Saturday, September 22, 2012

War of the Rings Card Game- Still Fun

In the aftermath of our summer vacation I was left thinking about which games I've purchased that have actually gotten a lot of play. I'm as guilty as most gamers of accumulating vast piles of lead, rules, and boardgames that then sit sad and forlorn on the shelf waiting to be played or painted. This year the kids are off to school, however, so we are on a tight budget and I am trying to get the dusty stuff off the shelves and onto the table.

I picked up the Lord of the Rings Card Game a while back with high hopes. It's cooperative, the components are beautiful, and the theme is popular. When I played it at the game store it was a lot of fun. Unfortunately the rules seem to have been written in one language and then translated across two more before making their way into English. As a result our first attempts to play at home were just demoralizing. I put it away and only took it out again for the vacation.

When the kids text "RTFM" to each other they are being wise indeed. When I took the time to really read the instructions and understand them much of the game fell into focus. We ended up playing several times and had a lot of fun. Much of what I said in my original review still holds true now. I think what strikes me in hindsight is how fun it is to come close to winning and then get crushed. It sounds silly but a challenging coop game where you Almost win is really a good time. The game drags you back for another go.

Save us Gandalf!
Further, the factions you can play in the game allow each player to find something they enjoy doing. My wife enjoys dealing out damage and slaying monsters. There's a faction for that. I like cheating fate and disrupting the plans of evil. There's a faction for that as well. The game allows and supports varied play style.

Finally, the game has a nice narrative quality. As you struggle to complete the quests you do feel like a story is being told. There are narrow escapes, epic battles, and through it all you wait for Gandalf to appear and pull your bottoms out of the fire! Which will happen, to everyone's relief.

The Lord of the Rings Card Game has absolutely held up over time. I recommend reading the rules a few times and struggling through a game or two. At that point I suspect you'll be hooked.


  1. I would love to play Lord of the Rings Card Game, as it seems to be fascinating.

  2. I really enjoy it. It's good with one, two, or four players, the art is great. Just be prepared that at first the game sequence seems very non-intuitive. After one game it all clicks.