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War of the Ring (Second Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Would I be likely to enjoy this game? rss

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Kasper Lauest
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Hey there,

I'm fairly new to this hobby having basically started playing "hobby" style games at the beginning of this year (2013).

I've been very eager to try out (and/or buy) a whole host of new games, with the games sitting near the top of the BGG ratings list unsurprisingly commanding a high level of interest from me.

While I do not know all that much about this game I can tell you that what attracts me to it apart from its high rating is that it is a two player game. I tend to really like two player games and it is easier for me to get to play a two player game than a multi player game. Quite a lot easier, infact.

However, I also have a few concerns.

- I don't really like dungeon crawler style games (not sure if this is relevant here)
- Theme is fairly unimportant to me. A good theme is nice, but not needed for me.
- Miniatures are nice enough, but really, I might as well play with euro style cubes.

So basically, while new to this hobby, I think I have already concluded that my favourite games tend to be medium to medium-heavy euro style games.

Some of my favourite games so far are: Everything by Stefan Feld, Android: Netrunner, Dominion, Twilight Struggle, Agricola, Eclipse, Caylus, Chess.

SO....based on that, do you think I would be likely to enjoy War Of The Ring (second edition) or not?
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Yiorgos Golfinopoulos
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If you like Twilight Struggle and Chess, I 'd wager that you will also like War of the Ring.

For me it is the best game ever, even if I don't get to play it anymore.
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Ralf Schemmann
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It is definitely a very strongly-themed game and a good part of its appeal comes from that theme. But it is also a superb game mechanics-wise IF - and that's an important "if" - you like a good bit of randomness in your games. There are a lot of dice to throw, cards to play and chits to draw. The skill lies in adapting your overall strategies to the vagaries of luck in the game.

That does not mean this is a purely luck-driven game. Our online ranking ladder shows that skill and experience is a very essential part of gameplay.

Judging from the fact that you list Eclipse, I do think you would like the game.

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Kasper Lauest
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Well, I like randomness in setup a whole lot.

Not a huge fan of dice in general. The games I like which feature dice are games like Eclipse, Bora Bora and Castles Of Burgundy. In the first, the dice randomness is mitigated by a fair amount by ship builds. In the latter two you use dice in rather ingenious ways. In Bora Bora you can't really say that rolls are good or bad in themselves, it's how you use them to take actions that matter. Also you can manipulate dice rolls with God cards. Similarly in Castles Of Burgundy where your die rolls can be used in numerous ways and you can manipulate them with worker tiles.

As for cards, I generally like cards and don't mind randomness from drawing cards at all (I love Dominion, Twilight Struggle and Android: Netrunner for instance).

Similarly with drawing chits.
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Anders Pedersen
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If you come south towards Copenhagen, you are welcome to drop by and try my Collector's Edition.
I do not play it that often, so I would be happy to have an excuse for putting it on the table!
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Kasper Lauest
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dbc- wrote:
If you come south towards Copenhagen, you are welcome to drop by and try my Collector's Edition.
I do not play it that often, so I would be happy to have an excuse for putting it on the table!

Thanks for the offer. I might take you up on that at some point!
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David Boeren
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There are two main die rolls in War of the Ring.

1. You roll action dice every turn. These give you the types of actions you can take, but in general it doesn't feel "lucky" as all action types are useful. Also there some ways to convert one die result to another.

2. Hunt rolls. Each time the Fellowship moves there is a Hunt roll, with a number of dice chosen ahead of time by the Shadow player. Each hunt die is one less action due for him though. The Fellowship player can always opt not to move if the heat is too much. There is some luck here, but it generally evens out well over the game and you can make strategic choices to help mitigate the results of bad early rolls.
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Josh Lacey
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dboeren wrote:
There are two main die rolls in War of the Ring.

1. You roll action dice every turn. These give you the types of actions you can take, but in general it doesn't feel "lucky" as all action types are useful. Also there some ways to convert one die result to another.

2. Hunt rolls. Each time the Fellowship moves there is a Hunt roll, with a number of dice chosen ahead of time by the Shadow player. Each hunt die is one less action due for him though. The Fellowship player can always opt not to move if the heat is too much. There is some luck here, but it generally evens out well over the game and you can make strategic choices to help mitigate the results of bad early rolls.


Also dice are rolled for battle.

I agree that theme is heavy in this game, and one of the things I love about it is how true to the book and thus the movies it feels. However it is not scripted. While the starting setup is static for each game, things vary each game due to how the action dice come up and what cards you get...or even the style/aggressiveness of your opponent. If you've read the books or seen the movies I would assume that you would get more enjoyment out of it than if you hadn't...but if you haven't read the books or seen the movies...you should really watch the movies, regardless of whether or not you get the game.

Action dice in this game are similar to a lot of Feld games where the different results just result in different actions...but it is how you choose to use those dice that are going to affect your chances to win, not what was rolled per se. Battle dice are pretty standard where luck definitely comes into play but at the same time each player has battle cards that can affect the battle just as much as the dice do themselves.

