But there is a silk purse to this sow's ear. Quite often board game manufacturers are more then happy to mail out any replacement bits that were either damaged or missing from your copy free of charge. In fact, they often have a tendency to overcompensate with this sort of request.
This happened recently when my buddy Andrew acquired a copy of Middle-Earth Quest from Fantasy Flight and discovered that "The Northern Fortress" card was M.I.A. He sent an email off to Fantasy Flight who then proceeded to send a spare copy of every single deck in replacement.
The other bit of set up to this podcast is Andrew's prodigious game collection. He currently owns approximately one hundred and twenty seven games. Even taking our weekly games night into consideration, we still alternate picks between the four of us. Needless to say, waiting for a specific game to hit the table is kinda like the equivalent of Haley's Comet flying over your patio.
To try and remedy this, Andrew's been lending out his games to anyone with a particularly keen interest in running it on their turn. For Chad, this bad boy has been in his wheelhouse for quite some time:
Described favorably by Tom Vasel in his two-part review and bearing a more then passing resemblance to a more thematically sophisticated Runebound, all of us were pretty keen to give this one a whirl. Chad took up the challenge of absorbing the hefty rule book and doing a dry run at home before rolling it out to the rest of us. He had ample time to prepare and play test this before his turn finally arrived this past Wednesday.
Andrew, Dean and I could tell that he'd done his homework, since his breakdown of the game was virtually flawless:
Thanks to Chad's excellent tutelage it didn't take us very long to move, explore, and seek adventure and peril in Tolkien's rich and expansive realm. In Part One of this game session podcast, Dean quickly strikes an unexpected blow against the forces of Sauron by handily ganking one of his minions...
In Part Two we delve further into the game, exploring the far reaches of Middle-Earth and completing some slow-pitch quests:
In Part Three of Middle-Earth Theatre Young Mawster Dean tries to single-handedly deal a deathblow to the forces of EEEE-vil while Messrs Andrew and David ponder retail space and lakefront property:
In Part Four Argalad is finally laid low while Beravor and Thalin seek the head of "Kevin" Gorgoroth in an effort to prevent Sauron from rallying.
When The Witch King appears in Part Five it's clearly an omen (or is it an ottoman?) that The Lidless Eye is surging. In other news: I blatantly fuck up the healing/rest rules.
Due to our ludicrously difficult secret mission, the game comes down to a somewhat arbitrary and underwhelming "rock paper scissors" finale between the Heroes and the forces of Mordor. Even worse: our epic component fail is revealed.
Yeah, as you might expect, we're definitely tryin' this fucker again next week. Except maybe this time we won't mix all of the replacement cards in with the original ones.
Seriously, if we all had brains we'd be dangerous...