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Author Topic: Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?  (Read 7025 times)

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Offline Starstrider3

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Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?
« on: January 26, 2011, 12:53:32 PM »
I was at my local GW last weekend which was meant to be LOTR begginners weekend. In the end, it turned into any LOTR or WOTR gaming due to the lack of LOTR begginners expected to turn up. (1 or 2 if lucky) Even still, I was the only person who actually turned up for it and after a game against a staff member I managed to convince someone else to have a game as well. After playing they still didn't like the game and siad they would probably never play it again!

IMHO, while it may not be quite as tactically deep as Fantasy or as exciting as 40K, the skirmish system is a great little game and really fun to play while WOTR is actually my favourite system. Sure, there are a couple of game breaking combos and a few little things that need tweaking in WOTR but is only in its first edition, give it a chance!

So, why do you think there are so few players compared to 40K and Fantasy? What do you think of the game? Do you think WOTR has boosted its popularity?

Discuss.
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Offline Sybarite24

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Re: Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?
« Reply #1 on: January 26, 2011, 01:47:12 PM »
WotR has taken off at my store.  It is by far more balanced and more tactical than Fantasy.  I think the problem with WotR is that most people think it's LotR, which isn't so great a game.  Granted, there are some abuses you can do with it, but that certainly can be said for Fantasy.
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Offline Col. Dash

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Re: Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?
« Reply #2 on: February 9, 2011, 02:20:00 PM »
Its an overpriced game and many like myself are resentful that it takes up not only shelf space but they fill up WD space instead of putting real articles about important games. I have played I dont know which version of this a few years ago. I was the bad guys versus the good guys. I surrounded a mounted hero at one point with an entire horde of orcs and a couple trolls, at least 30 models within a foot, the mounted hero still won. Elves were unstoppable, I literally did not manage to kill a single one. My named heros were useless and I think if I remember i had Sauron and even he want that effective. Meanwhile little no named named heros were wiping the floor with my troops.

I wasnt really aware people even play this game anymore, I am used to seeing it in the discount bin.

Offline Blood Hawk

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Re: Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?
« Reply #3 on: February 9, 2011, 02:27:44 PM »
LOTR and WOTR have probably fallen in popularity for the same reason the CCG did, they stopped making movies.

Offline Ork Hunter

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Re: Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?
« Reply #4 on: February 9, 2011, 02:46:07 PM »
I have never even seen a game played. I didn't even know that there was a difference between WotR and LotR. Ultimately, I just didn't want to shell out the cash on another game. 40K and fantasy take up enough.

Offline Lorizael

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Re: Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?
« Reply #5 on: February 9, 2011, 03:51:20 PM »
People are comfortable with 40K/Fantasy. They need a reason to expand into a new system. Unfortunately they rarely get the encouragement or option to see the games in action.
It's common though for the game to take off in stores when it's given a little time and effort. I've seen regulars in stores caught up in WotR campaigns for months on end.
Personally I find WotR to be my favourite of all GW game systems: it's fun and fast to play with some good tactical options.

I'm confounded by the comment that it's over priced. It's easily the cheapest game to collect once you've got your main rule book. No need for codexes/army books when you want to start a new army, a basic army only costs around 30.

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Re: Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?
« Reply #6 on: February 9, 2011, 06:29:44 PM »
WotR is a good game with a solid ruleset behind it. The main reason I don't play it is the same reason that I've not got into Warmachine, Malifaux or Infinity... Time. Being grown up mostly only allows one day of wargames a week so it ends up being a choice and I already have 40K, BFG and Epic on the go.

With LotR/WotR its pretty much up against Fantasy in terms of what if offers, elves and goblins. Plenty of warhammer players regard their game as the 'real tacticians' game of the ones that GW sells and don't want to swap, and being newer the WotR has a smaller following.. its probably more popular than WFB was at the same age though.
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Offline Starstrider3

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Re: Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2011, 01:16:37 PM »
Its an overpriced game and many like myself are resentful that it takes up not only shelf space but they fill up WD space instead of putting real articles about important games.
I'm confounded by the comment that it's over priced. It's easily the cheapest game to collect once you've got your main rule book. No need for codexes/army books when you want to start a new army, a basic army only costs around 30.

Indeed, could you please justify why you feel it's overpriced. ??? Also, there are far less articles in White Dwarf about WOTR than 40k and Fantasy while LOTR is barely ever mentioned. WOTR and LOTR players would probably feel that it's an 'important game' as much as the other systems and deserves more articles. I know I do.

