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Author Topic: "Expanded Fellowship" format (sets, rules, etc)  (Read 127 times)

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October 31, 2020, 08:48:47 PM
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Steino

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"Expanded Fellowship" format (sets, rules, etc)
« on: October 31, 2020, 08:48:47 PM »
Some friends and I who go way back to the launch of LotR TCG have been playtesting what we call Expanded Fellowship format. This is a "house rules" format that we've played on and off over the years, but we got serious about playtesting it since spring.

I've mentioned this format a few times in forum posts and on GEMP, but have been reluctant to share it until we had more games under our belts and were generally settled on the X- and R-Lists.

The goal of this format: Revitalize Fellowship Block
by inhibiting frustrating and abusive strategies and introducing new cards that rebalance the game and enable underplayed cards or cultures.

Our approach is to keep things as simple as possible: We included new sets not individual cards, we eschew errata, and we apply X- or R-list decisions that primarily originate from Decipher's own Expanded format.

Why Fellowship Block? Besides that it's our favorite format, Fellowship is probably still the most accessible format for new and old players.

I'll share the tl;dr rules below. I also have a longer doc with some of our rationale if you're keen for a more in-depth look.

Expanded Fellowship Format
Legal Sets
  • Fellowship Block sets
  • Reflections
  • Wraith Collection
  • Age's End

Rules
  • Ringbearer skirmishes can not be cancelled.
  • Frodo must be the starting ringbearer, as per the original rulebook.
  • All loaded and unloaded keywords on legal cards are in play, including Threats, Ringbound, and Enduring.

X-List
From Decipher's Expanded Format X-List:
1R45 Galadriel, Lady of Light
1U234 Ulaire Nertea, Messenger of Dol Guldur
3R38 Aragorn, Heir to the White City
3R42 Horn of Boromir
3R67 The Palantir of Orthanc
3C108 Frying Pan

Added to X-List for Expanded Fellowship only:
9R+3 Durin III, Dwarven Lord
9R+15 Gil-galad, Elven High King
9R+32 Elendil, The Tall
9R+33 Isildur, Bearer of Heirlooms
19P1 The One Ring, The Great Ring
19P3 Still Twitching
19P16 Grima, Servant of Another Master
19P18 The Balrog, Demon of Might
19P30 Pippin, Steadfast Friend

R-List
From Decipher's Expanded Format R-List:
1R40 Elrond, Lord of Rivendell
1R80 Ottar, Man of Laketown
1U108 No Stranger to the Shadows
1R139 Savagery to Match Their Numbers
1R195 Relics of Moria
1C248 Forces of Mordor
2R32 Flaming Brand
3U106 Bill the Pony

From Decipher's Expanded Format X-List:
3R68 Saruman, Keeper of Isengard
1R313 Sting
1C138 Saruman's Snows
1C311 Sam, Son of Hamfast

Added to R-List in Expanded Fellowship only:
9R+41 Host of Moria, Legion of the Underdeeps

--

We applied X-List decisions where Decipher's original rationale (https://lotrtcgwiki.com/forums/index.php/topic,120.msg35699.html#msg35699) made sense in this format. We moved just a few X-Listed cards to the R-List in part because we felt they were less abusive in this format (Sam remains the hotly contested exception), but also because we wanted to maximize the cards available.

Some cards were added to the X-List only after much playtesting. For example, The Balrog, Demon of Might was a staple of decks for a long time (it had a fascinating affect on Free Peoples deckbuilding) until a player decided to create a deck that exploited it -- to everyone's chagrin. It became clear there was no way to control this card without an errata, which we did not want to do.

Some cards are still on our watchlist. You can probably guess which ones.

To that end, what do you think are the most obviously abusive cards / strategies in this format? We've tested quite a lot, but we don't pretend to have exhausted the possibilities.

P.S. If you play on GEMP and want to try this format, look for me with an Anything Goes table open, as that's likely what I'll be playing.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 12:00:58 PM by Steino »

October 31, 2020, 09:51:58 PM
Reply #1

menace64

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Re: "Expanded Fellowship" format - 7 months in
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2020, 09:51:58 PM »
As long as HttWC and The Great Ring are banned, I say this format looks golden.

