Battle of Helm’s Deep will soon be thrashing its way into a Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game near you. There are many new devilries present here and of these it seems that the Rohan culture is finally coming into its own. For months players mocked that the Theoden Starter deck was the weakest of the bunch, rightly so as Rohan’s chief tactic at the time was their mounts and causing an exertion each time a minion was assigned to skirmish one of your mounted Rohan men. This of course came under scrutiny as the Aragorn starter deck utilized Dunland which only had the one Vitality to begin with, so an exertion was impossible. This coupled with the fact that Valiant had not been fully explored as the powerhouse that it is. But no more, let’s look a bit deeper into the Rohan Culture.
Starting off, Eowyn: Daughter of Eomund has become something to fear as you may now choose to play weapons on her during the Maneuver phase instead of during the Fellowship Phase, and heal her by doing so. This of course will still be under fire from the many Dunland cards like Secret Folk which simply discard that weapon in the Maneuver Phase. Still, against many opponents who need a lot of twilight before their shadow phase, not deploying weapons until the Maneuver Phase is a good tactic to starve your opponent into playing smaller numbers of minions to threaten your Horse-masters.
Another beautiful new tactic is Fortification. First of these new cards; Arrow-Slits allows you to spot two Rohan Men to discard a possession or a machine and then discard Arrow-Slits. If you’ve ever been up against the ticking time bomb that is Isengard you clearly see the monumental benefit to any player hoping to evade the arrowed fury of cards like Weapons of Isengard, and new cards like Scaling Ladder and Battering Ram. Rohan indeed has a few new tricks up it’s sleeves to defend against the industries of Isengard, but is that all?
Hardly! Gamling: Warrior of Rohan can now play a Rohan Possession on himself during the Skirmish Phase to make him Strength +2 and Damage +1, not counting whatever benefit will come from the Possession. This not only plays confusion on your opponent but it is immune to cards like Secret Folk as these possessions are played out during Skirmish and not Maneuver.
Rohan also gets it’s share of Allies in the form of Sigewulf: Brave Volunteer who can exert and spot 5 Valiant Men to discard a minion. A valuable effect for those of you out there who like to move more than once in a turn. What about our King? Well Theoden: King of the Golden Hall is represented here with his Maneuver action which allows him to play a Rohan Possession on himself to heal a Rohan Ally. So now that you’ve got your Villager Support Allies like Guma: Plains Farmer and Hlafwine: Village Farmhand you can step up with Theoden and keep them in the mix.
Overall Rohan is still going to have some trouble with the more fierce decks, and pumper heavy opponents, but with these new cards I don’t doubt strategies will arise that will give the Uruk-hai a run for their money. Try out Rohan, or any of the cultures present in the Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game, and drop us an e-mail with your thoughts and hopes for the future expansions of The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game. Myself, and all of the Gaming Havens staff, can be reached at Havens@TheOneRing.net.
Until next time……..