Board Game Resource Comprehensive Review – The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

In All, LOTR LCG, Reviews by Zach Hillegas1 Comment

Lord of the Rings LCG Review

How do you help ease the pain of a Tolkien fan who has read the Lord of the Rings books, watched the movies, played the video games, read the books again, and still isn’t satisfied? The answer is more Lord of the Rings. The answer is always more Lord of the Rings. Fortunately, if you happen to fall into this group and you’re a tabletop gamer, the series is well represented.

Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is, you guessed it, a card game based on Lord of the Rings. This isn’t just any old card game though, it’s a Living Card Game, a card game that keeps on giving with continual, constant expansions being released all the time. This isn’t just any old Living Card Game though. Lord of the Rings puts a unique spin on the LCG genre by offering a co-operative experience, where one or more players can build a deck to fight against the game, which will throw out Sauron’s minions in troves to try to stop you from completing your quest.


You didn’t read that wrong, I said one or more players, meaning this game can be played solo. If you’re starving for a new Lord of the Rings experience, or if you’re itching to throw yourself into a deck-building experience with an absurd amount of content, then continue reading with cautious optimism, because this game might just take over your life.

Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, published by Fantasy Flight Games and designed by Nate French, was released in 2011 and has enjoyed a constant stream of deck-based expansions ever since. Is this the one card game to rule them all? It’s time to find out.


How do you play the game? Is it a fun experience? How much interaction is there between the players? Is there very much luck involved? Will it take forever to to learn and teach?



How much strategy is involved? Is there a sense of variety and balance? Does the game play well no matter how many players there are? How long does it take to play?

two decks

Look and Feel

Is the game aesthetically pleasing? Are the components made out of quality material, or do they feel cheap? Is the rulebook well-designed and easy to read? How well is theme integrated into the game?



Is it a game you can play over and over? Are there expansions available for the game, and if so, are they necessary? Does the amount of the content in the box justify the price?



The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game takes a conventional genre, and adds a refreshing twist to it that makes it feel like something completely unique and in its own league. Players can experience the fun of building decks without worrying about an evolving metagame or competitive players to keep up with. It’s a fun co-operative experience that will demand precise teamwork and well-built decks.

The game is also an excellent solo experience that can keep you entertained for hours on end. The solo experience doesn’t feel shoehorned in – the game works organically with one player and I’ve often had a blast playing on my own.


Despite being very well-designed, the game is unapologetically unforgiving, and players who don’t like playing hard games might lose their patience pretty quickly as the game spits out challenges that feel overwhelming. Sometimes bad luck can play a little too much of a role in how brutal the game can be, but overall, the game rarely ever feels like it’s completely insurmountable, and players who enjoy a challenge will love taking the game head-on, building custom tailored decks to overcome specific obstacles.

LOTR:LCG is visually pleasing, with well-made components and respectable homage to the universe of Lord of the Rings. Tolkien fans will not be disappointed with this one, and will enjoy the wide assortment of quality artwork.

While the game offers decent longevity with the core set, players looking to pick up a game with extra content will not be disappointed; the game has a staggering amount of additional content released, and it’s not looking to end anytime soon. For players willing to invest, Lord of the Rings: The Card game could last them a thousand years and not get old.

Overall, for Lord of the Rings fans, card game players, and co-operative/solo game lovers, Lord of the Rings checks all the right boxes.



  • You’ve ever sat through a marathon of the Extended Lord of the Rings movies
  • You enjoy building decks
  • You want a game you can play solo
  • You want a good two player game
  • You enjoy co-operative games
  • You like feeling challenged
  • You want a game with near endless expansionary content
  • You enjoy growing stronger from failure
  • You’re interested in LCG/CCG mechanics but don’t want to keep up with a competitive metagame


  • You’re Bored of the Rings
  • You don’t like deck-building, or prepping a lot before you play a game
  • Crushing failure breaks you
  • You desire competitive opponents and a metagame
  • Don’t want to be tempted by tons of expansionary content
  • You don’t like having to think really hard when you play games
About the Author

Zach Hillegas

Zach is an avid tabletop gamer, and he created Board Game Resource out of his love for the hobby, and his desire to see more people come into it. When he's not writing for or managing BGR, Zach might be hanging out with cats, hiking a mountain, spending time with his lovely wife, or writing about video game stuff for Insert Gamer. Zach has also enjoys creating digital character art. You can check out his (long neglected) gallery here, or follow him on Instagram at @artworkbyzach!


  1. Good review. One point to note: the threat level at which you lose is 50 not 40.

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