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User Rating Comment Status
PJ Killian
United States
Watertown
Massachusetts
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5
Aug 2015
For what it's worth as context, I am not a huge Tolkien fan; I think The Hobbit is a pretty good kids' story, I find LOTR entertaining as literary comfort food once I give myself permission to ruthlessly skip ahead when the prose starts turning an especially deep shade of purple or, worse, when somebody starts threatening to break out into another fucking song, and I can't imagine any non-gunpoint context under which I would read the Silmarillion.

So.

Neither the total catastrophe I feared nor the miracle I had faint forlorn hope of it being. War of the Ring is a decent, playable-in-a-longish evening (we started the setup and rules explanations a little after five and were done a little after nine) dudes-on-a-map game. There's a lot of dice chucking, which some people object to, which is a mystery to me -- surely the game would be more random if there were only a few die rolls that were considerably more decisive?

Likewise, the rolling of a fistful of dice every turn, which some people can't seem to get past, was OK by me; it gave each turn a little shape right from the start, and gave you a partial preview of what your opponent was likely to do, thus informing your in-turn tactics a bit without making the whole experience run on rails. (I found the dice pool of available actions to be less restrictive to play than the orders cards in Combat Commander, with the caveat that CC's order cards are a hell of a lot more thematically justified.)

I do think that some sort of gamey simultaneous action selection system a la Race For The Galaxy might be more interesting than just dicing for the available actions, but the game does provide you with enough outs that you'll very rarely be in a position where you cannot at all move an army that absolutely must be moved.

Combat is more buckets o' dice; it felt comfortingly familiar to me as a Here I Stand player, really, and it works fine.

I enjoyed the hunt for the Ring/moving the Fellowship subgame; it gives both sides another dimension to worry about besides what's happening on the board plus it seems like it's pretty much the only plausible winning scenario for the Free People in most games. Mechanically, I don't have any great objections to any aspect of the game, in the final analysis, and I would prefer this to the old Milton Bradley Gamesmaster games, which are more or less this game's peers, complexity- and mechanics-wise.

My lack of enthusiasm for the game stems less from something wrong with the way it's put together than from a lack of interest, both in this style of game in general (strategy-light dudes on a map), and with the source material, plus, strange as it is to say this about a game that drizzles fancy components in the box like Rachel Ray drizzles olive oil on a roasting chicken, a pretty searing general dislike/annoyance with the components: the board is as large a mounted map as you'll ever encounter and yet far too small for all the bits likely to be put into key spaces like Minas Tirith, the spaces on the board do not obviously display at a glance whether they contain a town vs. a city vs. a fortification (and none of the information about a space is legible if there are troops there (and there are ALWAYS troops on pretty much any space that matters) the cards can be difficult to read, the dice (while admittedly lovely bits of pseudo-marble shiny) have unintuitive squiggly symbols on them that are hard to read across a table, the hero figures for each side are indistinguishable from one another without consulting a key, the political tokens are likewise virtually indistinguishable without a long look and a cross-check against a interpretive guide, and, worst of all, the Dudes on this particular map are all red and blue and distinguished only by shape, this despite the fact that the particular faction within a given side that a unit belongs to is frequently critical information, information that that it is thus virtually impossible to get without detailed examination of individual pieces. Also my Nazgul kept toppling over dammit.

In short, everything about the graphic design of all the physical bits values a very narrow band of aesthetics over legibility and usability. I wouldn't harp on this for the better parts of two paragraphs if this wasn't a game specifically designed to look tantalizingly cool on the tabletop and if it wasn't priced accordingly. And all of this sexy cool designer porn is exactly orthagonal to the basic goal of usability.

