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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Cold Brew Confrontation

Today we visited a new location in Indy called Porter Books & Bread to play Lord Of The Rings, The Confrontation.  The location offered up an early 20th century decor with a delightful modern touch of lighting and art.  The building was actually an army barracks from the early 1900’s.  The military base that it sat on was decommissioned in 1991, and in 1995 the US department of the interior gave it to the Indiana DNR (Department of Natural Resources) to use as a state park.  Now, we get to enjoy it’s rugged history with coffee, books and board games.  The employees of the facility were kind, very attentive, and the food and drinks were wonderful!  Claire had the Crossroads Cold Brew, and I had the Sure Shot Nitro Cold Brew, both of which we highly recommend!  We absolutely loved our experience and will be returning again!
In this two player strategy game, players will use deductive reasoning to move their players, attack and capture their enemies to gain control of their opponents area on the board.  Both players begin on their own sides of the board.  One side plays as the good player (9 Fellowship Members) and the other side plays as the dark player (9 Evil Members).  Both players, regardless if you are playing as good or evil, seek the one ring.  You will use various bluffing tactics and strategic maneuvers to get from one side to the other.  Each player marker has a different ability that allows for various movements and or actions.  When you face off against your opponent for battle, if the player marker does not specify an immediate victory or action-point-allowance, you draw from your strength cards and combine the number on your card with your player marker to determine which opponent has the more superior hit.  The player with the weaker hit points totaled up, loses the battle and must discard that player marker to the side.  One or more player markers from each side either must still be standing by the end of the game, or make it to the other side, otherwise the other opponent immediately wins.  If one player is unable to move any of their markers during their turn, they immediately lose and their opponent takes the victory.

The board displays a section of middle earth and is laid out on a tiered grid in a diamond shape.  This particular production is the original that Fantasy Flight released from 2002 before the deluxe version was released three years later.  We’ve never played the deluxe version, as we own the original, but have still found these components to be very high quality and enjoyable, especially for the nature of our gaming environments.  I like that the original is a smaller board and therefore much easier to transport and set up.  The deluxe version does have a lot more depth in the player markers, and in the cards, which I know adds to the experience.  The 2002 release is going to be a lot more rare and difficult to find, but either one would be a great addition to your Lord Of The Rings collection if you’re a Tolkien fan.  The gameplay is very straight forward, but lends itself to some good strategies, and carries some good replay-ability.  

Lord Of The Rings: The Confrontation
Overall Meeple Rating: 7/10

Game Mechanics:
1) Secret-Movement-Deployment
2) Action-Selection
3) Area-Movement
4) Deduction
5) Bluffing

Have any thoughts or questions?  Leave a comment below. 


  1. Seems pretty interesting. How is it for theme though? Could this just as easily be an theme less abstract game?

    1. It is good for theme because the characters in the game have abilities and life count that are proportional to how they would be represented in the books and films. Example, Gandalf is stronger than Saruman, and Sam is stronger when he's with Frodo. If you took the characters out, technically you would have a game that is still viable, but it wouldn't have the same appeal. You could supplement other theme with fandom and still have a very similar game, but the theme has been logically integrated.