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Everything posted by camacazio

  1. Well, just as a tip with those trolls: RUN AWAY, take the option to quest past them. Some useful cards: test of will to cancel treachery effects, which sometimes can completely nullify the encounter card revealed for the turn in solo. Steward of gondor is great to be able to play cards, which sometimes goes well with lore to draw many cards to play. For doing lots of fighting, it is hard to beat Gimli with your card pool. Steward of gondor and test of will are often considered must-includes. My experience has been to try to have a hero to quest, a hero to attack, and a hero to do something else (not necessarily defend: little shock troopers like snowborne scout can take the lead on that one). A core set alone could include Aragorn, Theodred (to ready Aragorn), and Eowyn. Include cards to ready your heroes. Cram + Erebor Hammersmith works nicely. Some useful blogs I don't mind plugging for other forum users: https://hallofbeorn.wordpress.com/beorns-path/ https://talesfromthecards.wordpress.com/2013/01/10/deck-building-101-core-set-construction/
  2. My play group has a decks with outlands, silvans, Gloin engine, all that, and even on nightmare things are starting to get a bit too easy. I have been seeing more discussion on secrecy lately, and it got me going on a nice idea. Instead of having the more casual players in my group restricted from using fun decks that are as overpowered as outlands, I've been restricting myself to only two heroes. Any thoughts and similar tactics are appreciated! This means having secrecy, but not being able to do things like try to make 3 heroes occasionally get cheap cards. I had a really tough time making a good secrecy deck back when the dwarrowdelf cycle ended, but what I found is the biggest boon to make the 'secrecy' strategy work isn't actually being down below 20 threat. The Black Riders gives us ways to benefit from having very low threat with respect to enemies, so even going above 20 still gives benefits to the player. The decks below have worked well solo, but generally work very well coupled with another player through sentinel or ranged effects, or being able to commit heavily to a quest without worrying as much about an enemy going undefended. --- I love Sam. He is my bread and butter. Nice low threat, always a great ability even to as high as 29 threat, and gives us Bill the Pony for free. Here is a deck that has quested incredibly well. Only Gandalf can lower threat in the deck, but the starting threat is 14 so there is almost never trouble. Once the army of allies is built, taking out enemies isn't a problem either, with an extra card from Pippin even when past 20 threat. Bill and Out of the Wild save the poor little hobbits from otherwise nasty unexpected ways to wound and kill them. Hero: (2) 1x [LOTR=TBR]Pippin[/LOTR] 1x [LOTR=TBR]Sam Gamgee[/LOTR] Ally: (26) 3x [LOTR=RtR]Dunedain Wanderer[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=The Dunland Trap]Ithilien Lookout[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TBR]Rivendell Scout[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=Core]Gandalf[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TBR]Bill the Pony[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TBR]Barliman Butterbur[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=Core]Faramir[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=The Treason of Saruman]Gimli[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=THoEM]Gildor Inglorion[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=Core]Miner of the Iron Hills[/LOTR] Attachment: (13) 3x [LOTR=TWitW]Resourceful[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=TBR]Hobbit Cloak[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TDM]Fast Hitch[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=Core]Steward of Gondor[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=CatC]Dunedain Warning[/LOTR] Event: (11) 3x [LOTR=RtR]Out of the Wild[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TRG]Timely Aid[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=Core]Radagast's Cunning[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=Core]Sneak Attack[/LOTR] --- Sometimes an encounter deck has some significant run-away in doomed and other threat-raising effects. The solution is obvious: Strider. Galadriel from The Road Darkens is an enormously powerful combination with Strider, because it makes getting his stone and broken sword on him so much easier and cheaper. This deck list yet again uses Sam to take advantage of a great low-threat ability even when above the secrecy range. Often the deck gets only the first turn at Secrecy threat of 20, but as a few attachments build, hitting the reset switch with Strider on threat and then lowering your threat down to 17 or so gives a great push for questing quietly. Ithilien Lookout and Needful to Know both have the added benefit of working well with Wingfoot on Strider (otherwise just name enemy, because otherwise who cares?). Hero: (2) 1x [LOTR=TWitW]Aragorn[/LOTR] 1x [LOTR=TBR]Sam Gamgee[/LOTR] Ally: (24) 3x [LOTR=The Road Darkens]Galadriel[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=TLD]Erestor[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=THoEM]Gildor Inglorion[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=TWitW]Arwen