35 – Luck vs. Skill

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In this episode, Derek, Ian, and Matthew discuss the fundamental concept of luck vs. skill within LOTR LCG. What does skill look like in the game? How much does luck play a part? How does one become more skilled?

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3 Responses to 35 – Luck vs. Skill

  1. Great episode. Thanks guys!

  2. Steven says:

    Interesting discussion!

    I disagree that other card games are more skillbased. Take a notepad and chalk up each game if it was won mostly through skill or luck. LotR is missing some things that games like Magic or Hearthstone have.
    1. No mana-screw. The king of (bad)luck in games.
    2. No bad resource curve cards. You can’t get stuck with cards you literaly can’t play due to high costs because LotR doesn’t have a traditional resource curve.
    3. No bad random matchups. You don’t get randomly put against a quest you know your deck is useless against.
    4. Rush decks in those type of games often rely on the opening draw. A good rush deck with a great opening hand often cannot be stopped. Rush decks with a bad opening hand rarely win.

    I understand the ‘the encounter deck doesn’t think’ argument. Then again, often in such games both players know exactly which clear-the-board card you need and it’s not the skill of playing it but the ‘skill’ of drawing that card in time. There is also the argument if having an opponent make a dumb mistake is considered ‘skill’ or ‘luck’ on your side.

    In LotR, especially lately as you guys pointed out, the encounter deck has become pretty consistent in it’s performance. As such, you won’t ‘luck’ out against Carn Dum. Either you have a badass deck and well thought out plan, or you lose. At the same time, a good deck won’t lose to many of the easier quests if you know what you’re doing.

    There is the argument that in LotR luck is ‘perceived’ to be more prevalent, because if you play 1 hour and lose because of an unlucky draw, that feels much more significant than playing 10 quicker games of Hearthstone and losing 4 of them due to bad luck.

    The one argument that actually sticks is that in LotR there is less of a drive to develop high level skill. You don’t face opponents and don’t have to keep up with the skill of other players. If you can beat the scenario’s you win. So in a competitive game like Magic, players are forced to always improve if they want to win tournaments and such. In such games, the best players are very close to the skill ceiling of that game, while in LotR, there is much less need to actually BE that skillful.

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