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Played this week: War of the Ring: Battles of the Third Age, Pirate King, Apples to Apples Mod, more

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This was one of those weeks where I ended up playing a lot of different games, almost without trying.  Not only did I get together with Peter for non-WAGN gaming, there was also some spontaneous gaming that happened when I got together with Rob, and also at Jesse's birthday party.

 

The biggest game I played this week was the Rohan scenario from the expansion-that-isn't-an-expansion for War of the Ring, titled Battles of the Third Age.  There are a limited number of components for actually expanding the base game, which I find mostly superfluous.  And, although I'm done with the base game, after having played it more than ten times and having long ago gotten tired of the hunt mechanics, I do enjoy this game.  I had played the Gondor scenario once before, and it has kept me from trading this base game.  I've been eager to get this expansion back to the table, and now that I've gotten a chance to play it again, I'm definitely keeping the game, at least for now. 

These tactical games are very interesting.  They're just a bit more dense than the base game.  I'm not sure if I'd feel the same way if I played the Free Peoples.  Both plays thusfar have been Shadow player, which put me on the offensive, and thus forced the other player to react to me, rather than vice versa.

This play was definitely a cracker, with me storming Peter very well before he pushed me back and almost kicked me off the board before I could muster up another army, and eventually come back to push him out of Edoras.  Not very often does a game have this many seesaws, and I definitely enjoyed it.  Base game 7/10, expansion 8/10.

 

Got in a play of RoboRally as well, when Rob wanted to get together and play some games.  It had been some time since I pulled this out, and I had a great time with it.  I think I might like this game more when I'm losing than when I'm winning.  I certainly enjoyed this one, and I was in a very distant last place for most of the game.  7/10

 

I have a rule of thumb that I have to play any game in my collection at least twice before it is allowed to leave my collection, unless I got that game from a thrift store.  And sometimes a game makes me well and truly regret it.  Pirate King definitely made me regret my rule.  I swear there could be a good game in here.  After all, it doesn't sound awful when you read the rules.  And even though it sucked the first time, the cutthroat rules might improve it, right?  Nope.  Nothing fixes the fact that the money mechanics are designed to punish players who fall behind, just like this game's inspiration, Monopoly.  We didn't even finish this second play.  I will be happy to show this game the door.  I'm hopeful that I can get something for it from somebody who wants to part this out for its wonderful components.  4/10

 

I played Ingenious.  What does one say to describe a play of Ingenious?  "I played a bunch of tiles that matched similar shaped together, but not as effectively as Ben H."  There, that should fulfill my contractual obligation.  6/10

 

For the first time ever, I saw another copy of Big Boggle, one that is not my parents' copy that has my childhood scrawling in brown marker all over the box.  And I rocked the other players hard.  So hard that after the second game, I resorted to only writing down five letter words, to call less attention to myself.  Not sure why, but I was apparently in the zone.  5/10

 

I also played Apples to Apples Mod.  I refuse to waste more time writing about this monstrosity, so here's my comment from BGG, which I think sums it up pretty well. 

Holy god, how did they manage to make Apples to Apples worse? You have the same extremely unfun judging mechanics that you can find in the original, but now there's an extra boring step of trying to figure out what adjective the judge wants to think up. And, there's very few noun cards in this version. You're likely to have the same ones come up in the same game. And many of those cards aren't going to be very relevant in 5 years. Beyonce? Emo kids? This is going to be as badly dated as that Genus I Trivial Pursuit that this box will probably rest on top of in your aunt's closet.

2/10, and I almost wish I had let myself give it a 1.