meepleonboard
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I see this game mentioned many times as having similarities to Stratego, and wonder whether anybody has any experience of how close it might be to LOTR: The Confrontation (also often compared to Stratego)? Is it sufficiently different to warrant having both in the same collection, bearing in mind that I'm aspiring to be a depth rather than a breadth gamer?

Also, my SO, with whom I play most often, is not entirely sold on abstracts - she will play Hive, at a push - so does the theme of this come across strongly enough to disguise its abstractness?

Many thanks!
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As for the theme, I would say it didn't quite make it. To me this feels more like ice-hockey than espionage. However, the make-up is great and all the components look spot on. But I don't really know how much this counts for you.

So as for theme: The looks are right there. The mechanics less. If your SO plays Hive at a push, hmmmm... chance is he/she will feel the same about this one after playing.

As for the similarities to LotR: Confrontation, yes, there are definitely similarities, namely, the different types of movement each piece has. But that's it. There are no special powers. I remember in LotR there was one piece that could move horizontally, if it did, the opponent would know which character that was.

In this game this is more difficult and in fact, one big part of the game is figuring out who's who. one piece always shares several possible movement possibilities with about 2 or 3 more pieces. Also, Espionage plays the opposite as LotR or Stratego in that I don't know how my pieces move and you don't know how your pieces move. So we both want to find out how our pieces move so that we can make the most out of them, since our pieces are always turned to the opponent.

Also, you eliminate opponent pieces by simply moving against them, you do not compare values and you do not reveal the pieces (neither the attacker nor the victim).

If you like depth, this is going to be very interesting after you realize how important the way you set up your opponent's pieces is. Also, one of the greatest challenges lies in timing the use of the double-spy rightly, obviously you can not control the timing this piece is moved, but what you need to carefully control is what movement you will allow it do and when you are going to sacrifice it's identity for your benefit.

There is quite a lot to this game in how to play it and how to set up a good strategy. I really like it and I think you would too, I'm just not sure about your SO, because the theme is quite slim (but it does look cool nonetheless).

Hope this helps a bit.
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meepleonboard
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Thanks for the detailed reply. Although Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation is still relatively new in our collection we both enjoyed it, and Mr. Jack has also had quite a few plays, so deduction games tend to go down well.

The problem with Hive is that my other half claims not really to know what she's doing (although the results don't support this view!), so I'm thinking that the deduction and logic element of this (both of which are things she enjoys) could help. She also claims to have enjoyed Battleships as a young 'un, which I've also seen mentioned in comparison with this.
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Based on this I would give it a go then.
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