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General advice for novices having difficulty


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#1
FensTheSpook

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Hello All,

First, thanks in advance for any help offered!

This is my first post on these boards so I suppose it's my introduction as well as my first question. Briefly, I have been a casual MTG player for years and an active PC gamer as well. Recently my wife and I have gotten into LCG's and tabletop gaming and have been enjoying it immensely. I have never posted on here before because, frankly I didn't need to. I just used the site as a database for Call of Cthulhu. My wife recently picked up LOTR and we spent a few days reading the rules, on youtube with "Watch it played", playing some trial rounds etc so we had at least a decent grasp of the rules before we started.

We have played 3 games so far (I have played one solo game) and we have yet to be successful at the first quest. Go ahead and laugh it up :lol: An MTG player getting schooled by LCG's! Alas it is true.... I want to be clear though, I am not complaining! This game is really fun, and the challenge keeps pulling us back in. I know when we finally get it, it'll be a great feeling and I can't wait to do more quests! So while we are getting our lunches served to us by the game, we are both still eager to get back in and try again.

What I need help with is some general tactics and advice for the game. My MTG tactics have let me down badly here, the most obvious example being that defending requires an exhaust. This throws me off tremendously and I am still getting used to it. In all games played we've been using the Leadership and Spirit decks from the core set. We do have some adventure packs, but I'd like to do the core set with just the cards it came with if possible. We also use Shadow cards but honestly those haven't really been what's causing us trouble.I know that without me giving a long rundown of our game it isn't possible for personalized help, but here are some of the general issues we're facing.

-- Being overrun by enemies. If more than 1 or 2 enemies comes out it starts to becoming overwhelming quickly. My wife is primarily using most of her heroes for their willpower in questing and leaving one behind as a defender (the one with 2 defense), they aren't much good at combat anyway so I don't try to advise her otherwise. I usually do the Aragorn/Theoden trick for questing and so have Aragorn and Gloin left over. The first turn isn't usually an issue, I block a spider or something and deal it 2 or 3 damage with Aragorn, and she blocks the attack but doesn't have anything to attack back with. The problem now is...Aragorn doesn't kill much with one shot. So usually the first turn ends with one or two enemies being injured but not dead. Then the next turn starts....and 1 or 2 more enemies come out. Etc etc etc. Allys are being used as blockers and dying as quickly as they are called out, and it seems like an unending tide. This is primarily what we have run into that has ended our games is being overrun by enemies we cannot kill fast enough.

--Using up cards too fast. This is heavily related to the enemy issue, as we seem to have to use up everything we have in our hands just to keep treading water on the second and third turns. Turns 4-6 are when things usually begin to go very badly because we have run out of tricks and now we have a bunch of injured heroes which we cannot use to quest because we are scrambling to keep them as defenders.

I fear we are missing a key concept about this game because it so far seems very heavily stacked against us. You can't leave enemies undefended as they just slam your heroes with full damage. So you can't just quest with everyone, but without questing your threat rises making you more of a target! We almost never have anyone left to attack and when we do, they usually do 2 or 3 damage which isn't enough to kill anything! So we're caught in this cycle of misery and pain ;)...and this is a LEVEL 1 adventure!!

I will cut it off here, even though I have many many more things to ask/discuss, as I have probably already put everyone to sleep with my newbie problems. I am looking forward to participating on these forums in the future and I am excited to take any advice offered and put it to good use learning to conquer this very challenging, but addicting game! In the meantime I will be doing my own homework by browsing old threads with similar themes.

#2
Tiandes

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Abandon the game, it's not for you...

hehe just kdding.

About your concern, from my experience "Questing" was the biggest and more important aspect of the preliminary scenarios, CORE, Mirkwwod cycle and Dwarrodelf Cycle.

What does it mean? Well, you usually can't go wrong with questing instead of doing other stuff.

As for Ennemies stacking up, one of the first strategy was putting allies to use has bait to prevent your heroes from dying. I know it's hard to lose members of your party, but better be an ally then one of your hero.

But, the major aspect is to build decks that complete each other. Meaning that if your wife is all about questing, you should be the one dealing with ennemies. Remember you can always decide to engage a particular ennemy before the Threat check phase.

So you could be the one engaging the majority of the ennemies while your wife quest.

Also, I'll advice you to get a grip on some basic combos, like Sneak Attack (Core) / Gandalf (Core)

Hope it helps a little
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#3
dboeren

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Are you aware that multiple characters can attack together so that you don't have to subtract armor from each individual attack?

