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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Fight for Polish version of LOTR:LCG

Wojtek Wojcik
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I very much like designing games but I think I prefer to play them.
Metallum ... game I most proud of.
Microbadge: Terraforming MarsMicrobadge: Metallum fanMicrobadge: Podcast listenerMicrobadge: Plays Games With FamilyMicrobadge: 15 Year Geek Veteran
As you might already know (probably from my post here: Polish version of LOTR:LCG is no more. What does it mean (if anything) for the game?) Galakta - publisher of Polish version of LOTR:LCG announced that they will no longer publish new expansions for the game. As you might expect this announcement was met with quite a disappointment/outcry/rage by the Polish fans. This was letter (mostly) soften by publication of sales figures that were pathetic for the latest expansion to say the least.

Nevertheless the publisher kept talking to the fans that were arguing that many people are still behind the releases (playing old expansions) and many of us were wishing at least for continuation of Saga expansions. Those arguments did not go without the response from Galakta. They gave us 3 weeks to show the mobilization of fans - the goal seemed quite modest: 50 copies of Polish Black Riders sold in the allotted time = Road Darkens PL. I have to say that I was sceptical at first as apart from few declarations on forums of purchases there seemed to be nothing much going on.

There was two things that kept bugging me:
- In the future I would love to play this game with my son ... and Polish version would really make this easier/probable
- Why can't we (fans) do something for the game WE love. It is always publisher that gets the blame but at the end of the day WE are playing this game.
Those two things finally put me over the edge and I proposed (on two main forums for the game) to fund 1/2 of any expansion for one of those that will buy Black Riders PL in the allotted time.

Yes, this started it all for some reason and I was appointed (unofficially) the leader of the action "Save LOTR:LCG PL". Here are the things we were able to do/arrange:

Contest - people that bought the Black Riders during the action were eligible to enter the contests with fabulous prizes:
- Fans founded two expansions one big and one small (so many people declared to pitch in that in the end I had to start declining offers)
- Mariusz Gandzel offered 9 autographed graphics (from our game as well as from a Hobbit game)
- Badger's Nest offered one copy of their new game 7 Ronin
- Polish boardgame shop Tropem gier offered Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill

Media support - Most of Polish boardgame blogs/sites mentioned our action and this way we were able to reach some of the people that only played the core set and convinced them to check out Road Darkens. Two blogs decided to support us all the way and become media sponsors and helped greatly in the running the action, contacting prize sponsors, stores and making the action visible on FB etc. those were: Board Times, Przystanek Planszówka

Articles - Series of articles were written and published at that time promoting the game, Black Riders as "stand alone" expansion, unboxings, reviews of expansions, custom quests/cards etc. Few of them were my own but I was glad that many other fans joined.

Stores support - Many online retailers made a special offers for the expansion lowering its price significantly and thous pushing some undecided buyers to get the game. Some of the most popular game shops had to restock Black Riders once or twice during the action.

All and all we made a huge noise and were able to get the required amount of purchases: Road Darkens will be published in Polish version. This shows that fans of LOTR are a strong bunch despite the lack of tournaments and many people playing only solo. What we need to remember though is to try show our passion and the game to other people - we need new players to keep the game alive.

Spoiler (click to reveal)
One thing though. With all this support behind us and dedication of many fans I am a bit disappointed that we didn't blew through the goal. We made it but not by much and this shows that the game is still not as healthy as I would like at least not in Poland.

As you might expect since I had to throw most of my time on the "Polish front" I was unable to update this blog. I hope to be able to write opinions Against the Shadow some time soon.
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