Undomiel[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=Core]Gandalf[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=RtR]Dunedain Wanderer[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=The Dunland Trap]Ithilien Lookout[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TBR]Rivendell Scout[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TBR]Bill the Pony[/LOTR] Attachment: (14) 3x [LOTR=TWitW]Resourceful[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=Core]Celebrian's Stone[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TWitW]Sword that was Broken[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=Core]Steward of Gondor[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=TBR]Hobbit Cloak[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=The Nin-in-Eilph]Wingfoot[/LOTR] Event: (12) 3x [LOTR=TRG]Needful to Know[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TWitW]Elrond's Counsel[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TRG]Timely Aid[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=Core]Sneak Attack[/LOTR] The deck is also effective with Theodred; swap the hobbit cloaks for Heir of Mardil and Bill with your favorite ally like Snowborne Scout or perhaps Pelargir Ship Captain to lend late-game excess resource to another player. --- The last deck I'll show is meant to explore how secrecy is even effective with Tactics. As long as the focus is on making use of low threat effects and supporting another player, this deck can do fantastic things! Brand is here, in very rare form, and works incredibly well. When he has a Dagger of Westernesse or two, a Black Arrow, and Unseen Strike, you feel like you launched an ICBM and if done right your friend's hero will even ready! This is a really fun deck approach, and really showcases how secrecy isn't necessarily about the low-cost cards but moreso on taking advantage of a very low threat. Leaf brooch really makes any sphere have secrecy, and occasionally getting a hobbit determination or hands upon the bow for free early-game is really helpful. Hero: (2) 1x [LOTR=TBR]Sam Gamgee[/LOTR] 1x [LOTR=THoEM]Brand son of Bain[/LOTR] Ally: (24) 3x [LOTR=RtR]Dunedain Wanderer[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TBR]Rivendell Scout[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=The Road Darkens]Boromir[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TBR]Farmer Maggot[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=Core]Gandalf[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TBR]Bill the Pony[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=The Nin-in-Eilph]Galadhon Archer[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=The Three Trials]Rúmil[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=Core]Faramir[/LOTR] Attachment: (14) 1x [LOTR=The Three Trials]Leaf Brooch[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TWitW]Resourceful[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TBR]Dagger of Westernesse[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=TBR]Hobbit Cloak[/LOTR] 1x [LOTR=OtD]Black Arrow[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=Core]Steward of Gondor[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=Core]Horn of Gondor[/LOTR] Event: (14) 3x [LOTR=TRG]Timely Aid[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TRG]Unseen Strike[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=TBR]Halfling Determination[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=SaF]Hands Upon the Bow[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=Core]Sneak Attack[/LOTR] --- None of these decks are significantly optimized, so sharing ideas is really helpful, but I am having fun. The hall of beorn blog also had a nice deck idea for a Gloin and Bifur secrecy duo, though such an approach is strongest with another deck using Dain; it is still worth going over there for a glance.
  3. To try to give myself a new challenge, rather than restricting the decks our group can make, I've been restricting myself to 2 heroes. If my friends like outlands, then I've just been having fun with secrecy and other "threat less than engagement cost" cards or whatever related stuff, like reusing those 20-or-less event cards. I've enjoyed Sam+Pippin and Sam+Merry, just swap the green cards for the red cards depending on how much fight help my friends need. It's possible to make 3 heroes work with secrecy to start with 20 or less, but I've been enjoying tinkering with any random two heroes, like Imrahil + Bifur for some cheap purple expendables and some expensive greens for free. I'm gonna try pure green damrod and mirlonde soon, too.
  4. I've been using elrond with gloin and throwing an ent moot on him (with boots and hardy leadership). No vilya in the deck, no need for it. Just using elrond for massive healing.
  5. Suggesting to buy another core set is a big expense I can't possibly recommend, unless maybe you have another enthusiastic friend wanting to also get into the game. I really felt like either the Khazad-Dum or the Voice of Isengard boxes and their cycles were pretty good. Both have fun player cards and fun quests that are totally doable without a huge card pool, and have the quests I enjoy revisiting most. The initial mirkwood cycle is a trade off: not all quests are fun to replay, but they are all comfortably beatable with good deck building, and the player cards can be seen as a kind of expanded core set, and also they don't require a big box for the cycle, only the core set.
