Recently I got in a couple games of War of the Ring 1st edition by Fantasy Flight Games. I picked this up at the MayDay auction last year I think (or was it the year before?) for if I remember correctly, $12. What a great game! In this game one player plays Sauron and all the forces of the evil and the other plays the Free Peoples. The object being either to conquer Middle Earth or chuck the Ring into Mount Doom (for the Free Peoples) or completely corrupt the ring bearers (for Sauron).
Each sides actions are carried out by rolling action dice to determine which actions are available to you. Further play options are carried out by playing character or strategy cards. There's plenty to do and it's not just a matter of move army here, squash these guys and you're done. Do the Free Peoples player move the Fellowship closer to Mordor or do they try and push Rohan into declaring war on Sauron? Does Sauron mass his forces for a couple big hits on Minas Tirith or does he devote more resources to look for the Fellowship?
The board itself is really big, second only to my Napoleon's Triumph board. The figures for each side are really nice. The only complaint I had is from my opponent and he wishes each nation was a different colour so it's easier to distinguish the various nations. The rest of the components are typical FFG quality - really good. It took us about 4 hours for our first game and 2 hours for our second. The game can take 3 or 4 players, but its really a 2 player game. I think with 3 or 4 it would be rather boring and just wouldn't feel the same. Evidently FFG doesn't make it any more which is a shame as it's really a great game and I definitely recommend it.
"A monstrous tripod, higher than many houses, striding over the young pine trees, and smashing them aside in its career; a walking engine of glittering metal, striding now across the heather; articulate ropes of steel dangling from it, and the clattering tumult of its passage mingling with the riot of the thunder."
H.G. Wells, The War of the Worlds
Today I finished a group of 4 assault tripods. These are 15mm figures, although I suppose they could be used at any scale. Figures are all plastic. First is a pair of standard assault tripods.
Next is a assault tripod with black dust launcher.
Finally is an assault tripod with green gas grenades.
Next on my paint table is a scout tripod and a pair of grenadier tripods. I also have a pile of 15mm Hittites that have to get finished.
I popped down to the Sentry Box yesterday to do a little shopping and one of the things I picked up was a copy of GMT's Sekigahara: The Unification of Japan. This is a reasonably simple wargame covering the 7 week campaign between Tokugawa Ieyasu and Ishida Mitsunari that culminated in the battle of Sekigahara on October 21, 1600. I was luckily able to actually get a game in last night.
In the game you move your armies of blocks around in an effort to kill your opponents main daimyo or at the very least occupy important castles and resource points. There are no dice (yay!) so each battle is fought by playing cards to deploy your troops that you actually brought to the battle. The blocks and cards for each side are divided into the various clans that took part in the campaign. And then there's 'loyalty' cards that you can play to cause a certain number of one clan's forces to switch sides.
The game components are typical GMT high quality components. Our first game took about 3 hours to play. It's going to take a couple more plays to really get all the nuances of movement and combat down. There's not a lot of games that cover this period of Japan's history but I'd recommend this one especially if you're looking for an introductory game.