I had a brainwave this week at the local game shoppe. As a bit of a writer, I find it almost imperative that I write about things as they appear on my radar. The process helps me to sift through my thoughts and then sharpen them once they’re submitted for public approval. But where to share these thoughts on our favorite card game? There’s no lore involved so it can’t go on Master of Lore. It’s a little too specific for my oft-neglected personal blog, so it falls here to the Grey Company.
We were attempting to riddle out Celebrimbor’s Secret at the shop last week, unsuccessfully I will add, when I mentioned how the quest is kind of a puzzle. ‘That’s it!’ exclaimed a fellow player. ‘It is a puzzle!’ The tone was pejorative, as if to say: this isn’t a game, it’s Sudoku. That’s when it hit me. Yes, it is a puzzle and we have to tailor our decks accordingly, but isn’t it that way with most card games?
Fantasy Flight just had their LCG World Championship, as did Hearthstone. There are thousands upon thousands of Magic tournaments in game shops across the country each week. In all of these competitions it’s imperative to have some idea what your opponent is playing and to plan according. If you know card X is coming, you don’t play card Y until you see it or you believe that they haven’t drawn it. The same is true of The Lord of the Rings: we have to know our opponent’s (the encounter deck) cards and plan for it.
In our case we know exactly what our opponent is playing, but he is still playing an overpowered deck that severely bends the rules and that is frustrating to say the least.
The issue is that sometimes we just don’t want to do that. We’ve said on the show on many occasions that we don’t always have the time (or desire for that matter) to custom build decks to ‘solve’ quests, especially with the current cycle in which it feels like our decks have to do it all and do it all well. That is a different story altogether, but the realization that the encounter deck (1) is an opponent and (2) an opponent that can be beaten has been helpful in confronting it. While sometimes that opponent seems formidable, even impossible, we have the tools necessary to solve the problem and crush the enemy and that, really, is when this game is the most satisfying.
Stay tuned! A Celebrimbor’s Secret fail video is on the way and new episodes are in the pipe.