A game is only as good as the community surrounding it and with LOTR LCG, that community is another reason to play this game. The people are really supportive and work on several resources to make deck building easier. I think the community is so great in part because the game is a cooperative game, so there is no resent between different groups of people. On top of this, a large part of the community shares their love of Tolkien’s works, which creates a bond.
As a new player, you might feel a bit swamped with the different resources that you find yourself in. So I will discuss most of the resources, blogs, and podcasts that any player can explore to get a better understanding of the community. This following list is far from complete, but can guide you in the right direction for other blogs or video channels.
Do you prefer your dose of LOTR LCG to be applied audibly? Then check out some of these podcasts! They analyse player cards, the mechanics of the game, the lore aspect of the game, and a lot more. You will have plenty of material to work through as a new player, as some of these podcasts originated when the game began all those years ago.
Cardboard of the Rings: https://cardboardoftherings.com/
In terms of quantity, Cardboard of the Rings (CoTR for short)has you covered. This podcast was started at the release of the game back in 2011 and is still going strong. The hosts tackle different aspects of the game in a fun and comedic manner. This is not a serious podcast, there will be a lot of funny moments sprinkled between the hours and hours of material that this podcast supplies. CoTR has also been responsible for several inside jokes over the years and is a cornerstone of the community. For an episode with me on, check this one!
The Grey Company: https://greycompanypodcast.com/
This is the other big podcast out there, but the Grey Company has a slightly more serious note than CoTR and tends to focus on the interconnection of the game with the original source material. The hosts also have a recurring segment: Book Club, where they talk through each chapter of the Lord of the Rings. [Edit: As of 2019, the podcast has sailed into the west. The podcast is still available and still presents a lot of great content for newer players to enjoy!]
Card Talk shifts the narrative to discuss individual player cards and their place in the card pool. This podcast is significantly shorter than the previous two, which makes for perfect bite-size episodes for you to listen to. The episodes can both be listened to in podcast form, or seen as regular videos. Links for both are above. If you want to see my episode, you can skip right to this link.
The Mouth of Sauron Podcast: https://themouthofsauronpodcast.com/
Much like this blog, this podcast focuses more on the encounter cards of the game. In relative short episodes, the host goes over the encounter cards for a specific scenario and details why these cards are so horrible. If you like lists, then this podcast should also be something to check out, as there are also discussions on what side-quests are the most horrible, and what 10 quests are the best (in their opinion).
Three is Company Podcast: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/three-is-company/id1451800644?mt=2
A podcast consisting out of a couple of LOTR LCG veterans. The hosts of the podcast are well-known community members that discuss card reviews, have in-depth conversations about the game, and have a generally good time. This is one of the longer podcasts, perfect for long commutes or to download for during airtravel.
Late of the Rings: http://lateoftherings.buzzsprout.com/1042546
A new podcast that instructs new players on all of the expansions in order. While not many episodes have been released up to now, the two hosts have got a roadmap already where they intend to discuss the various expansions for the game in progression order. With a runtime of 1 hour per episode, it can easily be enjoyed while doing chores or during commutes.
For players who prefer to read all about the game, there is a multitude of blogs out there that focus on different aspects of the game. Whether it is in-depth analysis, deck building tips, narrative playthroughs or all of the above, you will find enough reading material about the game in the following resources.
Hall of Beorn: https://hallofbeorn.wordpress.com/
One of the big blogs out there is run by the Bear himself. Beorn tends to focus his articles on decks and playthroughs he has had with the decks. Besides that, there are also frequent polls and guest articles about a multitude of things. Though this site is not best known for the blog (I will discuss the big thing later), it is still a good place to go for inspiration for your decks and to awe at the awesome custom art cards.
Tales from the Cards: https://talesfromthecards.wordpress.com/
This blog is well known for having plethora of articles ranging from card analyses to the popular New Player Buying Guide. The blog also has narrative playthroughs of the Saga scenario’s and has special articles discussing individual cards. The blogs creator is also the mastermind behind the fan-made First Age expansion of the game, which is definitely worth checking out.
Vision of the Palantir: https://visionofthepalantir.wordpress.com/
Sure, it is the site you are on right now, but what does this blog have to offer? This relative new blog features in-depth analyses for many of the scenarios in this game. Where other blog focus on the player cards, here the scenarios are taken a better look at and it is discussed how to best beat the quest. This is written from the point of view of someone with a complete card pool, so new players won’t have access to most of the cards yet. Besides quest analyses, there are also articles dedicated to the different traits in the game and what cards are the best in their respective fields, the so-called Staples.
