Welcome to the old (but still being used for photos) web site for The Second Age Game (or as we like to abbreviate it, “SA”). Our chairperson, Beth Tucker, has put together a spiffy new official web site for SA, which can be found at www.secondagealliance.com. I will continue to post photos from the games here, as well as the still-helpful information about costumes, weapons, armour, and so forth. But for all the latest news on what's going on with Second Age, visit the official site, please.
SA is a live-action role-playing game that takes its inspiration from two sources: first, the twice-yearly Ring Game run by our good friends Jeff & Bill; and second, the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. Specifically, the “historical” events of the Second Age of Middle-Earth (taking place 2,641 years before the events of The Lord of the Rings), in which the Last Alliance of Men and Elves takes up arms to wrest the One Ring of Power from the hand of the Dark Lord Sauron. Instead of taking on the roles of hobbits and other members of the Fellowship of the Ring, players in SA assume the characters of Elendil, Isildur, Gil-galad, and other heroes of legend.
About the Game The Onion Ad Teams Map Flag Insignias Costumes Weapons/Armor The Second Age Alliance Home
Thank you very much to Kathy Gruentzel, Park Superintendent, and the rest of the staff of Governor Dodge State Park, for allowing us to hold this game in the park!
The concept for SA was born at the morning-after brunch at the Great Dane Brew Pub following the Spring 2001 Ring Game. As usual, much of the conversation was taken up by discussion of the minutia of Tolkien's work. During this discussion, someone (exactly whom is a mystery for the ages) said, "wouldn't it be cool to do a game based on the Second Age?" Murmurs of assent were heard all around, and some preliminary discussion of what such a game would entail ensued. The idea lay fallow during the summer of 2001, but was renewed in the days surrounding the Fall 2001 Ring Game. It was in the weeks following this gathering that Geek-Boy and web guy Jack Barker (me, he added humbly), armed with copies of The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion, and other geeky reference materials, cranked out the first draft of the proposed Second Age rule book.
In the months that followed, the rules were reviewed, revised, and reworked by the newly-formed SA committee, who also addressed issues of costume judging, weapons judging, game balance, and other critical factors.
The SA "beta test" took place Saturday, September 21, 2002 (the closest Saturday to Bilbo & Frodo's birthday). Click here for additional information (and of course, photo galleries!).
The first "official" SA was held on Saturday, September 20, 2003. Click here for photos. It has been played again every year on the third Saturday after Labor Day. See the links above for galleries of pictures from those games!
For those of you who may have missed it, here's the ad that ran in the September 1, 2006 issue of The Onion (Madison edition). Special thanks to Adam (Galadriel) Bauknecht for agreeing to let us use his photo in the ad.
Thanks also to Rich Miller for his willingness to let us use his photo--we actually designed two ads, a "serious" ad and a "whimsical" ad. We decided to go with the "whimsical" ad as keeping more in the spirit of SA (and of The Onion). For those of you who are curious about the unused design, here's what the "serious" ad would have looked like:
The following are the rosters and base points for the SA characters. Click here for costume hints!
|Base Points||Starting Location||
Good Team (Númenor)
|Base Points||Starting Location||
|Base Points||Starting Location|
|Black Númenorean (×4)||12||Umbar||Celeborn||18||Ost-in-Edhil||Drúin||13||Moria|
|Goblin (×3)||12||East of Anduin||Círdan||17||Forlindon||Thélor||13||Moria|
|Gothmog||25||Mt. Doom||Dúnedain (Knights of Númenor) (×3)||13||Fornost||Thrár||13||Moria|
|Herumor||13||Khand||Elf Warrior/Noldor (×3)||14||Forlindon|
|Mouth of Sauron||25||Mt. Doom||Elf Warrior/Sindar (×3)||14||Ost-in-Edhil|
|Oliphaunt||11*||Haradwaith||Elf Warrior/Silvan (×3)||14||Eryn Galen|
|Red Eye Orc (unlimited)||10||by judges' assignment||Elrond||18||Ost-in-Edhil|
|Sauron||100/200||Mt. Doom||Galadriel||21||Eryn Galen|
|Troll (×3)||22*||West of Anduin||Gil-galad||25||Forlindon|
|Warg||5*||leashed with owner||Glorfindel||16||Rhosgobel|
|Hound of Valinor||6||leashed with owner|
|Wo/man-at-arms of Gondor (unlimited)||12||Osgiliath|
|Total estimated number of Evil players: 30||Total estimated number of Good players: 30||Total estimated number of Dwarf players: 7|
SA is played in the “Hickory Ridge” area of Governor Dodge State Park. Click here if you need directions from Madison to the park. Group Camp Sites, Backpack Camp Sites, the Horse Loading/Unloading Lot and the Cemetery are strictly out of bounds! (Exception: Group Camp Site H, aka. The Mt. Doom Campsite, which we have reserved, and where the pre-game campout will be held the night before the game). Click on the image below for the SA game map. Note that some minor changes may still take place between now and game day. Click here to see the insignias that we've designed for the citadel flags and other location markers. Please note that the Fornost flag was stolen during the 2005 game (dang campers/horseback riders/boy scouts/hikers/whomever it was!), so a substitute flag was used for Fornost at the 2006–2008 games.
The Second Age Alliance is made up of fun-loving people of all ages (we've had players as young as ten and as old as never-you-mind), who enjoy dressing up in weird outfits with swords and armour, and running around a state park all day. Some people participate because they enjoy the costuming element; others enjoy the strategy and team building; some are die-hard Tolkien fans (not a requirement, by the way); and some have just been roped into it by their nerdy friends. One thing we all share is not taking ourselves too seriously. There are some similarities between SA and the original Ring Game, but our intent is not to replace or take over the existing Ring Game—far from it! We love Ring Game so much that twice a year just isn't enough for us!
Membership in the Alliance is a mere $8.00, which gives you admission to the game as well as a voice in revising and refining the rules for the subsequent game. Memberships for the 2008 game will be available beginning at the first picks meeting on Sunday, September 7th.
If you'd like more information on the Second Age Alliance, you can click here to visit the brand-spanking new official Second Age Alliance web site!
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All contents ©2002–2008 Jack A. Barker, except where noted. All rights reserved. Last update: November 10, 2008.