ones upon a game

I am almost exclusively a solo gamer and look at the gaming scene seen through those eyes. I also literally like alliteration. TWITTER: @onesuponagame

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War of the Ring: The First Two Rounds

Kevin L. Kitchens
United States
Gainesville
Georgia
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Yesterday I read through the rules for the actual game to familiarize myself with them before embarking on the solo variant. As I read the solo rules, it became clear (to me) that they are best used by someone who has played the game already and then is making tweaks or modifications to have an AI Shadow Player to go up against.

In other words, I was a bit lost.

So I decided to just do an "I play both sides" session and get through the mechanics. The downside to this coming in new is that I have no concept of an overall strategy for either side.

Why and when do I want to move Nazgul from one Army to another?
Why do I want to separate companions from the Fellowship?
Should I move all the nations to war as soon as possible to get them in the action?
Is this card better for its event or for combat?

But still, I'm a big boy and can do this.

At the end of the two rounds, Saruman is now in the game, Osgiliath has fallen to Sauron (and thus brought Gondor into war). Gandalf, Merry, and Pippin have split from the group to head south. The Fellowship was uncovered in the first round, took damage, took damage again via an event card, but healed again via event card.


Knock, knock, knockin' on Gondor's door...


I have to tell myself that I will be less lost the more I play. I'll see what works and what does not and learn for the future. It's not unfun, it's just remedial me is being schooled.
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Sat Nov 22, 2014 3:15 pm
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War of the Ring... One Player to Rule Them All?

Kevin L. Kitchens
United States
Gainesville
Georgia
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Sometimes there is a game you just have to have. The theme you love, the ratings are so high. It's just a great game. Forget that it's not designed for solitaire, my preciousss. We has to haves it!

Such is the case with War of the Ring (Second Edition). Contrary to my age, I did not grow up on the Tolkien stories. In fact, in my high school it seemed the kids who carried around their scuffed up paperback copies of The Hobbit or the Lord of the Rings trilogy in my high school were also the kids wearing long green army jackets, listened to Rush, and hung out in the smoking area. And while I actually grew to like Rush before graduating, I never got an army jacket (just never did) and never got into smoking (just never would), it took until the late 1990s for me to actually read J.R.R.R.R.R.R. Tolkien's masterpiece.

It was then that I first heard of Peter Jackson's ambitious run at making them into movies and decided it would be something I'd read first and then share with my then young kids. Good memories for sure, both of the reading and then seeing each film on opening day, a couple of more times, and then watching the far better extended editions.

So Middle Earth is a setting I love, so it was only natural that I'd be drawn to this massive and long playing title. In spite of it being a two player. Worst comes to worst, I could play both sides, right?

I managed to pick up a complete nearly excellent condition copy for a song. Seems the owner's son had accidentally folded one of the gameboards the wrong direction and it snapped cleanly off. A little Black Linen Repair Tape and the board was almost as good as new. This was back in September, so now it's on the table.



Fortunately the desire to play this one solo does not lie only with me. I'll be using the solo/co-op ruleset created by

Thomas Henage
United States
Syracuse
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and found at his site my Dropbox: War of the Ring Solitaire v1.2

I'll post from time to time how this is going. Since I've never played the game two-player, I'm not really going to be able to compare and contrast, but will know if it's fun.

Have any of you used these rules? Played this solo with another variant or just playing both sides? Love to hear your thoughts on this one as well.
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Fri Nov 21, 2014 3:06 pm
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Race for the Galaxy Acquired in Multi-Game Swap

Kevin L. Kitchens
United States
Gainesville
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ATLANTA -- Kevin Kitchens, owner of the Ones Upon a Game franchise has announced they have reached a trade agreement to bring veteran Race for the Galaxy and its battery-mate The Gathering Storm to the team. They had to give up The Lord of the Rings Dice Building Game and Mound Builders.

for


While rookie sensation Mound Builders has shown great promise in its young career, LOTR Dice has been a little disappointing in its few appearances. Hopefully the change of scenery will do it justice.

RFTG has had a rock solid career since coming to the big leagues back in the 2007 season. It is currently ranked 23 on the all-time list and is a perennial fan favorite. Its partner "Storm" is its junior by only one season and ever since they've been paired, they've been inseparable, greatly improving the performance of each in harmony.

"I'm looking forward to getting these two on the field and see what it is that makes them so great." said Kitchens. "It's been a long time coming and I'm sure they will prove themselves invaluable to our roster."
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Wed Nov 19, 2014 5:44 pm
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Warfighter Wave 2 Kickstarter Launches

Kevin L. Kitchens
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As many of you don't know, I'm a big fan of the game Warfighter: The Tactical Special Forces Card Game. While I love the quality of Dan Verssen Games (DVG) most of them have been too abstracted for me. I bought Field Commander: Napoleon and was awed at the quality of the game and the mounted boards, but then the gameplay for me left a lot to be desired.