Warden of Arnor: https://wardenofarnor.wordpress.com/
This blog runs one of the most extended progression style playthroughs out there. The Line Unbroken is a great read for players who need decks to beat certain scenario’s but don’t have access to all cards yet. There are also links to the playthrough video’s where those decks are tested against the scenario. But there is more to the blog than just the progression playthrough. You will find card reviews, deckbuilding articles, and a host of other articles detailing rulings and mechanics.
Darkling Door: https://darklingdoor.wordpress.com/
Do you like the game but find it too easy? Then the Nightmare scenario’s are for you. Accompanying those scenario’s is a blog that runs thematic decks through these tougher scenario’s. The articles are a great read and can really help you to understand the difference in difficulty and mechanics between Normal and Nightmare Mode. The other big series on this blog will be better suited for newer players with a limited budget for the game. The Paths Less Traveled series handles what expansions players should buy after their initial Core Set to get the strongest decks and the best player experiences for the least amount of money.
The Secondhand Took: https://secondhandtook.wordpress.com/
A very nice blog with some articles that discuss the brilliant artwork of the game, as well as more decks and deckbuilding tips. The blog also has a new hero spotlight every month with decks revolving around that hero together with an article completely dedicated to that hero.
LOTR Deck Testing Ground: https://lotrdecktest.wordpress.com/
Do you have a deck, but you are not sure if it is any good? Then submit it to this blog and it might get analysed for you. The creator of this blog will run your deck through some scenario’s and will discuss its strengths and weaknesses in a separate article dedicated to your deck. Just reading through the articles is also a great way to learn some mechanics from other decks that you could implement in your own deckbuilding strategies.
The White Tower: https://thewhitetower.wordpress.com/
Though a relatively new blog, this one has become a favourite of mine in a heartbeat. This blog posts full narratives constructed around playthroughs of the game’s scenarios. While the playthroughs aren’t in a progression style, the creator does have some rules to keep the narrative flowing without characters dying in one episode and magically reappear in the next. If you enjoy the narrative side of the game, check this one out!
The Road Goes Ever On: https://lotrlcgblog.wordpress.com/
Much like my own blog, The Road Goes Ever On focuses on how to beat certain scenario’s. They have started recently at the Core Set and are plowing their way through Middle Earth as I write this. The articles are really enjoyable and they also feature decklists that can be used to hopefully beat certain scenario’s. This is another one of the newer blogs, but definitely worth your time.
The Road: https://theroadlotr.wordpress.com/
No I am not double posting the same name of the previous blog, this is another totally different blog. While also new, it generates a lot of content focussing on the saga scenario’s. Give it a read if you want more information on how to beat a certain scenario or if you want to steal some decklists. The articles are a step-by-step playthrough of the scenario’s, which take a lot of work to make I’d imagine.
The Book of Elessar: https://bookofelessar.com/
A more recent blog that has emerged, featuring decklists and playthroughs of all scenarios in progression style. Besides the deckbuilding articles and the video series concerning the decks, the author also posts narrative recaps that try and relicate how the playthrough went. The interesting thing about this series is that every deck used, uses a version of Aragorn, representing the long travels that this character has been on.
Discussion panels and forums are a must-have for any community, and this one is no exception. At these forums, players can ask questions, find others to play games with, and post their own ideas about the game.
As of 2020, the Reddit forums have been updated with new moderators, giving new life to the section of the community. There you can find a wide variety of topics to discuss, and can enjoy the hard work some people are putting into creating alt art cards that are shared a lot on the subreddit.
Fantasy Flight Games: FFG
The official forums by FFG which are a goldmine in terms of content. The forums stretch back to the very beginning of the game and are the source for all unofficial rules clarifications. There are also a ton of other topics that can be dicussed on these forums.
Board Game Geek: BGG
Card Game DB: CGDB
Every community needs a place where players can just hang out and talk about everything LOTR LCG. That is why there are a couple of groups where players can chat with each other, organise games, ask questions, and share news about the game or their blogs/video channels. These groups are very accessible to new players and can kickstart them into the wider community.
