Foundations of Stone: Refresh

The Tolkien scholar Tom Shippey said that the Council of Elrond was a “15,000 word documentation of a committee meeting“. I’m going to be modest about the Quest post for Foundations of Stone and call it a 6,000 word exercise in bookkeeping, and thus worth mentioning in the same paragraph as the Council.

Is this quest worth all the bookkeeping? Continue reading “Foundations of Stone: Refresh”

Foundations of Stone: Planning

Card pool at the time of writing

A never-ending feature of this game is the one-versus-two player (handed) debate. It came up again recently when Card Talk hosted a discussion with the once and current lead designers for the game, Matt Newman and Caleb Grace. When it was put to them whether the game was optimised for solo or multi-players, they unsurprisingly demurred and said it was ‘situational’. The invites to the UN are in the post, lads.

While my subjective position on the subject should be obvious by now, two things are objectively true: Continue reading “Foundations of Stone: Planning”

Keeping Count

A recent episode of the Legendarium podcast featured a disquisition from the host, Craig Hanks, on the contrast between the elaborate scene-setting of Brandon Sanderson set against the make-it-up-as-you-go-along writing style of JRR Tolkien. It was something that came to mind when formulating thoughts on something that I’ve been brooding over for a while now: my ranking of quests in the ponderously-titled Halls of Mandos, specifically Into the Pit.

The more I think about it, Into the Pit should be higher than fourth. Continue reading “Keeping Count”

The Long Dark: Refresh

We may be 16 quests into the Lord of the Rings: The Card Game oeuvre, and it still feels like a system that was finding its feet. The plot line running through the Khazad-dûm/Dwarrowdelf cycle reflects this, as the writers wrestle with the need to be respectful to the canon while also doing something new. I think they resolve the conflict by the time we get to the Heirs of Númenor/Against The Shadow Cycle (spoiler: err on the side of doing something new), but at this point they still feel the need to accentuate the familiar, and lamentably it shows in this quest.

It’s the first quest that I am certain is easier is pure solo, especially if you have scrying. Continue reading “The Long Dark: Refresh”

The Long Dark: Planning

Card pool at the time of writing

I’m normally not interested in the difficulty of any particular quest, partly because the difficulty ratings proposed by FFG are, shall we say, erratic, but mostly on the basis that if I don’t know how difficult a quest is going to be before I play it, I’ll find out soon enough. However, it struck me as I started preparations to take on The Long Dark that it had a mere four rings of Hall of Beorn, two fewer than the quests either side of it:

Clicking further into it, this was based on the opinion of 57 players, so it’s not a bad sample size. Continue reading “The Long Dark: Planning”

The Watcher in the Water: Refresh

As noted previously, this quest has been a long time coming. It’s the 15th quest in order of publication, yet it was the 75th quest in order of purchase, so I was probably a bit too reverential in my treatment of it since the last day out. Let’s start this review then with something deeply irreverent. Am I the only one who looks at The Watcher and sees another movie?

This isn’t a dig at the artist Matthew Starbuck, who has done some great art for the game. Besides, I couldn’t draw a bath. But while Eastern Crows is deeply menacing, The Watcher looks like he could be punctured with a knitting needle.

Not that you’ll be doing that, for in the flight-or-fight choice that the game presents you, flight seems the safer option. Continue reading “The Watcher in the Water: Refresh”

The Watcher in the Water: Planning

Card pool at the time of writing

Lacking the necessary lingo, I didn’t realise for a long time that I was ‘teching‘ for each quest. It took me even longer to realise that teching isn’t always necessary. Of the first fourteen quests, only A Journey to Rhosgobel really needs a certain set of skills, i.e. it’s impossible without lots of healing. And before you say ‘Escape from Dol Guldur’, the certain set of skills required there is crazy amounts of luck. Building my first multi-scenario deck was a pleasing turn of events, and opened up the possibility that I could pick up a couple of ready-made decks for scenarios rather than making bespoke ones each time.

This is a scenario which needs some heavy duty teching. Continue reading “The Watcher in the Water: Planning”