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User Rating Comment Status
Matthew M Monin
United States
Branford
Connecticut
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8/8 FREE, PROTECTED
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513ers Assemble!
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10
Jul 2010
Exactly what an expansion should be. It maintains everything interesting about the base game and adds more choices where previously there were fairly mainline strategies.

The new stuff tends to help out the FP more than the SP, so it may be worth holding off on until the SP is winning somewhat consistently. Certainly not something to add until you are very comfortable with the base game - if you still need to consult the rules more than once in a game you probably shouldn't be throwing BotTA into the mix.
2010-07-11
Prev. Owned
Thibault Nguyen
France
Paris
IDF
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10
Apr 2006*
A gem.
2006-04-19*
Owned
Robert Hafemeister
Germany
Berlin
Unspecified
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10
May 2006*
Awesome expansion to an already awesome game!!!!
2006-05-08*
Owned
Nathan Johnson
United States
Bellevue
Washington
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10
May 2006*
Strategy Expansion: Fantastic upgrade to the base game. Gives even more options and somewhat balances the slight shadow advantage in the base game.
2006-05-12*
Owned
vincit omnia amentia
United States
Howard County
Maryland
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10
Feb 2010
This is one of my favorite games, and the smaller battle games are worthy of a 10 on their own!

Every time I play this game I feel like I'm telling a story
2007-04-02*
Owned
Michael Hall
United States
Acworth
Georgia
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10
May 2006*
I was a playtester for this expansion and I feel like the additions to the main game add a lot of depth to the early decisions by both sides. The tactical games are an added bonus offering another way to play in Middle Earth's key battles (in a shorter time frame).
2006-05-19*
Owned
Beth Kearney
United States
Howard County
Maryland
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10
May 2006*
I love this game even though my boyfriend is so much worse than me
2006-05-23*
Dave Florin
United Kingdom
Chessington
Surrey
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10
Mar 2007*
I am mainly interested in the Twilight of the Third Age expansion rather than the more detailed Battles.

Twilight introduces some interesting new characters and factions that require new strategies. My thoughts after two games (both FP victories).

Ents, Dunlendings and Corsairs changed from cards providing surprise attacks to mustered factions, but the Ents have 3 cards to attack. This gives you more control, but they do require more effort. Ents ability to attack with 5 dice anywhere within reach of Fangorn is far more flexible. Dunlendings ability to muster in Rohan reduces the stress on Orthanc supply lines and helps a fast Isengard attack - a must as using Saurman's abilities while a companion is in Fangorn recruits the Ents. They can also help with Rivendell and Grey Havens attacks. Beware - Dunlendings look more powerful than they are (one hit kills 2) and use up the stacking limit.

Galadriel's recruitment under seige ability makes Lorien well nigh inpregnable, until you run out of Elf reinforcements. She can also discard eye hunt tiles using elven rings, and she adds an extra die. A very powerful character leading to the %u2018Galadriel Denial%u2019 strategy, but by mustering the Elves to war the FP can get Galadriel by Turn 2 or 3.

The Balrog adds a die, recruits an elite and adds to combat strength making Moria better defended (and a possible launch pad for Rivendell attack). But it advances Elf, Dwarf & North to war saving FPP 3 musters and makes 'DEW' line attack more difficult. The Fellowship can always go round him and the FPP can discard the card allowing the Balrog to move which kills him off if he has moved!?.

The new Witch King if mustered early can follow the fellowship providing useful hunt rerolls - but you do miss his alter ego the Black Captain in battle. I prefer Balrog - Black Captain combination at the moment unless the fellowship is revealed & corrupted early.

Smeagol is a powerful addition being able to absorb corruption and declare with a character die. Drawing him after a successful hunt is a body blow to the SP.

Siege Engines favour the free peoples as they persist, can be mustered under seige and a tie in numbers favours the free peoples. The additional musters required and hits on 4,5 and 6 slows down the Sauron military advance.

