deeth82

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  1. Just wanted to join in on the dog pile of folks saying thanks for creating/sharing this! Our first game of ZA will be played RAW, as most of the players will be noobs (hell, I'm kind of a noob to RPG's in general), but later on we may run a sort of Left 4 Dead-esque scenario, and this system seems like just the thing to add meat/weight to the RAW. Kudos!
  2. I've got everything from the Core set to Heirs of Numenor, and the AP's in-between. I've also got the Voice of Isengard expansion, and the two Hobbit Saga expansions. All sleeved, and in Ultra Pro 100+ deck boxes inside of a 20" metal toolbox. I store the tokens in some To-Go Ware tins I had laying around. In the beginning I used FF sleeves, but then the cost drove me to Mayday and Ultra-Pro, with Ultra-Pro winning out for bridging the price-to-quality gap the best. Now all my cards have that silly reflective logo on the back, but it works out ok.
  3. The resource icon looks like a buckler shield, but then again, it could be some very basic manner of coin...perhaps?
  4. Good points above. I'm thinking you're right, as far as the base card sets go. However, they could probably release a separate collector's box for each card series through their Fantasy Flight Collector line at a higher markup to offset production cost, and that might work! Like raven614, I toss all of my old boxes, save for the base set, and although I did see a cool DIY Dice Tray idea on the Geek which could make use of some of those deluxe expansion boxes, it's tough to justify keeping them around with limited space. I can definitely appreciate that folks with room to spare would keep them and do some DIY organizational fixes on them...what better thematic way to keep all of the major expansions separate!
  5. I finished KD and the Dwarrowdelf cycle. I'm planning to make the overland route (Redhorn Gate), appear on the primary map along with other above-ground areas like Road to Rivendell, Misty Mountains, and Watcher in the Water). The underground Moria option will be an inset with a lot of subsections. I've also finished Heirs of Numenor, but I have not yet started the Against the Shadow cycle, so those might force me to modify my HoN map sections. I hope to upload a map soon, so you can see my ideas and give me some suggestions. One thing I've been thinking about is treating each board space as if it is the quest card. That would mean assigning a "progress required" number to each space. So, for example, it will take a LOT of progress to take the Redhorn Gate route, but each of the Moria spaces will have very little progress required. So, even though you the number of spaces required to travel through Moria is greater (roughly 10 spaces, compared to the Redhorn Gate route which is one space), very little progress will be required for each space. That way, the total number of turns to complete each route would be roughly the same, depending on the strengths of your deck. I could also put an asterisk after certain space progress numbers if there is a special rule associated with that space on the board. All fantastic ideas! I see you've got your work cut out for you, but it sounds like your ideas are really taking shape. I can't wait to see this map previewed online.
  6. Yeah, right now all of my cards are sleeved inside of Ultra Pro deck boxes and crammed into a 20" toolbox. It's definitely a nice, durable storage method, but as far as theme goes, it looks atrocious. I feel like I might as well let my god-daughter draw all over it in white-out. It would really be cool if they released a thematic box made of tougher storage material. That being said, I've been blown away by the level of creativity and commitment of some of the members here...there are some absolutely gorgeous storage solutions posted here and on the Geek! Those folks should make a second job out of creating thematic game boxes (if they have the time).
  7. I'm still catching up on purchases (about to start the Against the Shadow cycle), and it's pretty much all purchased through Amazon. We have a really nice game store here in Lexington, SC that I just recently discovered and thought about subscribing with, but the prices on Amazon can't be beat with Prime shipping (saving $5-$7 per AP). The only area where the game store wins out is the cost of sleeves, and I'm sure that's a very low profit margin for them. To top it all off, the FLGS is moving clear across the county at the first of next month, so finding that out kind of sealed the deal for me. When I finally catch up to what's currently being released, I'll probably still order through Amazon, as the quick shipping and low price are really tough to compete with.
  8. Took the words right out of my mouth.
  9. Very nice! Keep us posted as your work progresses!
  10. As a clarification to my earlier post, the quests themselves would remain the same, but the win conditions/treasures/etc. could be added in to make things a bit less fiddly. For instance, if you won the Passage Through Mirkwood scenario on Bryon's map campaign, you wouldn't have to go back to a reference guide (which would admittedly be easier for him to create) to find out his win conditions, or the bonuses attained for completing that particular quest. TL;DR: I wasn't recommending the quests themselves be changed, but rather amended to clarify win conditions/outcomes.