  6. I don't agree with buying them in order, particularly because this can get costly all at once and might even take you through some quests that, in hindsight, aren't as good as later releases. The big point of this game is enjoying the challenge, maybe with a team, and finding ways to beat the quest. You can jump in anywhere; the designers normally do a great job of giving player cards that help tackle the challenges at hand. I suggest finding a theme you enjoy most, such as Gondor, Elves, Rohan, Dwarves, and dig into quests that work with that race. Khazad-Dum and the cycle that uses that expansion has a lot of favorite cards and quests, and the most recent voice of isengard and the ringmaker cycle has some superbly designed quests. Any deluxe expansion and the 6 relevant adventures in the cycle will give tons of customizability and variety in quests.
  7. I've been playing around a bit abstaining from using the core set and so I have more deck freedom to play with other card options. I've put together a fairly simple strategy that has proven pretty fun. The idea here is super straight forward: use Prince Imrahil every turn, and try to avoid doing it by suicide. Children of the Sea and Feigned Voices give a more productive use for meat shields like the refugee. Galadriel's power basically let's me quest and throw an ally to his/her doom if needed. Caldara could be swapped for Glorfy with little significant change to the deck, but I liked it this way to be able to bump up Caldara's resource in a pinch and have a better defense baseline for the Dunedain warning (also, my Frodo is being used by a friend with a hobbit stoner deck). Caldara's power also gives a last-second emergency ally and readies Imrahil under extreme emergency. Lastly, I'm sure a lot of people noticed this, but Nenya and Miruvor on Galadriel is basically guaranteed both questing and threat reduction any turn when needed and getting miruvor right back, or bail on miruvor if another one comes into hand to get another effect. Anyway, this has worked pretty well, and has proven pretty fun. I almost never use the mirror, but whatever, there was a card slot for it. Hero: (3) 1x [LOTR=Celebrimbor's Secret]Galadriel[/LOTR] 1x [LOTR=TBoG]Caldara[/LOTR] 1x [LOTR=AJtR]Prince Imrahil[/LOTR] Ally: (25) 3x [LOTR=Celebrimbor's Secret]Galadriel’s Handmaiden[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=Celebrimbor's Secret]Orophin[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TDF]Silvan Refugee[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TWitW]Arwen Undomiel[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=TBR]Rivendell Scout[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TDM]Dunedain Watcher[/LOTR] 2x [LOTR=TDM]Elfhelm[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=AoO]Pelargir Shipwright[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=VOI]Saruman[/LOTR] Attachment: (13) 1x [LOTR=Celebrimbor's Secret]Mirror of Galadriel[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=Celebrimbor's Secret]Nenya[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=THfG]Dunedain Mark[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=CatC]Dunedain Warning[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=SaF]Miruvor[/LOTR] Event: (12) 3x [LOTR=TBoG]Children of the Sea[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=The Three Trials]Feigned Voices[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=TWitW]Elrond's Counsel[/LOTR] 3x [LOTR=HON]Wealth of Gondor[/LOTR]
  8. There was a bit of a problem with Heirs of Numenor bumping up the difficulty significantly, and I might have agreed with "go ahead and buy lots," but that was a brief period. The voice of isengard and ring maker cycle have felt very fair and creative. My advice is to get the most interesting deluxe expansion to go with your core, and just go for that cycle. Every cycle is typically designed assuming you only have a core set and the relevant deluxe expansion and adventure packs for that cycle. So yeah, as your card pool expands from the ring maker cycle, you may find you have everything you need. I've recently made a point of only using cards from the current cycle, and it's great. Just spend money on what is fun, and you picked a great cycle during which to jump in.
  9. The game is pretty tough. If the quests were easy, there wouldn't be much game to the three quests in the core set; they are meant to be a lot of win and lose. I always felt that the game is as fun to win as it is to lose when playing with a friend. Things do tend to work best when at least one person makes a 50 card deck using two of the colors though.
