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

Subject: Recommended with 4 Players? rss

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Arka Ray
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I am extremely interested in buying and learning this game, but my gaming group usually comprises between 3-5 players. I see that this game has an upper limit of 4 players, but is typically a 2 player game.

I am wondering if folks here can guide me on whether this game will be fun with a group of 4 players.

Thanks in advance for your help.
 
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Doug Adams
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Nearing Weathertop
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It's okay with four, but much better as a two player game.

For an alternative four player game, look at Age of Conan by the same designers/company. Shares a lot of design features with War of the Ring.
 
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Old Scratch
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It's playable... but just. The balance is a little off and the switching off of Action Dice can make things exceedingly difficult on a team.
 
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Joe Fling
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To have fun with this game 4 players, all players would need to be very experienced with 2 player games first. If you have 2 or 3 people sitting around the table not knowing what to do, it could generate extreme boredom and then be turned off from the game forever. To me this game is much better with 2. But if you can find 4 players who know what they are doing, it could be fun.
 
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Greg Clensy
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Wouldn't this game be great with 2 people on each team and you both share all the decisions for your troops? Why does it have to be split armies?
 
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Evgeny Reznikov
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joefling34 wrote:
To have fun with this game 4 players, all players would need to be very experienced with 2 player games first. If you have 2 or 3 people sitting around the table not knowing what to do, it could generate extreme boredom and then be turned off from the game forever. To me this game is much better with 2. But if you can find 4 players who know what they are doing, it could be fun.


Agree.
Get everyone to be very familiar with the 2-player game, and you can play with four. Otherwise, it tends to be a boredom and drag death trap.
 
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Ethan Hanks
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I prefer this game as a 3 player game. It fits the theme well with the sauron and saruman played as two players. You have the tension of shadow players working together but still having their own agenda- They are both working for the same victory but who evers gets more VP's is the ultimate winner. Its interesting because the shadow players will start "backstabbing" each other just to get the victory points.

I've played this game with 2,3 and 4 players. I have probable played this 20 times mostly 2 and 3 players.

I prefer the 3 player game better.

Ethan
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Chris
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I agree with the consensus that 2 is far better than 4. That being said, War of the Ring is my favorite game, and will gladly choose to play 4 player WotR over not playing WotR at all.

Why is it not as good with 4 player? There is only one Lord of the Ring, only one who can bend it to his will. And he does not share power.
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Timothy Pride
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thejadeape wrote:
Wouldn't this game be great with 2 people on each team and you both share all the decisions for your troops? Why does it have to be split armies?


Because, that will create situation where the one more experienced making all decisions. We tried that way, and the two players (one from SA and one from FP) that were new suddenly lost interest and let us the experienced had our own battle.

I thought splitting would greatly reduces the excitement of 2 player WOTR, until I tried it myself. It surprisingly good, because now you can focus on more little portion of yours instead looking at everything. in 4 player, you could say "Take care of Gondor! This Erebor is mine!"

So, 4 players is better than 2 players? Not really. They offer different playing experiences, and equally good I think. I would steer out 3 player though.
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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Buy one copy and try it. Pretty soon someone will buy another copy, and you can split into two tables.
 
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Edwin Tait
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Darth Headbutt wrote:
I agree with the consensus that 2 is far better than 4. That being said, War of the Ring is my favorite game, and will gladly choose to play 4 player WotR over not playing WotR at all.

Why is it not as good with 4 player? There is only one Lord of the Ring, only one who can bend it to his will. And he does not share power.


But of course that's from the movie, not from the book. It's probably the biggest departure from the book conceptually, although not one people focused on too much. That's one reason why you get Saruman as a mere flunky of Sauron in the movies, whereas in the book he's more of a real rival. And the movie's departure from the book takes away one of the main reasons the final march on Mordor was a convincing feint: from Sauron's perspective, it was quite possible that Aragorn or Gandalf (probably Aragorn given Aragorn's confrontation with Sauron via Palantir) had the Ring and was prepared to use it against Sauron to become the new Dark Lord.

Frodo or Sam or Gollum (or probably even Denethor or Boromir--Faramir is less certain) couldn't use the Ring effectively because they weren't "powerful" enough. I wonder if one reason why the movie took the approach it did is that Tolkien's actual explanation of why just anyone can't pick up the Ring and dethrone Sauron involves too much "racism" (I'm not sure this is the right word, but Tolkien certainly created a world in which different sentient beings were at very different levels of intrinsic nobility and power, although one in which "lesser" beings might turn out to have unexpected strength and value). I certainly think that this is one of the main reasons they downgraded Faramir, who in the book is explicitly said to be nobler and greater than Boromir because he has "purer" Numenorean blood.


Edwin
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Dave J McWeasely
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People don't talk about it, because it was partially true that Saruman was merely a lacky of Sauron. Yes, he chafed. Yes, he schemed. Yes, he acted. But he had to keep going back to that Palantir and make regular reports, or else he was in big trouble.

 
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Philip Sokolov
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Allow me to politely dissent with the majority opinion, here. WotR is a FANTASTIC 4-player game, as written. My group has played it dozens of times as a 4-player game, and that 4-player dynamic--having an ally with whom you must try to strategize in combating the other two, and also someone with whom to share defeat or victory--is positively one of our favorite aspects of it. We have never had any of the balance issues in the 4-player game that most people here seem to have with the 2-player game. (For one thing, Sauron must share his dice with Saruman!) And I think it more accurately portrays the situation in the books, where nations had to agonize about balancing protecting their own interests with coming to their neighbors' aid.

The best is when you have the same 4 people playing it each time, and randomly draw which nation you will play (and therefore whom you will be paired with and against).

I'm not trying to draw anyone into an argument, here. Just my own experience. We found no need to "train" in the 2-player version in order to graduate to the 4-player version. We just always played 4-player. After that, it never seemed like it would even come close to capturing the drama of the game to play with fewer than all 4. I've played once or twice with the 2-player variant, and it was still an interesting game, but so much of the fun seemed to be missing. Part of it, I think, is that I'm just biased in favor of 4+ player games in general, because I like the "party" atmosphere better than the idea of two dudes absorbed in a "chess" game.

The 3-player variant is the worst. It has you play the 4-player game, and one of the players has to keep his cards and his dice separate as if he is two different players.

Anyway, if you're inclined to give it a shot as a 4-player game, I encourage you! I've heard "there are better 4-player games out there" but I honestly haven't found any.

I've heard "it was designed as a 2-player game, and the multi-player rules were an afterthought." Well, guess what, plenty of games play better with a variant and/or expansion.

Enjoy!
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