The last in a week of common and fixed cards, I haven't really used today's card much, but it can be very useful.
Old Road # Resource # Short-event
Allows a character at a Haven to attempt to bring a faction into play. The length of the site path from this Haven to the site at which the faction can be played must be two or less (this must be verified by an available site card). The influence check for this attempt is modified by -1 and is not modified by the influencing character's direct influence.
This card, with a little luck, can speed up your acquisition of marshaling points. And in a game that is basically a race, that is a good feature. However, if you lie not in the lap of Lady Luck, you may end up losing your chance at a couple MPs.
There is one card that Old Road is best used with, but first I'll look at how it works without that specific card. First, this card requires that your faction be within two regions. This isn't too big of a drawback, as many decks base their factions in one area to speed things up. Second, it requires the character to be in a haven. This is a fairly big drawback, as many factions aren't quite close enough. This eliminates all but two factions from Grey Havens, two from Rivendell, four from Lorien, and three from Edhellond. The other drawback of having to be in a haven is that there can't be an Old Road between Dale and Lake-town, for instance. However, this card does allow you to play a faction while the rest of your company is healing. Or it allows you to play a faction and then head off in the other direction for another faction. Also, if you are using starter movement, it can save two turns movement. With region movement, though, you can easily hit several faction sites in a row at a rate of one per turn.
The other major drawback to this card is that direct influence does not apply. That means you can't have Aragorn with a Horn of Anor and Return of the King influence in factions left and right while staying in the saftey of a haven. You actually have to roll, and many of the factions near havens have high influence numbers (five require better than 9). Thus, unless you have some really good dice, you'll need some assistance. Lordly Presence can be a good choice. Or the best card to use this with, Muster.
Picture: your opponent called the Free Council last turn. He's 12 MPs ahead of you. You've got Pallando, Elrohir, Elladan, and Gildor Inglorion sitting in Lorien. You look in your hand and notice you've got three Old Roads, three Musters, The Great Eagles, the Ents of Fangorn, and the Riders of Rohan. You chuckle to yourself as you play an Old Road, tap Elrohir with a Muster and bring out the Ents. Same with Elladan and the Eagles. And again with Gildor. There's 9 MPs. Now you head off to Moria to see if you can draw an item. You arrive, face the auto-attacks, then Pallando and Gildor share some Waybread, And Forth Elrohir Hastens, you grab a Sword of Gondolin and then Thoroughly Search for another. Bam. 13 MPs with several commons, fixeds, and two uncommons.
While scenes like the one just described may be rare, Old Road can give you the extra push before the Free Council or the extra step early in the game.
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Card names and text copyright 1996 by Iron Crown Enterprises, all rights reserved. This document copyright 1996 by Trevor Stone. Permission given to duplicate so long as no profit is made and the copyright notice is kept in tact, blah, blah, blah.