The game comes with miniatures, but for all intents and purposes the basic armies are just blocks. While myself and many others painted them, it is in no way necessary to the play of the game. This game is in NO WAY whatsoever a dungeon crawler.

Since you seem to like two player games I would recommend the following that I can never play enough of.
Twilight Struggle
War of the Ring
Sekigahara: Unification of Japan
Washington's War

I haven't played and would really like to play and hear good things about.
Polis
Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage

I would say that 1960: The Making of the President while a good game plays very similarly to Twilight Struggle but does not have the constant tension that TS does. So while a good game, that I have, I just never find myself wanting to choose it over Twilight Struggle.
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Kasper Lauest
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Yeah, I love both Twilight Struggle and 1960, but the former is CLEARLY better. I also own 1989, but haven't tried it yet.

Well, from what you guys are saying I think that I should definitely at the very least try this game out. Putting it on my wishlist for my birthday in january right now.
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jamuki (Jueguetistorias)
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Hi!

You've got so much good advice that I am a little bit ashamed of posting, but, anyway... Some questions you may want to ask yourself about this game.

(1) Do you usually have time for long games? Because this game is, in no way, short.

(2) Do you feel comfortable with the lore and the story of The Lords of the Ring? The game is heavily themed. I have found that people which have not read the books/watched the movies have more problems learning the rules, and, specially, knowing how to play the cards in the game.

(3) Do you mind the two victory-conditions? I've found that some people have problems with them - in the sense that they are winning as Dark Lord of the Middle Earth by means of a complete conquest and, bum, the ring is destroyed and they lose. Or the Fellowship that is just one turn for destroying the ring and lose too much cities... For me, it's one of the best things about this game, by far, but YMMV.

Thanks for reading
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Kasper Lauest
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jamuki wrote:
Hi!

You've got so much good advice that I am a little bit ashamed of posting, but, anyway... Some questions you may want to ask yourself about this game.

(1) Do you usually have time for long games? Because this game is, in no way, short.

(2) Do you feel comfortable with the lore and the story of The Lords of the Ring? The game is heavily themed. I have found that people which have not read the books/watched the movies have more problems learning the rules, and, specially, knowing how to play the cards in the game.

(3) Do you mind the two victory-conditions? I've found that some people have problems with them - in the sense that they are winning as Dark Lord of the Middle Earth by means of a complete conquest and, bum, the ring is destroyed and they lose. Or the Fellowship that is just one turn for destroying the ring and lose too much cities... For me, it's one of the best things about this game, by far, but YMMV.

Thanks for reading

1) not usually, but sometimes. :-)

2) I've seen the movies and thought they were great. So I'm absolutely fine with the theme. My ONLY concern about the theme was that I was slightly worried that this was one of those games which are more or less ALL about the theme and not so much about good game mechanics.

3) I've got no issue with multiple victory conditions. Not at all. :-)
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Jim Hansen
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I would definitely try it before you buy it. The mechanics are solid, but the theme is what makes this great and there is a lot more luck than the games you listed.
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Edwin Burns
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I am going to say not.

You can still enjoy the game with out being a die hard Tolkien fan but if you're familiar with the theme it makes the game experience more immersive.

This game is very opposite of a typical euro. If euros are you style I would pass on this one.

However, you do have some outliners in your list would be twilight struggle and Eclipse. While not super similar to WotR they are the most comparable on the list
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Andrew Poulter
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I think the greatest thing about the game is the depth of strategy you can employ. From the first game to however many you play, new strategies and situations constantly appear. Admittedly I have played and watched hundreds of games, so they don't appear quite so often now in the base game. However they still do occasionally and more so with the new expansion. With two more expansions to come this can only get better.

Luck has been mentioned several times. Sure it does feature, but it is handled very well by the mechanics and is something that is possibly misunderstood until several games are played as to its overall effect. Even when losing (to luck or not), you always get a fun game!

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kevin long
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Many players favor this game for the theme so strongly that they overlook the randomness. A lot of players will argue 1/3 of all games decided purely by dice. Some players have also been disappointment by the rule set. It is extremely heavy and can guarantee there are maybe 2 players on the planet who can say exactly what is the legal play in some card combos. Those are some reasons you may not like it according to your self descriptions. But it is my favorite game - it is my one rule book heavy game that i still enjoy learning or relearning the rules over and over
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Kristofer Bengtsson
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treece keenes wrote:
It is extremely heavy and can guarantee there are maybe 2 players on the planet who can say exactly what is the legal play in some card combos.


I wonder who they are...
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calvin chow
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It's a long game, and takes several plays to get a feel for what can happen... The strategy can feel very random when you don't have a good sense of the kinds of things that can happen with the cards... I'm just starting to get familiar with the cards, and I'm liking this game the more I play it... The strategic element is becoming a lot more apparent to me, and it feels less luck driven now...

This is one of the only games I play that uses card selection... So I think that was a bit of a barrier for me. I liked the theme enough that I didn't mind the learning curve...
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Kasper Lauest
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I am now the proud owner of War Of The Ring (Second Edition). As it happened I got it for my birthday. Hopefully I'll get to play it soon.
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