  10. I know this might sound crazy, but the best star trek-based game on any media I've played is this one: http://www.wixiban.com/ccg/skybox-sttcg.htm It let you craft your own missions to go on, with a mission, plot, and discovery, giving your opponent chances to play enemies or spatial anomalies or whatever to stop you along the way. I saw this thing in a bargain bin back in high school, we played it like 3 times and threw it out but I still think this was the best to staying true to the source material. You could have great missions like "The USS Enterprise proceeds to explore an uncharted region of space, despite an alien warning buoy..." when Wyatt Urp attacks Kirk!
  11. It is a perfect opportunity to attack with all those 0-attack power allies you've always wanted to attack with.
  12. The tentacles still cause problems for attackers and defenders no matter how well you plan. I love this quest for just that reason; I find that it can still be a meat grinder even if I use some of my best deck ideas. I always find that luck plays a big part, but I never feel like it is irritating when I get some bad luck unlike some treacheries or shadow effects that just randomly kill everybody. It's great to have an unsolvable quest. It's a giant octopus, too, I love the idea that you are asking for trouble by just going near his lake.
  13. What does one imagine when they think a co-op star trek game could work? Going on away-teams together to solve interplanetary disputes or fight klingons? The repeated problem with making a game for Star Trek is that while it can inspire ideas for strategic space games, like the Decipher ccg, the heart of what makes star trek great isn't the characters or any setting, it is the ideas and allegories through the characters. What I'm saying is that anyone with the same kind of love for Star Trek as we seem to see in this LOTR game will hit a wall with never making something that is true to the source, that makes any sense as a star trek game outside of pictures of big space boats.
  14. I loved this two player, but I hated to go up against it solo until I could make outlands or gondor shocktroopers with Boromir.
  15. I usually try to build a theme deck where the theme is "winning" Yeah I've moved away from standard card drawers or other cards to try to enjoy using other cards rarely used. I have recently bailed on test of will and been using a lot of Eleanor and cards to pump her defense as a gondorian fortification lately. Enjoying using mustering the rohirrim for that key rohan dude rather than the shotgun effect of ancient mathom.
  16. Backpacking, both the Rockies and Olympics. However, only with our old Decipher LOTRCCGBRB cards, feels like too many pieces for the LCG... but they are ultimately so similar in gameplay that I think it counts. Also, it is so humid in the olympics that you should expect unsleeved cards to warp a bit in the evening. Car camping is much better for the LCG, I wouldn't mind an official two-player mat to drop over a wood table. Edit: now wasting my coffee break looking up blank game boards for a good in-tent or on-ground surface, the typical Z-rest only got us so far, but... 1 lbs seems typical, and that is a lot of dead weight.
  17. I have been going back and forth with Eomer on this general idea. He is an absolute wrecking machine, and Beregond plus the westfold outrider is terrific since you don't risk losing a second ally generally after pulling in some poor, doomed enemy potentially as big as a troll. You take a big hit in willpower, the stead of the mark is more important to eak out that one more willpower. So I recommend playing around with this, I realy love Eomer, but you might need to go much heavier with spirit allies with 2 willpower. Edit: I recommend playing around with this, really just because I have so much fun with Eomer, and you can afford deck space to replace some weapons with more control effects.
  18. I'm reading the plot text in voice of isengard, we're playing it the first time this afternoon, and these people are HORRIBLE to their prisoner. I mean, I know there's no Geneva Convention, but did Saruman OK this abusive situation? And the heroes were so pumped to go hunt an orc before Saruman even finishes the story! What monsters.
