Recommend
6 
 Thumb up
 Hide
51 Posts
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: Is War of the Ring a good wargame? rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: tolkien [+] [View All]
Andrew Kluck
United States
Hudson
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
War of the Ring (First Edition) is rated 3rd for theme, 8th for wargame and 15th overall despite the statistical tinkering done here to limit fads. My friends love it but I've only had an opportunity to play it once with them and that was a long time ago. While I read the first book, saw all the movies and the fantasy theme isn't a turn off I was still left unimpressed.

The cult of the new can combine with rabid fanboys for a rating colossus, but perhaps I'm missing something and it truly is a good game even underneath all the glitz.

So does the game stand up on it's own? Should I give it another look?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Alfred Wallace
United States
Champaign
IL
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Please please please let's ignore the "Is it a wargame at all?" argument...

ADD: Unless I'm off base, of course, and it matters to you if WotR is a good wargame, specifically, rather than just a good game. In which case, away we go.
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andrew Kluck
United States
Hudson
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Right. I didn't mean it to come off like that, apparently it's thought of as one for the people making it 8th of ALL wargames. Which is fine.


Is it a good game?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Caleb
United States
Seminole
Florida
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sitnam wrote:
Right. I didn't mean it to come off like that, apparently it's thought of as one for the people making it 8th of ALL wargames. Which is fine.


Is it a good game?




No. If it didn't have Lord of the Rings theme (plus being a 'conflict/war game', which all other recent LotR themed games are NOT), it would not be in the top 200, in my opinion.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bill the Pill
United States
Oneonta
New York
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmb
I think it is a decent recreation of the books in game form, and therefore popular. This comes from someone whose first game purchase was SPIs War of the Rings.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger Munk
United States
Lebanon
Oregon
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
My wife will play it with me, which makes it the best wargame I own. cool
36 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Was George Orwell an Optimist?
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
flag msg tools
John Coltrane - Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
DrFlanagan wrote:
I think it is a decent recreation of the books in game form, and therefore popular. This comes from someone whose first game purchase was SPIs War of the Rings.

I think it's a great game, far better than Berg's SPI game (which I was really excited about back in the day). The title question hinges on the "what is a wargame" thing, which always gets tiresome, and always boils down to highly personal definitions.

I'm a wargamer, have been one for more than 40 years, and I love WotR so much that I bought the CE. It's not a traditional wargame, and doesn't pretend to be, but I know I'm not the only wargamer who digs it.
46 
 Thumb up
1.05
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Roach
United States
Baltimore
Maryland
flag msg tools
mb
But it’s a good question, at least for me as I have wondered the same thing and I actually like the theme.

I haven’t played it yet, but one thing that I was disappointed to hear about the game was the lack of unit differentiation per combat. It seems that a great thing about the theme is how the different peoples or beings of that World were. A friend of mine is a big fan of the books and voiced the same disappointment.

At the same time, I have heard a lot of good things about the game.

Anyway, neither of us played it, so could anyone who has, chime-in on this aspect?

Thanks,

-Jason
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
p55carroll
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
Don't hang around, 'cause two's a crowd on my cloud, baby.
badge
If I were to hang my head, I'd miss all the rainbows. And I'd drown in raindrops instead.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jason Roach wrote:
But it’s a good question, at least for me as I have wondered the same thing

I agree. I've wondered about it too.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Was George Orwell an Optimist?
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
flag msg tools
John Coltrane - Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jason Roach wrote:
I haven’t played it yet, but one thing that I was disappointed to hear about the game was the lack of unit differentiation per combat. It seems that a great thing about the theme is how the different peoples or beings of that World were. A friend of mine is a big fan of the books and voiced the same disappointment.

First, the military game is strategic, not tactical, and it's not unusual to see little differentiation amongst army types at that scale. Secondly, a great deal of thematic differentiation is built into the card decks. You nearly always play cards in conjunction with battles, and the cards add a great deal of narrative and are often keyed to specific units.
19 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Roach
United States
Baltimore
Maryland
flag msg tools
mb
Sphere wrote:
Jason Roach wrote:
I haven’t played it yet, but one thing that I was disappointed to hear about the game was the lack of unit differentiation per combat. It seems that a great thing about the theme is how the different peoples or beings of that World were. A friend of mine is a big fan of the books and voiced the same disappointment.

First, the military game is strategic, not tactical, and it's not unusual to see little differentiation amongst army types at that scale. Secondly, a great deal of thematic differentiation is built into the card decks. You nearly always play cards in conjunction with battles, and the cards add a great deal of narrative and are often keyed to specific units.


Interesting, thanks Sphere.

So, do the cards tie-to the units on the board? I.E., if you have Rohan in a combat (or in the area next to it), is there say a card that tied directly to that unit, perhaps does something like out-flank, or you can add those units?

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andre Oliveira
Brazil
Sao Paulo
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
It's a good wargame.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Was George Orwell an Optimist?
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
flag msg tools
John Coltrane - Both Directions At Once: The Lost Album
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jason Roach wrote:
So, do the cards tie-to the units on the board? I.E., if you have Rohan in a combat (or in the area next to it), is there say a card that tied directly to that unit, perhaps does something like out-flank, or you can add those units?

