Thursday, February 17, 2011

Shadows of Mirkwood - It's a card game! It's an RPG! Whatever, it's solo play!

Ok, so it's also cooperative, but that's one helluva long headline already, so I had to cut it short. Fantasy Flight just announced their first cycle for the soon-to-be-released Lord of the Rings LCG, Shadows of Mirkwood. I'm actually anticipating the release of the LCG more than I am Cubicle 7's new Lord of the Rings RPG (although this is just as likely due to how stupidly hush-hush they are on the project). Anyway, since they announced Lord of the Rings as their next LCG product at Gencon (and where we snagged a kick-ass interview with game producer Jason Walden), I've been chomping at the bit for any new info on the game. We got some really basic overviews of the different power sources, but with each new snippet I just wanted the game to be released sooner!

Now we have the announcement of the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle, and I'm officially a day-one purchaser. For the uninitiated, an LCG "Cycle" is a lot like an expansion set only broken up into six equal parts, non-random, and released on a monthly basis. For $15.00 you get a full play copy each month. It's the best way to play/purchase collectible card games out there. So we knew we'd be getting cycles in Lord of the Rings, but we didn't really know a whole lot more than that. We did know that the basic game would be quest-based, cooperative, and possible to play solo without much adjustment.

And now we get two integral pieces of information in this unveiling of the first cycle. Not only does each Adventure pack offers a new quest to play towards but they in fact build towards a larger story, a "distinct sequential narrative" in the words of Nate French, designed of the cycle. That means that with each month's release you can play through the Adventure Pack's adventure and actually make a progress towards an overall goal, in this case, the Hunt for Gollum. The fact that I can play this alone or with a friend or two just tops off the awesome.

I am very excited! Now if we could only get that base set out and the full rules online...

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