Against the Tide
Take a Look at the New Heroes of Spreading War
As the shadows of war spread throughout Rohan and Gondor, ruthless mercenaries invade kingdoms of Men under the employ of a mysterious, sinister figure. In these dark times, it is only natural that valiant heroes would rise to face the darkness, and Spreading War, the latest expansion for The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth, is no exception.
We announced Spreading War back in early July of this year, during which we showcased Beorn and his alternate form The Great Bear . Now, as we swiftly approach the expansion’s release, we’d like to take the opportunity to introduce you to the other five heroes that accompany him!
The eldest son of the twenty-sixth Steward of Gondor, Denethor II, Boromir loves his land with the burning ferocity of dragon-fire. In Spreading War, Boromir is a young and rising star of Gondor’s army, and he has already gained glory and respect on the battlefield. But with dark times on the horizon, Boromir must be more than just a soldier—he must become a hero who can save not only Gondor, but all of Middle-earth.
With a damage threshold of 7 and 4 might, Boromir is a physically durable hero who is perfectly comfortable taking his enemies head-on. Equipped with his signature Horn giving him inspiration and his sturdy Plate Armor protecting him, it seems that this champion of Gondor will rarely, if ever, fall to damage dealt by his foes. Even Boromir’s low fear threshold of 3 can be overcome through his innate ability, which allows him to suffer damage or fear to guarantee at least 1 success in a last stand test.
Boromir’s skills only add to his durability. Overpower and Blood of Gondor both have guard, and while Overpower lets him brute force his way through any test with his 4 might, Blood of Gondor gives him three additional chances at succeeding a crucial test. When playing Boromir as the new soldier role, he gains access to even more useful tools, such as the skill Comrade in Arms , which lets him or another hero get multiple uses out of their tactic skills (such as the aforementioned Overpower).
Many a weary traveler on the road has been comforted and cheered at the end of the day by the sight of a small cookfire and a friendly face ready to share a story. But very few Hobbits would prefer a dusty campfire to a proper stone hearth. Calaminth Took is the exception. She has wandered far from the Shire in search of the kinds of legends told by firelight. Everywhere she goes, she brings comforts that Hobbits hold dear, and all who share her fire count themselves lucky. But anyone who mistakes her for a meek wanderer will soon learn that this Took can wield a ladle and a mace with equal ferocity.
As Journeys in Middle-earth’s second Hobbit hero, Calaminth Took shares several features with Bilbo from the core set, including high fear and low damage thresholds. However, while Bilbo would often try his best to avoid combat, Calaminth is quite a bit scrappier. With her Mace in hand, she can deal damage and stun her enemies with just a smattering of successes, and her innate ability ensures she has plenty of inspiration available by preparing aid, food, or valour skills.
Speaking of skills, Calaminth comes with a solid mix of support- and combat-related abilities. Her Drinking Ditty can grant her an inspiration through her innate ability (since it’s a food skill) and provide a bit of healing to both herself and her allies, while her Fierce Resolve grants her bonus successes when she spends inspiration during an attack—and since it’s a valour skill, she will always have at least 1 inspiration handy to use it! Playing Calaminth as the provisioner role gives her even more food skills to make use of, such as some tasty Waybread that can heal a hero’s wounds in a pinch.
After residing in Erebor and seeing the Dwarves prosper, Dwalin felt the call to venture back into the wider world for one more great adventure. He knows that the gathered wisdom of many kingdoms could bring even more wealth and progress for the Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain. Though, perhaps it is actually the ancient anger in his heart that drives Dwalin to leave his home in favor of a battlefield of Orcs. And while the years have taken their toll on Dwalin’s combat prowess, his courage in battle has not diminished with time.
Joining his brother Balin in Journeys in Middle-earth, Dwalin is a well-rounded hero with a good balance of stats and abilities. His innate ability lets him prepare a card from his discard pile whenever he interacts (so long as he has at least 1 inspiration to pay for it), which is an extremely versatile trick that can help Dwalin get multiple uses out of important skills. Also, with his trusty Spear in hand, this Dwarf can show his enemies that he still has plenty of fight left in him.
Dwalin’s skills are equally versatile. Ancestral Grudge can make any attack lethal against an Orc or a Goblin or simply add 3 hits against anyone else, while Stirring Performance can either increase your chances of success in certain tests or simply be used to shake off some damage or fear. Giving Dwalin the lorekeeper role grants him even more versatility, with cards like Preparation granting some extremely useful support-oriented effects that any hero would appreciate having.
The Shieldmaidens of Rohan are sung about in countless legends, but very few of their lineage remain in this age. Fréahild is one of their number, trained as a youth to defend Rohan from the enemies who seek to threaten its borders. Just as famous as the Shieldmaidens are the fine horses of Rohan, each bred to be swift and strong and agile. Fréahild has trusted Snowbright—one of Rohan’s finest mounts—to carry her safely across torn battlefields and storm-swept plains for years, and she treasures that loyal companionship more highly than gold.
The Shieldmaidens of Rohan are a force to be reckoned with, and Fréahild is no exception. This warrioress is incredibly difficult to take down, with a damage threshold of 6 and multiple ways to reduce any damage she would take. Fréahild’s innate ability allows her to wield a one-handed item and a two-handed item at the same time, letting her wield her Spear at the same time as her Shield . Of course, Fréahild would be lost without her trusty partner Snowbright , one of the new mount cards that only she can use. Combine Snowbright’s ability with that of her Padded Armor , and Fréahild is one hero that won’t go down easily.
Fréahild’s skills reflect how she and Snowbright make everyone in your party stronger together. Faithful Companion allows her to support another hero’s skill test from afar or protect them from harm, while Cavalry Combat allows Fréahild to dart out of a grisly situation and prepare for what may follow. Put Fréahild in the shieldmaiden role, and she can follow her Call to Glory to build up inspiration for her next wave of attacks. Truly this warrior of Rohan is an unstoppable force!
“Being clever is often better than being mighty” is a piece of advice often repeated by Círdan, the shipwright of the Elves. His daughter Rénëríen has proven those words to be a great truth. She is as inventive as any shipwright, but she is not content to stay at port. Rénëríen knows she has much to accomplish before taking her journey to the West. Joy lights in her eyes even when the shadows of cruelty and war darken the land, because she knows there are often solutions hidden in the most tangled of wrecks for those brave and clever enough to find them.
True to her nature as a sharp-witted problem-solver, Rénëríen is a strategic hero with a very unique gameplay style. Her innate ability costs an action to activate, but it allows her to scout on command and, depending on what she prepares, she can either discard a damage/fear or gain an inspiration. Couple that with her Short Bow , which uses her high wit, and Rénëríen’s turns will always be full of choices with impactful results.
Rénëríen’s skills are equally clever. Child of the Lhûn lets her deal some preemptive damage to an unsuspecting enemy, while preparing Grey Haven Craft with her innate ability can trigger all of her ability’s effects and then some. Pairing Rénëríen with the trickster role lets her harrow enemies with skills like Merry Chase , which allows her to string an enemy group along or send them down the wrong path!
Each hero included in Spreading War offers tons of variety and enticing new strategies to all of your games of The Lord of the Rings: Journeys in Middle-earth. This was just a taste of what each of these characters brings to the table, and you can expect even more surprises when Spreading War releases in the near future!
You can pre-order your own copy of Spreading War (JME08) at your local retailer or online through our webstore today!