The Fellowship of the Ring Deck-Building - Impossible Mode

By Matt Hyra

The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Deck-Building Game is coming very soon. You got a first look at the game in an article here. Check that out if you haven’t read it yet.

Today I want to talk about one of the things that wasn’t talked about in that preview article: IMPOSSIBLE MODE. Included in the game is a pack of 8 cards… well, 9 if you count the STOP card. The 8 Impossible Mode Archenemies are preset in the correct order, from Level 1 to Level 4, so you just open the pack, set it in its place, and start the game. Note that the Level 4 Archenemy, Lurtz, is visible (being the last card), so when you grab the pack for the first time, please! Avert your eyes! If you show up for your game night and the Impossible Mode Archenemies are not in their wrapper, the game owner may have peeked to see what horrors await.

This pack of cards is so devilish it needs a warning to go along with it:

So the only rule change that comes with Impossible Mode is that destroyed Corruptions are returned to the stack instead of removed from the game, so you can expect that you’ll be getting a few more Corruptions than in a regular game.

The Impossible Mode Archenemies are bigger and badder versions of 8 of the regular game Archenemies. Archenemies work just like they do in the DC Comics Deck-building Game. They have a high cost, a good amount of Victory Points, a powerful ability when played, and an Attack that hits each player when revealed from the Archenemy stack. Impossible Mode Archenemies also have a banner at the bottom of their art box that identifies it as the Impossible version. In this game, an Archenemy Attack is called a “Group Ambush” instead of a First Appearance Attack like in the DC Comics Deck-Building Game. “First Appearance” is a comic book term, so we wanted to use something that was more appropriate for Lord of the Rings. With Ambushes from the Path hitting a single player, a Group Ambush was the perfect fit for an Attack that hits everyone.

Impossible Mode Archenemies will be harder to defeat, but are worth more Victory Points. They will have more powerful Group Ambushes and more powerful game text when you later draw and play them. Impossible Mode is going to be a rough time. After a few plays of the regular style game, you and your play group will certainly be itching to try Impossible Mode.

Right about now you are probably hoping for a few sample spoiler cards of the Impossible Mode Archenemies. That isn’t going to happen. Part of the fun of Impossible Mode is that you’ll have no idea what is awaiting you the first time you play. As one word of warning without giving away too much, don’t get too attached to any cards you buy, as sometimes you will lose control of them.

Impossible Mode is something that experienced players who don’t mind getting battered and bruised should play on occasion. It shouldn’t be something that you play every time, just because you’re an advanced player. With a name like Impossible Mode, you might think that working together would help things a bit. You might be right…

Have fun!


Matt_Hyra's picture Matt Hyra

Matt Hyra has been designing games for 20 years, and has been Cryptozoic Entertainment's lead board game designer since its beginning in 2010. Some of Matt's recent games include Rick and Morty: The Pickle Rick Game, Epic Spell Wars: Panic at the Pleasure Palace, and DC Deck-Building Game: Rebirth.