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

Subject: War of the Ring Session Review rss

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Meghan Straus
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The War of The Ring (2 Games)

Sadly, I wasn’t able to get images for these sessions (they were both played in one night).

Game 1:

Players: Myself (Meghan Straus), Nate Stonecipher, Joe Bir, Jesse Carreno

Sadly, I didn’t get much time to play through The War of the Ring each time I picked it up, so these gameplay session reviews will be rather sparse, so forgive me! The first time we picked up this game and opened the box, I can honestly say that the first thing I felt was excitement, and then nervousness. I love tabletop war games, and WotR is exactly one of those. I can relate it to Game’s Workshop’s “The Hobbit” (Formerly “Lord of the Rings”) tabletop game.

Even though I like these games, one has to be really savvy with the rules in order to play. WotR is no different. We started “play” early in the evening (7:00pm, if my memory serves me correctly) and didn’t start play until 9:30. Why? The RULES! We had to read through a 43 page rule book before even beginning the game! There were rules for every little thing, and my biggest complaint is that you really needed all of those rules to even start playing. If the rules were more streamlined, I feel that I would have enjoyed my first gameplay session a lot more.

We played with two to a team, with Joe and Jesse controlling the Shadow Armies (Sauron, Sarumon, and the Easterlings), and Nate and I were controlling the Free People (Dwarves, Elves, and Humans). The setting up of the armies was guided by the rule book, which made everything very clear (props to the creators!). It was probably the fastest thing we did all night. The rulebook also gave very clear and quick rules on how to play with more than two people, and we jumped right in. Granted, we didn’t get very far at all. The library closed at 10:00pm, and we got two turns each under our belts before we had to go. Those two turns were very valuable though, because they helped us iron out the rules that we had just spent around two to two and a half hours reading (and that was just reading them, not studying them hard).

When playing with more than two players, the armies are divided between the players, and each player can only move the armies that they are in charge of. This gives a whole new edge to the strategy aspect, because you can’t directly move your friend’s pieces. You have to rely on them and talk with them (sometimes secretly so the other army doesn’t know what’s going on ) to make sure you’re all on the same page. I personally loved this twist to the game. Everything fell into place as we got to our turns, and the most interesting aspects of the game to me were the use of the event cards to change up a turn or get additional soldiers for an army. It allowed armies that could move or fight on the first few turns (like the Free Armies) to have a stable income of troops or events to keep them on their feet under the onslaught of the Shadow armies.

These were just my first thoughts on the game, so read below for a more detailed look at the gameplay itself!

Game 2: Myself (Meghan Straus), Jesse Carreno

Playing this game with two players, particularly after learning the rules, was much easier than playing with four players, though I wouldn’t say it was more fun.

I played the Shadow armies this time, and the sheer amount of troops I was in control of was very daunting. Very early in the game, I focused on moving my armies to war. The first two to reach “At War” status were Saruman and Sauron’s troops, and summoned Saruman to the field as soon as I could. Then I started building up an army to attack the still inactive Rohan. To make things even more interesting, I drew an event card called Wormtongue, which caused Rohan to remain inactive unless one of its main cities is attacked. Which means I could travel freely into the outlying fortifications and settlements and attack without consequence.

Good LORD does Saruman make things overpowered in his small sector. I launched an attack on Jesse’s troops in Rohan as soon as I could, where he had three of the Fellowship stationed. I attempted to beat his rerolls with my own, moving several Nazgul to the sector to make us evenly matched. Sadly, I was routed by the dice, leaving only three Nazgul in the area. I retreated back to Orthank, and used Saruman’s ability to build up my army again. Within the next few turns, I had an equal, if not larger force to take on Rohan AGAIN, and they had only just become active thanks to one of the Fellowship entering the main city.

Jesse was able to only get Rohan to war to fight back against the Shadow Armies, even though all of his armies were active. When he finally got Gondor active, I got an event card that caused my Easterlings to advance to a Gondoran coast sector and launched an attack. Jesse brought Strider to the area, and used an event to banish the Easterlings from that town after most of them were routed. Even so, there were more ready to charge into Gondor.

Sadly, this game was ended by a freak disaster, when Jesse knocked the board and sent the miniatures flying. It was 3am on a school night and we both stared at each other for a good five minutes before agreeing that stopping for the night was a good idea.

These were my first reviews, so I’m happy if you enjoy them!!

Thanks!
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J Ry
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First, welcome to BGG.
And thanks for the write up.
 
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Jeff K
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Garner
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You should consider linking this up to your partner's review. It makes interesting reading to see both sides that way.

Glad you guys are having fun. I made my comments over in the other thread, but thanks to both of you for the postings.
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Dennis Brakmann
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Oberhausen
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Very nice report. Looking forward for the next one.

Welcome to BGG!
 
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Ira Fay
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New Haven
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Nice report, and I'm looking forward to seeing more!

It doesn't surprise me that your second game took many hours. It definitely gets faster once you know the rules. I can usually play a full game (with setup and cleanup) in 2-3 hours with another experienced player.
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Tom Duensing
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Thanks for the write up.

The rules come pretty naturally after a game or two.

It's a great game.
 
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