Mike Cathcart
United States
West Conshohocken
US
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I got to play my first game of War of the Ring last night. I had been psyched about playing it for a year now and it did not disappoint. We didn't even finish the game but I already love War of the Ring so much that I want to take it out behind the middle school and get it pregnant.

My friend had played the first edition once before but it had been a while and he was a little fuzzy on the rules. I spent a lot of time with the rulebook, which is not an easy start to finish read, but it is very thorough. I probably had to read it five or six times to get my head around the game but when it came time to play I didn't have any problems figuring out what was going on, which I thought was pretty great for a game as heavy as WotR is.

Aside from the rulebook and some posts from the rules forum on BGG I didn't read anything else. No strategies from the web and I only looked at a couple of the cards so that we could just wing it for the first game. It seemed like--in a game where both players are completely new--it was easier to play as Sauron because you have those extra action dice and you can mostly concentrate on just trying to crush the stupid "free people" into their stupid ground. Uh, guess which side I played?

I was able to bring out Saruman on our first round. I love the way the characters can affect the game and so often in ways that mirror the books. In fact, the game is so thematic that it feels like you could put page references to the trilogy next to most of the sentences in the rulebook yet it still manages to be an excellent game (so far). In that way it reminds me a lot of Battlestar. But back to Saruman! So he let me crank out a ton of orcs and worg riders real quick like which I used to grind Rohan to a giant pile of horse dust. Stupid horses.

Meanwhile, my friend separated Gandalf, Aragorn and Gimli from the fellowship to rally the remaining free people to war while Sam and Frodo traveled (mostly) unscathed through Moria to Lorien. This part is boring!

So then! Before Saruman could grab all of the glory the remaining Shadow Powers got off of their butts and into the war. Sauron summoned the Witch King into the game and he immediately got to work putting some pressure on the elves with a combined force of Nazgul, orcs and mumakil. Yeah, Oliphants! Unfortunately for our heroes the stupid free people played a card that prevented me from attacking Lorien. Also in the meantime Gandalf had leveled up to White and gained some annoying ability to negate the powers of Nazul and Witch Kings. Fortunately, Nazguls and Witch Kings can fly across the map in a single bound, so they all bailed on the Lorien party and flew down to Minas Tirith to give Aragorn what for!

It turns out Aragorn can be annoying to kill--especially when he's at Minas Tirith--but after a few siege rounds the Shadow Powers took advantage of Denethor's (that's the guy from Fringe) Folly and pulled the rug out from under the "king". Smell ya later, Gondor!

Rohan and Gondor are left in ruin. And on that happy note we called the game for the night. Everyone had happy dreams of the elves and their little friends burning to the ground. Yay!
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Dave Daffin
United Kingdom
Ledbury
Herefordshire
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Cathcart wrote:
I want to take it out behind the middle school and get it pregnant.

the stupid "free people"

LOL A couple of the best quotes ever! Made me laugh a lot - brilliant!

This is a game I have had for ages (one of my first big buys) and I really want to get this to the table one weekend.
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Chris Young
United States
Antioch
California
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Once you get to play its very addictive. I dont find the online client nearly as fun as sitting face to face but if you can find someone to work through the rules with on it its worth it.
 
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