I have a good friend - whose name also happens to be Brock - who is a huge Lord of the Rings fan. During and after high school, while we were all a little bit obsessed with Peter Jackson's movies, Brock was purchasing a replica of the Sword that was Broken. A couple months ago I went to visit a bunch of (non-gamer) friends, including Brock, and brought along some games. After a rousing game of Dungeon Run, he said, "It would be so cool if there was a Lord of the Rings board game."
Oh, Brock; you are in luck. I'm going to open his eyes to this marvelous world of gaming one trip to Mordor at a time.
The first games I tracked down were the Hobbit and the 2000 Lord of the Rings. The Hobbit might get skipped in favor of better games, but I acquired them together from a local seller, and figured it might be a fun play prior to the upcoming movie. I like the way Lord of the Rings follows the arc of the books, and has the group struggling to fight, travel, hide, and build friendships with relatively simple mechanics. As much as I like this LotR game, I am really excited to show him Lord of the Rings: The Card Game.
My last blog entry discussed in great detail my struggle to obtain my copy of LotR: LCG. Well, I finally have it! I found an ebay seller who is local, and got a discount (remember, I'm a miser!) on this game plus a couple of Summoner Wars reinforcement decks.
I like the way 2000's Lord of the Rings depicts the different aspects of Frodo's quest, but I love the mechanics of LotR: LCG. It's such a masterful blending of theme and function, with depth, strategy, complexity, and decisions that have genuine consequences. I'm impressed that playing "against" the game, which is simply a pile of cards, can bring such variety and tension. I hate those Shadow cards so much!
I like that both games require the player to balance quest progress with combat, depicting the desperate struggle against evil forces. I have a feeling the Middle-Earth mythology and history in LotR:LCG is going to blow my friend's mind. Now to set up a game night! Hopefully he brings Andúril!