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conykchameleon

The First 'Big Box' Expansion: An Exercise in Speculation

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Hey all,

The big box expansion came up in one of the other threads, so I thought it would be fun to start a thread to discuss what it might be. Ideally, we would see this thing by the end of the year, but based on what we've seen so far, who knows? Anyway what do you think it will/should be? I'll kick it off:

 

I'd love to see The Mines of Moria Expansion. It would probably have a set of three quests: (Watcher in the Water, Balin's Tomb, Bridge of Khazad-Dum) and obviously a bunch of new player cards. It would be a really good opportunity to give some Dwarven love, as we've already started to see a lot of Gondor/Rohan kind of stuff. And the idea of adventuring around in the dark depths of Moria with your friends has got to be pretty appealing, right?

 

So what's on your wishlist for the first Big Box?

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I agree the theme of Moria would be cool with a definite Dwarf feel but it wouldn't be about the tomb of balin but more about Balin moving into the mines and finding Mithril before the Goblins come. Given the timing of the game ending about the time Frodo leaves the shire that would fit better than following the scenes we saw in the film as they wont have happened yet. 

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Sounds fun, I'd buy it.

Do you guys think we'll eventually stop getting Hero cards? Getting a new one in each of the Mirkwood packs. Eventually it would become a bit of a chore just to choose three out of dozens if they keep pumping them out.

I'm looking forward to building theme decks, like Rohan, Dwarves, etc. I think that's where the storytelling feel of the game will start to shine. You bring the Dwarves and your buddy brings a Silvan deck, instead of just thinking in terms of the four spheres.

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spirit said:

I agree the theme of Moria would be cool with a definite Dwarf feel but it wouldn't be about the tomb of balin but more about Balin moving into the mines and finding Mithril before the Goblins come. Given the timing of the game ending about the time Frodo leaves the shire that would fit better than following the scenes we saw in the film as they wont have happened yet. 

Good call! Would actually be a lot more interesting too. The three quests could portray the rise and fall of Balin's reclamation of Moria. And we could still get a Balrog that way. haha.

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There are plenty of possibilities:

Moria has been already mentioned but also Isengart (Fangorn, Isengard, Half-Orc Spies, Dunlendings), Osgiliath (Minas Morgul, Cirith Ungol, Kankra) or even The Lonely Mountain (Smaug, Battle of the five armies) are possible.

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Another option is a Protecting the Shire theme. That is one of the main events in the timeline during this period. However I might like to see this as an Adventure Pack series, culminating with a standoff against the Ringwraiths!

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I'll throw my vote in with the Moria scenario chronicling the rise and fall of Balin's people there. It would probably remain within the timing parameters set by the core set, would allow the designer to explore a new direction (less "outside / wilds" cards, more "underdark" stuff) and help build the dwarven armies (they're my favorite "theme" from all the player cards for now).

What I'm curious about is whether or not encounter cards from this big box expansion (if it includes encounter cards and not just player cards) will be compatible with subsequent adventure packs (rather than always using a single adventure pack with one or two encounter sub-decks form the core set). The core set encounters become redundant after a while.

If a thematic was to be developed around the Lonely Mountain, it probably wouldn't deal with the Battle of Five Armies (again, because of the timing parameters established; they may change later, but I don't think it'll be the case for at least 2 years, if not more), but instead around Sauron's emissaries and the forces he sent toward that region.

Another theme they could eventualy work no would be the pirates from the south. Pirates always rule, and there's plenty of adventure happening that way.

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The big box expansion for Lord of the Rings is Star Wars. I'd like to see some Shire protecting. The Hobbit would be great. Dealing with Easterlings, or Isengard is cool. I'm still too dwarfed out from Warhammer Invasion to want to see Moria just yet.

Edit.

Really anything that can maintain promotion of good balance and theme for all four spheres and Free Peoples races to last into the next cycle.

Second Edit. Heck, anything to bring the Player card pool up to a solid 35 per sphere.

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Regarding the card pool, how big do we really want it to become for players?

