Tag Archives: legacy

Lord of the Rings LCG Digital on Steam in August

The digital version of The Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game now has a launch date – it will be available in Early Access on August 28 this year.

Since I heard about this digital version, I have been eagerly following its development, watching the twitch stream of playthroughs and paying attention to the changes and tweaks as hey have evolved. This is more than I would usually commit to the promise of a digital version of a much-loved board or card game – frankly I have been deeply invested (emotionally and financially, frankly) in the Lord of the Rings Card Game for the past four years at least.

The LOTR LCG is easily one of my favourite boardgames of all time. Part of this is due to it solving many of my persistent complaints about Magic the Gathering – by being both co-operative and a Living Card Game.

The Living Card Game (LCG) model, which was pioneered by Fantasy Flight Games, provides a fixed distribution approach in contrast to the traditional Collectible Card Game model. Instead of the blind purchase of randomly arranged ‘booster packs’ that is the norm for games like Magic the Gathering and Pokemon, the expansions for LCGs always contain the same cards, and are always known in advance. Not only do you know what you’re getting, but the fixed format means that every player has equal access – more or less – to every card needed to optimise their deck.

That means no secondary market in expensive or unavailable rares/ultra-rares, no bidding or chasing promos, no ‘pay to win’ game experience. Instead, the LCG model provides a complete and self-contained game experience, with expansion packs that you can purchase at your convenience at an easily affordable price. The depth of your involvement is up to you, and there is enough content available now to ensure the game is immersive and endlessly replayable, while still providing a memorable gaming experience for casual players.

The fact that the LOTR LCG was co-operative also means that it doesn’t present the same barriers to entry that Magic presents. I get all of the stimulation from the analysis that goes into complex deck-building, but knowing that bomb deck is going to increase the chances of people playing with me again, not the reverse.

There’s little surprise that I have been eagerly awaiting the drop of the The Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game on Steam, and today we find out that it will enter into Early Access at the end of August, and will arrive with the Adventures in Mirkwood campaign, a core set of starter cards and an set of 21 unlockable cards. Early Access will last about 3 to 5 months, and the game will be released as a free-to-play title after that, with a robust schedule of updates to follow. Co-op play has been identified as a major feature that FFI are scheduled to implement by full release, but the Early Access will only accommodate  single-player.

To be honest, from what I have seen to date, the digital version shares the artwork and basic mechanics of the tabletop version, but little else. It seems to be an entirely distinct product more akin to Hearthstone than to the card game itself. This is coupled with my general skepticism of free-to-play games, which tend to end up costing a lot more to play in the long run. But I’m open-minded here, and ultimately I’m looking forward to testing it out during early access.

I’m pleased that Fantasy Flight Interactive have made so much effort to getting the game right, to responding to feedback and to meet the needs and requests of fans of the LCG. This is the newly launched FFI’s first-ever title, and their commitment to community engagement bodes very well indeed.

You can register for Early Access on Steam here.

If you’re interested in getting into the tabletop card game, you can check out the deals at OzGameShop, including discounted expansions. Delivery is free for orders over $50, and purchases via this link support the House of Nerdery. Just saying.

Gloomhaven: The Strange Case of the Exploding Cultists

In our third Gloom Platoon installment, the party investigate a location along the Still River, which we discovered on a scroll in an bandit’s lair. Characters are leveled up, and I discuss some of the card pool choices for Level 2.

We uncover the ruins of an ancient crypt, half-covered by moss and ivy. We discover some bandits and more animated dead inside…

Wait, who are these cultists, and why are they exploding?

Spoilers within.

Gloomhaven: Discover the Grisly Truth of the Barrow Lair

This is the second scenario in my Gloomhaven solo campaign playthrough on Twitch. For something different (and for a video length that is watchable, at least), I’ve sped up the video of the original stream, and tried to live commentate what was happening. The result is mixed, quite frankly, and it is something that I’m clearly going to need to practice. That is, if I decide to do it again.

Also, the ‘background music’ isn’t.

Anyway, I hope you get at least a flavour of the gameplay from the video.

It was a great scenario, and while I missed the treasure chest and only completed one of three battle goals, I felt like I did a pretty good job. Specifically, kiting out of range of the lumbering melee enemies, and using both the Spellweaver’s and the Tinkerer’s summons to tank damage, block doorways and do ranged damage.

Once again, only Mason the Tinkerer remained unexhausted at the end of the battle, but the other two went out with poise and purpose.

There are a handful of rules mistakes – most of which I caught during the game, but some that snuck through. Bonus points if you can identify those.

Spoilers inside. Enjoy!

Gloomhaven: Introducing the Gloom Platoon

These are the first two videos from my Gloomhaven solo campaign playthrough on Twitch. After spending several weeks playing around with filming set-ups, I ended up just downloading Tabletop Simulator, and aside from my awkward navigation, I think this format will work fine.

There isn’t a huge volume of boardgames being played on Twitch, and I think that’s a shame given the relevance of the platform for gamers generally. In a small way, I’m hoping to help ‘grow the pie’, so to speak.

Feedback & tips welcome. Rules corrections are … inevitable.

If you’re interested, please follow me at: https://www.twitch.tv/stratplay1