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WANNA PLAY: Onward to Middle Earth (NST060412)

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WANNA PLAY: Onward to Middle Earth (NST060412)
« on: April 13, 2006, 11:02:51 am »

WANNA PLAY?: Onward to Middle Earth
12 Apr 2006

Teamwork and co-operation are vital for players of Lord of the Rings as they battle evil in their quest to bring the One Ring to Middle Earth. EDWIN WONG writes.

Lord of the Rings (Fantasy Flight)
A tense game that tests the extent players are willing to sacrifice for the survival of the fellowship!

Game Overview: Players take on the roles of the five Hobbits in their quest to destroy the One Ring. They must journey across Middle Earth, co-operating to overcome challenges and to prevent the ringbearer from being corrupted. As the game progresses, Sauron moves closer to the fellowship, pressuring them to call upon Gandalf for help or to use the Ring and risk further corruption.

Key Lessons: LOTR is a unique game as it requires players, who often play competitively, to learn how to sacrifice individual gain for the larger gain of the group.

Throughout the game the journey of the Hobbits is filled with peril. Players are constantly forced to choose between their own advancement and survival of the quest.

In today’s highly competitive world, LOTR is a rare opportunity to get children and adults working to achieve something together, but in a fun and immersive way.

If you are a fan of LOTR, then it’s even a greater experience, as players really find themselves in the movie, trying to stop Sauron from winning back the One Ring!

Fun Factor: Beyond teamwork and co-operation, LOTR will have players cheering each other on, and cursing the evils that cross their paths as they make their way across the hazardous regions of Middle Earth.

New arrivals
Here are some games which are pretty strong contenders for 2006 Game of the Year. Well, check them out and judge for yourself.

Elasund: First City of Catan (Kosmos)
Following in the footsteps of Settlers of Catan, the most successful designer game of all time, comes Klaus Teuber’s latest game, Elasund: First City of Catan, released at Spiel’05 in Essen last October.

Gamers overwhelmed by the many variations and expansions of the base game can rest assured that Elasund is really a stand-alone game. If at all, it is a more aggressive version of the original.

In Elasund, players race to earn victory points by building cities of various sizes and on certain locations, fortification walls and churches.

Players need the appropriate number of building permits before they can build, and the total amount of land available is limited.

This leads to a streak of viciousness which was never present in Settlers of Catan, as players can outmuscle opponents to use their permits, and even worse, build larger buildings over (and thereby destroying) opponents’ smaller buildings!

If you like Catan (and who doesn’t?), you will love Elasund! Definitely the front-runner for 2006 Game of the Year.

Antike (Eggertspiele)
At last, a civilisation building game that doesn’t come with a rule book the size of a novel and won’t take the whole weekend to play. Welcome to civilisation light!

As Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Persians, Arabs, Egyptians and Babylonians build cities, construct temples and sail the seas, you have the opportunity to lead one of them to victory. But beware your enemies who will want to conquer your cities and destroy your temples.

No dice or luck is involved as winning depends entirely on strategy and and persuasive diplomacy.

An early favourite, players are project superintendents with a mission to build a new castle for King Philip the Fair.

For that, they will have to manage their money and available resources and develop the economy of the small village at the foot of the building site. Of course, the royal agents — the bailiff and the provost — keep a close eye on the progress of the work!


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