I give up !

By TrooperShark99, in The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

This game was my first exeprience with FFG, I like the game, I think it has potential, but sadly I think I am done with it. The LCG concept is interesting, but only if the company backing it up has it's act together, the lack of news and updates, the simple fact that weeks after pre-release events we don't even have a release date for the FIRST expension pack, leads me to believe these guys are not in control. This is pathetically bad, a one man show in his garage should be able to at least post a release schedule for something like this, where the release of expensions is key to the entire concept of the offering.

I think the game has enough potential to gather a sizable enough player base to be interesting, but the company supporting it does not appear to be ready and able to support something like this well enough for the player base to stick around, I see this becoming a niche game at best, I was hoping for something more.

FFG has been making LCGs for at least 4 years now, so they may have some sort of plan. I have a feeling once the first AP comes out, you'll see the next 5 come out within weeks of each other, since they're all printed now. At least that's my hope. I've been keeping occupied with other FFG games in the meantime.

I have a different question after i saw the sold out article.Is this game realy so popular or they just sold out the box in the stores cause this is a LOTR title but people after they play tested it don't have any interest in this game?I am asking this cause LOTR tcg was very popular in my country(Greece) but this one is not even popular in our fantasy shops.So few people have it and most of them don't have any interest after they have played it.

Any guys from rest of the world can answer how popular this game is in their country?

Um, we have a release date. It was put on the boat June 2nd. it takes 5-7 weeks from that time to hit the shelves. That's the date. We have known it for over a month.

Sometimes games are unlucky when their boats are unexpectedly delayed by floods in another country. And no amount of ragequitting will fix that.

For myself, I just shelved the game for a few weeks, because it's not the only game out there (heck, it's not the only LCG out there), although it is the only LCG that can be played solo. (I keep wondering about solo rules for Call of Cthulhu though, now that I've experienced LotR:TCG). When I pulled it out again, I was happy with it again. Sometimes you just need to let games lie fallow.

The game's also new enough that it doesn't have the sheer card count that other LCGs have; once it reaches this point (i.e., once shipping troubles have passed), it'll be interesting for far longer periods of time.

But yeah... my advice is, you probably shouldn't waste the investment you made in the game, and rest it if possible.

Alternatively, Middle Earth: CCG is out there in old decks and has solo rules and scenarios.

Yes middle earth is cool game. I also wont t buy couple of middle earth decks.I use to play this game 10 years before. Very cool game.

For many reason i have the same feelings. They make new game and this is LORD OF THE RING!!!! This title so popular!!! they must really take care this game ans support it 200% careful. Yes they make a lot of mistake with a rules all this delay. Now is judgment time. They will fix it and everything going better or they game start slowly die. I sow 2 times already. With middle earth ccg and lotr tcg decipher.

servant of the secret fire said:

Any guys from rest of the world can answer how popular this game is in their country?

I think its a bit too early to say but in Germany the reception was mixed. It got less fanzine coverage than a boardgame and the couple of reviews were rather "a good game" than "you must buy it". It was clearly communicated that it appeals to fans of Collectible Card Games and Middle Earth Fans and less to the casual gamer. My feeling is that it was shelved to "a solid and interesting game but for fantasy/tactic-nerds". I know a couple of Middle-Earth fanatics myself who told me that they just cant relate to this type of card games. They stick to board and role-playing games instead.

Glaurung said:

Now is judgment time. They will fix it and everything going better or they game start slowly die. I sow 2 times already. With middle earth ccg and lotr tcg decipher.

Maybe there's a curse on LotR-themed deck-construction style games.

Shelfwear said:

I think its a bit too early to say but in Germany the reception was mixed. It got less fanzine coverage than a boardgame and the couple of reviews were rather "a good game" than "you must buy it". It was clearly communicated that it appeals to fans of Collectible Card Games and Middle Earth Fans and less to the casual gamer.

I'd expect the game to do better in a country where CCGs are popular; in Germany, they don't seem popular at all. The last deck construction game I'd heard of as doing well there was Blue Moon, which is like a very streamlined LCG. But I've been out of circulation for some time, so this might have changed.

Shelfwear said:

I know a couple of Middle-Earth fanatics myself who told me that they just cant relate to this type of card games. They stick to board and role-playing games instead.