That said, I completely missed out on the first Kickstarter for Warfighter. But as word of it got around I put it on my wishlist and then jumped on it when it became available in October. Went all in with the base game and all the expansions.

Set it up, read the rules and LOVED IT (review forthcoming)

So as Dan posted in the forums (DVG - What extras would you like to have in the new Kickstarter for Wave #2 next week?) that a second wave KS campaign was coming, I couldn't have been more excited, even offering some suggestions as requested for stretch goals.

Then the KS went live yesterday (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/11606594/warfighter-wav...) and I was very underwhelmed.

First, in the spirit of saying something nice, there are a lot of good things about what's coming in Wave 2. Expansions #5-#8 look amazing. Adding the UK and Russian Federation forces is going to be a treat as will the new Eastern Europe adversaries. These are going to expand the game in new directions and it seems the possibilities are endless in this regard. Great job DVG!

Then there is Expansion #9. The Footlocker. (insert slow clap here). Let's look at what you get in this "expansion":

Quote:
The Footlocker gives you a huge 14" x 9" crate of a box that is a staggering 6" deep, and filled with Warfighter Gear!

Even with all the cards, there is still plenty of room for future updates!

We've also built enough space into the box to hold the Mounted Display, as well as a DVG Deep Dish Counter Tray, Rule Book, Miniatures, and more!

Components: The Footlocker, 1 sheet of Ammo and Player Aid counters, Card Dividers, and a massive 33" x 24.5" MOUNTED version of the Tactical Display Sheet from the core Warfighter game!



The Box: OK... so the box the base game comes with already is barely large enough to hold all the cards in the game + current expansions as it is. They should have included the larger box to begin with, but so be it... getting the new box is fine.

Ammo/Player Aid Counters: Not sure if these are just repeats of the sheet that came with the core game, but unless the new expansions add new ammo types, not completely sure these add anything of value, but they see a need, so I guess they will be a benefit.

Card Dividers: OK, so with the bigger box, which apparently has "wells" for holding the cards, dividers will be a big help, so again, not much expense here and a lot of function.

Mounted "Tactical Display Sheet": Here's the main cost of this expansion. When I first opened the game and peeled open (literally) the mat, I thought the worst problem it had was not being mounted. FC:N includes 7 mounted boards. Then I played the game and the non-mounted condition was the least of the mat's problems. It was too cluttered to fit hostiles clearly on their locations, the location spots were rotated either vertical or horizontally to fit the board (even though the cards read vertical). It was very clear that the player mat was a nice try (it was a stretch goal in the original KS), but ultimately it was a strikeout. As such, myself and another user each created an option to replace the mat:

Warfighter Location Sleds
Location Placeholder Cards

While a lot of people in the request thread did ask for a mounted board, it seemed like there were a good number of people who did not. They mainly wanted content.

Which leads me to the main problems with this Kickstarter.

1. It's all in one. You can pay $90 (+ shipping, not free) and get all five wave 2 expansions. You can pay $210 (+ shipping, not free) and get everything from the core game and all wave 1 and 2 expansions. There is no option to just get the content based expansions (decks).

2. To get the Footlocker, you have to pay for the mounted board. Since the base game ships without a box large enough to hold all the cards in any organized fashion (with a GMT tray for counters, the DVG deep dish it too big), if you want an official solution, you have to buy the whole expansion #5. This includes the mounted board that as noted above is effectively useless for actual gameplay. And not everyone either wants the mat mounted or wants to use the mat at all. It would have been better to make the mounted mat a separate expansion.

3. The cost is a bit high. DVG says the value of the $90 package is $110. The retail of the current expansion is $20, so the four card decks eat up $80 of this, leaving $30 for the board/box. Given that the street price of the expansions is more like $13.50 presently, that makes them $52 of the $90, meaning you're realizing $32 for the board/box. At the same discount of 33%, the $30 board/box will street for $20.25. So you should be able to get everything included in the KS for just over $72 (vs. the $90 asked). Yes there are stretch goals, but those will just add items to the existing packages, they aren't exclusives. So those are a wash for these figures.

Yes, KS is not necessarily about getting a great deal, but it should be a somewhat decent deal for the people taking a chance. This one is going to succeed, it's not a very high risk Kickstarter. Warfighter is an EXCELLENT game and deserves continued expansion. But this is more of a pre-order without any real benefit other than you're assured of getting a copy. For some paying that little extra might be worth it. For me it would not always be a bad thing, given how hot the game is right now.

So can this be fixed?

Sure...

DVG should add a supporter level for $1, to allow the purchase of items piecemeal.
DVG should offer a deal on the decks only.
DVG should offer each expansion as a paid upgrade as well.
DVG should offer a paid upgrade to get just the storage box and dividers.
DVG should offer the board separately for those who don't want the new content and are happy with the layout of the play mat.

Again, I love the game and am looking forward to getting this new content in some way. I'm just not sure that this KS is the best means of doing it.
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14 Comments
Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:45 pm
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