Being a fan of Lord of the Rings (LOTR), I actually played the LOTR TCG (Trading Card Game) when they were released around the time when the motion picture trilogy was released during the early 2000s. 
Produced by Decipher Inc, the card game was actually second to Magic: the Gathering in terms of sales and player base, at its height.
Sadly, the mounting licensing costs eventually did Decipher in, and they had to cancel the game.
It was an awesome game, with brilliant artwork (often enhanced photo images taken directly from the trilogy) and a compelling game system. Players had equal numbers of both good (Free Peoples) and evil (Shadow) cards in their 60-card decks, and took turns controlling them, in alternating fashion.
Basically, the more good guy stuff you played, the more bad guy stuff could be potentially played. It was almost a mirror image of the system Decipher used for their previous hit, the Star Wars Customizable Card Game, but the enhancements and detail for the game meant that the gameplay and strategy was plain excellent.
But hey, like all TCGs, it suffered from the common syndrome where the player with more rare and powerful stuff, would often come out ahead of the guy who relied on the more common cards.
And not to mention that it was always a mano et mano style of play, making the game a typically cutthroat pastime.
Play together
Well, it’s a good thing that Living Card Games (LCGs) are booming these days. Fantasy Flight Games (FFG) is putting out quite a number these days, and they are finding a niche following here in Malaysia.
LCGs are strictly non-collectible. Players play with existing basic sets of cards, and is allowed to refresh the card pool by buying fixed, non-randomly packaged products, often called “Adventure Packs.”
Looks like I’ll be able to revive my dreams of tossing the One Ring to the fires of Mount Doom, fight like a Gondorian and sheath my bow like an Elf, as a brand-new LOTR: The Card Game, is set to debut soon (
The first product, called the Core Set is playable between one and two players, and is cooperative in nature. This means that everyone fights “the game” and collectively wins or loses, while doing so.
The first previews are looking awesome, and honestly I can’t wait to try this out. The game is slated for a “winter” release, so that means it won’t be much longer now!

Stay tuned in the coming months as I strive to go questing in Middle Earth!

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