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Subject: War of the Ring and it's spiritual successor, Star Wars: Rebellion rss

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Daniel W
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As a Star Wars junkie, seeing Rebellion come out was a dream come true. But my tax return has come in which means I get to splash some cash which has means I get to buy a single board game. I had my heart set on Rebellion but aside from my best friend, I find myself surrounded by people who are ambivalent and best and violentlyergic at worst to the Galaxy far, far away.

And then I remembered Rebellion's spiritual precursor War of the Ring, the rave reviews, the ridiculous battle reports of Gandalf storming the Black Gates at the head of an army of hobbits, and I wondered if that might not be a wiser purchase? I'm nowhere near as big a LotR junkie as I am Star Wars but I'm definitely a casual appreciator of Tolkien.

So sell me, people. Tell me why War of the Ring is better than Fantasy Flight's sexy, sexy Star Wars behemoth. I am honestly all ears.
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David K.
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If you are more of a Star Wars junkie, then that the path you must take. War of the Ring is great, and too bad you can't get both. But given your preferences, Star Wars Rebellion is the right purchase, at this time. There's always next year and you can get WotR then.
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Luke Heidebrecht
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I am a near equal fan of both Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. I've read most of Tolkien's works, even the obscure disconnected histories in the Unfinished Tales, etc... I've also indulged in Star Wars many video games (Tie Fighter anyone?), Clone Wars, Rebels, etc...

When it comes to board games, I am quite certain War of the Ring is the better game. Having played it 30+ times (and this is nothing compared to many on these forums) and yet it seems as fresh as the first makes me appreciate its design. The Lords of Middle Earth expansion adds new strategic and tactical avenues, and with Warriors of Middle Earth on the horizon and a 3rd expansion being planned there is much to explore in Middle-Earth.

I haven't pulled the trigger on Rebellion or played it yet to be honest - so please disregard all that I am saying if you wish as its unfounded. My observations on Rebellion, based on watching all the video reviews, reading the instructions, and reading other reviews on the geek is leaving me a little lukewarm (pun intended). I think it has something to do with:

1. The combat system - it looks as though it would slow the game down quite a lot. War of the Ring's combat isn't any more interesting but it is fast and tense and seems to fit in with the pace of the game. Upon conclusion of combat my nerves are settling down and I am readjusting, recalculating, and reacting to the new landscape immediately. The War of the Ring narrative is fantastic. But I'm sure the same could be said of Rebellion.

2. The Cat and mouse focus - it seems to me that there is a little too much chaos going on, too little information for the Imperial player to predict and plan for in their search for the Rebel base. It's really a process of elimination where you seek to narrow things down from as many avenues as possible so as to focus your fleets and movements. War of the Ring has been designed with an incredible balance between open information and bluffing. Again, from my limited experience with Rebellion, I think War of the Ring has a few more interlocking systems going on - its probably a little more complex and, dare I say it, less scripted? It's a hunch.

I would honestly love to be convinced into owning Rebellion myself.

So, since I don't have much experience to ground my advice on, is for you to go for Rebellion. If its your "dream come true" and you have a dedicated player who will get it to the table over and over its probably a good choice, especially given your passion for the IP.
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Doug Adams
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IMO, War of the Ring is one of the great game designs of the past 15 years. No idea about Star Wars Rebellion.
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chuck reaume
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I have and love both games.

If you're a Star Wars junkie then I would recommend Rebellion. It's like reliving the first three films on a grand strategic level. It's dripping with SW theme and the components are first rate. Agree that the combat is tighter in WotR though.

WotR, however, is a classic. And, as already mentioned, has more extended content. It's an incredibly beautiful game also dripping with theme. Cannot wait for the Warriors of Middle Earth expansion!

Picking one over the other is like asking which child I love more. You're really not going to make a bad purchase whichever one you choose. But again, if theme is the deciding factor based on your post, I would recommend Rebellion now.
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Andrew Poulter
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First of all, in full disclosure I am one of WOTR's biggest fanboys. However I do own and play plenty of other games, one of which is Star Wars rebellion.