And I throw out, perhaps churlishly, the data point that we players of historical wargames with our quotidian, color-coded, cardboard counters and our point-to-point maps have figured this stuff out a long time ago. Your funeral, 'trashers.
2015-08-24
Mike van Veen
Netherlands
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9
Aug 2015
Looking to upgrade to the Second Edition.
2015-08-23
Owned
Ben Steer
United Kingdom
London
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9.5
Aug 2015
This may well be my favourite game!
Not perfect though - the miniatures are ridiculously hard to distinguish.
2015-08-18
Owned
H Harengel
Germany
Greven
Münsterland
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8.2
Aug 2015
brilliant action mechanism over action dies
2015-08-17
Owned
Bogdan Alexandru Barbu
Romania
Bucuresti
Bucuresti
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9
Jan 2013
x2
2015-08-16
Owned
Sören Kohrt
Germany
Kiel
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8
Nov 2010
german edition
2015-08-14
Owned
For Trade
Balogh János
Hungary
Kecskemét
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8
Aug 2015
Még egyetlen játékra sem készültem ennyit, mint a Gyűrűk háborújára. Hetekig tartott, mire magyarítva elkészültek a kártyák, és a szabályt is elég nehéz volt összeszedni, az eredeti nagyon kusza. Szerintem a hagyományos módon (egyszer elolvasom a szabályt, és utána azonnal mehet a játék) teljesen esélytelen kipróblni. Több hetes rákészülés után végre tegnap kipróbáltuk a két személyes változatot, és felemás a tapasztalatom. Egyfelől nagyon egyedi a játékmenet, tetszik, ahogy megoldották a gyűrűhordozók bujkálását, és a romlottságukat. Tetszik az is, hogy mindkét fél 2 teljesen eltérő módon is nyerhet(katonailag, és a gyűrűn keresztül). De ahogy a rákészülés, úgy maga a játék is baromi időigényes. A felpakolás így kezdőként 1 óra volt, de egy haladónak is legalább fél óra lehet. Ha új emberrel játsszuk, a szabály ismertetés alsó hangon 1 óra. És maga a játék... nos a hivatalos 3 órával szemben, nagyon nehezen tudom elképzelni, hogy 5-6 órán belül vége legyen. Néhány órán belül odáig sem jut el a játék, hogy a nemzetek többsége hadba lépjen. Egy szó, mint száz, nagyon jó játék, de elrontja az élményt az, hogy külön életmódot igényel a rákészülés, és szabadságot kell kivenni, ha játszani akarunk vele. És még ezzel együtt is szeretnék újra játszani vele

Fontos még, hogy nem pont ugyanaz a katonák elosztása, mint a leírásban. Az össz darabszám stimmel, de jópár nemzet seregében +-1 katona van.
A másik, hogy a Szabad Népek játékos dobókockáin 2 oldal ugyanaz, pedig a leírás szerint 6 különböző oldala van. De minden akcióra lehetőség van így is, csak más eséllyel. A mi játékunkban pl. ezáltal felértékelődött a Gyűrűhordozók menekülésének lehetősége. Azért ez elég durva hiba, ha teljes szériában kiment így. De nyomozok még, hátha én értettem valamit félre
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A második játék már jobban sikerült, és rövidebb is volt jóval: 3 órás partit játszottunk. A mostani tapasztalat az, hogy a Szabad Népek játékos szinte esélytelen. De még próbálkozunk majd Talán katonailag nyerhet az a fél is.
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5 év elteltével újra játszottam, immár a 2. kiadással, és el kell ismernem, hogy nagyon egyedi és hangulatilag nagyon erős a játék. Visszamenőleg megbocsátom ennek az 1.0 verziónak is azt a néhány apró hibáját, és felpontozom. Vicces lenne, ha 2 pont különbséggel pontoznám az egyébként szinte tökéletesen megegyező játékokat.
2015-08-11
Prev. Owned
GXY @BGG
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8
Sep 2014
Mine. Adquirido en compra conjunta

Muy buen juego con una cuidada ambientacion y estetica muy del agrado para todo fan de la obra de JRR Tolkien.

La larga preparacion y las mecanicas algo farragosas dificultan a los jugadores meterse en la partida y tener una buena impresion del juego. En mi opinion una vez superadas estas, Guerra del Anillo consigue su objetivo de reflejar el arco argumental y el desarrollo de la historia de manera analoga al libro y peliculas de "el señor de los anillos" pero por desarrollo y mecanicas queda un poco desmejorado frente a otros juegos de guerra o de aventura.