Overall the changes favour the free peoples and require a strategic rethink by the Shadow player. This might tip the balance too far hence the initial 9 rating, time will tell. The changes do add interesting new options but may require house rules to get the best out of them (as noted elsewhere on BGG) - I better get my thinking cap on.

Rerated as 10 after more games - the balance is great and the extra features provide more variety - great replay value, I have not had 2 games the same yet!
2007-03-05*
Owned
Alex Rockwell
United States
Hillsboro
Oregon
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10
Mar 2009*
I am a playtester for this game, and I truly feel that it deserves a 10, as does he original game (for which I was not a playtester).
2006-06-12*
Owned
Robert Kuster
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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10
Jul 2009*
Almost like it more then the original game, love the combat system and the 2 sided board. After several plays not sure which I like better, Helms Deep or Minis Tirith, both have some very interesting map layouts and strategies. Put it this way I would play either at anytime, just a fantastic game.
2006-06-17*
Owned
Want To Play
Dan Taylor
United States
Berryville
Virginia
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Just Another Washed Up Wargamer
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10
May 2008*
Brought along by its sibling into the land of 10s, this is a great expansion, if only for its battle game.
2008-05-16*
Jeff Long
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
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10
Jul 2006*
An expansion to a game that I already loved, the main thing that gives this expansion a 10 is the fact it is three games in one. The expansion to the main game is beautifully done. Unlike so many expansions (especially in the video game world, but even for games like Settlers of Catan), the designers make it clear that they understood some of the deficiencies of the original game and worked to correct them, rather than just throwing in "extra stuff." Of course, not necessarily everything added was perfect, but the *reasoning* behind each and every addition is very clear to me. The expansion alone is worthwhile, but you also get the Battles of the Third Age battle games out of the deal: two scenarios with the same basic rules, but that play very differently. In my opinion they are worth the cost even if you never touch the main game. Because of the variety offered by the expansion, I have no qualms about rating this game a 10. I always want to play it, and I feel this will never ever change, because if I ever get bored of one part (which may not even happen and hasn't yet!) I can always switch to another until I am ready to come back to it. One caveat is that I do generally feel that if you didn't like the original game, the expansion probably isn't for you. But that said, I do have friends who were rather luke-warm on the original game, but quite like the tactical Battles of the Third Age game (the scenarios) and vice-versa. So take that for what it's worth.
2012-10-01
Owned
Kristofer Bengtsson
Sweden
Kävlinge
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War of the Ring: Official FAQ Master! Webmaster of www.warofthering.eu
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- This is My Hour!
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10
Jul 2006*
The expansion to the main game is perfect, it makes a great game even better!

The Gondor and Rohan scenarios provide a good game as well, and should interest those more interested in a pure wargame.
2006-07-30*
Owned
Andrea Angiolino
Italy
Rome
European Union
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10
Aug 2006*
So rich and full of things - and cheap compared to that, at least in Italy.
2006-08-01*
Owned
Anders Rosendal
Denmark
Taastrup
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10
Sep 2006*
Very good wargame in my opinion. I don't really play them and I have a feeling this is a "light" wargame, but it suits my taste :-)
2006-09-08*
Owned
Edwin Meertens
Netherlands
Rotterdam
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10
Oct 2006*
Improving the best wargame ever for me: WotR. And yes I'm a little bit biased for I'm a Tolkien fan.
2006-10-23*
Owned
Thomas Eager
United States
Portland
Oregon
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DBA Junkie
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I am GODZILLA!!! YOU are JAPAN!!!
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10
Nov 2010
Game designers take note, this is the way an expansion should be done. Not only are there neat new components and rules for the base game, but two additional independent games as well! Bravo...and the new "factions" lend even more flavor to the deep theme of WotR.
2010-11-21
Owned
Daniel Stein
Brazil
SÃO PAULO
São Paulo
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10
Oct 2006*
Pancadaria pura no mundo de Tolkien.
2006-10-12*
Owned
David Fox
Canada
Ontario
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10
Jan 2007*
Great expansion that only adds to the War of the Ring main game.
2007-01-02*
Owned
zollom
United States
Tampa
Florida
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10
Jun 2008*
enhances an already great game!
2008-06-13*
Prev. Owned
M. B.
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10
Apr 2007*
This expansion demonstrates that it is possible to improve the perfection! Absolutely to have when playing WOTR!
2009-10-22
Owned
Hiroki Shimizu
Japan
Anjo
Aichi
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10
Apr 2007*
Excellent expansion for the renowned strategy game.
2007-04-28*
Owned
Ken B.
United States
Fayetteville
Tennessee (TN)
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10
May 2008*
05/11/07

