I met Ilari yesterday for some games. The main attraction was the brand new Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation Deluxe. Ilari, a big fan of the original game, was eager to try the new characters.
We played two double matches. In first we used variant characters but no special cards, in second we took a random set of characters and all the special cards. Both were great fun! Good guys won every match, but it was pretty close nonetheless. I lost both my games with Sauron’s forces simply because I couldn’t get it that keeping people in Mordor is not a defense! Frodo that steps in wins the game and that’s it.
The first game was particularly exciting. In the end Ilari marched his Uruk-hais from somewhere like Dagorlad to The Shire for a three-guys-in-Shire victory, when I remarked that Uruk-hais can only move to an empty region — giving me the one turn I needed to Sam the Ringbearer to Mordor. That’s close!
Randomizing the characters worked well. It’s basically like drafting, except it takes less time… We didn’t reveal our characters to each other, I’d say that ruins the suspense of having a mixed set. It worked really well, trying to develop something clever from the people you got was interesting.
So, my verdict is: the new stuff really improves the game. The new characters are great, and the new cards are interesting, too. However, I wish someone would create nice smaller versions of the new characters I could paste on the back side of the old, small Confrontation pieces. The new stands aren’t as good: they tip over easily and the top of the stand kind of covers the strength of each character.
Ilari had brought Fjorde. After the game in board game club I was interested to play again. Playing more definitely opened up some tactical depth of the game; I think I used more thought on the hut placement than before. The games were good, one in particular, where the right to start the land claim became critical — first player to claim land would win.
So, my opinion of Fjorde clearly improved. It’s a small, harmless kind of game, but quite good one for something like that. I think it might be worth getting, actually. Maybe. Having it on BSW would be the best, especially since a lot of the time is spent checking where a tile will fit. Having a slick interface that would highlight the possible spots for tiles would be great.
We also played few games of Blue Moon. The best match was Vulca vs Pillar, where we had this amazing bloodbath. After the battle, I counted that I had used 11 cards! Too bad Ilari won, especially as he got three dragons thanks to his support card. I lost, because he had a support that prevented me from drawing cards. Otherwise I might have lasted for few more rounds… It was a huge megabattle and while it probably wasn’t the best play possible, it was great fun — and that’s what counts, right?