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    Tustin, California, United States
  1. 1) Conflict at the Carrock -- I don't think this is the most "balanced" or "well-paced" quest, but I like the feeling of preparing for and building up to a climatic fight against four massive trolls. There is something exciting about it, even if it isn't really revolutionary from a tactical/mechanical standpoint. 2) Return to Mirkwood -- I really like the intensity of this scenario -- it is challenging, relentless, and things can go drastically wrong at any point. I really do get a feeling of fear/anxiety when I'm playing this quest , so it is quite immersive. 3) Hunt for Gollum -- I don't know why, I find this quest harder than most people find it ... something about drawing repeated signs of gollum early with hunters... Altogether a fun experience, but is fairly one dimensional. 4) Emyn Muil -- I actually enjoy this every time I play it, more so than most people here , despite it basically being just a bunch of locations. 5) Dead Marshes -- Too easy, and the escape mechanic is not really fun and challenging as it is annoying ( if Gollum were to escape I would just stop playing ). 6) Journey to Rhosgobel -- To be honest, I hated this quest -- I don't like the concept of requiring players to have certain attributes or types of decks in order for them to even have a chance in a scenario. To require something general, such as needing willpower or attack strength is one thing, but to force a player to use ranged/healing cards limits what he or she can do for a deck designed to play against more than one quest. I feel like this is poor game design and goes against one of the most fundamental and attractive principles of a game like this, where a player can explore deck-building with creativity. Just my opinion.
  2. Glaurung said: Boromir. Great art, Good card, Best Mirkwood hero. Thirded! Favorite artwork from any card so far: "Under the Shadow" treachery card.
  3. Bohemond said: I think there is another reason to play single sphere decks that we haven';t touched on (and I say this as someone who plays primarily dual sphere decks). Many of the scenarios are front loaded. You face an immediate challenge out of tha gates, and often need to resolve that challenge during the first few turns. Single Sphere decks have a lot more flexibility in terms of early turn drops. They can play a 3 cost card on turn 1 or a 5 cost card on turn 2 (I am looking at you Gildor). Once you make it to the mid game, I find dual sphere decks out perform their single sphere counterparts because of added versatility and card power, but the trick is getting to that stage of the game. Speaking with regard to solo play only: This is perhaps the only reason I can see a mono-sphere deck being viable -- if you can get the "jump" on the encounter deck or get over the initial challenge, the rest of the game becomes much more manageable when you're not playing catch-up (i.e. you don't get location locked, you have freedom to choose when to play cards and when to wait). As Bohemond has pointed out, this is much easier to accomplish using powerful, expensive cards on turn two. I've noticed that you can emulate this strong early game play by using heroes that are powerful individually (but generate more starting threat) or that are able to function well together without being dependent on drawing certain cards in your starting hand. As an example of this, I run Eowyn, Boromir, and Glorfindel in one of my decks, which incurs what to me is a high starting threat of 32, but gives me an extremely strong starting base -- I can fight, quest, defend, heal, etc., depending on the need. That being said, I personally play with all duo or tri-sphere decks, as I feel like it gives me more room for creativity. A lot of cross sphere cards synergize well with each other, and allow you to cover the weaknesses of one sphere or the other. I feel as though the spheres are intentionally designed to excel in certain areas to encourage players to explore different deck combinations, and while future player cards may increase the versatility of each sphere on its own, as it stands now I feel as if it's impossible to play a mono-sphere deck as successfully in solo play as a mixed deck without forcing yourself to use certain cards. Of course, mixing also limits you in ways -- for instance, I generally don't normally don't include cards of (colored) cost five or higher unless I run at least two heroes from that sphere or unless it is critical to that deck. Although, that principle is more related to my personal preference for reliability -- in multi-sphere decks I feel as if cards of cost four or more are usable and optimal in fewer situations, particularly so for cards that aren't for your main sphere if you're running a two-color deck. But I think what is currently holding back deck design is a lack of resource generating cards. With basically only SoG as a reliable source of additional resources, I feel as if FFG has played it safe so far. Since drawing cards has already been revealed to be a game breaking mechanic, I guess they have to keep resource generation in check, but I think they should try to explore better ways of obtaining resources other than "move all your resources from one hero to the other" or "gain a resource when an ally goes out of play or takes damage." Anyway, I'm rambling on here, but the only reasons right now that I would play a monosphere deck is for fun, for thematic reasons, or for multiplayer games.
