Other Terms

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There are many other card games out there, some of which have terms or slang that have worked their way into common gamer usage. You might encounter casual usage of those terms in conversations about the Lord of the Rings TCG, some of which you can find defined below.

Chump Blocking[edit]

Chump Blocking, sometimes "chumping", is the act of flinging a weak character that has zero chance of winning into a suicidal skirmish against a much more powerful minion. Using an exhausted Sam, Son of Hamfast (1C311) to skirmish The Balrog, Durin's Bane (2C51) is the classic example of chump-blocking.

Chump blocking might be done intentionally to get that character killed, for instance if your Fellowship is too large and you want to avoid being vulnerable to cards like Úlairë Enquëa, Lieutenant of Morgul (1U231) . Occasionally, it might be because that character bears a condition like Desperate Defense of the Ring (1R244) or Sense of Obligation (12U170) that makes them a liability. Even more rarely, the card might itself have harmful gametext, like Aragorn, Strider (11R54) or Denethor, On the Edge of Madness (18R42) .

Another reason is because the character is useless or used up, and either can't be healed any more or is no longer an attractive target for healing. Oftentimes this includes characters who exert to produce some effect or produce their main effect when they come into play, like Legolas, Greenleaf (1R50) or Pippin, Hobbit of Some Intelligence (1R307) , characters who are only in the deck to for a situational benefit, like Radagast, The Brown (9R+26) , or relatively weak characters, like most Hobbits. In the case of Sam, Son of Hamfast (1C311) , he's all three, and it's rare that he'll survive to site 9.

Another common case is that you just don't have any other plan to deal with some horrific minion. If you're careless and Sauron, The Lord of the Rings (9R+48) comes down, you may not have a better option than feeding two of your weakest companions to him. The characters you throw in front of Sauron to die might be quite important and valuable, but none of them are more valuable than the ring-bearer!

Generally, people only call it chump blocking when the chump in question is a Free Peoples character, because while weak companions usually have the option to avoid skirmishing, weak minions do not. Playing many minions as the Shadow player to tie up all of the strongest members of the Fellowship is called swarming.

The term originates from the Magic: the Gathering community. In MTG terms, minions are always analogous to attackers and only Free Peoples characters are analogous to blockers.


Fat or fatty is an informal game term. A fat character is one with high base strength and vitality, making it a strong skirmisher. Such characters generally have a high Twilight cost or other restrictions like cultural enforcement. This term comes from Magic: the Gathering.

Ents, Nazgul, and Trolls are all typically fatties.


Fishbowl play, also occasionally called goldfish play, is an informal game term for playing without interacting with your opponent in any meaningful way. You're playing as if your opponent was a pet fish in a bowl. Playing solo and simply skipping all of your nonexistent opponent's actions and turns can be a useful way to see how reliable your Free Peoples deck sets up in early turns, or whether your hand is likely to clog with unplayable situational cards.

Alternately, the term can be used derisively to refer to a fishbowl deck, a deck strategy that involves simply ignoring your opponent and executing a game plan regardless of what they do. A Shadow deck that does all of its damage (be it wounds, burdens, or discard) in the Shadow and Maneuver phases offers the Free Peoples player little chance to prevent that damage, since such a deck probably doesn't care if its minions die in the Archery or Skirmish phases. These decks are often not very strong, but playing against them can be an NPE.

This term comes from the Magic: the Gathering community. In that game, testing to see how fast you can win without interacting with your opponent is somewhat more useful.


Gas is an informal game term.


Glue is an informal game term.

Value Engine[edit]

Value Engine is an informal game term.


Whiff is an informal game term. A whiff is when you play a card with a random effect and get no value from it, usually because the card affects cards in hidden area, like a player's deck or your opponent's hand. If you play Forearmed (6U16) and reveal a card with a zero twilight cost from the top of your deck, it whiffed.

The term comes from sports, where a "whiff" is the sound made when you swing a bat or a golf club at the ball and don't even make contact.

Game Setup Starting FellowshipBiddingMulligan
Deck Building Considerations UniquenessX-ListR-ListErrataFormat
General Strategies BeatdownBombCorruptionHand ExtensionRun/StopSkirmish CancellationSwarmWin ConditionWound PreventionWounding
Deck Archetypes Auto-Corruption BombBeasterlingsBerserkersBouncing HobbitsElventsForestgulsHobbit HospitalFruit LoopsGondor KnightsGondor RangersGondor WraithsMoria ArcheryMoria BeatdownMoria NavyMoria SwarmMoria TentaclesNazgul BeatdownNinja GollumOrc CorruptionRainbow WoundingSauron GrindSauron InitiativeSauron RoamingSauron ThreatsSolo SmeagolSouthron ArcherySouthron InitiativeStupid SwarmSuper FriendsTelepathyThreatgulsToken TanksTroll SwarmUruk ArcheryUruk MachinesUruk TrackersWarg Super Swarm
Rules Rule of 4Rule of 9
Mechanics BearDiscardDraw DeckExertExhaustedFellowshipInitiativeIn Play/Leave PlayMove LimitReconcileRoamingSite ControlSpotStackSupport AreaThreats
Gameplay Terms BoatBodyBroken/NPE/OPBuff/NerfChokeComboCultural EnforcementCyclingDead DrawFetchFilterFloodGrindHand ClogHateInteractionItemLoopMatchupMetaMillNewbie TrapPilePower CreepPumpRainbowRecursionRemovalResourceRogueRule of 6SideSite ManipulationSpeed BumpSplashSubcultureTankOther Terms