Juego al que ayuda mucho disponer de una guia clarificada de las mecanicas de juego. (sin ellas, a pesar de su calidad en materiales, le hubiera cascado un señor 7)
2015-08-09
Owned
Steve Rogers
United States
Hoboken
New Jersey
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They're Young, They're in Love... They eat LARD
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Spare

Probably for trade

See my rated comments
2015-08-07
Owned
Jeff Kuhn
United States
Garner
North Carolina
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10
Apr 2007*
This is a beautiful and high quality game. It is simple, plays fast, and has a high degree of player interaction which keeps all players in the game the whole time. While it doesn't necessarily follow the books, this game manages to deliver an enjoyable narrative that could hardly be more evocative of Tolkien's world. The game is fairly well balanced, and the expansion seems to further the balance.


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Added notes on the BotTA expansion to that game's page. I would say ultimately that game balance is better without the expansion elements. Better yet, just go with the second edition.
2015-08-04
Owned
Michael Weaver
United States
Maryland
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10
Apr 2015
Near Perfect game. Amazing theme that feels natural with the mechanics. Elegant and clean game-play with lots of strategy, tension, fun, and even room for roleplay give the great interlock between theme and mechanics. Does a wonderful job of simulating everything that is Lord of the Rings. This game should have been called "Lord of the Rings" and Lord of the Rings the board game should have been called "Journey to Mount Doom" or something because this has all things war of the ring wonderfully simulated in a single game whereas LOTR the game focuses just on the journey of the hobbits. If you buy just one LOTR game or just one board game, make it this one. It's great even if you don't like LOTR. Everything from design to art to components to feel to originality in mechanics to the sense of urgency all the way to the climax--all of it is beautifully crafted.

We now have the second edition upgrade kit in addition to the Lords of Middle Earth expansion which largely overlaps with the expansion of the first game with a few ommissions and improvements. We've had the very difficult task of including the second edition upgrades with the expansion as well as elements from the first edition expansion that are not redundant with the new expansion (such as the ents or siege weapons). It was clunky at first but now I feel it makes the game that much richer though some of those first edition expansion components/mechanics such as ents, corsairs, and siege weapons are not used as much since they're less useful (probably why they were left out Lords of Middle Earth) still, thematically, it's nice that they're now available to us in case the situation calls for them.

I currently have second edition upgrade kit, lords of middle earth and soon warriors of middle earth.
2015-08-02
Owned
Marco Fenici
Italy
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9
Jul 2015
9 - Terrific game experience, you really feel like being within the Lord of the Rings! This game is a bit heavy for my tastes, though. We never ended a match below 6 hours of play, and this is kind of a limit for me.
2015-07-27
United States
San Antonio
Texas
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9
Oct 2013
I'm terrible at this excellent game. The best theme implementation in a wargame ever!
2015-07-24
Owned
Matthew Vantries
United States
Woodbury
Minnesota
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9.2
Nov 2013
Probably the greatest dudes-on-a-map game ever made! It feels very LotR-y but without being scripted.
After every game I play of it, I start thinking of strategies to use the next time I play.
2015-07-17
Owned
Kevin Ciantar
Malta
Fgura
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6.5
Jul 2015
Intricate mechanics weigh down the game. Luck dominates strategy. As getting the right cards at the right time and rolling the actions you need for the turn or actually getting the hits you need for success, can all get in the way of careful planning.

A strong theme and the sense of doom, can be felt while playing. Components and artwork are of a high quality (although the text is a bit small on the cards). Really shines as a 2-player game.
2015-07-16
Owned
Guy Vandille
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9
Jul 2015
Magnificent epic evocation of the battle for Middle Earth.
2015-07-11
Owned
Mattias Elfström
Sweden
Unspecified
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8
Feb 2014
Nice, well written rules and great graphics and components. High excitement and rich on theme, but a bit on the fiddly side. Plays best with two players. Very similar to, but much better than the SPI War of the Ring from 1977.

All models painted.
2015-07-08
Owned
Brian C
United States
Lansing
Michigan
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8
Oct 2014
The Good: 1) Has clever mechanics that represent the flight of the ring bearer. 2) Does a good job at touching on many of the major events that take place in the books.

