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User Rating Comment Status
Claude nameless
Italy
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10
Sep 2014
Another great game, solid gameplay system and great materials!
2014-09-26
Owned
Want To Buy
Want To Play
Obsc Hina
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10
Sep 2014
Been playing it non-stop since it came in, great game!
2014-09-15
Owned
Mark Chaplin
United Kingdom
Nottingham
Ice-choked tower, Mondavia, Nanglangka.
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10
Sep 2014
I love this game - it's Kryptonian in its awesomeness.
2015-01-16
Owned
Tim Royal
United States
Snohomish
Washington
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10
Sep 2014
Same brilliant gameplay as WotR, but done in a tighter, shorter, more intense experience. It is sheer awesomeness, all over again.
2014-09-26
Owned
Andreas P.
United Kingdom
London
London
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10
Nov 2014
A fresh view of the War of the Ring rules and in my view the best thematic Hobbit game. It plays faster once you get a few turns under your belt but quite a lot of the key mechanics (e.g. action dice) are largely the same. There are character cards with special abilities for all characters and the battle is done via a great mechanic that weakens each army on each round as it would happen in reality and not with a big bang with special abilities of units also used when you get high die rolls. And I love the arc of range that is used with Gandalf and Thranduil's special abilities to hit enemies farther than a few regions away. There is the sense of monsters coming into the valley from everywhere and you try to hold on for as long as possible until the strong allies come to the rescue, it is a lot more narrow in its winning conditions and story (it depicts one battle in Hobbit and the build up to it) which makes it slightly less of an epic (compared to War of the Ring) but a lot more tactical. I can see it hitting the table a lot more than War of the Ring simply because you can get it finished in a few hours and each turn could bring a significant change in the overall outcome as I found War of the Ring being a bit too long with some turns bringing little impact to plans. I love both games for different reasons.
2014-11-02
Owned
Kevin Burkhardsmeier
United States
Fergus Falls,
Minnesota
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10
Jan 2015
Just amazing! Nuff said
2015-01-20
Owned
Nick R. Nielsen-Doss
United States
Gansevoort
New York
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10
Oct 2014
In some ways it's better than WoTR simply because it plays faster and is much easier to teach others, but if I want real depth and more challenge, it's WoTR.
2015-05-06
Owned
Andrew Poulter
United Kingdom
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10
Dec 2014
Playtester for this awesome game. Much better then the film
2014-12-19
Owned
Tristan Mathis
United States
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10
Nov 2014
This is one of the best games I have ever played in my short life of boardgaming. Anyone can come to this game and find something they love, like the wargaming or the theme. Fantastic game that I recommend to anyone.
2014-11-25
Owned
Rattler Drake
Canada
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10
Jan 2015
Wow! Just as good as WOTR.
2015-01-02
Owned
Tim Moss
Australia
Canberra
ACT
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10
Apr 2015
LOVE LOVE LOVE! Every game has a different feel, based on what cards you draw and dice you roll.

Luck plays a small part, but the rest is how you manage the actions you are given.
2015-04-20
Owned
Anders Bek
Sweden
Umeå
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10
Jan 2015
Fantastic game - definitely one of the best I've played so far!
2015-01-13
Owned
Stephen Sanders
United States
Henderson
Texas
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DNA results: 50% West Europe; 19% Great Britain; 16% Ireland; 8% Scandinavian; 4% Iberian Peninsula; 2% Italy/Greece; 1% West Asia; -1% Middle East
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10
Apr 2015
Epical experience. The designers have outdone themselves, even considering the solid treatment they have shown with War of the Ring. Such a rich, thematic game, that pushes you to the limit with tactical decisions that keep you engaged every turn. I appreciate the wonderful adaptation of the former mechanics used in WotR to this scenario, and feel like its really a whole different experience. Brilliant. My 2,000th logged play on BGG.
2015-08-03
Owned
Dan Durkin
United States
Corte Madera
California
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10
May 2015
Awesome!
2015-05-30
Owned
Howard Massey
United States
Wichita
Kansas
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9.6
Dec 2014
A justifiable 9+ rated game, just like his big brother- War of the Ring !!!
2014-12-25
Owned
Rafael Ramus
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9.5
Oct 2014
It's like, you know, the book, and, orcs, and gwarr!

