Lord Of The Rings Board Game
The Lord of the Rings board game, which is based on books by J.R.R.Tolkien, is a story of personal growth and the fight for good versus evil.
Game Time: 60-90min
Release Year: 2010
In this game, the Dark Lord Sauron wants to gain full control over Middle-earth and the Shire, the home of the Hobbits. That is why he creates a powerful magic Ring to help him reach his goal.
Once the Ring comes into the Hobbits’ hands, some of them, Frodo, Pippin, Sam, Merry, and Fatty, will go through an epic journey full of dangerous challenges.
Also, the representatives of Middle-earth: Aragorn, Gandalf the Wizard, the rightful King of Gondor, Gimli the Dwarf, Legolas the Elf, and Boromir, the son of Gondor’s current ruler, will join them in their journey.
In this cooperative board game, the players have to work together in order to achieve one goal, which is destroying the Ring. In order to achieve this, the Ring must be taken to Mordor, Sauron’s realm, and then cast into the volcano at the top of Mount Doom.
Sauron will send his dark forces against this team in order to get the Ring back and possess full power over Middle-earth. This will make their journey full of many dangerous adventures.
In the Lord of the Rings board game, players become members of the Fellowship who will try to save the lands of Middle-earth. The player’s collective aim is to destroy the Ring and pick up as many of the runes of Gandalf as they can.
The runes symbolize the contribution of every player to driving back the dark forces and can call up for the Wizard Gandalf’s aid. In this game, cooperation is the main key to success. No one will win individually; the players will score points as a whole team.
1 Master Game Board
2 Double-sided Conflict Game Boards
60 Quest Cards
35 Legendary Cards, including 12 Rivendell Cards, 2 Moria Cards, 12 Lothlórien Cards, 4 Helm’s Deep Cards, 2 Shelob’s Lair Cards, 3 Mordor Cards
5 Gandalf Cards
23 Story Tiles
5 Hobbit Cards
5 Hobbit Markers
1 Sauron Marker
6 Plastic Bases
5 Activity Markers
1 Event Marker
11 Life Tokens, including 3 Heart Life Tokens, 3 Sun Life Tokens, and 5 Ring Life Tokens
26 Silver Gandalf Rune Tokens
6 Gold Gandalf Rune Tokens
1 Ring Token
1 Threat Die
Each of the boards is two panels that are printed in full color on linen-textured cardboard. The scenario board panels are full-box size.
The master board, as indicated by its name, ties everything together. At the board top, there are the seven locations of the game, which are Lothlorien, Bag End, Rivendell, Moria, Helm’s Deep, Shelob’s Lair, and Mordor.
While at the board bottom, there is a simple Corruption Track of 16 parts, labeled 0-15, with the hobbits starting on one side and Sauron on the other.
Overall, the game boards are filled with color for the game, as well as clear explanations that guide the players throughout the game.
The Ring is made of cardboard that looks nice, while the Hobbits markers are simple FFG standard standees with silver lines. Those standees are very beautiful and have some great artwork on them.
Those markers are placed on the main board in order to mark the current location. The tokens and the event marker are small in size and have some nice artwork on them.
The die is a wooden die. It has some unique icons for 3 various kinds of results which are losing cards, gaining corruption, or advancing Sauron.
The game cards are all normal-sized cards. They are printed full color on sturdy cardstock with rounded corners. The game box is a sturdy square-sized box. This box has a small size that can fit easily on your shelf.
1-Place the Master Game Board on the tabletop and put Sauron on the Corruption Track on space 12, but if it is your first time to play, it is better to place Sauron on space 15. The Master Game Board will remain on the tabletop for players to use throughout the whole game.
2-On the Bag End space of the Master Game Board, place an Activity marker.
3-Then, directly below the Master Game Board, the Moria Conflict Game Board is placed.
4- The Event marker is placed on the Moria Conflict Game Board, above the Event Track on the space to the left of the Conflict title.
5-On the Moria Conflict Game Board, one Activity marker is placed on the first space of every Activity Track: those are Hiding, Traveling, and Fighting.
6-shuffle the six gold Gandalf runes, then put them facedown close to the Game Boards.
