Orcs, Trolls, and Other Nasties


Sheer and I took on the baddies in this week’s session, as we tried out The Lord of The Rings: The Card Game. This is a solitaire or cooperative game – you have to beat the system – where your heroic party is set a quest. On the quest, the constructed encounter deck throws up locations, nasty events, and even nastier monsters. Look out for that Hill Troll! The player or players (maximum of two) choose their starting heroes, and construct their own deck. The more powerful the hero, the higher your Threat score. When this rises to 50, you lose. The forces of evil inflict such damage if you do not handle them well.

In a previous session we had won the first quest, so tried out the second. I think the rules rate the first quest as being level 1 (on a rising scale from 1-10) and the second one as level 4. There is a third quest in the game rated as a 7…

In short, we tried this out twice and were beaten up both times. Given that it is a solitaire style game, that is probably right. It is no fun if it is too easy to win. And the challenge is designing the deck and combinations that can get you the win. There is, therefore, work to do.

The production standards are excellent. The cards are high quality, and the illustrations match that standard. The rules are quite good, with only a couple of minor issues. The system is fun, with some neat ideas. The Threat mechanic is especially cool, giving a real sense of the ticking clock and urgency. Sure, there’s an element of luck, but it is not overdone.

There’s a good amount of replayability in the box, and we will probably go back to the drawing board and try our luck again. I have the first set of expansions for added fun.

Thanks to Sheer for being my fellow traveler on the quest.