Quick War of the Ring Review

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Quick War of the Ring Review

Post  RickyDMMontoya on Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:29 pm

Even though I'm in the midst of finals, I picked up the War of the Ring rulebook the other day and had a quick flip through. Without having played a game or digested it all that well, I would have to say that it looks like an amazing game system and, if it plays the way I think it will, it might be a more robust and interesting game than Warhammer.

I hope there's some community interest here, because it really does look like a bitchin' game.

I think I am going to put my Warriors of Chaos on hold, and start assembling a WotR Misty Mountains Goblin horde. I hope others will join me.

There's a much more in depth analysis here:
http://www.belloflostsouls.net/2009/03/review-war-of-ring.html

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Re: Quick War of the Ring Review

Post  ScottRadom on Thu Apr 09, 2009 7:45 pm

I actually avoided posting that very kind fo thread for fear of looking like I am Anti Warhammer!

Yeah, looks real good. Very plain rules but it seems that simplicity is it's best attribute. Terrain is handled in a very ironclad manner. Looks very fun, very easy to keep track of during game play as well.

I'm torn between pouding out a pelenor fields evil army combining all the good stuff, or a haldir's elves kind of helms deep force. Looks very cool, and I have a bunch of the models already.

It's tough for me to get much gaming in now a days but I'll play you sometime Eric.

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Re: Quick War of the Ring Review

Post  Carson on Thu Apr 09, 2009 10:13 pm

yeah, I was talking to Scott about the very thing the other day. I'm in.

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Re: Quick War of the Ring Review

Post  RickyDMMontoya on Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:08 am

I took an hour away from studying a couple days ago and proxied a game with my brother, and I have to say that I am impressed.

There's been a bit of discussion on WotR lacking in tactical depth, and I had this to say:

There are rock/paper/scissors moments, but the fact of the matter is that ANY unit can be the rock to ANY other unit's scissors.

A poster on warseer said that "the lethality index in this game is very high." That's the best way to describe it that I can think of. Dozens of models will be murdered every single turn. How they are murdered will make all the difference to who wins and who loses.

Being able to measure at any time and the freedom granted by phased "I-GO-U-GO" system means that if you get into a sticky situation, it is due as much to your own error as to your opponent's good play.

The moderate level of resource allocation in the form of might points, and even positioning of heroes is something that I think will quickly draw a line between experienced and non-experienced players. I haven't quite gotten the hang of it myself, but I have a suspicion that there is gold in those hills. Just the use of Might points for Heroic Move is one of the most incredible things I have seen in a game. A good Heroic Move might be the difference between victory or defeat. On the other hand, keeping that might point to modify a single D6 roll later in the game could also turn the entire course of the game. I am actually in awe of the decisions a player is forced to make in this game.

The casualty allocation rules will be another goldmine for experienced players, letting them take advantage of mistakes made by their opponent to deal with Epic Heroes that would otherwise be a thorn in your side.

Heck, even the simple priority roll at the start of the turn is gut-wrenching.
Sometimes it is a huge advantage to have the first move phase if you plan on setting the tone of the turn and dictate how your opponent responds.
Sometimes it is a huge advantage to have the second move phase so you can see what your opponent is doing, and react accordingly.

Sometimes it is a huge advantage to have the first charge phase so you can make your charges before your opponent, tying his units down and getting your bonus attacks.
Sometimes it is a huge advantage to have the second charge phase so you can make counter-charges and really make your opponent pay for committing his units first.

I think a skilled player will be able to make the most of the advantages presented by the turn system, while a weaker player will attribute their sufferings to "BAWW I lost priority because of a stupid die roll and lost the game."

There's a smart way to perform every single action in every single phase. Equally, there is a stupid way to do so. Because the game is so damn dangerous, and because so many models are killed by rolling so many dice, it may appear that it's the dice doing it.

In my opinion, so many dice are rolled, and so many casualties are taken that the game nearly approaches statistical averages on almost every single action. The game seems to me to be a lot less dependant on dice rolls than WFB or 40k, simply because players roll so many. When you roll 40 dice to attack, chances are pretty damn high that you will get between 16 and 24 results of 4+. The standard deviation is much smaller relative to the sample size. I haven't had a single combat yet, where it didn't go almost exactly how I expected it to. A few times a formation did a little better than I expected, a few times it did a little worse.

Being able to measure at any time means you can have a pretty good idea of what fights you are going to get into. The way fights are resolved in the game should give you a pretty good idea of how each fight is going to go. This lets you plan for combat in a pretty unique way.

The few exceptions in the game where rolling relatively few dice can be determinative of victory are Heroic Duels and Panic Tests. But this brings us back to might points. Since these results are single dice rolls, expenditure of might at the right time, to use abilities, alter stats, change the roll, etc., will often mean the difference between life and death.

Hell, even the victory point and terrain system used in the different standard scenarios, in my opinion, require tactical foresight to be competitive at them all. Infantry can capture objectives with priority over cav, and monsters can't capture them at all? Play a game from the long table edges? Play a game where units move on from random table edges over the course of the game? To account for all of that will not only require flexibility from the army list (which is also great, because due to their disparate nature I think the pick-up game scenarios require at least nominally balanced lists), but from the player as well.

So to sum up my thoughts on the matter, WotR seems to me like it is incredibly fertile ground for tactical play, and in my opinion, victory will almost always revolve around player skill.

