The If Only List: Dungeonquest vs. LOTR LCG

But first a big thank you to everyone. Unboxed has now broken the 1000 visitors per month barrier. However if you believe Bloggers own statistics that figure is closer to 3000 so a massive thanks to everyone, especially those continue to come back, follow and even contribute.

And now onto the results…

Blood Bowl: Team Manager  1 (5%)

Lord of the Rings LCG  5 (25%)

Space Hulk: Death Angel  3 (15%)

Ingenious Challenges  0 (0%)

Wings of War: Flight of the Giants  0 (0%)

Constantinopolis  0 (0%)

Cadwallon: City of Thieves  1 (5%)

Dust Tactics  0 (0%)

Dungeonquest  6 (30%)

Death Watch  0 (0%)

Isla Dorada  2 (10%)

Sid Meier's Civilisation  2 (10%)

And the winner is Dungeonquest, but not by much. I am overjoyed by the response to the poll by the way, thank you to everyone who voted.

It’s been a long time since I did an If Only List post but this time I wanted to do something new. In this post the two top games from the poll will compete for my affection, but only one will survive.

For those who don’t know the If Only list is an imaginary list of games that I want that, for one reason or another, I haven’t bought. The list attempts to summarise why I want it and why I haven’t bought it yet. In particular these two games will be fighting it out for a place in my Christmas Stocking. The reason I can only afford one? I bought Descent!

Right then, lets take a look at why I want the games, starting with Dungeonquest.

  1. It’s pretty! Although I still love my old copy, the production quality on the new edition way outstrips the old one.
  2. Nostalgia. DQ was a game I picked up in a charity shop in my late teens and played for endless hours during the summer of 2001.
  3. Fun. Ok, this is a contentious point amongst some gamers, but for me surviving this game is fun. Knowing that death lies around each and every corner is exhilarating.
  4. Bonus Characters. I have Runebound and have just bought Descent, so the idea of having extra content is great. It’s like staying in the cinema for that extra bit at the end of the credits, just a little more satisfying.

Where as, I want Lord of the Rings LCG because:

  1. It’s two player. I’ve played a lot of card games in the last four years, most of them with my best gaming buddy. We started with the Star Wars TCG, then Warhammer Invasion last year and another dedicated two player card game would be fun.
  2. It’s co-operative. Thus separating it from the other games. Sure, I’m not as big a fan of co-ops as I could be, but this one has me intrigued. The way that you play against the quest deck reminds me of a computer game, and I love co-op modes in those!
  3. It’s Expandable. Expanding the game is as simple as buying any quest pack for an entirely new game experience.
  4. It’s an FFG LCG. I had a positive experience last year when I bought Warhammer Invasion, I even crowned it my game of the year, so the game has a great heritage and a lot to live upto.
  5. It’s Lord of the Rings… ‘Nuff said.

BUT… What about the bad points, the reasons for not buying them?

  1. Size. For once, size is not an issue, both games will likely come in the FFG medium-sized square box.
  2. Price. Here LOTR wins out as the core set is likely to be around £10 cheaper than DQ. However, the expandable nature of the game and the likelihood that I’ll want to buy at least one or two deluxe expansions means in the long run it will be more expensive.
  3. Player Count. LOTR is 2-player, straight up out of the box. DQ on the other hand supports upto 4 making it a family game rather than a buddy game.
  4. Players. DQ is well known amongst my family and friends as “that game where we all die… yay” insert your own sarcasm. There are some people I know who enjoy it, but there are others that detest it, and one who will play it because it has a dragon on the box. LOTR however, would be bought with a single player in mind and would, most likely, see a lot of table time for very short but intense periods of time.
  5. Replayabilty. In this case both games seem to suffer from a lack of replayability. DQ is effectively the same game each time, your goal will never change, only the manner of your death will be in question with each new play. Which is fine, but it wont cause it to hit the table every single night of the year. LOTR however includes four preset quests, sure, each quest has a deck so it’ll be a little different each time, but I can already feel myself yearning for more and I haven’t even played the game yet.

So, what have we learned here…? That’s right, almost nothing. One thing we can safely assume though, based on the past, is that once a game hits the If Only List it wont be that long before I buy it.

If I have to make a decision (and the vs. in the title suggests that I do.) then I guess I choose LOTR. Sure, DQ will probably end up being cheaper and I could force the family into playing it. But the guaranteed plays of LOTR and the expandable nature of the game seem to be winning out for me, even if I have my doubts about the game…

Well, that’s about it. Thanks again to everyone who voted, I was surprised by the lack of love for Bloodbowl, Constantinopolis and Dust Tactics, but I always knew it would be a close run battle between these two games. There will be a new poll up by the end of the week and a new review on Wednesday, but until then…

Have fun gaming!