LORD OF THE RINGS: Your Guide to Gaming in Middle-Earth

The latest special issue of SCRYE Magazine is so far, the most complete and comprehensive resource material you will find on The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game, as well as spotlighting many of the most recent (and not-so-recent) LOTR Gaming franchises.

This special issue entitled “YOUR GUIDE TO GAMING IN MIDDLE EARTH” definitely lives up to its title. By and large, I’m not a very big fan of these “special issues”, mainly because they’re usually a total re-packaging of articles recovered from previously released issues. In this case however, I’m glad I made the exception.

This edition is in fact quite current in terms of information and offers a new variety of articles and reviews for both the LOTR TCG, and for “what was, what is and some things that have not yet come to pass.” There is extensive coverage spanning several gaming decades from the 1977 SPI classic The War of The Ring (Old Schoolers – you guys remember that one?) to the current TWO TOWERS by EA (Electronic Arts). Basically, there’s almost something for every generation of LOTR gamer inside this special issue. Comparing and contrasting the evolution of these games is like trying to compare the evolution of Atari’s PONG to PS2’s METAL GEAR 2: Sons of Liberty. Watching the maturation process of The Lord of the Rings gaming throughout the last 20 years…it’s just mind blowing! However, before I digress any further down memory lane…let’s return to the main focus of the magazine: The LOTR TCG.

The researchers at SCRYE have left no Hobbit-hole unturned as they have provided for us a catalogued and compartmentalized issue of The Lord of the Rings TCG. From the very first article, this magazine offers fans of the LOTR TCG and in-depth and personal understanding of what it takes to create a TCG of this magnitude and how one can take part in this epic gaming phenomenon. After reading this issue, you will be able to understand, if not incorporate, most of the basic–and some of the more advanced–strategies and tactics incorporated in the game.

Yet aside from all of the great strategy articles, interviews, previews and reviews, absolutely the BEST PART of this magazine is the almost 40 page FULL COLOR SPREAD of every single card from the original three sets: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Mines of Moria and The Realms of the Elf-Lords. Not only are there images of every card, including the PROMO cards and certain International cards, but there are colored borders around each card signifying their respective rarities. Believe me when I say that this spread alone is worth the price of the issue!

But wait…there’s more. There are also complete Collector’s Checklists of each and every set that has been released – including The Two Towers. These lists are in alphabetical, and not numerical, order according to their respective expansions. There is also a TWO TOWERS spoiler list. Aside from being a checklist itself–it offers players the opportunity to see which card belongs to which culture and how the card texts apply to the game. It’s basically a mini-strategy guide packaged in a very easy-to-read and convenient format.

There are also very informative and in-depth articles covering Decipher’s upcoming ONLINE format of the LOTR TCG, Decipher’s Role-Playing Game (RPG), The Lord of the Rings Tabletop Battle Game by Games Workshop and The Lord of the Rings Board Game from Fantasy Flight/Reiner Knizia–which is one of the very best Lord of the Rings games out there…hands down (thanks Quickbeam!).

Bottom line…buy this magazine. This is an issue made by the fans for the fans. And, as I mentioned earlier, if you are looking for the most complete resource for the Lord of the Rings TCG–this is it!

By the way, did I mention the fact that is also comes poly-bagged with a TWO TOWERS booster pack and a FIERCE tatoo?

All this LOTR goodness for only $5.99 (US MSRP)!!!!


Lao of Gondor