Then they must be very huppy now cause the new Lotr rpg is coming at August.

I actually am on the same page as Troopershark here. I am surprised at the sloppiness of ffg, especially since they already do LCGs for a long time. Of course a ship might be delayed by any kinds of reasons, but other companies have that problem, too, and they still manage to have a release schedule and stick to it. All this needs is some expert planning ahead. A professional way to do this would be to print ahead of time and start releasing once you're ready to do so . Any B to B sales enterprise cannot afford the sloppiness ffg is showing and its probably only a couple nerds like me that are excited enough about this game that are forgiving enough.

So really, not being able to give exact worldwide release dates and predicting sales figures...the company should have enough money to hire some professionals. Heck, they don't even manage to consistently post relevant articles on there homepage! I feel disappointed because ffg was getting the fans extremely excited about this game and got my hopes and expectations extremely high, but in the end failed to deliver. Maybe they should start doing things before they anounce them and get everyone excited about it. In other industries, if you don't manage to meet timelines you don't get a second chance...

Bohemond said:

Um, we have a release date. It was put on the boat June 2nd. it takes 5-7 weeks from that time to hit the shelves. That's the date. We have known it for over a month.

Hear hear! It's only been three months, stop complaining. Has our capacity for patience grown so thin thanks to our "immediate gratification" culture that we will throw something great away just because it doesn't come out exactly when we want it to? Think how long you have to wait for a sequel to a video game, or movie, or how long it takes to release an expansion for any other board game! Three months is nothing.

There is a lot of mistakes FFG done. Of course the most problem is delay. Second, balance of the game is quite strange: Crazy draw, the game is to easy with expert 50 cards decks and more players, very unbalanced heroes and so on. One more problem for me look like Hunt for gollum quest is quite easy and not provide enough challenge for the expert players. Tournament system also still unclear......

And very important thing as well. More and more players start to feel disappointed. FFG must start to think really seruous about the game future.

But i hope they track forums and see what happen with the players and try to do something with that.

Narsil0420 said:

Bohemond said:

Um, we have a release date. It was put on the boat June 2nd. it takes 5-7 weeks from that time to hit the shelves. That's the date. We have known it for over a month.

Hear hear! It's only been three months, stop complaining. Has our capacity for patience grown so thin thanks to our "immediate gratification" culture that we will throw something great away just because it doesn't come out exactly when we want it to? Think how long you have to wait for a sequel to a video game, or movie, or how long it takes to release an expansion for any other board game! Three months is nothing.

It's easy for you to say.After all you are the master of patience lengua.gif .

Complain all you want about the release schedule, but let’s not pretend FFG is a couple of gaming nerds with no idea of how to run a business. It’s a company with dozens of employees and revenues in the millions (probably tens of millions) of dollars. The company has achieved the status of one biggest players in the industry, and has done it, at least in part, because of extremely cost efficient production and delivery system.

Do I want Hunt for Gollum yesterday? Yes! Am I not playing the game as much as I would like because of the limited number of scenarios? Of course.

But that doesn’t change the fact that a firm release date for something shipped from china overseas would either be a) completely unreliable or b) guarantee a later release of the product.

I think a lot of people would choose option B.

The worst thing about the delays with The Hunt for Gollum is the deception of not meeting expectations the company itself created. If they'd released the core set saying: "We'll start releasing expansion packs in 3 months.", people wouldn't be as frustrated as they are right now. Instead, they said "we'll release one expansion per month starting in June.". Well, we're approaching mid-July and the expansion isn't anywhere near hitting the shelves. And it looks like the following one is also being delayed. That's the mistake.

Now, I understand it happens. But the lack of official update is still a big deception. Saying "they said it had shipped on June 2nd, account for an extra 5 to 7 weeks before it hits the shelves" isn't a professional response. Is it 5, 6 or 7 weeks? How come a movie company is able to annouce a year in advances the release date for their product, distribute it around the world and have it ready for the clients to purchase on time, as planned, 99,9 % of the time?

My nearest shop get the hunt for gollum release kit yesterday. So moment of true is come. I will play soon and will understand what going on with the game now and where we going. Anyway only after couple of adv. packs we can understand what really happen with the game.

