Lord of the Rings LCG

The Vengeance of Mordor cycle in The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game started with the deluxe expansion A Shadow in the East. Now the cycle continues with the cycle’s first adventure pack, Wrath and Ruin.

The Vengeance of Mordor story began in A Shadow in the East with your heroes (1) traveling the River Running, (2) investigating a series of abductions in Dorwinion, and (3) entering an ancient temple to save the kidnapped from a cult of Sauron. Now back in Dorwinion, Wrath and Ruin continues the story with the city under attack. An army of Easterlings led by Thane Ulchor has invaded Dorwinion, and mechanically it is up to you to control contested locations to support the city guard and repel the invaders!

To aid you in your plight, you might be able to call upon the mercurial Tom Bombadil for assistance. However, he does not start in your deck. He begins the scenario out of play, and you must play a specific event card to shuffle him into the encounter deck for a chance of gaining his help (more details here).

Wrath and Ruin comes to Dorwinion in the third quarter of 2019.

Fantasy Flight Games has announced the 8th deluxe expansion for Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. A Shadow in the East brings you the normal three scenarios for expansions to the game, along with hobbits and The One Ring. The scenarios have your heroes (1) traveling the River Running, (2) investigating a series of abductions in Dorwinion, and (3) entering an ancient temple to save the kidnapped from a cult of Sauron. A Shadow in the East is the beginning of the Vengeance of Mordor cycle. However, with this many expansions you want to know what is new. A Shadow in the East introduces master cards, contracts, and the first double-sided hero.

In A Shadow in the East, The One Ring card is an attachment you can bestow upon any hero able to hold it. When The One Ring enters play, you may search your deck for a master card and add it to your hand. They provide a powerful effect at the price of increasing your threat (more details here).

“[C]ontracts are never included in a player’s deck and do not count towards a player’s minimum deck size. Instead, each player may choose one contract to put into play along with their heroes at the beginning of the game with its “A” side face up. When certain conditions are met, a contract is then flipped to unlock special abilities.”


The first double-sided hero card in the game is Smeagol. When played you shuffle two cards into your deck that when drawn will flip Smeagol to his Gollum side and cause him to attack you.

A Shadow in the East releases in the third quarter of 2019. For anyone curious about Dorwinion’s place in LOTR lore, it is an agrarian region famous for wine. In the Hobbit, the escape of Bilbo and the Dwarves from the Elvenking is aided when the king’s butler and chief of the guards fall asleep after drinking Dorwinion wine.

Fantasy Flight Announces Event for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

Fantasy Flight Games will be letting players take their fellowship deep into the depths of the ancient halls of the Dwarves in ‘The Mines of Moria,’ a recently announced event at GenCon for its living card game The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game.

In The Mines of Moria, players will be able to play with a new expansion pack of 78 cards that features new quests and encounters, as well as twists on familiar cards with new and unexpected abilities. Using the 7 new quest cards and 14 new encounter decks (consisting of 5 cards each), players will be able to design their own custom adventure for their exploration of Moria. Players have increased flexibility with how they design their scenario, with the quick-build option having players simply select 5 encounter decks or the advanced-build which allows players to select 35 individual encounter cards from the various encounter decks, giving even more options for customization.

Creatures that the players will face include spiders, cave trolls, goblins, The Watcher of the West Gate and others familiar from the novels, as well as new creatures such as savage werewolves.

In addition to the standard cooperative mode, players can also now choose to play competitively, with two or four players competing individually or in teams of two to be the first to overcome their opponent’s designed scenario.

Registration for this GenCon event is live now, with tickets priced at $30 per seat. More information about this event can be found here.

Fantasy Flight Games have announced The Wilds of Rhovanion, the next Deluxe Expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game.

The Lord of the Rings Living Card Game continues to provide adventurers of Middle-Earth with new lands to explore and greater threats to face. 1 to 4 players use heroes from J.R.R Tolkien’s fantasy universe to embark on journeys similar to those found in the novels.

As the shadow of Mordor extends its reach, ever more people are torn from their homes and left without safety or refuge. When you are met with one such band of wanderers, you find yourself honor-bound to deliver them to a new setting where they may finally find peace. But the road is treacherous and fraught with dangers. Will you be able to keep them safe? Who knows what you may encounter over the Edge of the Wild?

