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Subject: War of the Ring vs. Game of Thrones rss

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So, my gaming group is looking for a new wargame and I've narrowed it down to War of the Ring and A Game of Thrones. What are the general differences between the two? From those that have played them, which one is more fun? How much does player number affect each game? More specifically, how does WotR play with 2 players compared to 4 players and how does GoT play with 4 players? Thanks for your help, let me know what you guys think.
 
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david funch
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Well I'll tell you one thing. War of the Ring is a two player game with some tacked on rules for four. Is this really your only choices?
 
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Mike Daneman
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I enjoy both games, but War of the Ring is hands down my favorite of the two. However, War of the Ring is basically a 2 player game, and the 4 player version is a bit forced (basically 2 players per side). Game of Thrones is definitely designed for a larger number of players and works well with 4 and best with 6. Of the two, War of the Ring is more of a "war game" (although it also has much more than that with fellowship movement/hunt, characters, etc.), whereas a Game of Thrones, while it definitely has armies moving around the board and fighting each other, has many more diplomacy elements (like different player supporting (or back-stabbing) each other, simulteneous hidden moves, etc.) I suggest you read the rules for both (they on FFG's website) and decide for yourself. They're very different games, so you may want to have both.
 
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Joseph Cardarelli
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I'll agree with the sentiment that War of the Ring is much more a 2-player game than a multiplayer game. Personally, I find A Game of Thrones to be a great game. Lots of tense and nerve-racking options for you. Sometimes, whether you move an army to Area A or Area B can be very tough on the brain. Another game I would suggest is Warrior Knights. If you into the whole "multiplayer wargame thats not to complex" genre, then I would say you'll like Warrior Knights. Its more combat-ish than A Game of Thrones, which is more about positioning and timing. All three of these games are by Fantasy Flight, so you can check out the rules online before you buy. Also, you know they'll all have really nice pieces.

arrrh
 
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Michael Campbell
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Game of Thrones is better with four players.

You might want to consider getting the Clash of Kings expansion...the Ports in particular are a great addition to the game play.
 
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Thanks for the great replies so far. I think I'm probably leaning towards GoT because of its group friendliness. I may pick up WotR later to have a game when only a few of us can play.

Warrior Knights intrigues me greatly though. It seems to be a good match for our group as well, not so much because of easier rules but because of the fantasy/medieval setting. Any other suggestions in the same vein as those mentioned so far are welcome.

I didn't realize Fantasy Flight put their rules online, I'm going to have to cruise on by and take a look. Should help me get a feel for these games. Thanks again.
 
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Jamie Vantries
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Ooh, Warrior Knights is a very good recommendation. I think I'm probably the only person on BGG who doesn't mind WotR with 4 players. I mean, sure it's not as good as it is with 2, but it's still fun. But yeah, probably not the best choice if you regularly play with 4.
 
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Manoel Salles
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War of the Ring is definitely a 2-player game (and a fantastic one at that). The multiplayer experience is contrived and feels rather artificial.

If you want a 4-player Game of Thrones experience, go for the Storm of Swords expansion, since it was designed specifically for that amount of players. While the base game is playable with 4, it's a watered-down experience, and uncharacteristic - not to mention imbalanced (which the base 5-player game also is, but that's another discussion).

Britannia was designed to be played with 4, so that's also worth a look, even though I haven't personally played it yet, unfortunately. There's a new Fantasy Flight edition that looks pretty great.

 
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David
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Yeah, basically War of the Ring is a 2 player game. Don't let them fool you. It is however an awesome 2 player game.

Game of Thrones is a great game too, but works best with many people. Sorta like an updated version of diplomacy in many ways. You NEED to use ports though. So get Clash of Kings or just make them yourself. Either way, the game has some balance issues without them. It's not a terrible thing, and you won't notice it at first, but once you get good, it'll become apparent very quickly, especially because there is almost no luck in this game. Only random element is the cards. CoK fixes the imbalances, but you don't really need anything from the game to do it. Ports and a slight modification of the starting setup and it's all done. Excellent game.

Warrior Knights would be my other suggestion. Definately different from GoT but still in that light wargame with some nice political stuff on top. Makes for many interesting tactics. It's my groups new favorite.

Basically, if it's just 2 of you, WotR. No question. This one plays WAY better then the other 2 with 2 players. With more then 2, hit the FFG website and read the rules. Decide which you like best and go for it.
 
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Tim Myers
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My son has both War of the Ring and the 3 Game of Thrones games. What we play depends on the number of players.

2 player - War of the Ring
4 player - Game of Thrones: Storm of Swords
5 player - Game of Thrones
6 player - Game of Thrones: Clash of Kings

With the Game of Thrones games we use the rules from SoS and CoK that we want, because you can add the additional rules you want from those expansions. Examples: Ports, Fortifications and Siege Engines from CoK. Leaders from SoS. The boards we use depends on the number of players. The expansions also include different sets of House cards and different Westros cards that can be used. These are great games for 4 to 6 players.

