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Lord of the Rings

LCG strategy articles

BoardgameGeek have posted a list of the most popular strategy articles for 2012 and a large number of them are about LCGs.

Android: Netrunner

Star Wars: The Card Game

Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

Lord of the Rings LCG first thoughts

After the kids got to bed this evening I took some time to get acquainted with the Lord of the Rings LCG from Fantasy Flight. This is one of the new, for me, LCGs that FFG have released and it seemed a good addition to the household since it had material that Michelle is familiar with, it is a co-op game and it is billed as being playable solo.

It is a fun game, it has some interesting mechanics, and it is very focused on the co-op nature of the game but that focus also makes it highly unplayable as a solo game. Some abilities such as the Ranged trait are not usable in a solo game, as are some of the cards in that game that allow you to affect another player. Additionally, the encounter mechanic in the game means that eventually all the monsters in the game will be attack you, the only available target, instead of being spread out against two or more players. Finally, the Quest mechanic for a single player game means that you need to commit most of your Heroes and characters to quests leaving you very few to fight against any monsters or other attackers in the game.

While it isn’t unplayable as a solo game it is quite difficult and not a lot of fun. Unless I can get one or more players interested in the game this might be going onto the trade shelf.

The folly of short-term gain

I’ve never understood Games Workshop’s affection for the Lord of the Rings game. Clearly someone at GW thinks that the license and its accompanying figure range generates enough money to be worth the continued investment but as someone who has spent years covering the gaming industry and as a gamer I have yet to see any concrete evidence that the Lord of the Rings tabletop game and the War of the Ring mass combat game are a success.

One of the efforts at made as part of my tenure at Tabletop Gaming News was a series of monthly polls that asked gamers what they were purchasing and playing. In the months that the polls ran both Middle-Earth games would consistently poll lower than Blood Bowl. A game that GW doesn’t even stock in their own stores. In fact, both LotR and WotR wouldn’t even generate a third of the number of responses that Blood Bowl did. And while Lord of the Rings might have pockets of popularity it certainly doesn’t have the wide range of popularity that Blood Bowl,or even Epic, does. Blood Bowl has fan sites (the ones that GW didn’t threaten with legal action) and magazines, podcasts and a series of international tournaments that bring in amounts that rival some Warhammer Fantasy events. The same is not true for either of the Middle-Earth games.

So the fact that GW is returning to the LoTR game and expanding it with new models and books really has me scratching my head.
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Quick War of the Ring game

Pawel dropped by today and we had a quick game of War of the Ring using Ryan’s Gondor force (thanks Ryan!). Pawel butchered my Isengard force but I lay the blame for the totally at the feet of the terrain and Pawel’s cunning use of the Army of the Dead. A formation that I have a new respect for.

Chatting with Pawel after the game has made me, once again, quite interested in starting an Elven force for the game. At the very least I won’t have to paint 176 minis for it :-)

War of the Rings gaming

Ryan came over this afternoon and we had a 1500pt game of War of the Rings. As Ryan did not have Gandalf or any other spellcaster in his force I pulled Saruman from the list and replaced him with a Shaman and some more troops. I took a few photos with my phone’s camera which I’ve posted online.

My force was:

  • Lurtz
  • 4 x Warband (Banner)
  • 4 x Warband (Banner, Shaman, Captain)
  • 4 x Phalanx (Captain)
  • 4 x Warg Riders (Captain)
  • 2 x Crossbow (Captain)
  • 1 x Bezerkers
  • Troll
  • Troll Captain

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Saruman and Remotes

Some quick pictures of the two PanO Remotes I finished painting as well as the Saruman mini for my War of the Ring army.

Next up is my Cutter and then I have four quick figs for my War of the Rings army

Next up

So next up on the painting table are the other PanO Infinity figures I need to paint. After that I think I am going to return to my Isengard army and paint Saruman and perhaps some more Warg Riders and then the Siege Ballista. The base for it is quite large so perhaps I will do something interesting with the base to make the model stand out.

Next up

So next up on the painting table are the other PanO Infinity figures I need to paint. After that I think I am going to return to my Isengard army and paint Saruman and perhaps some more Warg Riders and then the Siege Ballista. The base for it is quite large so perhaps I will do something interesting with the base to make the model stand out.

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