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Journeys in Middle Earth board game announced!

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I'm bouncing off the walls in excitement for this game, but I hope this isn't going to affect the LCG for the worse.

It's a tad strange that they use art from the LCG in their game, but I'm a fan. I'll be a great feeling seeing your same old heroes on the table in a different game.

There seems to be a thematic disconnect what with the fact that the hero you use might not correspond with your role miniature. Hopefully they have minis for each role for each race.

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Must be fake, all cards save for Bilbo have the wrong title ūüėā

Actually I find it interesting that I can name a card just by looking at the illustration. Hmm, I just have to remember, what the actual card text is.

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29 minutes ago, Wandalf the Gizzard said:

I'm bouncing off the walls in excitement for this game, but I hope this isn't going to affect the LCG for the worse.

Or perhaps vice-versa. As someone waiting patiently for more than a year for several Dwarrowdelf APs, I'm really cool on jumping in on another FFG LotR product. Let's see some action in supporting (re-printing) their other titles before blindly jumping in on another. Seems more like a money-grab to me.

 

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I posted this here because it seems relevant to the reprinting delays as well as the direction and future of the game akin to the new digital product (which is struggling for traction). In both cases, assets are being re-used and clear parallels exist between the games. It also speaks to FFG's approach to managing product lines for IPs (similar to the direction of Star Wars). 

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It looks attractive to me. I love boardgames with maps, exploration and narrative.

But I'll wait for more details about mechanics (and app) and honest reviews before jumping on it.

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32 minutes ago, fbnaulin said:

It looks attractive to me. I love boardgames with maps, exploration and narrative.

But I'll wait for more details about mechanics (and app) and honest reviews before jumping on it.

The more detailed world map and the separated and very basic battle tiles makes me scratch my head.

 

The game looks like it wants to be Massive Darkness but tries really hard not to at the same time.

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57 minutes ago, Gizlivadi said:

Yeah, this actually looks like a way of avoiding the reprint problem by distracting the playerbase into another game. That way they don't have to reprint all those cycles because there will be less demand.

I can picture two executives FFG speaking, Ted Sandyman Jr and Ted Sandyman Sr.

Ted Jr: We have a "reprint problem" with LOTR LCG.

Ted Sr: What's the problem?

Ted Jr: Practically everything for the game is unavailable.  New players can't buy stuff we published before.

Ted Sr: So we need to reprint expansions that are out of stock?

Ted Jr:  No good.  We've tried that, our customers snap it up in a few weeks, and then it's gone again.

Ted Sr: Hmm, that is a problem.  Last thing we want to do is print anything that will get bought up quickly.  What should we do?

Ted Jr: Obviously the best thing to do is reduce demand for our product.

Ted Sr: Good thinking.  But isn't having everything unavailable doing that by itself?

Ted Jr: It's just not fast enough.  Obviously the best thing to do is to produce a mechanically unrelated game on the same subject.  That'll distract them.  They'll be so in love with the new game that they'll forget they were begging to buy things we've already developed and require little or no change to reprint.

Ted Sr: That makes perfect sense.  I remember the big drop in demand for the LCG when we released the new digital LOTR game.

Ted Jr: Exactly.  And we'll make sure to print the game somewhere that dumps their raw waste in the river, because the only thing better than not selling people what they want is creating a toxic desert at the same time.

Ted Sr: I like the way you think!  While we're at it, be sure to neglect the "Upcoming Status" page so that when we do reprint something, no one hears about it until it's practically in stores.

Ted Jr: Already on it, Dad.

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1 hour ago, dalestephenson said:

I can picture two executives FFG speaking, Ted Sandyman Jr and Ted Sandyman Sr.

Ted Jr: We have a "reprint problem" with LOTR LCG.

Ted Sr: What's the problem?

Ted Jr: Practically everything for the game is unavailable.  New players can't buy stuff we published before.

Ted Sr: So we need to reprint expansions that are out of stock?

Ted Jr:  No good.  We've tried that, our customers snap it up in a few weeks, and then it's gone again.

Ted Sr: Hmm, that is a problem.  Last thing we want to do is print anything that will get bought up quickly.  What should we do?

Ted Jr: Obviously the best thing to do is reduce demand for our product.

Ted Sr: Good thinking.  But isn't having everything unavailable doing that by itself?

Ted Jr: It's just not fast enough.  Obviously the best thing to do is to produce a mechanically unrelated game on the same subject.  That'll distract them.  They'll be so in love with the new game that they'll forget they were begging to buy things we've already developed and require little or no change to reprint.

Ted Sr: That makes perfect sense.  I remember the big drop in demand for the LCG when we released the new digital LOTR game.

Ted Jr: Exactly.  And we'll make sure to print the game somewhere that dumps their raw waste in the river, because the only thing better than not selling people what they want is creating a toxic desert at the same time.

Ted Sr: I like the way you think!  While we're at it, be sure to neglect the "Upcoming Status" page so that when we do reprint something, no one hears about it until it's practically in stores.

