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Go to the Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game page
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Go to the War of the Ring page
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Go to the Star Wars: X-Wing Miniatures Game Starter Set page
8 out of 8 gamers thought this was helpful

My favorite game, my main game, which I play every week. A miniatures game for people who don’t play minis games… and for those who do as well! Beautiful prepainted models, great components overall, easy-to-learn rules, simple movement/maneuver mechanics, replayability, strategy/tactic/luck/bluff, it has it all.

I’ve been playing since the release of the First Edition, in 2012. The Second Edition has been released in 2018 and it made everything much better: balance, easier access, streamlined rules, ability for designers to keep tweaking the game as needed through the new “digital” point system, etc. The points for ships/pilots/upgrades are no longer printed directly on the cards. It’s all managed with an app now, with updates about twice a year. There are several options too for this: the official FFG app and third-tier ones. There are pdf files on FFG’s Website as well with all the relevant info for players who don’t want to go digital.

There are also 7 factions now (instead of the 3 available in First Edition): Rebellion, Empire, Scum & Villainy, Resistance, First Order, Republic, Separatist. And you no longer need to buy expansions across factions to get some hard-to-find upgrades like in 1st Ed. If you want to play Rebels for example, you just get the Rebel ships you wish to fly and you won’t be missing anything. There is a Core set with cards, tokens, dice, maneuver templates and 3 ships: 2 TIE Fighters and 1 X-Wing BUT if you want to play other factions and don’t need those ships, you can now just buy the templates, dice and (very soon) a faction-themed damage cards deck separately and, of course, the ships you want and be ready to play.

Gameplay is pretty straightforward. Each turn you secretly select a maneuver for each ships with its matching dial. Then, in ascending initiative order, you reveal and executes maneuvers and select actions. After, it’s engagement time, where ships attack/defend this time in descending initiative order. The last step of a round is the cleanup phase where you remove certain types of tokens. This is the most common format of the game, where the objective is to destroy your opponent’s squad. There are now several other formats available, like free-for-all (where more than 2 players each have 1 ship and play until someone has a predetermined number of points), missions/scenario/objective games, Epic play with or without the game’s Huge ships, etc.

I hope this review/overview was helpful. I love this game and the 2nd Ed. is SO much better.

Go to the War of the Ring page

War of the Ring

104 out of 123 gamers thought this was helpful

I know, strong title, but I do believe this is a masterpiece. It certainly is at the top of my collection.

The game is asymmetrical, with different strategies and victory conditions for each side (the Shadow vs. the Free Peoples). There are some obvious choices, but it is possible to surprise the opponent and adapt to events. Both the action dice and the cards are key. Each side rolls their dice pool to trigger their actions available each round, then players alternate choosing one die and taking one action (move, attack, muster, take cards, play cards, activate characters). The cards also have two functions: the top part is an action effect and the bottom part is a combat effect. The characters for each side have strong abilities that can really boost an army, and the FPP has the Ring Bearer that can move in secret across the map and whose objective is, of course, to bring the ring to Mordor and try to destroy it.

That’s just a short summary. There is a lot to do in this game, as you can work on a strategy, but tactical play is also necessary depending on the opponent’s choices and the cards drawn. The rules are well written and detailed, with enough examples. Combat can slow things down a bit, but it is an essential part of the game… and the story. That’s a big plus for me too; it really feels like you’re helping a story unfold. And even though certain known events are triggered, it doesn’t feel scripted at all. No two games are exactly the same, so replayability is very high. You have to commit enough time though. The 2-hour playing time is way too conservative. Maybe if both players (yes, it can be played with 3-4 players, but it is mostly a 2-player game) are very well versed in the game, it could be done in 3 to 4 hours, but based on the games I’ve played, it’s more a 4 to 5 hours affair. You won’t notice though, the experience is that immersive.

One last thing: the production quality of this game is quite impressive. The map is huge and both beautiful and functional. The special action dice are very nice (there are also regular black and white dice for combat). The cards are well designed and the various cardboard tokens are thick. The many miniatures are detailed and easily identifiable. The overall artwork is perfect.

So here you go, my quick take on this very deep and thematic awesome game.

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