LOTR: Confrontation is a Euro game? Huh, I would've thought with its head-to-head player interaction, integration of theme, variable-player powers and piece elimination it would be considered Ameritrash all the way despite its Knizia pedigree.
Both are pretty good games, Lord of the Rings does nail down the "live or die together" aspect that Ken B. points out, but the rest is terribly abstract. And the game is really, really hard. We still haven't beaten it. I still have Friends and Foes and Sauron expansions in shrink because the thought of making the game harder boggles my mind.
My favorite part of the game though is the artwork for the friendship cards: The hobbits gathered together making stew. The idea of the hobbits offering the Army of the Dead a bowl of stew to become friends cracks me up.
Lord of the Rings: Confrontation is glorified Stratego and there's a problem with that? Stratego was one of my favorite games as a kid and combine that with my favorite fantasy series and we've got a winner.
The Confrontation is a very good strategy game in its own right, even without the LotR theme. Even so, it still feels very much like playing the CliffsNotes version of the Middle Earth saga, which isn't too shabby either.
I always enjoyed the Lord of the Rings when I played it - maybe the people I played it with didn't spoil the co-op part of it. A bit abstract but still fun. And then when you add in the Sauron expansion it is a great game.
I owned The Confrontation - took it out and read the rules and cards and everything but never really got excited enough to pull it out to play and eventually sold it.
Confrontation is a hell of a game. It captures part of the story perfectly, it's extremely tense and there's lots of tactical (and some strategic) options while playing. I haven't even tried the expansion characters, but it's easily one of the best games in my collection.
Lord of the Rings on the other hand captures the narrative and mood of Tolkien's books. It can be a nail-biting and downright unpleasant experience, and I love how things can seem to be going well and then suddenly everything crumbles. It also saved the first vacation I spent with my wife (then GF). We were in a Norwegian cabin near Lillehammer and played a lot of Mag-Blast. But the chaos of that game combined with loosing taking a long time and having to say stupid noises really strained our relationship. But after finding LotR in a small bookstore we played that maybe 15 times before finally beating it. And then (cue: violins) we lived happily ever after.
These days I don't really play LotR that much. Arkham is the designated game for us now, but this thread makes me wanna give it a go sometime soon. So even though it's extremely close I'm picking the "voter" role and placing my vote on the coop LotR
Great game with bluffing, risk taking and totally asymmetric sides.
The other game is also quite good, but to beat it you need to know what is coming up on the next game board so you save the correct cards. That takes some enjoyment from the game. Especially if you don't play it often enough so you have the really bad spots memorized. We also once managed to loose the game right from the start on the first board. If you are unlucky with the tile draw you can loose the game while still in Bree. That was pretty fun :) Imagine that as an epic 3 part movie.
It sounds like a lot of you need to get hold of the Sauron expansion and see what a different game it becomes. Apart from not being as scripted now (knowing what boards/events are coming) because the Sauron player screws around with you, it is an absolute blast playing Sauron and seeing how many Hobbits you can burn - there's not much the Hobbits can do defensively in this game so it's great watching them begrudgingly (not that much love in the fellowship) having to sacrifice themselves.