Normally I would take from the staging area only what we can kill or at least make good progress on and leave those with a high threat until we are ready to deal with them, are you doing this?

Do you design your decks together? Usually with 2 decks I'd have a quest deck and a fighting deck. With 3, maybe add a support/healing deck. With 4, perhaps add a generalist deck. But if they are made to work together then all decks benefit.

Do you play "greedy" and only play cards on yourself or do you help each other out? Often you can do better playing cards where they are really needed even if that means making another player the "star" of the moment. Remember, you're all in it together.

If you're only using the prebuilt decks, then maybe look at doing some small tweaks? Honestly I have little experience with the Core decks, one of the guys here has a good collection and my decks are built from his cards.

Gloin makes money by getting hurt. So, he makes a good blocker if you can continue to heal him. In one of our recent games we used Gloin this way and made a lot of cash to play cards with.

A lot of little monsters should be doing no damage to you if your def is good enough, either on a hero or ally. But if someone HAS to get clobbered, make it an ally.

As the above post said, questing is important. Remember, this is how you win the game, not by killing stuff. At times it's worth taking some damage just to run to the end of the current quest stage.

If you can play some allies, you wouldn't HAVE to pay to re-ready Aragorn every turn and you could save some money to pay for more permanent items. I think this may be why you find yourselves perpetually "treading water". Take some early lumps if you need to, but spend money on things that will help you for a long time and not just always making interest payments on a character that looks like Aragorn but costs you 10 resources over the course of the game.

It's also possible you're misplaying a rule somewhere.

#4
FensTheSpook

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Thanks so much for the advice guys! I put it to use in a game this evening in fact with my friend who is an experienced gamer as well, he took the Tactics deck. My wife decided not to play a third deck but just "joined" me in playing the Leadership. I took the advice from both of the replies and I can say that we definitely felt more in control with monsters. You were right about me not saving up my guys for group attacks, that is why I was having trouble killing things. So debeoran your advice came in very handy there, and we plan to add the Gandalf cards not being used by the other decks next time. The enemies were falling like flies and with Legolas we were gaining some quest tokens as well!

Unfortunately, then Tiandes's response came into play too. In our past games we have been very quest focused and have found monsters to be the issue. Tonight, we were overcoming monsters no problem with our combat oriented decks, we even dealt with Ungoliant Spawn when it came out! Our willpower however quickly became this new issue. We drew 4 or 5 locations in just a few turns and we quickly became overwhelmed by threat, it was taking all our heroes to just keep the threat in check, and with no enemies for a few turns Legolas wasn't able to advance us via combat. So again we were beaten, this time however was the first time it has been a loss due to threat, and it was quite a learning experience.

I have honestly never played a card or board game with this difficulty level before (and I haven't had to deal with a Hill Troll yet), but I can sense it's completely attainable. Even in defeat we are having fun and you can't say that about too many games. Thanks again for the advice, and please leave anything you can think of : basic advise/combos or advanced help!

#5
Tiandes

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Yeah!

For MtG gamers, it's very easy to lose focus on the questing aspect and be all about combat.

Like I said, a lot of the early scenarios can be played as a "Police pursuit"...

Meaning you can succeed the scenario without having to kill all the ennemies, just by barely questing enough. Usually it was the play style of people early on to get the best score since the number of rounds is the biggest factor in the FFG score system.

By the way, in 2 players game, you should take advantage of "Sentinel" and "Range" abilities from your heroes. Meaning if you are the one questing, you can help your partner, who's dealing with the ennemies, defend with Aragorn.

And, if you only have the core set, you should try to build 2-color decks so you can take advantage of some very powerful cards from all spheres since your cards pool is pretty limited.

Personnaly I found that Tactics/Lore and Leadership/spirit match well but other people find that Leadership/Lore is more appropriate. It's up to you and your play style. For the core set, I like Leadership/Spirit because you can quest for a lot by including Eowyn in your party with Aragorn and Theodred. And adding Beravor (Lore) in the Tactics/Lore deck is great for card drawing to get those awsome atatchments. Plus, by adding the other spheres you get access to a bigger pool of cheap allies to use as bait.

Finally, timing is also very important. For exemple, you should always wait until the last moment ot activate Faramir's ability, so if the Treachery card dealing 1 damage to exhaust characters is revealed Faramir won't get hurt.

#6
FensTheSpook

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Success!!! Leadership and Lore starter decks carried the day and pretty well too! That combo provided everything we needed to get it done....now...on to the Hill Trolls!