This is my first LCG, so maybe someone more familiar with other games can share some light on this. But won't we simply reach a point where only the X best cards will be played? I know CCG games (I'm a Magic player) share this characteristic as well (who would not play a Black Lotus if he's got one), but they developed different formats (Vintage, Legacy, Standard) to compensate for this and force players to use cards from different eras.

Could we eventualy see this in LotR? Or quests that include deckbuilding restrictions (for example, with a Moria quest, allowing only Dwarf heroes and allies)?

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SiCK_Boy said:

Regarding the card pool, how big do we really want it to become for players?

This is my first LCG, so maybe someone more familiar with other games can share some light on this. But won't we simply reach a point where only the X best cards will be played? I know CCG games (I'm a Magic player) share this characteristic as well (who would not play a Black Lotus if he's got one), but they developed different formats (Vintage, Legacy, Standard) to compensate for this and force players to use cards from different eras.

Could we eventualy see this in LotR? Or quests that include deckbuilding restrictions (for example, with a Moria quest, allowing only Dwarf heroes and allies)?

Here's my take on this. While obviously, there will always be some cards that make it into every deck (Northern Tracker, Galdhrim's Greeting etc), I'm already finding after just the first two adventure packs that some decks work better for certain quests than others. So I think it makes sense to increase the encounter card pool at the same rate as the player card pool. You get new player cards that may make older quests easier to beat, but now you have a whole new challenge to build decks around. So I think that as long as the encounter card pool increases at the same rate as the player card pool, the possibilities are pretty much endless.

That being said though...this is the first cooperative LCG. Ever. So it's really tough to say "Thing X will work" while "Thing Y will not work. It seems that they're being very experimental all of this, which is (for me) a really neat thing. Not only are we discovering deckbuilding and playing challenges, but we're seeing the actual mechanics of the game take shape.

Sorry, this got kind of off topic...

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The Moria and Protect the Shire storylines are great, and I bet we see them.  However, one that I would really like to see explored is one where we go up against the Haradrim.  It was a LotR theme that I always would have liked to see developed further. 

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 I was kind of surprised to see this thread because I figured since there are adventure packs coming out every month, why would you need to even release a big box expansion?  They could continuously pump out new quests, heroes, cards, etc.  What else would they really be able to add?  Have they done this with another LCG?

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TheGrue said:

 

 I was kind of surprised to see this thread because I figured since there are adventure packs coming out every month, why would you need to even release a big box expansion?  They could continuously pump out new quests, heroes, cards, etc.  What else would they really be able to add?  Have they done this with another LCG?

 

 

AGoTLCG

@ Narsil

YES!!! Elrond please!!!!!

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conykchameleon said:

AGoTLCG

 

Not too familiar with the AGoT LCG, but at a glance they almost looked like collections of adventure packs.  Is there more to them than that?

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TheGrue said:

conykchameleon said:

 

AGoTLCG

 

 

 

Not too familiar with the AGoT LCG, but at a glance they almost looked like collections of adventure packs.  Is there more to them than that?

Yes. They'll do an adventure pack cycle, and then do a big box, usually focusing on one of the Houses. They released Martel and Greyjoy in this way, and did big box expansions for both Baratheon and Stark I believe.

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These days AGoT does seeem to have at least a couple of bix box expansions per year - I don't think these started until after a couple of cycles had been released though (not 100% sure on the timing)

re: the card pool, whilst some cards are almost auto-includes, there are lots of cards that can be great in one deck and useless in another (and I don't just mean useless in the wrong sphere) Some cards can sit around for years, then suddenly another card (or set of cards) comes along which synergise really well with it, and everybody wants one. I think we're a VERY LONG way from having too many cards, especially with only 2 new cards per sphere in the chapter packs. Things will start to get interesting when you can see a mono-sphere deck, and still not know what half the cards in it will be.

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Moria would be awesome!

However... I suspect there is a License Issue here. I might be wrong but I think that the time span and for this game is limited to the 17 years (basically between Frodo's 33rd and 50th birthday) not only cause FFG think it's cool but also because that is the Time Slot they've bought and paid for to develop.

I suspect they are restricted from using Events in the books them selves but are only allowed to use the fragments that exist in this"blind spot" where they can speculate themselves and build their own stories around them.

