Jayson Myers
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Please check out my other reviews at:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/145695/item/2728438#it...



Conclusion:

Lord of the Rings Dice Building game is just a clone of Quarriors (which I barely played once) and a father of Dice Masters. The big draw here is the theme of Lord of the Rings. If you do not like The Lord of the Rings then this may not be the game for you. It is barely held together by that theme.

My main issue is how easy the game is. It does gear up as the game progresses, but many may find it too easy unless the players play against it. I had the same issue with Marvel Legendary until expansions helped the game get harder. Alas, this game is unlikely to get an expansion has a black cloud has circled this game since expansion.

The game comes with 97 dice which is nice, but a couple of mine are losing ink after a couple of plays. The cards are thin, but never shuffled. I'm not crazy about the components, but there is a lot of dice and I can live with what I see.

Let's be honest here: this isn't a great game. It may not even be a good game. It does appear to be a rushed game. It takes another system (Quarriors) and attempts to make a Lord of the Rings game out of it. It works on some levels and others it does not. That's fine with me. I expect that with a dice game like this.

The game works good enough. I want to like it as a solo game. I believe it has more value as such a game. I need a few more plays to see if the semi-cooperative game will work with those I play with. The whole idea of the Fellowship competing for Glory is going to be foreign to many people who love these stories. I wish this game had been presented as a full cooperative game; it may have made more sense.

Overall, the game is likely skippable. The majority will purge. Yet, there is a game in the box for fans of the universe.




Keeper, a little longer.




Components:

Wood/plastic: You get 97 smaller dice. The ink is coming off a few of my dice and I don't beleve enough care was taken with the components. There is a lot of dice in the box.

Cards: The cards are thin, but they are never shuffled. The cards will last enough as none of them enter the game in a surprise. The location cards enter in order and the rest of the cards you choose which enter the game. There is enough variety with the cards to last you a number of games.

Art: The art is pictures from the movie. I enjoyed the movies and I enjoy the stills.

Board: N/A

Type of money/vp: A small cardboard score tracker is included with cubes of different colors to track.

Final Grade: The components are a mixed bag. There is plenty of variety with the cards and almost 100 dice. This is quantity over quality. The ink is coming off my dice and the cards are thin. Nothing effects game play.




Rule Book:

Color/B/W: Color

Pictures of components: Yes

Picture of game set up: Yes

Pictures included: Yes

Example of playing the game: No

How long to read the book: 30 Minutes

Player Aid: No

The rules are a bear to get through and include numerous errors. I had to learn the rules from a different source. The rules were unlearnable via the included rules. This has been a huge sour point with many gamers. The rules are useless. Use other means of learning the game like files on BGG.



Flow of the Game:

Goal of the Game:

The goal of the game is for the group to make it through all the locations and be the player with the most Glory at end of game.

How it plays:

Players will take turns rolling dice and using those dice to either fight and/or buy more dice. After all of the players have taken their turn, Sauron now his oppotunity to spread corruption, fight against the fellowship, and roll more dice for the round.

A player turn:

1. Score - score glory for die in the muster area
2. Dice - draw 5 from bag and roll them
3. Prepare for war (put in space so other players can use the dice in battle) or fight Sauron (use your dice to fight Sauron)
4. Recruit - you left over Fellowship points (from dice) to buy more dice (if you buy dice, then Sauron will get a corruption and more dice)
5. Clean up - all dice except for muster area and prepare for war are put in spent area

*on another players turn they can use your dice that are prepared for war but you will get Glory points for them doing so
**dice are used to fight and buy things depending on which side of the die is rolled

Sauron turn:

1. Score - Each die that survives the player's turn adds a corruption for Sauron. Each Suron die that was rolled last round adds a corruption token.
2. Attack - any Sauron force in the muster area now attacks the Fellowship. Starting with the left of the ringbearer, they add up Sauron's total attack value and fights anyone the player's have in their muster area. If Sauron's attack value is higher than their defense, the player moves their dice from the muster area to the used area (thus they won't score Glory points on their turn).
3. Corrupt - Corruption tokens are placed on one single card per round. A corruption token is placed on the card that equals the number of corruption or the highest available (ex: Sauron has 7 corruption tokens and there is a card with 6, then it must be placed on the 6).
4. Advance - If there is not any forces in the muster area, then the next location card is flipped and thus the Fellowship advances in the game. This does not occur if there are any forces in Sauron's muster area.
5. Dice - Any dice in the muster area are not re-rolled. Any dice destroyed stay that way. If there were no dice in the muster area and a new location was flipped, then all dice are rolled.


*** The Fellowship is trying to defeat all the forces in Sauron's muster so they can travel to the next location and thus further the game towards its end. At the same time, each of the players are trying to score as many Glory points as possible to win the game.





Should I buy this game?:

This is a decent game and without the Lord of the Rings theme I would likely not keep. I'll recommend this for fans of this universe. Once you grasp the game, it is a decent game. It is semi-cooperative so you have to fight against the game or it may be too easy. I tend to play with a very unselfish group so it doesn't work quite as well. I want to play it solo, so I am going to check out a few of the solo variants.

Keeper, for now.


*The images posted with this review are not mine and are images I found on BGG. If you click on the image, you can see who posted it to BGG.
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ian o
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Hmm, what you say about the game and your final conclusion of "keeper" don't mesh well.
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Tim Royal
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He says it's a "keeper, for now..." which meshes with the rest of his comments fairly accurately IMO.

Perhaps, like me, he was disgusted with the incomprehensible, broken, erroneous rulebook, and so-so compete/coop play style, but found enough of an interesting premise and a spark of a good game (with a favorite and popular theme) such that he wanted to (and perhaps still wants to) try and tap into it despite the barriers this game erects.

I expect I'll eventually get rid of it. But not yet.

Or like Gollum, perhaps he's thinking: "It is... semi-precious to me..."

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Unfortunately, this game is what I've come to expect from WizKids. So so component quality, horribly written rule books, an overall rushed feeling in quality and gameplay, etc. They should just stick with HeroClix.
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Jayson Myers
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RedArmyIan wrote:
Hmm, what you say about the game and your final conclusion of "keeper" don't mesh well.


I want to try it one more time with a different group. It will likely be gone soon.
 
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Glenn Dudley
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I purchased it when it was released (to get over $100 with CSI). I struggled with the original instructions though I can read through them now, understanding the game better after the re-write and some play time, and realize they weren't "the worst ever".

I demoed the game at Table Top Day 2014 because I felt it was a better game than people were giving it credit for. It demoed well to new gamers, not jaded by over-familiarity with board games. As with anything, experience greatly impacts our impression of all things.

I only play fully cooperatively. The game is on the easy side but there are so many ways to increase the difficulty (less cards corrupted for Sauron to win, players absorb leftover corruption on their Glory track with zero Glory losing the game, add minions without replacing others) that anyone should be able to find the right balance.

I am a LotR fan and the game works for me. I will be keeping it, warts and all. Different strokes for different folks. That's what makes our hobby so great.
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