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Subject: Looking for a Lord of the Rings game for my girlfriend. rss

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Enon Sci
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I'm not much of a Lord of the Rings fan. I felt the films read like a simplistic allegory to post-cold war European relations, and never broached the books. My taste in fiction runs more sci-fi than fantasy, though I certainly respect Tolkein's world building and even like works derivative of Middle-Earth.

That said, my girlfriend is very keen on his world and let me know she would be curious to play a table-top adaptation of his works.

Her background: New to table top games. Loves Carcassonne, Modern Art, Yspahan and the co-op dynamic in Pandemic. However, found Puerto Rico hard to grasp (she was tired to be fair), and only lightly enjoyed Pillars of the Earth (though both can definitely come back again).

My background: 8 years, from Power Grid and Catan to Caylus and Imperial (plus Twilight Imperium, Arkham, etc).

My Question:

The perfect game for her, imho, would be Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation. However, now that it's OOP (and expensive on the used market), I've narrowed the field to:

1. The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

and

2. Lord of the Rings

Maybe you can help me decided which one would be best?

Here are my thoughts on the two, having played neither:

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game looks to offer the most depth, but seems somewhat more expansion dependent. Since she has very little familiarity with Magic, or games like that, I worry that the complexity will be off-putting. I also worry that the theme will feel tacked on -- does it really give the impression of adventuring or moving towards an adventurist's goal?

On the plus side, beyond depth, this looks to gave a wonderful co-operative dynamic; we rather enjoy playing support roles for each other and interfacing in proactive and definite ways.

Lord of the Rings looks to be closer to our roots (euro games), but I worry that -- again -- the design is too abstracted and without a sense of adventure (i.e. playing with fun mechanics, though essentially what all euros are, seems questionable with this theme). It also offers expansions, but looks to be a better all-in-one purchase (read: will last longer without demanding additional purchases to keep things fresh). She did really resonate with Knizia's Modern Art design, but it seems silly to assume she's necessarily like all his games.

So, am I missing anything? Is there an obvious best choice here (superior game or maybe based on the backgrounds I've given)? Are any of my assumptions is wrong about these titles? If YOU could have only experienced one, which would it have been? etc.

Thanks for indulging this self indulgent post.

eDit: Obviously this is a bit of a wishy washy, non-specific information request. Whatever input you care to give will be gladly accepted, but to give a stronger sense of focus to my questions:

1. Which offers the greatest sense of adventure / narrative in play? (e.g. seems less like playing with lightly themed mechanics and more like adventuring through story).

2. Which offers the greater sense of co-operative play? (e.g. offers the largest variety of choice in when and how the players can assist each other).

3. Which offers the greatest sense of variability *out of the box*? (e.g. plays the most different on repeat attempts).

 
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J.A.H. van de Laak
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I personally didn't care for LOTR the card game.. to many steps and stuff going on. Looks gorgeous though.

On the other hand I really enjoy LOTR the Confrontation (deluxe). I got it through a trade here on the geek... you might try to check out if someone has it for trade. Its a really good game, simple... a bit like Stratego with powers. Great!

I also like this quick filler... LOTR the Duel. Very simple too, but still quite fun to play once in a while.

Here, a list of ppl who want to trade (or just offer them some money) Good luck!

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/collection/items/boardgame/1883...
 
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Enon Sci
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QueesteGeest wrote:
I personally didn't care for LOTR the card game.. to many steps and stuff going on. Looks gorgeous though.

On the other hand I really enjoy LOTR the Confrontation (deluxe). I got it through a trade here on the geek... you might try to check out if someone has it for trade. Its a really good game, simple... a bit like Stratego with powers. Great!

I also like this quick filler... LOTR the Duel. Very simple too, but still quite fun to play once in a while.

Here, a list of ppl who want to trade (or just offer them some money) Good luck!

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/collection/items/boardgame/1883...


Thanks for the prompt reply!

I'll look into the Confrontation again, but I find it hard to stomach buying the title for $60 (before shipping).

*eDit: OooOooh -- "trade," you say? (* the light bulb goes off *). Interesting.. I've never involved myself in one of those, but I have a million games just wasting away screaming for a new home. Thanks again!

(* turns to the greater Geek community *)

p.s. despite the above, my original questions still stand.
 
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J.A.H. van de Laak
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Just send a bunch of messages to those guys in the list. Sooner or later you will find one who will sell/trade it for a reasonable price. If you're from the US/CAN then it shouldn't be too hard to find someone.