  11. Agreed 100%. It's one thing to say "Kill [X] Orcs at this location", but would you be using the original game mechanics? If so, you'd need to figure out a way to incorporate the threat level in...the whole reason it exists is so players won't/can't turtle through encounters; a timer of sorts. I'd say that this is a great idea overall, but you'd need to at least come up with some original quest card-like requirements (# of progress tokens to pass/starting or victory conditions), and weaving some sort of narrative around it would be even better! I've seen on this forum where lots of players have created custom quest cards (and kindly shared the original blank templates for all to openly create their own). I suppose another way to make it challenging would be to list on the map locations what deck(s) the players may use for each quest, thereby negating uber-build bulldozing of quests, but again...this would require a good bit of play-testing and tweaks to ensure proper challenge, and some folks would probably argue that deck-building is the most fun aspect for them, so you might lose that particular audience. All in all, it sounds like a fun idea...who doesn't love a sandbox game? Edit: Props to Kerstoid on the wonderful map work!
  12. Seconded! I originally thought of deck-building as a tedious exercise as well, but last weekend I took [what I believed to be] my best Spirit deck into Khazad-Dum. Utterly annihilated on the first quest card! While to some, this loss would seem frustrating, I took a few deep post-defeat breaths, and then decided to re-work my deck to cancel additional threats and to include more dwarven heroes and allies to try and counter some other nasty K-D-specific effects. One week later, and I still haven't gone back (just finished a slow quest-per-weekend cycle of the Core set with a friend who's a stay-at-home dad and doesn't have a lot of free time), but I'm excited to see if my next deck will allow me to defeat the first quest! Saturday will be the most likely time to try and enter the mines, but believe me, the deck-building gets pretty exciting. What you are basically doing is trying to maximize the statistical efficacy of the deck you have constructed, while still leaving enough options open to counter threat-raising scenarios/treacheries/quest effects/When Revealed effects/etc. My current mono-Spirit deck has roughly 60 cards in it, but it feels like it will be much more effective versus the current scenario, and therein lies the fun...testing your mental mettle! Please note that if you're strictly playing for fun, and not necessarily to be a rules-stickler, it's okay to play Easy Mode. To teach my wife to play, I plan on first starting off skipping over Shadow Effects during the combat phase to lighten the load, so to speak. If that doesn't work, we'll remove the gold-marked cards to make the game more accessibly enjoyable. It's a game system with so many customization options (and not just related to your own deck, per se) that it really can be fun for anyone with just a few tweaks! Many of the players on this forum have inspired me to "Go hard", i.e., to take my lumps as the game designers intended. My friend and I play the standard rule set with all pertinent card effects played accordingly, and we are continuing to try to make sure that we aren't taking any illegal action windows, but all the same...at any free moment, I could sit down and play Easy Mode if I want, and it doesn't take away from my enjoyment! TL;DR: Don't let the concept of deck-building as a tedious task deter you! There is much enjoyment to be had.
  13. Congratulations on the win over the Hill Troll! I lucked-out (in my opinion) and the very first sphere I ever played was Spirit. It may not be an attack powerhouse, but IMO, Spirit is a great noob-starter...Eowyn's high willpower + Dunhere's ability to strike in the staging area + one other Hero to defend...it seems pretty well-rounded to me. For me, the ability to quest well with a starting threat level less than 30 (along with weeding out cards that seemed worthless for this quest) finally gave me the edge to beat the Hill Troll. That being said, I had ordered/received the entire Shadows of Mirkwood AP + Khazad-Dum before I ever took on Escape from Dol Guldur. Like others here, I won't tell you it's impossible to win that scenario with only the Core set, but a win is almost nigh-improbable; especially playing solo.
