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jscottbowman

Newbies with the Core Set

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OK, my son and I got this for Xmas together but didn't round to playing it till this weekend...

 

We just have the Core set.

 

Were just playing the coloured themed 'decks' with matching heroes... essentially to learn the base game and tactics...

 

We fumbled through the first scenario OK, using Leadership and Tactics, though wasnt till afterwards we realised we werent supposed to play with the whole encounter card deck... still we made it through though... 

 

We then tried the 2nd mission Journey down the Anduin... and got spanked, twice, using same themes. We seemed able to contain the monsters just about, but couldnt make any headway against quest getting out of hand...

 

We then tried Tactics with Spirit, which made better progress with the Quest, and we just about managed the monsters (those hill trolls are are 'tough as', and just as you have one just about down, when another shows up...)  things seemed to going a little better , until a couple of quick one two blows in the way encounter cards came up just did for us again...

 

So two more games, and two more spankings...

 

So is it just luck? Some cards are just going to come up at a bad time and you're basically toast... 

 

I am fairly sure we have it right in terms of initial set up and ongoing game play...

 

The tough bit seems to be right from the start - you have two encounter cards then add the hill troll for the start, and then the first turn deals 2 more encounter cards... you are really on the back foot from word go...

 

Can a two player game work just using the themed decks and heroes... I am not sure I like the idea of having to build decks, especially when I am just trying to learn the game and its basic tactics...

 

Nor do I wish to feel I have to invest in more packs, supplements just to be able to win!

 

So whats the tips and trick you old hands know? Care to help a newbie out?

 

Cheers

Scott

 

PS if it helps your response, yes we've watched the video tutorials...

 

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Hey there! I have a few things to say.. Yes the start of each quest is often the most difficult part as the Encounter deck throws cards at you and most decks take a while to get rolling with getting good allies and such in play.  Also there is a bit of randomness to how scenarios can play out so yes bad cards could crush you at the beginning or you get lucky with easier cards coming up at the right time.

 

As for those Core Set scenarios the first is a very good intro quest, the second (Anduin) can be quite difficult especially with only the core set player cards and the third quest (Dol Guldur) is still one of the hardest quests and is basically impossible with only core player cards. So it is very normal to be loosing to that second quest often and of course the third one as well.  And unfortunately this means you only have two good quests to play with in the Core set.

 

Now about the decks the instruction book tells you to play with... each uses only one color so those decks are easy to throw together but they are also not the strongest.  Spirit is very important for the questing part of the game and then Tactics is also very important for dealing with enemies.  Leadership and Lore may be more fun to play with and do important things such as resource acceleration or card draw but they are not as essential and important as Spirit and Tactics if you just have the core set. So I think if you only want to use one color in each deck, Spirit and Tactics is the way to go.

 

I have two things to say about this game in general:

1) This is a deck building game so if you don't like the idea of forming a deck and putting different cards together before starting a quest maybe this isn't the type of game for you. Right now since you're just starting it is appealing to want to just play and not worry about deck building but if you do deck build (putting multiple spheres into a deck) your deck will become stronger and you will have a better chance of beating those core quests. The one color decks the instruction book tells you to start with are weak unfortunately.

2) As this is a Living Card Game new packs continually come out- but this doesn't mean you need to get them all! But it does mean to have stronger decks and more to play with you do need to buy more packs as that is what the game really intends for you to do.  The Core Set really isn't a stand alone game since the only two beatable quests can get boring playing over and over and there are not a ton of player cards.  The Core set is meant to be a good start to give you cards and get you set up as you continually buy more packs for this Living Card Game.

 

So, I absolutely love this game and Lord of the Rings. To me I enjoy collecting all the packs and then of course playing this game. I enjoy building decks and seeing different options and how cards work together and then playing through the scenarios is great! With only the Core Set it may be difficult to decide if you actually like this game as I definitely enjoyed it the more I played it and with the more packs I got.  Try playing the first quest a few more times since it is easier to beat and also the second one.  Do you enjoy the mechanics of this game (having allies and events to fight the encounter deck, the coop multiplayer aspect) do you enjoy the beautiful artwork, or the social aspect of card games?? If so you may love this game also and desire to invest more in it.

 

Enjoy and I hope this helps!  :)

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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.

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Thanks. I hear what you are saying...

 

I must admit I am more of a miniature gamer ( www.scottswargaming.blogspot.com), but am also a complete LOTR nut so had to buy this and give it a try...

 

I quite like it as its rather like a self contained Roleplay game of LOTR without the need for a GM...

 

And its easy to set up and play in a short period.

 

I guess I am just not used to the deck building side of things, and had thought I 'd get perhaps a little more from the CORE set...

 

We had two more games last night using Tactics and Spirit spheres. First replayed Passage through Mirkwood just to reaquaint the rules and cards better. All went fine, its an easy mission. The only odd was we killed Ungoliants spawn half way through game, then came to last mission, to find we had to kill her to win. Since we already had we assumed we won by default... or were we supposed to dig her out of discard pile and fight her again?

 

Anyway we then went on to Anduin again, and were just making a plan of sorts when two cards in succession on turn 2, were another cave troll and Ufthak (or whatever he was called). This was impossible to deal with at this stage of the game, and we died quickly and gave it up.

 

The trick with this one seems to be using Spirit and Tactics and hoping you get the 2 trolls and uthack spaced out enough to have a chance dealing with them one at a a time, get more than one on the table at once and its just about game over... so this seems to come down to the luck of the deck shuffle...

 

No matter we'll keep trying and see if we can get lucky... will probably also grab some of the expansion packs in order and see how we go.

 

I love the artwork, and setting and the game play and rules have grown on me, I guess I just have to figure out customising it...

 

Thanks again

Scott

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Here's an entire article about handling the cave trolls.

http://talesfromthecards.wordpress.com/2014/01/14/how-to-kill-a-hill-troll/

Most new players get stomped pretty quick, so don't feel bad.

Also, the site has a lot of other helpful material, so I recommend you browse it.

Here's the new players buy guide:

http://talesfromthecards.wordpress.com/2013/09/13/new-player-buying-guide/

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Loving LOTR this is definitely a good game so I'm glad it's growing on you a little, the artwork and gameplay are both phenomenal! Make sure to check out those links people posted above as they should be super helpful. Those quests from the core can have a few quirks in them: one being the randomness of difficulty depending on how cards come out, and as for Ungoliants Spawn you maybe had to find her and kill her again I'm not certain (future bosses have victory points on them meaning they get set aside out of play when you kill them so then if they are in the victory display you win) so that is ambiguous here. And yes two hill trolls is a killer! One is bad enough!

Oh and you may want to check out Easy Mode, go to the home page and check under support. It basically starts each hero with an extra resource at the beginning and takes out a select few cards from the encounter deck. This could help you beat the second quest and maybe even try at the third one. I enjoy easy mode for some quests because it makes them not so brutal and I can enjoy them without having to build a super strong deck.

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The best decks i found have been a combo of Tactics/Leadership featuring Legolas, Gimli, Theodred and Spirit/Lore featuring Eowyn, Eleanor and Beravor. One deck handles combat and defending the oter player while the other focuses on questing, treachery cancelation, and card draw. Since this game works best as a 2 player game, i reccomend u each combine 2 speres to make a deck and take on the quests togather. Also u are allowed to mulligan to get started with a good card in hand.

 

some great cards u migt want to use are gandalf, sneak attack, forest snare, steward of gondor, citadel plate, northern tracker.

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