RTFC of the Week: Gondorian Spearman

In Cards, Lord of the Rings, RTFC by Paul0 Comments

This new, probably weekly feature, is going to focus on specific cards from all of the games that we play. The aim is to unpack the card, talk about the synergies, the mechanics, the interesting facts that relate to the card. I’ll be choosing cards from various games, but if you want a particular card covered then drop me a note at all the usual places

This card (Core set #29) for Lord of the Rings LCG is a staple of the core set, and has carried many of us through a number of dangerous combat encounters. I hasten to say “quests” because frankly they’re usually chucked under some advancing orc, troll, or witchking to buy a bit more time, but that’s the role of spear-carriers everywhere!

Let’s take a look at the card and how this spearman goes about his business.

ffg_gondorian-spearman-core

Errata

No errata applies to this card.

Unpacking the card

Gondorian Spearman is a low-cost chump-blocker, designed to be a roadblock to enemies rather than a stalwart round-after-round defender. However, it has a few things going for it over and above other chumps, particularly in multiplayer:

  • The one damage happens before the attacker acts, so an enemy with just one health will die before attacking
  • Sentinel allows it to chump across the table, supporting the goal of a multiplayer tactics deck
  • Two resources in tactics is doable as it’s unusual to see a tactics splash
  • The Gondor trait has a number of synergies built around the concept of a “swarm”; e.g. Leadership Boromir gives all Gondor characters +1 attack

What makes this card worse?

Any treacheries that do a single damage to characters will wipe the Gondorian Spearman, and any kind of attack is going to kill them if they don’t kill the attacker first. A card such as Feint can perform a similar activity as the Gondorian Spearman if the enemies are going to hit for more, and costs 1 less resource.

What would make it better?

Any boost to a Gondorian character applies to the Spearman, and any flat boost to an ally helps them out as well (for instance, Faramir Ally’s +1 wp would help the spearman contribute to questing).

Interesting Fact

The flavour text from the card actually refers to Rohan spearman, mustered as the Rohirrim prepared to travel to the Hornburg, rather than anything to do with Gondor.

Summary

The Gondorian Spearman is a staple in any deck with tactics from a limited cardpool and still remains viable in tactics multiplayer decks. I would recommend expecting it to go away soon when it hits the table and in particular be aware of encounter cards that do damage to allies as the Spearman won’t live through it.

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