I’m presenting my trek through the Haradrim Cycle a bit out of order, but I wanted to give a snapshot of my victory against The Mûmakil with my Aggro Caldara deck. With the help of an army of allies, Caldara was able to capture and tame one of the mighty beasts of legend. She named her elephantine pet Homer, in honor of the renowned poet.
While the end-game can be a bit less dramatic, I am really enjoying playing with aggressive decks, as it makes the crucial first few rounds that much more tense. The decisions that you make in the early rounds are interesting and important. In particular, figuring out how to survive while you get your support online (Sword-thain, Prince Imrahil, Glorfindel, Jubayr/Háma, etc.) makes every quest a unique experience.
While there are versions of this archetype with more consistency – extra copies of critical allies like Glorfindel and Jubayr – I find that not being able to rely on any one ally (outside of Imrahil) brings a welcome bit of variety and ultimately makes quests more fun. I guess this speaks to play style, but I like knowing that a sub-optimal draw with this deck could still put me in a position where I could lose to an early onslaught. Even with bad draws, I’ve been able to pull out of some pretty dire situations – Fortune or Fate is a big help in that regard. The best games teach us to appreciate overcoming seemingly unsurmountable odds, tempting fate only to emerge victorious. I aspire to take that lesson and apply it elsewhere in life.
With the announcement of The Mountain of Fire saga expansion, and a Spirit Elrohir, I look forward to yet another powerful Spirit ally to add to this deck. Granted, Elrohir needs his brother so that only works in multiplayer, but that won’t be a problem. The slew of fantastic new allies has me tinkering with a Noldor deck to pair two-handed with Caldara. Together, they will soon tackle the saga quests from the beginning.
It’s exciting to imagine that we soon will be able to play through the entire story of the Lord of the Rings. One can’t help but look back with nostalgia on my first experiences with the LotR LCG. It’s startling to realize what a huge role this game and its community have played in my life. I started this blog, created a search engine, joined The Grey Company, got to meet the guys from Cardboard of the Rings – along with other fine community members at GenCon, and was even able to interview Caleb. These are all things that I never would have imagined when I opened that Core Set all those years ago.