1 – 2 players (3 – 4 players with 2 core boxes)
Lord of the Rings Living Card Game (LCG) is a cooperative game in which players work together to complete scenarios using 3 Heroes and a deck of 50 cards comprised of Allies, Events, and Attachments.
Deck building is an important part of the game as different scenarios will have different objectives to complete and obstacles to overcome. Heroes have a sphere of influence attached to them (Leadership, Lore, Spirit, and Tactics) that give a distinct flavour and play style. Resources from those heroes can be used to bring cards of the same sphere type into play so it is vital to ensure you have the proper sphere for cards in your deck or you’ll find yourself unable to play some cards.
Each turn players take turns assigning Heroes to questing in an attempt to complete the current phase of the scenario as well as assigning cards to fight enemies as they appear in the staging area. Having these two separate phases makes tactics and planning a priority as Heroes once assigned to Questing will be unable to attack or defend. Thus if you put too much focus on questing you could find yourself overwhelmed by enemies. On the other hand if you focus on fighting enemies in the staging area too much you will be unable to make progress on the Quests. All the while trying to work achieve your objectives before your threat level gets too high and you are removed from the game.
Unlike many Deck Building games like Magic: The Gathering or Pokemon; Lord of the Rings LCG puts out monthly 60 card expansions which contain new quests to play through as well as new Heroes, Allies, Attachments, and Events to expand your deck with as well as bring new challenges. This method of expansions removes the need to buy blind packs looking for certain cards. There are also Deluxe expansions that contain 165 new cards and are the building block for each new series of stories that are told through monthly Adventure Packs.
Many of the games expansions take place in Tolkien’s Middle Earth during the time between Bilbo’s 111th birthday until Frodo leaves the Shire with the ring. They have also released the Saga series of expansions that allow you to play through the events in both the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings. If you are a fan of Tolkien’s Middle Earth this game does a wonderful job of bringing known events and new ones to life in a challenging way with a very high replay ability.
Fantasy Flight Games also offers a number of other Living Card Games. If Lord of the Rings does not interest you maybe Call of Cthulhu, Netrunner, Game of Thrones, Star Wars, Warhammer Invasion, or Warhammer 40K Conquest will fill your deck building needs!