How do set-16 Wraiths function in EF? I've been yearning for years to get some use out of them.

November 06, 2020, 11:30:21 PM
Reply #2

Steino

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Re: "Expanded Fellowship" format - 7 months in
« Reply #2 on: November 06, 2020, 11:30:21 PM »
I've played 16 Wraiths just a few times in this format. I like them because they are different and internally cohesive. Undead of Angmar has been my focus so far — not only does he become big by bringing out other Wraiths, he lowers the ringbearer's resistance, which makes playing Gollum, Dark as Darkness and Thin and Stretched or DDotR tempting.

Because most Fship block Ringwraith cards only target Nazgul, there's not much synergy there. Ithil Stone is the greatest complement to them, and pairs well with Orc Taskmaster. Morgul Skulker and Ulaire Otsea, Lieutenant of Morgul provide some benefits as well. In Twilight seems good on paper, but there's no real value in the draw, it can be easily outwitted, and for the 2TL you can play a smaller Wraith who helps with spotting.

Here's what I've been playing thus far:
(32)
4x Undead of Angmar
3x Spirit of Dread
3x Barrow-wight Stalker
2x Dead Faces
2x Covetous Wisp
2x Ulaire Otsea, Lieutenant of Morgul
1x Ulaire Enquea, Lieutenant of Morgul
4x Orc Taskmaster
2x Gollum, Dark as Darkness
1x Morgul Skulker
3x Ithil Stone
2x Thin and Stretched
2x In Twilight
1x Our List of Allies Grows Thin
 
This decklist is far from refined, and as you can guess from so many minions it tends to clog. So I have thought of several alternatives:
- Swap in 4x Goblin Runners and 1x They Are Coming to relieve the Twilight pressure and hand clog
- DDotR for corruption
- Blade Tips and the other Otsea
- Ring of Asperity or Ring of Rancor with more Otseas, Enqueas instead of the Gollums

Would love to hear any ideas you have for Wraiths.
« Last Edit: November 07, 2020, 12:08:55 AM by Steino »

November 21, 2020, 12:07:06 PM
Reply #3

Steino

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Re: "Expanded Fellowship" format (sets, rules, etc)
« Reply #3 on: November 21, 2020, 12:07:06 PM »
I know not many people are reading this thread (let alone trying Expanded Fellowship), but for the record, GavinH and I finally made the call to add 19P30 Pippin, Steadfast Friend to this format's x-list.

As you can imagine, Pippin quickly became a staple in every deck — Gondor, Elves, Dwarves, Hobbits — often fighting at Str 10 or more with just a sword, riding on the coattails of Tales (no pun intended).

November 27, 2020, 12:02:57 PM
Reply #4

elfwarrior

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Re: "Expanded Fellowship" format (sets, rules, etc)
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2020, 12:02:57 PM »
I play Fellowship Block so I am interested in trying this.  I am a newish player who only plays fellowship block, and I am still learning how to build decks for it, because it has the least rules. I would need help with an enhanced fellowship block deck.

To build decks for expanded fellowship block quickly for now, I noticed my Dwarves/Moria decks did not need many changes to be legal in expanded fellowship. I'll try something more creative later. Besides Linnar and Host of Moria what other new cards could be added?
I modified my Dwarves/Moria deck to fit but I did not add many "Expanded" cards. Hobbit Stealth no longer cancels ringbearer skirmishes here so I removed it for another Thrarin and another Gimli's Helm. The hobbit stealths were for balrog's and cave trolls.