Personally I find WotR to be my favourite of all GW game systems: it's fun and fast to play with some good tactical options.

I'm glad there are some other people out there who realise War Of The Ring's value and great potential.

LOTR and WOTR have probably fallen in popularity for the same reason the CCG did, they stopped making movies.

Well then, The Hobbit will hopefully raise its popularity back up a bit. In the WD seminar at the UK Games Day, Wade Pryce strongly hinted that both systems would receive a bunch of models and some overdue attention when the film is eventually released.

I've also heard rumors that a WOTR starter set will be released fairly soon. Fingers crossed. :)
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Offline Sybarite24

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Re: Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2011, 02:24:47 PM »
WotR is easily cheaper than 40k or fantasy.  You can't get 24 models for $27 in either of those systems.

Col. Dash-  You were playing LotR.   WotR is a completely different game, and shouldn't be judged as LotR.
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Offline Faeluchu

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Re: Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2011, 04:51:21 PM »
I played a bit of LoTR -have yet to try WoTR - and personally I have to admit i quite liked it; it wasn't as, well, strict as FB (hated having to move all these models so that they form rank-and-file) while it still had reasonable rules (I haven't ever seen the "Elves OP" matter- missing 4 times in a row with your Legolas makes you look on such matters in a different angle) and allowed for more tactical placement of units along with more often "moments of glory" - I remember a bunch of Minas Tirith Warriors alongside a Banner heroically surviving through about 2 waves of invading Orcs ('though they were run down in the end :( ).
I think (or maybe rather 'I fear') that in the nearest future there won't be any serious change in GW's 'attitude' towards LoTR, not with having to balance out some things in 40k (Eldars are still waiting for a 5th Ed Codes) and constantly coming up with new models (Blood Angels recently, Skaven earlier, Empire a while ago, a bit of Eldar...).
And what was that about taking up space in WD? Latest White Dwarf - one article6 pages long aaand... that's it. Earlier - 1 article 6 pages long. Each Wd is about 120 pages, so that's not really "filling up" precious space. Last long and really valuable LoTR (actually WoTR) article was a battle report concluding the "Blood and Sand" (or something like that) campaign and personally I found it pretty interesting.
It seems to me that while LoTR wasn't, well, properly distributed - even at the 'peak' of it's 'glory' it really hadn't had this many players/articles/releases - and it may have some issues with balancing armies and so on, WoTR has a greater potential (I remember some guys trying to recreate the battle at Helm's Deep using LoTr rules...), but just hadn't had the time as yet to become more widely known; using prophetic powers granted unto me by the Iluvatar I'll say that WoTR will become quite popular in the (not too far) future ;) .
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Offline laucian_meliamne

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Re: Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?
« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2011, 02:48:04 PM »
Never tried WotR, but I've heard it's a nice mix of LotR, Warmaster, and WHFB.  No one who's played it has ever told me anything bad about it, so that probably says something about the quality of the game.  I admit I'm intrigued, but like many others I just don't have time.  Between 40k, specialist games, 2 RPG groups, and being a graduate student... yeah.

As for LotR, that's actually how I got into the world of miniature gaming.  I used to play it A LOT.  It's a solid, well-written set of rules.  And unlike 40k and WHFB, LotR is pretty internally-consistent in terms of rules.  There aren't new editions of X, and revisions of Y constantly being published, so there are a lot fewer holes in the rules.  And fewer units that are either unreasonably powerful or horribly under-powered for their points cost.

Yes, there are some uber-heroes in LotR.  A mounted, kitted-out Aragorn comes to mind as the most-often complained about character.  But honestly, he's not that bad.  No, you're not going to kill him, but he's easy to tie up, letting you swarm everything else the player has on the table and wipe them out.  Often that's enough to win the game.  It requires a different way of thinking, but you can win against those super-expensive, super-powerful characters.

I stopped playing LotR regularly a few years back because of -- you guessed it! -- time.  My friends were all into 40k, so I joined that crowd.  And there's only enough gaming time in a week.  And I'd rather play games with my friends than with whatever random people show up at GW on a Wednesday evening for LotR.


As an aside, there are actually two other games that use LotR's rules: Warhammer Historical: Legends of the High Seas and Warhammer Historical: Legends of the Wild West.  Obviously they've removed the magic, and Might/Fate have been renamed Fame/Fortune, but the basic mechanics are the same as LotR.  GW doesn't make models for these games, but Black Scorpion Miniatures has some very nice cowboy and pirate models that are the right scale.