So both games really capture the theme really well. Rebellion is the Star Wars game I have always wanted in that it has the scope of the whole universe and feels authentic. WOTR also has this covered to an even better extent, it really feels like you are playing the story.

As rebellion is more modern I would say it has the better components (especially the amazing miniatures), but both are well made.

Both provide great gameplay, although sometime I feel Rebellion's endings can be a little disappointing. At the end of ths day Rebellion is a great game, but WOTR... well that's in another league entirely, and so far I have not found another game to join the same league.
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Rafael Ramus
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I am a fan of both LotR and Star Wars. In fact, I'm the biggest Star Wars fan I know personally (face to face, I mean). Now, the games...

War of the Rings is one of my favorite games of all time. I can't tell you enough how good the game is, and how much it brings the books into the table and yet provide so many what if scenarios. Even theme aside I believe the game stands on its own.

Now, Star Wars Rebellion... have you ever had a game you really, really wanted to like, but just can't? And I mean, I'm keeping my copy because, you know, Star Wars (and the hope expansions may eventually make it playable), but I'm at a point I've basically given up trying to like the game. I can't get anyone to play it with me anyway (the only people I can get to play the game with me nowadays are newbies that haven't played the game much. Sad but true).

On the other hand, I've had dozens of games of War of the Ring along the years, and it has never failed to deliver. The game builds towards the climax - this is something that is absolutelly lacking in Rebellion. Many games end anticlimactically, particularly when Rebels win.

If you dig a bit you'll find I'm not alone in my criticism of the new game:

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1562647/rebel-base-here...

I'd also point you to the video review made by Shut Up and Sit Down. Even though they review it favorably, they do remark the game becomes quite "samey" rather quickly, and that you won't miss the game that much if you decide against buying it.


If I had to choose one I'd get War of the Ring without any doubts whatsoever. No room for questions here. Even if I had to choose between acquiring the LoME expansion or Rebellion, I'd get the expansion. Only if you had the extra money to spend I would recommend Rebellion, since the miniatures and art contained within may be worth your dollars.


So, that's it. I'm not sure I'm helping much, but there you have it.
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Jim Patching
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I like both settings but for me War of the Ring is by far the better game. I don't get to play it so much any more because it's long but it's definitely one of the best games I own. I'm pretty ruthless at culling games from my collection that don't get much play time but War of the Ring is a keeper.

Rebellion on the other hand ... it's good and I can see why it gets compared to War of the Ring but there's something about it that I find unsatisfying. It takes a similar length of time to play as War of the Ring but it doesn't tell as good a story, there's less moments of excitement, less talking points afterwards. I'm already getting twitchy Ebay fingers with it.
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Scott Arnone
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As a bigger Star Wars nerd than LotR nerd, I'd go War of the Ring.

Rebellion is a ton of fun, no doubt, and I'll likely never get rid of it, but I went so far as to order the upcoming Anniversary of WotR, I love it so much.

Rebellion is great, but I think War of the Ring does almost every aspect just a bit better. For instance, the fact that combat cards in WotR are tough choices because they are attached to events, and vice versa.

The only thing I can think of that Rebellion has in its favor is its economy system. It can play a huge part in the game and shape decisions, especially in how Subjugation vs Loyalty works. I don't think War of the Ring would benefit from a similar system, but it's definitely enjoyable in Rebellion.
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Grant Holzhauer
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I own both and have played both in the last week. The two games seem far more similar than they actually are. Mechanically, they are almost completely different. They both have a same "feel": assymetrical gameplay, heroes pulling off thematically cool missions, the bad guys with a vastly superior army, etc., but the play itself is hardly the same. Get both if you can, and enjoy both themes. War of the Ring is the stronger game, I think, but I'd play both upon request. Rebellion is also an awesome game.
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Keith Craig
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I rate both games as a 10. If pressed then I would rather play War of the Ring.

However I can get Rebellion to the table easier than I can WOTR since there are more Star Wars fans than LOTR fans in my area. Also the rules for Rebellion are easier to explain.

For online play I have much better luck finding opponents for WOTR than I do for Star Wars.

The facebook group for WOTR is very active whereas the VASSAL room for Rebellion is almost always empty.
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Mattias Elfström
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A lot of good advice have been given above.