Really, amazing game. I'm really glad they went after the book instead of waiting for the movie to come out and stuff. It shows a level of accuracy to the work of Tolkien and it still provides a different experience every single game.

It is proven to be a solid system.
2014-11-29
Owned
Joanna Griebel
United States
Los Angeles
CA
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9.5
Mar 2015
jg bday '14
2015-04-11
Owned
Gabriele Tornar
Italy
Unspecified
Unspecified
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9.5
Feb 2014
Playtester. I liked this one more than Gondor/Rohan. Characters are more central to gameplay, and it feels more epic. I also love that it's stand-alone, so no need to mix and match pieces from WOTR.
2014-02-04
Luke Heidebrecht
Canada
Saskatoon
Saskatchewan
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9.5
Mar 2015
In a word: elegant. I thoroughly enjoyed the mechanics I already love from War of the Ring implemented in a different way so as to capture the tactical dynamics of the Battle of Five Armies. Choices throughout were consistently tough regarding both actions and card play, however, what surprised me most was the graceful and more detailed combat system. Great components, mechanical interactions, and narrative.
2014-10-16
Owned
For Trade
f c
Spain
Barcelona
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9.5
Apr 2015
Juegazo. Entre 2 horas o según se desarrolle la partida hasta 5. Temático, tenso, estratégico,sistema de combate mejor que GdA de lo mejor que he probado.(22+10)
2015-03-14
Owned
Want To Play
Adam Kenney
United States
Washington
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9.5
Oct 2014
This is an awesome game. Both sides of the battle feel different. The Free Peoples feels like you're really orchestrating something, using all of your assets at your disposal wisely, a little behind the eight-ball, but looking ahead to relief down the fate track. The shadow army knows that they've got to take everything they can get. They've got to amass some troops and get the ball rolling as quickly as possible. It's less about pulling strings and more about quick movement and underhanded tactics and events. I can't wait to play more and more of this game to see and feel all of its variety and permutations.
2014-10-18
Owned
Jeff Smith
United States
Bel Air
Maryland
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9.5
Oct 2014
Fantastic game with wonderful compoenents, exciting game play, rich narrative, strong theme, and high replayability. My only complaints are the damage tokens can become messy and the game duration, at least for us, is significantly higher than what is stated on the box. But neither of those two is significant enough to take away from the enjoyment of the game. Now that I've painted the minis this game proudly sits along side my War of the Ring: Collectors Edition
2014-10-24
Owned
Tyler Davis
United States
Kennesaw
Georgia
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9.5
Mar 2015
My favorite game. It is so good and has a great blend of strategy and tactics. It was tough to remember all the little parts of the rules, but once you can remember, the game really get AMAZING. It is such an epic game.
2015-03-15
Owned
Andrew S
South Africa
Cape Town
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9.5
Dec 2014
Another masterpiece from Ares, so much fun, so much going on, so many ways to play/win
2015-03-11
Owned
Carey Willis
Canada
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9.5
Dec 2014
Fantastic game! Well balanced, relatively short playtime (compared to War of the Ring), and great looking art and minis.
2014-12-29
Owned
Nicks Luxferre
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9.5
Jan 2015
180.46. 20.jan.15 - Curitiba: R$349,90
2015-01-30
Owned
Barry Clark
Scotland
Aberdeen
Scotland
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9.3
Dec 2014
Great game, less story driven than WOTR but its all about the combat! Very good fun
2015-01-01
Owned
Ubergeek
United States
Camas
Washington
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Be Happy in your Game!
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I spent 100 Geek Gold and all I got was this lousy overtext message!
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9.1
Sep 2014
Ahhhh... Finally. Now bring on the deluxe collectors edition.
2014-09-12
Owned
Robert Kuster
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
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9
Oct 2014
Another fantastic game by the same designers of War of the Ring. Similar to the Battle of Five Ages which I really like. This game will see many plays, I hope, lots of stategies to explore for both sides.
2014-10-24
Owned
Want To Play
Alessio Serafini
United Kingdom
London
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9
Nov 2014
Yet another great Middle Earth interactive narration from Nepitello, Maggi and Di Meglio. Different enough from War of the Ring to provide one with a fresh story and challenge (though entirely derivative from the, underrated, Battles of the Third Age).

