This may come as no surprise to some of you but it did to me so I figured I’d share it. Playing in a recent KS game when I managed to both locate and then obtain the One Ring. I was very excited… full of all sorts of plans. Maybe I can’t dunk it to win… but what about giving it to Sauron after I’d recruited him… Something exciting was definitely going to happen!
One research artifact later… turns out it’s a +250 combat artifact with NO extra powers. Lame is an understatement. I mean this thing turned its wearer invisible… don’t know about you but that sounds like a useful agent power to me. It gave its wearer a ‘commanding presence’ to evil beings. Sounds like a command boost right there. But no, it’s not to be
Very disappointed - so if you ever come across this in KS, don’t get your hopes up.
And yes, I did get confirmation from Clint that this was working as intended. " One Ring is not part of the KS game." Part of it or not it’s an integral part of the lore and it deserves better treatment than being the single worst artifact ever.
There are theories that it has hidden secondary powers.
Even in 1650 the One Ring was a big disappointment.
Our FP had gutted Mordor and were easily on the road to Victory. Our Noldo player (my Dad) picked up the One Ring with Elrond. Elrond also had two Elf Rings, Tinculin, and a +2250 !!
On the last few turns, we decided to try every artifact order to see what the One Ring did. It had no discernable powers.
When Elrond did the UseCbArt order he got:
“…the spirit in the Ring comes out and slays Elrond…”, and that was it!! Most of his stuff was picked up by company members but the One Ring was lost again.
We ended up re-picking up the One Ring just as the game ended. I had a big discussion with the old GSI about it. I could see if Elrond put on the One Ring, along with his two other Elf Rings, and then became a new Dark Lord. I could see if Elrond put on the One Ring, along with his two other Elf Rings, and then left for the Havens. I could see if Elrond put on the One Ring, along with his two other Elf Rings, and then threw himself into Orodruin.
I could see many possibilities…
…but NOT “…the spirit in the Ring comes out and slays Elrond…”
I’m still disappointed 20 years later,
I think that was GSI telling you to sod off.
Unfortunately there’s a spirit in those who run the games that isn’t too interested in versimilitude or the spirit of the game. I recently pointed out to Clint that a neutral in FAS had started with a harbor in an inland town (the advantage being that he got the extra naval points without having to make a town vulnerable to naval attack) and he basically shrugged. I told him that it is this sort of thing (and many others like it) which has caused Ernest Hakey to drop the game and also takes away the fun for me as well, but he just wasn’t into the discussion. I suspect that there are others who would still be playing if the game were kept more consistent with the spirit of Middle Earth and gave more of a sense of its atmosphere.
Anyone who remembers the GSI days will agree that Clint’s “customer service” is vastly superior. Unfortunately there have always been those who will violate the “spirit” (and some even the actual rules) of the game in order to get an advantage but all of us who have moved 3000 heavy cav as fed with only one “sandwich” in the baggage could be accused as guilty of that. Our game isn’t perfect but then who would decide where “perfect” is?
It does sadden me that E3 (and many others) no longer are playing with us. But I think that we have lost far more players to hurt feelings than to the fact that not every detail in the game is as Tolkein would have intended it.
Ok, I’ll play the suck up here. I remember when GSI first rolled out this game - I saw it demonstrated very early at a Historicon convention in PA. I was in the original GSI Game 9. What they created was amazing and has stood the test of time for several decades. Yes, of course there are occasional glitches which one can pick apart, (why can’t you transfer ships when you split a navy, why can only the navy commander anchor ships, etc), but for a game with NO published errata, updates or version 2.7B it was astonishingly bug free. No one has come up with an unintended combo that breaks the game and had to be corrected in all those decades, and if someone sleazing a harbor in a landlocked town is your biggest gripe I’d say they done damn well.
You just need a little imagination - and isn’t that the point?
Perhaps it’s colony sent out by a maritime nation, much as the ancient Greek cities spawned new towns when their population became too great. The ‘harbour’ is more of a musem/temple so that the knowledge of their origins stays alive.
Or the rump of a once-proud nation which is entering the war after its coastal areas were plundered and burned by pirates.
Or perhaps it’s a thriving port trading in the underdark, but the underdark is not modelled as part of the game and neutral at this point in history.
Requiring a port can be seen merely as a game mechanism that requires a sufficient commitment to naval matters.
I played in the closing days of the GSI regime. I always got the impression that they found players to be a nuisance. Clint and crew are many Mearas-strides better.
I’ve played this game for a very long time and it still holds a fascination for me, and ports in the middle of the desert don’t detract from the game for me.
Just for the record; one “bug” that did need a fix was the “one nation banker trick”.
We’re working on some Harbour/Port stuff for FAS now. Basically the code for setting up FAS never worked correctly. Shame but there you go. You used to see Stu rip his hair out every time it fell over.
So part of the reason we developed the balanced FAS set-up