Breaking the Game: Power of Mordor

It is always disappointing when a quest which could be (or indeed otherwise is) an exciting challenge to face can be taken completely away from its intended experience by one or two specific approaches. It is however even more ridiculous when the card which causes a quest to cease to function properly is in fact not one you choose to throw at it for that exact reason, but is in fact a card in the encounter deck of the quest in question. Power of Mordor is that card, and it is something I find rather ludicrous to be honest.

So let’s look at the card in the abstract first. It can be a fairly horrific effect to have to deal with, but that’s not game-breaking. At first glance it looks fair enough, you exchange however many cards are in the staging area for an equal number of different cards, so it throws your existing plans into disarray but you still have the same amount of stuff to deal with as you had before. And this would be broadly true if the only things in the encounter deck were locations and enemies. But there are also treacheries, which while they don’t increase the number of cards you get from Power of Mordor, do mean you’ve had to eat some nasty effects already, not to mention the presence of Southron Support in a couple of those quests – imagine a 4 player game where you reveal Southron Support and can’t cancel it, so you get 4 enemies, another enemy and location, and then Power of Mordor shuffles those 6 cards back into the deck and reveals 6 new ones, one of which could easily be another Southron Support leaving you with 9 cards in the staging area rather than 6, not to mention any negative when revealed effects on the enemies… Now the thing is, this is horrible. But it’s not game-breaking. It’s not even game-breaking when you get it in Morgul Vale, where To the Tower cannot leave the staging area and whichever boss enemy you’re on at the time cannot leave play unless destroyed but they’ll still both add to the count of cards, so you reveal 1 or 2 more cards than you shuffle in. It’s horrible, but not game-breaking. The game-breaking comes in the other two quests where this treachery appears, as I will now illustrate in the following video:

Breaking Power of Mordor

I don’t think anything more need be said.

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3 Responses to Breaking the Game: Power of Mordor

  1. Tony Fanchi says:

    Yeah, yet another reason the Against the Shadow cycle is my least favorite.


    • PocketWraith says:

      I actually really like the quests for the most part, it’s just a few specific individual cards like this and The Master’s Malice that just aren’t particularly good design and that bothers me. This is the biggest case though.


  2. Bullgator says:

    Also my least favorite cycle – which was instrumental in causing me to take a 1 year hiatus from the game. I’ve only played the quests containing Power of Mordor once and I don’t think it ever came up. I’m shocked to see this. Would this have been the same designer that created the Zigil Miner/Imladris Stargazer combo and then had to walk it back?


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