I cannot say for sure of course, but I know from History that Tolkien Estate are really, really, REALLY paramount when it comes to specify what license holders can and cannot do.

But... you never know... maybe they DO have a license to use Moria and re-create scenes from the books.... Helms Deep would be awesome as well... and speaking of which... wouldn't the First BIG BOX expansion also duplicate as a New Starter set? if it did, I would call it "The Two Towers" in a Blue box, with Rohan Focus... Helms Deep, Fangorn, Edoras... ;)

/wolf

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Im really looking forward to the first BIG box, i think Moria is the obvious choice, it resonates with LOTR's fans but due to the time period would have to be set during Balins time exploring and clearing the mountain halls. I see it having a number of dwarven heros including Balin of course, 3 or 4 quests of difficultys 4,6,8,9 and 4-5 encounter sets to populate those quests. As for player cards minimum 15 cards per faction i.e. lore with ideally twice that number so totalling 120 new player cards.

My fear however is the issue surrounding the encounter sets, as we move forward past the first 6 packs (one cycle) we will have 10+ encounter sets BUT and thats a BIG but, all new quests will STILL only be able to make use of the coreset 4 encounter sets as these are the only ones the designers can garuntee the player owns.

Now this can be ignored by fan made quests which have been amazing so far and can only get better as more cards are available to quest designers like ninjadorg. But the creators of the game are limited to CORE + 1 expansion each quest. Now they COULD require BIGBOX 1 to use cycle 2 lets say bigbox MORIA and cycle 2: Rumbles in the deep, however this would drop sales as those who do not or could not buy the MORIA set would be left with no new quests (the player cards would still be viable).

As a workaround cycle 2 quests could contain quests that have encounter set requirements such as : sauron eye,orcs,gollum,moria depths. OR sauron eye,orcs, tower, anduin.  I.E. they provide an desirable encounter set mix and a if you only have coreset mix.

I dont know what license agreement FFG have with the tolkien estate but i could forsee it being justifiable to include the watcher and balrog in the pre LOTR book timeframe however the tolkien estate might disagree and consider those as being artifacts of that work. As for quests set within the LOTR book timeframe these would be GREAT but i dont think it falls within the current agreement, but i hope i am wrong.

 

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SiCK_Boy said:

Regarding the card pool, how big do we really want it to become for players?

Two adventure packs in, we see 19 cards per sphere. I hope the number gets to 100 at some point. So far I like this game so much that I'd like to go on and on (as the road may go indeed).

As for the next take on things, I'd like to see Shire and Missions around that area rather than Moria. I'll appreciate it anyway but I am more for nature and the wild rather than the underground.

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 I think it could be pretty cool to have the sacking of Dale and the seige of Erebor in a big box set.  That might be because I want to see some Easterlings as enemies as well as see more of the land west of Mirkwood.

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RE: Licensing

Balin's expedition into Moria lines up almost EXACTLY with the supposed window during which this game takes place. So I think it's a tough sell for anyone to say that they would have licensing issues with that. On this same topic though, it's a really tough sell to me that characters like Eowyn and Boromir and such are heroes in the core set though, if that is the true setting of the game. Why in the world would Eowyn be venturing into Mirkwood at this point in the Tolkien timeline? Based on what we've already seen, FFG definitely seems to have some leeway with content, so I would not be surprised if we see things from LOTR in this game.

RE: Encounter Sets

This is a very interesting point, that I hope they've found the simple solution too (someone above already mentioned it). Have new 'based' encounter sets, just with a Core Set equivalent. Although if you think about it, there's no reason that a potential Moria Box Set wouldn't be self contained anyway. If you get three new quests dealing with Moria, do you really want another six that do so? (Although that's kind of what we've gotten with Mirkwood)

RE: Erebor

I think that this is another totally viable option that would be really interesting an fun, while still fitting roughly in the proposed time window for the game.

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ok big box expansion, mid 3rd age rise and fall of the witch king of angmar. dawn of the rangers, nuzgul, dragons, trolls, orcs, elves, dwarfs, hobbits, palantiri the sndering of the 3 realms of high men.

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