Review Summary: An absolute powerhouse in hobbit decks using ring-sphere Frodo

This is an extremely powerful card in hobbit decks that use one of the variations of the ring-sphere Frodo (e.g., Frodo Baggins, Frodo Baggins, Frodo Baggins, Frodo Baggins). For a hobbit deck of this kind that is oriented to questing you will usually have four questing hobbit-heroes, which means that you will gain four willpower and (net) three cards for only two ring-resources. This card can single-handedly refill your hand when you are running low on cards and it gives a substantial bump to the willpower contribution to the quest. This is one of the most cost-effective draw-engines in the game --- it is roughly comparable to Mithrandir's Advice in mono-spirit, or Campfire Tales in a large multiplayer game, even before factoring in the willpower gain.

For hobbit decks using ring-sphere Frodo, I highly recommend running three copies of this card. In my own play with this type of deck this card (see decklist here) is the most powerful card in the deck and is definitely the one I most like to have in my hand. Its ability to give you a strong questing turn and also draw into new cards is extremely useful. It allows you to take charge of the questing in a large fellowship and also ensures that you do not run out of cards in the long-game. The card is excellent in combination with three copies of Drinking Song, since the latter allows you to search for it early in the game and get a roll-on with card draw.

Review Summary: A flexible threat-reduction card adding utility for hobbit decks that use spirit

This is a strong threat-reduction card for hobbit decks, allowing them some flexibility in questing with bonus threat-reduction. The card operates best in hobbit decks where all the characters will be committed to the quest, which tends to occur in spirit-based variants. (Note that the card operates on characters, not just heroes; consequently, your hobbit allies can also be removed from questing to reduce your threat.) The ability to ready characters and remove them from the quest can be a useful reaction in situations where the cards from the encounter deck cause problems. Alternatively, it can be used for straight threat-reduction by committing all your hobbits to the quest and then removing them all (not recommended unless another player can contribute the necessary willpower to succeed at the quest).

In a standard hobbit deck using three heroes and a smattering of hobbit allies, this card can allow you to ready enough characters to remove three to five threat. In hobbit decks that use an additional campaign hero (e.g., Frodo Baggins, Frodo Baggins, Frodo Baggins, Frodo Baggins, Bilbo Baggins, Bilbo Baggins) it can remove an additional threat. The resource cost is low relative to the amount of threat reduction so it is cost-effective (but less so than The Shirefolk, which is the main powerhouse threat-reduction in a hobbit deck). In order to get maximum value from the card, you need to be able to use your hobbit characters effectively for an alternative purpose after you ready them and remove them from the quest. This can be a challenge in hobbit decks but it may be feasible if you can augment your heroes with some good attachments. Overall, this is a reasonable hobbit card, giving solid threat-reduction and some reactive flexibility in cases where the encounter deck throws up nasty surprises.

Hot tip: Commit all your hobbit characters to the quest. After revealing encounter card(s), you can play Elevenses before calculating progress. This allows you to manipulate your board to suit your situation in the moment when you have more information. The best part is you can even commit Hobbit characters with 0 willpower because removing them reduces your threat!That's the real power of this card in my humble opinion. —

Review Summary: A highly cost-effective threat-reduction card; this powerful event is a major boost to hobbit decks

This card was a major boost to the hobbit archetype and is one of the top threat-reduction cards in the game. It is comparable in power to Elrond's Counsel, arguably even better, since it does not require any particular sphere to use. This is arguable the most powerful threat reduction in the game. This card is a major contributor to hobbit decks and is one of the key cards responsible for making hobbits a playable archetype; since it has no sphere eforcement, it should be an auto-include in any hobbit deck.

Hobbit decks tend to start the game with fairly low threat due to the low threat-cost of their heroes. Combining this with other forms of threat-reduction in a hobbit deck can easily get you down near zero threat where enemy characters have higher engagement cost than your threat. If you get it in your opening hand it will usually put you down to twenty threat or less, which allows you to immediately play your secrecy cards (e.g., first-turn use of Resourceful). This card combines well with Hobbit Pipe and Spare Pipe if playing with spirit. It also combines well with a wide range of hobbit effects that operate when you are engaged with an enemy with higher engagement cost than your threat (e.g., Pippin, Pippin, Tom Cotton, Gaffer Gamgee, Bywater Shirriff, Hobbit Cloak, Staff of Lebethron, Taste it Again!, In the Shadows).

I'm not a fan of over-powered fan cards --- this one is ludicrously over-powered and should not have been made. I agree with the other review here that identifies him as more powerful than Elrond, which is damning in itself. The ability is a stronger version of the already broken Vilya, which players regularly talk about banning. I really don't see why people get excited by fan-cards that are so obviously over-powered --- they exhibit poor design and a lack of respect for the game. A big thumbs-down from me. (But nice art.)

I agree that Thengel is broken, but I like the new possibilities that fan cards open. Rohan was bad before Thengel and Need Brooks No Delay. Maybe these cards aren't needed but even Vilya isn't broken if you play thematically. Plus, even cards like Seasoned Forager or Thengel struggle against difficult quests such as Nightmare Dol Guldur. —
I am not sure I would call Thengel more broken than Vilya. You are limited to an ally being discarded from play (note that this is different from it being destroyed, a card effect needs to say "discard"), you can only put in play an ally (while Vilya can play attachments and events too) that shares the same trait with the discarded one and must be in the top 5 cards (ammitedly something you prepare for, but then you are forced to go with a sort of mono trait deck instead of general good stuff like a Vilya deck) and you can't even use the ally for that round since it comes into play exhausted. Sure Thengel it's really powerful, especially in a Rohan deck, it was designed to do so, to elevate an otherwise sub-par archetype, but I would not say it's more powerful than Elrond + Vilya which still stands at the top of the pyramid (though recently with more stuff like MotK and Bond of Friendship). One could argue that FFG cards like Spirit Glorfindel, Steward of Gondor, A Test of Will or Bond of Friendship were already more broken than anything ALeP has produced. —

A great card for any deck that attacks enemies in the staging area. Heroes such as Éomer and Dúnhere really love the 2 boost from the card when attacking enemies in the staging area, and the cheap cost of one resource is nice too. This card works well with Dagger of Westernesse (to improve you chances of drawing an useful weapon attachment), and really makes staging area decks a lot more consistent. Of course, the card is restricted and is limited to Rohan characters, but that's alright because the only other characters that attack enemies in the staging area are Haldir of Lórien and maybe Bard the Bowman with a Great Yew Bow.

In single player, attacking enemies in the staging area is rather niche because only one encounter card is revealed each round, making it unlikely that an enemy will appear on a regular basis. However, in multiplayer these decks are far better (and really fun) due the the greater number of enemies revealed. Not the most splashable weapon in the world, but it the right deck, it works very well. Give it a try, it might surprise you.