Bohemond said:

Complain all you want about the release schedule, but let’s not pretend FFG is a couple of gaming nerds with no idea of how to run a business. It’s a company with dozens of employees and revenues in the millions (probably tens of millions) of dollars. The company has achieved the status of one biggest players in the industry, and has done it, at least in part, because of extremely cost efficient production and delivery system.

Do I want Hunt for Gollum yesterday? Yes! Am I not playing the game as much as I would like because of the limited number of scenarios? Of course.

But that doesn’t change the fact that a firm release date for something shipped from china overseas would either be a) completely unreliable or b) guarantee a later release of the product.

Bohemond, that is exactly my point. If the company was a small home-run based nerd-group producing awesome games I'd be willing to take a lot. But froma company making millions (or tens of millions) of revenue I just expect matching professionalism. I think it is not even a question of professionalism not to guarantee something you cannot keep word for sure, but just a question of manner and (in this case) respect towards your client.

As SiCK_Boy said, there are numerous other industries that manage to deliver on time, and many of them produce in China or somwehere around the globe. You could say it is unfair to have higher expectations of a big multi-national company than of the home-based nerd-group, but that is the way I feel. And that is way I would always choose option B, because I don't care about an unreliable release date, but one that is realistic. And lotr being an lcg I feel it is very relevant to know when the next expansion is coming.

Actually, I think that is something even ffg might have underrated. Lotr gives us only about 50% (or less) of the cards to freely play with. The rest is event deck cards. Thus, a steady flow of new packs is more vital for lotr than for e.g. agot where I start with 4 perfectly usable decks with enough cards to provide variety in the core set. The three scenarios from the core set are played through quickly and the player cards give almost no variability. It is enough for 1 - 2 months maybe, but definitly not enough for 3-4 months. And I fear that 9 player cards per pack with only one new quest might not provide enough add value for 15 usd / month for me...although that is my personal oppinion.

SiCK_Boy said:

Now, I understand it happens. But the lack of official update is still a big deception. Saying "they said it had shipped on June 2nd, account for an extra 5 to 7 weeks before it hits the shelves" isn't a professional response. Is it 5, 6 or 7 weeks? How come a movie company is able to annouce a year in advances the release date for their product, distribute it around the world and have it ready for the clients to purchase on time, as planned, 99,9 % of the time?

Movie companies achieve their release dates by sitting on finished product for months. That isn’t a model we want FFG to emulate, since it would delay the product and increase costs. The problem isn’t communication; it’s that we all want the expansion packs ASAP. Demanding strict timetables to which a company must adhere doesn’t help achieve that goal; it hurts it.

Then we disagree here. I personnally don't want them ASAP.

I want them on schedule. I wouldn't mind that they push back their release schedule (and all the hyping up previews and marketing strategy) if it would mean no "unexpected delays" on future release.

I'm sure other people do as well.

And the movie industry doesn't sit on it's product for months. They often finish "development" (shooting, editing) a few weeks before release. If you watch the extras on the extended LotR DVD, you'll see that Peter Jackson was still making changes up to a few weeks before worldwide release.

One thing we don't know about FFG (and specifically in regard to LotR Card Game) is how the development cycle is organized. For example, have they already completed the design of all cards from all 6 expansion packs from the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle? One would think so, since they probably designed all 6 together. If that's the case, then there's no reason not to get them all printed at once. They can still delay the release to distributors so that they trickle in once a month, but I don't understand why the delay on Hunt for Gollum is rippling up to the next expansion as well. Unless they really are still working on the design (making up cards, playtesting, etc.) of the other expansions.

If the product is completely designed, then it's risk management on their part. They risk delays in distribution to save on storage costs and so as to be able (I guess) to print the appropriate quantity of products for the expected market (if sales plummet, they may not print as maybe copies of the 6th expansion as they do the first). There's probably also some marketing decisions involved. But in the case of THfG, their risk management strategy and the marketing campaign is making a number of people unhappy.

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Mate this is not a game wich you can wait 3 months for a new scenario.I don't know the real reason for the delay but this is very bad for the company and the game and as faith star said i am not sure that 1 ap per month and 9 new cards can hold peoples interest.


