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Dam, if I loved the Middle-Earth CCG by ICE, is this game for me?


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#1 Frog

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 08:39 AM

Dam, I noticed you mentioned that you are also a Tolkien fiend and really enjoyed the Middle-Earth CCG by I.C.E. (at least I hope you were talking about the 1990s game not the horrible Decipher CCG).

Anyways, I have all of Tolkien's writings in hardcover and absolutely loved the Middle-Earth CCG especially because you could play it solo.  That game was very complex(for a CCG) and it was tough to find players.  I only had one other game-store owning friend who would ever play it.

Some things about this game reminds me of the CCG.  The influence tracks and the map definitely give me vibes of the CCG.  (You could actually move and use maps if you wanted in the CCG)

Do you think I would enjoy this game?

I'd probably play it solo and it seems like you enjoy it solo.



#2 Dam

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 09:01 AM

I would very much think so. Still, not everything hits for everyone. Chaos in the Old World bombed for me, despite me loving the theme. MEQ solo is doable, you just need to figure out how to do combat for the most part. It's not a huge obstacle IMO.

On a side note, if you already haven't, might give the Middle-Earth ccg (yes, talking about the ICE mid-90s game) a try online with GCCG. I keep popping in there quite a bit.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#3 Baenre

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 09:04 AM

The game is definetly not for solo play unless you can somehow figure out how to play your group of heros and Sauron independently of each other.  Unlike War fo the Ring, which is a much better adaptation of the books, this game is more of a maneuvering and avoiding combat directly style of game.  It's also a game really meant to be played with a full group of people.

I would say if you REALLY want a game that gives you the LoTR feel go get a copy of War of the Ring over this game.  WoTR is also a 2 player game so you don't have to get a big group together to play it.

I personally enjoy the CCG a great deal and will never get rid of the game.  However if i have both WoTR and MEQ and i play WoTR a lot more because it's got a better flavor than MEQ does IMO.  Not to mention WoTR has a sweet new CE version that is just gorgeous to behold.



#4 Dam

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 09:31 AM

I prefer MEQ over WotR simple because it offers (from my POV) a more open-ended/less-scripted game every time. WotR, if playing FP, it's "get FSP to Mordor ASAP", while SP takes pretty much the same few choice VP locations each game. Yes it follows the book, but there is less variation between the beginning and the end. In MEQ, Plots can pop up here or there, Sauron takes a different approach with different Heroes, combinations, variations, approaches and feel between two games, one with Eleanor, one with Thalin are vast. At least to me.

Yes, you could go for FPMV in WotR right from the start, but where is the incentive for that? Just so you can get a different feel? It would probably be a very different game from the standard FSP rush, but it would (again for me) go against the whole theme of the game. In MEQ, you have get a Mission that has 5 possibilities and have to react (or even pre-act) to Sauron's Plots/Actions or anticipate the Hero moves. The variation is built-in, whereas in WotR, the players have to make the choice to "go off script" (so to speak).

MEQ also plays just as fine with 2-players as WotR (which IMO is a pure 2-player only game), but can support up to 4. Play time is about the same, 90 minutes max on average, MEQ probably slightly less.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#5 Baenre

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 03:12 PM

Well for me i have never played the same game of WoTR twice so i am not sure where the repetitive part comes from.  However MEQ for my group has essentially broken down into a game of leveling up one hero and than fighting the wraiths at the end because nobody could complete their objective.  Once you play the game enough there are ways to actually prevent those objectives on either side from ever happening.  To vary the game up we actually came up with a few new objectives for each side to make sure nobody new right away what each was doing.  However power leveling one guy up is still a normal strategy to beat sauron when the story track ends.

That's not to say WoTR doesn't have holes either as there are only a few ways to win the game, which never varies.  The strategy about how to go about achieveing those victories is what makes the difference.  Choosing how to avoid those traps is the other side.  I would definetly never play the game without the expansion though as it covers up some basic flaws in the original game.  It's something i hope an expansion for MEQ can cleanup to an otherwise solid and fun game.

Whichever you choose you really can't go wrong and picking one over the other is just subjective between player preference in the end.



#6 Dam

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Posted 25 March 2010 - 08:49 PM

Baenre said:

Well for me i have never played the same game of WoTR twice so i am not sure where the repetitive part comes from.  However MEQ for my group has essentially broken down into a game of leveling up one hero and than fighting the wraiths at the end because nobody could complete their objective.  Once you play the game enough there are ways to actually prevent those objectives on either side from ever happening.  To vary the game up we actually came up with a few new objectives for each side to make sure nobody new right away what each was doing.  However power leveling one guy up is still a normal strategy to beat sauron when the story track ends.

Action dice do make the games different on the surface, but beneath, they all have a similar overall linear path. FP moves FSP, if revealed on moves 2-4, Old Forest Road path to Mordor, if not, declare at Dimrill Dale (or Lorien), take the 10 move route to Mordor. SP takes Helm's Deep no later than turn 3, other VPs come from a selection of Lorien, Rivendell and Gondor/DEW.

As for MEQ, after 50 plays (all 2-player, 25 1-Hero, 25 2-Hero), there have been 20 Combat endings and 30 Mission endings. Most of the time, it's Sauron who commands on the Story Track and has domination at the end. Best has been a domination by 7 finale that came so fast Sauron couldn't get the RWs to Shire. Still, with 16 Health, you'd need a lot of training and statboosting to beat the RWs in combat. Even something like +3 for them will see the Hero in trouble. If the Heroes know Sauron's Mission (or vice versa), I think the players are telegraphing too much. If I'm pushing for example the Yellow token with all my Plots, it could be I have the Yellow token Mission (1 in 5 chance) or could be those are the only Plots currently available. Even if I don't have the Yellow token Mission, I'll happily fail my Mission if I can start the Finale with something like +3 or more in terms of dominance. Missions are secondary, dominance is what the game is all about. Without dominance, you can't win with you Mission, even if the other side doesn't complete their Mission.


"A dirty mind is its own reward."


#7 Baenre

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Posted 26 March 2010 - 05:16 PM

I definetly agree and our normal sauron player is quite good and beats us quite often.  She tends to just go for total dominance over us as quickly as possible and keep it as best as she can.  Now granted we are normally playing a full group of 4 people and 1 playing sauron and it's a little easier to keep sauron slowed to build up one character.  Not to mention passing off favor is pretty easy with so many people so protecting her plots is pretty key to keep her moving along. 

As i said i think both games are great and he should find flavor in both. 



#8 simpatikool

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Posted 19 January 2011 - 05:34 AM

I loved the ICE CCG Lord of the Rings game for some time. It was also hard to find players, but it was a grand little game. I enjoy War of the Ring thoroughly, and only been putting off MEQ, because, my closet is spilling over in FFG coffin boxes. It really is starting to become a concern in my household.






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