We have only played War of the Ring with 2 players and it is a great 2 player game in my opinion. It is RICH in theme and if you are a Lord of the Ring fan that is an added bonus. I would be reluctant to play with 3 or 4 players as I want to have total control of my army.

You should do as others have suggested and go to the FFG website and download the rules for all of the games. Look them over and then decide which game or games are better for your group.
 
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Jim Spoto
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I agree with many of the responses... I'm a *huge* fan of WotR, but it's probably not right for more than two. I could never go so far as to not recommend it, however sauron

"Thrones vs. Knights" is probably the better cage match for this event. The reprint of Warrior Knights is excellent - see some of the recent reviews.

As for making a decision, you'll probably want to check out how the games compare from the sessions and/or reviews, and of course match that to what your group is lookin' for.

Other suggestions for 4-player war games of varying scope, theme and weight:

Conquest of the Empire
Nexus Ops
Twilight Imperium (3rd ed)
Shadows Over Camelot (if cooperative floats your groups' boat)
Risk 2210


 
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Chris Rogers
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I would second or third the comment that Warrior Knights may be worthy of some analysis or investigation on your part.
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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A Game of Thrones, while it has elegant mechanics and supports 3-5 players in theorey, is unfortunately unbalanced and stupid with 3 players. And with 4 players. Oh yeah, also with 5 players. So be prepared to do some research on the geek to find a variant that fixes the balance problems. For example: our group plays with "Seaports of Westros" from the expansion, and also makes the home island of the Squid People impassible when they're not in the game.

I find 3-player fight-diplomacy games are inherently imbalanced and unfun. Throw in AGoT's unbalanced start positions, and you have a stinker of a 3'er.

And in 5 player AGoT, Alexfrog has shown how the Squid People will almost certainly win a war against the Lion People, making the Lion People not the best starting choice.

War of the Ring is too slow with 4. With 3 players its a decent 3-4 hour game. It is faster and better still with 2.

 
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Jim Marshall
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The previous comments cover the two games you've got in your sights, but in case they don't give you a winner (and I'd agree with the consensus view that WOTR is essentially a 2 player game), I'll chip in with a couple of alternative recommendations if I may.

1. Fantasy Flight have just republished Brittania, which is a good 4 player game. The set I've got is an old HP Gibsons edition from the 1980s, but the new release looks to be very much the same game.

Being honest, I only played it solo (didn't fit in with my Talisman-loving group of the time), but it's a pure wargame and lots of fun. It's asymmetric in that the players manage different peoples that invade Britain at various times through the game. Each player has a killer nation with a large number of armies (Romans, Normans etc.) as well a series of more minor ones. While the player who played the Romans will probably have a mid game lead, you need to bear in mind he's played his major nation while the other players still have theirs to come.

The basic rules for expansion/movement/combat that cover the majority of play are very straightforward, although there are a number of exceptions, with special rules for the Romans and a couple of other points scoring situations. Combat is dice driven, i.e. there's luck involved.

Apart from seeing it on a shelf in my local game shop, I've not seen the new edition but the images on BGG make it look good. It also seems to cost a bit less than the other multiplayer games around.

2. A multiplayer wargame that I've played a few times of late is Friedrich. This is an excellent game for 3 or 4, again with asymmetric sides. It has simple but very elegant mechanisms and a lot of tactical play. It's just been released as a second edition with a few rules fixes, true bi-lingual components and proper control markers for conquered cities (the first edition asked you to get busy with scissors and glue....) However, don't think that the production is poor - it's first class.

There are two main elements: firstly a traditional wargame using armies to capture/defend objective cities, and secondly the use of 4 decks of slightly modified playing cards (Hearts, Spades etc.) to simulate military resources.

In battle, the relative strength points of the opposing armies determines the opening combat differential, but you can then add to it by playing cards from you hand, as can your opponent. The winner will be the player with the positive differential at the end of the battle, and the loser has to retreat and takes army losses proportionate to the losing differential.

The board is overlayed with a grid of squares, each of which contains a symbol of one of the card suits. The best bit is that in battle you can only play cards corresponding to the suit in which your fighting army is currently placed. Thus, you need to force battles in areas where your card hand is currently strong, and avoid battles where it is weak. Three of the players (two in a three player game) play as the allied nations fighting against Prussia, and while only one of them can win (i.e. they can't score a joint win), they need to bear in mind in which suits the others have been fighting Prussia as Prussia may be weak in them.

You also use the cards (ideally from the suits in which you don't plan to fight) to rebuild damaged armies.

The Prussian player has a hard time of it (the harder the longer the game plays), but will probably have the most fun as he's fighting what appears to be the rest of Europe single-handedly! (Well OK, he has his Hannoverian allies, but he controls them too and they need Prussian help to survive against the French - adds to the fun).

Very different and a lot more gamey than most wargames, but it hangs together very well. Recommended.
 
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