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First Age: Prepare for the Doom Mastered Cycle!

Crafting and releasing the First Age fan expansion was truly a labor of love. Watching and hearing about people printing the cards, playing through the quests, and having fun with First Age has been an amazing experience, and the positive comments I’ve received about it have truly warmed my heart. Many have asked whether there would be more to come for the First Age and what such expansions would look like, which is a great question to hear for any designer, whether of an official product or a fan made expansion, as it means that people are looking for more. When first embarking on the First Age adventure, I always intended to create expansions, and I always knew exactly what the first ones would cover: the tragic story of Turin Turambar.
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Deck Spotlight: Elven Alliance

 

Silvan Tracker

There is something uniquely attractive about Elves as depicted in Tolkien’s works, modern fantasy literature, movies and countless video games. While other fantasy races tend to bash their foes in the face in the most straightforward way possible, Elves are all about stealth and finesse. This is mightily difficult to represent in an abstract card game like LOTR LCG that has an equally abstract combat system based around numbers, but the designers found a magnificent solution with the Silvan archetype. By creating Silvan cards that provide benefits for returning allies of that trait to hand, as well as positive effects for entering play in the first place, players can get the sense of Elves flying into play, ambushing enemies, and then falling back into the trees. While this is mechanically similar to Rohan, it is not the same in terms of theme and how it plays, as that trait is all about sacrifice in order to gain benefits, which matches the Rohirrim’s role at the Battle of Pelennor Fields (as well as Helm’s Deep). Silvan, by contrast, is not about discarding allies, but returning them to hand and playing them as often as possible, which actually feels much different. With the release of O Lorien! in Trouble in Tharbad, I finally felt that it was time to build Silvan decks in earnest. After creating a build around Haldir, Celeborn, and Legolas, as well as Haldir, Celeborn, and Spirit Glorfindel, I started venturing out into other intriguing combinations. Here, I will share a deck focused around an alliance between Noldor and Silvan, seeking out the synergy between the two, all in the service of ultimately uplifting the Silvan archetype.

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Trouble in Tharbad: Attachments Review

trouble

With so many allies in the Trouble in Tharbad Adventure Pack, this means there is a relative famine when it comes to attachments. However, Silvan fans in particular will have plenty to feast on, both figuratively with the magnificent O Lorien! and quite literally with the sumptuous Lembas. Both attachments are exciting for quite different reasons. O Lorien! is the card I’ve been anticipating since the focus on the Silvan trait was announced, not necessarily in terms of its exact effect, but for its role as the heart of the deck type. Lembas, by contrast, is great because it taps into my love for the lore and the books, thinking about those small details that Tolkien interwove into the world of Middle-earth to give it life, including that handy waybread that allowed Sam and Frodo to survive for so long. I always wanted to try it myself as a young reader, and now this is perhaps as close as I will ever get! (Disclaimer: Actually consuming the Lembas card is not recommended).
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Trouble in Tharbad: Allies Review

 trouble

Trouble in Tharbad is certainly an ally-rich expansion, with four new allies to drop into decks. In a pack that is fairly heavy on its Silvan focus, 2 of those new allies have the Silvan trait, while the others splash in some support for older deck types: Gondor and Eagles. Most importantly, all bring in something a little different, and offer some intriguing options for deck builders.
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Nightmare Buying Guide Updated!

The Nightmare Buying Guide has been updated with the Khazad-dum and Over Hill and Under Hill packs! Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to play and review the first 3 Dwarrowdelf packs soon. If you’re trying to figure out which Nightmare packs to buy first, make sure you check out the guide!

Trouble in Tharbad: Hero Review

 

trouble

I brought many things back from Gen Con 2014: Nightmare packs galore, the enjoyable Old Forest scenario, a copy of the awesome Doomtown: Reloaded, fun memories, and a lingering cold that won’t go away. To the neutral observer, it might seem that the Trouble in Tharbad Adventure Pack would get lost in this haul and be considered the most pedestrian of the bunch, but such an observer would be completely mistaken. Although the cards were already spoiled mere days before Gen Con, and despite it hitting stores the week after, there’s nothing that quite matches the feeling of getting new player cards in hand. And not just new player cards, mind you, but a brand new hero that is incredibly exciting. I would argue that we’ve been blessed so far during this cycle when it comes to heroes, from the strong Silvan synergy of Celeborn to the refreshing utility of Idraen. This trend continues in this newest Adventure Pack, as we finally get our hands on a heroic version of a beloved character: Haldir of Lorien. Ever since he emerged in ally form as part of the A Journey to Rhosgobel pack, players have been hoping and expecting that a hero version would ultimately be released. Well, the wait is over, and while it took me a few initial readings of his ability to get a handle on this unorthodox hero, I’m quite smitten with this new addition.
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Dwarrowdelf Campaign: Deck and Lore

Zigil Miner

There is much that is new and gleaming to review and talk about in the coming weeks. However, in a post recently, I declared my intention to embark upon a Dwarrowdelf Campaign for the ages, and I remain excited and committed to such an undertaking. Step one was to outline the rules that I will use for my venture, which remain unchanged. Several players over at BGG have composed a fantastic set of Campaign Mode rules of their own that you should definitely check out and that I am looking forward to trying out in the future. For the purpose of this campaign though, I will keep to the simple set I outlined before, which will keep the balance of simplicity and depth that I am looking for in this particular venture. With that in mind, the next step is to outline the deck that I will be using for the upcoming campaign. I left the theme of the deck up to you readers through the use of a poll, and while there was a tight race between the Dwarven Miner and Grey Company deck types, the Miner option ultimately won out! I’ll be honest and admit that I was secretly dreading this outcome, as it raises some extremely thorny continuity and lore issues for me as I attempt to weave a cohesive story out of the events of the Dwarrowdelf cycle, and I will delve into some of those matters in this article. On the gameplay side, however, I am excited to push this deck type which I first explored here to new heights, by attempting to build a version that can stand against a variety of challenges.
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