A few very minor remarks: components are over the top but the recycled orcs arbalesters from BoTA don't look at all like goblins to me. Also, and this might just be the way I played the evil player, while the game does a good job in conveying the chaotic ebbs and flows of the battle, the amount of figures and the pulsed movements tend to populate the battlefield rather sparsely, not as in the intense, epic fray I've always imagined this battle to be. Finally, the action dice play a really major role in this one, as there is less scope to manipulate them than in WoTR. Here, with some bad luck, situations might arise with no possible action to be taken with a certain die. Still a great compact version of the parent game, no question about that.
2014-11-20
Owned
Marko Dobranic
Croatia
Zagreb
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9
Jun 2015
rating after 4 plays, excellent game, I like it more than WOTR, thematic, lots of fun and difficult decisions
2015-06-10
Jeff Kuhn
United States
Garner
North Carolina
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9
Jan 2015
Much different from its older cousin, WotR, BoFA brings (in my view) a whole different feel to the table. BoFA is much more a wargamey substance than its cousin. Here, there is little metagame (ie, the Ring game), it's just a straight slugfest. But, like its older cousin it provides you with lots of difficult choices, and the tension mounts as the game goes on, mainly due to the fate track (the sort of mini-meta game that goes on). All in all, there is an awful lot going on in this little package. Time will tell if it falls into a pattern of sameyness in the way it unfolds. I'd be highly surprised if it did, it seems there are a surprising number of ways to victory here. I'm a little biased, partly for being such a Tolkien geek, but mostly because this game falls in a very sweet spot for me. Namely, strict limits on what you can do each turn, and a timing mechanism which sets a variable game length that really ramps up the tension. If you like those types of things, this is most definitely for you.
2015-01-08
Owned
Tomasz Siudziński
Poland
Wrocław
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9
Nov 2014
Another diamond...less shining then true one but still...
2014-11-30
Owned
Jeremy Yoder
United States
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9
Sep 2014
Clever game with lots going on between asymmetric sides. Beautiful production.
2014-11-14
Owned
Want To Play
leonardo RINA
Italy
LIVORNO
ITALIA
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9
Feb 2014
Playtester: very beautiful game... shorter than War of the Ring, but not less nice. Nice job
2014-02-14
Want In Trade
Want To Buy
Want To Play
:D.a.n:C.a.s.e.y:
United States
Michigan
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9
Dec 2014
A very faithful representation of the battle from the book. You might say it has less narrative than War Of The Ring, but this represents one chapter, not three books. The multiple victory conditions keeps the game on a tight rope and the Fate track is perfectly executed. The tension in the game is high. Has enough new/different elements from WOTR to make it fresh and worth owning both if you're going to play it a lot, which I likely will. One of the best new games I've played in 2014.

It's only slightly shorter than WOTR and only slightly less complex. I can't really believe they are putting 60 minutes on the box when 120-180 mins is more like the truth. Once again the rulebook is far too verbose and makes the game seem harder than it is, but on the other hand it is thoroughly complete and has a lot of examples.
2014-12-15
Owned
Andrei Novac
Belgium
Brussels
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9
Dec 2014
Provisional rating after 1 play. Great theme integration, a war/adventure game which offers exactly what it promised, on top of the very cool miniatures. After the first play the game has yet to reveal complex strategies, but it was already a refreshing experience.
2014-12-01
Owned
Charlotte M-R
Canada
Barrie
Ontario
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9
May 2015
Very fun!
2015-05-08
Owned
Emanuele Lillo
Italy
Battipaglia
Campania
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9
Jun 2015
Somewhat shorter than its bigger brother War of the Ring, it retains a great level of strategic entertainment even with its smaller scope.
2015-04-24
Owned
Ralf Schemmann
Germany
Siegen
NRW
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9
Aug 2014
I was a playtester for this and helped with the German translation. Love the game.
2014-08-22
Owned
Want To Play
Michael S
United States
Montclair
New Jersey
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9
Feb 2015
This may move up after more plays but WOW, this takes something I loved (War of the Ring) and zooms it way in for a single battle. I LOVE this game. I played as shadow army and just dove right into attacking the free people. Spent alot of time adding to the gobilns in the mountains and then had them pour out of the mountains causing a big headache for the free peoples player.

