Tolkien Games at GAMA – A report from the GAMA Trade Show in Las Vegas

by Mar 20, 2003Games

Over the next 9 months several Tolkien related games will be released from several companies. Decipher was there with their line of role-playing materials and Collectible Card game. FFG was there with a Lord of the Rings Trivia game. Sabertooth Games had a collectible miniatures game. Eagle games was also in attendance with new board games which they are importing from Germany.

Eagle Games
Eagle games is founded and run by Glenn Drover who has previously worked at MicroProse, Maxis, and Activision. He has designed some amazing games from several famous computer games including Age of Mythology and Sid Meier’s Civilization. His games usually feature very large boards and amazingly detailed miniatures and very realistic and complex rules. I personally have played Civilization, and found it amazing. The Lord of the Rings game which Eagle Games is importing is a translation of a German board game from Reiner Knizia. This game is different than the other Lord of the Rings board game Reiner did, which Hasbro/Wizards of the Coast use to import (and now FFG imports). Details of the rules were sketchy, game itself looks beautiful, and features artwork from Ingrid and Dieter Schubert. If this game plays like any of Reiner’s games it should be a load of fun and a winner. I look forward to getting this game and playing it.

Sabertooth Games
SaberTooth's Lord of the Rings Tradable Minature GameSaberTooth’s Lord of the Rings Tradable Minature GameSabertooth Games hit it big on the gaming scene last year with their Card game based on the Warhammer 40,000 Universe. As someone who has played their 40K game I can attest to their skills as game designers. This year they are coming out with a tradable miniature game set in New Line Cinema‘s Lord of the Rings. If you are familiar with WizKid’s MageKnight or Hero Clix you can think of this as a similar product.

SaberTooth's Lord of the Rings Minature GameSaberTooth’s Lord of the Rings Minature GameThe miniatures will be 40mm miniatures which will be pre-painted. The game itself looks to be a bit less complicated than Mage Knight, and the figures look amazing. I have several pictures which I took with a crappy digital camera, and a couple scans from promotional material.

The game will be available in December with the release of The Return of the King.

Lord of the Rings Trivia Game from FFGLord of the Rings Trivia Game from FFGFFG already imports one Lord of the Rings game. The new game which they are doing is a Lord of the Rings Trivia Game. The object of this trivia game is to get from Hobbiton to Mordor. To move along the path you must face monsters which you defeat by answering Trivia questions based on the books. The questions are nasty for an experienced veteran like me. Expect to see this game in May.

Decipher was at GAMA in force this year. They ran several tournaments as well, as had Andy Serkis show up and sign autographs. The highlight of the event was a chance to look at several prototypes for their source material they are working on for Lord of the Rings. They had what looked like to be an expansion to their maps package. The maps included were maps for locations like Helm’s Deep, Orthanc, and Minis Tirith. Also available to look at was the maps for Moria. They had a printed edition of their Fellowship of the Rings source book as well. Looking through it I found they had stats from everything in the book including a write-up on Tom Bombadil. It was also neat to see stats on Glamdring and other artifacts from Fellowship of the Ring. I will end up purchasing this book just to have as good “Brain Candy”.

All in all the trip was good. I am really looking forward to FFG’s trivia game as well, as well as some of the “Brain Candy” from Decipher. I don’t know yet what to think about the SaberTooth’s game yet but it has the potential to be really cool. I mean I’d love to get a bunch of the miniatures and mock up the battle between Gandalf and the Balrog. As more information about these games and others become available, I’ll be posting it here.



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