I too like both games, but I definitely think WotR is the deeper and better game that will hold up for many more playings. It is also more complex than SWR. WotR will take longer to learn and play and demand more commitment to play well.
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Matt Kruse
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I also rated both a 10. I love them both equally and can't really recommend one over the other. One thing that does give War of the Ring and advantage though is you can play it single player and by playing both sides pretty easily. Rebellion is very difficult to play single player/both sides because of the hidden rebel base mechanic.

My advice... buy War of the Ring first and then get Rebellion when you have enough cash later. Or do the opposite, but both are great.
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In Time
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I enjoy both and own both I enjoy the Star Wars franchise and movies more than Lotr. I have t-shirts, toys from childhood and a rich love of Star Wars,,,, that all being said War of the ring is better in every way except maybe components (but still close).

1) Theme (CARDS, map, and nations political tracks really outdo rebellion)

2) playability (4 hrs or 2 hrs?)wotr you can play then switch sides and play again if you have 4 hours to burn

3) gameplay and balance (I have played both 10+ times) I feel like 10/10 times I had more fun playing wotr than rebllion (win or lose).. Also with myself and friends playing rebellion it seems much harder for the empire to win where as wotr is almost always a close game/exciting at the end.

4) price (74.99 rebllion or 55.99 wotr)

5) expansions wotr has one and another coming out before the end of the year

I sould note the rules of rebellion are easier to teach someone so it has that going for it!
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Jeff Connell
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harvest4 wrote:
I also rated both a 10. I love them both equally and can't really recommend one over the other. One thing that does give War of the Ring and advantage though is you can play it single player and by playing both sides pretty easily. Rebellion is very difficult to play single player/both sides because of the hidden rebel base mechanic.

My advice... buy War of the Ring first and then get Rebellion when you have enough cash later. Or do the opposite, but both are great.


How do you play War of the Ring with event cards and the combat cards? I just can't see it working well at all.
 
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Dandelion
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Have and love both. Both are great games, but enjoyment is closely tied into loving the theme, in each case. Enjoyment levels will be intimately related to the amount of your love of the respective worlds. Ergo, buy the one whose theme you like better.

Neither is playable solo, don't know what buddy above is talking about. In WotR, bluffing toward paths I'll never take is essential to victory, for both sides. THis is similar to SW:R. Both rely on the hidden cards in hand to guide the path chosen.
 
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Having played a lot of wotr games and only one of Rebellion, I am not able to tell you how good Rebellion is, but as far as I know by playing it once is that wotr is a stronger game.

If you are not buyong both is for a budget matter, so... WOtr is cheapier, has one expansion and 2 coming next. Just wait until Rebellion drops the price next year.
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Matt Kruse
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jsc19702 wrote:
harvest4 wrote:
I also rated both a 10. I love them both equally and can't really recommend one over the other. One thing that does give War of the Ring and advantage though is you can play it single player and by playing both sides pretty easily. Rebellion is very difficult to play single player/both sides because of the hidden rebel base mechanic.

My advice... buy War of the Ring first and then get Rebellion when you have enough cash later. Or do the opposite, but both are great.


How do you play War of the Ring with event cards and the combat cards? I just can't see it working well at all.


As with anytime you play both sides I just try to put myself in the mindset of the other player and pretend I don't know what cards the other person has. For instance... if Gandolf is sitting in fangorn and I'm the shadow player... I pretend I don't know whether the free player has an ents card or not. I suppose I could enhance this by rolling a die to decide what the shadow player might do, but I find it works well enough. Certainly not as good as playing against another player. But It works well enough to be fun. Rebellion is infinitely more difficult as there is a lot more bluffing and hidden information involved.
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Oliver O'Brien
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I own and enjoy both games and here is my input:

1) These are thematic games, and you will have the most fun playing with a theme you AND YOUR OPPONENT know and love. Yes, it sounds like Star Wars is more up your alley... but it seems you also enjoy LOTR. If you know that your friends won't get into a Star Wars theme but would enjoy a LOTR theme then I think you will get more enjoyment from WOTR.

