So, one of the nice things about starting this string of posts about TSR boardgames from the dawn of time is that it casts an interesting light on the company's early days. It also gives me a chance to take a good look at old items in my collection that just sit on the shelf, space I badly need for the Tolkien books. And yet another is the discovery of games I not only didn't have but had never heard of.
A case in point is WAR OF THE WIZARDS, a Tekumel/EPT spin-off from 1975 (sku # unknown). I've never so much as seen this one, but fortunately Jeff Grubb has put up a post on his GRUBBSTEET blog that gives a good idea of what this game is like:
For a little more information, some of the basics are given at BoardGameGeek
The main lesson I take away from this one, and from Jeff's observations-- is that it shows TSR didn't really know how to do follow-up product early on. So they experimented with different approaches, took note of what worked and what didn't, and used those lessons to guide their efforts --until the next time, when gaps in institutional memory led to repeating the same mistakes over and over again.
In short: TSR games have never been perfect little bonsai trees but untidy forests that get trimmed back from time to time.