cards when we played, but it was pretty tough starting w/ 3 enemies in the staging area—did we just have bad luck?

 

Anyway, I hope this is the beginning of a lot of great discussion. And if you guys have any questions for me—please feel free to ask.

 

And thanks in advance for all the help you are sure to give :)

 

Jon

 



#2 Drengi

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 09:50 PM

Hi Jon- Welcome to the forums!

 

 First thing- It's great that your enjoying the game! Second thing- I wish my local gameing store gave away prizes that good!

 

 The first quest is a great starting point and I'm glad you enjoyed it! It can be tough sometimes with difficult card draw, but it looks like you and your gf did well! The next quest is substantially harder, a much more difficult nut to crack! Dont get disheartened if you don't beat it first time, but look forward to the satisfaction of beating it when you do!!

 

 You have Elladan and Elrohir already, does that mean you also purchased a few extra packs? (as these were the first 2 Hero's from the second cycle!)



#3 richsabre

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 10:01 PM

hi and welcome

firstly i would disagree with your game store owner - this game is great fun solo once you get the hang of it- so my first piece of advice would be to give solo a good going, especially when you have a few more plays under your belt and more experiece

secondly you can (and it will help greatly) tailor make your decks per scenario, for instance it is a very different deck you need for journey to rhosgobel as compare with conflict at the carrock - one is about healing the other fighting, however some decks are great all round

thirdly you draw every round, even the first round, so you should end up with the set up cards and whatever you draw during the staging step of the frist round

fourthly - not much of a tolkien fan??!!!!!! (joking of course….) but if you ever get the tolkien bug check out my regular blog i do on here in my links

if you like the art now, it just keeps getting better and better

lastly in order to help you over the next days weeks etc we will need to know your card pool and what packs you have

rich


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#4 JonofPDX

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 10:10 PM

 Thanks for the welcome :)

 

And yes--when I decided that I was going to invest a good deal of time in the game I got the rest of the expansions. I am up to date w/ all 4 of the newest expansion packs. I have not, however, looked at any of the encounter cards or leaflets as I am attempting to experience the narrative (such as it is) through actually playing the game. I want that surprise of drawing something really surprising off the encounter deck w/o any idea it was there. 



#5 jjeagle

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 10:14 PM

JonofPDX said:

 Thanks for the welcome :)

 

And yes--when I decided that I was going to invest a good deal of time in the game I got the rest of the expansions. I am up to date w/ all 4 of the newest expansion packs. I have not, however, looked at any of the encounter cards or leaflets as I am attempting to experience the narrative (such as it is) through actually playing the game. I want that surprise of drawing something really surprising off the encounter deck w/o any idea it was there. 

Welcome to the forums and glad you are enjoying the game.

A strong recommendation would be to invest in the Khazad-dum deluxe expansion if you haven't already. This has very few player cards, but it has a number of encounter sets that are required for playing the current cycle of expansion packs. In short, without Khazad-dum, you can't play the quests in the four expansion packs you bought.


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#6 Drengi

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 10:22 PM

JonofPDX said:

 Thanks for the welcome :)

 

And yes--when I decided that I was going to invest a good deal of time in the game I got the rest of the expansions. I am up to date w/ all 4 of the newest expansion packs. I have not, however, looked at any of the encounter cards or leaflets as I am attempting to experience the narrative (such as it is) through actually playing the game. I want that surprise of drawing something really surprising off the encounter deck w/o any idea it was there. 

 

 I play exactly the same! Despite purchasing everything on release I am only now playing Khazad-Dhum, so I am way behind… despite this I have no idea what to expect from the further expansion as I dont read the cards (just glance at artwork usually while sleeving everything!")

 

 As stated above- getting Khazad-Dhum is advised as depite its necessity for playing the arrowdelf cycle it provides you with some nice cards!



#7 JonofPDX

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 10:22 PM

jjeagle said:

JonofPDX said:

 

 Thanks for the welcome :)

 

And yes--when I decided that I was going to invest a good deal of time in the game I got the rest of the expansions. I am up to date w/ all 4 of the newest expansion packs. I have not, however, looked at any of the encounter cards or leaflets as I am attempting to experience the narrative (such as it is) through actually playing the game. I want that surprise of drawing something really surprising off the encounter deck w/o any idea it was there. 