Ted Jr: Already on it, Dad.

Brilliant, dalestephenson. Exactly hits the mark.

I love your decks on RingsDB, by the way, and am curious if other heavyweights (Seastan, et. al.) would like to opine on this subject.

Clearly, there are numerous new and seasoned players of this game that are lusting for product that FFG seemingly refuses to reprint.  The desire of these players is real, and it's ridiculous that dedicated gamers/customers are left to wait in ignorant anticipation for updates on a horribly unreliable "Update" page. And to then to introduce challenging decks on this site consisting of cards that are unattainable just inflames the frustration.  To follow up with new product based on the original is simply unacceptable.

I've been a Tolkien card gamer for many years  (own and play MECCG since 1995) and am in love with FFG's addition to the genre.  To have desirable product unavailable while seeing new, similar product introduced just chaffs my...

I'd love to see an honest, frank response from this company on their future plans for this game, and whether or not they can/will satisfy their current loyal customers. Until that time, I cannot comfortably support a new product (which I would normally purchase instantly).

 

 

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Some thoughts. 

In our tabletop hobby everything is about new games. We are in a culture of gaming where most buy a game and maybe play it once before moving on.  That more than anything will drive a new product over reprinting an old product. 

Many FFG games reuse art, like all the Arkham products. It makes sense.

I have noticed other FFG lines have complaints of low stock although our game is definitely worse off than others. 

I for one am excited about the game, at least to check out the reviews when they roll in and hope they are positive! 

Although not in every game I do think the app is pretty cool very helpful for smoother gameplay and coop is good for solo play. 

I can totally understand why frustration over the reprint schedule could taint feelings about a new game with the same theme.

 

 

 

 

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On 1/11/2019 at 12:42 PM, dalestephenson said:

I can picture two executives FFG speaking, Ted Sandyman Jr and Ted Sandyman Sr.

Ted Jr: We have a "reprint problem" with LOTR LCG.

Ted Sr: What's the problem?

Ted Jr: Practically everything for the game is unavailable.  New players can't buy stuff we published before.

Ted Sr: So we need to reprint expansions that are out of stock?

Ted Jr:  No good.  We've tried that, our customers snap it up in a few weeks, and then it's gone again.

Ted Sr: Hmm, that is a problem.  Last thing we want to do is print anything that will get bought up quickly.  What should we do?

Ted Jr: Obviously the best thing to do is reduce demand for our product.

Ted Sr: Good thinking.  But isn't having everything unavailable doing that by itself?

Ted Jr: It's just not fast enough.  Obviously the best thing to do is to produce a mechanically unrelated game on the same subject.  That'll distract them.  They'll be so in love with the new game that they'll forget they were begging to buy things we've already developed and require little or no change to reprint.

Ted Sr: That makes perfect sense.  I remember the big drop in demand for the LCG when we released the new digital LOTR game.

Ted Jr: Exactly.  And we'll make sure to print the game somewhere that dumps their raw waste in the river, because the only thing better than not selling people what they want is creating a toxic desert at the same time.

Ted Sr: I like the way you think!  While we're at it, be sure to neglect the "Upcoming Status" page so that when we do reprint something, no one hears about it until it's practically in stores.

Ted Jr: Already on it, Dad.

I think this is pretty spot on .  And pretty darn funny too.  

I'm not sold on the new game yet.  That $100.00 price tag had my wife wondering if I was choking on something.

I have, except for some promotional stuff since I can't get to the "Con's", everything LotR LCG that has been released.  I worry this could be the beginning of the end for LotR LCG. (I don't need anyone going off on me for my thoughts so save any bashing you may want to do for someone more pessimistic).  I feel for all the folks that want to obtain the older products - but you do have to wonder when some items have been at the printer for like a year and a half. 

On the flip side a huge number of items are now on the boat that were not last week.  A lot of stuff that was probably harder(?) to reprint than other items. Also,a lot of FFG's time has been spent on new product recently that perhaps slows down the reprint process  in some way I'm not able to fathom. Not sure about that but its a thought. Hopefully its catch-up time for all the LotR reprints.  I have my fingers crossed for all the people that wish to pick up the older material. (And for me to continue with the game). There is some great stuff in the older releases.   Regardless of how this reads I'm thinking positive thoughts for the reprint of the older material. 

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In all seriousness, my conversation was meant to be humorous.  It really would take Sandyman-level stupidity to intentionally lower demand for your own purpose, or stop reprinting things because they sell out quickly.  If anything, I think the executives would hope for *synergy* between the separate products, each stimulating demand for the other.  The re-use of artwork is most likely due to the fact that it has already been bought and paid for by FFG.

I doubt there's any dark strategy behind the neglect of the upcoming status page, though it does hint at a lack of resources at Asmodee/FFG.  Sands of Harad isn't the only product to skip over "At the Printer" and show up as "On the Boat" for just a week, I think nearly all its boatmates had a similar path; if that were supposed to be a tell-tale of planned retirement, they're planning on retiring all their LCGs and a whole lot of other stuff.

