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War of the Ring (First Edition)» Forums » General

Subject: Gen Con plays? rss

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Brian Sherry
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What, didn't anyone play this or buy it at Gen Con? What's the word, people?
 
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Jay Moore
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Webster Groves
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Re:Gen Con plays?
Black Knight (#50502),
I didn't get to go to GenCon, but I had a friend pick it up for me. I have yet to see said "friend," however. I betcha he ran off to Mexico with it! As soon as I get the shrink off it, I'll let you know how it looks. In the meantime, let me add my voice to Mr. Knight's -- Didn't anybody play this at GenCon? How was it?
 
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Talarius Dunedain
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Re:Gen Con plays?
Black Knight (#50502),

I just submitted a review of the game after picking it up at GenCon. Short version: it's awesome. 10/10. I can't wait to play it again. Everyone I saw playing it at the show seemed to be having a blast as well. I haven't played any other LotR boardgames, but I can't imagine how they could be as good as this one.
 
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Jay Little
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Re:Gen Con plays?
I also picked it up at GenCon, on the strength of the license and Fantasy Flight's reputation for solid games. Unfortunately, I'm a bit disappointed right out of the box.

While there are quickstart and advanced rules, the quick start rules are far too simplistic and the advanced rules are cumbersome and filled with special exceptions and minutae. Even with the player aid sheets, we've had to refer back to the rules far too many times.

That said, the pieces are nice looking and it does evoke an epic feel. Hopefully with more plays and increased familiarity with the rules, the gameplay will be far smoother.

Right now for my money, A Game of Thrones is the single best war/strategy game out there, another fine FFG product. But War of the Ring has oodles of potential. If the potential is realized after more plays, I'll be one happy gamer.
 
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Talarius Dunedain
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Re:Gen Con plays?
ynnen (#50742),

While the advanced rules may need frequent rereading during your first game (we did that too), you're right that gameplay gets smoother once you've got them down; of course, that's to be expected for *any* game, really. It's really not that complicated once you've absorbed it all.

I think the more you are interested in Middle-Earth and the Lord of the Rings books the more you will get out of this game. The epic feel of being in control of the destinies of the peoples of Middle-Earth was a *lot* of fun.

I've demoed A Game of Thrones and enjoyed it, but didn't pick it up. A major difference between the two games is that A Game of Thrones is for 3-5 players, while War of the Rings is primarily a 2-player game with options for 3 or 4. A fundamental difference, imo. I generally (but not always) steer clear of games requiring 3+ players as I've found I get more sessions in with the 2+ games.

In other words, your mileage may vary.

Btw, I am a big fan of the Song of Fire and Ice books (I've got 1st edition hardbacks of all 3) so *not* owning that game makes it a constant temptation, but I remain vigilant (for now!)
 
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Stephen Owen
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Re:Gen Con plays?
ynnen (#50742),
"While there are quickstart and advanced rules, the quick start rules are far too simplistic and the advanced rules are cumbersome and filled with special exceptions and minutae. Even with the player aid sheets, we've had to refer back to the rules far too many times."

Stick with it! I have done a game overview based on 50+ playtests which you may find useful at http://home.rixtele.com/~charmtroll/wotr/wotr.htm
The Advanced rules are really just the Standard rules to the game and the Quickstart ones an introduction to the interaction of the cards and action dice with movement. Although I haven't yet seen the FFG rules I know their content and understand there are quite a few examples. There is undoubtedly a learning curve which, I believe, helps to give the game its staying power. The playtesters and designers are more than happy to clarify rules if requested and frequent this site, the folder on consimworld and the playtesters site above. You should, however, be completely familiar with the game after a few plays although optimal play may take longer!
 
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Jay Little
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Re:Gen Con plays?
(Talarius) & (steveowen) --

Sticking with it isn't usually my forte, but I may have to make an exception here... I *really* want to like this game and have it become a staple in my gaming circuit.

I think one of the things that struck me is how dense the rules are for a game that, on the surface, appears fairly straightforward. By contrast, the A Game of Thrones Boardgame rules are very clear with numerous illustrations to convey a fairly complex set of rules with a lot of subtleties. In fact, the AGOT rulebook is one of the best I've come across in my gaming experience. FFG usually provides very well edited, translated and illustrative rules -- but the War of the Ring rules don't quite live up to the consistency or ease-of-use as some of their other rulebooks.

From the rulebook alone, the game appears to be a 7 of 10 on the difficulty curve (1 being tic-tac-toe and 10 being Advanced Squad Leader with Every Optional Rule Known To Man)... However, after grinding through it and extending some patience and dogged determination, I think the final game will probably rest somewhere in the 5-6 range. Not the easiest of games to learn or teach, but easily manageable with several plays and the player aids.

I do have a followup question -- my 10 year old nephew absolutely loves the LOTR setting and world now thanks to the movies, and loves playing the other LOTR-themed games. I think he could play the quickstart rules, but has anyone had success playing the advanced rules with youngsters? Or are there just to many subtleties and exceptions?

Thanks! Game on!

 
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Stephen Owen
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Re:Gen Con plays?
ynnen (#50815),

I think the exceptions are largely illusory once you get used to the playing sequence. I also think AGOT is a substantially simpler game with a very leisurely rulebook. I have promised to show my copy, when I get it!, to a friend's son who is 9 next month. I believe the key to teaching relative youngsters this game is knowing the game well yourself beforehand. I would think the Quickstart rules would be ideal for them to grasp the idea of what's going on initially.
 
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