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Subject: reprint??? rss

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John Gentry
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Is this something people think will come back in print at some point?

Are the mechanics too outdated? Has this been replaced by many other games?

Thoughts?
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Ariel
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+1 !!!

I subscribed to also know any info/news, because I wanted/searched the game about a year aprox.
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Chango wrote:

+1 !!!

I subscribed to also know any info/news, because I wanted/searched the game about a year aprox.


I got mine in a yard sale for 4€. On German eBay there are several offers for under 30€. It would be the German version, however.
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John Gentry
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philsuess wrote:
Chango wrote:

+1 !!!

I subscribed to also know any info/news, because I wanted/searched the game about a year aprox.


I got mine in a yard sale for 4€. On German eBay there are several offers for under 30€. It would be the German version, however.


yea, its on the geek for 25$, if they even still avail.

Sad, this game looks fun as game night just did a playthrough of it.

Wish their were more thematic LOTR with less complexity.
 
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This is all speculation, so please take with a heavy grain of salt... but if kind of feels like the Silver Line printing that FFG did wasn't a big seller (perhaps because there were multiple printings and lots of second-hand copies floating around before that). Otherwise I assume FFG would have released an expansion or two like they do with countless other games.

Being an older design, and without any Lord of the Rings publicity from films or other venues, it's hard to imagine this getting another printing. Gaming tastes also seem to have moved on a little bit regarding complexity and mechanics - although this is still a fine cooperative game!

So a reprint is possible, but I wouldn't hold my breath. You are probably better off trying to find a trade and/or watching thrift lists to see if anyone could pull a copy for you.
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John Gentry
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oneiric wrote:
This is all speculation, so please take with a heavy grain of salt... but if kind of feels like the Silver Line printing that FFG did wasn't a big seller (perhaps because there were multiple printings and lots of second-hand copies floating around before that). Otherwise I assume FFG would have released an expansion or two like they do with countless other games.

Being an older design, and without any Lord of the Rings publicity from films or other venues, it's hard to imagine this getting another printing. Gaming tastes also seem to have moved on a little bit regarding complexity and mechanics - although this is still a fine cooperative game!

So a reprint is possible, but I wouldn't hold my breath. You are probably better off trying to find a trade and/or watching thrift lists to see if anyone could pull a copy for you.


Yeah, you're probably right. I'll see if I can scoop mine for cheap somewhere.

By the way, there were two expansions :-)
 
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johnnyg007 wrote:
By the way, there were two expansions :-)


Three, actually -- but all for the original version of the game. The "Silver Line" version changed the game's components and iconography, though it did not change the gameplay; no expansions were printed for this version, not even "Silver Line" versions of the original three expansions. (You can make the original expansions work for the Silver Line version, but they are not strictly speaking compatible.)
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dakerjohn wrote:
... no expansions were printed for [the Silver Line] version, ...


Yes - this was my intended intended meaning.


I have the older version myself, along with two of the three expansions.

The first expansion (Lord of the Rings: Friends & Foes) includes an extra board that gives players a choice about which path the party should follow, along with some other nice additions (although the Military Victory option needs some errata to not be silly). It integrates very nicely into the base game, and is very nearly a "must own expansion" in my opinion. Never making it available for the Silver Line edition was a notable disappointment.

The second expansion (Lord of the Rings: Sauron) turns the game into a one-versus-manay. We haven't used it, although it looks like it would work well enough if you want that type of challenge (or if you just need to support one extra player at the table). I'd consider it totally optional, depending on your personal preferences.

The third expansion (Lord of the Rings: Battlefields) had neat ideas, but never felt like it belonged to me - for a game that is already quite abstract, the flowchart battle boards were just a step too far, and sorely in need of better art/thematic integration. Neat story how it was dusted off and released much later compared to the other expansions, but I don't think anyone who missed this one should feel bad. (Sold my copy years ago; don't play the game enough to regret the lost variety.)
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John Daker
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Agree: Sauron is the least essential expansion. I particularly hate the "Dark Tiles" variant included here, which is meant to add interesting decisions to the tile-pulling portion of gameplay but just makes the game feel like an endless tile-pulling slog. Just about the only part of this expansion I ever play with is the drawstring tile bag.

Agree: Friends & Foes is the most essential expansion. Apparently it was all part of the original design for the base game but was split off into an expansion to reduce the base game size (similar to what had happened a few years earlier with Settlers of Catan and Seafarers of Catan), and in this case it shows. A perfect example of an all-time great expansion in the "Completes the Base Game" mode.

Disagree: Battlefields is a tragically underrated expansion! As great in its own way as Friends & Foes. Yes, the battlefield boards are abstract and aesthetically lacking. But in the base game you're already collecting sets of rudimentarily drawn rings, hearts and suns signifying ???????? (bling, Valentines and hobbit tanlines) by moving white cones along linear tracks, so that's nothing new in this game.

