Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Lord of the Rings Card Game and OCTGN online play

I have had several attempts at getting the online collectible card game client OCTGN up and running properly so since my latest addiction is the Fantasy Flight Lord of the Rings LCG (Living Card Game) I have been using this software extensively to play online and solitaire.

OCTGN, or OCTAGON, is a client that can be used to play card games online much like VASSAL is for wargames. The main bonus is its slick interface and ease of use compared to some other clients. I prefer the interface and the playing space because it scales to how many cards you have out and there are no extra windows and things like that you have to keep out.

So I can offer some advice on setting up Lord of the Rings it just requires some organization on your end to keep it going smoothly.

First download and install the software and then register for an account with their servers. If their servers are under maintenance you will not be able to complete this step but can still play offline. Installing the game however may be an issue.

First things first. You need ALL the data files you want to use for your game. For Lord of the Rings LCG, henceforth abbreviated as LOTR, you need DECKS and SETS. SETS contain the quests and cards and info for the quest you are running. DECKS come in two shapes: encounter decks for the scenarios and PLAYER decks. PLAYERS will use the set info to make their decks and save them. When it is time to play you will load TWO decks: the encounter deck (what people fight against in this game) and your own player deck. When you save a PLAYER deck (one you create with your own heroes) name it something logical and stay organized! For example all my player decks have theme name and the amount of cards in the name. So if you buy the core set and that comes with 4 30 card decks one for each color go into OCTGN and make those decks and then save them with names like CORETACTICS30 or CORESPIRIT30.

First things first. Where to download these. OCTGN likes to keep things very secret and say "search Google for files." This is retarded. Simply go here (these files are safe)

Find the game you are looking for up top and go to that message board forum. Now I can only speak from experience with Lord of the Rings I am not sure how other games and their directories are structured. But first get all the files you need. I have only downloaded the expansions and sets I own. That way when I go to make a deck I dont get confused over cards I dont own and if I go to the local game store I can build the deck in the REAL world with actual cards.

LOTR players need the game file first:

For LOTR players you will want the sets located here:

Then you want to download the pre made encounter decks to match what you own:

Once you have all that proceed to the instructions below:

1) Launch OCTGN
3) pick a spot on your computer you will remember. I made my own folder on my C Drive root called OCTGN but you can pick wherever just remember it! (it wants to default to My Documents but I hate drilling down into sub folders so I put mine on C:\)

4) Now once you do that close OCTGN and restart it. Now sign in.
5) Go to the GAMES tab and do INSTALL GAME and point to the Lord of the Rings file you downloaded that ends in "o8g"

6)  Before you do this you want to put all the ".o8s" you downloaded into the directory in your OCTGN data area called DATABASE

7) After that go to INSTALL SETS. Pick every set in the DATABASE folder of your OCTGN data area you picked earlier and hit ok. It will install all those sets.

8) Move all of your DECK files into the DECKS directory in your OCTGN data area. Decks end in "o8d". You do not need to install decks just make sure you move them.

For example my directory structure looks like this:

9) Close and log out of OCTGN and then restart it.
10) Thats all it takes. When you go to play a game, you MUST load your deck AND the matching encounter deck for the quest you are undertaking. If playing solo make sure to UNCHECK "use two sided table" before you start your game.

After that the interface is rather easy to use. Double click or drag a card off the top to the playing area to draw, right click to add things to a card like wounds or resources etc etc.

The counter areas are for tracking threat, victory points and things like that:

As you nuy more expansions just download the sets and the quest decks off the OCTGN site. To make decks you go to OCTGN> DECK EDITOR BEFORE YOU LOG IN