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Deanolyons

New to the game - What to buy?

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Hello.

I'm looking at buying the core set for mainly solo play but I have a few questions about what expansion to buy to go with it.

I live in the UK so it's quite hard to find all of the expansions. The ones I have managed to find so far are The Treason of Saruman, The Lost Realm, Heirs of Numenor, the Sands of Harrad, and The Hobbit Overhill and Underhill. I have also found 2 of the Mirkwood Cycle packs - A Journey to Rhosgobel and Return to Mirkwood

Out of these, which expansion is best for solo play to begin with?

Any help greatly appreciated :)

Dean.

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It's a pity the expansions you mentioned are the bottom half in terms of quality. I guess there's a reason you couldn't find the other expansions.

Lost Realm and Heirs of Numenor are on the harder side, so I probably wouldn't start with those. Treason of Saruman + Ringmaker has quite a few great quests, but also some real stinkers, and is overall one of the most complex cycles rules-wise and in terms of board fiddlyness. The Hobbit is great for solo play, incredibly thematic and fun, but lacks replayability and strong quest design. Sands of Harad is probably your best bet. The quests aren't the hardest out there, but are still challenging, and the player cards open up a lot of possibilities for deck-building.

In short, I'd go with either The Hobbit or Sands of Harad. If you chose the Hobbit saga, I'd also recommend picking up Return to Mirkwood (Dain will improve the new Dwarf decks you can build.)

Hope that helps! :)

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Treason of Saruman + Ringmaker

To prevent confusion, Treason of Saruman is the third LotR saga box and does not go with the Ringmaker cycle. 

This means it isn't a great pickup either, but not for the same reason stated.

Otherwise I largely agree with the previous reply. Perhaps give the Core set quests a go and see how you find it - if you do want to collect more then the Shadows of Mirkwood packs are as good a place as any to start, although you will find Return to Mirkwood very challenging in solo.

 

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A Journey to Rhosgobel can be rough too with a smaller card pool.  I beat my head so many times against that quest with only the core set and a few Mirkwood adventure packs.  Hard set of quests to start with!

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26 minutes ago, rees263 said:

To prevent confusion, Treason of Saruman is the third LotR saga box and does not go with the Ringmaker cycle. 

This means it isn't a great pickup either, but not for the same reason stated.

Otherwise I largely agree with the previous reply. Perhaps give the Core set quests a go and see how you find it - if you do want to collect more then the Shadows of Mirkwood packs are as good a place as any to start, although you will find Return to Mirkwood very challenging in solo.

 

Oh! My bad. I'm always confused with that box and Voice of Isengard. Thanks for the heads-up!

Well, in that case I'd still take Sands or the Hobbit over ToS, given that its halfway through the LotR campaign.

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Thanks all for the replies.

So it looks to be narrowed down to the Hobbit and sands of harrad. Probably go more towards the Hobbit as it's more the theme I'm interested in. I'll take a look at the cards online and then take it from there and just keep an eye out for any 2nd hand sets going on eBay and wait for reprints.

Thanks again :).

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22 hours ago, Deanolyons said:

I live in the UK so it's quite hard to find all of the expansions

Tell me about it. I’ve found Amazon US a reasonable source for those you can’t get in the UK (tend to pay £34 for a saga set with postage and import fees).  You pay more than if you found here but usually much cheaper than eBay.  For me I decided I’d like all the Sagas and have collected 7 out of the 8... typically I don’t have The Black Riders so can’t play the LOTR campaign ☹️ and refuse to pay £100 on eBay!  I also managed to collect every expansion with Ents in it and I love the Ents.

This is a useful thread 

You can get quite a lot if you shop around.

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1 hour ago, Sasajak said:

Tell me about it. I’ve found Amazon US a reasonable source for those you can’t get in the UK (tend to pay £34 for a saga set with postage and import fees).  You pay more than if you found here but usually much cheaper than eBay.  For me I decided I’d like all the Sagas and have collected 7 out of the 8... typically I don’t have The Black Riders so can’t play the LOTR campaign ☹️ and refuse to pay £100 on eBay!  I also managed to collect every expansion with Ents in it and I love the Ents.

This is a useful thread 

You can get quite a lot if you shop around.

Thanks for this. I never thought about ordering from Amazon US. Just looked at prices and they aren't as bad as I was thinking! Will definitely keep this in mind.

Also thanks for the list as well, it will be handy.

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After doing a bit more research, I'm now heading more towards Sands of Harrad. However, I've just seen that an online store is restocking The Road Darkens next week, so instead of buying Sands of Harrad (or the Hobbit), is it worth getting The Road Darkens instead?

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4 minutes ago, Deanolyons said:

After doing a bit more research, I'm now heading more towards Sands of Harrad. However, I've just seen that an online store is restocking The Road Darkens next week, so instead of buying Sands of Harrad (or the Hobbit), is it worth getting The Road Darkens instead?

 

Not really...

 

The Road Darkens is the second "chapter" of the Lord of the Rings Saga, which usually is best played as a campaign mode... And you only mention finding the 3rd one (Treason of Saruman)...

 

I'd go Hobbit and Sands of Harad...

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14 hours ago, Deanolyons said:

After doing a bit more research, I'm now heading more towards Sands of Harrad. However, I've just seen that an online store is restocking The Road Darkens next week, so instead of buying Sands of Harrad (or the Hobbit), is it worth getting The Road Darkens instead?

It is true that getting The Road Darkens is not on the face of it better than getting Sands of Harad which has some decent quests in it and which are playable with a smaller card pool. Of the boxes you have seen Hobbit is probably an obvious place to start but i do find it a frustrating quest box to be honest and prefer the 2nd Hobbit box, so i would choose Harad in preference.

However i have been waiting to get a copy of Road Darkens in the UK for well over a year, it has been one of the hardest to get for me and i have enjoyed the saga boxes without playing campaign style. I now have the first 4 saga boxes (once my Road Darkens turns up) but it has taken 2 years to get them given the slow reprints.

Some thoughts i put down on all expansion boxes and i only play solo > http://crusadersgames.co.uk/board-games/lord-of-the-rings-lcg-expansions/

Whilst what you have found are some of the harder expansions, you do have some of my favourite quests in there, Rhosgobel and Return to Mirkwood are my two favourite Mirkwood cycle ones, plus Treason of Saruman is a good box i am just about to finish playing through myself. Lost Realms is great and Sands of Harad a little more straightforward. 

Player card wise Hobbits boxes will build up a dwarven deck, Sands is quite focused on Haradrim so may depend on the theme you like.

Edited by Crusaderlord

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I have purchased the core and the 2 Mirkwood packs, Journey to Rhosgobel and Return to Mirkwood will at through these and get myself familiarised with the game, then jump onto the expansions and any other Mirkwood packs I can find!

Thanks again all for the help! 

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