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The Hobbit Adventure Boardgame» Forums » Reviews

Subject: Really not so bad (great if fan of book) rss

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David Bishop
United States
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I'll open by saying I love Tolkien. Anything Tolkien.
Now the review.
I recieved this game as a birthday gift when I was 13. Along with The ICE Middle Earth RPG, ICE's Middle Earth CCG, Tolkien hardback book collection, and all of the animated films, I had a very Tolkien birhtday. When I opened this gift I remember stopping all the presents and cake and whatnot just to crack open the game and start playing with my friends. We must have played the game 4 times in a row before my mother finally made me open my other gifts. The next few months I played the game ragged and in the following years the game was played so much it began to fall apart. Lucky me I found a copy in a dusty cardboard bargin box at my FLGS and bought it. I still play with my old beatup copy with friends and fam, but anytime a new player wants to play I bust out the "new" pristene copy and introduce them to my favorite fantasy adventure game. (yes I've played Runebound, Talisman, and Magic Realm) Let me tell you about this game I love.
Components: In the box you will find a large four fold board. The artwork is a color map of middle earth and looks like one of the maps you would find in one of the books. On the map are numerouse spaces in different shapes connected by orange road lines. Also on the board are space to place the 8 decks of cards. All of the cards deck spaces are labled with the name of the deck and the symbol of the deck. I love the artwork on the board and the many choices of adventure sites (the differently shaped spaces). The only real bummer is the board suffers from the dreaded fold canyon found in games like monopoly and clue, but it doesn't really cause any problems with gameplay so I don't mind.
4 playing pieces in different colours each molded in the shape of a plum little hobbit. No real problems hear. The colors are all metalic looking which I like and four players is about all the game can take and still hold down the between turn duldrums.
Oddles of black and gold plastic coins for tracking life and money. They come in two sizes and have no value printed on them but the rules make it clear the big coins are 5 and the small are 1. No problems here, works perfectly with the game.
16 plastic ring "talismans" in four different colors. These are placed on the board in four different locations and can be picked up by the players and used in the final battle with Smaug (more on that latter)
Lots of cards sepperated into 8 different decks. Magic cards are spells and magic items the players can buy. Equipment cards are weapons, armor, and life potions for combat and also adventure items like rope and lanterns and pipesdevil. Adventure cards have fun little adventures with fellow travlers, ruins, dungeons, and an occasional monster. Peril are encounter cards and are very dangerous monsters that also yeald a high payoff when defeated. Danger are much like Peril cards but less dangerous with a smaller prize. Riddle cards are bought at villages and used in the player vs. player riddle duel. Money cards are used whenever a monster is defeated or an adventure card calls for them. Rest cards are special adventure cards used when the players don't move and try to recover for a turn.
5 dice. One green 6 sided normal every day die, used for monster health generation and other stuff. Three red 6 sided dice with 1-3 in pips and 1-3 in numbers, used for combat. One 6sided blue die labeled 1,1,2,2,3, bird used for movement the bird allows you to move anywhere on the board.
Thats all the stuff you get. Setup is very fast. The card decks are placed on the board in thier spaces and the Talismans are placed on the spaces on the board. Players pick a hobbit and recieve 12 black coins (life points) and 10 gold coins (money). Time to play.

Gameplay: Turns are simple and fast. Move or don't, a simple choice. If you decide to rest you will draw a card from the rest deck and resolve its adventure then you may draw one more card if you want. The rest cards are mostly very helpful and the few monsters in the rest deck are easy to defeat and yeild some good loot. If you decide to move roll the blue die and move as many spaces as valued on the die. Whatever space you land on will hace a coresponding deck ov cards. Draw the card and adventuer on. Certain spaces are not adventure spaces, but instead allow the purchase of items, in which case you draw 5 cards from the equipment deck and buy any items that match the race of the town you are in. (human goods can only perchased in human towns etc.) Also in towns you may draw a new riddle card upto a max of 4. In the event you land on another players hobbit you have a riddle duel. The active player chooses a riddle card and shows it to his opponent. The riddle cards have a riddle from the books on the top half and upto 4 riddle answers on the bottom. The defending player must match one of the answers on the active players card with an answer on one of his own cards. If no match can be made then the active player may steal one item or talisman or half of the defenders gold.
Combat is handled easily. A monster will have a health value equal to One green die roll plus a number on the monsters card. on the lower half of the monster card is a picture of health flasks, this is the amount of damage a hobbit will suffer if the monster is not killed. To kill the monster you must meet or beat the health of the monster with a combat roll. Roll the three red die and look for matching "styles" of numbers such as two dice are showing values in pips while the other is showing a value in numbers. Subtract the unlike numbers from the sum of the like numbers and you have your combat roll. (example you roll three dice and get a 6 and a 3 both labled in pips on the third die is a 5 labled in numbers, add together the 6 and the 3 for 9 and subtract the 5 for 4 thats your combat roll) you can add bonuses from weapons and special cards found during your adventure. Kill the monster and take its gold. Play continues until players have gathered enough loot and health and weapons that one of them feels strong enough to figh Smaug the dragon. Head up the Carn-dum on the boards and duke it out. Smaug has 17 life points and causes 7 hits of damage and destroys one red or yellow talisman if het gets yah. First player to kill Smaug wins thew game. WWWWWEEEEEEEEE YYYYYAAAAAAAAYYYYYY
Verdict: Is this game fun... yeah it is. Lots of fun. Its not deep and it won't require any kind of deep planning, but its full of adventure and monsters and thats what really matters to me. If anything draws away from the experience its a strange genericness that haunts the game. Non of the monsters are named, just pictures of the beasties on the cards and the weapons and armor all act the same, but its a small gripe that doesn't really cause problems when the game is meant to be light fun and fast. When you've played the life out of Talisman and your tired of rolling movement dice in runebound, track down a copy of The Hobbit from Iron Crown Industries and get a few friends together. A few pints of brew and a hobbit song or two will get you in the spirit for the night.
Count Zero
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Alejandro Rascon
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I've played it since i was like 10 years old; always liked it and it actually started me on to play Dugneons and Dragons and other RPG's in the 90's

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