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Subject: Replay Value? rss

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Zach Berly
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It seems that this game wouldn't provide much replay value, it seems as though the fellowship will always travel the same route, the Northern half of the board will never see action and the southern will, is this true?
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Jim Hansen
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I would point you to the online ladder where several players have played 100+ games: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AtLN1dNc0SyedEx...

It's true that the fellowship is pretty limited to 2 or 3 routes, but veteran players can also frequently threaten and achieve free player military victories. There are also a lot of decisions with the companions regarding who to keep in the fellowship and who the send elsewhere.

For players that don't stick to the main themes in the books/movies, the northeast part of the board sees a lot of military action. I would say that Dale/Erebor/Woodland Realm are just as likely (or even more likely) to be captured as Minas Tirith or Dol Amroth. They are lightly defended and are worth a very nice 5 VPs. Grey Havens sees very little action and the Shire and Rivendell see moderate action, but everything else is in play.

The randomness provided by the cards and action dice can really force you out of scripted strategies, which I find really increase the replay value. I never start a game as the free people planning to go for a military victory, but the game can force you into it sometimes.

If you find the game getting dull or repetitive, I recommend downloading the online client from the link above and playing against some experienced players. It will open you up to many new strategies.
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glen.
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You might think that. But there is still strategy, there is still chance and enough variation which makes its replay incredible.

My wife and I probably play 5 times a month, and every time, it's crazy different. Shadow player figuring out where to strike first, how to manage to get 10 points; the Free Peoples having to find ways to heal enough and evade enough corruption to make it through to the end. Not to mention the odd time when a Free Peoples character gets bold and guns for a military victory.

I will say too, the expansion, Lords of Middle-earth, changes it up quite a bit too. Adds new, powerful allies and minions, which change where you would strike or how you would build your defenses.

Plus, there are a couple variant scenarios which are pretty fun to goof around with also. Namely, the Breaking of the Fellowship (you can Google it), which really starts with both sides with their hands wrapped around the others' neck. Its scary, scary, awesome fun.
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Raf B
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I started playing this game in 2005. It is that odd game where the better you know it, the more replayable it becomes. There's the tempo of your actions to master, the synergy of event cards, the strategic choices and the educated guessing as to why your opponent made the move they just made or which combat card they are intending to use.
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David Boeren
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Replay value is enormous, no two games turn out alike.
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kevin long
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The movement of the Fellowship can seem like only a timer. A lot of elite players even seem to treat that aspect of the game so. But the game is so deep that only a very few players may be able to say if that is true. So even this part of the game is still deeper than it looks. Then throw in the Lords of Middle Earth expansion and the Fellowship trail becomes more. Much more can be done to help and hinder the travels of the Fellowship with that.
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Ian Madsen
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I've had a game where the Witch King was killed in Mount Gunabad, and was shortly followed by Gandalf the White getting himself killed in Erebor. By the end, I had amassed a massive army in the untouched Gondor, and tried to break through the Shadow blockade to reach Mordor, but the fall of the north and Rohan cost me the game.
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Arek
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In my last game Galadriel, Merry, Balrog and Witch King died in Lorien
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Jack Francisco
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This is yet another game that I am totally intimidated to learn.
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Aaron Cinzori
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senorcoo wrote:
This is yet another game that I am totally intimidated to learn.


Mechanically it's straightforward. So your learning time is spent on the fun part: what do I do?
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birchbeer
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SouthernProud wrote:
It seems that this game wouldn't provide much replay value, it seems as though the fellowship will always travel the same route, the Northern half of the board will never see action and the southern will, is this true?


Good question. It may seem scripted but the reality is a polar opposite. It's hard to quantify WOTR with any other game in terms of strategic depth and replayability. To reiterate Rafamir, the more you play the deeper the game gets. I compare the strategic depth to a game like Imperial. While neither game has anything in common, the subtle timing, flow and 'mystery of the rondel' (Imperial's signature is the rondel mechanism) doesn't really start to sink-in until you've played around 50 games. Playing the Free Peoples is a real skill. Don't let the 'few paths to Mordor' fool you. Also, don't be surprised is there is a viable Western option for the Free in the future that allows transport via ship. ;-)

Bottom line: WOTR will grab in ways no other game can. Jump in.
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kevin long
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senorcoo wrote:
This is yet another game that I am totally intimidated to learn.


I play family level Euros. This game is the exception. There is no doubt that you can play 50 games of this and still learn a new rule. I enjoy studying the rules and their quirks. It is my one lifetime hobby game in that respect. However the rules and getting them right is just a side hobby. We all have played many games of this where we get more than one rule wrong and the outcome would be the same anyway. The game is that deep. 2 people playing WOTR for the 3rd time get as much pleasure as a 100 game rules shark. So read up on the rules and go for it! Don't have to get it right in this particular game. As you get more plays then the rules come along as they matter more and more And as Aaron says "Mechanically it's straightforward. So your learning time is spent on the fun part: what do I do?"
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Andrew Poulter
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As (joint) player with most recorded games on the ladder, I feel quite sure that this game is indeed repetitive with little long term appeal. whistle

Just posted for another game on FB by the way!
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Grant Holzhauer
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Who knew Euro games could be thematic?
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Don't be. When I first got into the hobby, this was like the 5th game I bought. Previous games included Last Night on Earth, Fortune and Glory, and Defenders of the Realm. None of those are very complicated.

This one is, and it took me about 2 games to get it, but it really does make a lot of sense, and it's so thematic that you'll be drawn into learning it once you start reading.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I think this is the best game design in any game, hands down.
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kevin long
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dojogrant wrote:
Don't be. When I first got into the hobby, this was like the 5th game I bought. Previous games included Last Night on Earth, Fortune and Glory, and Defenders of the Realm. None of those are very complicated.

This one is, and it took me about 2 games to get it, but it really does make a lot of sense, and it's so thematic that you'll be drawn into learning it once you start reading.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: I think this is the best game design in any game, hands down.


I second that emotion!
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Kevin Riddle

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great game, if you are a LOTR fan, then you'll love this game
I felt it was very rules heavy and very intimidating, but once you play a couple times, it's quite fun and enjoyable
and yes, it is always different each time
amazing how it always seems to be sooooo close for either side
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Kevin Wojtaszczyk
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I'd say it is also a great game with great replayability.

The only other 2 player game I found which is like WoTR is Breakout Normandy with it's theme, high replay value, and asymmetric sides.

Both are outstanding games where you never know how they will turn out.
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Damon Asher
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The cards the players draw in the early stages of the game have a huge impact on how things play out. There is no part of the map that has not seen action during one of my games. And once you play 20 times or so and want to mix things up, there is the (retooled and better than ever) expansion that opens up many more possibilities. To the OP, it sounds like you are trying to talk yourself out of this game. But if you like intense middleweight wargames, and have even a passing interest in the world of Tolkien, you are unlikely to go wrong with WotR.

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ryan turner
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I have nothing but good things to say. This game is brilliant, and the depth involved in decision making only grows the more you play.

And I'll tell you this, it stopped my board game buying addiction in its tracks.
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Some dude
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The replay value is proportional to how many times you can find someone to play this game with. laugh
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