  19. but they definitely needed an older chaperone. Hero (3) Eowyn (Core) x1 Gri­ma (VOI) x1 Glorfindel (FoS) x1 Ally (23) Elfhelm (TDM) x2 Eomund (CatC) x2 Gleowine (Core) x2 The Riddermark's Finest (THoEM) x3 West Road Traveller (RtM) x2 Rider of the Mark (RtR) x2 Westfold Horse-Breaker (THfG) x2 Gandalf (Core) x3 Isengard Messenger (VOI) x3 Northern Tracker (Core) x2 Attachment (14) Nor am I a Stranger (CatC) x1 Forest Snare (Core) x2 Ranger Spikes (HON) x3 Self Preservation (Core) x2 Unexpected Courage (Core) x1 Asfaloth (FoS) x2 Light of Valinor (FoS) x3 Event (13) Astonishing Speed (RtM) x3 Mustering the Rohirrim (THfG) x2 Elrond's Counsel (TWitW) x3 A Test of Will (Core) x2 Stand and Fight (Core) x3 This deck is designed to quest very heavily. Ideally it would be paired with a more combat-heavy deck. Grima's ability is to be used sparingly, mostly to attempt to both push out a needed snare or spikes at a critical moment and also bolster his Isengard bros' willpower. Mustering the Rohirrim helps to get out Gleowine as soon as possible, and if I'm lucky, I'll be able to use him to draw two cards in a turn after Eomund gets stomped. Quests extremely effectively, wipes out locations like nobody's business, even stops a few nasty enemies in their tracks. In terms of ideas I had but didn't really find a way to move around cards to do this effectively, more lore events would be nice to also have a way to bolster the Isengard bros while in the middle of questing. More card draw, protector of lorien, and a mount could let grima quest and/or defend fairly well.
  20. I've been playing with Gondorian Discipline, particular in desperation to do something about problems like Archery in the druadan forest, save Denethor across the table, various other uses. This is an exceptional card and should not be overlooked. Also can save some needed allies in a critical moment too. I dunno if you're still tweaking some version of this deck, but if you are, try it out.
  21. Works well two-player for different tasks, and its a fun change from trying to do everything in one deck. For solo, hopeless.
  22. Ah! So it is probably correct to think in terms of fascism then, which was recent to the writing very relevant, but after the war when fascism had become a bad word. Very harsh, then, to judge the people under a fascist, as the orcs would not have a say in the political or military motives of their leaders. Poor things, when Aragorn approaches the black gate, the mouth of Sauron appears all like "well ok, we had some ups and downs, but before this war escalates further, let's talk it out ok?" Oh but no, they'd rather throw that ring in the mountain to destabilize the central government system and complete their brutal fight against he orcs once and for all. No room for resources to a people in a completely desolate region, free of natural resources, unless you count ash as a natural resource. Only room for prejudice in the hearts of these free men.
  23. Oh, another thought, and then my coffee break is over: I don't remember if this little bit is in the book, but I did like Faramir's musing over a dead Haradrim over who he was, what his sense of duty was like, etc etc. Very nice touch for one the best characters.
  24. It always bugged me how incompetent those robot foot soldiers were. Complex characters are not a thing of modern fiction. I honestly just don't think the LOTR trilogy made for good fiction. The imagination was profound, but had such a horrible dryness and pacing with little narrative depth. It's the great synthesis of his work into games, movies, and other fiction that draws me in, not the books themselves. So for the subject at hand, I agree, the orcs were tools for conflict, not meant to be a culture to be considered. I think this is a problem for me though, conflict for conflict's sake gets old. I think there's the famous case that is guaranteed to make a D&D game fall apart: the team wipes out a town of Hobgoblins, and finds a bunch of children hobgoblins. What do you do? The lore and the books are extremely clear that every goblin and hobgoblin is evil, so there's no innocence of youth, but this clashes with our own sense of the subject. The team gets totally locked up in argument. It's deep into tangent territory, I know, sorry. It just always bugged me that Sauron didn't seem to have a goal or purpose. It could be that it is explored more in the Silmarillion, but I think from my understanding it just shifted the blame to a new generic jerk Melkor. I'd be happier with something like "Sauron is sick of the persecution against his people the orcs, and sees the squabbling and conflict between elves and dwarves, and a complete isolation from opening trade to his closer neighbors the southrons who are directly connected to him with no mountain barrier. He wants a better way, and can bolster his own people's economies faster through an iron facist hand." I know it's absurdly overthinking it, but I dunno, you can't have anything just pure evil for evil's sake like an entire race of orcs.
  25. I was talking about a lore rohan hero early, quick to agree on Grima. I thinkt he real thing is that Tolkien wrote stories that had very simple characters to put in his very complex world. Sauron is bad because he's the bad guy and we gotta stop him, that sorta stuff. Grima is probably the most interesting character, he's the only guy I'm aware of that actually had reason to go bad. Orcs are super evil, elves are paragons of good, I always found it hard to care about the characters as much as the setting.
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