News for May 2013
Play at Your Own Level
A Look at Adjustable Difficulty for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game | Published 14 May 2013

“I do not think the Road will prove too hard for your courage."
     –Gildor, The Fellowship of the Ring

As the first fully cooperative Living Card Game®, The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game offers a variety of possible game experiences. You can adventure with your friends – or quest by yourself – to thwart the Dark Lord’s plans. Your deck-building options are vibrant and diverse, and you can face a wide range of obstacles from the different scenarios in the Core Set and its expansions. What’s more, you can increase your challenge with Nightmare Decks, extra-difficult versions available for many familiar scenarios.

Now, Fantasy Flight Games is pleased to present another option for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game: Easy Mode! Taken together with Standard Mode and Nightmare Mode (which was first introduced in 2013 Season One Game Night Kits), Easy Mode offers a level of difficulty that’s perfect for casual players, newcomers, or players running thematic decks that are not efficient enough for higher difficulty levels.

Choose your mode of play, and design the ideal experience for your group of adventurers!

What Does Each Mode of Play Offer?

In one of our early articles for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, designer Nate French wrote about three different player archetypes. He labeled them “Boromir,” “Bilbo,” and “Pippin,” and he explained how each different type of player sought a different play experience, all of which were equally valid.

A Boromir seeks to tackle the greatest of challenges, a Bilbo seeks to be swept along by the game’s events, and a Pippin seeks novelty in his decks and his play experiences. Sometimes the level of a scenario’s difficulty plays perfectly into one player’s experience and not into another’s. Whether a Boromir, a Bilbo, a Pippin, or some combination of them all, not everyone has the same reason for playing The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. With those differences in mind, these three modes of play allow everyone to enjoy the experience they prefer.

  • Nightmare Mode

Our Game Night Kits recently introduced players to the increased difficulty of Nightmare Mode. The three twenty-two card Nightmare Decks in the Season One The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game Game Night Kits allowed players to return to the Core Set scenarios in Nightmare Mode, where they felt the sting of deadly new enemies, stumbled through harsh new locations, and suffered the blows of punishing new treachery cards. Soon, these Nightmare Decks will be available via Print on Demand, and players will be able to find new Nightmare Decks in the Season Two Game Night Kits for the first three scenarios from the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle. These continue to increase the challenge levels of the scenarios they modify, and Nightmare Mode appeals most to those skilled veterans who hunt for new challenges, deadlier enemies, and taller mountains to scale.


Nightmare Mode presents players with truly terrifying challenges.

  • Standard Mode

Standard Mode is the default difficulty for a given scenario. Players who wish can continue to play their games in Standard Mode, following all of a scenario’s normal setup instructions.

  • Easy Mode

Not all who play the game are looking for increased challenges. Some may wish to focus less on constructing the most efficient deck and more on the game’s thematic elements, and even skilled veterans may seek a range of different play experiences. Accordingly, Easy Mode exists to reduce each scenario’s difficulty level. Ideal for new players and those who prefer the narrative and cooperative aspects of the game with less challenge, Easy Mode starts each hero with an additional resource and removes a number of encounter cards from a scenario’s encounter deck.


Easy Mode reduces a scenario’s difficulty level.

Why Introduce Easy Mode?

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game appeals to a broad range of players, from casual gamers to dedicated enthusiasts. Some enjoy playing the scenarios just as they find them, some hunt for new challenges, and some are happiest to face fewer challenges as they enjoy a social experience or experiment with creative new decks. Ultimately, the goal is to have fun, and the introduction of Easy Mode means that you now have another option to customize your game and enjoy the best possible experience as you adventure in Middle-earth!

How Does Easy Mode Work?

You can find the rules for Easy Mode (pdf, 3.0 MB) available on the game’s support page. The document also includes a quick reference sheet that allows you to play in Easy Mode against all of the quests from the Core Set through the Adventure Packs of the Against the Shadow cycle.

In Standard Mode, you include all cards marked with the appropriate encounter set icons when you build your encounter deck.
In Easy Mode, when you build the encounter deck, you remove all encounter cards designated as "difficult." Beginning with The Black Riders, these encounter cards will be marked with the "difficulty" indicator (a gold border) around their encounter set icons.

Download the rules for Easy Mode today, and enjoy play your games of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game at whatever level suits you best!

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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