For those of us that are a part of this social network, there is a group specially dedicated to LOTR LCG players from around the world. Here, players can post their questions to a community with over 3000 members from all around the world, so someone should know the answer. This part of the community is also where you can find the specific accounts of certain content creators, and polls are also frequent here. You can find the group by typing the name: Lord Of The Rings LCG Players in the top bar of your Facebook account. The group is private, but your request should pass through without any problems.
Cardboard of the Rings Discord: https://discordapp.com/invite/efcvSg7
This group is where the CoTR Podcast hosts their live recordings, but the group is very active besides that. A lot of community creators reside here and it is a great place to get into contact with them. This is also a good place to go if you feel unsure posting in the community under your real name like on the Facebook group. The Discord group also has channels dedicated to technical questions, rules questions, a pinboard where you can contribute to blogs, and other games besides LOTR LCG
Vision of the Palantir Discord
As a part of this blog, a separate group has been created for all authors and supporters of the blog. Access is restricted to those that work on the blog or to Patreon supporters, who gain access to the channel through their monthly pledge to keep the blog from dying. In this group, this smaller section of the community comes together to discuss articles, and to play multiplayer games together on OCTGN.
A lot of blogs and players without blogs regularly post video’s online of their playthroughs. These video’s can help you to understand mechanics you may find vague or you can see others getting destroyed by the game. Players also set crazy challenges for themselves or discuss game mechanics in their video’s. I will only post the YouTube links to certain creators, though some also play on Twitch and upload their videos later. The links to the Twitch channels can be found at the corresponding video.
This channel features a lot of relative short playthroughs. The decks can vary from powerful to thematic, and victory isn’t always certain. This channel is great if you want some fast-paced playthrough featuring true solo decks.
This series is made by the host of the Tales from the Cards blog and runs through scenarios with some decks that the community has voted for on Twitter. The streams tend to last only an hour, which makes for some excellent content during lunch-time. The videos are recorded live via Twitch, so community members can join the chat there. The playthroughs are a lot more laid back, as some decks might not be specifically designed for that quest.
Not only does this channel provide you with multiplayer games of LOTR LCG, but the episodes from the corresponding podcast are also posted here. The video shows any mentioned cards and some stunning background artwork. The playthrough videos can be caught live on the Twitch channel from Cardboard of the Rings.
A must see for any new player, the original Progression series was my introduction to this great game. In the video’s, each scenario is tackled with decks that only consist out of cards available at the time. Besides playthroughs, the series also discusses each expansion of the game in terms of player cards. Unfortunately the series has been discontinued as of late, but the videos are still available.
After having spent some time in the community, the whispers of the name Seastan might find their way to you. This is the man who caused half of the errata’s on recent cards after finding some ways to break the encounter deck with intricate card combinations. The videos might be pointed at the more advanced players, but even new players can appreciate ways in which the game was broken by this creator. The channel also features playthroughs of tough scenario’s with a minimal card pool, adding an extra layer of difficulty to some quests.
This channel provides you with even more playthroughs of scenarios from LOTR LCG, but also from the Arkham Horror game. These videos are uploaded from Twitch so you can catch these playthroughs live.
Another excellent channel featuring playthroughs of both Nightmare and regular quests. This channel also features player card reviews for recent expansions. Check this channel out if you can’t get enough of playthroughs and would like to see players handle some tough quests in true solo with the occasional thematic deck.
A new and very active channel that goes through all the scenarios in LOTR LCG in progression style. The channel caters best to newer players who have a limited card pool. The older players will also enjoy the start of a new progression series, and watch the host get to use some older cards without having access to the modern cardpool. The videos tend to be about half an hour, which is great for players who don’t have a lot of time to watch playthroughs.
While you may have to dig a little bit between their various series, the channel has great production value and are playing the physical game in their videos. They pick up the game slightly later in the game, during the Lost Realm Deluxe box.
During the early life of the game, Glaurung was known as one of the better players of the game, and was one of the first resources for Nightmare videos. Sadly, he hasn’t uploaded in several years, but you can still experience his playthroughs on this channel.
Playing the game online or with your own playgroup is great and all, but what if you would like to meet new players in real life to play the game with? Well, then you might want to go to one of these events that are hosted every year and feature LOTR LCG among other games. This is a great opportunity to find new people to play with and offers a multiplayer experience for those of us without any friends.
