The big Tolkien/Moorcock weekender

Starting in 2019 myself and a few gaming mates have had some brilliant The One Ring Roadtrips (converting to a virtual mode during covid), and plans were made for a similar trip this year. It seems our efforts inspired another group of Grognards to plan a Moorcock weekend, and before we knew it our paths were entwined, our journeys on the same path, and so the Tolkien/Moorcock weekender was born.

The plan was simple; meet in a nice country house (the type that I’m sure the Professor would have loved) on the Friday afternoon and enjoy great games, great company and good food and drink for the rest of the weekend.


As us Tolkienites have a tradition of starting the weekend early we met up near Coventry for games, a curry and more games. @OrlanthR landed first, followed closely by myself and @TonyLayter and shortly after by @Lintillaz. I love this moment of a gaming weekend, when it all lies ahead and you know you’re going to have a great time; sure it’ll be over all too soon, but until then it’ll be ace!

We started off with a game of the now out of print Reiner Knizia’s Lord of the Rings. Covering the journeys of the four hobbits across Middle Earth to Mount Doom, it’s a clever cooperative game with some that delivers some tough blows as you go along. When we played all went well until we hit Mordor and it wasn’t too long before the Eye of Sauron was turned on us. Definitely one I’d like to play again.


As we were changing accommodation we had to clear out of the Coventry properly mid-morning, so we set off to the Coventry Music Museum. A small place hidden on an everyday high street, it was a fun and interesting way to spend an hour or two. I found it eye opening and enjoyable, particular the two tone section which was very much my era, if not my taste at the time (I know).

After a little while longer pottering around and grabbing more grub we drove the extra few miles to South Kilsworth, the location of the main meet-up. Nearly everyone arrived at the venue within a few minutes of each other, somewhat like a party of dwarves arriving at Bag End to visit an unsuspecting Mr Baggins (was it coincidence there should have been 13 in our party1, the same number of dwarves as visited Bilbo; unfortunately one dwarf Tolkienite was unwell and unable to attend)… Sitting down with a now wider circle of friends we ran through the weekend agenda and got down to some gaming.

A bit tall for dwarves, but the general shape is about right…

The Moorcock crowd played an Elric boardgame which looked really interesting and sounded like a lot of fun. It was a true old school item, a huge box full of a handful of components, cardboard pieces, a rules booklet and a paper map.

Team Chaos were confined to the kitchen while the Tolkien gang retired to the reading room to play Lord of the Rings Risk. Another out of print game, I loved all the plastic pieces and it had a great board representing Middle Earth. Set-up took about an hour as did the game play. This one was very much competitive with a thin veil of cooperation between the two forces of good and the two forces of evil, that is until the backstabbing bastard turns on you to score more points!

The Friday evening was rounded off with a trip to a local pub for fine dining and a pub quiz… Team Moorcock vs Team Tolkien. We won’t ponder on which team won as it’s all about the taking part!


The main games day. After a hearty breakfast courtesy of @mcookie123 we split into our respective Tolkien and Moorcock groups. The Tolkien group are regular The One Ring players, having previously completed Oaths of the Riddermark with @OrlanthR as GM. At the last The One Ring Roadtrip we started The Laughter of Dragons and we’ve been playing that since then; this weekend was to mark the finale of that adventure. Without giving much in the way of spoilers, it was down to us to save Dale and Erebor and concluded with an exciting battle against one of the big bads of Tolkien’s tales. It was a close run thing, a few of us were out of the fight and it came down to the last few critical rolls – talk about an exciting and tense finale! For our next adventures, @OrlanthR is switching us to Against the Darkmaster and a bit of Kinstrife, but I hope to return to The One Ring soon.

Meanwhile Team Chaos started the morning session with Moorcockian Agon ran by @theGROGNARDfile and in the afternoon played DCC GMd by @sjamb7, reported by @theGROGNARDfile on his blog here

After a top-notch curry, the GMs swapped over and @theGROGNARDfile ran his Moorcockian inspired Agon game for the Tolkien crowd. I really didn’t know what to expect; the idea of rolling the dice then narrating the result was interesting and quite challenging. Our heroes banded together to form an eclectic group of Eternal Champions and in the end we won the day. It was a lot of fun, but I did find the system hard work… I’ve developed a respect for those who run and play story games regularly.

The evening ended with a huddle in the kitchen sharing war stories over a snifter or two of whiskey.


As with all such weekends, it was all over too quickly. While we pottered and packed our bags, @theGROGNARDfile hosted a Grognard Files bookclub for Stormbringer. I’ve not read the book in recent years and ducked out, but it sounded like great fun.

We wrapped up the weekend with a visit to a local pub for Sunday dinner before saying our farewells.

Thanks to @OrlanthR for all his organisation and pulling it together and running The One Ring for a whole day, to the @theGROGNARDfile and @Lintillaz for the pub quiz and also @theGROGNARDfile for running Agon.

Will there be another Tolkien vs weekend next year? The groundwork has been laid, but I also missed the smaller, quieter on its own The One Ring Roadtrip. Whatever, it’s always great to spend time with gaming pals over these weekends.

1 OK, so there were originally 14 of us, but one dwarf went to Hollywood to win an Oscar…

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