Dwarves Moria Expanded Fellowship
Ring-bearer: Frodo, Reluctant Adventurer
Ring: The One Ring, The Ruling Ring

Adventure deck:
Hobbiton Party Field
Trollshaw Forest
Council Courtyard
Mithril Mine
The Bridge of Khazad-dum
Dimrill Dale
Anduin Wilderlands
Shores of Nen Hithoel
Summit of Amon Hen

Free Peoples Draw Deck:
2x Farin, Dwarven Emissary or Fror, Gimli's Kinsman (how common are uruks in expanded fellowship?)
1x Gimli, Son of Gloin (starting)
1x Gloin, Friend to Thorin (starting)
2x Linnar, Dwarven Lord
2x Thrarin, Dwarven Smith
2x Bilbo, Well-spoken Gentlehobbit
1x Bounder
3x Book of Mazarbul
2x Dwarven Axe
2x Dwarven Bracers
1x Gimli's Battle Axe
2x Gimli's Helm
3x Hand Axe
1x Sting
1x Mithril-coat
2x Delving
4x Flurry of Blows
2x Beneath the Mountains
4x Endurance of Dwarves
1x Great Works Begun There
1x Greatest Kingdom of My People
2x Till Durin Wakes Again

Shadow Draw Deck:
3x Cave Troll of Moria, Scourge of the Black Pit
1x Goblin Flankers
4x Goblin Runner
4x Goblin Scavenger
1x Goblin Scrabbler
1x Goblin Warrior
1x Guard Commander
4x Moria Scout
1x The Balrog, Flame of Udun
1x Troll's Keyward
2x Úlairë Enquëa, Lieutenant of Morgul
4x Goblin Scimitar
1x Moria Axe
4x Host of Thousands
4x Goblin Armory
2x Goblin Swarms
1x Relics of Moria
3x They Are Coming


Here is an modified version of a dwarves/gandalf moria deck I found on the forum here https://lotrtcgwiki.com/forums/index.php?topic=9055.0 If Oppenents deck is 74 or more cards start Farin or in this case Linnar. If less than 74 start Fror (if uruks are still common in expanded fellowship). This is not a tale deck so I replaced Gloin (who is only an extra dwarf with 6 max strength in this deck) with Linnar. What other changes could be made for the expanded fellowship environment?

dwarves gandalf expanded fotr
Ring-bearer: Frodo, Reluctant Adventurer
Ring: The One Ring, The Ruling Ring

Adventure deck:
Hobbiton Woods
Trollshaw Forest
Rivendell Terrace
Mithril Mine
The Bridge of Khazad-dum
Dimrill Dale
Anduin Confluence
Shores of Nen Hithoel
Emyn Muil

Free Peoples Draw Deck:
1x Farin, Dwarven Emissary (possible start)
1x Fror, Gimli's Kinsman (possible start)
1x Gimli, Son of Gloin (starting)
2x Linnar, Dwarven Lord (possible start)
4x Gandalf, The Grey Pilgrim
1x Grimir, Dwarven Elder,
2x Thrarin, Dwarven Smith
2x Elrond, Herald to Gil-galad
1x Barliman Butterbur, Prancing Pony Proprietor
1x Ottar, Man of Laketown
2x Book of Mazarbul
2x Dwarven Axe
3x Dwarven Bracers
2x Gimli's Battle Axe
2x Gimli's Helm
3x Hand Axe
1x Glamdring
1x Wizard Staff
1x Sting
1x Narya
1x Mithril-coat
4x Flurry of Blows
1x Storm of Argument
2x A Wizard is Never Late
1x Servant of the Secret Fire
3x Sleep, Caradhras

Shadow Draw Deck:
3x Cave Troll of Moria, Scourge of the Black Pit
3x Goblin Flankers
2x Goblin Patrol Troop
4x Goblin Runner
4x Goblin Scavenger
2x Goblin Scrabbler
2x Goblin Warrior
1x Host of Moria, Legion of the Underdeeps
1x The Balrog, Flame of Udun
2x Troll's Keyward
1x Tower Assassin
4x Goblin Scimitar
3x Moria Axe
1x Frenzy
4x Goblin Armory
2x Goblin Swarms
2x Plundered Armories
1x Relics of Moria
4x They Are Coming



-elfwarrior
« Last Edit: November 28, 2020, 12:51:19 PM by elfwarrior »