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Travis Larchuk
United States
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I am writing this review in an attempt to order you to go out and buy this game. Now.

As has been mentioned in other reviews, The Confrontation is basically Stratego with many twists. You could even compare it to Stratego Legends, which was an attempt to give Stratego twists. That game didn't do so well because the characters' special powers were not listed on the pieces, but instead inside of a reference book.

In The Confrontation, the characters' powers ARE listed on the pieces, which is a big plus. Additonally, if there are any disputes as to how the characters' powers are used in a certain situation, players can simply crack open the short instruction book and get a more detailed description of the characters' powers.

The game itself, for the most part, is beautiful. The box really catches your eye in the game store, and the cards, board, and pieces are wonderfully illustrated. My only real problem is that the graphic designer was somehow posessed to print yellow arrows onto the board, signifying which direction you may move through the tunnel and down the river. These arrows could have easily been incorporated as an illustration, but instead they are ugly computer graphics. But as I've said, the rest of it is great.

Now for problems with the game itself. Obviously, this game is not for you die-hard strategy gamers, because there is a lot of luck involved. Almost every time I play this game as the dark character, I use the flying Nazgul and unknowingly attack Legolas, who automatically defeats the flying Nazgul. I would compare this to other games in which you can only seem to roll ones while your opponent rolls sixes.

Another problem is that, toward the end of the game, you are usually stuck in an "its inevitable for this player to win" situation, because characters cannot usually move backwards or sideways to attack. Also, if the dark player manages to kill Frodo (one of 2 win conditions for the dark player) then it's like, "Well, I guess I won." "I guess you did." "Let's go outside and get some fresh air."

For this reason, the "advanced" cards are essential to the game. Really, the advanced cards are not advanced at all, and I think that it was rather silly of the designer to call them so. The advanced cards actually help to even out the game between the good and dark players. Strange as it may seem, the good player does have many advantages from the beginning of the game, but when you factor in the advanced cards, that advantage goes away due to a "call back to Mordor" card. What this card does is to allow the dark player to bring one of their pieces back to Mordor, to perform a last-ditch attempt to keep the good players' piece (probably Frodo) from entering.

All in all, however, this game is a winner. To me, it felt more Lord-of-the-Ringsish than the Lord of the Rings game, simply because each of the characters is distinct with powers that make sense if you have read the book. Plus, the game isn't that expensive for a quality board game (it was $20 at the bookstore where I bought it) so it's definitely worth a look-see.
 
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Jens Hoppe
Denmark
Frederiksberg
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What are you, like 80?
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It's not the years, honey, it's the mileage.
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Re:User Review
I find it interesting that you find that Confrontation feels more heavily themed than the "big box" LOTR game. In my opinion, Confrontation (while certainly a very nice game!) felt much more abstract than Knizia's big LOTR game. From the "two-triangels" shaped board, the fact that the fellowship is spread out all over the place, to the restrictions on movement that prevents pieces from moving anything but forward, I came away with a feeling that Confrontation was very much an abstract game.

Opinions differ I guess...
 
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