Free peoples seem a little tougher to play as far as complexity because they have much more to keep track of with lots of characters and abilities.

Not sure who has the advantage in this one Im thinking that shadow army has advantage early but the longer the game goes on the more it swings to free people.

Looking forward to more plays of this.
2014-09-26
Owned
United States
Alameda
California
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...do not calle up That which you cannot put downe; either from dead saltes or out of ye Spheres beyond.
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Wicked Lich of the West
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9
Nov 2014
Everything about this game is beautifully done including artistic direction, rulebook, game play fun, and the meshing of fluff with game mechanics.
2014-11-11
Owned
Kevin Ryan
United States
Westminster
California
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9
May 2015
Brilliant. Shares much in common with its older sibling, WotR, but a completely different feel and experience. It builds to an epic ending unlike any other game I have played. (with the exception, of course, of WotR. But this is just different enough to love them both for slightly different reasons.)
2014-10-03
Owned
Matt Pinchuk
Canada
Sainte Anne de Bellevue
Quebec
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9
Dec 2014
You could call it a scaled down version of War of the Ring. It uses the same system and plays much quicker. The battle resolution is a lot different though and adds to the overall experience. It won't replace WotR as the go-to LOTR epic game, but it doesn't really need to.
2014-12-10
Owned
United States
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9
Jun 2015
Sleeved
2015-03-20
Owned
Christopher Hill
United States
Wilmington
North Carolina
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9
Oct 2014
A most excellent battle game! I like how BoFA game uses the same action dice as War of the Ring, but implements them in a different way to give a very different game experience. If you own and like WotR, BoFA is a must have!
2014-10-03
Owned
John Gulla
United States
Coral Gables
FL
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9
Nov 2014
Played twice; thoroughly enjoyed both times, despite slogging through some tough-to-understand-at-first rules. Still, lots of fun and engaging. For me, this plays in 2 to 2.5 hours right now though, much longer than 1 hour (as advertised).

The components are good, with the minis being the star of the show. There seem to be some slight issues with the board slightly warping (not only mine, but others have made this comment), and many of the chits were off center on the print, which is only slightly annoying. Still, materials are high quality.

My gaming partner seems to think the game may have an imbalance, in favor of the Free People, but it is hard to tell with only two games so far.

Landing this at 8.5 right now, with room to grow or decline by a half point or so.

UPDATE AFTER 3rd play: Still great. Still floating between 8.5 and 9, due to accesibility, setup, and potential imbalance-- all minor complaints at this point. After 1 more play as the Shadow player, I will gvie it a final rating.
2014-10-22
Owned
Martyn King
United Kingdom
Helston
Cornwall
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9
Dec 2014
Msog £50/ mpp£25/ AL 165(330) mph£9.09
2015-07-08
Owned
Martin Swift
United Kingdom
Ormskirk
Lancashire
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9
Nov 2014
This was a real surprise. Quite simple to play but well balanced and I can see it coming to the table on a regular basis
2014-11-06
Owned
Mischa A.
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9
Oct 2014
Beautiful, tactically complex, strategically interesting despite plunging you directly into the action. TBoFA borrows many mechanics from War of the Ring, but manages to provide a substantially different play experience by eliminating the political track and mustering preparatory rounds and introducing a new level of tactical play with terrain superiority and maneuver cards. I recommend this game unreservedly to anyone who liked WotR, or two player asymmetric wargames with complex tactical play generally.
2014-10-06
Owned

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