Date: 25th July 2003
Game played: Herr der Ringe, Der: Die Zwei Turme das Kartenspiel ( Ravensburger ) BGG Id: 4780

We then tried Reiner Knizia's latest Lord of the Rings card game. Although it uses pictures from the film on the cards, the game is pretty abstract. The games is played over six rounds, represented by different locations on the journey from Amon Hen to Minas Tirith. Inbetween each location there is a series of card-drawing actions (between one and four), the idea being to collect cards that will be useful at future locations. The cards come in four different colours and display one of four different characteristics: strength, wisdom, endurance and determination. Each location shows the characteristics (usually one or two, except Minas Tirith which shows three) and VP markers to be won at that location (one fewer than the number of players). Players in turn lay down however many cards they wish, trying to have the most cards with characteristics matching those marked on the location card. The player with the most matching cards takes the highest VP marker, second most matching cards takes the second highest marker and so on. However, anyone who scores VPs at a location loses a number of cards, with what is remaining being carried over to potentially be scored at following locations. Whoever has accumulated the most VPs after the sixth round is obviously the winner.

There were one or two nice ideas in the game, the way the card drawing phase works was neat and recycling cards was very necessary to doing well. Due to the way you lost cards after scoring locations, you also needed to decide whether to play cards for the short term (just the current location) or for longer term (future locations as well). Nige and I got off to quick starts, while Mark K kept accumulating more and more cards in his hand. Unfortunately, although the high-scoring VP markers were at the later locations, he missed out too much at the early ones. I sacrificed the chance of scoring at Minas Tirith, concentrating instead on the preceding location, Helm's Deep. I managed to grab a 5VP marker there and that was enough for me to edge out Nige for the win. Another nice quick game which played well with three players. I'll be interested to see how it differs with four or five.

Mark K

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