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Subject: Comments on components after opening the box rss

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Andrew Prizzi
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West Newton
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I researched this game extensively here on the geek before purchasing. I read pretty much all the reviews and personal comments and found while the game is very highly rated there are also a significant number of very vocal critics especially about the components. After taking it all in and reading the rules from Fantasy Flight's website, I decided to go ahead and buy the game. It's arrived now, so I can offer my own take on some of the things I read before I got it. I've punched out all the chits, sorted the figures by nation, looked through the cards, put on the initial setup on the board, and reread through the rules. I haven't played at all yet.

1. "The figures all look the same". There are a lot of comments on here to the effect that it's nigh impossible to distinguish which figures belong to which nation. After opening my game I think this critique has been somewhat overstated.

Bad Guys- the only 2 types of troops that could possibly be confused are orcs and the Urakhai (not sure on the spelling). The uruks are significantly bigger though.

Good Guys- the different horsemen do look pretty similar, are still not as bad as I'd expected. The foot soldiers all look pretty distinct to me.

That being said, I will still most likely paint the bases of my units the colors of their national borders. I won't paint the rest of the figures primarily because I'm not that good of a painter.

2. "The areas on the map are too small". I haven't played yet but it does seem like some of the areas that will see the most action (Rivendell for example) are the smallest, while some that will see the least (the far south of the board) are the largest. A design decision was definitley made to go for a artistically pleasing board before a functional one. The board does look very cool indeed, so they succeeded. Having been a long time A&A player, I immediatly decided to use my Axis and Allies chips (mini poker chips) to stack under units. I think these will hold up much better and be more functional then the cardboard army chits that came with the game. I can still see some of the areas overflowing with units during the game but I don't think it will be that bad due to the limited number of unit types, max on units in a space, and the "under seige" holding boxes for strongholds. Bottom line- I'm sure some of the spaces will get crowded but I don't see this hurting my enjoyment of the game. It is also a little difficult to pick out the nation borders, town, cities, and fortifications on the map, but once people have played a few times I don't think this will be an issue.

3. "The text on the cards is microscopic". It really is. I started looking through the deck and though "hmmm, that really is pretty small", then I got to some other cards and went "HOLY COW THAT'S TINY!". The text on some of the cards is as small as it could get and stil be readable. It is not an exageration to say that if you don't normally wear your glasses you will need to put them on to play this game.


Those were the 3 main criticisms on the components that I saw. I understand where the 1st 2 are coming from but don't think they as big a deal as made out to be. I'm in full agreement on the 3rd. The tiny text isn't a game breaker at all, but sure is an odd design choice and will be annoying to quite a few players. There has also been a healthy bit of discussion on the rules and gameplay. Like I said, I haven't played yet so I can't comment too much. At this point all I can say is the rules are not the best written or laid out I've seen, but they are not the worst either. They are much more complicated than most Euro's but look to be much simpler than most wargames. Based on my reading them but not playing yet, I'd put them half a notch above Axis and Allies in complexity.

Well that's all for now. I'm going to really try to wrap my head around all the rules before sitting my wife down to play. I was going to give her the shadow side because it seems simpler to play and the concensus appears to be it has a slight edge. This thought was confirmed when I saw it also means she'll be able to read the location names on the board right side up as the shadow player! We'll jump straight into the real game and skip the intro stuff since the two seem completely different and don't really build on one another. I'm looking forward to playing and will have more to say after I do.


P.S. One question- why is there only one seige box for "shadow stronghold"? Is there some rule prohibiting the free people from besieging multiple shadow strongholds at the same time that I missed in my reading, or does this just not happen very often at all in practice?
 
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Kevin Chapman
United States
Powhatan
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Welcome to the game, Dan! I think you'll find that painting the figures' bases will be all the help you'll need in distinguishing the figures. It also makes sorting and setup much faster.

There is only one Shadow Stronghold box simply because it's a fairly rare occurrence for the Free Peoples to have more than one Stronghold under siege at a time.

I would recommend that you also review the FAQ before playing for the first time. It can be found here:
http://home.rixtele.com/%7Echarmtroll/wotr/wotr.htm

The folks around here can answer any questions you may have.

Enjoy the game!
 
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Richard Young
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I agree completely that the complaints about the physical aspects of this game are much overblown. I think if you look closely you will find that the loudest detractors are those would dislike the game even if the components couldn't have been faulted. It's human nature to "pile on" something you don't like in the first place. You are absolutely right that even the minor quibbles will dissipate after just a couple of playings. I trust you will greatly enjoy the game!
 
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Dave J McWeasely
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Bubslug wrote:
I think if you look closely you will find that the loudest detractors are those would dislike the game even if the components couldn't have been faulted.


What what what?! I thought _I_ was the loudest detractor, and I frickin' love this game!
 
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Richard Young
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Still think they are mainly quibbles nonetheless...
 
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Joel Carlson
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I've found that the components for this game are excellent, and had very few problems as well.

The card text IS small, and we did actually miss a couple of rules from the event cards as a result. However, after noticing our error, we made sure to check the card more thoroughly next time around.

I thought the sides would pose a problem, but they really didn't. At no point in any of our games so far have we mixed up troops.

My only major knock on the game is the board, but not in terms of the size of territories; it's the nation borders. The borders of the various nations figure prominently into the gameplay, and there are very faint colors used to represent these on the board. There is no doubt in my mind that these should have been emphasized more, even at the cost of the "flavor" of the map.

That aside, tremendous quality in everything in the box. The character minatures in particular are amazing for a board game, especially considering the quantity you receive.
 
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Aram Schvey
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I do enjoy the game itself, but I don't understand why all of the FP pieces are the same color. After plopping down $50 for the game, I shouldn't have to invest in permanent markers or paint to color the various FP sides different colors. Most games with lots of bits (i.e., Axis and Allies) have pieces in each color, and even if the same-color bits don't make the game unplayable, it's annoying.
 
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