Offline Brutoni

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Re: Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?
« Reply #11 on: August 8, 2011, 11:21:03 AM »
Its an overpriced game and many like myself are resentful that it takes up not only shelf space but they fill up WD space instead of putting real articles about important games. I have played I dont know which version of this a few years ago. I was the bad guys versus the good guys. I surrounded a mounted hero at one point with an entire horde of orcs and a couple trolls, at least 30 models within a foot, the mounted hero still won. Elves were unstoppable, I literally did not manage to kill a single one. My named heros were useless and I think if I remember i had Sauron and even he want that effective. Meanwhile little no named named heros were wiping the floor with my troops.

I wasnt really aware people even play this game anymore, I am used to seeing it in the discount bin.

This is really a load of tosh...

First of all the game is by far cheaper to get into than 40K... The main rule book has a far greater proportion of rules that you will ever need. This is the case for either LotR or WotR.
Then there is the issue of the models being soooo much cheaper. You can easily get a full set of 20-24 men for 25-27. That is rarely matched in 40K or Warhammer.

Finally due to the nature of LotR components easily building up to WotR you can rapidly play with what you have as LotR works really well with small games that will go fast but be great fun.


As for Balance, I can assue you that you were not playing your game very well at all. As someone who is possibly experienced in one of the other systems you should be familiar with the concept of avoiding, evasion and misdirection. Furthermore even the super killy heroes like Boromir and Aragon can be matched by the lowest version of a ringwraith and a humble troll... Tansfix will eventually break through and the troll will smash the said hero to pieces. Or you can feed them 3-4 orcs/ goblins a turn. Slightly more than they can possibly kill and thus restrict their movement. While the rest of your forces kills them off. Not saying they can't be a huge thorn in an evil players side but LotR is far more balanced than 40K or Warhammer ever will be.

WotR is slightly less balanced and has some really abusable combinations in it to be entirely fair. However it could be worse and as the 1st edition of the game things will get better I am sure.

Then there is certain other things that make the games shine... Not least the move/move, shoot/shoot, ONE COMBAT per game turn. It is a MUCH more sensible way to do things and allows a player with good movement, skirmishing and shooting abilities to punnish players who just pick the biggest assault options they can and run forwards. (Happens a lot in 40K and Warhammer).

Then there is priority, it really adds strategic and tactical depth to the game in a way that is so pleasant.


Finally there is the fact that the equivalent of WS is not so messed up beyond belief. Unlike warhammer a high fight is well worth it's points value in LotR or WotR. Elves don't need special rules to be made to represent their speed and grace. Instead of ASF you get a high Fight skill that if you use your forces correctly will really allow you to overcome the outnumber factor you face.

Unlike 40K and Warhammer with the worlds most retarded WS table... So I have a weapon skill of 8 and an Initiative of 8.... Yet mr space marine still hits me on a 4+ and I him on a 3+ despite paying a premium for this.

Meanwhile your Strength and toughness creatures seem to pay no more for their respect increases to those characteristics but a S8 T8 creature has much more going for it than a WS8 I8 creature.

Finally  I want to point out that the LotR/WotR articles in white dwarf are fantastic. You still get good painting articles, tactics articles. You get new rules for different models that are relatively balanced and often come to the front with the next major release. You get to see modeling projects.

As oppossed to Warhammer or 40K which has devolved into predictable layout in the magazine of "YOU MUST BUY THE NEW MODELS/ARMY THIS MONTH... ALL ELSE SHALL BE IGNORED."

So yes, I just posted in a thread 30 days old. I will possibly get a warning but I really needed to have a rant there.

Offline spotaflint33

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Re: Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?
« Reply #12 on: August 8, 2011, 09:23:35 PM »
I've never really understood the dislike for the LotR games.  I haven't played WotR, but I used to love playing LoTR.  Sadly being married with a three year old step daughter kills a ton of hobby time.  I love my family and wouldn't give it up for anything though.  I love the fact that I can get a reasonably sized army for about 30-40 if that.  Even the big sets include everything you need if not more.  I almost bought the Easterling Set way back in the day and that came with a ton of stuff and could have built an army around four times the norm with that box as well as so much other stuff.  They made it a well ruled game and also put it that you can make an army really quickly and easily for a little cheaper then anything else other then possibly an all plastic BFG fleet.  Plus the models were quicker to put together and clean so you could get to playing a lot easier.  All in all I always thought it got a bit of a bum rap.  I also haven't read White Dwarf since about 2008 or so and didn't renew my subscription for some unknown reason. 

