News for March 2011
A Quest for One 24
A preview of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game | Published 08 March 2011

“Frodo rose to his feet. A great weariness was on him, but his will was firm and his heart lighter. He spoke aloud to himself. `I will do now what I must,' he said. 'This at least is plain: the evil of the Ring is already at work even in the Company, and the Ring must leave them before it does more harm. I will go alone.”
The Fellowship of the Ring, J.R.R. Tolkien

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a unique, fully cooperative card game - the first Living Card Game to adopt such a formula. The flexibility and adaptive nature of this game is clearly evident, as The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game can be played either solo or with friends. In our past previews we have explored an overview of the game, how quests work, the dangerous power of Shadow Effects, and previewed the 4 spheres of influence: Spirit, Leadership, Lore, and Tactics. Today we’ll take a look at how the game plays with one player as opposed to 2-4.

Setting Off Alone

One of the most exciting prospects of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is the possibility of one person creating a deck and playing a full game on their own in one convenient session. While the game is a cooperative experience, The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game can also be played entirely alone if desired. This means that you can try out that new deck the same night you build it, enjoying a full game experience in the process.

There is no additional setup needed to add more players to your game. The game scales very easily, with only minor changes to gameplay when accommodating multiple players. One aspect of the game that changes is the Quest phase. After players commit their chosen characters to the quest, cards from the Encounter deck are added to the Staging Area. The number of cards added to the staging area is equal to the number of players playing. Other than that, the changes to gameplay are quite intuitive. For example, each player resolves their combat individually starting with the First Player.

The number of players can also influence deck-building. While the effects of most cards aren’t more or less powerful depending on the number of players, there are some that can be more effective when playing solo. A great example of this is the hero Denethor. His ability to look at the top Encounter card is always useful, but in multiplayer games there is no assurance as to what the card directly under the one you’re looking at is, and it will be revealed regardless. Yet, in a one player game, Denethor’s ability lets you know for sure what lies ahead on your quest. The trade off is, once you exhaust Denethor to activate this ability, you have one less character to quest, defend, or attack with.

Another way to enjoy The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game solo is by controlling multiple decks to learn how each sphere of influence interacts with each other. This is a great way to learn what kind of deck best suits your play style. Since decks can contain any combination of cards, trying each sphere out and seeing how they play off others is a good way to determine which spheres would make up your ideal deck.

Joining Forces

The way alone is not easy, though. If you’re the only player at the table, negative card effects will always target you. Once players encounter cards like Caught in a Web on their own, they will surely begin looking for more players with more Heroes to join them on their quest. Fortunately, as we mentioned earlier, The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is easily scalable.

The Core Set is designed to support 1 to 2 players, but players can combine two Core Sets to include up to 4 players. When playing with 4 players, each player can utilize one of the four spheres of influence. With each of these spheres in play, players will discover all kinds of interesting combinations and powerful synergies. But we’ll explore that more later...

Stay vigilant. More information on The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is coming soon!

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a cooperative card game that puts 1-2 players (or up to four with an additional Core Set) in control of the most powerful characters and artifacts of Middle-earth. Players will select heroes, gather allies, acquire artifacts, and coordinate their efforts to face Middle-earth’s most dangerous fiends. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Adventure Pack expansions to the core game.

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Comments (24)

Published: 3/9/2011 6:05:11 PM

Internet is a poor medium for teasing and sarcasm sadly does not convey well.

Solo play should be alot of fun and a good way to try out new decks against the game right away. Plus will be great in winter during snow storms and the like.

Published: 3/9/2011 4:50:44 PM

I was just teasing... I'm looking forward to playing solo as much as the next man :)

Published: 3/9/2011 12:40:04 PM

I think you sound fine and your points are all very valid.

servant of the secret fire
Published: 3/9/2011 12:25:53 PM

Narsil i think you missunderstood my comment cause my English are bad.What i wanted to say is that i love to play games ,sports or do other thinks with all my friends but unfortunatly the only think they have in mind is their rating in wow and their score in LOL.

Wen i first saw this game i went to my friends and told them if they want to try this game with me wen it comes live.Their answer was that card games are boring and told me once again to play WOW with them cause its the best game.So solo play gives me the option to enjoy this game if noone else wants to play or wen i am at home after work and want to relax a little.

Again sorry for my English but i try as hard as i can

Published: 3/9/2011 8:08:27 AM

I've played solo player Game of Thrones running two of my decks against each just to test them out. It can be fun too.


Narsil, I don't think anyone is saying we are not gonna interact with other human beings and contrary to your belief WoW does involved a lot of interaction in the computer game. I think your comments are falling within the stereotype MMO's have about them. Sometimes its not always possible to get everyone together to play.

Published: 3/9/2011 7:32:08 AM

I'm glad that it's fully possible to run multiple decks solo as well.  I was worried that a lot of the more player oriented cards wouldn't be as effective running a solo deck.  But playing as effectively two players would enable loads more possibilities for the solo player.

Published: 3/9/2011 3:49:11 AM

Re: The need of a second set for 3 or 4 players

Actually you won't need a second set for the 3 or 4 player game. The heroes don't go in your deck, so you can distribute them between players as you see fit. What you're lacking is the 3rd and 4th threat dial, but they can easily be replaced with 2d10. And the deck for each player will only have 30 cards (instead of the tournament legal 50 cards).

So a second set will give you a little more flexibility in terms of deckbuilding for 4 players, but at the cost of a LOT of unnecessary duplicates (heroes, quests, encounter cards). So my advice would be to only get one set, even if you plan to play it with 3 or 4.

Published: 3/9/2011 1:30:34 AM

 Relax on the rules folks, they don't usually come out until a week or so before release. Second, let's not forget to interact with people!!! I know you guys, you'd jump at the chance to take a break from playing WOW just to further not interact with real people by playing a solo game. "Servant of the Secret Fire" your comment scares me... ha ha ha! Remember your namesake: "Only one thing I [Ilúvatar] have added, the fire that giveth Life and Reality, and behold, the secret fire burnt at the heart of the world." (The Book of Lost Tales) The Secret Fire is about reality and connection between all life. Besides... it sounds like the game will be much more interesting with more than one player anyway...

Published: 3/8/2011 11:51:34 PM

I'm still eager to actually SEE the game completed! In a competitive-game world, cooperative-games have their work cut out for them...and card games even more so! I have concerns about the lack of a rules.pdf (like everyone else, I've been putting things together based on the teasers), but when I see cards like "Caught In A Web", I get totally stoked. I can't remember the last time such an evil game could be so fun! dD

Published: 3/8/2011 8:26:42 PM

Duke, in a 4 player game with just core sets it means every hero gets used once. Each adventure pack has a new hero so won't take long for some extras to mix it up.

Published: 3/8/2011 8:07:31 PM

Servant of the secret fire, what an accurate comment! My thought EXACTLY!

Published: 3/8/2011 8:01:54 PM

 Solo LCG = automatic crack dispenser.


Sign me the hell up.


- Omni

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