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Subject: "leader" problem? rss

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i was thinking about picking up this game since i am lacking a good co-op in my collection. however, my 1 concern of co-op games (i.e. pandemic) and the reason why i dont usually purchase them is the problem of a "leader or boss", where 1 player usually directs the other players in the "best" strategy. so my question is as follows:

does this game have that problem/issue or not?



edit: i would like to buy wok star when it becomes available as it appears to not have this "leader" problem and is 2P, not longer then 90min, and not too complicated (i.e. arkham horror)
 
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Friederike
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Re: have a "leader" problem?
Hmmh - depends.
According to the official rules you are not allowed to show your cards to the other players (you can talk about them though), so that helps a bit against the "leader" problem.

Also there are some things the first player is supposed to decide (thus it changes every round).
Still then, I would say that there might be a danger of somebody trying to become the "leader". I would say it depends very much on the group.

Normally we don't have this problem, but once, when I was playing with three other players, who all didn't have any experience in the game, I realized that I was indeed starting to "lead" too strongly. So, this problem could arise, I think.

Edit: Another suggestion: Have you considered Space Alert? It is a bit special, but it is a nice Coop and due to the time limit there is reduced danger of "leadership". There normally are different responsibilities though.
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Michele Esmanech
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abe18 wrote:
i was thinking about picking up this game since i am lacking a good co-op in my collection. however, my 1 concern of co-op games (i.e. pandemic) and the reason why i dont usually purchase them is the problem of a "leader or boss", where 1 player usually directs the other players in the "best" strategy. so my question is as follows:

does this game have that problem/issue or not?



edit: i would like to buy wok star when it becomes available as it appears to not have this "leader" problem and is 2P, not longer then 90min, and not too complicated (i.e. arkham horror)


Yes, the Alpha player issue is a problem with some/most Coop games... but not with LOTR:LCG.
Player hands are kept secret from other players, so one cannot "order" anything to anybody, since he doesn't know what the others can do and can play.
I have seen alpha-players-wannabes say "if you can... do it" or "I'd really like you to do this...", but these are just mere suggestions, since he didn't know what the other player had in hand, and couldn't really "order" him around.

cheers

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Friederike
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Ikim wrote:

I have seen alpha-players-wannabes say "if you can... do it" or "I'd really like you to do this...", but these are just mere suggestions, since he didn't know what the other player had in hand, and couldn't really "order" him around.

Though I do agree (see above) that keeping the hands secret helps, I disagree that the problem is completely solved by that. There is still many things like "who is send questing", "who engages which enemy", "to which location do we travel", "which character attacks/defends" etc

In principle, each of these is of course the decision of the player whose characters are involved (or the first player for the location), but that is similar for Pandemic as well. And statements like "if somebody has X, he should do that" could count as "leadership" problem as well, depending on the group and how it is said.

And about the cards being secret, that is true for Pandemic as well, in which the OP did see a leadership problem.

Don't misunderstand me: I love the game, and I think there is some reduction of the problem, but I can still see it arising in groups with strong "alpha-players" as you call them.
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Jim P
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I find it's much more likely to get a "led" problem than a "leader" problem - players who spend all the time saying "what should I do", "do you want me to do this or that?" etc (I'm not talking about people who haven't played the game before.)

Generally though, I think this game avoids it pretty well. It's easy to avoid being 'led' if you don't want to, but you can still help new folk through some of the issues they need to consider.
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Friederike
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Mightyjim wrote:
I find it's much more likely to get a "led" problem than a "leader" problem - players who spend all the time saying "what should I do", "do you want me to do this or that?" etc (I'm not talking about people who haven't played the game before.)

That is a really good point, with which I completely agree.
So maybe one should really look at the group from that angle to decide whether LOTR-LCG is a good game for them.
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Troy Adlington
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Actually I played this the other night with He_who_shall_not_be_named. I LIKED the aspect of us discussing what we should do each turn in the planning phase. Didn't really reveal cards but we did hint of things that were upcoming.
 
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Justin Fitzgerald
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There's never a "this is the one best action to take now". You're always weighing should I invest more here or there. At least with my wife, we really spend a lot of time discussing out different options and then just deciding amongst them. Sometimes we don't know what is best and individually make our decisions too. I'm sure other groups play differently but we really didn't experience the leader problem in any way here.
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Nico Buffing
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For the Space Alert suggestion, that game more then most games even suggests to have some kind of captain in charge who decides which players handle which problems. YOu are right though, due to the time pressure this is more like a manager who hopes his underlings will perform adequate to handle the problem at hand instead of monitoring and controlling their every action.
 
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Friederike
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Infyra wrote:
For the Space Alert suggestion, that game more then most games even suggests to have some kind of captain in charge who decides which players handle which problems. YOu are right though, due to the time pressure this is more like a manager who hopes his underlings will perform adequate to handle the problem at hand instead of monitoring and controlling their every action.

Yes, there is a captain, but at least in our group he had no more a special rule than the communications or security officer. That's what I meant by different responsibilities and I think we actually mainly agree on that. Anyway, I'm getting a bit off-topic here. If the OP is really interested in whether there is a "leader" problem in Space Alert, he can always ask in that forum.
 
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Timothy Goddard
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One of the ways LOTR gets around this is that it naturally guides players to a specific sphere (so to speak) of responsibility, usually by deck makeup. So the guy with the Spirit deck is responsible for questing, the guy with the Tactics deck is responsible for killing and the guy with the Leadership deck is responsible for providing support to that end. Things are more complex when folks are using custom decks, but they still tend to work out this way.

Another way it gets around it is that there's just enough self interest in the game (my heroes, my allies, my attachments), despite it being coop, that it mitigates a lot of those potential problems.

While it's not a non-issue, it's less of an issue than it has been with any coop game I've played before.
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MGS
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I am generally concerned with the leader problem in coop games. This is why I have passed many cooperative games. I think LOTR the card game is one of the coop games that deals the best with the problem. The player's hand is secret and communication about it is very limited. Otherwise, communication and interaction is free.

I am often critical or too critical of aspects of games that I think detract from gameplay. The leader problem has not been an issue in this game.
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