Offline Brutoni

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Re: Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?
« Reply #13 on: August 9, 2011, 03:06:57 AM »
Spotaflint, what you say is very true...

Though perhaps the smaller scale of the models make them slightly more unpopular? Although quicker to prepare the smaller scale could make it difficult for some people to paint them with great detail perhaps? Personally I don't find this a problem but I have a 3rd floor sun facing old victorian type bay window in my living room that gives me reasonable light evening during winter and a silly amount of natural light during the summer!!!

Also, I understand what you mean about time being precious the more you settle down. Just remember that if you enjoy the hobby you should always make at least some time for it... If not this then something else instead. One must always have time in the day to themselves.

Offline Athaga Mor

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Re: Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?
« Reply #14 on: August 9, 2011, 03:54:45 AM »
WotR is a good game with a solid ruleset behind it. The main reason I don't play it is the same reason that I've not got into Warmachine, Malifaux or Infinity... Time. Being grown up mostly only allows one day of wargames a week so it ends up being a choice and I already have 40K, BFG and Epic on the go.

I'm going to opt out with this excuse as well. 40k, BFG, etc is enough... I did the pile of plastic/pewter thing when I worked in game distribution.  I move around too much for that and more responsibilities means less game time. I'd rather scratch-build ork vehicles.

I have heard LotR/WotR is solid, but the community here is not. I also loath my GW store's language/innuendos/attitude, which is the only location nearby that has anyone playing. There are some fun people but I can't tolerate the majority.

@Brutoni -- fantastic rant! I don't agree on every point, but your argument stands.
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Offline Shas'La robo

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Re: Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?
« Reply #15 on: August 9, 2011, 04:04:51 AM »
Quote
So yes, I just posted in a thread 30 days old. I will possibly get a warning but I really needed to have a rant there.

Just wondering where did the 30 days come from?? It's closer to 5.5 months!
Unless you meant more than 30 days, then sorry.

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Offline Darsenko

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Re: Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?
« Reply #16 on: August 9, 2011, 04:14:11 AM »
@Brutoni - I agree with Athaga Mor, nice rant.

Now, on to the topic. I can't speak for everyone who doesn't like LotR/WotR (sorry, I don't know the difference between the two), but I can say why I don't like them. Although the models look really cool, I'd never play this. Mostly because I don't like the size of the minis, because I'm not into fantasy games and because, as the OP says, it is a skirmish game. Having never read the rules, I can't comment on whether or not they are solid like a lot of the people in this thread have been stating.

Firstly, the size of the minis. I think that they look cool, but are just too small for my tastes. I prefer the bigger ones used in 40k. Secondly, fantasy games are just not me. I like tanks to blow stuff up with to guys with bows and swords. That's why I like 40k. Guns and tanks. And finally, the fact that it is a skirmish game. To me that says that it's a few guys on either side fighting each other, and is very small scale. Again, I prefer to have a tank or two moving around blowing things up and slaughtering enemy soldiers and infantry mowing down their enemies.

Also that and 1) I have no money 2) GW price gouging in NZ (not the place to discuss this) if I want to buy the models new and 3) I never have anyone to play against.

Offline Brutoni

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Re: Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?
« Reply #17 on: August 9, 2011, 05:42:27 AM »
Commissar Robo... Yes I have re-read my post. There are multiple mistakes in it. I didn't take the care one should with a post. Needless to say the person's post I replied to really frustrated me ;).

Darsenko;

If you don't like skirmish games then LotR isn't a Brilliant system to get into. Especially if you also prefer sci-fi to fantasy.

That said WotR isn't a skirmish game at all, featuring larger armies. Battalions as opposed to singular units it is more along the lines of warhammer in direction. LotR is probably more along the lines of 40K in that it doesn't use movement trays etc.

The size of the minis is a valid argument. Although they are less complicated to assemble than 40K or Warhammer they can end up taking more time due to the size of the models making the detail harder to paint at times.

In the end I wasn't saying everyone should play LotR, just that comments like "They suck... they should be removed and white dwarf should remove rubbish LotR articles" are counter productive.

They are well balanced games and I would heartily recomend that if you ever find a civil person to play a small game with then you give it a try just for the experience!!

