The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, by Fantasy Flight Games, is a cooperative, card game where teams of heroes from The Lord of the Rings lore take on the Dark Lord and his influences, represented by encounter cards. The goal of the game is to complete all of the stages in a scenario before players lose all their heroes or the threat becomes too great.

“In The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, you have taken part in adventures spanning across Middle-earth, from the scorching deserts of Harad to the seaport of the Grey Havens, from the streets of Minas Tirith to the wilds of Rhovanion, and along the way you have battled all manner of monsters, and even the host of Mordor itself. But now, for the first time, the power is in your hands to create your own story and define your own journey.” [source]

Unlike the other adventure packs, which provide a linear quest, The Wizard’s Quest and The Woodland Realm custom scenarios allow players to craft their own adventures. These sets are also compatible with each other and can be combined for more options or played on their own. Each Custom Scenario Kit comes with seven quest cards which can be used to shape the narrative of the adventure, and guide which encounter cards fit the story. Once the quests are setup, players can choose between a Quick-build (allowing adventure construction in minutes), or Advanced-build (which allows greater customization).

In a 2-player game, players can play against each other’s scenarios in a competitive, solo challenge called Race Against the Shadow. Alternatively, you can do the same challenge in a 4-player game in teams of two.

The scenarios were originally available at the Gen Con 2018 and Fellowship 2018 events but will soon be available at retail.

Related: The Dice Tower videos featuring The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

Following the announcement that Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) is ending Android: Netrunner The Card Game, fans of the other Living Card Games (LCG) produced by FFG may have some concerns.  Fantasy Flight released a blog post on the topic in order to provide additional perspective.

The post is primarily a ‘Question & Answer’ style format.  FFG Head of Studio, Andrew Navaro, and Card Game Manager, Mercedes Opheim, provide their thoughts on LCGs in general, current production approaches, and how things are evolving going forward.  Developers for games like Legend of the Five Rings: The Card Game, Arkham Horror: The Card Game and The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, weigh in on their respective games with thoughts on how the past year progressed, current challenges for each game, and what to expect in the upcoming year.

You can read the entire blog post here.

Every year Fantasy Flight Games creates a special event for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, and this year is no different. At Gen Con 2018 you’ll be able to create your own adventure though iconic locations in The Wizard’s Quest special event. You’ll build your own custom scenario as you journey through Mirkwood and encounter familiar cards with new and unexpected abilities.

You can register ($20 charge) for The Wizard’s Quest at Gen Con 2018 but you need to hurry as 2 of the 3 sessions are already sold out and seats are limited.

Caleb Grace, developer of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game:

“Have you ever thought about creating your own custom scenario for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game? If you have, then you’re in luck because this year’s Gen Con special event, The Wizard’s Quest, is a build-your-own-adventure kit for fans of the game! It comes with everything you need to create your own quest deck and encounter deck.

Each copy of The Wizard’s Quest comes with seven quest cards: one Stage 1, three different Stage 2 options, and three different stage 3 cards. Each player builds their own quest deck by choosing one Stage 2 and one Stage 3 to go with Stage 1. The quest stages that a player chooses will shape the narrative of their entire adventure and help them choose which encounter cards to include in their encounter deck.” [source]

The Wizard’s Quest includes seventy encounter cards split into fourteen different encounter sets of five cards each. There’s a mix of treachery, enemies, and location cards in each encounter set so by combining seven sets you can create your own encounter deck of thirty-five cards. There’s also a cost to each encounter card so once you’ve created your encounter deck you would check that the total cost is not more than twenty-one points … unless you enjoy beat-downs from your enemies.

In a competitive environment, players can create encounter decks to challenge other players and see who can finish each other’s deck first. Many of the encounter cards were created to support this race format.

If you’re unable to participate in the special event at Gen Con you’ll be able to obtain The Wizard’s Quest, along with the Fellowship 2018 scenario, when it’s released at a later date.

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.

sands of harad cards

Set to be release in the 4th quarter of 2016, Fantasy Flight Games has announced The Sands of Harad, the sixth deluxe expansion to the popular The Lord Of The Rings: The Card Game. As with each of the previous deluxe expansions, The Sands of Harad transports the player to a new and dangerous land within Middle-Earth: the Harad desert. Located in the southern region of Middle-Earth, the “endless, shifting dunes” of the Harad desert will force players to make unlikely alliances as you battle Haradrim and ferocious desert creatures.

“Set immediately after the events of The Grey Havens and the Dream-chaser cycle,” The Sands of Harad gives player 3 challenges to complete: first, you must escape Umbar. Upon escaping, players enter the desert and must survive all its perils. Not only the large, dangerous creatures that roam, but the desert itself must be defeated, as a new temperature mechanic is introduced which will force players to balance the perils of nature and beast. As a reward for that daunting task, players must face down a band of fierce Haradrim warriors, leading to a “climactic confrontation with the Dark Lord’s minions.”

There is also a special, extremely powerful side quest that could change the complexion of any game by allowing players “to play your first ally each turn without requiring a resource match.”

