|The Three Trials
Announcing the Second Adventure Pack in The Ring-maker Cycle
|The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game | Published 03 February 2014|
“They came at last deep into the glen; and there stood a sheer wall of rock, and in the wall the Dark Door gaped before them like the mouth of night. Signs and figures were carved above its wide arch too dim to read, and fear flowed from it like a grey vapour.”
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
After their efforts to help Saruman discover the means to forestall the forces of Mordor leads them deep into the heart of Dunland, several of Middle-earth’s greatest heroes must undertake a series of three deadly trials. In The Three Trials, Middle-earth’s heroes must defeat three ferocious Dunlending Guardian spirits, claim their Keys, and recover an ancient Dunlending artifact, the Antlered Crown.
The new scenario from The Three Trials places immediate pressure upon your heroes and their efforts. Like Raven’s Guardian (The Three Trials, 42), each of the scenario’s three Guardians shares the Time X keyword, forcing you to move swiftly along your quest… or suffer the consequences of failure. The scenario’s Guardians and other threats will offer your heroes no chance to catch their breath, so you’ll want to come prepared to fight your way to your goal through round after round of high-intensity combats.
In addition to challenging you to power your way quickly through its powerful enemies, The Three Trials permits a wide range of strategic considerations and possible quest combinations, making it an immensely replayable scenario.
Finally, The Three Trials introduces a new Spirit hero, as well as three copies of each player card. Fans of Middle-earth’s Elves will be pleased to find two new Elven allies, one Noldor and one Silvan, as well as events and attachments that promote the cycle’s new Silvan subthemes. You’ll also find a handful of cards that further support the game’s Secrecy keyword and decks that can keep their Threat at twenty or lower.
Smart and Secret
“‘Not idly do the leaves of Lórien fall,’ said Aragorn. ‘This did not drop by chance: it was cast away as a token to any that might follow.”
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Two Towers
As part of The Ring-maker cycle, The Three Trials doesn’t focus too heavily on any one player theme. While it lends greater strength to the Silvan mechanics that lead developer Caleb Grace outlined in his introduction to the cycle, the Adventure Pack also supports a wide range of player themes and mechanics that include the Noldor, Dúnedain, and Scout traits; increased interaction for multiplayer games; and the popular Secrecy mechanic that rewards players who can keep their Threat at or below twenty.
Two of these cards, Noiseless Movement (The Three Trials, 33) and Leaf Brooch (The Three Trials, 34), may even provide enough of a boost to the Secrecy mechanic as to encourage players to hunt for the means to race quietly through the Hills of Dunland toward their confrontations with the scenario's Guardians.
While your Noiseless Movement won’t help you sneak past the scenario’s Guardians, it might still help you sneak past other enemies, like the Spirit of the Wild (The Three Trials, 50), and sneaking past such Undead foes as the Spirit might help to buy you the actions and time that you need to defeat the Guardians you can’t avoid.
Meanwhile, Leaf Brooch provides an immediate boon to any Secrecy deck. This neutral attachment plays for just one resource and then adds “Secrecy 1” to the first event you play each turn that matches its bearer’s printed sphere of influence.
Just how good is Leaf Brooch? Consider, first of all, that if your deck has enough events, Leaf Brooch is as good as gaining an extra resource each turn. Then, consider that it can add “Secrecy 1” to such popular cards as Sneak Attack (Core Set, 23) and A Test of Will (Core Set, 50), meaning not only that you can play them more cheaply, but you can play them even if you don’t have a resource on the appropriate hero. This gives you more freedom to move your resources around with cards like the Errand-rider (Heirs of Númenor, 3).
Moreover, because the effects of Secrecy stack, you could play a Leaf Brooch on three different Spirit heroes to play The Galadhrim’s Greeting (Core Set, 46) for free, or you could play Fortune or Fate (Core Set, 54) and recover your teammate’s hero for just two resources.
Will You Pass the Test?
As the threat of Mordor looms ever larger in the East, Middle-earth needs its heroes to find some means of confronting the Dark Lord and his minions. Will you do your part? Can you help the White Wizard find some knowledge or art to forestall the forces of evil? Can you defeat the ancient Dunlending Guardians and succeed at The Three Trials?
The Three Trials is due for release in the second quarter of 2014. Until then, keep your eyes to our website for more information about The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game!
Note: The Ring-maker cycle and all its Adventure Packs require both the Core Set and The Voice of Isengard.
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.