One Ring to Rule Them All

I’ve had a chance to play a couple of games of the War of the Ring miniatures game by GW and I have to say I’m really enjoying it. It’s late so just a few points:

* The game plays quickly, in big part because you can you resolve an attack with one roll. While in Warhammer, you have to roll to hit, roll to wound, and then the enemy gets an armor save, here you roll to hit vs. the enemy’s Defense and that’s it. Skill gives can you more dice to throw but one roll resolves it.

* I like the hierarchy of melee attacks; monsters go first, then cavalry, then infantry. This really makes cavalry feel right, with crashing charges and sweeping advances. It also makes monsters fearsome despite them generally having fewer attacks.

* Movement by company makes it much easier to get your troops where you want them without a lot of mucking about with ranks, files, turning, and wheeling.

* I like that the rules for having allies in your army are generous. That fits the spirit of Middle Earth (Battle of Five Armies, Last Alliance of Men and Elves, etc.).

* You really have to be on the ball when using your heroes and their Might Points. Picking the right time for heroic actions is key and the game rewards good tactics in this regard.* I find it strange that longbows have the same Strength 2 as normal bows. Crossbows have a Strength of 4, so it seems like it’d make sense to give longbows a 3.

* It is also a little strange that the game has a “decree of rarity” to balance common and rare units, but allows you take as many legendary units as you want. Perhaps this is meant to encourage use of characters from the books.

I’ve dusted off old elf figures for the past couple of games but once I like a game it’s almost inevitable that I get more minis for it. I am beefing up the Easterlings and the Riders of Rohan I had collected for the skirmish game, taking advantage of nice sets of plastic minis. I would love to do a Dol Amroth army but those figs are only available in pewter and thus too pricey for the numbers I’d need.

You may be wondering, why Dol Amroth? It’s a good question and one I’ve been thinking about as I read through the army lists of War of the Ring. There are several secondary characters in Lord of the Rings that I thought were cool when I was a teenager. They don’t have many lines and they don’t do nearly as much as other characters, but for some reason I developed a fondness for guys like Elfhelm, Erkenbrand, and Prince Imrahil. The fact that I can field all those guys in War of the Ring is a nice touch and I find the idea of a huge wedge of Swan Knights of Dol Amroth quite appealing.

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