Just because one film finishes a few weeks before release doesn't mean that's true across the industry. Black Swan, The King's Speech and 127 Hours (just to pick some names from the best picture list), were all done several months before theatrical release. Also, movie making doesn't involve much in the way of manufacturing, or rely on container shipping, and its entire profit model is computed around release dates, so it’s not a very useful comparative example.


Based on other LCGs, I am near certain that expansion cycles are designed as a whole. As for why you might not print them all together, as you point out, we need to remember that it’s a physical product. Once you make it, you have to put it somewhere. Also, remember that Fantasy flight makes a wealth of different games, and uses similar sized components (figures, dice, cards, boxes, inserts) across its entire line. So, the decision you are making in April* isn't "do we print the hunt for Gollum on its own, or do we print the entire Mirkwood cycle?", it's "What do we need to print across our entire company for July?"How much does advanced printing and storage cost? Would absorbing the costs be better than risking production delays? Hard for us to say without actually being in the business.


Are some people pissed off? Sure. It's an internet forum, some people are always pissed off. More importantly, some people will be pissed off no matter what you do. It’s not like FFG has been sitting on their hands. For instance, FFG knew the product was going to be delayed, so they shipped copies of it ahead by air to host demo events to build an retain enthusiasm for the line. They aren't hiding a specific date from us. International cargo shipping is often imprecise. When they have a firm date, they will give it to us.


In terms of delays, I would be far more worried that Conflict at the Carrock hasn’t shipped than I would be about whether we get THfG arrives in mid July or late July.


* I have no idea if this decision was actually made in April, i was just picking a random month as an example

servant of the secret fire said:

[email protected]

Mate this is not a game wich you can wait 3 months for a new scenario.I don't know the real reason for the delay but this is very bad for the company and the game and as faith star said i am not sure that 1 ap per month and 9 new cards can hold peoples interest.

Servant, that is exactly my point. Guaranteeing a release date means that you will have a later release. The problem isn’t lack of communication or an established time table. The problem is that the game needs expansions, and the company should focus on getting them in stores as quickly as possible.

It upsets me when dates and timetables are given and then it is so obvious that it is going to miss the dates; so clear even to the general public, like you and I. But then no updated information is released. I know I am not owed anything, but if a release date is put out there without any of us asking for one, then jerked away without explanation, I start to feel...well, jerked around. And that is a feeling that sucks, loyal paying customers deserve better.

Also, I do worry about the long term health of the game. With a single scenario and only two new cards per sphere in each release (plus a single Neutral), it doesn't feel like an expansion will have much legs. Ideally, it won't matter because the way things are set up, the next fix should be just a month away. But, is that going to happen? It feels like Gollum is way ahead of Carrock.

I get the same problem with Cubicle 7. Release dates that they choose to set and announce, then miss and miss again without explanation. Then when finally they do get something released, it is sort of ho-hum. Fortunately, with them I can vote with my wallet (assuming they ever put anything out again). It's harder to vote with my wallet when I am addicted to collecting cards and trying to win the game.

I want this game to survive and thrive. I don't know how much of a negative effect delays have on the survival and livelihood of games which are designed to steadily grow and expand. But I really wish that no new product wouldn't cut into the game's bottom line, and make it seem less economically viable to a business that wants to make money.

I know it is just a game, but games are how I meet new people and make new friends, how I enjoy myself, and blow off stress from a meaningless job and all the little mundane things that pile up on each and every one of us daily. They are important part of my life, and when I find one that I like, I want it to do well. I feel a little better now.

There is also can be another negative effect. We waiting for HFG long time already. So when is come and it will be not so difficult and dont give you some really good expirience???If you easy can beat it with your old decks??? And still in coop it will to easy so what you will feel. Mostly of us will feel disappointed.

You wait wait long time, get it ,easy beat it and now you have to wait again for the next one(Conflict in Carrock).

The Adv pack quest sshould to be really interessting and provide really different expirience from each other. And should to be more difficult then core set quest.

And Also when you play coop the Difficult should increase with the number of players. And with stages of the quests also dangerous must grow.

Than is will be ok. People will like to play, make coop decks preparing them self for more challenge on the tournaments with special tournaments quests.