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The Hunt for Gollum Adventure Pack - Board Game Box Shot

The Hunt for Gollum Adventure Pack

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The elusive creature known as Gollum is hiding somewhere in the Anduin Valley. It is up to you to find him and discover what dark designs lay in wait for him...

As the first Adventure Pack in the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle, The Hunt for Gollum sets the stage for the coming quests by putting players in search of the titular creature, whose capture is the overall goal in Shadows of Mirkwood. For this first quest, players are tasked with uncovering the clues in the form of the Signs of Gollum Objective cards, which are shuffled into the Encounter deck.

The Hunt for Gollum sample cards

image © Fantasy Flight Games

Featuring a new hero, new player cards for all four spheres of influence, and an assortment of new Encounter cards, The Hunt for Gollum begins your dangerous trek through the Shadows of Mirkwood!

This is not a stand-alone deck. A copy of The Lord of the Rings: The Core Set is required to play.

User Reviews (7)

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Jungle Elves - Summoner Wars Beta 2.0 Tester
Summoner Wars Fan
Unicorn Clan - Legend of the Five Rings
69 of 76 gamers found this helpful
“Adds to the story... and the cards.”

I’ll offer this disclaimer up front:  I am a very big fan of the Lord of the Rings Living Card. The reason I’m a big fan is because it is a fun game with excellent artwork, amazing theme, challenging gameplay, and an engaging narrative. Since I really enjoy the base game, I am predisposed to have a positive view of this expansion, so keep that in mind. Having said that, this isn’t one of the best expansions available, but if you’re interested in the game, you should still pick this one up.

The quality of the components is great, as usual. The cards are well-made, and the artwork is up to the usual high standards. 

The gameplay is not changed significantly with this expansion, as it follows the same mechanics as the core set. One thing that stands out when playing through this adventure is the sheer number of locations that keep coming up. This may be frustratingly tedious for some players, and it will probably make this one of the adventures that isn’t replayed as much. Knowing how the rest of this adventure pack cycle plays out, I have to say that I like how the number of locations really adds to the narrative of the game. This expansion is setting the stage for ones to come, and it does a good job of presenting a long and exhausting search for signs of an elusive prey. By the time you’ve continued this hunt to it’s conclusion with the Return to Mirkwood, you will feel like you have participated in an engaging narrative arc. The story may start off a little slow, but it will be rewarding to stick with it until the end.

Even if you don’t care for this quest, it is a worthwhile pack to get for the useful cards it adds that you can use to build your deck for later expansions. Dunedain Mark provides additional attack for your heroes, Song of Kings provides a leadership icon, and Bilbo Baggins provides a realitively low-cost lore hero that can be useful with his additional card drawing ability. There are also a few useful Eagle cards for anyone interested in focusing on an eagle deck.

Overall, I think this is a nice expansion to a great game. It doesn’t shake things up, but it’s not meant to. It does offer more gameplay and sets the stage for an ongoing story, all at a reasonable price. It also provides some nice opportunities to expand your deck and play options. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who enjoys the base game and is looking for more adventures.

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68 of 75 gamers found this helpful | Medals x 1
“A great quest, a few treats, and lovely artwork”

The Hunt for Gollum is the first adventure pack for The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game. It introduces the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle (consisting of six adventure packs), which revolves around the search for Gollum in the vicinity of Mirkwood and the Anduin River. Thus, story wise, it follows neatly after the three quests found in the basic game (that also take place around Mirkwood and Anduin River).

The hunt for Gollum contains 60 cards and a single-page rulesheet. Most cards are for the encounter deck (i.e. enemy, location, treachery, and objective cards), but there are some cards for the player decks as well (i.e. hero, ally, attachment, and event cards; some for each sphere of influence), plus three quest cards.

The quest
To me, the quest (“The Hunt for Gollum”) was a real treat. With a difficulty level of 4, it is not too hard to manage, even if you play solo. The quest takes the players on a search for traces of Gollum along the Anduin River. It is quite straightforward and does not contain any threshold monsters (such as the river troll at the start of the quest “Journey down the Anduin,” found in the basic game), which makes it much more playable for 1 or 2 players. It also contains some unexpected turns at the end of the quest, which can really screw up your game plan, yet in a way that really sticks with the theme and the feeling of the quest and the whole of the Shadows of Mirkwood cycle.

The hero
The hero included in The Hunt for Gollum is none less than Bilbo Baggins. However, that does not mean that you will want to include him in your deck any time soon. He is just as weak in battle (attack 1, defense 2, 2 hit points) as you might expect and not as good at questing (willpower 1) as I had thought. You will probably put him aside until future cards that boost hobbits arrive. Bilbo belongs to the sphere of Lore.

