So now that The Black Riders has been spoiled, and will soon be released to the public at large, we at last have answers to the many questions that accompanied this expansion. By far, the biggest mystery would be whether or not the designers chose to include Tom Bombadil and the Hobbits’ adventures through the Old Forest.
This is reflected in the latest poll results as an overwhelming number of you listed Tom Bombadil as your most wanted character in The Black Riders. Sadly, Mr. Bombadil was not included, even as an objective ally, and the Old Forest does not feature as a location in any of the scenarios. In addition, many readers wanted to see other characters that feature in the first of the six books of The Lord of the Rings. Characters like Strider, Farmer Maggot and the Old Gaffer are all popular with readers.
While some of these characters, like the farmer, made it into expansion, there was obviously not room for everyone’s favorite. Team Covenant has an nice unboxing video with Caleb Grace, the designer of The Black Riders. It is interesting to hear Caleb explain why Strider not included in this box. Because the saga expansions are designed to work out of the box, with only the core set, it didn’t make sense to give players a second version of Aragorn. Instead, the designers chose to include 5 new Hobbit heroes (along with Frodo) to give new players something fresh and interesting to pair with the core set.
While this decision makes all kind of sense, I want to provide something for those players, and readers of Tolkien, who didn’t get their favorite characters in The Black Riders. The following is the results of the poll, with Tom Bombadil, Strider and Farmer Maggot ranking as the most popular characters. As a special bonus, after the rankings, we have included custom cards for some of the characters that were not included in the expansion. Thanks to everyone who voted, and I hope you enjoy the cards!
Tom Bombadil 41.76% (38 votes)
Strider 20.88% (19 votes)
Farmer Maggot 14.29% (13 votes)
Gandalf 7.69% (7 votes)
Goldberry 5.49% (5 votes)
Fredegar “Fatty” Bolger 3.3% (3 votes)
Glorfindel 3.3% (3 votes)
The Old Gaffer 3% (3 votes)
Nob 0% (0 votes)