In this expansion you accompany a group of refugees, the Haradrim from the previous Adventure Cycle, seeking asylum in the Wilderlands. Three original scenarios take you from the Vales of the Anduin, through Mirkwood Forest, then into the Iron Hills as you explore the vast, untamed country of Rhovanion. Those familiar with Tolkien Lore will remember these settings from the story of The Hobbit. Bard Son of Brand, descendant of the bowman who slew Smaug, is ready to join as a hero to guide you through his homelands. The merchants of Dale also help you master the art of the trade which is focused on your ability to utilize Item attachments.

The expansion comes with 156 cards which includes 2 hero cards, 13 quest cards, 39 player cards, and 102 encounter cards. As is customary for FFG’s Living Card Game format this Deluxe Expansion will be followed by 6 monthly Adventure Packs which build upon the story set forth in this box.

The core set is required in order to play this Deluxe Expansion. Expect to find the Wilds of Rhovanion in stores in the first Quarter of 2018.

Fantasy Flight Games has announced the sixth and final Saga Expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, The Mountain of Fire. This expansion includes three epic scenarios from the climax of The Lord of the Rings. Two of the scenarios have the players controlling Frodo and Sam through Mordor, one in Cirith Ungol and, of course, one at the brink of Mount Doom.

The third scenario revolves around Aragorn’s mission to delay the armies of Sauron at the Black Gate, in an unwinnable battle with the forces of evil. This new expansion can be played as a stand-alone scenario, or as the climax to an epic campaign spanning all of The Lord of the Rings. There is even an Epic Multiplayer Mode where the last two adventures are played simultaneously – one team controlling Aragorn, distracting the armies of Sauron, while another brings Frodo to Mt Doom to destroy the one ring.

The Mountain of Fire is due to be released Q3 2017. You can read more details about this climactic expansion here.

ffg lotr

In the second of a series of articles, Fantasy Flight Games designer Matthew Newman discusses the design and game elements in the second scenario of the Angmar Awakened cycle of the Lord of the Rings Living Card Game. The Lost Realm deluxe expansion and the scenarios of the Angmar Awakened cycle explore the north of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth which encompasses Eriador and the lands that once belonged to the Kingdom of Arnor, the sister kingdom of Gondor, established by Elendil and Isildur in the lands between the Misty Mountains and the Blue Mountains, before the kingdom declined and was destroyed by the Witch-King of Angmar. A land of desolate moors, mountains, trolls, orcs and wargs, and considered by the inhabitants of the Shire and Bree to be haunted, it is a natural setting for the LOTR LCG to explore.

Mount Gram, at the northern end of the Misty Mountains is an orc stronghold mentioned in the Appendices to the LOTR and in The Hobbit. Newman, in using this location, has designed a game based on ‘prison break’ video game sequences in card form. At the beginning of the scenario, you have been captured by orcs and taken to the Mt. Gram dungeons. You task is to escape. Sounds easy, but wait; you get no allies, items, mounts or artifacts at the beginning of the game. They are all shuffled into a separate ‘Captured Deck’ and cannot be used until liberated. In addition, you get only one hero to start. Any other heroes are included in the Captured Deck—one on top, any others shuffled in with the rest of the cards. And, in a multiplayer game, each player starts as if they are playing solo, with their own staging area to struggle against, unable to help each other. So, you are all alone with one hero and only a deck of skills, events, songs and condition cards to draw from.
If this seems daunting, there is a silver lining. Many of the encounter deck cards have the “Capture X” keyword. This allows you add X cards underneath the encounter card. Defeating an enemy or exploring a location with the Capture keyword lets you take the cards and place them in your hand—with certain events, you can even put them into play immediately.
Newman says that one of fun, but tense, aspects of the game will be balancing your actions with only one hero available. This can be daunting, but starting with only one hero means that you start with a very low threat level. Starting at this level can makes it possible to reserve your strength for combat rather than exhausting during the quest phase—the increase in the threat level is still low enough that the player is not in immediate danger of triggering disaster if they take some damage during the quest phase.
Ultimately “through clever action and risk management—and the skilled use of events—you must recover your allies and equipment and meet up with the other players”, at which point the real prison break is underway, and the difficulty increases as the players seek final escape from Mt. Gram. All in all, this promises to be a tense, but exciting addition to the LOTR LCG storyline and scenarios.

Escape from Mt Gram is available for pre-order. The complete article is available here.

land of shadow

“We hates them, precious.” Caleb Grace discusses some of the unique elements included in ‘The Land of Shadow’, the next installment in the Saga Expansions of Fantasy Flight’s Lord of the Rings Living Card Game series. ‘The Land of Shadow’ is the fourth in the series—beginning with The Black Riders—that allows players to follow the characters of LOTR through the story arc of the novel.