Quick sellouts of reprints also isn't necessarily a bad thing, from a company's point of view.  It's a much better outcome (for them) then printing so much that they have maintain the stock for many months.  Getting the quickest possible return for capital makes it better to guess low than high.  A culture of scarcity also impels customers to buy quickly when it come out, and having few expansions available that sell quickly makes carrying all available product more attractive to a retailer with limited shelf space than having all expansions available that sell slowly.  However, I think the scarcity, and more importantly the slow pace of release, is discouraging new customers.  If old content was trickling out every month, a new customer could be assured that it would be possible to fill the whole collection with time and patience -- without publicity or predictability, the evergreen "Game is Dying" meme gets legs.

The limited scale of reprints also presents two clear dangers to profitability.  Since it is small it doesn't have the same economies of scale as larger runs, so FFG could reasonably prioritize a guaranteed small profit behind a possible large profit from trying to print the New Hotness (e.g. KeyForge).  And since the profit is based on overseas manufacturer, it's liable to be undercut by increasing manufacturing costs, increased transportation costs, currency fluctuations, or even good old-fashioned trade wars.  An AP reprint could shift from profitable to unprofitable with no change in customer demand, due to forces beyond the control of FFG.

Still, I'm optimistic about the future.  Until the designers run out of ideas or they lose the license, I see no particular reason for development to come to an end.  As a cooperative deckbuilder there is no meta to manage or critical mass of competitive players needed to maintain the game, individuals can discover and enjoy the game without needed *any* local scene at all.  I don't think it's the sort of game you can have the player base "move on" by replacing something newer and shinier, because unless the new thing is backwards compatible with existing content it can't possibly compete on merits with the existing base.  I'm looking forward to more cycles and more content; I am not sated yet, though the content already released is sufficient to keep me busy for the rest of my natural life.

Edited by dalestephenson

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I really hope we get a few more cycles yet, would like to see more on Beornings, Eagles, even Rohan and Gondor, and of course everything. It is interesting to note how far apart in power some of the factions seem, at least in my experience, and even those that have been developing from the start. And then actually, Dale sprints ahead within a few releases, whilst I really cannot make a strong Rohan deck even though they have been getting cards since Mirkwood (and I have several decks that are super strong in comparison). I stop the rant now... I just want to see more though I agree with the above, we have got a lot already...

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Yeah, I immediately saw the irony in dalestephenson's post. No, I don't actually believe this is a master plan to distract people into other games, and I did write that post as a provocation more than anything else- which worked. I mean, I am way too far gone into this game and have followed FFG for years to really believe that. Now, this may be a bit off topic but I did ask Caleb about the reprint problem and in general about the state of the game. He replied the same day, and given the vagueness of the answer I assume he tried to write as subjective an answer as possible in order to be safe if I want to make it public. So, assuming Caleb assumed I would post this, here's his answer regarding the reprint problem (granted he's just the designer and not in charge of stock):

"Hi Esteban,

There are reprints in the release schedule for 2019. I don’t know when they will be available, but they are coming.

That is all I know.

Cheers,

Caleb"

Take that for what it's worth.

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4 hours ago, Gizlivadi said:

"There are reprints in the release schedule for 2019. I don’t know when they will be available, but they are coming.

That is all I know.

Cheers,

Caleb"

Thank you for posting that: I see it as excellence news regarding the LotR:tCG reprint issue!

I wish FFG would simply issue a statement like this from time to time for product lines they are planning on reprinting. For players to invest in an LCG with lots of out-of-print titles, statements like this could give new players the confidence they need to try it out.

(And as long as I'm offering free advice to FFG, I wish they would put a little more thought into their LotR game titles: we have "Lord of the Rings: the Card Game"  [which is also a "Living Card Game"] and before that there was the "Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game" [by Decipher] and now there's FFG's "Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game" [the on-line version]. Trying to search online with such similarly named products is maddening.)

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17 hours ago, BillK62 said:

(And as long as I'm offering free advice to FFG, I wish they would put a little more thought into their LotR game titles: we have "Lord of the Rings: the Card Game"  [which is also a "Living Card Game"] and before that there was the "Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game" [by Decipher] and now there's FFG's "Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game" [the on-line version]. Trying to search online with such similarly named products is maddening.)

Don't worry: the next card game they make in Middle-earth will be called RingForge.

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good to hear there are reprints in the pipeline for this year. Was starting to worry I got into this thing too late. Maybe I did, but at least I'll be able to snap up some more cards for this great game. 

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On 1/11/2019 at 2:38 PM, Tyrion Gru said:

I love your decks on RingsDB, by the way, and am curious if other heavyweights (Seastan, et. al.) would like to opine on this subject.

My opinion is that they should just offer all their older products through their PoD store, with a markup that covers the increased cost of printing them in-house. This would give players an option to pay a premium to get out-of-stock products between reprints. FFG gets money, and players get their cards. It's a win-win.

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