A periodic blog about Games, Books, Movies, Pop culture, Technology and whatever else I happen to feel like writing about...

Monday, November 08, 2004

WWII of the Ring, or we try to get it right this time...

Uber Spielfriek (tm) Mike came by on Sunday evening to play War of the Ring (WOTR). By randomly selecting the blue die, he was entrusted with the fate of the Free Peoples (FP), and I was allowed to get more in touch with my evil Sauron Player (SP) side.

The game was set up and played in 3 hours, which was decent, and I would expect that most games would run in the 2-3 hour range, depending on the exact number of turns.

As expected, the SP military presence was very strong, and the south of the map was very red. Minas Tirith was one army die from falling, and the surrounding FP strongholds had already been taken by the SP. All that remained was to rouse Saruman's Horde to have them either ride into the unsuspecting North, or to start the assault on Rohan, with Sauron's forces hammering the Riders from the south approach.

Even though I successfully hunted the Fellowship many times when they moved, and was able to play a few cards to inflict extra tile draws, Mike was able, through his innate goodness, to draw tiles with low levels of damage. By the time he made it to Mordor, he was only around 3 corruption, which I knew would not be enough. Sure enough, he was able to coast through Mordor without drawing any of the truly nasty tiles that I had managed to get into the bag. Although, to be fair, he never drew any of the healing tiles that he got in either.

This was the exact opposite of the game that I played as the FP against Cim, where I consistently drew 2's, 3's, Reveals and Stops, especially in Mordor. Oh well, like Doctor Claw, I will have to say, "I'll get you next time, Gadget!".

While Sauron has a commanding military presence, it takes many, many actions to win militarily, as armies move very slowly, and start a few regions away from where they are needed. Free People armies almost never need to move, as they are mustered where they need to be, for the most part. There are many cards which allow mustering even in besieged strongholds, so the FP has some ability to reinforce their sieged strongholds. Maybe this game is really all about the ring, and the military side is just a distraction? We shall see.....


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