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Accessory Review: Azogames Trackers

by on June 20, 2014

tracker1

Most LOTR LCG players, myself included, become quite obsessive about this game and are always looking for ways to improve the experience through handy accessories. Recently, I was fortunate enough to get my hands on a couple of sample game trackers/scorekeepers  from the good folks at Azogames. They have just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund a range of gaming accessories, from tokens to trackers to box inserts, which are designed to work with a many different games, but with special attention paid to LOTR LCG. Here I will be reviewing two items from this collection: the Card-size Scorekeeper and the Small Scorekeeper, as I think both are of special interest to LOTR LCG players.

The Card-size Scorekeeper is roughly the size of a card (thus the name) and can serve as a potential replacement for the threat trackers that come with the game. While I do love the original trackers, these trackers from Azogames have a couple of advantages. One is their size. Anyone who has had to haul their cards and materials somewhere else to play a game knows that the threat trackers are sometimes a bit too big to fit into a deck box or a similarly portable carrying device.

Size comparison between original threat tracker and Azogames Card-sized Scorekeeper

Size comparison between original threat tracker and Azogames Card-sized Scorekeeper

 

The Azogames tracker eliminates this problem, and could easily fit into a deck box. This makes it easier to lug around if you’re trying to conserve space. Beyond portability, sometimes you may be forced to play LOTR LCG on a smaller surface and those threat trackers can tend to take up a lot of space. I run into this problem quite often, and having a smaller threat tracker definitely makes a big difference.

Comparison between Azogames Scorekeeper and card sleeve

Comparison between Azogames Scorekeeper and card sleeve

The other aspect of the Scorekeeper that I really enjoy is the addition of a small extra wheel tracker at the top that ranges in value from 0 to 9. While the Scorekeeper can keep track of threat from 1 to 99  just as the normal ones do, this upper tracker could be handy for a variety of uses in LOTR LCG. One possible use would be to easily keep track of rounds for those who like to calculate their scores or just see how long a certain scenario takes to play. It could also be used for scenario-specific purposes, like tracking Frodo’s health in Flight to the Ford. What I like about this bonus tracker is that it is built into the threat tracker, which means it serves as a reminder to tend to effects that you normally might forget about, like counting a new round or even removing a time counter. For the latter use, I could imagine using it as a replacement for putting time counters on the quest stage, as sometimes it is all too easy to forget to remove time at the end of the round. Instead, whenever you raise your threat during refresh, you would see the time on the small upper tracker as well and would be immediately reminded to remove one.

In addition to the Card-sized Scorekeeper, the Small Scorekeeper makes a wonderful addition to my own personal LOTR LCG experience. One aspect of the game that stuck out to me early on was the constant need to count and re-count willpower and threat committed to the quest each turn. While many people are probably fine with this, I prefer to have a way to keep track of the threat in the staging area and the willpower I have committed at all times (especially since I tend to forget as soon as I’ve counted and have to do it all over again). For a long time, I have used a pair of differently colored d20’s for this purpose. When I add characters to the quest or use an effect, I will adjust the willpower upwards on one die. I use the other d20 to keep track of threat at the beginning of questing, so I know exactly what I’m up against, and I also adjust the die each time a new card is revealed from the encounter deck. While this has worked well, d20’s can be a bit fiddly, as you have to turn the dice around and search for the right number each time. These Small Scorekeepers are the perfect solution:

Small Scorekeeper on the left

Small Scorekeeper on the left

Again, these Small Scorekeepers are indeed quite small, meaning they won’t take up much more real estate on a table than dice, but can be more easily used to keep track of both threat and willpower. Azogames will be offering these trackers in different colors, so it will be pretty simple to use one color for willpower and another for threat.

Overall, these Scorekeepers have proven to be great accessories for my own LOTR LCG experience, which is why I’ve decided to share this review with you all. While there are a range of companies now providing gaming accessories, my own personal opinion is that this can only be a good thing, as it provides a range of options for players to suit their own aesthetic tastes and gaming needs. So check out the Azogames kickstarter today, and they have certain pledge levels that are specifically tailored to LOTR LCG players!

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3 Comments
  1. If I played more in real life instead of on OCTGN, I’d probably get something like this.

  2. Chuck Wahl permalink

    I, too, use D20s to keep track of willpower and threat. I, however, use D20s from different Magic boxes. These are designed to just roll over one side to the next number. No more looking around the whole die for the desired number.

    And I found an app on my phone (Android) that I use to keep track of total threat and what turn it is. It also has an icon that switches to the first player at the end of each turn. It is called LOTR Threat Tracker. I just open it and set my phone in between my 2 decks.

  3. I like the idea.
    I have thought how usefulnthis would be. I’m not surprised others use a d20 for temporary will power counting. I’ve looked it over and they are doing it for netrunner, got, and lotr lcgs. Pretty cool. Need to back it big time to get this thing going.

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