‘The Land of Shadow’ follows Frodo and Sam after the breaking of the fellowship on Parth Galen, as described in the second book of The Two Towers, as they try to find a way into Mordor to destroy the One Ring. The game’s three scenarios will take Frodo and Sam into Mordor in the company of Gollum/Smeagol.


Grace introduces a unique new element into the LCG, using a two-sided card to represent the two sides of Gollum/Smeagol’s character. In this expansion, he is both an Enemy and and Objective-Ally. As an enemy under the influence of the ring, he will attack the first player. Gollum is a difficult and determined enemy, who will get defensive benefits in the beginning of the game, so played should not be fooled into thinking he will be easily defeated! If defeated, the card is flipped over to the Smeagol side and he becomes an ally. An unsuccessful quest causes Smeagol to revert to Gollum, starting the cycle over again.

Having Smeagol is critical, however. Smeagol has to be an ally for the players to clear certain locations and move the quest along. He is an unpredicatable ally. The expansion includes the ‘We Hates Them’ card which immediately flips Smeagol to Gollum, or allows him to attack immediately if he already on the Gollum side. The players have one advantage; the can use the One Ring to cancel the effects of ‘We Hates Them’ at the cost of 1 resource and the exhaustion of the One Ring.

This promises to be an exciting addition to the Saga Expansions, introducing a new level of uncertainty, and really capturing the spirit of the novel in the interaction of Frodo, Sam, and Gollum/Smeagol, as they move along the borders of Mordor. This is addition to the new characters, actions and equipment traditional associated with LOTR LCG expansions. Fantasy Flight states that ‘The Land of Shadows’ is already shipping.

Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) is known for popularizing the Living Card Game (LCG) format. With this, instead of the endless buying and collecting of cards to make your playing decks up to date, players now choose to buy a stable release of cards that are not randomized. You buy the same pack as someone else, you both have exactly the same cards, no rare cards to chase.

One of the first series in this format was Lord of the Rings (LotR) based on the books by JRR Tolkien. What set this LCG apart is that it was the first and I think only co-operative LCG. You do not compete against your fellow player(s), instead by yourself or with others try to defeat a “Villain” deck. If you cannot tell, I am a huge fan of this game. I think you would be to if you like high fantasy, cooperative games, card games in general and don’t mind buying a product 6-8 times a year to keep up with new content.

Speaking of content, FFG initially decided to have Organized Play for this co-op game which would reward participants with a “Nightmare” mode version of previously released content. This idea became very popular and so they used their in-house printer to produce Print on Demand (POD) Nightmare decks that you could directly buy from their site (and some retailers). Well, the Organized Play did not last, because this is a co-op game, but the releasing of Nightmare decks for older content still thrives.

On their website, FFG has just announced that the last 3 adventure packs for their third cycle of content called Against the Shadow now have Nightmare forms available. As for every Nightmare deck, owning the original pack is required because the Nightmare deck will instruct the player which cards to take out of the original pack and which to replace with Nightmare cards to make the experience both new and much more challanging.

Each cycle of six adventure packs has an ongoing theme. The Against the Shadow cycle has your Heroes delving into the intrigue and treachery prevalent in Gondor in the timeperiod of the LCG which is in-between Gandalf leaving Frodo and the Shire behind after Bilbo’s party and exit but before the Ringwraiths leave to find the Ring. After securing Minas Tirith, it is now time to go deeper in to Modor itself with these last three decks of the cycle:


1) Assault on Osgilath
In the original release, players must secure all locations (a type of “Villain” card) in play and hold each during the course of the game. In Nightmare mode, a new location is added that can only be traveled to under very specific conditions. On top of that new Enemy cards have been added that are much tougher to defeat than the original counterparts. It took many tries for me to defeat this Adventure the first time around, I can only imagine how challenging now. But, see this is ok because my player decks have improved over time with newer products, so I think I am prepared for the challenge!


2)The Blood of Gondor
The “trick” to this Adventure pack originally were these “hidden” cards that were revealed when certain conditions were met. This unknown threat really made you second guess your long term strategy because you had to take into account this randomness. Every Adventure pack brings its own challenge. Now in Nightmare mode, some of the cards are even more powerful if flipped over as a hidden card then when encountered normally.  The amount you need to prepare for this unknown will be even greater, so the need to be smart with your resources will be even greater. Think of it as being forced to prepare for an ambush, you know it is coming, you just don’t know when and how hard.