2) The games are often compared but are very very different. WOTR feels much more militaristic. While Star Wars has lots of fun miniatures that cruise around the board the fact of the matter is that there simply is not as much combat... the units are more about occupying space rather than being used for their military might. WOTR on the other hand is all about massive armies clashing. Both are great, but if you want battle and conflict then WOTR is simply going to give you more of that; if you want a more political, deliberate game then Star Wars will provide.

3) WOTR is my favorite board game ever and I cannot recommend it enough.

4) The rule book for WOTR is exceedingly long and difficult, but you can learn it and part of the fun is about the various interpretations that people will have. It is like being a lawyer and interpreting a statute. Honestly, I love the rules. Star Wars, on the other hand, has the worst written rules I have ever seen. Not only are there 2 rule books, but they contradict one another and in general are very sloppy. It isn't fun to interpret them because it feels as if their author lacked the conviction to do more than was required by his boss. WOTR feels like the rules have been revisited and rewritten endlessly in an ongoing effort to create the most balanced game possible.

5) WOTR is my favorite board game and I cannot recommend it enough.
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Andrew Poulter
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I like 3 and 5
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Joel Stair
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GamesJart wrote:
I like 3 and 5

Agreed Andrew once school starts back we need to play a rematch.
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Daniel W
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RagnarLothbrook wrote:
WOTR feels much more militaristic. While Star Wars has lots of fun miniatures that cruise around the board the fact of the matter is that there simply is not as much combat... the units are more about occupying space rather than being used for their military might. WOTR on the other hand is all about massive armies clashing. Both are great, but if you want battle and conflict then WOTR is simply going to give you more of that; if you want a more political, deliberate game then Star Wars will provide


I think this sold me on Rebellion...if WotR is more wargame with narrative character bits added rather than vice versa it might have to go a few steps down the wishlist.

Everyone who posted, you've been wonderful, and if you ever want to show me how wrong I was I have Tabletop Sim and am always keen to learn a new game. ;-)

Cheers again!
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Noel
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I haven't played Rebellion, yet.

WotR, however, is not just a war game with character bits added.
WotR is actually two games competing for the players' attention and limited resources: pursuit of war and pursuit of the ring.
Each turn is a balance between how much of your effort you want to put into attacking/defending and how much you put into moving/impeding the movement of the ringbearers.
It is a tense situation and a race, as the shadow players have greater strength in their troops and the free players have it in their characters. You have to try to push where you are strongest, while putting enough attention to where you are weakest in order to slow down your opponent's path to victory.
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Jeff Connell
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CarrotandStick wrote:
RagnarLothbrook wrote:
WOTR feels much more militaristic. While Star Wars has lots of fun miniatures that cruise around the board the fact of the matter is that there simply is not as much combat... the units are more about occupying space rather than being used for their military might. WOTR on the other hand is all about massive armies clashing. Both are great, but if you want battle and conflict then WOTR is simply going to give you more of that; if you want a more political, deliberate game then Star Wars will provide


I think this sold me on Rebellion...if WotR is more wargame with narrative character bits added rather than vice versa it might have to go a few steps down the wishlist.

Everyone who posted, you've been wonderful, and if you ever want to show me how wrong I was I have Tabletop Sim and am always keen to learn a new game. ;-)

Cheers again!


I think of War of the Ring as a narrative oriented game with battles included. Not the other way around.
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Grant Holzhauer
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I played a fantastic game of this last week wherein I played my strongest free people's military performance to date. Due to a good helping of appropriate event cards, and a shadow player who was overly focused on overrunning Gondor, I was able to quickly amass small but formidable armies in Rivendale, Lorien, and the Woodland Realm that forced stalemates at Moria and Dol Goldur, all while a ragtag group of Men of the North were led by Gandalf the Grey to take Angmar and the northern regions from the Shadow player, taking 3 of the 4 victory points needed to secure a military win. This sent the Shadow Player scrambling to amass massive armies in the stalemated regions, as well as at Isengard, all while the ringbearers were pushing their way into Mordor. Free Peoples won by destroying the ring, but also effectively toppling the Shadow Players' military might.

Glorious, thematic, and unlike any other game I've played.
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