Sunday, November 29, 2009


Went and played two three player games of LOTR. The first of them took around three hours, had several children watching for some of the time with their various hobbit and gollum imitations. Very funny, and they seem to understand the principles of the fellowship of the ring easier than us adults, judging by the results...

Session 3: Nancy, Wayne, Mark. Sauron starts 15. Score 46, eaten by Shelob.
Session 4: Wayne, Mark, Nancy. Sauron starts 15. Score 54, overtaken by events and Sauron grabs the ring. Pippin was alone for most of his fateful journey in Mordor in this game, but the eliminated players were still 'involved' in what was happening.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

LOTR Sessions

Board from 25 Nov 2009 (Postgame)

Game 1: Paul, Mark, Nancy - 53 points - Sauron starts at 15 on Corruption Chart
Game 2: Mark, Shaun, Paul, Nancy - 46 points - Sauron starts at 15

Both games took about two hours, though wouldn't be much more than an hour once people are familiar with the game. Highly challenging with a sense of impending and inevitable doom. The game hangs together neatly, encouraging the company to support each other. Utilises on board tracks to keep the forward momentum, cards to generate actions, nice components, clear rules. As the company passes through Shelob's Lair (we didn't get past through it to Mordor in the second game) the tension rises, as Sauron reaches out for the company the fear rises, as the hobbits have to risk themselves to save their friends the group coheres.

A good game, am even taking it to someone else's place tonight to induct them. Maybe I'll give it a rest then...

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Lord of the Rings - Knizia board game

Have just purchased Knizia's Lord of the Rings cooperative board game from the pawnbroker (of all places). Will let you know how it plays when we take on Sauron - but the concept of a 'corruption line', the artwork and the favoured status of almost anything designed by Knizia leads to good prospects.

After having read the rules and finding them somewhat intriguing because of the new possibilities opened by the group v the system approach I went for a quick google to see what sort of a game this was. I have found nothing but praise so far, but what was interesting is that I found this academic article on cooperative and collaboration game design ("Collaborative games: Lessons learned from board games" - Zagal, Rick, Hsi). It uses Knizia'a LOTR as its case study of a 'collaborative' game that works, is itself an attempt to draw lessons for use by the MMORG fraternity. Worth a read, as are the archives for The Gaming Journal (which I found in the article's bibliography).

PS sorry again for delays, RK has taken over again. I'll post sometime a summary of what's happened there. Suffice to say my character is now Field Marshall of the Royal Scottish Army, married, and rather busy in the role play side of things.

As a final note, I've activated word recognition in the comments on this blog as a result of the massive spam influx on the previous post.