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Subject: LOTR or War of the Ring rss

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Seth Howard

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Here's a question that's sure to yield some highly opinionated answers. Lord of the Rings or War of the Ring?

My wife and I haven't played a lot of strategic war games but we're highly competitive. We did play Axis and Allies and dug the luck/strategy element (we weren't crazy about the theme; we're not big war mongers). On the other hand the co-op aspect of LOTR sounds like fun.

Another question: Although we'll mostly play 2 player sessions, is it possible for experienced players to introduce new players into the fray easily with LOTR?

So what is it.. If I'm buying one LOTR game this year which one should it be?

 
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Jack Wraith
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If you're playing mostly two-player sessions, I would virtually insist on War of the Ring, especially if you were into the competitive nature of A&A. WotR is a fantastic two player game with miles of depth.

LotR is also a great 2-player, but even better with 4 or 5 (more players to cooperate with and somewhat more tension as more tiles (and, thus, more Events) get drawn.)

And it's very easy for experienced LotR players to bring in newbies. It's quite simple but has a lot of tough decisions, which is what gives the game its appeal.
 
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Matthew M
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Not much debate. It's pretty much impossible to say one is objectively better than the other because they are so different. It really comes down to personal preferences, then - not any attribute of the games themselves. You may as well ask someone what the better choice of transportation is if you could only pick between a plane and a bicycle. The answer depends a great deal on where you are going.

-MMM
 
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Alfred
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Matthew, I most definately must say that I have absolutely nothing to add to your reply. laugh
 
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Seth Howard

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Der Das wrote:
Matthew, I most definately must say that I have absolutely nothing to add to your reply. laugh



How about an opinion or comparison. Jack was very helpful with his reply. At this point I'm leaning toward War of the Rings.

Maybe this might help. Is it possible to compare how abstract the two games are. Which one has the best theme and playability. I've heard LOTR is basically a card holding game with an opinion that the theme felt 'tacked on'. I've also read some great reviews here on BGG.

Jack mentioned that War of the Ring was a better 2 player game (which makes sense). As he's the only one to give me a solid opinion should I assume that this is true?
 
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Hilary Hartman
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I have both of these games, too, and agree that they are so different as to be on opposite ends of the spectrum.

Both offer different types of gameplay. One is cooperative (unless the Sauron expansion is added in), and the other is confrontational. One is much more wargamey, while the other is a suspenseful travel by the Fellowship. Both are card driven, though one is much more based on this mechanic than the other.

I like WotR because it offers both the military and Ringbearer aspects of the story, whereas LotR is simply the journey of the Fellowship/Ringbearer. I like them both, equally though, on their gameplay and level of fun. Until I got WotR, LotR was my favorite.
 
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Chris
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sandoze wrote:
At this point I'm leaning toward War of the Rings.


That makes sense, given your A&A comment.

sandoze wrote:
I've heard LOTR is basically a card holding game with an opinion that the theme felt 'tacked on'.


I haven't seen that, or felt that. For us, especially in our earliest games, we felt the sweep of the thing. Most of these, but not all, have been 2 player games.

LOTR is more personal than War Of The Ring (you are playing a single fellowship member at discrete Middle Earth locations). WOTR is more epic in scope (you are playing an entire army, on the entire Middle Earth map). WOTR has more fiddly bits, and takes longer to setup. They are both fairly long, but not insansely long (WOTR is longer for most people). I think LOTR is easier, more straightfoward with a ruleset that is less open to interpretation. However, it still requires reading through ahead of time to understand, and possibly setting up a brief 'sample' game to make sure you get it.

Ultimately, you may have to get both. sauron

(finally a reason to use that Sauron icon!)
 
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Sven
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I think everything has been said. Read the reviews and comments here at the Geek and make up your own mind. These two games just aren´t comparable apart from the theme.

There are only a few meta-game-things that come to my mind:
Cost: LotR is significantly cheaper.
Rules: LotR is very easy to learn, while WotR is really quite a bit of work (and the rules are not so well written in some places). Definitly a step (or two) up from Risk or A&A.
Players: LotR can be played with two (and is quite fun) but you also can play it with a larger group. WotR in theory supports four players, but it is basicaly a game for two.
Playing Time: LotR can be played in about an hour. WotR takes at least two.
 
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I too have both, and don't have alot to add to the descussion beyond what those before me have stated but let me still put in my $0.02.

I've played LOR many more times than I have played WOR. In my gaming experience WOR is the most complicated game I've played. I enjoyed my first game but I had to sit with the rules infront of me the whole time so I'm not sure that I really got a good feel for the game. I've yet to play it again because it is just such a massive game, and I'm a little scared of it. I did however find that playing the game just that once really helped me with the geography of Middle earth and made reading the books (which I was in the process of doing when I got the game) much more enjoyable.

