interesting you should say that the number of impossible set-ups outnumber the standard ones
I actually do not think that's the case - for some, like The Hunt for Gollum (one of my favorites, truth be told), bad setups are a rarity. But it is a very frustrating rarity nonetheless. Like I said, it's something like a "You Lose" card; it doesn't matter how often it comes out of the deck, it matters that it's a possibility in the first place. Granted, the number of extremely difficult setups (which could theoretically be beat) is larger than the number of truly impossible setups, but the point is still the same.
It's not the presence of luck - it's that, in some cases, but particularly in the setup, luck plays too powerful a role. I prefer chess, not craps, and I think most players feel the same.
I think the game is - very slowly, and in fits and starts - improving. But one serious problem is that the starter set is so bad. I've said it before, but I suspect most players who pick up the starter set run into the brick wall of unwinnable scenarios (good luck with Anduin or Dol Guldur using just one Core Set), throw it into the corner, and never look at it again.
I love this game too - although, to be honest, it's mixed with a certain amount of hate. But overall, I worry that FFG has more or less written off making this game accessible for a large player base, and instead is increasingly catering to a shrinking playerbase of players who love brutal challenges and aren't particularly bothered by nearly unwinnable situations.
i agree with the core set- dol guldur is terrible, i only just won that with some friends the other day in a 3 player game, i have never won solo. anduin is great but is certainly not for the beginner, so you are definatly right when you say players hitting a wall in the core set…..ive seen many players turn up and leave on the forum due to the difficulty..
still its a hard balance to get. ffg not only need to bring new players in but also cater to those who have been here from the start and need a challenge, otherwise it is we who will go away (ok i wont, but i know some who will).
so i think the best thing to do is in the reprints for the core put in another mirkwood level quest, which eases players in better
i dont think ffg have written the game off for newcomers, but i do find it strange that the hobbit packs- that were aimed at bringing 'filmys' into the game, were so fecking hard that even experienced players with the whole card pool find the hard to win