Middle Earth Tour: Angmar Awakened

Welcome to the latest article of the Middle Earth Tour Project, where we showcase some new, ‘nicer’ Locations in Middle Earth that may help, rather than hinder, your Quests within LOTR LCG. This time, we have journeyed back north to Arthedain to join forces with the Dunedain Rangers as they protect the unsuspecting folk who live there from orcs and other unearthly dangers of ‘The Lost Realm’ box set and the ‘Angmar Awakened’ cycle. These quests again continued the strong narrative drive of previous cycles, and there was another notable rise in overall difficulty, too, culminating in perhaps the most difficult quest ever produced – Carn Dum…    

The Lost Realm Quests: Intruders in Chetwood (Arthedain), The Weather Hills (Arthedain); Deadman’s Dike (Arthedain). 

Angmar Awakened Quests: The Wastes of Eriador (Arthedain); Escape from Mount Gram (Mount Gram); Across the Ettenmoors (Rhudaur), Treachery of Rhudaur (Rhudaur); The Battle of Carn Dum (Carn Dum), The Dread Realm (Carn Dum). 

Tour Locations:  

Archet: So we’re off to the North again for a very dangerous cycle, which really tested The Tour in providing nice Locations for players to visit! The Bree village of Archet does actually already appear in 2 Quests – ‘Murder at the Prancing Pony’ and the Nightmare version of ‘Intruders in Chetwood’, but naturally, this is a more pleasant version. There are elements of trade, a similarity in gaining resources to its nearby village of Staddle, plus a returning of enemies to the staging area to mirror the mention of Archet in ‘Return of the King’. When the hobbits returned to Bree, Butterbur told them of the fight within Bree. After the fight, the robbers took to hiding in the woods beyond Archet. 

Ruined Watch-Tower: This Location already exists as a Nightmare version, but this Tour Location version is, as always, much nicer for players. It has the standard Opportunity window and is another simple, generic Location that picks up on the history of the Dunedain, their protection of Arthedain, and can be used in several Quests featured in the Region. Whilst players are at the Watch-Tower, they are protected from nasty Weather effects, which is very handy and appropriate to this particular quest. In a direct reflection of the Nightmare version, characters, rather than enemies, gain a Defence bonus.

Monument of Valandil: This Tour Location is another echo of an existing Attachment – ‘Heir of Valandil’ and as such, again refers to the history of Arnor and the Dunedain Rangers as Valandil was the youngest of the four sons of Isildur, and whose name in Quenya means ‘friend of the Valar.’  

Snowy Cave: This Tour Location is a reshaped version of an older Tour Location – the ‘Mountain Cave’ from the Dwarrowdelf cycle. As such, it allows a respite from the nasty Weather conditions of the wastes of the freezing Eriador. It has more Threat than its counterpart but fewer Quest points and a longer Opportunity window to get to it. But again, players don’t know how far the cave goes back and if it is already occupied. As usual, the artwork is brilliant, but this remains a personal favorite of mine from the entire Tour. 

Golfimbul’s Vault: The ‘Escape from Mount Gram’ quest is really unique and great in terms of theme and storytelling where you begin as captives and have to rescue your Allies and retrieve your stolen Items. As such, the Tour Location from it can only be used exclusively in that Quest. It is a combination of 2 other cards – the ‘Goblin Dungeon’ Location and then the ‘Raid Golfimbul’s Vault’ side-quest from the Nightmare version of this Quest. And as long as you overcome a possible guard, a player may reap the rewards and get some of their precious cards back into their hand. However, it only has a short Opportunity window to get into it. 

Trollshaw Forest: This Tour Location is another re-skin of a Saga (Nightmare) Location with the references to The One Ring removed. With the possibility of another Troll enemy engaging you, it may not look like this is a pleasant Location at all. Still, if players take the time to explore it, then with ‘some turns and doublings,’ their Rangers can lose the Trolls in the forest. There is no Opportunity window on this Location either, which means it could be useful when you need it the most. The ‘Across the Ettenmoors’ Quest deserves special mention on the Tour for introducing specific ‘safe’ Locations as Objective Locations, too. 

Cameth Brin‘Treachery of Rhudaur’ is a very focused Quest where players search the lost ruins of an ancient keep. So it was very difficult to design a ‘nice ‘ Location that fits with the theme of a creepy castle that is inhabited by undead! So The Tour has again gone for a Location that can be used in other Quests in the Rhudaur Region instead. This Location is a throwback to MECCG and even MERP (for those of you with long memories) and is actually not that nice at all! Higher Threat than normal Tour Locations, a possibly unknown danger, but also some possible rewards await if the players explore the ‘twisted hill’ of Cameth Brin… 

The Forsaken Inn: ‘The Battle of Carn Dum’ is notorious for possibly being the hardest Quest ever designed for the game and is crying out for a Tour Location that cuts a player a tiny break. But in a Quest where players explore Carn Dum, the fortress of the Witch-King and capital of Angmar, you’re again not going to find a ‘nice ‘ Location. So once again, we’ve had to go for a Location that can be used in other Quests in the cycle. This Tour Location is another re-skin of a Location that players can only visit in Saga Nightmare mode, so we’ve made it a much nicer place to take shelter – but only in small groups…

Weathertop: In the Quest titled ‘The Dread Realm,’ you’re not going to find a nice Location. And how could we end a cycle based in Arthedain and the North without visiting such an iconic Location which is such an important part of the landscape? This Tour Location is another re-skin of a Location that players can only visit in Saga Quests, and although still a bit more threatening than other Tour Locations, it still offers players a break. It might draw enemies to you, but you can take a good look at the surrounding area, and who knows, Gandalf might have left a message for you there…  

Join us next time as we weigh anchor from port of Mithlond in ‘The Grey Havens’ and voyage across the sundering seas with the Noldor in the ‘Dreamchaser’ cycle… 

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