  14. Funny thing, I never played Magic or other CCG's or LCG's before...I was a videogamer at heart...spent years playing PC/Console shooters and RPG's, and I think my gateway into this type of game was actually the "Souls" videogame series by From Software (Demon's Souls/Dark Souls 1 and 2). The overall atmosphere enveloped me, and the challenge level sometimes frustrated me, but kept me coming back for more! After I decided I was done buying new PC/Console components every two years, I got back into board/card games, and loving the original novels of LOTR, I decided to "try it out". Been hooked for a few months now. I'm still waiting to see if my wife thinks this is a good thing or not. Obviously it can be an expensive habit after purchasing AP's/DEXP's/Sleeves, but it's the quietest game I've ever played, and she probably appreciates that I'm not hurling swear words at a TV screen anymore. Back on topic: I love the challenge this game presents! I went back to Journey Along The Anduin one more time ("Just one more game!") last night, only this time I took the entire Spirit deck and shuffled out all of the cards I deemed worthless towards this endeavor. As before, I was using Eowyn + Dunhere + Dwalin. I started off with Chieftain Ufthak and the Hill Troll in the staging area, and turtled my way (just a bit) through building my Ally/Event/Attachment pool over the course of a few rounds. Having built the deck a little more, I was able to reduce my threat level into the low teens early on and give myself a little breathing room before engaging these behemoths, while Dunhere casually sniped the lesser enemies in the staging area and Eowyn + allies put some progress tokens down. After having finally drawn Gandalf, it was time to take on the baddies. Two rounds with the Hill Troll and one each with the Marsh Adder + Ufthak later, and I was one token short of moving forward, and....drew the second Hill Troll. Took him on and lost Gandalf, but moved forward and continued down the river, clearing all the enemies at the end. Building the deck a little more attentively made the whole thing manageable, though it was still challenging! I really can't say enough about how much fun I'm having with this game, and I haven't even started the Dwarrowdelf cycle! Edit: Sorry, I forgot to mention this earlier, but you have some guts taking on these scenarios with only the core set! I only had the core set for about a week, and after playing a few times I decided it was time to get Mirkwood and K-D. Kudos to you!
  15. Like others here, I would also suggest you purchase the scenarios in order. Also, like klaymen and Khamul stated, the posted difficulty levels aren't entirely accurate. The most consistent difficulty you will face will be that generated by luck of the draw. For example, I'm new to the game and own all AP's of the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle, as well as the deluxe Khazad-Dum expansion. Twice I have been solo playing Journey Along the Anduin and of course, the first Quest card says to draw a Hill Troll to the Staging Area if one hasn't been drawn already. Lucky me, both times I have drawn from the Encounter deck, I've gotten the Hill Troll first try (lower starting Threat level). The first time I solo'd this scenario, my next encounter deck draws were low-threat enemies that I was able to dispatch in the staging area using Dunhere's special ability, and after avoiding engagement with the Hill Troll, I was able to finally take him on with several allies (including Gandalf) in play. I beat that first scenario card without losing a single hero, or getting my threat level near 30. Ended up barely scraping through the quest and lost Dwalin along the way, but all was good. The fact that I completed it all in true Solo mode was quite refreshing! Fast forward to two nights ago where I solo'd that scenario for the second time...first draw was Hill Troll, alright! Good luck streak, right? Wrong...wrong! First Encounter deck draw after that was the other Hill Troll. Most of the draws from my deck in the subsequent turns were great cards, but only in certain situations that weren't currently valid. It wasn't long until I hit Threat level 30, and down come both Hill Trolls to engage...and me sitting there with no Gandalf in play (had 2 in my deck...somewhere). I lost all my heroes on the first Quest card....game over. And it literally had more to do with the luck of the draw than anything else. Sure, you can deck-build to your heart's content (I'm still learning...got a ways to go, though) to offset the chances that you'll have bad draws, but sometimes Lady Luck is not on your side and you will get your metaphorical guts stomped out. For added challenge, try taking an entire sphere's Ally/Event/Attachment cards and using all of them with randomized shuffling on the Passage Through Mirkwood quest. Difficulty level 1? You can still get murdered badly; sometimes even with two players. To me, the fun in this game exists in the challenge level and the overall flavor/quest creativity. Somedays it seems like I'm wielding the Golden Deck of Losslessness, others I scrape by with a hard-fought win, and still others I feel like the Gaming Gods have combined their powers for the sole purpose of my undoing. Learn to love the challenges and see them as they are: Merely obstacles to overcome! If you won every game, you'd most certainly be bored before long. A few years ago, I would never have imagined myself playing a card game, much less a Living Card Game such as this, but its design overall is wonderful, and the challenge always keeps me coming back.