Saturday, February 25, 2012

Announcing The Threat of War fan expansion for The Lord of the Rings LCG

For a little over a month I've been playing around with the idea of developing a mini-expansion for one of my favorite games out there - The Lord of the Rings LCG from Fantasy Flight Games. I'm a huge Tolkien nerd, and not satisfied enough with monthly expansion releases, I decided to try my hand at designing some player cards. I wanted to challenge myself by designing a new card type for the game and settled on trying to figure out how to get the epic armies of Middle Earth into a Lord of the Rings game designed all around a small group of questing heroes.

To that extent, I've put together a first draft of the expansion weighing in at seven pages. That's two pages of rules for how to play Armies and five pages of new cards. In all, at the current time, there are 18 cards designed - four for each of the four factions and two neutral cards. I'm looking for some help in putting together some rough mock-ups of the cards and really would love to find some players to playtest what I do have designed in both solo and multiplayer cooperative play. If you're interesting in participating, please leave a comment to this post or you can email me at Anyone who helps out will be listed in the final pdf which I hope to publish here for free for everyone to play.

I've included below the introduction I wrote for the document so you can get a better idea of what I'm aiming for with this expansion as well as a little preview as to how Armies function in the overall game.

Armies are a new card type for the LotR LCG from Fantasy Flight Games. This mini expansion is very much a work of a fan of the game and not meant to be considered as condoned by or really having any connection at all with Fantasy Flight Games or the Tolkien estate.

Through out the epic stories told by J.R.R. Tolkien, the heroes and champions of the free peoples feature heavily, and yet armies play a strong role as well. Without the mustering of Rohan, King Theoden could not have rode across the fields of Pelennor to defeat the king of the Haradrim in single combat. Aragorn alone could not have turned the tide of that same battle without the rangers of the Dunedain and armies from Southern Gondor. While Sam and Frodo courageously trekked across Mordor, King Elessar's army drew the gaze of Sauron away from the tiny hobbits and toward the threat at his front gate.

To this extent, Armies are not designed to replace the heroes and allies we know and love in our decks. Armies are distinctly not considered a character for example in the rules when it comes to ways the players can affect them. Also, you'll notice that Armies are useless when it comes to questing – exploration of the lands and pursuit of a quest will always be the work of bold individuals and small companies of heroes.

Armies are expensive in a number of ways, and whenever a hero has gathered such a sizable force to aid him, he lights a bright beacon that attracts Sauron to a potential rival that much quicker. Still, an Army can only be brought together under the leadership of the heroes. Will you lead the Armies of Middle Earth against hopeless odds and the limitless swarms of the Enemy?

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