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

Subject: Report on our Teaching Demo day rss

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Chris Young
United States
Antioch
California
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Craig(Tsugo) and I put on a learning demo day at the local game store on Saturday.

We had 4 novice players come to learn the game so we had them all play against each other in 2 games with Craig and I lending ourselves as Coaches to help keep things a little even I coached both shadow and Craig coached both FP. We had them randomly draw dice for sides.

We setup the games initially and spend about an hour going over the rules with examples of situations then let them run with the games

One of the Shadow players ended up being pretty savy and only needed some clarification on how to use certain cards and some situational advice so I spent most of my time observing and "coaching" in the other game. I ended up being a resource for both players though I didnt look at the FP hand and only advised on what possible options exist and conditions where passing would be advisable or not.

Both games ended in shadow player victories but were close faught contests. I would hope the players who are BGG members would comment on their experiences.

In the game I was most involved in the FP player opened with the dream 2 C 2 W and FFF opening hand. He also followed on with a number of key recruitment cards exactly when needed. Craig had him focus on getting Arragorns die and sending the Nth to war.(But not attempt a full FPMV) It seemed he had the cards he needed when he needed them. The hunt went lower than average for the SP but eventually had the FSP at 8 corruption with 2 moves left the turn in which SPMV was achieved.

All the players seemed to enjoy themselves even if the games ran quite long. (It is a complex game with a fairly steep learning curve).

We also had many onlookers through the course of the game and I think we are going to do it again in the future and try and build a base of players.

Hopefully Craig and the players can chime in with their thoughts.

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Matt Bowles
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Hi Chris,

just a note on your post language:
It's probably typical for other players, but I found the constant acronyms made it hard to follow.

For everyone's benefit (and my own where I'm wrong) the acronyms seem to be-
FP - Free People
SP - Shadow Player
FPMV - Free People Military Victory
SPMV - Shadow " " "
FSP - Fellowship
I don't know what FFF means!

I'm being a sook, but in the interests of helping out those new to the game like myself, thought I'd let you know.

Good to see you enjoying teaching the game. I learnt it a few weeks back from
Giles Pritchard
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He was a good teacher, but still beat me with a Free People Military Victory. grr!!

Matt

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Jay P

Alexandria
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balzi wrote:

I don't know what FFF means!


Fear! Fire! Foes!
FP Event card capable of bringing North directly to war.
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Matt Bowles
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PapaGamer wrote:
balzi wrote:

I don't know what FFF means!


Fear! Fire! Foes!
FP Event card capable of bringing North directly to war.


Two amazing things then: that someone would know that, and that the OP knew that someone would know that!
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Jordan
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balzi wrote:
PapaGamer wrote:
balzi wrote:

I don't know what FFF means!


Fear! Fire! Foes!
FP Event card capable of bringing North directly to war.


Two amazing things then: that someone would know that, and that the OP knew that someone would know that!


It's not THAT amazing - it is a famous card, especially in relation to FPMV. (On a side note, I'm fairly sure that magic gecko insists that if you start with FFF you should go FPMV every time, although I can't remember the thread.)

And once you play the game enough, you pretty much memorize every card.
Although, it is probably the least prevalent acronym used in the session report.
 
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Alex Borders
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Alex here - I was one of the Shadow players. I had a great time.

"Helms Deep will never fall while men defend it." Yeah, right. My wargs rolled over it without even noticing it was there.

And I thought the men of Gondor were supposed to be tougher? A couple of trolls and the White City fell as well.

Elves? Elves, I grant you, were a tough nut. Definitely not going to keep those around in the new world order.

Anyway, as I said - a lot of fun. I'm trying to talk a friend into getting the game and playing it some more. I haven't succeeded yet, but I'll keep up the pressure.

As for time - it definitely ran long. My estimation was 1/2 hour for set up (2 separate games), a bit less than an hour for rules, and 4+ hours for the game (the other newbie table finished before we did; I didn't notice how much faster, though).

My biggest concern is re-playability. It seems like the military choices for the Shadow player are pretty straightforward, and the Free Peoples player just keeps moving the fellowship. However the cards did seem to drive a lot of decisions, so that might make a lot of difference.

Thanks for putting this on.

Alex
 
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Kristofer Bengtsson
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alexborders wrote:
My biggest concern is re-playability. It seems like the military choices for the Shadow player are pretty straightforward, and the Free Peoples player just keeps moving the fellowship. However the cards did seem to drive a lot of decisions, so that might make a lot of difference.


Stick with it and you will be surprised!

There are so many ways the Shadow military game can go and the FP Ring sprint versus a balanced act of Fellowship moves and military mustering.

Then there is the minor thing called the FPMV (Free Peoples Military Vicotry).

Glad you enjoyed the game!
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Jay P

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alexborders wrote:

My biggest concern is re-playability. It seems like the military choices for the Shadow player are pretty straightforward, and the Free Peoples player just keeps moving the fellowship. However the cards did seem to drive a lot of decisions, so that might make a lot of difference.


One thing I've noticed is what I call "Strategic Stove-piping". The tendency to "lock" onto a seemingly optimal path to victory. Even I do it, and I've played many games. If a playgroup is small, or learns from the same set of games, this can lock the group into playing the same line no matter which side is played.

The revelation comes when you play someone outside the group, or someone in the group finally breaks out of the pipe. I'll give an example from my own play experience. So I'm playing FP and notice the SP player doing some things I've never seen before. Things I always "thought" were sub-optimal. I thought to myself, "OK, this will be easy" But as the game progressed, I noticed those supposedly "sub-optimal" moves began to cause me problems I didn't anticipate. Epiphany! What I thought were bad lines of play turned out to be good lines.

I just failed to see the deeper strategic concepts that created those initial moves. I guess the best analogy is chess, where I could see three moves ahead but my opponent could see four. The best move for the latter won't be seen by the former.

And, there is stove-pipe thinking within a game. One game I had a play partner. I was following a strategy to get Strider into Pelargir for a crowning. I achieved the move and had a WotW to make it happen, when my partner said "stop"! With cards in hand, a look at SP action dice remaining, and the WotW, we had a golden opportunity to sweep an undefended Umbar. The Elves were in position to move on a lightly defended Moria. FPMV! I was SO FOCUSED on getting Aragorn and that extra dice, I was totally blind to a FPMV handed to me on a platter. And if it were not for my play partner, I would have finished the game (win or lose) congratulating myself on getting Argorn crowned, but oblivious in my ignorance of what could have been.

So, don't fall into the trap. Either expand the play group or try different approaches. The game has excellent replay value. Both in terms of grand strategy, and in terms of those strategic (and sometimes tactical) things that come your way.
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