Thur night was a night of stealth and deception. First up we played something that’s been on my shelf for a long time but never dusted off
Lord of the Rings – The Confrontation
I’ve never been a massive fan of Reiner Kniza’s LOTR games, they’re fine but the whole happy happy co-op thing just doesn’t work for me. They’re also a bit too simplistic. The Confrontation is another in the same style. Same sort of box, same type of artwork but this time it’s a two player game and it’s very much not co-op (The name does sort of give it away)
The Confrontation is like a cut down version of Stratego with only nine pieces per side and the addition of combat cards. That pretty much sums it up, so feel free to get back to your life and not read the next bit.
Ah thanks for joining me again.
The game is played out on a stylized map of middle earth with Mordor on one side and the Shire on the other and a dozen or so locations in between. Each player gets a set of nine characters and work to get either Frodo to Morodor OR the Witchking to the Shire. Now I have no idea why the Witch King wants to get to the shire, maybe he’s heard the food it good, Maybe he’s going to take the waters, maybe he wants to buy a T-shirt that says something like “I Soured the Shire and all I got was” but if he gets there or Frodo gets to Mordor it’s game over. Equally if three of Saurons forces make it to the shire together like a bunch of beered up soccer hooligans it’s a win for the forces of evil too.
Here’s where it gets a bit more interesting. Your opponent (via a nice set of plastic blocks you insert the cards into) can only see the back of your cards so they have no idea where your key players are, more importantly they have no idea where your hard hitters and wimps are in your mix.
When two opposing characters bump into each other they reveal their characters, each of which has a combat value and a special ability. The special abilities are resolved straight off (Boromir in keeping with Sean Bean dies in his first combat but takes the enemy with him, The Orcs win their first battle automatically and so on), if the two characters are still standing they secretly pick an attack card with a combat value from their limited set of cards and the highest combined combat value wins. The cards are limited btw. It’s simple, it’s neat, it’s cheap, It’s FAST, A game can easily be played in 20 minutes and it’s good fun. There’s also a number of variants to it, like alternative characters and abilities, extra magic cards and so on. As two player games go, this is a goodie and so far I’m liking it a lot. It’s also quite a simple game and plays quite well with younger players. All in all a winner I reckon
Next up was another game of Fury of Dracula. (Show him your cross!)
It’s great how with fresh players games can get a new lease of life. One of last weeks players (not me) decided to take their chances as the snappy dressing Transylvania….. and he lasted about as long as those 5 dots back there. BOOM, staked, good and proper. So after a quick bit of pointing and laughing we decided to have a second game with the same vampire and this one was way more interesting.
Dracula is a great game, I think the most fun is to be had as Dracula himself although it’s good to be a hunter too. Dracula led us a VERY merry dance and unlike most other games he was popping out lady vampires to beat the band or more accurately beat we the hunters. There are two cards in the game that are real show stoppers. Hypnosis where you can find exactly where drac is and eh… something else that effectively lets Dracula teleport to another spot on the map.
Mid game Dracula got the first and despite our best efforts (and our worst) we didn’t get so much as a sniff of colonge of our target. It was looking bad and after extensive searching we finally reckoned (a scientific measure) he was masquerading around England far from the maddening hunters. With little time to go before he completed his dastardly plan and scored his six points we finally tracked him down (via hypnosis) to London and one of our number confronted him cook report style. After a ‘robust discussion’ with Dracula he finally slipped our net and having lost more blood from his body than John Holmes he staggered off confident of a quick win. Then I arrived, grabbed him and renditioned him right off a cliff. Bye bye Vlad. You came close but no cigar.
Great game. Always fun and absolutely no shame should be be attached by us to the Dracula player for losing.
In a row.
More of this sort of things soon