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Lord of the Rings: Friends & Foes» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Friends and Foes: more ways to lose LotR! Yay! rss

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Ed Sherman
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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We really enjoy a good game of Lord of the Rings. It really scratches an itch for us -- it reminds me of when I played Dungeons and Dragons back in high school and is was us against "the system," using everything we had at our disposal, trying to beat insurmountable odds.

When we first got the Friends and Foes expansion, our first reaction was, "there are MORE ways to lose the game?" Yeah, sometimes we feel that Knizia's game chews us up and spits us out a little more than we'd like.

(I'm not going to go into explaining how to play the base game, assuming that you already know since you're reading up on an expansion.)

So, what does Friends and Foes add? Prepare to be suprised...

FOES!

Yep, more ways to die. Hooray. There's a whole new deck of baddies from the trilogy, ready to get you. They line up on the table in order of appearance and you draw new ones whenever you would have to discard two cards (that "two cards" symbol on the die now means "draw two foes." Foes also come out when its your turn and you draw a good tile on your first try (the "no good deed goes unpunished" rule).

When there are eight foes out on the end of a turn, you all lose. If you defeat thirty foes, you win (the new "military victory" option). To get rid of a foe, you can skip your turn (like if you were healing corruption on your turn, you don't get to progress) or by paying the foe's cost on the bottom of the card, which can be rolling the die, paying shields, taking a corruption hit, or whatever depending on the card.

fortunately, there are also...

FRIENDS!

No, there isn't a "friends" deck. There are more cards that get mixed in the deck (Farmer Maggot, Treebeard, etc.) as well as more yellow cards (Bill the Pony is one). There are also more Gandalf cards as well as an extra one-time-use power each hobbit gets. Some of these cards are specifically for fighting foes while others are more general use. Thank goodness!

what else am I missing? Oh yeah...

THINGS THAT ARE NETHER FRIENDS OR FOES!

Sorry, couldn't fit that in. The last addition (and it's a big one) is two extra scenario boards -- Bree and Isengard. This means that you now have six boards to fight your way through...maybe.

Maybe?

Yes, maybe. Now you also get the option to skip certain boards if conditions are met (the main condition being "no foes are out on the table").

So what do I think? It makes the original game harder, that's for sure. (We don't do the "military victory" option, because we don't think if feels right with the theme.) On the other hand, F&F opens up some interesting options, like skipping boards, which is all but required to win. It was fun to open up the box and start looking through the cards and see things that were omitted from the original game, like Bill the pony. I consider this a must buy in you like the base game. (My rating: 8)
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Sifu
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Beaverton
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Friends don't let friends play without Friends and Foes.
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Armando Gurrola
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Pretty entertaining and nice review. I can't wait to get this, as the base game is fun(haven't gotten to play with my game group yet though), and this just seems like a good expansion to add quite a bit more challenge to the game without changing too much of a good thing(the base game).
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