Hiatus is an interesting word, but in describing the last year of this game it seems to be well-chosen. Many players assumed that the moment the official content ended, the game was over. Having seen plenty of beloved game end, sometimes ignominiously, I was a bit more optimistic. When the game is over, it is usually announced as such. The fact that Asmodee/FFG announced the game was taking a pause was a clear signal that they were at least looking at continuing it.
The last year and half has been a tumultuous time for many industries. Board and card games have no special exemption from this chaos. It just so happens that solo games which provide a campaign style format are an excellent fit for months of quarantine and travel restrictions. If anything, the popularity of this game has only increased since the stream of official content has dried up. The consistently excellent work of A Long-extended Party also deserves credit in keeping the game relevant.
Asmodee France just announced that the game will be “repackaged” into a second edition which is backwards compatible with the current game. One of the challenges with the existing release models is that the game consists of hundreds of individual products (SKUs). A quick glance at the Products page on Hall of Beorn confirms what anyone who has tried to complete their collections knows all too well. This game is large, and collecting it is difficult. This also hurts the game in retail, as local game stores have to keep hundreds of separate products in stock in order to support a player base.
This is speculation, but I expect each cycle to be condensed from 1 deluxe expansion and 6 adventure packs to one or two products. The announcements also mentioned that existing cycles would be reprinted in the new format. This makes sense, to continue reprinting all existing products in the same format only exacerbates the problem of too many SKUs. Presumably, new versions can include existing (or even additional) errata, as well as new templating and even (potentially) new art. Take all of this as just the musings of an idle bear, but it is interesting to contemplate. One thing appears certain, the game is far from over.
While we formulate our own theories of what form 2.0 will take, the ALeP train keeps rolling right along. The teaser for the latest adventure pack in the Oaths of the Rohirrim cycle, Fire on the Eastemnet, was released this week and it included enough eagles to fill an eyrie. Even a casual perusal of my decks over the years will attest to a longtime affection for Eagle decks. This adventure pack looks to do for Eagles what Children of Eorl did for Rohan and Gondor decks, so I cannot wait for it to be released.
The fine folks at ALeP have given a card to spoil, so I’m pleased to feature it here. Threat control is not widely available in Tactics, and Eagle decks tend to feature multiple Tactics heroes where threat can be an issue. Secret Vigil can help, but it comes with a resource cost and also needs a high-threat enemy to be truly effective. Hidden Roosts solves all of these problems in an Eagle deck, and even includes a card draw effect in some circumstances.
Response: When an Eagle ally leaves play, that ally’s controller reduces their threat by X, where X is the printed cost of the ally. If X is 2 or less, that player also draws 1 card.
A zero-cost event is welcome in Eagle decks, as we want to save our resources for allies and attachments. The trigger for this response is an Eagle leaving play, which is exactly what we want. Gwaihir hero, Eagles of the Misty Mountains, Meneldor, Descendant of Thorondor, the list of potential combinations with this card is as lengthy as a flight to Mordor. Low cost allies like Vassal of the Windlord, Winged Guardian, and Eagle Emissary leave play naturally. Paired with this card, those allies will give you a minor threat reduction and let you draw a card.
In other quests, you might need a more powerful threat reduction effect. In the past, this was only available through Gandalf but the Istari is expensive for an Eagle deck. Instead, Hidden Roosts can reduce your threat by up to 5, when an ally like Gwaihir or Landroval is leaving play. The choice between the weaker cantrip (built-in card draw) effect or the more powerful effect without an extra card gives this event valuable flexibility.
The narrative aspect of this card should not be overlooked. In the legendarium, Eagles fulfill the mythic role of eucatastrophe. They show up just went they are needed to avert disaster, and when the leave the party is in less danger than they were before the Eagles arrived. This is another example of an ALeP card which strikes that elegant balance between a useful mechanic and thematic resonance.
I hope that you enjoyed this sneak peak at an upcoming card from Fire on the Eastemnet. Keep an eye on the A Long-extended Party blog for more exciting announcements
A Long-extended party is an unofficial, fan-made project for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, a living card game by Fantasy Flight Games and is not endorsed, supported or affiliated by FFG. This project is entirely volunteer-driven, and the content created by ALeP is a non-commercial fan release, distributed without pay or profit, for the sole intent of private enjoyment by fans of the game.