Lord of the Rings:LCG - reviews and general thoughts

It all started with accepting 100 plays challenge and pledging to comment each play. Soon my thoughts outgrew the BGG comment format and also FFG's forum. I decided to post them in a form of a blog here. In time I got rid of session reports and replaced them with expansions reviews. Enjoy.
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What is up with the blog and how to rekindle your interest in LOTR:LCG?

Wojtek Wojcik
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Board Game Designer
I very much like designing games but I think I prefer to play them.
Metallum ... game I most proud of.
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State of the blog

As is the case with many blogs in general mine went to a bit of a dormant state. I am afraid I am not here to say that this is over yet but still I want to provide you with status update and some content.

Main reason for my silence is something that I mentioned (maybe in passing) in one of my posts before, mainly mysterious project that I started to working on. At that time I suggested that it might slow down my writing/playing. Now I can give some details:
Few months ago one of the Polish publishers (Galakta, that also publishes Polish version of LOTR:LCG) announced a boardgame design contest. They called on designers to submit their prototypes for consideration in one of the three categories. As you can see from my badge I do fiddle around with designing games and I even had some of them published. Hence this opportunity was just too good to pass up. Together with my partner in game designing crime ... we've taken out a game that we were working on for several years, polished it some more and sent of.

Our game won (ex-aequo but still) first prize in Science Fiction category and we are working together with the publisher on releasing it in Essen. This of course means tons of playtesting, tweaking and other time consuming activities. As game design is just a hobby for me it basically took over my free time reducing my LOTR:LCG playing down to zero.

At this point I will not promise you that I will soon return to regular posting although there are several post brewing in my mind so something might come up here and there.

Rekindling your interest in LOTR:LCG

The fact that I was not playing the game for a while had a side effect. I caught myself playing some video games when I did get some idle time instead of LOTR:LCG. I realized that probably game designing and testing is only part of the reason why I did not play LOTR for a while. I suspected that I burned out on it a little (I played it like crazy in March). I still felt that I want to play and explore it more, I was following FFG's website for any news about the game ... but I could not get it to the table. I decided to make a concentrated effort to rekindle my interest in the game. Here are some things that worked for me ... maybe you also feel a bit tired with the game but do not consider quitting. Then those "tricks" might prove useful to you:

- Following FFG news - even if at the moment I was not feeling like buying anything new for the game I did follow publisher's site. Even announcements of new products were interesting as FFG is are good at highlighting new mechanics that sparked my imagination. Additionally they do post regular non-product related content (Second breakfast series) which is well written and does give interesting insight into game developer's view of things.

- Lurking around the game forums - I suggest BGG although I mainly followed Polish boards. I've read the posts from people that are excited about the game and I have to say that it can be contagious. Also it is nice to help other people with their rules questions even if I am not up to date with current releases (on the other hand I never was up to date).

- Re-reading the books - I've actually started to listen to the audiobook. It is nice to find inspiration for the cards in the story that the game is based on. It really helped to get back into the theme.

- Organizing your collection - I've finally clearly labeled the card boxes, sorted out encounter cards to the respective expansion boxes. Arranged player cards, sleeved new cards that I have not yet opened. Looking at the artwork I got excited again and making game faster to "access" allowed me to finally play it again.

- Creating a deck - I was still a bit weary of playing but decided to build a deck. It was fun to look through cards from the newest expansion (I git Heirs just before stoping to play the game). Compare them with old favorites (some of card's sleeves do show wear after so many games - yes I am looking at you Test of Will).

All of the above helped me to play Peril in Pelagir yesterday. I have to say that after 3 month break from the game I was a bit shaky on the rules (Universal Head's player aid and Kirk Bauer's timing sequence had to be handy) but surely I got back on the saddle. Now I am hoping that my time does allow me to play some more in the near future. I missed playing LOTR:LCG without even realizing it.

Have you gone through burn-out phase with LOTR:LCG? Do you have any additional tips for me?
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