I was scheduled to put this post up after playing a game at the club on Monday night, but distractions got in the way, and I had been brewing the "Bandwagon" article for a while.
Anyways... in an attempt to provide a break from 40k, I recently started looking into War of the Ring, fuelled by the desire to put the large collection of LOTR Models I had, to some kind of use on the tabletop, to decide if I should be selling them.
It started about a month ago, with a few quick 800 point games on a Saturday afternoon. The first one taking about an hour and a half and forgetting 90% of the special rules associated with characters, upgrades and not using Heroic Actions.
After this, we then replayed the game using the same army lists at the club focusing a bit more on learning how Heroes work in the game, along with the magic system.
This Monday, I had a game using practically the same lists, but at 1,000pts which I spent and invested in Gandalf so I could have some anti-Witch King magic. So it squared up - 1,000pts of Gondor against 1,000pts of Mordor in a 5 Objective game.
Now in War of the Ring, the Objectives are placed at the start of the game, and once picked up by a unit, are carried around until they are defeated in Combat, or killed and the objective is passed to the Winning unit or dropped on the spot, respectively.
Guards of the Fountain Court protect the exposed Flanks of Gandalf's Warriors of Minas Tirith as they prepare to attack the dread Mordor Troll.
Boromir of Gondor leads a unit of Swan Knight cavalry into battle to combat Mordor Warg Riders.
So what are my initial thoughts on War of the Ring?
First off the game is very unpredictable. That doesn't mean you can't have an overall plan and it's down to luck... It just means that unlike 40k, you can't account for opponent actions being as predictable as "This turn, I do this, your turn you do that etc.".
Also, as it plays, I move, you move, I shoot, you shoot - each army has a chance to react accordingly and it become a bit more tricky to flank enemies and also means you do have a chance to stop that big burly monster charging into your ranks. As opposed to just having to take it on the chin for a turn.
Heroes in this also play, what I think, is a much more strategic role in the game. Where in 40k and Warhammer, you would have a character that (generally) remains the same stats all the way through... in War of the Ring Heroes eventually get weighed down and dragged under in a fight. It also again, can reduce some of the predictability of 40k - thanks to acting out of turn, being able to modify dice rolls etc. This is an aspect of the game that really appeals to me in that it is simple (once you get the hang of it) and extremely effective - although it can be annoying to be on the recieving end of it.
Also, the magic system is miles more free-flowing than Warhammer Fantasy. Every spell following the same procedure and simply increasing or decreasing stats accordingly, or in some circumstances, causing direct damage.
The last factor I like of the game is there is ALWAYS a chance what you're doing can fail. Such as the random charge distances in the game - something I really enjoy. It's a tradeoff between moving close enough to the enemy that you will be guarenteed a charge, but even then, roll a dreaded 1... and your guys will remain rooted to the spot.
Overall, I really enjoy War of the Ring and hope that GW continue to support it via some ace new plastic kits. I can understand that some people don't like it because there are "Broken Lists" or "Super Units", but at the end of the day, I think Fluff ties much more strongly with army lists in this game than 40k, providing you play someone who's pretty decent.
The game is by no means simple, but to me, it's very clean cut and straightforward. It means quick, decisive games and much less flicking through books and rulebashing your opponent.
Anyone else played WOTR? I know a few of us are looking forward to Intro games - so what do you think of it?