 

 

Welcome to the forums and glad you are enjoying the game.

A strong recommendation would be to invest in the Khazad-dum deluxe expansion if you haven't already. This has very few player cards, but it has a number of encounter sets that are required for playing the current cycle of expansion packs. In short, without Khazad-dum, you can't play the quests in the four expansion packs you bought.

jjeagle said:

JonofPDX said:

 

 Thanks for the welcome :)

 

And yes--when I decided that I was going to invest a good deal of time in the game I got the rest of the expansions. I am up to date w/ all 4 of the newest expansion packs. I have not, however, looked at any of the encounter cards or leaflets as I am attempting to experience the narrative (such as it is) through actually playing the game. I want that surprise of drawing something really surprising off the encounter deck w/o any idea it was there. 

 

 

Welcome to the forums and glad you are enjoying the game.

A strong recommendation would be to invest in the Khazad-dum deluxe expansion if you haven't already. This has very few player cards, but it has a number of encounter sets that are required for playing the current cycle of expansion packs. In short, without Khazad-dum, you can't play the quests in the four expansion packs you bought.

 

Thanks for the info. I do have the deluxe expansion as well, it was included in the package I won. 

 

I didn't realize it was required to play the smaller expansion packs though--very good to know :)

 

Jon



#8 JonofPDX

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Posted 27 May 2012 - 11:53 PM

 Sorry for the double quote--posting from phone can be wonky.



#9 leptokurt

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 06:06 AM

JonofPDX said:

 Sorry for the double quote--posting from phone can be wonky.

Trust me, this is not because of your phone, but because of the board software. It sucks!

 

Oh, and welcome!



#10 JonofPDX

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 07:19 AM

 Wow.

 

So, me and the girlfriend had about 45 minutes to kill before we headed off to a memorial day bbq so we thought we would give the next scenario a quick shot. No prep or anything, we just threw the decks we used against 1.0.1 Passage Through Mirkwood at it.

 

Yeah…it didn't end well.

 

Damn Drengi—you weren't kidding! The second quest is way harder than the first. I don't know if we are just bad but for a difficulty of 4 we got wiped in 5 minutes between facing two of the Hill Trolls and 2 Goblin Snipers. Lol.

 

I guess it's not all that bad, we reset and played another quick game and ALMOST won that one—got to the last quest card but a Hill Troll took out the tactics deck in the second to last round and I hit 50 threat a turn away from killing the last enemy (aaaar!).

 

Still, what an awesome quest. I will go into more detail when I beat it but the Quest cards are just so strong. Really effective at setting a very exciting mood.

 

Now—I did have one question. In the second section of the quest chain, am I correct in understanding that enemies do not automatically engage as long as you are “traveling” down the Anduin? So they stay in the staging area unless drawn out by a player? That is how I interpreted it, but I just wanted to double check.

 

Alright—wish me luck guys. Tonight it's back down the Anduin. Maybe w/ Gimli in place of Boromir (those trolls can swing!). Maybe he will present a smaller target ;) . And in-cannon evidence does indicate he is about 100% less likely to get himself killed and floated down that damn river.

 

Peace out--Jon



#11 Budgernaut

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 07:23 AM

 Well, two hill trolls and two snipers, is one of the worst combinations I can think of for that scenario, so your loss may not be just because you're green. You're right about the enemies not engaging you during the second stage but you can engage one per player. As others have stated, this quest is a beast, but very rewarding when you finally finish it!


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#12 JonofPDX

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 07:30 AM

Budgernaut said:

 Well, two hill trolls and two snipers, is one of the worst combinations I can think of for that scenario, so your loss may not be just because you're green. You're right about the enemies not engaging you during the second stage but you can engage one per player. As others have stated, this quest is a beast, but very rewarding when you finally finish it!

 

Thanks for the quick reply :)

 

I was pretty sure I was doing it right, but the card was worded JUST so I had a tiny bit of doubt. 



