As posted by Fantasy Flight Games on Facebook, The Hobbit expansion to Lord of the Rings: The Card Game will be available August 17th. Which will actually coincide with Friday at Gen Con. Hopefully they will have it there (attempting to verify that now).
The greatest journey begins with a Hobbit
The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill recaptures the magic of the first half of the novel that initially introduced us to Hobbits, the Shire, and a certain magic ring…
You’ll steer the fates of Bilbo Baggins, Thorin Oakenshield, the wizard Gandalf, and other familiar characters as they begin their journey out of the Shire. You’ll encounter terrible trolls, bitter storms, rampaging giants, swarms of Goblins, and the strange creature known as Gollum. You’ll meet new Dwarves, burgle treasures, and answer riddles in a deadly test of wits. With three scenarios drawn directly from the first half of the novel, five new heroes, treasure cards, and three copies of each player card, The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill brings you as close as you can get to reliving this classic work of fiction without finding your name on the page.
Another expansion, currently scheduled for release later in 2012, will introduce related scenarios that conclude Bilbo’s classic adventure!
The lucky number
Sometimes the greatest heroes are the least likely…
Hobbits are little folk, often portly, with almost no magic about them, and they’re not prone to embarking on silly adventures. Still, one of the greatest of all adventures was that of Bilbo Baggins.
Recruited to join Thorin and Company because Gandalf felt the party’s composition of thirteen Dwarves needed a fourteenth member to bring them luck, Bilbo Baggins truly proved his worth with his unexpected courage and great resourcefulness. He saved his companions on numerous occasions, burgled famous weapons, and discovered a magical ring that was far more valuable than anyone imagined.
In fact, Bilbo’s pluck and wit are so central to the events of The Hobbit that he appears as a unique hero in The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill. This Bilbo comes with a new sphere of influence and a set of rules that reflect his importance in the novel and the scenarios that recreate its early adventures.
Throughout the scenarios of The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill, Bilbo Baggins joins the first player as a free hero, meaning a player can adventure with as many as four heroes. Bilbo can gain resources and take actions much like other heroes, but players must remember to keep this crafty burglar healthy. If Bilbo ever leaves play, the players lose the game.
Meanwhile, Bilbo enriches the game with a whole new sphere of influence, the Baggins sphere. In the novel, Bilbo’s daring and clever thinking managed to get Thorin and Company out of a series of dangerous situations. Likewise, Baggins sphere tokens can be used not only to pay for Baggins sphere and neutral cards, but they can be used to get yourself out of sticky situations via a number of game effects that change with each scenario. Because Bilbo can’t gain resources from player card effects, players will need to make judicious use of these valuable resource tokens. You’ll gain more insight on the design of this dynamic new sphere of influence in an upcoming preview.
It’s not just a game, it’s an adventure!
The Hobbit’s three new scenarios feature exciting and innovative game play that merit multiple games, but they also offer a wholly new type of challenge that will keep you and your friends going back to them, over and over. The scenarios from The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill introduce a brand new type of card, treasures! Treasure cards represent some of the rarest and most valuable items in Middle-earth. However, players can’t include treasures in their decks until they discover the cards during a scenario.
Players may successfully complete a scenario without gaining all its treasures, providing them reason to go back and try again. Or they may try so hard to win a scenario’s treasures that they end up falling victim to its enemies and treacheries.
Once discovered, however, treasure cards provide powerful benefits to the heroes who discovered them, helping them campaign against future scenarios. Still, treasures do more than bolster heroes; they establish continuity in a campaign that unites all three scenarios from The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill, meaning the scenarios become something greater than the sum of their parts. They combine for a grand adventure!
The Saga begins!
While standard expansions imagine new and untold stories in Middle-earth, this Saga Expansion allows players to participate directly in the events from the beloved fiction of J.R.R. Tolkien. Its scenarios can be played individually, or combined into a sweeping campaign, which carries players through the first half of The Hobbit and will continue, later in 2012, with the release of a second Saga Expansion that will conclude Bilbo’s epic journey.
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