The Bad: Has less depth than I would have prefered. If it were a bit less Risk-like in the way it handled its units, this game would have been an easy 9+ rating.

The Bottomline: Highly recommended for Lord of the Rings fans, and really shines when both players are well familiar with the setting.
2015-07-03
Owned
Paul Barrett
United Kingdom
Hexham
Northumberland
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Case 4 - Shelf 4
2015-06-27
Owned
Han van Oostende
Netherlands
Almelo
OV
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7.9
Jun 2015
The good:
- Great theme
- Great mechanics, i love how the fellowship plays out.
- Nice set pieces, the dice and figures are beautiful

The not so great:
- It's a very long game, being a new parent I unfortunately don't have that many opportunities to schedule a day for a game like this.
But when I do... it's awesome!

The bad:
- I'm finding it hard to spot all the locations and regions on the map, it's just so much.
- I'm finding it hard to distinguish the different races and I don't like painting my games.
2015-06-25
Owned
Richard Diosi
Canada
Newcastle
Ontario
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8.5
Oct 2007*
Have 2nd ed upgrade kit for larger sized cards
2015-06-23
Owned
James Harrison
United Kingdom
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8
Jun 2015
Beast of a game - great if you have the time to experience it.
2015-06-18
Owned
Kris Ardianto
Indonesia
DKI Jakarta - Jakarta Utara
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9.5
Aug 2011
I love Lords of The Ring and this really suitable for the fan. A monster game with huge table space and lots of minis, very thematic. But too bad it's 2 players only (though you can play it with 4).
Not enough play time for me to get this monster into the table, but I still keep it in my collection because one reason, because it is WORTH IT!
2015-06-17
Owned
Rob Plantikow
United States
Evansville
Wisconsin
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9
Apr 2014
Have solo played this twice, and loved it, but need to play a real person at some point. Played it once with Evan, but it was rushed and we didn't finish.
2015-06-08
Owned
Max Schmalzried
United States
Fuquay Varina
North Carolina
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N/A
With upgrade kit.
2015-06-03
Owned
AJ Berry
United States
Minnesota
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In short, this game does it all for me. Theme, art, strategy, game mechanics are simply the best. Has held up over time.
2015-06-02
Owned
Based upon my poor understanding of history, science, and ethics...
United States
North Pole
Alaska
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7
May 2015
Expectations were set low, most hyped games are all hype and no game IMO. I was very pleased and surprised. This is a good game.
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I did bring it down a point after playing for the first time in 10 years. A little too much chrome. A more streamlined game would have been much better.
2015-05-31
Owned
Henry Allen
United States
Longwood
FLORIDA
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9
Jan 2013
It's a bit rules heavy and lengthy but it is worth it. This game is an epic battle that does an amazing job of bringing the world of Middle Earth to life and putting you in control. Besides fantastic integration of theme and epic feel this game also shines because it keeps you thinking and engaged from start to finish.

There is now a second edition available with minor rules tweaks and updates for balance and clarity. That's now my preferred version.
2015-05-30
Prev. Owned
Tom Lehmann
United States
Palo Alto
California
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5
May 2015
An overly long, detailed, and somewhat "risk-like" version of Lord of the Rings. The ring-bearer is mostly disconnected from the battle stuff, the politics of rousing the west against the forces of Sauron is just a matter of time, and the combat system isn't that interesting.

It's an example of check-the-box design, where most events in the trilogy get an event card somewhere with flavor text. That's not the same as recreating the essential tensions of the book: Can the west be roused in time? Can Sauron be distracted from the ring-bearer's quest?
2015-05-26
Ron Dobyns
United States
The Woods
California
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Un-punched and figures are MiB. The deck of cards has been unwrapped but is in great condition.
2015-05-26
Owned
James P
United States
Hattiesburg
Mississippi
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Very good condition. Light wear on event cards. All else like new.
2015-05-26
Owned
For Trade
septimus septem
Greece
Karditsa
Karditsa
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10
Dec 2013
You need a lot of space,time,imagination,energy,and you 'll get a lot of fun!
2015-05-22
Owned
Leon Stansfield
Austria
Lower Austria
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9
May 2015
played more than 50 times
2015-05-18
Owned
Steve Bak
United Kingdom
Alfreton
Derbyshire
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Bought but not yet used
2015-05-17
Owned
Andre Oliveira
Brazil
Sao Paulo
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8.5
Oct 2014
The best thematic game out there. Brilliant mechanics. And it never felt unbalanced.
Really cool how it really recreates the dynamics of the movie trilogy.