Rating from one play with expansion and also online version w/expansion--have not played battle games.

Fantastic addition to a great game. Galadriel seems pretty strong, maybe too strong? But then there's "Galadriel Denial", so that keeps it in check. Her and the new Balrog provide some fresh new choices in the early game, no more rushing to put the Orc knife in Gandalf's back just to get rid of him quickly for his action die later.

The Ents are great, just limited enough to not be too strong but a GREAT way of keeping Isengard's super-spawning Uruks in check. Suddenly Rohan has a little room to breathe for a change. Plus, the new Ent cards can keep on giving if you set it up just right or are patient in playing them...easy to recreate the fall of Isengard very quickly if Saruman isn't careful.

The Black Ships can threaten along the coast, getting those Southrons involve more easily and make taking all of Gondor--or better, striking at the northern shores given time--a big possibility.

Smeagol also seems strong but you can't control when he pops out and you have to be very careful with him once he does. Nice boon to help the beleagured Fellowship...

I'm rating this a 10 because it makes a fantastic, great game all the better somehow, AND comes with two bonus games. Even if the bonus games are lacking, the only crime would then be the package is overpriced. As I don't believe this to be the case, this gets the full stamp of approval from me.
2008-05-26*
Owned
Jeff Kuhn
United States
Garner
North Carolina
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10
Jun 2007*
Great addition to an already great game. The mini-games are a huge bonus and fun in their own right.

------
Notes for posterity's sake:

We have since moved on to the second edition, with all new expansions, so this version is somewhat obsoleted. After using most of the base game expansion elements quite a bit, I have come to the conclusion that they detract from play, rather than add to it. The base game is so beautifully streamlined, and most of the elements present in BotTA only serve to make it less so. Worse than that, I have a sneaking suspicion that they add a bit of imbalance to an otherwise exquisitely balanced game. But it is not very pronounced, as I could not say this for sure.