LOR on the other hand gets played quite frequently becuase it is easier to teach and bring in newbies with. It is a much lighter and more social game.

With out knowing much about your taste or playing preference/needs. I would recomend LOR over WOR because I think it would in general have a more universal apeal.
 
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Johan L
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Tanakor wrote:
Playing Time: LotR can be played in about an hour. WotR takes at least two.


Yes, WotR takes at least two hours, but that is not the same thing as saying it is possible to play in two hours - I'm currently considering buying a new car and I'm sure it will cost me at least £2.50

Our first game took eight hours, second one six hours. While it was sort of an enjoyable experience and people say playing time comes down a bit with experience, I haven't really felt the need to play again and would rather play three games of reasonable length. Personally I'd rather play Star Wars: Queen's Gambit or Memoir'44 to satisfy the same urge, but they are not LotR-related of course.

(Can't comment on LotR by the way, as I haven't played it).
 
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Alfred
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sandoze wrote:
How about an opinion or comparison.


Hey hey, that was as much as an opinion as anything else. Basically, I totally agree with him. (Incidently, I own both games.)
 
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Seth Howard

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Wow, great comments/opinions.

The time length of WOTR was not really considered and I have no doubt we'd go over the 'suggested playing time' so thanks for the eye opener.

LOTR is good for newbs which is always a plus.

Epic or reasonable playing time. Mini figures or abstraction. Coop or clobber.. this is going to be a tough purchase.

Anyone play LOTR with kids 12 and up? 12 and under?
 
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Sean McCarthy
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They're both very good.

Both of them evoke the feelings of the story very well and immersively. LotR really feels like you are little hobbits, trying to beat Sauron against all odds. WotR on the other hand has a very epic feel. The Sauron player really feels powerful and evil, and the Free Peoples player feels weak, but using every last bit of energy to undermine Sauron. When you're playing the FP, it's like you are falling over backwards with your hands tied behind your back, and you have to fold an origami crane before you hit the ground. (Luckily you are falling in slow motion .)

I personally find the WotR theme for compelling, mostly because it's grander, but also because WotR becomes more intuitive when you get good at it, while LotR gets more calculational. Sometimes you can lose the sense of theme in LotR for short periods of time, especially when you are pulling off a somewhat gamey play.

As for numbers of players: WotR plays perfect with 2 obviously, but you can add an extra player per side (simply as another brain without using the special 3-4 player rules) and it still works just fine. LotR is good with anywhere from 1-5. LotR has better replay value if you play it with varying player numbers. WotR just has replay value, period.

Regarding introducing new players: Neither is very good for this, honestly. The cooperative aspect of LotR makes it so you want to be playing with players who all have roughly equal experience, so that everyone makes their own decisions. WotR just plain takes a long time to teach, and you will probably also end up making many decisions for the newbies in their first game.

Based on your A&A comment, I think you'll like WotR. It's less combat-oriented than A&A, and basically adds some very nice resource management in action dice and event cards, while of course having an awesome theme.

I'm not sure if you would like LotR.

For all of these reasons, I recommend you buy WotR now, and LotR later.
 
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Matthew M
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Though I'll readily agree that LotR can get 'calculational' (as you put it) - I don't think that takes away from the theme. To the contrary, I feel that it helps contribute to it. The experience of one of those calculational moments is akin to feeling our backs against the walls, trying to figure out HOW in Middle Earth we are possibly going to escape the circumstances swirling around us given the resources at our disposal. After huddling together we concoct a plan that often involves a fair amount of desperation and hoping for a healthy dose of luck.

If that doesn't make you feel like one of the hobbits in the story I'm not sure what will

-MMM
 
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Sean McCarthy
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Yes, I agree it usually does. The theme is very good. But every now and then, it slips, at least for me.
 
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Daniel Edwards
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The theme aside its apples and oranges.

WOTR is a war game (albeit with some euro concepts). LOTR is a euro game.

WOTR is one on one. LOTR is co-operative.

WOTR has much more complicated rules, is much more dense and has a much greater barrier to entry. However I'd say the pay-off is better if you like wargames and beating each other up. If your girlfriend does not like fidly relatively complicated rules though you may never get past the barrier to entry part.

WOTR is a 2 player game (the 3 and 4 player versions are an afterthought). LOTR does not play well at all with 2 and is best with 4 or 5.

In essence if WOTR sounds like your cup of tea get it. If not and your only playing with 2 I'd buy something else (and if the theme is the important thing I'd try LOTR: the confrontation deluxe set).
 
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helo jetamy
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sandoze wrote:
Wow, great comments/opinions.


Anyone play LOTR with kids 12 and up? 12 and under?


Just played with my 8-year-old daughter, she even didn't read the book and watch the movie yet, however she learned it very well, and love to play the game again and again. We played 4 games in a row (3-4 players games), until everybody are exhausted
 
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