Hello- given that we are now two complete cycles into this game, I’d like to give my feedback on how its grown, what I like and don’t like, and where I hope it to go in the future.
I remain convinced that FFG do indeed read these boards, but I guess ill mail it anyways, but if you also want to leave your feedback, feel free to do so, as the more the better.
While this is my first (and only) lcg game, I think this may have its benefits in giving feedback, as I can give an insight on what the game can offer new people to the game- obviously an important part of ffg’s company goals.
So here it is.
DESIGN – 8/10
I spent a lot of time looking for a colletable card game that offered solo play before this game came out. And while there were a few that could be modified, I guess none took my eye enough to buy them. Then I saw this game- LOTR LCG….it was perfect. So knowing absolutely nothing about the lcg format I dived in regardless. Now over a year later I have to say I love the concept. The monthly packs are just about right for me, it keeps the game fresh without being too much to keep up with.
I also like the idea of having a large pack to kick off the cycle, though I wasn’t quite so sure about the actual quests of khazad. Myself along with others found going into the mines, fleeing the balrog and so on, quite strange given we go straight back in, and for me it was a little of a premature climax (cough…no pun…honest).
As for the actual game, I really like its design. 4 spheres are about right, offering plenty of combos without being baffling for anyone new, whilst still giving endless space to grow and learn new, more experienced ways of play.
The core set, as many people will say, was a little too hard for most solo play, especially Dol Guldur, though with hindsight I see that this was probably to keep more experienced players trying the quests in the time between core release and HFG, making sure they didnt get bored and wander away.
I would have liked to have had 3 copies of all cards in the core set, but im not sure if that’s FFG policy to do so or not. I like that 3 copies max per deck and am pleased to see that that is what we now get.
THEME/ART/LORE – 10/10
This is the main reason I play the game. I wouldn’t consider myself a gamer per-se, just a Tolkien fanatic. I base a games ‘lore’ success on how much I can immerse myself within it.
Here this game scores top points. The art, as im sure you don’t need me to tell you (congrats on the award) is top notch, and I like the class of the artwork- not too ‘cartoon/manga’ style, but not too digital either. If I had 1 niggle it would be that at core release we had a good mixture of artists, now there seems to be less of a diversity, however the artists being used, such as Magali, are doing an amazing job, so its no big deal for me.
The lore correctness is also spot on, I was pleased to see lesser known characters making their way in so early on (I was particularly impressed to see the Nameless things- not many companies would have tackled that so well) and i hope you contiue to shine the spot light on tolkien's lesser known creations.
I like the little quotes on the bottom of the cards and they really help with setting the scene.
If I had one suggestion it would be to add a little bit of text at the end of the quest cards, just to round the quest off nicely…they seem to end a bit abruptly for me.
QUEST CONTENT 7/10
On the most part, the quests are great fun to play. As said previously the scaling was off on Dol Guldur, however its nice to see the scaling is getting better with each pack. The only exception to this is Return To Mirkwood, where there seems to be nothing that targets a solo player (good or negative) and the threat gain makes this one very difficult solo, and perhaps more important, less fun as its just a ‘luck rush’.
Again in general I am very impressed with the actual mechanics of the quest. The encounter sets offer a nice mixture of questing and fighting, however if I have again 1 problem it is that some quests that balance is a little off. Emyn Muil for instance is far too location heavy, and it gets a little old very quickly- thankfully the amazing art bring it back into play for me, though its just a shame as a few more enemies would have made this one of my favourites.
The difficulty level given on quests is also off for me…perhaps its because im a solo player, though they are rarely correct. The ones that are correct is probably HFG and journey down the Anduin. Though quests such as The Long Dark is much easier than the level given, and quests such as Rhosgobel I find harder than the given level. This isn’t a major thing really, just nit picking I guess.
PLAYER CARD DEVELOPMENT 8/10
Another really positive aspect of the game here. I was slightly worried at the start of the dwarrowdelf cycle with the amount of solo-useless cards, however true to your word, you gave us a lot of great solo cards in the more recent packs.
I am impressed, given all the great cards, that the core set cards are still some of the best. There doesn’t seem to be a huge amount of power creep (though im not really experienced enough to gauge this) and I can still enjoy easier quests, though admittedly ones such as HFG are getting a little of the easy side.
I would love to see something that remedies this. A fellow gamer suggested ‘weather’ effects that could be added into the encounter set to make old quests harder, and I like the idea.
I was particularly impressed recently with the addition of Hands Upon the Bow- a great card finally making RANGED useful to solo play. Id love to see something that does the same for SENTINAL.
There has been some talk about changing the way that packs are released, and while I obviously cant comment either way before more info is given (and perhaps the rumours are wildly off anyways) id like to just point out that I (along with many others) like the way that packs are being released.
I like the addition of the SAGA packs, offering us some nice ‘side content’ whilst not (hopefully) sidetracking us too much from the game itself.
I like the idea of treasure cards and would like to see them in the game itself somehow.
Overall this game remains as much fun, probably more, than it was when it was released, and Id like to thank you all for doing such a great job