Incidentally, I think the widespread and longstanding disagreement among gamers about whether this now-classic game is well- or poorly-themed stems from a split within the game itself: on the one hand it's sometimes highly thematic, for instance the clever expression of incidents in the plot through various Event effects, while on the other hand certain core mechanisms are totally abstracted from any thematic meaning. Compared with collecting ring-heart-sun sets, the flowchart approach in Battlefields feels downright thematically immersive (blocking paths around defensive lines, maneuvering enemies into vulnerable positions, etc.)

More importantly, the battlefield boards themselves are ingeniously designed so that, using distinct path structures and different enemy tokens, each of the six battlefields feels unique and thematically appropriate to the battle it represents.

In my ever-humble opinion, this is a perfect example of an all-time great expansion in the "Game-Changing New Mechanisms" mode. Sticking with the Catan analogy, F&F is Seafarers, Battlefields is Cities & Knights. In each case, though, the LotR expansion is superior to the analagous Catan expansion.

Thank you for enduring the rant I compulsorily type each time someone on the internet underrates Knizia's Battlefields.
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John Gentry
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dakerjohn wrote:
Agree: Sauron is the least essential expansion. I particularly hate the "Dark Tiles" variant included here, which is meant to add interesting decisions to the tile-pulling portion of gameplay but just makes the game feel like an endless tile-pulling slog. Just about the only part of this expansion I ever play with is the drawstring tile bag.

Agree: Friends & Foes is the most essential expansion. Apparently it was all part of the original design for the base game but was split off into an expansion to reduce the base game size (similar to what had happened a few years earlier with Settlers of Catan and Seafarers of Catan), and in this case it shows. A perfect example of an all-time great expansion in the "Completes the Base Game" mode.

Disagree: Battlefields is a tragically underrated expansion! As great in its own way as Friends & Foes. Yes, the battlefield boards are abstract and aesthetically lacking. But in the base game you're already collecting sets of rudimentarily drawn rings, hearts and suns signifying ???????? (bling, Valentines and hobbit tanlines) by moving white cones along linear tracks, so that's nothing new in this game.

Incidentally, I think the widespread and longstanding disagreement among gamers about whether this now-classic game is well- or poorly-themed stems from a split within the game itself: on the one hand it's sometimes highly thematic, for instance the clever expression of incidents in the plot through various Event effects, while on the other hand certain core mechanisms are totally abstracted from any thematic meaning. Compared with collecting ring-heart-sun sets, the flowchart approach feels downright thematically immersive (blocking paths around defensive lines, maneuvering enemies into vulnerable positions, etc.)

More importantly, the new boards themselves are ingeniously designed so that, using distinct path structures and different enemy tokens, each of the six battlefields feels unique and thematically appropriate to the battle it represents.

In my ever-humble opinion, this is a perfect example of an all-time great expansion in the "Game-Changing New Mechanisms" mode. Sticking with the Catan analogy, F&F is Seafarers, Battlefields is Cities & Knights. In each case, though, the LotR expansion is superior to the analagous Catan expansion.

Thank you for enduring the rant I compulsorily type each time someone on the internet underrates Knizia's Battlefields.


These reasons alone are why I ask if it will be reprinted. If the game has this much going for it, seems they could get away with reprinting a Reiner K classic for LOTR that isnt a 3.00 or higher on BGG. <----- Biggest challenge with GOOD lotr games is the complexity, IMO.
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Mike Urban
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oneiric wrote:
This is all speculation, so please take with a heavy grain of salt... but if kind of feels like the Silver Line printing that FFG did wasn't a big seller (perhaps because there were multiple printings and lots of second-hand copies floating around before that). Otherwise I assume FFG would have released an expansion or two like they do with countless other games.

Being an older design, and without any Lord of the Rings publicity from films or other venues, it's hard to imagine this getting another printing. Gaming tastes also seem to have moved on a little bit regarding complexity and mechanics - although this is still a fine cooperative game!

So a reprint is possible, but I wouldn't hold my breath. You are probably better off trying to find a trade and/or watching thrift lists to see if anyone could pull a copy for you.


I disagree about the lack of LotR publicity from other venues. Games Workshop published two new LotR games last fall, at about the same time that a video game company announced work on a new LotR (MMO?) title. The big fish that is driving this, I think, is Amazon's announced billion-dollar LotR series coming in a couple of years. I think a lot of companies are positioning themselves for this. What FFG may have in mind is anyone's guess.
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Ostadan wrote:
What FFG may have in mind is anyone's guess.


Not just FFG is in play with this game (which was originally published in English by Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro, with the rights sublicensed from Sophisticated Games). The Silver Line edition is still listed on FFG's website but hasn't been in print for years now, and apparently will not be reprinted by FFG.