7- Next to the Game Boards, the Threat die, remaining runes, and the Life tokens are placed face up.
8- Near the Moria Conflict Game Board, place the square Story tiles facedown after Shuffling them. It will form the story pile.
9-Next to the Master Game Board, place the Quest cards facedown after Shuffling them. It will form the Quest deck.
10-Sort the Legendary cards to match their locations on the Master Game Board, in this order: Rivendell, Moria, Lothlórien, Helm’s Deep, Shelob’s Lair, and finally Mordor. The number of cards varies from location to location. Stack them face up above the locations of the Master Game Board.
11- The five Gandalf cards are Placed side by side faceup, next to the Game Boards; this will make the players see them easily.
12-give one of the Hobbit cards facedown to each player. This will depend on the number of players: for a two-Player game, it will be Frodo and Sam, while for three Players, the cards are Frodo, Sam, and Pippin; for four Players, they will be Frodo, Sam, Pippin, Merry, and for five Players the Hobbit cards are Frodo, Sam, Pippin, Merry, and Fatty.
The Hobbit cards indicate which Hobbit the player is and also will give every gamer special abilities which they will keep throughout the game. Each Hobbit card remains displayed faceup in front of each player, and it does not count as part of those in his hand.
The remaining Hobbit cards are placed back into the box. the players will place their Hobbit cards faceup in front of them.
13- Every player will take the Hobbit marker that matches his Hobbit card and place it on the Corruption Track on the 0 space. All the remaining Hobbit markers are placed back in the game box.
14-Frodo will start as the Ring-bearer. The player who takes the Frodo role will take the Ring token and place it in front of himself.
15-Frodo will always start the gameplay. Then all the players will proceed in clockwise order.
The object of the Game
In the Lord Of The Rings tabletop games, up to a group of five players will become part of the Fellowship, whose goal is to destroy the one Ring. They must go through a dangerous journey to Mordor in order to destroy it before Sauron reaches your group and eliminates the Ring-bearer, and regains the Ring.
Lord Of The Rings Board Game, How to Play?
The journey of the Hobbits across the lands of Middle earth will start at Bag End and end in the dark land of Mordor. Through the journey, the progress of the Hobbies will be represented by the position of the Activity marker on the Master Game Board.
At the start of the game, the Activity marker will be at the Bag End space. In order to move to the next location, some actions must be performed. Once those actions have been resolved, the Ring-bearer acts as the active player.
The Master Game Board has three locations that are Safe Havens which include Bag End, Rivendell, and Lothlórien. Once the Activity marker goes on a location of those three, the players have to perform every action listed above the space of this location on the Master Game Board, in order from left to right.
Once the Safe Haven actions are resolved, the Ring-bearer will act as the active player, and the Activity marker will move to the next location on the Master Game Board.
The Master Game Board has four Conflict locations which are Moria, Shelob’s Lair, Helm’s Deep, and Mordor. Every location has a corresponding Conflict Game Board. Once the Activity marker is on one of these locations, the gamers will focus on the appropriate Conflict Game Board.
Setting Up a New Conflict
To start a new Conflict, place the appropriate Conflict Game Board below the Master Game Board. This will replace other former Conflict Game Board. All the Conflict Game Boards have Activity Tracks for some or all of the four activity types, including Traveling, Finding, Friendship, and Hiding.
An Activity marker is placed on the first space of all the Activity Tracks. Also, there is an Event Track on the Conflict game boards. The Event marker is placed on the first space of the Event Track.
Then Shuffle the Story tiles and place them face down close to the Conflict Game Board. And the Legendary cards that belong to the Conflict Game Board are placed face up in front of all the gamers. Starting with the Ring-bearer, players will start taking turns until the Conflict ends.
During the player’s turn, the active player takes the following steps in order.
1-Reveal Story Tiles
The active player will reveal the top card of the Story tiles and place it face up in front of all the gamers. Those Story tiles have one or more icons on them which are immediately resolved. After that, place it faces up in a discard pile.
The active player continues to reveal Story tiles and resolve them until a tile showing one of the four Activity symbols appears or until the end of the Conflict.
