News for September 2011
Keen Eyes in the Emyn Muil 27
A preview of the fourth Adventure Pack for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game | Published 27 September 2011

They are good folk, the Bardings. The grandson of Bard the Bowman rules them, Brand son of Bain son of Bard. He is a strong king, and his realm now reaches far south and east of Esgaroth.
–J. R. R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

As the heroes of Middle-earth begin to scour The Hills of Emyn Muil for recent signs of Gollum’s passage, they gain the benefit of a keen-eyed new companion. The Hills of Emyn Muil, the fourth Adventure Pack in the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, introduces an exciting new hero who provides tremendous options for Tactics players and their companions.

A new hero from Esgaroth

Brand son of Bain (The Hills of Emyn Muil, 72) travels southwest from Esgaroth to join the fellowship and aid them in their quest. He arrives steeped in a tradition of archery hailing back at least as far as his grandfather, Bard the Bowman, who slew the mighty Smaug with his black arrow.

Brand is the second hero to feature the Ranged keyword, along with Legolas (Core Set, 5), and like Legolas, he assists the party with a powerful ability that triggers when he defeats an enemy. After Brand son of Bain attacks and defeats an enemy engaged with another player, he can ready one of that player’s characters. This makes him an excellent hero in multiplayer games and the first hero whose text explicitly supports (and relies upon) the game’s cooperative aspect.

Brand in action

Imagine you and a friend are playing the Journey Down the Anduin scenario from Core Set. Your friend is running Gimli (Core Set, 4), and after questing, you’ve exhausted all your heroes other than Brand and Gimli. With two enemies in the staging area, your friend chooses to engage the Hill Troll (Core Set, 82), and the Dol Guldur Orcs (Core Set, 89) chase after him because of his threat. After a brief discussion, your friend chooses to have Gimli defend against the Hill Troll, ready to cancel any lethal shadow effect with a Hasty Stroke (Core Set, 48). Gimli takes four damage, but survives.

In the following action window, you jump in to play Quick Strike (Core Set, 35), have Brand declare an attack against the Dol Guldur Orcs, and defeat them. Now, Brand lets you ready Gimli, and the enraged Dwarf can strike at the Hill Troll for six damage, three of which gets past the Hill Troll’s defense. On his own, Brand can’t fire past the Hill Troll’s defense, but his special ability grants your fellowship enough flexibility to make the best use of each hero’s strengths.

Have you always wanted to use Glorfindel (Core Set, 11) both to quest and attack? With Brand’s assistance, it’s possible. Do you need to use Denethor (Core Set, 10) to manipulate the encounter deck and defend? With a Quick Strike, Brand can help. With his keen eyes, Brand can identify tactical advantages other heroes may miss.

A quiver full of arrows

As a Tactics hero, Brand can help pay for a number of attachments and events that further reinforce your fellowship. With the aforementioned Quick Strike and cards like Feint (Core Set, 34) and Gondorian Spearman (Core Set, 29), Brand and his resources can help control the ebb and flow of combat, letting your allies engage enemies to pull them out of the staging area, then helping your fellowship defeat the enemies other players have engaged.

Armed with cards like Blade of Gondolin (Core Set, 39), Dwarven Axe (Core Set, 41), and Dúnedain Mark (The Hunt for Gollum, 2), Brand can quickly become a fearsome archer, capable of damaging the most powerful enemies on the table, no matter with whom they’re engaged. Then he readies your teammate’s heroes, so they can take additional actions.

As the heroes of Middle-earth seek to recapture Gollum’s trail, Brand son of Bain assists the fellowship with his keen eyes and skilled archery.

The heroes of Middle-earth have nearly reached The Hills of Emyn Muil. Keep checking our website for updates as this Adventure Pack is coming soon!

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a cooperative card game that puts 1-2 players (or up to four with an additional Core Set) in control of the most powerful characters and artifacts of Middle-earth. Players will select heroes, gather allies, acquire artifacts, and coordinate their efforts to face Middle-earth’s most dangerous fiends. The Living Card Game format allows players to customize their gaming experience with monthly Adventure Pack expansions to the core game.

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Comments (27)

Published: 9/27/2011 3:17:44 AM

We need a good mix of difficulties and so far, I've found the moderate ones to be the most fun. All of my fellow players are casual players who aren't interested in the deck-building aspect of the game, so diificulty is just about right for us when using our zero-optimization mono decks.

Published: 9/27/2011 2:55:00 AM

@Glaurung: I'm quite happy with a level 4. I hope they'll bring out several easy scenarios inthe near future. Because I find most scenarios so far almost undoable with less than 3 players. And frequenlty I just play with 2. So FFG, keep the level 4's coming AND the hard ones. So that all difficulties are catered to!

Published: 9/27/2011 2:18:11 AM

For someone like me (who most of the time plays this game as a multiplayer game and simply loves the cooperative nature of it) this new hero is great news. What I don't understand is the complaining of some of the solo players. There will always be cards that work better with one (Bilbo?), two or more players (Campfire anyone?)... Don't get me wrong: each to their own, but I'm happy and I know my gaming partners will be as well.

Published: 9/27/2011 1:03:50 AM

For me  Brand is very ok. Yes true his ability work only in multy but how it work???? Very, very good ability.

Im disappointed with other thing. Difficult 4. This make me really sad. We start to have really cool and interesting scenarios and now go back to the boring 4 level!!!!

After Carrock, Osgiliath and Rhosgobel im afraid Muil will be boring........


Published: 9/26/2011 7:53:41 PM

I like the art pretty well...looks very cool actually. What I don't like is how un-useful this guy is in solo play beyond his stock traits.  I am disappointed. I love tactics too...but a tactics hero with an ability that only works in multiplay? grrrr.

Published: 9/26/2011 5:41:33 PM

 As a strictly solo player I share your feelings about Brand's ability, but you also have to keep in mind that this is a co-op game with the option for solo play, not the other way around. I have no problem with designers trying to encourage this style of play through card mechanics.

Published: 9/26/2011 5:20:53 PM

 Wow, surprised to see a hero who only works in co-op rather than solo. Surprised to see such a character within the fist block. He's neat, but kind of a disappointment mechanically since he doesn't open up any more options for solo play.

Published: 9/26/2011 4:55:06 PM

 I'm with Narsil here on this one. 

He doesn't look intrinsically stupid, rather like someone who has been photographed at an inopportune moment and didn't get the chance to look badass. 

Also, to me his garment appears to be more in the foreground than his head. Oh well, at least he has good stats and a good ability. He will see play on my part. 

Young Ranger
Published: 9/26/2011 4:54:39 PM

 I love this card. Another Ranged character is always a plus, the fact that he is a hero is even better. And someone else that has 2 Willpower in Tactics sphere.

Published: 9/26/2011 4:40:51 PM

 Dwarven Axe on a Man?  Someone needs to read the cards :D

Published: 9/26/2011 4:38:18 PM

@Narsil0420 - Hey, be nice. That was most likely a model from someone the commisioned painter worked off of. I don't think he looks stupid. It's an in-action shot. He looks battle-weary, squinting in the sun, surveying the battlefield. He is an archer, one who has to focus. I approve.

Published: 9/26/2011 4:10:31 PM

Great card but I don't like the art at all. His facial expression makes him look confused and stupid...

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