By Buz H.– January 3, 2013
I don’t know if you are religious or not (I am), but one verse from Jeremiah always stands out to me. In the Official Hannon Paraphrase, it would be something like: “The human heart is deceitful and wicked among all things; who can know it?”
That applies here doubly, I think. First off, it applies to me. I have vehemently and consistently turned down kind offers from many on TC both virtually and locally to get into other games (Game of Thrones is my main game). I’ve demoed Star Wars LCG, X-Wing minis, and looked on at Netrunner. Good games all; each has its own merits. But I didn’t want another LCG for mainly two reasons:
1. I can’t even come in consistently to the store to play Thrones. I didn’t want to divide that time among other LCGs, fun though they might be.
2. I didn’t want another system to keep current with. I know that LCGs are a choice to purchase, but if those games are like Thrones you’re going to want to keep your card pool current both to have a chance to win as well as to maximize your enjoyment of your Core set.
But then, it happened. I got into another LCG.
Why did I do that? Well, there are a few reasons. First off, I wanted a new gaming space to explore. It’s certainly not as though Thrones is becoming stale (far from it) but I have a decent handle on the system, I have most of the cards that I want, and I am basically current, content, and happy in the ThronesVerse. Basically, I wasn’t spending enough money on TC to keep Robert in his customary Chik-Fil-A lifestyle. Second, I wanted something I could more easily play at home with my wife and close friends. Thrones is a heck of a learning curve, and losing often while you learn isn’t fun for anyone. Third, the only area where AGoT has started to turn slightly downward in my opinion is in the lessening of the potency of thematic decks. I love recreating the experience from the stories, but a Dragon, Dothraki, Direwolf, or even Lord and Lady deck is behind the 8 Ball in Thrones just due to the sheer number of cards to choose from. There’s still plenty of mechanical balance, but I was looking for something more thematic.
And this is where Jeremiah’s verse becomes doubly applicable. Exploring the corruption of the human heart is what makes Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings series, and what game is more thematic than the Lord of the Rings LCG? You want a theme deck? Dwarfs, Elves, and soon Hobbits will be available! And since it’s cooperative, I’m not worried about sacrificing theme for efficiency. I can build a Rohan deck for theme’s sake and let my partner do the heavy lifting in combat. Or, I can build a deck to re-create the story of the Hobbit. If we lose, well, we lost together. That’s a new side of gaming that I’m looking forward to–deckbuilding in concert or in tandem with others. Finally, LOTR isn’t competitive so there’s no huge push to pick up all the cards right away. I can truly go at my own pace and explore what I have before moving on. It won’t be to stay current with the ‘meta,’ it will be for something new as I wish it.
So there you go: I’m in the LOTRVerse now. My early returns on the game are exceedingly positive, and I know it will only remain so as I investigate what the world of Middle Earth has to offer. I’d love to hear your own thoughts on the game and if you are considering it, why you like it, and so on. But for now, I’m off to build a Aragorn multisphere deck using 2 Cores. Is Eleanor good or bad? I must investigate…..