In this step, the active player may play up to two Quest or Legendary cards from his hand, a maximum of one gray and one brown. For every Activity symbol that appears on the card (Traveling, Hiding, Friendship, and Fighting), advance a proper marker onto the next Activity space and resolve it.
If the Activity marker advances numerous spaces in a single move, the player will receive those spaces effects that are passed over by the Activity marker, either good or ill. The player must resolve every card before the next card may be played.
The Power of the Ring
During any Conflict, the Ring-bearer may put on the Ring only once. He can do this after the active player resolves the tiles or after the Story tile is revealed by the active player. This will allow the player to advance one Activity marker as follows.
1- On the Master Game Board, place the Ring token on the Ring-bearer’s Hobbit marker.
2. After that, roll the Threat dice and bear any negative consequences that may occur.
3. Activity marker will advance on any one Activity Track by a number of spaces that depend on this formula: Four spaces minus the number of symbols on the Threat die
What Happened When Rolling A Threat Dice?
The Threat dice rolling can cause one of those possible results, which are
-Sauron will move a single space towards the Hobbits on the Corruption Track.
-The active player has to get rid of two cards from his hand
-The active player will move the Hobbit a number of spaces equal to the number of symbols shown (one, two, or three) towards Sauron on the Corruption Track
End of a Conflict
The Conflict will be ended when the last Event space on the Event Track is resolved, or the Activity marker on the main Activity Track reaches the last space. At the end of Helm’s Deep, Moria, and Shelob’s Lair, this will happen.
1– Descent Into Darkness
Now the players must own one of each of the three Life tokens. The Sun Life token proves that the darkness is not overtaking him, the Heart Life token is evidence that his heart is in the right place, and the Ring Life token proves that he is resisting the corrupting influence of the Ring.
The players will move their Hobbits one space to the right on the Corruption Track for every missing token from their collection. Additional Life tokens other than the main three will not provide any extra advantage.
2. Determine Who is the Ring-bearer
The new Ringbearer is the player who has the most Ring Life tokens. In case of a tie, the new Ringbearer is the tied gamer who is sitting closest to the Ringbearer’s left.
The current Ring-bearer keeps the Ring if he has the most Ring Life tokens. After determining the Ring-bearer, all Sun, Heart, and Ring tokens are returned to their piles. The new Ring-bearer will put the Ring close to his Hobbit card and draw two Quest cards from the deck.
The Journey Continues
After resolving the first Conflict Game Board, the group will now reach a new Safe Haven, Lothlórien. After Lothlórien, they will progress to another Conflict Game Board, Helm’s Deep. And after Helm’s Deep is Shelob’s Lair.
When the monstrous spider Shelob is defeated, the players must now cross the fiery lands of Mordor in order to destroy the Ring.
Ending the Game
The game ends when this happens: the elimination of the Ring-bearer from the game, the Ring is Mine Event is resolved in Mordor, and When the Ring is destroyed. To destroy the Ring successfully, the Ring-bearer has to reach the end of the main Activity Track on the Mordor Conflict Game Board.
When the game ends, points are scored based on how close the team was to destroy the Ring. Also, those score points indicate how the gamers perform compared to former games. If they succeed in destroying the Ring, then the whole team will win.
Our Opinion About The Lord Of The Rings Board Game Review
It is a cooperative adventure game from Reiner Knizia that will draw you into the Lord of the Rings world. In this game, you can take the role of one of your favorite characters and go through a lot of dangerous adventures in order to save Middle-earth from the evil Sauron.
This strategy game can be played with up to 5 players and has a game playtime of 60-90 minutes. It is a good choice to have a fun game night with your family and when having a small friend gathering. They will love this game, especially if they are fans of the Lord Of The Rings movies.
The game comes with different characters; each one of them has its own unique power that will give you something new every time you play this game with a different character. The game components and theme provide you with a great experience; you will feel like you are a part of the Lord Of The Rings movies.
For those who want more, the game has a set of expansions from the fantasy flight games brand, which are the Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, The Lord of the Rings Journeys in Middle-earth Board Game which come with a companion app, and The Lord of the Rings: The Board Game Anniversary Edition.