Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Princes of Florence

Only two of the guys showed up last night. I have been too busy to read any new rulesets, so we played two old ones.

“Der Herr der Ringe: die Gefährten das Kartenspiel”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/2672
I am not sure why this typically neat Knizia card game is so underrated. Maybe it’s the German text on the cards? In any case, the Fantasy Flight version, “Kingdoms”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/4753, was not more successful.
This is one of those games I can always rely on to give a good gaming experience. It’s quick, simple, has plenty of variety and requires a fair bit of strategic thinking to win. “Bruno Faidutti”:http://faidutti.free.fr/jeux/articles/lotrcartes/lotrcartes.html hated the cards, but I disagree. As Bruno points out, you need a big table and have to remember that you can’t place a new place card if that would mean that other players have to place cards off the table to surround it. I printed paste-ups onto an A4 label, cut them out and stuck them onto the cards and rings, a good time investment.
It definitely plays better with four, as three players run out of character cards and the game ends well before all the place cards are finished. This meant that we were finished at the Gates of Mordor, which feels wrong thematically.

“Princes of Florence”:http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/555
This worked well with three players. There was not as much competition over profession cards, but at least the game was quicker. Games like PoF, that do not involve much direct aggression between players, are good with three, as they avoid the “petty diplomacy”:http://www.wunderland.com/WTS/Jake/GameDesign.html problem.

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