The new allies, attachments, and events
There are at least two new cards for each sphere of influence. My favorites belong to Leadership: “Campfire tales,” an event card (cost 1) that lets each player draw 1 card (quite good with 3–4 players), and “Dúnedain Mark,” an attachment (cost 1) that gives +1 attack and can be moved to another hero at the cost of 1 resource. Among the other new card you will find: “Winged Guardian,” a Tactics ally (cost 2) with defense 4 (although you have to pay 1 tactics resource to keep it after a defense) and the first of a series of eagle allies that really will boost Tactics decks; “Strider’s Path,” a Lore event (cost 1) that lets you travel to a freshly revealed location without resolving its Travel effect (this is a cheap way of getting rid of locations with high threat and/or really nasty Travel effects); “Mustering the Rohirrim,” a Spirit event (cost 1) that lets you search the top 10 cards of your deck and add a Rohan ally to you hand (not good enough yet, but a keeper for future times when you get more Rohan cards).

The hunt for Gollum contains a couple of really nice cards, another few cards that will be useful in the feature, and a really enjoyable quest. The adventure packs will probably get better than this, but it is a nice enough start and – not to forget – the art on the cards is consistently of high quality. I will certainly return and play the Hunt for Gollum quest several more times.

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I'm Completely Obsessed
Viscount / Viscountess
Champion Beta 1.0 Tester
68 of 76 gamers found this helpful
“Upped the difficulty - but not the fun.”

Having had the chance to play this today, I was excited to be able to include Bilbo and some new cards into the decks and try some new quests. Unfortunately, it turned out poorly.

The encounter deck seemed to become very unbalanced, with many turns passing with no creatures coming in to play, and then suddenly exploding and having the Riders of Mordor remove players from the game in one turn due to gaining 16 threat in one fell swoop.

Some of the new cards are interesting, and the Songs can make multi-color decks much easier, and more synergistic, but I would recommend players really know what they’re doing before making the leap to these quests, and possibly fine-tuning the encounter deck a bit.

Bilbo and Frodo!
Easier multi-color decks.
Shiny new toys/cards to play with.

Can be unbalanced if not careful.

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Knight-errant Beta 1.0 Tester
Intermediate Reviewer
The Big Cheese 2012
68 of 76 gamers found this helpful
“First impressions are not always the correct impressions”

The Hunt for Gollum was not the most exciting quest when I first played through it. I played it almost right after it first came out. The other reviews here sort of summed up my feelings on it.

Revisiting the quest recently changed up those results a little bit. I played it with two other groups than from my original play through.

The difficulty was not too far up there. Which, for a first quest in a first quest cycle was wise. The quest is filled with Locations, but it might be the fact that I have gotten more into the lore now that makes me enjoy that aspect of it more.

The fact that during two stages of the quest, there is even more player choice is quite enjoyable. The first player has to look at some cards from the top of the encounter deck and put one into play. This added choice adds another level of strategy and tension to the game. There is nothing like looking at the 3 cards, picking the Clue card and being excited, only to have that card guarded by the Hunters from Mordor.

After playing all the quests in this cycle, I see how this one fits into the story thematically. That is a big plus to story gamers. Not every quest, when played all in a row should just be the same climatic feeling. The whole cycle really nails the feeling of a good yarn.

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Gamer - Level 6
Asmodee fan
Count / Countess
68 of 77 gamers found this helpful
“Not what I had expected”

I was really looking forward to this. But I didn’t know what to expect at all. So I was a bit confused when I started my first game. My initial thought was: this is it?

The pack comes with a lot of locations, so be sure to pack enough characters to beat the quests and place extra progress markers on other locations. When the first phase is over, the next one is a bit shorter. And you may choose between more cards from the draw pile and discard the rest. When the second part is over, you’ll need clue cards. If you don’t have any at the end of a round, you go back to the second phase.

There’s not much to this pack, other than a lot of travel. It’s thematically correct, but it feels a bit dull. However, the game is challenging, especially when having step back to the second phase.

I suggest you get this pack afterall, since you get some neutral song cards, and some useful eagle cards. And a nice adventure.

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Gamer - Level 4
Novice Reviewer
69 of 80 gamers found this helpful
“Somewhat Dissapointing for the First Expansion”

If you really enjoy Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, and expect to be in it for the long haul, then you should definitely buy this set. Some of the player cards are useful and give more deckbuilding options, Bilbo could be fun to play with, and the quest, though not great, is at least something new. If, however, you weren’t sold on the base game and are unsure if you’ll continue to follow this game, I’d say that you could skip this pack, try a future one and, if you change your mind, you can go back and get this one later. There’s nothing included in it that seems like a “must have.”

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Novice Reviewer
69 of 81 gamers found this helpful
“First expansion for Rings LCG”

Lord of the Rings: The Card Game has quickly become one of my favorites. It’s a challenging co-op with a stronger sense of narrative and character than other co-ops that I’ve played, and I enjoy that. The difficulty level tends to vary with the adventure, and to that end, this Gollum adventure seems to be fairly middle-of-the-road. I don’t mind that it is easier (we’re 50:50 with wins-loses). What it may lack in difficulty it makes up for in story–after playing this I want to buy the next adventure packs to see how this evolves and resolves.


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