The announcement of a digital variant of the game came as a fascinating surprise. It’s not often that my day job as a programming bear is directly relevant to the game, but I have many years of experience with complex software projects. I empathize with the developers who are attempting to translate a mature and complex card game like this one into a more streamlined digital form. As the streams have elucidated, the digital game will not be a direct translation of the card game.
An apt comparison would be the way that Philip K. Dick’s classic “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” inspired a very different film called Blade Runner. Both were excellent creations, but in very different ways for very different reasons. This translation comes as little surprise, given the usability and complexity constraints of a digital platform which simply do not exist with physical cards on a table. Still, I suspect some players will have a bit of an adjustment period adapting to what in truth is a distinct game with a deceptively familiar name.
The poll has been open for months now, with several hundred votes tallied, so it well past time to close it up and take a look at the community consensus. With 139 votes and 20% of the total responses, many players wanted the game to continue with deluxe boxes, cycles, and nightmare releases just as it has up to this point. With the announcement of the Wilds of Rhovanion and its accompanying Ered Mithrin cycle, it looks like many players will be getting exactly what they wanted.
The resurgence of Beornings in the game will not go without a comment from the hall. Not only is Grimbeorn the Old one of the most exciting heroes to be spoiled in quite some time. Moreover, the archetype hinted at from cards like Beorn’s Rage looks both interesting and effective.
Outside of Bard the Bowman, Rivendell Blade, and a few seldom-used cards, reducing enemy stats is not something that has seen much use in the game. As a huge fan of Beorn hero, I especially like the way these effects do not target the player’s characters. Because they target the enemies instead, they remain effective when the defending or attacking character might be immune to any kind of stat boosting effect. When supplemented with cards like Horn’s Cry and Keep Watch, this nascent archetype already shows promise.
The rest of the voting reflects considerable interest in adaptions of the appendices and the Silmarillion. We can only hope that recent negotiations between Amazon and those with controlling interest of Tolkien’s works are a more general reflection of a loosening of licensing constraints. As a huge fan of the Silmarillion, The Lost Tales, and most especially The Children of Húrin, I appreciate Ian’s fantastic work on his First Age custom expansion. Unfortunately, many players won’t play custom scenarios which are not released through official channels. Ideally, FFG acquires permission to adapt this material and Caleb can work with Ian on making these wonderful stories official.
Thanks to all who participated, and please be sure to take a look at the latest poll. Hopefully, within the next month we will have the new deluxe expansion in our furry paws. Happy travels in Rhovanion!
|More Cycles and Nightmare (no major changes)||139||20%|
|Appendix-based Sets (Scouring of the Shire, Battle of Dale, etc.)||131||19%|
|Compatible Silmarillion (some existing cards, e.g. Galadriel, can be used)||95||14%|
|Saga-Cycle POD (Campaign, encounter and quest cards added to existing cycles to provide a narrative)||87||13%|
|Revised Core Set (some different cards mixed with old cards, errata included, all using existing rules)||76||11%|
|Core Set 1.5 (new rules and new cards, some old cards are banned, but most existing cards are compatible with new rules)||55||8%|
|Player Card-only POD (Thematic player card PODs packs with new player cards and possibly alt art, NO quest or encounter cards)||31||4%|
|Core Set 2.0 (new rules and new cards, not backward compatible with existing rules)||30||4%|
|Stand-alone Silmarillion (not compatible with existing cards)||26||4%|
|Nightmare 2.0 POD (Same rules, but even more difficult cards to challenge the Seastanians)||5||1%|