3)The Morgul Vale
I really liked playing this scenario the first go around. This time you had to defeat three distinct Captain enemies (each with their own tactics to defeat) on you way to rescue Faramir. A sense of urgency really came out in this one. Nightmare mode will have these Captains harder, mostly by making it take more time to defeat them which allows the “timer” more time to run out, i.e. the time it takes Faramir’s captors to make it to the Dark Lord. If that isn’t enough, the location themselves have been beefed up as well. Maybe Faramir will appreciate my efforts even more this time around!

Remember, if you are interested in the Lord of the Rings LCG, you must start with the core box. I hope you do, with these Nightmares on the loose, sounds like the good guys need as much help as they can get!

Fantasy Flight Games is keeping the pressure up on the wallets of Living Card Game and RPG fans with a “flight” of new releases in March. Android Netrunner, Star Wars LCG, Warhammer 40K: Conquest and Lord of the Rings LCG are all getting fresh cards to expand players strategic deck building choices while new RPG resources are coming both for Dark Heresy 2nd Edition and Descent 2nd Edition. ACD Distribution has the scoop and you can read about it in more detail here.

Let’s take a look:

breaker bay

Android Netrunner LCG: Breaker Bay

Breaker Bay continues and extends a Data Pack cycle exploring the “SanSan” region of the Android world. In particular, the University of the Californias at Breaker Bay and its students. The Data Pack offers new resources, programs and operations for both runners and the megacorps looking for new deck options.

jump to lightspeed

Star Wars LCG: Jump to Lightspeed

Jump to Lightspeed finishes up a cycle of Force Packs exploring the famous Rogue Squadron from the Star Wars Universe. True to the old adage of saving the best for last, this Force Pack includes none other than Han Solo and the Millennium Falcon. Enterprising Rebel commanders and Imperial operatives will both find plenty of ammunition for galactic conflict and enhanced deck construction.


Warhammer 40,000: Conquest LCG: Descendants of Isha

Descendants of Isha is the last War Pack in an extended cycle exploring Warlords and other leaders of various factions in the Warhammer 40,000 universe. This time the subject is Eldar, aka Space Elves. Long ago the entire race descended into the darkest hedonism, eventually splitting into the good Eldar and the super-bad Dark Eldar. Descendants of Isha offers up 2 new warlords, one to try to help lead each of these armies to deck domination.


lost realmLord of the Rings LCG: The Lost Realm Deluxe Expansion

A big box expansion, The Lost Realm offers a whopping 165 cards to help flesh out the regions relating to the wilds of the North. The expansion includes 2 new Dúnedain heroes along with a host of allies. The expansion also focuses on player cards that reward players for engaging enemies, along with 9 new encounter sets and 3 new scenarios.

dark heresy

Dark Heresy Second Edition: Enemies Within

In the Warhammer 40K universe, the Empire of Man has always been obsessed with rooting out corruption. Enemies Within (not affiliated with the Rush song) offers up new backgrounds, talents and roles to help the Ordo Herticus do the job right. New rules are included for Sister of Battle operatives as well as new and improved heretic-conflagrating weapons. Game Masters receive additional cult-related adventures and cult/plot generators.

heirs of blood

Descent 2nd Edition: Heirs of Blood Campaign Book

There’s always more to do in Terrinoth! Heirs of Blood “descends” your quest to a whole new level with a sweeping completely new adventure, 32 new econouters and quest outcomes with drastic consequences as players defend the heir to Saradyn and face the infernal forces of the Overlord (who’s not really that bad of a guy, honest).

Again, for more info check out the ACD Distribution newsletter.

dunland trap

Fantasy Flight Games has released the first adventure pack in the Ring-maker cycle.

dunland trap cards

This scenario begins an epic narrative that follows immediately upon the events of The Voice of Isengard deluxe expansion. Advised by the White Wizard Saruman, several of Middle-earth’s greatest heroes set forth from the Vale of Isen to locate Celebrimbor’s hidden forge and safeguard any secrets it may hold. It is Saruman’s hope that its secrets will help the White Council resist the growing might of Mordor, and it is his fear that should they fall into enemy hands they would further add to the Dark Lord’s power. Still, the Dark Lord isn’t the only enemy the heroes need to consider. The wild men of Dunland are ferocious warriors in their own right, and when your heroes fall into their trap, you’ll need to summon all your strength to survive the ensuing battle!