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Board Games 3272
It's one of those games that makes you say, "Wow..
If there's a game that betters War of the Ring in terms of delivering a fantastic, nail-biting experience while expertly balancing narrative and strategic gameplay, I haven't tried it. Many strategy games tend to make concessions when it comes to theme to ensure the mechanics are accessible to new players, or the thematic elements are only pin-on dressings with just a tenuous attachment to what the player is actually doing. Not so, here. This game drops the players right in the middle of a warring Middle Earth. The players are first and foremost competing for victory, but every single action taken towards this goal compound to create an exciting and engaging alternate telling of the Lord of the Rings epic. When playing, I keep switching between grinning like a kid because of the cool situations that are unfolding and scratching my head trying to decide what would be the best course of action.

There are some nitpicks about the production quality that can be made (small text on the event cards, awkward board for handling so many pieces, overly esoteric and subtle symbols to differentiate regions and nationalities) but, really, these don't detract from my enjoyment of the game one iota as these problems are greatly outweighed by what this gorgeous production does right.
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