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Lord of the Rings: The Hunt for Gollum

The Hunt for Gollum

The Hunt for Gollum

The Hunt for Gollum is the first adventure pack in the Shadows of Mirkwood series for the base game The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. As with all of these adventure packs, it includes a new hero, extra player cards and a new scenario replete with enemies, locations and treachery cards for the players to face.

The scenario is a fairly decent one, albeit not one of the best. Rated difficulty 4, it’s comparable to the “Journey Down The Anduin” scenario from the core set. Where this adventure improves on those in the core set, is that it does a decent job of adjusting itself to the number of players, with a lot of cards relying on the number of players or allies in the game. In general, the enemy deck is fairly location heavy, which means there is relatively little fighting here, and no particularly large enemies to face.

As to the player cards, unfortunately this aspect of this adventure pack is fairly weak. The hero card, Bilbo Baggins, is fairly ‘expensive’ for his ability, although he suits players who like to play the game solo. There is the first of many ‘song’ cards here, which allow players to cheaply earn specific resources, as well as the first of a number of ‘mark’ cards, which adjust heroes’ stats. However, there are also a couple of cards here which only show their true worth once you’ve bought some more of the adventure packs. If you aren’t set on playing these adventures in the order in which they were released, it might make sense to take one of the later releases first, or at least to buy more than one at once.

Overall if you enjoyed the main game and want to breath some new life into it, this is a reasonable little adventure, not too challenging, yet satisfying at the same time. It’s not one of the most exciting scenarios, but it scales well, so makes playing solo or with 4 players equally challenging. Unfortunately, some of the player cards only prove their worth later, so if it doesn’t bother you to play out of order, and you only want to buy one, it would be worth picking up one of the later adventure packs first.

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game

Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game

Dieser Eintrag ist auch auf Deutsch verfügbar.

If you’re interested in cooperative games, Lord of the Rings: LCG is an involving card-based game designed for 2 players, but also playable solo or with up to four. This core set includes all you need for two players to get started, with three adventures of increasing difficulty for the players to overcome. The term ‘living card game’ basically means that the story continues in various expansion sets, so this game has plenty of longevity if you enjoy it.

For those not familiar with this type of game, the fundamentals are fairly simple. Each player chooses up to 3 heroes to play with from a selection, and builds themselves a deck out of the appropriate cards (preset decks are suggested for the first time out). During the game, the heroes generate ‘resources’ with which to pay for bringing cards from their decks into the game, such as extra allies to fight with, weapons and armour for their heroes, or beneficial event cards. Meanwhile, the adventure also comprises a deck of cards, which contains enemies for the heroes to fight, locations for them to explore, and nasty events which can bring tears to their eyes. In each round, players may gain resources, pay for cards from their hands, tackle the adventure, travel to a new location, parry attacks from enemies, and retaliate.

Der Herr der Ringe: Das Kartenspiel

Der Herr der Ringe: Das Kartenspiel

Der Herr der Ringe: Das Kartenspiel

This post is also available in English.

Wenn man sich für kooperative Spiele interessiert, bietet das kartenbasierte Der Herr der Ringe: Das Kartenspiel ein bestechendes Erlebnis für zwei Spieler, welches sich auch allein oder zu viert spielen lässt. Im diesem Grundspiel findet man alles nötige, um sich zu zweit durch drei Abenteuer steigender Schwierigkeiten durchkämpfen zu können. Im Grunde genommen heißt die Bezeichnung „Living Card Game“, dass die Geschichte durch eine Vielzahl an Erweiterungspaketen fortgeführt wird, und somit bietet das Spiel einen anhaltenden Spielspaß.

Auch für die, die mit dieser Art von Spiel nicht vertraut sind, bleiben die Grundlagen relativ einfach. Jeder Spieler wählt von einer Auswahl bis zu drei Helden aus, und stellt sich aus den dazugehörigen Karten ein Deck zusammen, mit dem er spielen möchte. Eine Anzahl vorgefertigter Decks sind für das erste Spiel empfohlen. Während des Spiels erzeugen die Helden Ressourcen, anhand von denen man die weiteren Karten ins Spiel bringen kann. Diese bestehen aus Kampfeinheiten, Waffen und Ausrüstungsteilen für die Helden, sowie nützliche Ereigniskarten. Dagegen verfügt das Abenteuer selbst über ein eigenes Deck, welches die Hindernisse und Gefahren für die Spieler darstellen: Feindliche Truppen zu bekämpfen, Ortschaften zu erkunden, sowie fiese Ereigniskarten, die den Spielern teilweise Tränen in die Augen treiben. Jede Runde darf der Spieler Ressourcen erzeugen, damit Karten aus seiner Hand ausspielen, sich dem Abenteuer stellen, zu einem neuen Ort reisen, die Angriffe des Feindes wehren und deren Truppen auch selber angreifen.

Power Grid

Power Grid is a simple, business game for two to six players, in which participants compete to buy power plants, the fuels to run them, and then build networks to sell their generated electricity over. In turn, the profits from electricity sales are used to build newer, improved plants, supplying more electricity, stockpile resources, earning greater profits, with a winner eventually determined on who supplies the most consumers.

The gaming elements are simple enough that the rule booklet, which is clearly written, can be read through and understood virtually in its entirety immediately before play. Each turn of the game runs through four phases. Firstly, power plants are bought at auction, each player proffering an available plant in turn, with the plant going to the highest bidder. Purchased plants are replaced from a visible ‘futures market’, allowing players to plan ahead with their bids. The second stage involves buying raw materials from the market. Each plant produces energy from one of five sources: coal, oil, garbage, nuclear or renewable. The latter plants require no raw materials at all and are oft hardest fought over at auction. The other fuels become increasingly expensive as supply dwindles, forcing players to either diversify their sources, or stockpile for future shortages. The third phase has players building an electricity network to supply power to their consumers. The network costs are based on proximity, and as players can only initially build in unoccupied cities, good initial placement can be a crucial factor. The final phase of the game is called the ‘bureaucracy’ phase, dealing with the supply of electricity (and thus generating profits), and various bits of setup to keep the game flowing.

Playing the Game

Risk

It’s about coming up to another one of those birthday events soon, the kind where you get together with a few close friends, have a meal, a few beers, perhaps watch a movie, before whiling away the rest of evening playing a board game. And as it’s in the UK, you only need a few guesses before you’ll stumble upon which game that will be.

Now I don’t claim to be any kind of expert in the field of board games, but that serious lack of diversity in most UK households makes most games evenings feel like you’re stuck in the same old rut again. Take a look at Wikipedia’s list of popular games, and you might see what I mean. Ignoring those that aren’t easily or commonly played in groups, there’s Cluedo, Monopoly, Risk, and Trivial Pursuit. And let’s face it, if a household has anything, it’s probably one of those. Of course, there’s plenty of fun to be had there, but to be honest there just isn’t enough variety in what’s usually available.

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