The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

War of the Ring Further Thoughts

Updating my original thoughts.

I’ve now played 7 Games of WotR (only 1 as Sauron). I lost my last three games, so what do I know? Some thoughts anyway.

As the Free Peoples, I’m not sure if the right idea is to race at all costs and just concede the military. I suspect it is, but it’s pretty boring. I tried a more balanced strategy (planning on splitting for Aragorn and to place several companions in key strongholds) and it’s certainly more interesting. The “Crown Aragorn on Turn 1” strategy, which I’ve just heard of, sounds interesting. You’ll probably get the dice you spend back (instead of waiting for T4 or so to crown him), and you’ll probably cost Sauron a turn or two for a stronghold.

I hope that the expansion brings the NW portion of the map into play. In my single game as evil, I lost the Witch King early, and suddenly found myself scrambling. Using massive muster cards (+ Saruman) I could make a credible threat to take two of Rivendale, Lorien and The Gray Havens. However, the marching time is just brutal. I’ve seen a fair number of games where the Erebor falls (sometimes early, if the hordes from the east muster).

I suspect that the game is tilted towards good, despite my recent losses. Cruel Weather + Nazgul Search each force the fellowship to waste a turn, but it takes a bit of luck to get both and put a reasonable number of red special tiles into the bag.

The real problem with War of the Rings is that after 2 (or three or four) hours, the resolution often depends merely on a tile draw or two. In my one game as Sauron, I basically conceded that I wouldn’t get to 10 points, and we just played out the fellowship’s journey through mordor. It saved us 30 minutes (or more), but it was all tile dependant. Now, if the game had been closer, we would have played out and it would have depended on a tile draw and perhaps a battle.

However, I’d still rather play this than most of the new Euros or other games that I consider more balanced or better designed. Fun beats sterility of design.

I just added Coldfoot, who I discovered during one of my random technorati searches. Are there any other gaming sites I should be reading or linking?

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Written by taogaming

April 23, 2005 at 9:38 pm

Posted in War of the Rings

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