Incidentally -- and I'm about to launch on another lengthy, tangentially relevant rant here -- the English-language Tolkien tabletop game rights are complicated and a little unclear these days. Here's the situation as best I can discern:

1) Peter Jackson movie license (derivitave of Saul Zaentz license, see #4 below): held by Games Workshop (shared with or sublicensed to various companies such as Cryptozoic and Pressman)

2) Amazon TV license (derivative of Tolkien Estate license, see #3 below): unknown as yet

3) All non-Hobbit/non-LotR Tolkien books, including The Silmarillion: owned by the Tolkien Estate and never licensed to date, but I suspect this situation is already changing behind the scenes, since Christopher Tolkien's resignation as director of the Estate in late 2017

4) The main event, the literary license for The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings: owned by Saul Zaentz Company, licensed to Sophisticated Games, sublicensed to other companies based on type of game:

- 4a) RPGs: Cubicle 7

- 4b) Card Games: FFG (may also have "board game" rights, see #4c below)

- 4c) Board Games: Ares

(Note: It's possible that Ares' sublicense from Sophisticated Games is actually for "miniatures games," not "board games." In this case FFG would still have the "board game" sublicense. Even though we gamers would call Ares' three Tolkien games board games rather than miniatures games, the contracts and the lawyers who interpret them don't always see it that way. This is why, for instance, FFG was able to publish Star Wars: Rebellion despite the fact that FFG doesn't have the license to publish Star Wars board games; Hasbro has the SW board game license and FFG's license covers only SW RPGs, card games and miniatures games, yet the relevant contracts were interpreted in such a way that Rebellion, which we would all agree is clearly a board game and not a miniatures game, was contractually considered to be a miniatures game due to the preponderance of tiny crappy minis on the board in that game. A third possibility would be that Ares' sublicense specifies just "War of the Ring games": their flagship game and games derivative of it. If Ares does in fact have just a "miniatures game" sublicense or a special "War of the Ring" sublicense, in either case their latest offering, Hunt for the Ring, would seem to push the limits of such a sublicense, because despite being branded as "a War of the Ring game" it features comparatively few miniatures and totally different rules -- which is why I suspect they probably just have the board game sublicense, full stop. A fourth and final possibility exists, that Sophisticated Games is granting non-exclusive board game sublicenses and/or treats each Tolkien board game sublicense on a one-game-at-a-time basis, such that multiple companies could all publish Tolkien "board games," but I find this the least likely possibility)

- 4d) primary license holder Sophisticated Games directly publishes Tolkien board games translated from another language into English on rare occasions, most recently The Hobbit: Enchanted Gold in 2014 (erroneously tagged as an FFG release in the game's BGG listing). It's unclear whether SG's current sublicenses with Ares and FFG preclude this practice; most likely the relevant sublicensee has a "right of first look" clause when dealing with potential English versions of foreign games; this might explain why FFG passed on Enchanted Gold (after developing and publishing Knizia's poor-selling The Hobbit game in 2010) but agreed to translate and publish Journey to Mordor in 2016.

This list may be incomplete or erroneous in some way, since I'm compiling it based on press releases and the rights statements in each game's package/rulebook; the contracts themselves are of course not publicly available. I'd love to see a well-researched breakdown of the current state of Tolkien game licensing. We'll probably get a few such articles when the Amazon series lands.

Relevant to the OP's question, note that, if Ares' offerings are indeed categorized as "miniatures games" or exceptionally as "War of the Ring games" then the most recently published Tolkien "board game" in English based on the literary license may be the mini roll-and-write game Journey to Mordor from 2016, published by FFG, sublicensed from Sophisticated Games, and still available on FFG's site. This implies FFG *may* indeed retain the "board game" license, though if so they've done precious little with it in many years. If FFG's "board game" rights have lapsed or been transferred to Ares, then any reprint of the Knizia game would have to come from Ares, Sophisticated Games directly, or a newly sublicensed other company.
 
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johnnyg007 wrote:
... seems they could get away with reprinting a Reiner K classic for LOTR that isnt a 3.00 or higher on BGG. <----- Biggest challenge with GOOD lotr games is the complexity, IMO.


For my money, the best low-complexity LotR game remains Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation (or the expanded version: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation).

Very quick and easy to play, but offers some great replay value. Playing against one opponent repeatedly will see the game strategies evolve and change based on the tendencies each uses.

Worth noting this was also originally by Knizia, although I think the expanded version has several co-designers listed.

Ostadan wrote:
... Amazon's announced billion-dollar LotR series coming in a couple of years. ...


I knew nothing about this, so stand corrected.

New Games Workshop content probably won't garner enough mainstream attention to justify a re-release - but Amazon dumping a lot of money into a notable TV series (that will presumably run for several years) would definitely reach the broad audience that could justify a reprint.
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oneiric wrote:
For my money, the best low-complexity LotR game remains Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation (or the expanded version: Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation).


It's the perpetual unavailability of the two Knizia games (as well as FFG's own Middle-Earth Quest -- also highly regarded in its own right) that first got me wondering whether FFG even has any Tolkien board game rights anymore.
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