  4. Shelfwear said: Bryon said: I understand that the game is designed primarily for 2 players. I bet it is HEAVILY tested with that number of players. I'm sure they are playtesting but sometimes I have my doubts about the debth of playtesting. The design gaps in Dead Marshes (Gollum escapes and gets discarded as a escape/shadow card) which becomes obvious after one day of gaming makes me doubtful. On a side note: I dont think its possible to design a deckbuilding game with given scenarios to have properly scale for 1-4 players. There are just too many variables that you cant completely control (number of core sets, availability of AP player cards, number of players, used spheres/sphere-combinations and difficulty setting of the quest). They should stick two a balanced 2-player challenge, the rest should be optional tbh. Yeah, I agree with this assessment of scaling and balance -- it is too difficult to cater to anywhere from one to four players for every single scenario. Imagine how much cleaner and tighter the encounter sets could be if each scenario was designed for an exact number of players (and to their credit, they have attempted this in some encounter cards that scale to "X" number of players, but it's often the mechanics of the scenario itself that holds back the scaling). As it is now, I feel as if playing the game with three to four players is an entirely different experience than playing solo or with one other person. For example, enemies in multiplayer games feel a lot more trivial than they do in solo, when you can essentially delegate combat responsibilities as you see fit, whereas some treacheries that affect every single player in the game are a lot more detrimental. That's why I believe balancing the quests for two players, while keeping solo players in mind, stands out to me as the best option. A more focused design effort allows solo players and two player teams to have a reasonable/moderate challenge, while still allowing parties of four to get together and just have a good time. The other viable option is to design some scenarios specifically for solo players and others for two players, and to tailor others specifically for three to four players. This could create a better experience with a more appropriate level of difficulty for people looking to play exclusively with three other players or exclusively on his own. We kind of see this design philosophy in play with Dol Guldur and Massing at Osgiliath. The problem with this alternative, though, is the nature of the business model that FFG has elected for this LCG -- the APs come with the new encounter set as well as new player cards. If you want the new player cards, you have to pay for the new encounter set as well... In short: I like the approach FFG has taken with the balance and scaling issue in principle; I just feel like they need to ramp up the difficulty up a notch in general, even for the quests designed to be a walk in the park.
  5. Bohemond said: I will take the opposite view. If you don't want to buy expansions or to customize decks you should avoid the game. It will only work well when you have multiple players (3 or 4), and will grow quite repetitive without expansions. I love the game, but if you aren't willing to keep getting packs and to tinker with your deck, spend your money elsewhere. Words of the wise. But yeah, technically you can just throw in the player cards from the expansions and add them to each respective sphere, but I wouldn't recommend doing that if you plan on winning . Generally, the game tends to be easier with multiple people, so you could potentially get away with that in 2-4 player games, but will likely struggle in solo play. I don't think you have to be a customization fanatic to play the game, but if you don't plan on doing so and just want to add in the player cards from the APs I would temper my expectations with regards to how your decks will perform. This will be particularly true as scenarios and their respective encounter decks become increasingly more difficult (I'm assuming) to offset the increasing versatility, synergy, and power of player decks as more player cards become available.
  6. I've listened to the first three, and I plan on listening to the newer ones when I find the time =P. But yeah, it is a wonderful podcast, and it truly seems like the guys are having a good time with the cards and the game. Keep up the great work guys, we listeners love it .
  7. Zjb12 said: I have a question on the raising of one's threat in re: to Boromir's action. This is only when you want to use him again during the round after having exhausted him previously, correct? In other words, you do not have to increase your threat when readying him during the refresh phase do you? Correct -- you do not have to raise your threat to ready him during the refresh phase. This is a separate "action" you can trigger aside from the normal readying of the character during the refresh phase. As per page 23 of the rulebook: "Actions are denoted by a bold 'Action:' trigger on a card. Actions are always optional, and can be triggered by their controller during any action window in the game sequence."
  8. You were correct in your interpretation of the rules. The four steps in the rulebook are a means of resolving each attack; if an enemy cannot attack, you do not go through those steps, including declaring a defender.
  9. Briareos200 said: When playing with 3 or 4 players. Do we mix together all the encounter cards from 2 core sets or just play with the exact same encounter deck as a 2 player game. I'm wondering if FFG ever gave an official answer to that? As far as I understand, you would use the exact same encounter deck -- I don't think the game was designed to mix multiple encounter decks together. Imagine drawing 4 hill trolls on the first turn in Carrock =P.
  10. radiskull said: leptokurt said: Unfortunatly Aragorn doesn't become a lore hero with SoW attached to him. Only his resources get lore status. Yes, he does. The rulebook states that having the icon is what gives you membership in the sphere. There's no distinction made between printed icons and icons granted to a hero by other cards. This is correct -- attaching Song of Wisdom to Aragorn does give him membership to the Lore sphere, and thus allows you to play BB on him.
  11. ...on a side note, I love the artwork for "Pursued by Shadow" . The artwork in this game is simply amazing.
  12. ...can't wait for this Z.Z. New cards from the preview look awesome.
  13. Briareos200 said: Ok on forest spider. It only gets the bonus the round it engages. If it lives to the next round and stays engaged to that player the next conflict round it won't have the bonus right? Hummerhorns: If I choose to engage it then it deals 5 damage to my character? Correct on the forest spider. Hummerhorns: 5 damage to a hero, not just any character =P.
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