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War of the Ring: Lords of Middle-earth» Forums » General

Subject: how much complexity does this add? rss

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trevor

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I've been looking at this for a while, WotR has been pretty consistently played by us for about 2 years now.

but we feel the game has almost the perfect amount of complexity. Is this expansion more stuff or does it tip the scales with new rules and such? It is modular? as in do you have to play with everything at once?
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Mark Palframan
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I would say the expansion helps add more choices to the game. For instance, you have a choice of which Gandalf to play with, the new Gandalf, (Gandalf the Grey: Keeper of Narya) he will affect the game in different ways.

The new characters (who aren't alternates) add cards, a figure, and a die. Think of Saruman, he sits in Isengard, gives you a die for more possibilities, and can use certain cards to swing the tide in your favor. The new dice are a bit different in that you can only use one new die per turn, but that should give you an idea of the complexity change.
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Greg Purcell
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To my mind, this adds significant complexity. It is modular, however, and we tend to play with the new rules for the elven rings/figures, when we can get the game to the table at all. We never use the other modules, as neat as they are.

I suspect it's of more value to people who get the game to the table more often. If this is more of a "twice-a-year" experience for you, as it is for us, you won't need the expansion.
 
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Mark Palframan
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By other modules do you mean the non-duplicate characters such as the Durin's Bane?
 
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trevor

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mpalframan wrote:
By other modules do you mean the non-duplicate characters such as the Durin's Bane?


no just if you can play with bits and pieces of the expansion or you have to play as a whole.

But thanks for the responses, this gives me a little better idea
 
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Ladson
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It adds more complexity and you will probably be looking at the rules forum for clarification for your first couple of plays.

But the upside is that it takes the game off the rails so to speak. The Free People can do something other than blitz the Ringbearers down the map using the Fellowship as a meat shield. (To be fair You don't have to do that in the base, but there is a lot of incentive to do so) The Shadow has lots more options but needs to plan as elven Strongholds are stronger when Galadriel and Elrond enter.

However, I've never had the urge to add the alternate diplomacy companions. Don't know why. Perhaps it's just a little too far off the rails for my taste.
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Grant Johnson
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This expansion comes in a couple of sections. Off the top of my head:

1. Use of the Elvish keepers and Minions. This adds the bulk of what is in the expansion, with an alternate version of Gandalf, the Witch-king and the Mouth of Sauron, musterable versions of Elrond and Galadriel, the Balrog and Gothmog. This goes hand-in-hand with the use of the new keeper and lesser minion dice, as well as the new elvish ring powers. Most of the new cards in the decks are also tied into this item.
2. Smeagol, who generally can be brought in by himself, along with the card for "We Shall Get it" and a few other things that go into each of the decks.
3. Alternate non-Gandalf companions, who generally can cycle in on their own without disrupting much else around them (Gandalf the Keeper of Narya is tied into item #1 above).
4. Council of Rivendell rules, which let you start the companions outside the Fellowship.

I typically see items #1 & 2 introduced together (Smeagol is pretty minimal on complexity), and sometimes #3 in a first go. I was told that it's best to wait on #4 until you feel comfortable with everything else, as that can be a big change in the gameplay.
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Raf B
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To add to what's been covered:

- The alternate Witch-king can be brought in the moment the FSP is revealed or declared outside Rivendell, and has an ability that let's him cycle Character Event cards relentlessly, giving the Shadow player dramatically enhanced options for a Corruption-focused strategy.
- Starting with the new Gandalf guiding, the Free Peoples potentially get five actions per turn from the get-go, and losing him to the Hunt is de-incentivized.
- The extra Action dice have a couple rules governing them that take a couple games to get used to (which one you may choose when you've rolled more than one, what decisions might affect their permanent loss).
- There are a handful of new event cards, plus two new ones which involve Smeagol (a friendlier version of Gollum).
- The Balrog is awesome but won't always be useful. He can even hound the Fellowship.

On modularity: Also, there's a built-in modularity to Lords that hasn't been mentioned. You can include all of its constituent elements and, if neither player sees fit to use the options available to her, still end up playing the base game (with an occasional new Event drawn). Maybe it's not worth the muster action to bring in Elrond, or maybe the Smeagol hunt tile never gets drawn. Maybe the Shadow sees better opportunities for a military rush than messing with lesser minions.

On variety: Lords offers new ways of playing War of the Ring and shakes up typical strategies. The new Witch-king and the lesser minions do not satisfy the minion requirement for bringing in Gandalf the White, so there are ways the Shadow can mess with the Free Peoples without automatically bringing in Saruman and keep Gandalf from going white. With Elrond or Galadriel in play, the Free Peoples might have as many as seven action dice to use in a turn. The new Gandalf can use his ring to send one Free Peoples nation to war in one action, opening new early game possibilities for the North and Rohan.
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trevor

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Thanks guys, this is great!

It sounds worth the purchase to me.
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michael edwards
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Recently acquired this expansion, so far in our opinion it makes things a little easier for the Free People's player. The ability to have companions start automatically in their home settlements in order to jump start their political track, and Gandalf's ability to rocket a nation right to war (twice if you get lucky with the FPP card that lets you reclaim used rings), it really helps mustering faster.

The rules are easy to understand, but we get tripped up on the use of the rings. As we understand it, once per turn on any given round, the FPP can use a ring like normal (change the face value of a die to anything except will of the west), AND if he/she so chooses, can ALSO use a DIFFERENT ring to activate the appropriate companions special ability.

The Shadow player gets some cool stuff as well. One new character has the ability to spawn units on a free region, so he is sort of like a walking mustering point. The Balrog is really good as well, but easy to get ride of. My favorite is the alternate version of the Mouth, he can get a second attack on a besieged stronghold for free.

There is really no reason to not include it in the game, aside from alternate starting locations, you could go the entire game and none of the new stuff ever even happen.
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