The cards can be played in two ways - you pick either the top half (strategic game or ring quest) or the bottom half (modifies a specific battle). Here are some samples:

 
 
 
 
 
 

5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger Hobden
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
SJBenoist wrote:
I don't think you can really divorce this one from the theme, though.
The entire mechanic of moving the fellowship, and at the expense of military action, combined with the cards and other features, makes this a very specific sort of game.

IOW, the theme is not pasted-on, it is integrated into the mechanics.

For fighting the War of the Ring, it is great. Easily the best attempt so far. A lot of fun and very replayable, IMO.


P.S. Just how many wargames would be "top 200" with different themes? Does anyone really think ASL would be regarded the same way if the same rulebook was used to portray ancient Greek battles?
Theme is extremely important for a wargame, and pairing the mechanics with the theme is possibly the most important factor in determining it's quality.



thumbsupthumbsupthumbsup
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Roger Hobden
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
SJBenoist wrote:

Does anyone really think ASL would be regarded the same way if the same rulebook was used to portray ancient Greek battles?


Actually, the ASL Rulebook is Greek to me.
10 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jim Cote
United States
Maine
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think it's a nice blend of Euro, Ameritrash, and wargame sensibilities. Players playing the game as if it were Risk might be disappointed. The real meat is the interplay between the military victories and the corruption/dunk victories. The cards you draw will texture your strategies, but not quite in a CDG way.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jason Roach
United States
Baltimore
Maryland
flag msg tools
mb
Thanks guys, and thanks Sphere for posting the cards and the note on that mechanic.

I need to give this game a try soon.


-Jason
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brad Miller
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes, it is
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Sosa
United States
Newark
Delaware
flag msg tools
badge
I will break him.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Yes
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Thomas Eager
United States
Portland
Oregon
flag msg tools
DBA Junkie
badge
"A Book should serve as the Ax for the frozen sea within us."-- KAFKA
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
sauron One of my absolute favorite games to play. But stick to just two players--it's not really a great multiplayer experience. sauron
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Australia
Sebastopol (Ballarat)
Victoria
flag msg tools
That's Karl on the left. Eternity on the right.
badge
I love Melissa, but don't tell her. It's a secret if she can find this. Shhhhh....
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Great game seeped in theme.

The hunt/ring mechanics and duel win conditions make it a good game of balancing your resources and taking advantage of the opponents holes.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Peter Putnam
United States
Reisterstown
Maryland
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Jason Roach wrote:
But it’s a good question, at least for me as I have wondered the same thing and I actually like the theme. I haven’t played it yet, but one thing that I was disappointed to hear about the game was the lack of unit differentiation per combat. It seems that a great thing about the theme is how the different peoples or beings of that World were. A friend of mine is a big fan of the books and voiced the same disappointment. At the same time, I have heard a lot of good things about the game. Anyway, neither of us played it, so could anyone who has, chime-in on this aspect? Thanks, -Jason


War of the Ring is as much a wargame as Here I Stand and Successors and it's probably more of a wargame than Twilight Stuggles and Labyrith. The reason I say War of the Ring is similar to Here I Stand or Succesors is that in all three games you can win by making war, taking over territory, raping, pillaging, etc. and in all three games you can win by doing other things dunking the ring, dunking Alexanders body, corrupting fat hobbits, getting married, having kids, getting divorsed, printing bibles, burning protestants, etc. Here I Stand and Successors are both card driven wargames, where War of the Ring is dice driven and card enhanced game.

War of the Ring is one of my top 5 favorite wargames. Drop me a line any time Jason I'll play you in War of Ring. Also, War of the Ring plays reasonable well with 3 or 4 players. It's actually a pretty good way for 2 newbies to learn.

6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wolfgang Kunz
Germany
Netphen
flag msg tools
badge
I'm German. That's what we do...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Sitnam wrote:


So does the game stand up on it's own? Should I give it another look?



Never did and never will.

This game (in it's "German" edition) is leading my "List of games with terrible rulebooks".

As a wargamer you expect Living Rules and Errata.

But the errata for this game had more pages than the whole rulebook. So after reading it and trying to fill in three quarter of the errata I gave up.

Never touched the game again - wonder where it is, I could give it away or trade it...

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Randall Shaw
United States
Kennesaw
GA
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb

"So does the game stand up on it's own? Should I give it another look?"

Absolutely. I've been a wargamer for 42 years and it's my favorite game, hands down .

Pay no attention whatsoever to the whiny German (unless he offers to give you his copy of WotR, that is).

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Kristofer Bengtsson
Sweden
Kävlinge
flag msg tools
designer
War of the Ring: Official FAQ Master! Webmaster of www.warofthering.eu Author of the War of the Ring Companion
badge
- This is My Hour!
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Try using the second edition English rule book, no need for errata.

Get it from www.warofthering.eu

To answer the original poster's question:

War of the Ring is (in a way) in a genre of its own. It is designed with the theme at its center. The war game part is (as described be Sphere) strategic not tactical (for that you need the battle games from the expansion in which you get several different troop types)).

The Event cards are what give the narrative and the combat the flavour I believe you are looking for.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.