Friday, February 26, 2010

War of the Ring: Collector's Edition, Open Box Impressions

Okay, no pictures here, just some quick notes:

1. The box is huge!

2. After considerable unpacking, roughly equivalent to my Falcon Northwest uber-PC, the inside wooden case is quite beautiful to behold.

3. WARNING!!! Do not open the lid past 90 degrees! There is a warning inside saying this, but by time you read it, you've probably already flipped open the lid 180 degrees. ARgh! This was poor design, as you essentially have to use one hand to hold the lid vertically upright while you extract the contents. If you go past 90 degrees, then hinges chew into the soft wood and paint of the box cover.

4. My box cover was apparently scratched at some point, then filled with putty and touched up. The result is pretty noticeable, depending on the light and angle. I've requested a replacement, but I'm not holding out any hope. Overall, its not a disaster, as the overall look of the cover is a weathered leather book, and the scratch isn't inconsistent with this.

5. The box is very, very fragile and won't withstand too much handling or trips to friends houses. Lots of corners and edges with soft wood and easily chipped paint.

6. Rulebook is thick leather bound, sort of like a high school yearbook with pages approaching card stock thickness. Very nice.

7. Paint jobs.... Well... not as good as I would have hoped for, IMHO. Sort of what they would look like using quick dunking and rough macro painting. Sort of like Heroscape figures, only perhaps a bit worse.

8. The cards... They're huge. I'm not deshrinking these until I have sleeves.

9. Black dice now for Shadow; White for Free Peoples. Personally, I prefer the original colors.

10. The bonus box with re-painted Aragon and Gandalf the White turned out nice.

So..... Wow. This Italian masterpiece edition board game certainly impressive to look at, but like a fine Italian automobile, fiddly, impractical, hard to maintain, and not something you'd just take up the block casually. What does everyone else think?



At 10:34 PM, February 26, 2010, Blogger Ben said...

The stench of fresh Chines paint fills my hobby room....

At 10:35 PM, February 26, 2010, Blogger Ben said...

Chinese, rather.

At 10:36 PM, February 26, 2010, Blogger Ben said...

Is it just the lighting in my room, or does Gandalf the White's paint job make him look like Gandalf the Peach?

Okay, I'm starting to get too fussy. Stepping away for a bit.

At 8:56 AM, February 27, 2010, Blogger Carlos said...

Overall, I am very pleased with the final product. In am in agreement with Ben in that I am a little disappointed with the box itself. I do appreciate the painted wood. This is certainly something that is a bit rare in the 21st century. Perhaps a box of similar design of hard plastic would have been lighter and sturdier while looking almost the same. But the wooden box defiantly has its charm.

I like the way the miniatures are arranged – each one has its place. Each time you pack it back up there will be little doubt of someone getting left behind. I have not had a chance to inspect each piece carefully, but my wife and I agreed that all were done very well.

I am personally a big fan of the board itself. And the cards!!! This was an answered prayer to my “Middle Aged Eyes” (not to be confused with Middle Earth). I have yet to unseal the card decks. I will defiantly want to sleeve these beauties.

The board is defiantly much nicer. I particularly like the change in the color contrast over the previous. And of course size does matter.

But back to the box, which is probably my main sticking point. It is very beautiful despite its flaws. I figure if it ever had a major malfunction that a good woodworker could probably not only fix it, but also make it better than it was when we got it.

At 10:47 AM, February 27, 2010, Blogger Anne said...

This game has its own weather system!

Ben, I totally read that warning note after I opened my case and heard the tragic sound...Go, go instant depreciation!

I haven't got into the game too much beyond that, as I had friends over last night. Now I might spend the weekend huddled across the room staring at the game and muttering "my precious".

I too am afraid to play it until I get the sleeves.

At 11:35 AM, February 27, 2010, Blogger Carlos said...

Anyone, please post when you have found appropriate sized card sleeves. These seem the size of tarot cards. Do people sleeve those?

Side note. My son asked just a few days ago about why we don't have tomes anymore. I was eager to show him this one. He was pleased.

At 11:53 AM, February 27, 2010, Blogger Anne said...


I'm following this thread on BGG. Mayday Games is going to get a copy of WoTR and make custom sleaves for the game.

A Plea for Sleeves

Tarot cards seem the best fit based on what I have read. I have not taken my cards out to measure them yet.

Re Tomes: I remember going to the British Library in London and they had an atlas from the near abouts the Medieval times that was the size of a twin sized bed. I would love to get my hands on on of those ancient books with all the ornate scripting and colors.

At 1:04 PM, February 27, 2010, Blogger Ben said...

I'm considering exporting the game contents to Plano boxes and/or tubs, leaving the wooden sarcophagus at the top of my shelf. I'm convinced I'm damaging the delicate wood a tiny bit each time I open the lid. Apparently the paint on the bottom doesn't withstand much box scooting either.

So.... My Gandalf the White was painted with mustard brown hair...

At 9:06 PM, February 27, 2010, Blogger Carlos said...

Now, Ben, I noticed that you mentioned that you were a bit disappointed in the paint job of the miniatures. I myself did not find that I was disappointed with them, BUT I also know nothing about good quality painting of miniatures.

My wife has been enamored with this game since I first got it and she is much more artistic than I am. She had entertained the idea of painting the figures a few times, but nothing ever came of it.

Anyway, since I know nothing about painted miniatures, perhaps this is a case of ignorance being bliss!

What about a TI3 collectors edition?....

At 10:32 PM, February 27, 2010, Blogger Ben said...

The paint jobs aren't terrible, and they are a big upgrade from the base set.

But... the paint jobs are sort of bulk army quality, in my opinion. No facial features, just a blob of flesh tone. Very little if any shadowing in the folds of cloaks. Armor is just a solid metal color. Some of the blue base paint on the good guys is splashed up on the bottoms of the figures.

Still, this is a very nice set. $400 nice? Well... Maybe. I think I would have rather paid $200 for just the components, sans box.

Nonetheless I'm looking forward to getting some tarot sleeves so I can take this sucker out for a drive.

If you want to further pimp your set, don't forget to order one of the painted plastic Mount Doom pieces being produced by a BGG user.


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