Lord of the Rings: The Card Game


About a year and a half ago, some friends of ours introduced us to the Lord of the Rings: The Card Game (links to the base game). My first experience with this game was a disaster. It was frustrating, it made me mad, we kept losing, but also, it kept me coming back to play, over and over and over. I don’t enjoy losing but this game provided something new, a worthy challenge.

“Certainty of death. Small chance of success. What are we waiting for?” – Gimli, Son of Gloin

Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is a Living Card Game (LCG) (links to the base game) produced by Fantasy Flight Games. LCG’s morph and change as new cards, challenges, and rules are released. There are a number of expansions and new adventure packs available on the market. Carlie and I have a few expansions and we are hoping to be gifted some new ones for Christmas. The expansions add new challenges as well as new player cards and heroes.


The game is a cooperative game where the players take on an adventure using heroes and a stack of player cards selected before the game. Each player makes a deck of cards out of allies, attachments, and events (typically around 50 cards to a deck). Each card has an associated sphere of influence: Lore, Leadership, Spirit, and Tactics. The player also selects three heroes matching the spheres of influence used in his or her deck. In the past, Carlie was using a Spirit and Tactics deck while I was playing with Leadership and Lore. Recently, we swapped it up and now I use Leadership and Tactics and Carlie uses Lore and Spirit.

The players then combine forces to face off against a premade encounter deck. Each of the expansions includes different encounter decks for new adventures. As you play, heroes generate influence tokens which are spent to play events, allies, and gear to assist in the adventures. Each encounter deck is different with unique win conditions but the main bulk of the cards are enemies, treacheries, and locations.

Enemies attack the heroes and when a player’s heroes are all three dead, that player is out of the game. Locations require the heroes to travel before continuing on their quest which slows down progression to victory. Treachery cards are always bad. The treachery cards are typically some sort of event that screws the players over. These are some of the most painful cards in the game. I’m looking at you “Wind-Whipped Rain.” As the players quest with their heroes and allies, progress is made towards victory; however, this progress usually leads to more encounter cards which often spell defeat.


If things fall into place just right, and we as players make the right decisions, victory is achieved. Whether we beat the encounter or our heroes meet their doom, we have come to enjoy this game for all its complexity and challenge. The theme is perfect, the artwork on the cards is fantastic, and the gameplay is rewarding which makes for an awesome game. Carlie and I have fallen in love with cooperative games and this one is sure to be at the top of our favorites list.

Links to the Expansions We Own & Play With:

Lord of the Rings LCG: Khazad-Dum Expansion
Lord of the Rings LCG: The Hobbit Over Hill and Under Hill Expansion 
Lord of the Rings LCG: The Hobbit on your Doorstep Expansion

*Links in this post are affiliate links – this means we make a percentage of the profits if you purchase using our link (this does not charge you more)*

*Post originally posted on my other site, carliejdesign.com, but I am now separating my business site from the blog site, therefore I am moving the posts here. Dec 12, 2017*