News for September 2013
The Ring Will Not Stay Hidden
The Black Riders Saga Expansion for The Lord of the Rings Is Now Available
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game | Published 20 September 2013

“And now,” said the wizard, turning back to Frodo, “the decision lies with you. But I will always help you.” He laid his hand on Frodo’s shoulder. “I will help you bear this burden, as long as it is yours to bear. But we must do something, soon. The Enemy is moving.”
   
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Bag End and the Shire are no longer safe. From the strange creature known as Gollum, the Dark Lord has learned much about the fate of his Ring; he has learned that it was found and then lost again, that it was last seen in the hands of a Hobbit, and that that Hobbit resided in a land called the Shire. He has even come to suspect the importance of the name Baggins

Now, you can take your first steps alongside Frodo as he and his companions begin their journeys into the darkest regions of Middle-earth. The Black Riders Saga Expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is now available at your local retailer and online through our webstore!

 

A Desperate Mission

With The Black Riders, you and your friends will accompany Frodo Baggins as he begins his epic journey to destroy the One Ring. Three new scenarios carry you out of the Shire and along the road to Rivendell, but you must be wary. The Nine are abroad, the lure of the Ring is difficult to resist, and every action has a meaningful consequence…

Each of the three scenarios from The Black Riders presents a complete and compelling play experience, full of dangers, drama, and difficult decisions. While the Nazgûl hunt the One Ring, you and your friends will alternately hide from them, engage them in battle, and flee for your lives.

These scenarios can also be combined into a larger narrative that recreates a selection of dramatic events from the first half of J.R.R Tolkien's The Fellowship of the Ring. It is the first of a series of Saga expansions that will eventually allow players to replay Frodo's epic journey from the Shire to Mount Doom, as well the dramatic events experienced by other members of the Fellowship.

For more about the scenarios, you can read a preview by the expansion’s lead developer.

The Lure of the Ring

“Did not Gandalf tell you that the rings give power according to the measure of each possessor?”
   
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Frodo’s journey just wouldn’t be the same without the heavy burden of the One Ring! Though at first it may appear to be an ordinary gold ring, The One Ring (The Black Riders, 85) is actually the most important of all Artifacts in Middle-earth, and it offers tremendous power… at the cost of terrible risk.

In The Black Riders, the Ring’s design is deceptively simple. Instead of offering a range of powers to tempt the Ring-bearer to use it during scenarios, the Ring’s text merely establishes some rules for using the Ring-bearer in a scenario and establishes the Ring’s importance with the line, If The One Ring leaves play, the players lose the game.

The twist, though, is that the Ring’s power is granted according to the measure of its possessor. So it is that Frodo Baggins (The Black Riders, 1) has the text:

Response: Spend 1 [Ring-bearer] resource and exhaust The One Ring to cancel the effects of an encounter card just revealed from the encounter deck. Shuffle that card back into the encounter deck and reveal another encounter card.”

Frodo’s ability is certain to tempt players to exhaust the Ring, especially when the fellowship encounters an enemy as deadly as a Black Rider (The Black Riders, 39). Certainly, nothing else can be as terrible, right? So if you simply exhaust one card to avoid such a terrible enemy, the odds are that you’ll encounter another card much less threatening…

While it’s true that the power of The One Ring may offer some remarkable escapes, it’s also true that no one can use the Dark Lord’s Ring without moving toward evil. The thematic weight of The One Ring can be felt throughout the scenarios of The Black Riders. Each tempts you to use the Ring, offering tremendous immediate rewards, but at the risk of long-term difficulties, especially for players participating in the expansion’s Campaign Mode.

The One Ring’s design is one of the many elements that the scenarios of The Black Riders use to bring you and your friends as close as possible to experiencing Frodo’s perils and dilemmas. Just as in the novels, you’ll be tempted to use the Ring to avoid danger, and just as in the novels, there is danger in using the Ring.

Friends You Can Trust

“I don’t think you need go alone. Not if you know of anyone you can trust, and who would be willing to go by your side.”
    –Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring

Of course, there’s more to The Black Riders than darkness and doom. Hope abounds.

Frodo’s task was daunting, but he had the help of his friends. The Black Riders brings four of those friends to life. Sam Gamgee, Merry, Pippin, and Fatty Bolger (The Black Riders, 5) all make appearances as new heroes, and other notable characters arrive to the game as allies, including Bill the Pony (The Black Riders, 6), Barliman Butterbur (The Black Riders, 7), and Farmer Maggot (The Black Riders, 8).

Combined with the expansion’s wealth of Hobbit-themed events and attachments, these new characters not only allow players to create all-new Hobbit decks, but they establish several Hobbit-specific themes and mechanics that players are certain to enjoy.

You can read more about the expansion’s new player cards in the article, “The Hour of the Shire-folk.”

Pick Up Your Copy Today

The Dark Lord wants his Ring, and the Nine are abroad. There is no time to lose. The greatest fantasy journey of all begins with the three scenarios of The Black Riders!

Pick up your copy today at your local retailer or online through our webstore.

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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