The siege engines in particular have a profound effect on siege combat, and not necessarily in a good way. I can't say it imbalances it, but it makes the game feel much more plodding, as it often boils sieges down to one single battle (usually a foregone conclusion at that) which occurs after a boring "arms race," instead of smaller, more frequent and more exciting battles. Again, the battle games are the chief reason to acquire this.
2015-08-04
Owned
Doug Adams
Australia
Oakleigh
Victoria
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10
Aug 2007*
Expansion game for War of the Ring. Adds new characters and factions to the base game, freshening up the strategies (and debates!). Also included is two "battle" games requiring components from the base game. The battle games feature the conquests of Rohan, and Gondor. They use around 80% of the rules from the base game, revolving around the dice activation system. New rules add terrain and troop type bonuses in combat, as well as the concept of Fate. Fate is the new game clock, that triggers characters entering the game for the goodies, as well as a timer for the baddies to complete the battle (or lose outright). Fate is directly related to the effort put in by the baddies - if they go charging ahead, the clock moves faster; slow and subtle means the clock moves slower - interesting problem. Fantastic addition to an excellent game.
2007-08-12*
Rich Moore
United States
Oxford
Ohio
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I need to get me one of those cool overtext things.
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10
Aug 2007*
This is so much more than a mere "expansion". I actually haven't played the base game with the expansion additions, but instead jumped right into the Rohan scenario and loved it. It's a totally new game and does a faithful job of reproducing the battle for Rohan. I really felt like Saruman, although maybe a little more cautious (I KNOW the Ents can really kick my butt if I'm not careful...and even if I AM careful!). Learning the rules took a little time, and our first game was crazy with errors. But the second game went smoothly. I just love that you get two more new games that have a completely different feel to them. A perfect expansion. (and the font on the new cards is bigger too! Somebody's listening!)
2007-08-29*
Owned
sean gebler
United States
North Dakota
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10
Oct 2007*
Amazing additions!
2007-10-25*
Owned
Chris Guenther
Canada
Manitoba
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10
Oct 2007*
The best sequel to any game I have ever seen.
2007-10-25*
Owned
Dave J McWeasely
United States
Louisville
Kentucky
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10
Aug 2008*
For a long time I thought the expansion was extra plastic crap (for a game I love). I rated it a 9. After playing in a tournament, I'm not so sure. There's more there than meets the eye. Thus I raised the rating to a 10.
2007-11-27*
Owned
Humulus Lupulus
United States
Waltham
Massachusetts
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10
Jun 2014
This expansion adds so much to the already wonderful game! This alone, makes it well worth the price, not to mention the extra 2 games of the Battles of the Third Age.
If you're a fan of the Tolkien books and you enjoy the base game, then this is a must-buy! The designers have done a wonderful job of adding even more theme and storyline to the game.

Edit: I've since played both the Rohan and Gondor Battle scenarios and they were a blast! Same tension as the base game offers and just as much tough decision-making.
2011-04-03
Owned
For Trade
Want To Play
Thomas Simon
Germany
Dietzenbach
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10
Feb 2012
Intersting expansion which transfers a few more elements from the books to the game and leads to more strategic options, but I doubt that it is really helpful for the balancing: The Elves just don't have enough Units in Reserve to reinforce Galadriels Fortress, Isengart doesn't have to use his special Muster-Ability to activate the Ents because of theit new cannonfodder and the siege towers are much easier to recruit for the shadow player because of the higher number of dice.
2008-05-13*
Owned
Joseph Acker
United States
Carrollton
Texas
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10
Jun 2008*
Even better than the basic game.
2008-06-24*
Owned
Eugene Hung
United States
San Jose
California
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10
Jun 2008*
A must-play for any Tolkien fan!
2008-06-26*
PaulW
United States
Warrington
Pennsylvania
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10
Dec 2010
Not only does this fix the balance issue in WofR, it also has two 'smaller' games built in based on the same game engine. Don't play WofR without this addon.
2008-07-07*
Owned
AMERI-THRASHER!
United States
Milford
Connecticut
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10
Jul 2012
WAR OF THE RING:
BATTLES OF THE THIRD AGE
Great expansion that let's you reenact the battles of Horn's Deep and Pelennor Fields.
2012-07-16
Owned
Joe Fling
United States
Texas
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10
Jun 2009*
I cant write all i need to aboutthe best expansion ever. But I will say this, it evens out he base game to where the Free Peoples actually has a chance. Introduces new Characters like the Witch King of Angmar, Gladriel, The Tree Ents, Corsairs of Umbar, the Balrog, and the dunlendings. A very very well thought out game. Must Have!
2009-06-23
Richard Skifton
United States
Idaho Falls
Idaho
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10
Jun 2013
They really went above and beyond. Exceeds any expectations I had.
2013-06-27
Owned
dave
United States
San Diego
California
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10
Sep 2012
This actually make the original game even better. The 2 Battle scenarios are really fun as well.