Offline TorchLighter

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Re: Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?
« Reply #18 on: August 9, 2011, 11:35:44 AM »
I think part of the problem is also in the background... or more importantly, in the reason for the game: cashing in.

LOTR came out several years ago, and as much as we all love the story, it is now nothing more than a part of our history. the movies have stopped premiering, the books, well, they go on as ever, a tome that many shall hear and read about through others or perhaps get the movies from a friend. Or...

The movies are over. The hoard of impressionable tweens with disposable income have moved to something else. In the end, the game began as a simple way of cashing in on the LOTR craze, and that time has now passed. Is it a good game? Definitely! If I was to try and get someone into the culture of tabletop gaming, this is probably one of the simplest and solidest systems you could find. But from a perspective of someone who plays GW's other products, there's a couple of problems. One of them is simplicity. It's too simple, and I say that as a person who didn't play 2nd ed 40K. Not in terms of combat; that is a great and refreshing change of pace (so easy! Dice off and someone wins ties!). But the greatest strengths of 40K and FB occur before the table, in army building and background. Granted it doesn't have 27+ years and 8 editions, but every army inside a race inside LOTR is relatively similar. LOTR doesn't have a great deal of scope. This leads into the other point: open-endedness.

The people who frequent 40K and FB are not, to put words into the mouths of crazed haters everywhere, normal. We're used to ambiguity in our battles. As great as the Imperium is, as hard as the Alliance of Elves, Dwarves and man fight against the Northern Hordes of Chaos, they aren't by any normal definition good. They do very evil things in a bid to keep worse things from happening, and as players we love that. I affectionately refer to my Eldar as 'the Doomed' (though this has more to do with their W/D/L ratio than anything else...) and that's how most players like it, as this generally crushing universe where every victory is fleeting.

The last point is also very subtle: It's over. The story, of a brave group who fought a great evil and triumphed against all odds is finished. No matter where you go in 40K or FB, someone somewhere is fighting for something against someone; the narrative is ongoing. In LOTR, once the ring was unmade, that was it. Every battle you ever fight is, in the grand scheme of things, a Foregone Conclusion.  Frodo will unmake the ring and save the world. Aragorn will be king, and everything after the giant 'end of the world' is just pocket change...

So to conclude my points:
1) The movies have fallen out of recent history (Remember the first Spider- Man recently?)
2) the people that are left enjoy more ambiguous stories.
3) there is a real sense of finality to the movies.
and
4) the hilarious downward spiral of having no support, which loses players, so less people join because of lack of players, leading to less support etc.
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Offline Brutoni

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Re: Why is LOTR/WOTR so unpopular?
« Reply #19 on: August 9, 2011, 01:50:47 PM »
Torchlighter,

Got to say I can see your argument but I disagree heartily.

LotR/WotR isn't getting less and less support, models for the game are still being released. Furthermore with the release of the 2 hobbit films GW has at least antoher 6 year extension to their license. The films will no doubt allow a release of more models.

You'll see a very nice dragon model no doubt, goblins will get some impressive releases and no doubt elves and dwarfs will see a big increase in models.

As for the whole story thing... I have to disagree. You see LotR is based off a fantastic novel, they can create new bits and bobs BUT there is only so much they can do. Which means GW can't have designers (like ward) completely ruin the fluff with sensationalist garbage.

You see every victory in 40K or Warhammer isn't fleeting, when you read the fluff basically the bad guys are the ones to be. It's a future not of constant war between equal parties but of constant war against the ever growing momentum of the bad guy winning.

While that can be fun the modern media has taken this too far, James bond has to be more gritty, so did Batman, so did all your other films. The bad guy always has to be more scary than the best the good guy has to offer. Being good is "uncool". It's just gotten pathetic and as a result I find my tolerance for GW's "the forces of the night and CHAOS will overwhelm everything" to be at an all time low.

Some parts of the fluff are fantastic to be fair.


Besides, how often to people who read a book wish they can play in that setting? LotR/WotR allows this. Despite the films having finished it allows you to play a game with lovely models and continue to lose yourself in the setting.

Furthermore you can imagine your own world, what if the fellowship was different (that was featured in a White Dwarf I believe). What if Sauruman was never cast down by Gandalf? And although a big evil was defeated if you read the appendices in LotR you see that in plenty of places "evil" still existed... It wouldn't take much to expand that into a bigger campaign of your own.

Or you can just play scenarios based around the time of the War of the Ring.

 


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