#13 richsabre

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 08:09 AM

yeah dont feel bad, i think every player has bit their nails on this one….however once you've figured it out….i reccomend search for a thread called drowing on the anduin which was published a few months ago by a relatively new player and it filled up with about 5/6 pages of advice on how to beat it


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#14 Drengi

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 09:05 AM

He He, Told you it was a toughy!

 

 I remember when I first started playing that quest, bearing in mind there were no expansion packs at all to boost my card pool!

 

 Gimli is great as he can absorb a hit from the Troll, CItadel plate on him makes him even better. Keeping your starting threat lower is also a decent way of getting passed this quest, a few turns to prep for the troll makes all the difference!



#15 Robert McMutton

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 09:16 AM

Welcome onboard Jon. You have come to the right place. Here you would find a lot of great guys ready to help, advise and guide you through this awesome game (myself included, of course). Because you're just right, this game is great, both coop, and also solo, as richsabre stated above. You should give it a try too.

And about the art of the cards as you mentioned it, its just great. Very very good artists here, but above all of them I would count my loved Magali Villeneuve. Her illustrations are the best IMHO.

Get us noticed about your progress.

Greetings, pal .



#16 ClydeCloggie

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 11:12 AM

 The one thing about this game…it's brutal :)

Once you've mastered Anduin…forget about Dol Guldur and go straight into the Hunt for Gollum.

Although in 2-player mode you may have a small chance against DG. 



#17 richsabre

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Posted 28 May 2012 - 11:23 AM

ClydeCloggie said:

 

Once you've mastered Anduin…forget about Dol Guldur and go straight into the Hunt for Gollum.

 

agreed- this offers little to a solo player


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#18 JonofPDX

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 03:23 AM

 No news regarding Journey Down the Anduin—Erin was tired last night and went to bed early so I didn't get to try it out again w/ Gimli. It did, however, give me a chance to try out the solo game. I hit Passage Through Mirkwood w/ my mono-Spirit and Tactics/Leadership decks to pretty different effect.

My first run w/ Tactics/Leadership was a bust. Getting through the questing was brutal and I drew the secret path in the third stage of the quest. I hit 50 before I was even half through the last quest card. Mono-Spirit fared much better, busting through the quests w/ ease. There was a hairy moment @ the end when I drew the Ungoliant Spawn ending, but my threat was low enough I was able to keep it in the staging area for a few turns while I picked on it w/ Dunhere.

As several people have suggested, I do think that the solo game is fun (though I think you definitely need a deck designed around soloing—Spirit/Leadership maybe?) but for me it wasn't quite the experience that the coop was. It was fun, but felt a little mechanical as there was no other player to discuss and strategize w/ (and heckle ;) ). But that may have just been because that was the base quest. In any case, I will probably throw together a solo-deck and try some of the other quests after I crack them coop.

I do have a question though—2 of you guys suggested that I skip Escape from Dol Guldor. Why? Is it just not very good? Bad for beginners? I do kind of want to follow along w/ the narrative so I would rather do them in order unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise.

Anyway—I should get out of here. Hopefully tonight I can crack the Anduin :) .

Jon



#19 richsabre

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 03:47 AM

hello- firstly when soloing why not try talking to yourself if you miss strategy banter.?…i do it, though my partner gives me a few funny looks now and again

as for guldur i would say skip it solo for the pure reason its just not tailored towards solo play ….if you want to give it a shot with co op then by all means go ahead…it also depends on your cards pool…trying it when the game first came out was a bit of a nightmare (and still is!) but with a growing card pool its getting easier


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#20 Titan

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 07:38 AM

Hehe, I remember losing about 10 times to Anduin before I was able to beat it. Of course, that was when we only had the Core Set to tackle it with. Still, a very challenging quest.

The problem with Dol Guldur is that you are forced, at the very beginning, to temporarily lose the use of one hero, randomly. This is part of the scenario and cannot be gotten around. Extremely difficult for a solo player to go at it with only two heroes, but far more doable in co-op as your partner/s will have the full lineup and can pick you up. it's quite simply a quest that scales very poorly for solo.






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