If possible, get your minis painted. It enhances the experience twofold.
2015-05-14
Owned
Dominik Baerenzung
Germany
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8
May 2015
someting for long nights....but for me the best Game in this theme
2015-05-11
Owned
David Siskin
United States
Playa Del Rey
California
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9
May 2015
Very fun asymmetrical wargame. My one complaint is that the text on the cards is WAY too small! Time to learn your Middle Earth geography.

Got the 2nd. ed now and the cards are MUCH better! Thanks for that. Still one of my favorite wargames!
2015-05-10
Owned
Roi espino
Spain
Vigo
Pontevedra
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6
May 2015
Un bueno juego que ademas cuenta muy bien lo que ocurre en la obra de Tolkien.

Quizas mi problema es no haberlo jugado antes. A dia de hoy me gusta pero como no le hago ascos a jugar cosas mas complejas no me acaba de llenar como a otros.
2015-05-10
Jerome Pare
Canada
St-Hubert
Quebec
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6
May 2015
Very cool theme and components, but a very long set-up and a very long play time. In the end, I never really had that much fun playing.
2015-05-09
Francesco Pelagatti
Italy
Parma
Pr
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9
Jan 2010*
Mansardato
2015-05-09
Owned
Nick R. Nielsen-Doss
United States
Gansevoort
New York
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10
Nov 2014
Added 2nd Edition upgrade.
Wish I could play this more often! Looking forward to playing all the expansions. (That are setting there on the shelf.ugh )
2015-05-06
Owned
Tony Dixon
New Zealand
Picton
Marlborough
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9
Feb 2008*


2015-05-05
Owned
James Drury
Canada
Longueuil
Quebec
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Dice Tower Top 100 (2014):
-Sam Healey: N/A
-Dan King: N/A
-Zee Garcia: N/A
-Tom Vasel: N/A
-People's Choice: 75/100
2015-05-05
Elias Nummelin
Finland
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7.5
May 2015
Big bonus for being playable two player game. Most of time players know what will be decisive factor halfway of game, and end is way too long.
2015-05-04
Owned
Sean Franco
United States
Hammond
Louisiana
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7.5
May 2015
There's a lot happening for this game, and I respect everything it set out to do. Theme-wise, it has come second only to Confrontation for Tolkien games. The action dice system is one of the best parts; every other dice mechanic it has (read: combat) is what kills this game. Bah. Still, a good time and a better spectator sport.
2015-05-03
Ada B
Romania
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10
Oct 2013
[DK] An epic battle for Middle Earth in a parallel universe... Best two player game I've ever tried, especially if you are a LotR fan. Good mechanics which fit the story surprisingly well. The only problem is that you need about 1h for the setup and 4h for playing it...
[Later edit] Setup+play=3h
[Even later edit] If at first I though gameplay is long... Wait until you see how long it takes to paint all the miniatures
2015-04-28
Owned
Want To Play
Pascal Antoine
Belgium
Floriffoux
Namur
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4
Apr 2015
Much too randomness for my taste: The chain of events of the original story is completely lost here!
2015-04-27
chris 34
Greece
Corinth
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7
Jan 2015
have parts ,all except of the board !
If some one has it please PM me
2015-04-26
Owned
SpellenClub Overspel SpellenClub Overspel
Belgium
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Cédric
2015-04-22
Owned
Joanna Griebel
United States
Los Angeles
CA
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10
Jan 2012
Fantastic game!

jg

70/4/4=4.38
2015-04-20
Owned
Want To Play

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