I've played WotR and found it a good game, but I think it can be better. The main problem I see is that many armies just sit in spot the entire game and do nothing. Attacks seem to be made by the closest largest army only--not too much strategic movement occurs. Also, my separated characters don't seem to travel too much.
Another way of putting it: I think the game has about the right number of turns, but I think more army/character movement should occur during each turn.
There are two ideas I'm considering:
(1) Adding action dice.
(2) Adding a "strategic move" at the end of the turn (similar to Risk).
Okay, a friend and I tried the second tweak I mentioned, (the end-of-turn strategic move), permitting up to two moves, permitting the Shadow player to move larger armies than the Free People's player. It helped the Shadow player much more. At the end of the game, all Shadow pieces were engaged or very close to being engaged.
(Actually, it only really helped either player for about the first half of the game: after that, there were few eligible armies that could be moved.)
As an amendment, next time I will permit both players only one army adjustment, of up to five army units (and any accompanying leaders/ minions/ companions), and they can neither start nor end adjacent to enemy armies or settlements.
I tried the modified change: a single move permitted at the end of each turn for both players of one army of up to five units (plus leaders/minions/companions) into an adjacent space as long as it is neither leaving nor entering a location that is adjacent to an enemy army or settlement.
We both liked this ability--it seemed to get more of the map into play, for both sides, and made the game a richer experience! (I strongly recommend trying it.)
I think next time I will also try the option of letting both players choose 1 additional action. It must be muster, character or army, and has to be selected before the action dice roll, but it can be used at any time like a regular action die result.
I think after that, I will try a minor tweak for the Elves: (a) Adding two regular army units--or just pulling the first two killed ones out of the dead pile, and/or (b) Adding either an extra starting unit to Lorien or making a leader there a 2-leadership leader.