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  1. While all of them have a decent idea behind them, they all need work. Taking them in turn, the lore Bilbo is perhaps the most ready for prime-time. The ability to help with either questing or combat through the play of songs is potentially very versatile, and with only 6 threat he can be a utility hero. That said, his stat line is mostly useless, and there aren't any Songs (a) in the Lore sphere or (b) that combo with the hobbit archetype. So you're splashing in Bilbo to another kind of deck solely for his ability, not his stats or trait, and that's pretty inefficient. Next up is the Baggins-sphere Bilbo. In theory, I love this idea, but in practice it's really lackluster. In exchange for losing access to every other sphere (unless you pay!), you get access to Burglar Baggins and The Lucky Number, which are essentially inferior versions of cards already existing in other spheres: Halfling Determination/Durin's Song, or Tale of Tinuviel. His final ability would be good... if he didn't have 1 defense and 3 hit points. Without significantly boosting those base stats, it's likely a suicide mission to use that ability. The card has potential, but really needs more revision to address these problems, I feel. Lastly, the leadership Bilbo is, conversely, too strong. While, as with the Lore version, I like the idea of a Bilbo that interacts with Songs, it seems thematically weird to make him leadership. Also, his ability effectively starts every player in the game with a free Love of Tales. That's just OP, even without the added option of instead drawing a card! Oh, and a +2 free willpower as well? Yeah, way too powerful. So, on the whole, while the three Bilbo entries have potential and are motivated by some interesting ideas, none quite live up to, say, the simple elegance and thematic satisfaction of tactics Fatty or even the Spirit Aragorn entry (which is also a bit too powerful on the second ability -- should be limited to once per round, I think). Hey! Leadership Bilbo guy here and I just wanted to chime in on some of the thinking behind my choices (not pining for likes, just like having an honest discussion ). The decision to make him Leadership came more so from the mechanics I wanted him to have and the ability felt weird putting it in Lore. I liked the idea of Bilbo in his later years could have easily represented the Leadership Sphere. Bilbo became quite confident after his journey to the lonely mountain and became more of a decision maker at the end of it all. Age catching up to him aside, I could see Bilbo having an interesting dynamic if he was allowed to partake in the fellowship. As for his +1 willpower and questing advantage I thought his stat line was pretty weak and wanted to beef it up somehow. Perhaps the action advantage can be removed. As for his final ability being OP I would have to disagree as many decks I have played (or play along with) rarely use songs. Sure, it can be taken advantage of but it would require very specific deckbuilding to do so. As it stands, I like having an ability that helps all the players at the table (similar to how the Lore version does). Being in leadership, card draw and resource advantage seemed the correct path. What would you suggest (not a sarcastic question, by the way). Thanks!
  2. I really enjoyed this quest. We had about 6-8 Lost Islands in the staging area when we completed the quest. I'll admit the Undead can be a little treacherous in this quest but we were able to get by. The key is to make sure your two cost allies, if they are on the field, have at least 2 hit points. My errand-riders, for instance, were able to soak up some of the damage here and there where other allies like the Silvan might have easily fallen. Not sure what the "code" might be but a useful tip would be to build a deck with higher cost allies with few low cost cards and some resource acceleration to make up for the build. Or you can have a deck that is capable of a lot of card draw to mitigate all the lost cards. We were hit really badly by the "discard all cards with an equal or higher cost" and some extra card drawing pulled us out of that hole. Good luck! It's a really fun quest.
  3. I tend to agree. Often times a card that will not have a lot of value will see a complimentary card long after it's initial release. To use Caldara as an example, she certainly wasn't as panned as Dori. There were some who advocated for her and stated that though she wasn't terrible, there was something in that strategy and it just needed a few more key pieces to really shine. Boom, we have Sword-Thain and now she's even better and all I hear now are Caldara Decks doing quite well. Now Dori is more panned than Caldara and right now there isn't a select few gathering around to defend this Tactics Dwarf Hero with a lower-tier deck that just needs a few pieces. It would need a lot of work. But who's to say that the designers can't come up with a card that immediately boosts his worth. I'm just making word vomit at this point but here's an off the cuff card that will probably never be made: "Helm of Durin, 2 Cost Tactics Attachment Attach to a Dwarf Hero, restricted. Combat Action: After a Dwarf Hero exhausts during the combat phase ready that Hero. It gets +2 Defense until the end of the phase." Suddenly Dori isn't so bad. So in a vacuum yeah he's not that pretty. But you never know what card will come out that changes things.
  4. Mono Lore is probably the only Mono-Sphere I haven't tried but to rank them: Spirit Leadership Tactics They're all really fun in different ways so it's hard to pick just one!
  5. BH: Sam Gamgee BI: Legolas BJ: Elrond BK: Aragorn (T)
  6. AZ: Sam Gamgee BA: Frodo Baggins BB: Legolas BC: Haldir of Lorien BD: Elrond BE: Boromir (T) BF: Éowyn BG: Théoden (S)
  7. I'm going to ignore who said what and what they "truly" meant and this and that but I just wanted to throw my two cents in. I can see where people are coming from that "swashbuckling" may not exactly fit with the world of Tolkien, but like the Murder at the Prancing Pony I think it's easy to imagine such a thing being present in this world. Ships are a major part of Tolkien's world, and in the novels it is mentioned and seen that there are even pirates who plague the shores of Gondor. If there are pirates and ships then it's easy to assume that there would be some swashbuckling, people boarding ships on the open seas and crossing swords. It's a diversion from what we've been used to with forests and caves and orcs and trolls. But it's a nice diversion. I think we'll find ourselves enjoying a fresh perspective and it will add a little more value to the more "true to theme" cycles like Voice of Isengard and Angmar Awakens. Needless to say I'm looking forward to this upcoming Cycle
  8. AJ: Pippin (Lo) AK: Sam Gamgee AL: Frodo Baggins AM: Éomer) AN: Prince Imrahil AO: Legolas AP: Merry (T) AQ: Mablung AR: Elrond AS: Merry (S) AT: Gimli AU: Boromir (T) AV: Erkenbrand AW: Amarthiul AX: Celeborn AY: Théoden (S)
  9. D: Galadriel E: Pippin (Lo) F: Glorfindel (S) G: Sam Gamgee H: Frodo Baggins I: Beorn J: Éomer K: Idraen L: Aragorn (Lo) M: Prince Imrahil N: Legolas O: Gríma P: Beregond Q: Merry (T) R: Haldir of Lorien S: Mablung T: Elrond U: Rossiel V: Merry (S) W: Damrod X: Gandalf Y: Gimli Z: Boromir (T) AA: Balin AB: Éowyn AC: Erkenbrand AD: Amarthiul AE: Aragorn (T) AF: Celeborn AG: Arwen Undomiel AH: Théoden (S) AI: Faramir (Le)
  10. It should have been released, sure, especially since Gen-Con attendees had a chance to purchase a copy. But on the same hand I think it's important to keep a steady schedule of products. Too much at once and the game may feel saturated and overwhelming. Also, I think it's a special treat to let Gen Con Attendees get some products a little earlier than normal. Sucks for the rest of us folk but you have to provide some nice perks for going all the way out to Gen Con.
  11. Caleb has said before, and I can see this being the case, that a lot of times the way the card is written seems pretty straight-forward. So I can see how one could argue that the reason Erkenbrand and Raven-Winged helm wouldn't work can be found on the card without having to ask the designer for a ruling, but I could see the other side as well. It's tough trying to keep everything perfectly worded Also, I knew when I first saw the Helm that it had to be too good to be true lol.
  12. I'll take challenge number 5 if it's still available!
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