Fantasy and magic isn’t something I usually get into. However, I am a huge fan of Lord of the Rings, so I dabble a bit.
At first, I’ve used the quite fun Age of Blood Viking rules for Lord of the Rings; they’re quite similar really to the GW game, with agility, fortitude and prowess ratings, and weapons that vary these stats. However, Age of Blood doesn’t deal with large fights particularly well. That said, with a managable number of figures it always provides a ripper yarn, as you can see from my very first Age of Blood LOTR AAR.
I then invested in the Games Workshop’s strangely titled Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game and also found them to be really enjoyable, at least if you don’t invest in a huge number of figures. Which is a benefit in and of itself!
A friend also introduced me to the excellent Battle For Wesnoth; a FREE turn-based fantasy strategy game for the PC, Android, Apple etc. You play as either elves, Dwarves, men, the undead, dragons or orcs, and raise an army to fight over one of many maps, attempting to kill the other player’s leader. Each faction has over half a dozen baseline units, which each have at least two upgrade trees, giving you a LOT of units to choose from. Even better, most units have more than one type of attack, and different units are vulnerable to different types of attacks and better in different types of terrain, giving you a lot of strategic choices. Yet, all this information is presented in a very readable and easy-to-follow User’s Interface, meaning you don’t suffer from data overload.
Best of all from a blogging perspective, the game has a “replay” function which allows me to rewatch my games for a better AAR.
The main downside is that as a computer game, Battle For Wesnoth is very easy to set up, pack up and then reload, which makes it an “easier” option than a tabletop game. So my tabletop gaming often suffers as I take the lazier option.
Lord of the Rings: