News for February 2014
The Road Darkens
An Upcoming Saga Expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game | Published 06 February 2014

“I can foresee very little of your road; and how your task is to be achieved I do not know. The Shadow has crept now to the feet of the Mountains, and draws nigh even to the borders of the Greyflood; and under the Shadow all is dark to me. You will meet many foes, some open, and some disguised.”
    –Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

Fantasy Flight Games is proud to announce the upcoming release of The Road Darkens, a Saga Expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game!

Join Frodo Baggins and his companions on an epic journey that sweeps you through the most memorable moments of the second half of The Fellowship of the Ring! The Road Darkens introduces three scenarios that allow players to participate in, or even recreate a handful of key events leading from the Council of Elrond to the breaking of the Fellowship.

On their own, these scenarios all present rewarding play experiences, but you can also enjoy them as individual chapters of a fantasy saga with a much greater scope. When you play in Campaign Mode, using the rules from The Black Riders, along with that expansion’s boons and burdens, the Ring weighs heavy upon you, your every decision carries greater import, and your every action has meaningful consequences…

With its 165 cards (including three copies of each player card), The Road Darkens immerses you deeply into the most critical events of Middle-earth’s Third Age. Included are three complete scenarios; two new heroes, including a new version of Frodo Baggins (The Road Darkens, 1); several powerful and unique allies; eight new boons; seven heavy burdens; and three campaign cards to guide you through the fourth, fifth, and sixth chapters of The Lord of the Rings saga.

The Ring Goes South

“I will choose you companions to go with you, as far as they will or fortune allows. The number must be few, since your hope is in speed and secrecy. Had I a host of Elves in armour of the Elder Days, it would avail little, save to arouse the power of Mordor.”
    –Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

As in the game’s other Saga Expansions, each scenario in The Road Darkens follows the events of the classic story by J.R.R. Tolkien as faithfully as possible. You’ll receive gifts and guidance from the Council of Elrond before heading south. Then, your company will need to escape the wargs that hunt them through the snows of Hollin and navigate its way through the Mines of Moria. Should you succeed, you may find a brief respite among the Elves of Lórien before setting forth once more, to head further east, into the lands of Shadow…

In each of the expansion’s three scenarios, Frodo and his companions must make choices that will echo throughout their struggles. And these choices won’t be easy. You’ll be forced to grapple with sacrifices, betrayals, and dwindling supplies.

As you proceed, your choices will be given weight by the eight new boons and seven new burdens from The Road Darkens. Some of these you’ll gain, some you may lose, and others you may manage to avoid. These cards are specific to Campaign Mode and follow your heroes from scenario to scenario, even into future Saga Expansions, serving as tangible reminders of your past decisions as you play forward.

Strengthen Your Fellowship

“The Company of the Ring shall be Nine; and the Nine Walkers shall be set against the Nine Riders that are evil.”
    –Elrond, The Fellowship of the Ring

In addition to its three scenarios, The Road Darkens provides a number of new player cards, including a new version of Frodo Baggins, an attachment that represents the unified efforts of the Fellowship of the Ring, and several powerful and unique allies to aid your heroes.

Throughout your adventures in The Road Darkens, Frodo Baggins serves a unique role as your company’s Ring-bearer. Around his neck, he carries The One Ring (The Road Darkens, 91) on a chain, and along with it, he carries the fate of Middle-earth. If Frodo is lost, so is the One Ring and all hope that Middle-earth can be kept from evil.

Throughout the scenarios in The Road Darkens, the first player gains control of Frodo Baggins, per the text on the One Ring. Because Frodo doesn’t count against the hero limit, the first player can control as many as four heroes, and he can make use of Frodo’s Fellowship sphere resources for a number of powerful effects.

The first of these effects is the Response that Frodo brings to the table:

“After Frodo Baggins exhausts to defend an attack, exhaust The One Ring and spend 1 [Fellowship sphere] resource to target the attacking enemy. That enemy cannot deal damage this attack. Then, raise each player’s threat by 2.”

However, you could also save Frodo’s resources for other uses, and much as it is Frodo’s task that brings the Fellowship together in the story by J.R.R. Tolkien, you can use Frodo’s resources to play the new attachment, Fellowship of the Ring (The Road Darkens, 10). For just two resources, this powerful attachment can add as much as thirteen Willpower to your quests each turn, but in order to make the best possible use of it, you’ll need to keep your fellowship strong. If any character leaves play, Fellowship of the Ring is discarded.

Forth into Darkness

In The Black Riders, Frodo Baggins and his companions carried The One Ring to Rivendell, but it cannot stay there. It must be destroyed.

Soon, Frodo must head out of Elrond’s halls and continue, once more, upon his perilous journey. Death and darkness lurk upon all sides, but he must not falter. All of Middle-earth depends upon his success.

Can you help Frodo and his companions safely navigate the trials that lie before them? The Road Darkens is scheduled to arrive at retailers in the second quarter of 2014. Until then, you can find more information on its description page and keep your eyes peeled for previews!

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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