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Mcmanus

Battles of the Third Age Expansion

11 posts in this topic

Im trying to buy this expansion, but seems out of stock, Im wondering if any of you know if its going to be a second edition of the game or something?

Thank you!

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I'm sure it will move into the $99.99 price range when it's available again.

As for the expansion, it really is the only way to play the base game.  Good luck finding it.  Every once in a while I see it on ebay for list price.  Also there have been some recent auctions at boardgamegeek.com.

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Baenre said:

The base game is reprinting?  Pretty sure that game is never getting reprinted due to costs these days of plastics.

The base game is listed as reprinting in the 'upcoming' secton of the website, but still near the bottom of the list with no date - so could be many months yet. 

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Tsugo said:

I'm sure it will move into the $99.99 price range when it's available again.

As for the expansion, it really is the only way to play the base game.  Good luck finding it.  Every once in a while I see it on ebay for list price.  Also there have been some recent auctions at boardgamegeek.com.

How so?  What makes the base game sans expansion unplayable?

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Sinis said:

Tsugo said:

 

I'm sure it will move into the $99.99 price range when it's available again.

As for the expansion, it really is the only way to play the base game.  Good luck finding it.  Every once in a while I see it on ebay for list price.  Also there have been some recent auctions at boardgamegeek.com.

 

 

How so?  What makes the base game sans expansion unplayable?

By no means is the base game alone unplayable.  Based on my game stats, I played nearly 30 times before I picked up the expansion.  There's nothing that would have stopped me from continuing to play as such, had the expansion never been released.  However, my subsequent plays since adding the expansion and later picking up the collector's edition total nearly another 60 sessions.

The expansion simply adds some elements that better balance the game, without changing the feel of it.  It brings in new options for both players, but also makes some decisions more challenging that come with these additions.

Against players who are familiar with expansion, it's doubtful I'd ever play just the base game.  It's not modular, like say, Arkham Horror.  With or without TotTA, the strategies and overall tactics are simply different.  When I've gone back to just the base game for teaching purposes, it made me realize all the subtleties that were missing.  Now when I teach it, I teach it with all the elements from the expansion.

Even with the high cost of production, it would serve them well to include the expansions pieces in the reprint and bump up the price.  Additionally,they truly need to release an "upgrade pack" that comes with just the components to expand the base game at a reasonable price for those who already own the base game.  Although I've owned BotTA for nearly a year, I've yet to play either of the skirmish games that are included.

 

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Tsugo said:

Sinis said:

 

Tsugo said:

 

I'm sure it will move into the $99.99 price range when it's available again.

As for the expansion, it really is the only way to play the base game.  Good luck finding it.  Every once in a while I see it on ebay for list price.  Also there have been some recent auctions at boardgamegeek.com.

 

 

How so?  What makes the base game sans expansion unplayable?

 

 

By no means is the base game alone unplayable.  Based on my game stats, I played nearly 30 times before I picked up the expansion.  There's nothing that would have stopped me from continuing to play as such, had the expansion never been released.  However, my subsequent plays since adding the expansion and later picking up the collector's edition total nearly another 60 sessions.

The expansion simply adds some elements that better balance the game, without changing the feel of it.  It brings in new options for both players, but also makes some decisions more challenging that come with these additions.

Against players who are familiar with expansion, it's doubtful I'd ever play just the base game.  It's not modular, like say, Arkham Horror.  With or without TotTA, the strategies and overall tactics are simply different.  When I've gone back to just the base game for teaching purposes, it made me realize all the subtleties that were missing.  Now when I teach it, I teach it with all the elements from the expansion.

Even with the high cost of production, it would serve them well to include the expansions pieces in the reprint and bump up the price.  Additionally,they truly need to release an "upgrade pack" that comes with just the components to expand the base game at a reasonable price for those who already own the base game.  Although I've owned BotTA for nearly a year, I've yet to play either of the skirmish games that are included.

 

Ahh.  Okay, I've got a few more questions:

1.  What features of the base game are unbalanced?  I've heard that the 'corruption strategy' involving the Witch-king yields a high win ratio, but I've never personally tested it.

2.  What decisions become more challenging?  In the base game, many decisions are kinda no-brainers, like whether you should muster the Witch-king or Saruman (some people stall if Gandalf croaks early, but a great many people I've spoke to say that the first four muster dice go to advancing Sauron and Isengard to War, and the deployment of Minions).  So, what's different in BotTA?

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With two experienced players, the SP typically has the advantage of controlling the pace of the game.  The longer the game can go, the better odds the FP has to destroy the ring.  By locking down VP locations, the SP forces the FP to move the ring more quickly, which typically means entering Mordor with corruption.  Or, with a good hand of combat cards, it's very possible for the SP to win a military victory before the fellowship even reaches Mordor.

That's not to say it's impossible for the FP to win, it's just that the advantage goes to the SP.

One of the elements that the expansion brings is a way for the FP to slow down the pace of the game through the use of siege engines.  First, it makes use of muster action dice that in the base game, might not have been as useful.  Also, with siege engine superiority, the SP is only able to fight a single round of combat, thus requiring the use of additional dice to capture strongholds.

The FP is always at an action dice disadvantage.  The expansion allows the FP to get an action die by bringing in Galadriel.  Unlike Aragorn and Gandalf, she only requires a muster action and not a will of the west.  The stipulation is that either the elves are at war or Sauron is at war.  The advantage here is that it may cause the SP to delay sending Sauron to war, which prevents mustering units necessary to capture VPs.  Also, if the FP rolls several muster actions, they can be used to push the elves to war knowing that another action die will be gained.  Galadriel grants the FP the ability to use a ring to discard "Eye" tiles from a successful hunt.  This means that when the fellowship enters Mordor, those "eye" tiles won't be added back into the hunt bag.  Lastely, Galadriel allows units to be mustered in Lorien even if it is under siege.

Another faction is the Ents.  However, they can only be brought in after Saruman has been mustered.  Also, it requires that a companion be in Fangorn.  Having the ents in play forces the SP to consider using the Voice of Saruman.  As long as a companion remains in Fangorn, a new ent is placed in the forest every time the Voice is used.  Even if the ent cards never show up, if Fangorn is filled with ents will definitely be of concern to the SP.  The FP must remember though, that a companion must be in Fangorn to muster the Ents.  What this means for the FP is that during the first turn, they must choose between moving the Fellowship or separating companions.

The SP gets a few new factions, the Dunlendings and the Corsairs.  The corsairs don't really see much action, but the Dunlendings definitely aid in taking Rohan.  First off, when mustered, you get to place two Dunlending figures.  Also, they can be mustered directly into an Isengard army while they are in Isengard or Rohan.  They are not limited to being mustered in a settlement.  What that means is if you are besieging Helm's Deep and need to beef up the army, you can muster those Dunlendings directly with the SP army there.  They are a bit weaker, so if taken as a casualty, you must remove two of them.  The corsairs now can be moved along the coastline, allowing the SP to move armies vast distances with a single action.  However, it does take time to get the ships in place.

Those are just some of the things I can think of off the top of my head.

What the expansion does is take a fantastic game and make it even better.

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Tsugo hit it pretty much on the head.  I just want to emphasis that Galadriel makes a HUGE impact on the game and makes the SP play a whole different way.  It also adds more to the FP strategy of taking SH's early before the SP even knows what is going on.  If you check BGG you can see this strategy and see how it is played out.  It doesn't seem conveivable at first but with a few cards and the right plays you can win a military victory very quickly.

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