This one is still a '10', but only because of the 2 Battle scenarios which are now better than wotr.
2012-09-07
Owned
Sam Butler
United States
Fort Walton Beach
Florida
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10
Apr 2009*
For an epic semi-war game in a fantasy setting, nothing else thrills me as much as an evening of War of the Ring, and I prefer to play with the expansion.
2010-07-31
Owned
Rene' Puttin
Germany
Heinsberg
Nordrhein-Westfalen
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10
May 2009*
Marcel
2009-05-29
Owned
Archibald Zimonyi
Sweden
Gothenburg
Unspecified
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10
Sep 2009*
Expansion just makes it better.
2010-01-29
Owned
Christopher
Germany
Pforzheim
Baden- Württemberg
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10
Feb 2011
Makes the Game more various and Brings the Ents onto the Board !!! THE ENTS !!!!
2011-02-01
Owned
Jay
United States
California
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10
Oct 2010
War of the Ring Battles has two portions: An expansion for War of the Ring and two new games that use components and ideas from War of the Ring.

The Expansion Elements
Makes a great game greater by adding new choices that are both thematic and interesting. This is definitely a fun expansion, but it's not the most refined. Some elements feel too weak to be worthwhile (e.g., Hunter Witch King), while others are so strong that they're must-haves (e.g., Galadriel). The remaining expansion elements are stellar and, ironically, I really enjoy having the weaker possibilities even if they don't get used.

The Battles Games
These games are fun and exciting. Many of the same War of the Ring mechanisms are found here, but switched up in flavor and implementation. As they are very similar to War of the Ring, I would only recommend these games to people who have enjoyed War of the Ring and are wanting to try something very similar.

◊s◊
2014-05-11
Owned
The Dude
United States
Mesa
Arizona
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10
Feb 2010
This is a must to add to the base game. I have yet to play the additional scenarios.
2010-03-07
Owned
Andrew Poulter
United Kingdom
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10
Apr 2010
I love the extra scenarios, so much so I have added on-line versions of them to the WOTR Java program. The extra rules for the main game are a stunning bonus.
2010-04-02
Owned
Eric Walkingshaw
United States
Corvallis
Oregon
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10
Jun 2010
Most of my games of War of the Ring have been played with the expansion components added in. The expansion really opens up a lot of new strategies and breaks (in a good way) some scripted aspects of the base game. For example, the Dunlendings make the Western half of the board much more interesting, the addition of Galadriel means that the FP isn't obliged to kill Gandalf at the first opportunity, and the very powerful DEW strategy for the SP is slowed by all the new things the FP can do with trebuchets, Ents, and the like.

At the same time, the expansion introduces a few new scripts of its own: the FP almost always want to bring the Elves to war first, and the SP usually wants to use Saruman's Voice as many times as possible before the Ents put him in check.

The game has plenty of strategic diversity in either case, however, so I wouldn't worry too much about it. Overall, I prefer the expansion mostly just because the new stuff is a whole lot of fun.

I have not played either of the two battle scenarios, unfortunately (I have the collector's edition, which doesn't include these). I would love to play these someday, but I see them more as icing on the cake of the expansion to the base game.
2011-05-17
Petr Vostrý
Czech Republic
Prague 6
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10
Dec 2010
I don't evaluate it as an expansion but as an original game. I like very much both scenarios (Rohan, Peleonor's Fields). I consider it as complex tactical wargame with two scenarios.
2010-12-01
Owned
Juan Medina
United States
Cedar Park
Texas
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Board games rule my life, and my wife's. That is a good thing, believe it or not ;)
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10
Jan 2012
Really good game, captures the essence of the tactical battles. The mechanics are familiar, but they change ever so slightly to make for a more entertaining game. It also looked like the game could go either way at the get go, then just for the Rohirrim, then just for the shadow! Really good and variable.
2012-01-16
Owned
Jasper Miles

Michigan
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10
Aug 2011
own 3 copies for trade as of 08/20/2011 due to store liquidation sale
2011-08-20
Owned
For Trade
Wesley Dau
United States
Moline
Illinois
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10
Jan 2012
There is no reason to play War of the Ring without this if you have it.
2012-01-04
Owned

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