Well yesterday I played my first game of LoTR : The Confrontation with my son. We actually played two games, once from each side.
The sides are very differn't. Saurons forces are physically stronger but the Fellowship characters have a number special abilities that outway the abilities of the opposition.
this gives the fellowship player a genuine challenge. How to win. If you play the fellowship by trying to match strength against strength you will lose, and lose quickly.
After two games I saw a number of stratergies that you have to apply. A primary tactic for the fellowship player is to make the most of retreats. If you play the hobbit charactes up front , they are basically too weak to win any fights, they do however reveal what enemies are up front.
So if the hobbits reveal the enemy and retreat you can then advance the characters from the second row to deal with the enemies. Many of the followship characters can immediately defeat a particular enemy, so with any luck you can advance these to the revealed enemies and take them out.
Another obvious character combo is that of Frodo and Sam. When together Sam's strength increases from 2 to 5. However I suspect this is not worth using. As only one character can occupy the mountain spces it's very difficult to get them as a pair across the mountains. Also its too risky to advance Frodo first, so Sam has to go first. If he gets revealed, then it's 10-1 that character behind him is Frodo, which gives the game away.
The Boromir character is very strong, as he immediately removes hmself and the enemy from the board. Yet that also leaves a big gap in your line. You really need to keep in your second row so that you can use him to take out a big baddie. I'm not really sure yet of the best way to use him.
This game felt poor after the first game, but having played two games I can see some depth and cleverness in its design. I'll certainly be playing many more games, and I suspect that like Chess each play will teach me something new.
On another note I printed out the pages of the free Print And Play game "Sword and Sail". I will probably have this made up tomorrow so will be able to give it a few games this week. I currently plan to review this on the Print And Play Podcast at the weekend.