You hear it often that this community is the best there is on the internet. For those that need proof of this, I present you with the AleP (A long-extended Party) project. This idea was spearheaded by Seastan back in September 2019 when it was announced that the game would go on a hiatus after the end of the Vengeance of Mordor cycle. In the months after the announcement, he assembled a large team of community members to work on a fan-made expansion for this game. Now, more than a year later, the project is finally entering its final stages with the upcoming release of their first expansion: The Children of Eorl. This Deluxe expansion kicks off the Oaths of the Rohirrim cycle, which will be a compatible cycle of expansions with the base game.
What is AleP?
The AleP (A long-extended Party) project wanted to give the community something new to play while we wait for the return of the official game. It would have been a shame to leave this community to die out as no more new stuff is released. The hype would slowly disappear, and no more exciting posts are to be expected spoiling cards for the game. But no more! This Deluxe box is a lot like the regular Deluxe boxes, containing new player cards, three new quests, and an overarching story leading into the Adventure Packs. The only differences is that the game will be fan-made, and that you will have to find a printer near you to print the cards out to play with. There will also be plug-ins for OCTGN (and maybe TTS) for the expansions, so you can even play the new quests if you do not have access to a printer.
The first cycle will be set in Rohan, with the Rohan trait being the focus of the Deluxe box player cards. This will help the trait to get even more neat tricks, and finally get a dedicated expansion for those interested in the Rohirrim. It is not certain where the cycle will take us, though the name of the cycle has me thinking about going south to Gondor. We will have to wait and see how the project develops. There are also whispers about more cycles being released in the future, but I have nothing concrete to share about that yet.
I would like to thank everyone involved with the project already, since the amount of effort that has been put into this is enormous. Not only did new art have to be created, but the scenarios have also been play tested, stories had to be written, and everything had to be double-checked. I myself have not participated in the project a lot, only supplying people with artwork I had collected over the years, and with the promotion of the project.
VotP and AleP
Since I have not participated in the project myself, everything being released is very new to me. As such, I will be able to continue things on the blog like the First Impressions series and perhaps even the scenario analyses once the cycle has concluded. I generally wait with scenario analyses until the entire cycle has been released, just so that I can keep the articles up to date with the latest player cards. So it will be a while before I start covering the scenarios in earnest, but at least I can continue my First Impressions series.
For the rest of the blog, I won’t be dealing with AleP too much. This means that I won’t be updating the Rohan trait article with the new fan-made cards. That would cause some confusion among the readers. A separate article on the trait from AleP could be possible, but it will a while before we have enough player cards to do full archetype articles that are somewhat up to date. I also won’t be including AleP player cards in the scenario analyses of non-AleP scenarios. This again, to avoid confusion. The most I will do, is list a few combos that break open a quest in the Tips & Tricks section of a scenario when I update it.
Contact details for AleP
Since I won’t be covering all the news updates from AleP, I will point you to the sources that do cover all the updates. You can follow
New card spoilers!
To further promote the project, I have been allowed to spoil one of the new player cards that will be featured in the Deluxe box. Now I do not spoil these things in any special ways, like sharing close-ups or writing descriptive poetry for my spoilers, so I will just share the card here and give you my first impressions on it!
It’s nice to see that the new Deluxe won’t focus entirely on Rohan, but will also give some support to other archetypes. While the box (and maybe the cycle) will expand the Rohan archetype into the Lore sphere (there are just 2 Rohan characters in Lore at this point), at least one of the Lore cards for the Deluxe box will support the Trap/Ranger archetype.
Spring the Trap is a 2 cost Lore event that can be played as a response when a trap of yours attaches to an enemy. After that happens, you may play this card to put a Ranger ally from your hand into play at no additional cost (besides the cost to play the event). This will obviously be better with some of the higher cost Ranger allies like Lore or Leadership Faramir, and not so much for the 1 cost allies like Guardian of Ithilien. Note that while the Trap deck tends to focus on Gondor Rangers, this event does not prevent you from playing some high cost Dunedain Rangers into play. There are some solid Dunedain Trap decks out there that will love the chance to play some more of the off-sphere allies from their hand. Other characters that you can get into play that don’t spring to mind right away are the Northern Tracker, Yazan, Elladan/Elrohir or the Dunedain Wanderer (just because you can, doesn’t mean you should!). You can easily save some resources by playing the event, since quite a few Ranger characters are 3 cost or higher.
But the fun doesn’t stop there. Since this is a 2-cost event, my mind goes to Good Meal quite fast. If you are playing a Lore Hobbit alongside your Rangers (not unheard of, they have some overlapping synergy) then you can play Good Meal on that Hobbit to lower the cost of the event to 0! This will require some additional deckspace, but with Trap deck having other Lore events that they could use (Interrogation, Forest Patrol) you wouldn’t necessarily have to wait until all pieces line up together. This can get you your high cost Ranger ally in for free!
There will be three common points during the round where you can play this event. The easiest is during the planning phase, since you could play Forest Snare during that phase and trigger the event afterwards. However, with Forest Snare costing 3 resources (likely 2 if you have Damrod), you are looking at a 4-5 resource cost combo in Lore. That’s quite steep, and your deck might not have the resource generation to do that often. Alternatively, you could also play a trap like Followed or Outmatched and then play Dunedain Hunter afterwards in the hope to trap an enemy. However, that is a 4 card combo (trap, Hunter, event, and ally) and will still cost you 2-3 resources to pull off.
The more likely use case for this is to play it during the quest phase when an enemy just got revealed and added to the staging area, where a trap was waiting for it. You do still need to have kept your 2 resources in reserve, and need a proper ally in your hand to bring into play at this point. Card draw from Damrod would be able to draw you the ally you need, but you will still need to have kept 2 Lore resources in reserve in order to play the event. But this can be done, and will get you an ally to help you during the combat phase!
Overall, I think this event will definitely see some play in Ranger Trap decks, especially if more Traps are released in the near future (potentially the other Lore cards in the box?). There are enough solid targets for the event, but you will need to save up some resources and keep the targets in your hand, and wait until the right time to play this event. But getting discounts on allies is always nice to have, and Lore’s card draw will help you with getting most pieces of the combo in your hand quickly.
I hope that you will all enjoy the extra content that the community is producing right now. It goes to show that the community really is the best part of the game, and that some people would rather prolong the game’s life than give up on it. Stay tuned for more updates and some First Impressions articles once I get my hands on the cards!
- A Long-extended party is an unofficial, fan-made project for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, a living card game by Fantasy Flight Games and is not endorsed, supported or affiliated by FFG.
- This project is entirely volunteer-driven, and the content created by ALeP is a non-commercial fan release, distributed without pay or profit, for the sole intent of private enjoyment by fans of the game.