Sunday, December 26, 2010

2010 Hopefuls: Biggest Surprise of 2010 - The Return of the Lord of the Rings to Gaming

Today marks the first honorific we'll be bestowing on a gaming product, line, company, or even concept as we go through the first iteration of the Hopefuls - our little award ceremony. Video game websites have these things all over the place, so why not tabletop gaming?

Anyway, I found the Biggest Surprise of 2010 to be the Lord of the Rings (LotR) making it back time on the gaming scene. Of course the LotR has been a constant amongst tabletop gaming over the years. From board games to RPG's to card games, there have been many different games to choose from. We've played a lot of them and usually they scratch the itch. These last couple of years since Peter Jackson's Return of the King has come and gone from the movie theater we've seen a bit of a drought in LotR gaming. The best two games in the line for the last couple of years have both been named War of the Ring - both FFG's board game and Games Workshop's mass combat miniatures wargame. These are great ways to explore the real big battles in Tolkien's Middle Earth, but we've missed out on the other side of the coin - the personal stories.

Then out of the blue Cubicle 7 announces that they have won the license for Lord of the Rings in their new RPG, The One Ring (designed by the same creator of the aforementioned War of the Ring board game). Next FFG dropped the bombshell earlier this year the day before Gencon (which is when we snagged our interview with game producer Jason Walden). Their next Living Card Game - a model already proven with Warhammer: Invasion, Call of Cthulhu, and Game of Thrones - was going to be based on the LotR. As a huge Tolkien nerd, I would have been happy enough with just one of these games, but now we're getting both. 2011 is going to be a very expensive year for Middle Earth enthusiasts, yours truly included.

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