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Our first complete playthrough of WomE
We managed to get all the factions out. Obviously we wanted to give them a try, but ultimately it had a negative effect on the SP. Most of the faction abilities are indirect and well..take dice/turns, so the FP had more opportunity to move ring bearers and the SP had less opportunity to build his army, attack and score VP. We had suprisingly little combat in the game due to this. But I am sure this will even out better in future games.
Couple of highlights:
The Dark Door was pretty awesome. SP conquered Helmsdeep. FP got Aragorn to Eroch and got out 3 Dead Men. Pulled the card and literaly kicked out the SP. Moved the Fords of Isen Rohan army back in as the SP had no moves left.
We liked the ability to take back factions cards out of a discard piles and even creating combos: "play this card, discard one, then play another out of your discard pile" - which also allowed to play yet another card. There is an eagle card which allows you to move your ring bearers (for free), I could play it twice do to this.
Spiders are nasty and move like crazy over the map. It also allows for slightly better feel you can actually hunt the ring bearers, as I always feel powerless as SP to progression of the ringbearers (it's a pretty passive process to observe as SP)
End of the game: FP entered Mordor with 0 corruption, the SP got fairly lucky in hunt tile draw, but not enough to win the game.
Very thematic, we like the factions, they make sense and make the game somewhat less dependent on combat outcome through dice. (you have more options to influence the combat/game)
Compared to BotfA and BottA (which use simular ideas/factions) it plays a bit slow to get factions out and recruit. You need cards or depend on a single recruit dice throw per round which is not a whole lot, we never managed to get more then 4 units out per faction.
My biggest gripe is just the shear ammount of cards and text you have to plough through. Don't get me wrong, WotR is one of my all time fav games and the one that got me into boardgames, but for all it's grandiour and scale it's not a very efficient game, and WomE makes that element even worse. I mean FP: 12 character chards (even more with LomE) 4 faction event chards, 3 reference cards, 6 normal event cards, 6 call to battle cards.
Furthermore I felt the minatures are lacking in quality. I am an avid painter and am fairly critical about this. The Dunlendings are pretty soft plastic (I actually swapped them out with my BoTTA ones)and the spiders..look like beatles? Games have come a long way since with 3D painting and such, Ares could have done better here.
For someone who owns every WotR product this is a no brainer to the collection. I would not recommend the expansion to new players though, or ppl who already think WotR is a hard game to manage. But the good outshines the bad for seasoned players and it certainly brings some pretty cool moments to the table.
- Last edited Sat Nov 5, 2016 11:03 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sat Nov 5, 2016 10:25 am
Your final point is an essential one - don't add this expansion before you're comfortable with the base game. By comfortable, I mean that the Event decks are familiar enough that when you draw a card you read its title and think, oh yeah, that one lets me do X. Because assimilating all the new text and possibilities from the Faction and new Event cards is going to be the biggest speed bump of learning the expansion. Most are written quite simply (e.g. Swift Boats, Lifted Up and Borne Far Away), but understanding just how the Ents march or the Dead Men operate when their appropriate cards are played requires absorbing a small bit of expansion rules for each.
The Call to Battle cards needn't be a burden until you have the relevant faction in play and its figures within reach of a battle. It will be unusual to have more than one of your factions able to influence a battle (exception: Rohan), so you'll only be considering two additional options when electing to play a combat card.
I have no crystal ball, but I wonder in light of the unit abilities in BotFA and how factions have been handled in WoMe whether the designers plan to implement siege engines in the next expansion by leveraging the Call to Battle card mechanic.
[Edit: Nice paint job, by the way!]
- Last edited Sat Nov 5, 2016 5:05 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sat Nov 5, 2016 5:04 pm
War of the Ring is my absolute favourite 2 player board/wargame. And I will buy any expansion that Ares throw at it. I acknowledge that added expansions will require more effort on my part with learning new rules, strategies and just the sheer time to play the thing. It's a journey I am on and I love it. BUT!! It is not without criticism. For me this journey is very similar to the one I took with Squad Leader and all its expansions. And my experience was that each add on gave ME more theme, more depth, more immersion in a subject I loved but sadly fewer opponents who were prepared to commit to the game as much as I was. My wargaming and board gaming friends will play WOTR with me and Warriors is a great great product,but not many seemed greatly enthused to play with the latest expansion other than the die hard middle earthers. I am sure in the future Ares will produce the definitive boxed set, shall we call it Advanced War of the Ring! And I will definitely buy it but I can't help thinking I will be playing this one more times on my own rather than with an opponent.
I too think that some of the miniatures could be better. But that does not overly bother me, it is a boardgame after all and I won't be painting my figures, I get my fix of playing with fantastically painted miniatures through table wargaming. In fact I would recommend players try WOTR using just the character minis and coloured wooden cubes for the armies. But this is just a personal view and I would never criticise anyone for wanting the splendour of painted armies for their game.
Finding people to play these type of games with is always a challenge! My regular playbuddy and I did conclude that BotFA of all the WotR games has the leanest mechanics, plays relatively fast (hello to you fast movement) and is quite easy to learn to other players. I would also dare and say it's the most strategic of the collection. I would defintely recommend any WotR evangelist to buy a copy and use it to spread the gospel or maintain the interest of people who think WotR (+ exp) is just too big.
- Last edited Sun Nov 6, 2016 12:03 pm (Total Number of Edits: 1)
- Posted Sun Nov 6, 2016 12:02 pm
I think I have 4 playthrus of WOME now. I am enjoying it for the simple reason that it helps my group take the game a wee bit less seriously.
Recently we have played so many competitive games that losers are often sore, and winners often smug (I will not exclude myself in that).
Playing WOME requires a fair amount of learning and understanding how to utilize the factions. In fact, the most important thing is knowing when to use them at all. My only real criticism so far is that the FP have won all 4 games I've played which would suggest that the FP have a big advantage for beginners.
I still really enjoy playing it and the expansive feel, and with each playthrough comes more understanding. I do think that the learning period allows my group to simmer down a little and just enjoy the game, making mistakes, and having a good time.
Death to the hobbits.