(I was lucky, I got a great trade... I traded it against the Chinese version of Battle Line, which is just great btw... it has pewter flags and much better artwork AND it is a licensed/legal release, valued at US$12)
 
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Victoria Osborne
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I personally like LOTR the board game, but be prepared to lose...a lot.

the card game and confrontation are good, but i have gotten the nmost use out of the board game
 
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Matt Kruczek
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Whilst LOTR: The Confrontation (Deluxe) is gorgeous, there is the non-deluxe version which should be available a bit more cheaply.

Going from what you've said about yourself and your girlfriend, I would certainly recommend The Board Game. The theme is integrated very very well into the mechanics, and whilst some would call it over-deterministic compared to other co-ops, I would say that's because it is sticking very closely to the books. That said, the expansions add a degree of variable game play.

To me the board game has a better "adventuring" feel for a couple of reasons. Firstly there are no complex card interactions that you are trying to keep track of that, for me, pull me out of the narrative. The decision is between fighting or hiding from Shelob, not trying to maximise the distribution of power tokens between the different factions based on the adventure score of the location card in the staging area. The other, big, reason is that in the board game you get the whole journey from Bag End to Mordor. There is a sense of progression, of epic journeying through differing landscapes. After being out a year and with twelve expansions, The Card Game is only just getting out of Moria.

It also has the advantage of being easily available second hand (5 pages in the BGG marketplace, for as cheap as $10) so if you do get it and don't like it, you've not made a huge loss.
 
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J.A.H. van de Laak
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Ah, great post... I am going to look for a trade for the boardgame.
 
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David Sant
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If she is just a Tolkien fan, and not specifically a LOTR fan, might I suggest The Hobbit? It is not too complex, gives a feeling of adventure, is semi-cooperative in that you have to work together to prevent Smaug from destroying Laketown, but only the dwarf with the most treasure "wins". Plays best with 3, but does work with 2. Obviously, it follows the story of The Hobbit book.
 
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Greg Clensy
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I love boardgames and LOTR. My wife loves LOTR and likes boardgames.

She likes Confrontation a lot (I would say her top three games are Carcassone, Confrontation, and Railways of the World - just to give you a basis)

She also likes LOTR boardgame. Both are a bit abstract, but give a nice feel for LOTR without too much complication.

We have not tried LOTR LCG.

I would highly recommend Confrontation and I second the poster above saying that you should try for the non-deluxe version. I prefer it as it is more compact. As far as the extra characters/powers in the deluxe you can make your own for the non-deluxe (as I did), but after 20+ plays we are still not wanting to tinker.

As for the Hobbit. It is good and similar to LOTR The Boardgame, but my wife and I enjoy the book LOTR so much more than The Hobbit that we also enjoy the game more as we prefer to relive that adventure more. So if your girlfriend likes LOTR a lot more than The Hobbit I would still go with that. LOTR is cheaper too if you hunt around a little.
 
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Daniel Heidenreich

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Lord of the Rings the card game was a miss for my wife who both likes lord of the rings and most boardgames. The theme fell apart for us in combat since you can be in combat with an orc, then the phases reset and you start gathering reasources and traveling. And all the while the orc is just sitting there staring at you.

I haven't played it, but maybe the quest for middle earth would be a good co-op LOTR's game? You might also want to try Defenders of the Realm if she likes pandemic. It's not LOTR, but still in the same fantasy genre.
 
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Sicaria Occaeco
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Try War of the Ring (First Edition).
 
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Rolly Duckfield

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War of the Ring will satisfy the first and third requirement quite nicely, but it's very confrontational. No Co-Op
 
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The Tak
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Anarchosyn wrote:


Thanks for the prompt reply!

I'll look into the Confrontation again, but I find it hard to stomach buying the title for $60 (before shipping).

*eDit: OooOooh -- "trade," you say? (* the light bulb goes off *). Interesting.. I've never involved myself in one of those, but I have a million games just wasting away screaming for a new home. Thanks again!

(* turns to the greater Geek community *)

p.s. despite the above, my original questions still stand.


I can't be much help other to say I'm thoroughly 'meh' on the LoTR card game. It's not bad by any means and actually works quite well mechanically and so far as creating a 'journey' (though a sometimes odd one) in the Middle Earth 'verse, just there are other things I'd rather play when given the choice.

But sir! You owe it to yourself to go through and update your trade information using the collection management tools hereon BGG. I've only done a handful of trades but it has been worth it every time. Great tool for getting rid of the unplayed or unenjoyed without eating a huge loss.
 
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