To read more please visit The Sands of Harad official announcement page and be sure to keep an eye out in Q4 of 2016 for its release.

flame of the west

Fantasy Flight Games is set to release a fifth Saga Expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. The Flame of the West adds three new adventures that will allow you to experience exciting events from The Return of the King.  There are new hero and player cards, new tactics, and new scenario cards that will tie in wonderfully with previous expansions in Campaign Mode.

flame of the west cards

The Battle of the Pelennor Fields scenario will take you from the siege of Minas Tirith through to the titular battle, perhaps the high point of the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy.  Developer Caleb Grace explains that, “we wanted to make this quest the most epic scenario in the game.  And we also wanted it to serve as the culmination of several other scenarios in Campaign Mode.”  The scenario plays out as closely as possible to the story in The Return of the King, even requiring you to set Aragorn out of play because the siege of Minas Tirith begins while he is on his way to Pelargir!

Whether you have all of the Saga Expansions or just the Core Set of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, The Flame of the West sounds like a must-have addition to your collection.  For more information about The Flame of the West, click here.


treason of saruman

Will you sit idle and feeble, spellbound to inaction by evil counsel? Or will you ride to war? Now is the time to act.

Fantasy Flight Games announces the release of the latest boxed saga expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, The Treason of Saruman.  This expansion includes three new scenarios that take players on a journey through the first half of Tolkien’s epic novel, The Two Towers.  These scenarios can be played individually, or as part of the ongoing campaign that began with the saga expansion The Black Riders.


Three new heroes are also included in this expansion, including a Fellowship sphere version of Aragorn.  Additionally, the expansion includes thirty-three new player cards including new allies, events and attachments to each sphere.  The popular Mount trait introduced in the Foundations of Stone expansion is continued with the inclusion of Shadowfax and Arod, the famous horses belonging to Gandalf and Legolas, respectively.

In The Treason of Saruman, players can enlist the aid of the ents, powerful allies that are not easy to recruit.  The scenarios culminate in an encounter with Saruman himself, armed with the Saruman’s Staff artifact card and his innate Wizardry effect.  Even if Saruman is defeated, his foul stench may remain with the players as they continue on their quest with the Saruman’s Voice treachery card.

This new saga expansion is currently available, and one can learn much more about the details of this new release on FFG’s website here.

treason of saruman

In a recent news letter Fantasy Flight Games announced The Treason of Saruman. The Treason of Saruman is a new saga expansion for The Lord of the Rings LCG. This set comes with 165 new cards and three new scenarios that will let you immerse yourself within the world of LOTR (specifically the first half of The Two Towers book).

The Fellowship is broken. Of the Nine Walkers that set forth from Rivendell, two have fallen, two have been captured, and two have disappeared, including Frodo Baggins, the Ring-bearer, on whom rest all the hopes of Middle-earth. Still, three remain, three who draw breath and can still draw arms. Led by Aragorn, son of Arathorn, the rightful heir of Gondor, they must do what good they can, even if they must do it without hope…

With each expansion one of the main things people look forward to is the new hero(s). In this expansion a Fellowship sphere Aragorn will be your hero. He will have an action: Spend 2 resources from Aragorn’s resource pool to ready a hero. At first glance that seems like a good action since having heroes ready for blocking and/or fighting is important in this game. There is one caveat with Aragorn though, if he ever leaves play the players lose the game!

treason of saruman cards

A new hero is great but what about the enemy? Who will be the main villain the heroes will have to face in battle? Well, non other than Saruman, of course!

…even a leader so noble as Aragorn is no match for Saruman and all the armies and wizardry he has secretly assembled within the towering walls of Isengard. You will need every hero and every ally you can assemble in order to confront the Uruk-hai, Dunlendings, and enchantments commanded by the former head of the White Council.

This game is well known for its unwavering difficulty and this expansion proves to be just as difficult and hopeless! Who would have thought that I would be so excited by the prospect of being totally defeated by a game?

“We must do without hope,” he said. “At least we may yet be avenged. Let us gird ourselves and weep no more! Come! We have a long road, and much to do.”
–J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

Expect the game in the first quarter of 2015. For more on the game click here.

nightmare decks

Fantasy Flight Games has announced three new nightmare packs for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game available through their print on demand service.

Nightmare Decks for  The Redhorn GateRoad to Rivendell, and The Watcher in the Water allow you to revisit the first three scenarios from the Dwarrowdelf cycle, but recast this time amid the deadly enemies, locations, and treacheries of the game’s Nightmare Mode.

nightmare cards

The Lord of the Rings – Print on Demand scenarios are challenging standalone scenarios for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game that originally ran as special events at Gen Con Indy. They immerse 1-4 players in the thrills and perils of Middle-earth as their heroes undertake daring quests that pit them against some of the deadliest villains in Middle-earth.

For more details visit FFG’s Website


road darkens

Announced in April, The Road Darkens will add 165 cards to the Lord of The Rings themed living card game from Fantasy Flight Games.  Designed by Caleb Grace and Nate French, this is the second expansion for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game.


This preview features one of the developers, Grace, as he introduces us to the new hero card.  Caleb states, “there were many heroes that we could have chosen for this box, but the most exciting option was always Gandalf. We knew we wanted to make a hero version of the mighty wizard at some point, and this was the most logical time. I remember being excited when Elrond told Frodo that Gandalf would be a part of the Fellowship in the book.”