Probably the biggest event in the world for this game, Gen Con will bring you a special quest and an alternative artwork hero made specially for the convention. Fantasy Flight Games also tends to release new products for the game every year at the convention, so players can get their hands on certain expansions a lot sooner than anyone who stayed at home. There will also be plenty of other games to play and buy there. There are also special events at and around Gen Con hosted by the Cardboard of the Rings podcast. This is your chance to meet some of the creators and hosts of the community in person and play a game with them.
The yearly Fellowship event is a worldwide event made by Fantasy Flight Games where your FLGS can order a Fellowship kit. This kit contains a special alternative artwork of a hero, a limited edition playmat, and you get the special fellowship quest months before they are officially released. Since the event can be hosted by your local FLGS, it is probably the easiest event to attend. You can contact your own FLGS about the event or find an event near you in any of the forums/groups.
This event takes place every year in Germany and is a great experience for any European players out there who can’t make it to conventions in America. The event takes place in a medieval castle and features many LOTR themed games, including LOTR LCG. There will be plenty of different game modes available to players and will be a great place to hang out with other enthusiasts.
Introducing Con of the Rings 2018, a fan-driven convention for LotR: LCG to be held at Fantasy Flight Games Center in Roseville, MN on October 12-14, 2018. Come join us as we take on a large-scale saga campaign, where groups will play their own part in the larger “fellowship” beating all the saga quests. Other organized play events include the Bear Draft (cube draft format) and the new competitive format introduced in The Wizard’s Quest. But wait, there’s more! There will be daily raffles for FFG gift cards, exclusive con swag, and a special, live recording of Cardboard of the Rings!
Any comments, questions, or concerns can be directed towards firstname.lastname@example.org or join us on the Cardboard of the Rings Discord and post in the #con-of-the-rings channel, which we will be monitoring.
Hall of Beorn Card Search Engine: http://hallofbeorn.com/LotR
This is the big resource that a lot of players use. It is run by the same bear that runs the Hall of Beorn blog and is a great tool for finding any card quickly. There are various factors on which you can filter not only player cards but also encounter cards from any scenario. This resource has helped this blog a lot and it makes finding a specific card a lot easier than digging through your collection.
LOTR LCG Quest Companion: http://lotr-lcg-quest-companion.gamersdungeon.net/home.html
Do you ever find yourself unsure of how to set up a scenario and have you left your rulesheets at home? Then go to this great resource that houses all of these rulesheets for you. Besides this, the Quest Companion shows how difficult the community rates the quests as opposed to the official difficulty. The site also has a random quest generator for if you feel like playing a game, but can’t decide what quest.
RingsDB Deckbuilder: http://ringsdb.com/
Making decks online is hard, and sometimes you need some inspiration from other decks to fix yours. The RingsDB Deckbuilder website is a community on its own where players can make and share their decks with the world. Netdecking isn’t frowned upon and can certainly help some players who do not yet have a feel for what cards to include in their decks. Besides the deck/fellowship builders, there is also a place where you can find card analyses and another card search engine. A lot of powerful decks can be found here, sometimes links to blog articles can give you more details about the specific deck.
OCTGN Resources: http://octgngames.com/lotrlcg/
If you want to play the game on a digital platform, OCTGN is the place to be. On this site, you can find the several guides on how to instal the game, load image packs, and play the game. OCTGN might open up a lot more multiplayer games for you with players around the world. There are several platforms where you can find other players to join in. You will also find that this way of playing is the preferred playstyle of many creators for making their video’s.
LOTR.Cards Community site: http://lotr.cards/
This website is where content creators can post all of their recent work in one place. It features a collection of articles and videos from many of the aforementioned blogs and video channels. This site is great if you don’t want to keep looking on each individual blog for recent posts, as you can get an easy overview on 1 convenient site. You can also browse recent videos, podcast episode or articles from your favourite content creator.
This map shows where players are located all around the world. This way you can find folks in your area who you might contact for a meetup. You can also point your own location on the map for future reference.
There will be many times when you might find yourself at conflict about what keyword triggers first or how certain situations are dealt with. That is when you need this official Rules Reference. It is a glossary of many keywords that players can come across and provides final conclusions on arguments you might have over words like cannot and may. The reference also includes an overview of when players have action windows and how a round usually progresses.
While the majority of the community communicates in English (as this is an English original IP and game), there are also outlets focussing on other languages. These resources can be useful to those who play the game in a translated version, or who struggle with reading/watching English resources.