I can certainly understand how some people might consider the game to be "rock/paper/scissors lol dicefest!" on a quick glance, simply because of the number of dice rolled and the speed at which casualties are sustained. I do think that there's a lot more going on behind the scenes which lead to those casualties, and there's always a way that it could have been dealt with.


Last edited by RickyDMMontoya on Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:47 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Quick War of the Ring Review

Post  Matt Dean on Sun Apr 12, 2009 11:29 am

Thanks for posting your review. Looks like a cool game.

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Re: Quick War of the Ring Review

Post  nathanr on Mon Apr 13, 2009 1:08 pm

While it does look interesting, I don't think I'll be starting an army. I don't even have enough time for Warhammer and adding another game system along with more models to paint isn't going to help that.

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Re: Quick War of the Ring Review

Post  JoeMisfeldt on Sun Apr 19, 2009 5:18 pm

This looks really interesting. I'll have to read over the rules and try out some proxy games with you and Ian.

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Re: Quick War of the Ring Review

Post  Carson on Sun Apr 19, 2009 11:13 pm

hey Joe whats shaking?

Had a look at Eric copy on the weekend......It looks really good, I'm alreay excited about building a few armies. I always wanted a reason to collect the LOTR. The urakai with pikes look interesting as do an all mounted Rohan force.

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Re: Quick War of the Ring Review

Post  JoeMisfeldt on Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:53 am

Finishing up finals at the end of April then I'm free again.

Ya I think GW played this rather well, having War of the Ring come out after all the skirmish LOTR models. Brand new game system but it already has an entire model range.

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Re: Quick War of the Ring Review

Post  RickyDMMontoya on Mon Apr 20, 2009 12:33 pm

I think they played it kind of poorly actually. I think there would be a lot more interest in the game if it had come out at the same time as the movie. It might be harder for them to generate interest now.

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Re: Quick War of the Ring Review

Post  Matt Dean on Mon Apr 20, 2009 3:22 pm

I think clearly it would have been optimal to release in coordination with the movie but that was 6-8 years ago. I doubt they were thinking about this then.

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Re: Quick War of the Ring Review

Post  Carson on Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:23 pm

So who all is planning on building up an army for this. I'm def. in with a "tower of Isengard" force led by Saruman.

I picked up the rulebook and the game looks really impressive.

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Re: Quick War of the Ring Review

Post  ScottRadom on Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:37 pm

Well there were a couple of problems in releasing a game of this scope with the movies....

-The models are based on the movie images and the movies of course were staggered over three years so game designers didn't know what to expect. GW got the expanded rights for the full Tolkien range only after they showed good faith in producing the movie stuff. So for year one (Fellowship) there were actually no grand scale battles or even a really wide range of models to produce a massed combat system for.. except the Last Alliance battle. So a skirmish game it was.

-The company wanted to steer clear from the "Just another warhammer" type of system, and the Strategy Battle game was different. I don't think it was great, but it wasn't bad either.

I don't think this game could've been made any earlier. I love the rules as I read them and look forward to playing them. I do think it's a great move on GW's part as there are many out there with vast collections of LOTR mini's who can now use them in a bigger setting the the skirmish system never could've allowed for.

It's funny, I remember all the secrecy in the game when I was a Grey Knight back in the days of this game. They would send rulebooks out to GW stores with pictures from the films blacked out. The Balrog being the big ticket item they didn't want people to leak onto the net. Very cloak and dagger stuff, and I may be mistaken but I am sure there was some non disclosure stuff we had to sign, but it was a while ago. We were to paint up our mini sets before the films came out so we got a sneak peak at what the elves, men of the second age, and the goblins would look like.

Actually in hindsight with so many hands working on the film and peripheral stuff I don't really recall there being all that much leaked stuff from the films. Was there?

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Re: Quick War of the Ring Review

Post  RickyDMMontoya on Sat May 09, 2009 2:59 pm

I will be building a Goblin horde with Balrog to represent the denizens of Moria.

I think the proposed 2000 point list I have drawn up has ~300 models.

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Re: Quick War of the Ring Review

Post  squalie on Sat May 09, 2009 4:38 pm

Traitors.

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Re: Quick War of the Ring Review

Post  ScottRadom on Sat May 09, 2009 4:39 pm

RickyDMMontoya wrote:I will be building a Goblin horde with Balrog to represent the denizens of Moria.

I think the proposed 2000 point list I have drawn up has ~300 models.

If you need anything (including the balrog) LMK as I have tons of LOTR stuff plus plenty of Goblin Stuff as well.

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Re: Quick War of the Ring Review

Post  RickyDMMontoya on Sun May 10, 2009 10:27 pm

Yeah, I have absolutely none of it, so it would all be pure purchases for me. Anything you have, any trolls, goblins and the Balrog, I'm interested in it all.

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Re: Quick War of the Ring Review

Post  ScottRadom on Sun May 10, 2009 11:38 pm

I'll do some rummagin' and let you know. I'll try to get a list by the weekend, if that's soon enough.

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Re: Quick War of the Ring Review

Post  RickyDMMontoya on Mon May 11, 2009 10:05 pm

Yeah no problem. I can't afford to buy anything for a month or two here anyways. Need to get back to my summer job before I can buy any toys.

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Re: Quick War of the Ring Review

Post  ScottRadom on Tue May 12, 2009 12:45 am

Hey, no prob. I can give you a bunch of stuff to get you started. Paint now, pay later!

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