Rating: 7.7 Very Good
Popularity:41
Difficulty:Hard
Year:2012
Players: 2-4 players
Playing time: 150-180 minutes
Age:13+

Official Site: Official Game Page


Created by: Roberto Di Meglio, Marco Maggi, Francesco Nepitello, John Howe, Fabio Maiorana

Published by: Ares Games, Devir, Galakta

Alternate Names: Guerra del Anillo, La Guerra dell'Anello, Guerra do Anel, Der Ringkrieg, Wojna o Pierścień

Description:

Welcome to the War of the Ring strategy board game.

War of the Ring is a game for two to four players, based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

The players take part in the struggle of the armies of the Free Peoples and the heroic Companions of the Fellowship of the Ring against the dark host of the Shadow and the powerful Minions of the Dark Lord.

In a two-player game, each opponent will lead either the Free Peoples or the armies of the Shadow, while in a three- or four-player game, the players will be organized in two teams, each team controlling either faction.

In each game of War of the Ring, the player controlling the Shadow attempts to use his superior military power to conquer Middle-earth.

At his command gather Sauron's legions of Orcs and Trolls, the forces of the wizard Saruman, and the hosts of the Southrons and Easterlings, set to bring darkness over the West.

Against this onslaught, the Free Peoples player leads an allegiance of Elves, Dwarves, the riders of Rohan, men of Gondor, and men from the North-a fragile union trying to defend the last free realms of Middle-earth, and to gain precious time to allow the success of the Quest of the Ring- bearers.

While armies clash, the nine Companions of the Fellowship of the Ring travel towards the very heart of the domains of the Dark Lord-Mount Doom-to destroy the One Ring in the Mountain of Fire.

Controlled by the Free Peoples player, the Fellowship is his true chance of winning, as the military forces of the Shadow will be vanquished together with their master if the Ring is undone. But the Quest is fraught with ever greater perils, as the Darkness falls over Middle-earth...

In the end, one side will emerge victorious.

If the Shadow conquers enough of its enemies' cities and strongholds, or if the Ring-bearers fail and are corrupted, Darkness will triumph.

If the Fellowship succeeds in destroying the Ring before this happens, or the armies of the Free Peoples succeed in turning the tide and conquering the enemy's strongholds themselves, the fall of the Dark Lord is at hand...



War of the Ring is a game for 2 to 4 players. The forces involved in the conflict are divided into two sides: the Free Peoples and the Shadow. When playing with three players, one player controls the Free Peoples and the remaining two control the Shadow, sharing tasks. When playing with four players, all participants evenly share the forces of the two sides.

The game can be won by a military victory, if Sauron conquers a certain number of Free People cities and strongholds or vice versa. But the true hope of the Free Peoples lies with the quest of the Ringbearer: while the armies clash across Middle Earth, the Fellowship of the Ring is trying to get secretly to Mount Doom to destroy the One Ring.

Sauron is not aware of the real intention of his enemies but is looking across Middle Earth for the precious Ring, so that the Fellowship is going to face numerous dangers, represented by the rules of The Hunt for the Ring.

But the Companions can spur the Free Peoples to the fight against Sauron, so the Free People player must balance the need to protect the Ringbearer from harm, against the attempt to raise a proper defense against the armies of the Shadow, so that they do not overrun Middle Earth before the Ringbearer completes his quest.

Each game turn revolves around the roll of Action Dice: each die corresponds to an action that a player can do during a turn. Depending on the face rolled on each die, different actions are possible (moving armies, characters, recruiting troops, advancing a Political Track).

Action dice can also be used to draw or play Event Cards. Event Cards are played to represent specific events from the story (or events which could possibly have happened) which cannot be portrayed through normal game-play.

Each Event Card can also create an unexpected turn in the game, allowing special actions or altering the course of a battle.

Prices:
Retail Price:$98
Amazon:$135
Ebay:$69
Expansions:
War of the Ring - Scenario: The Breaking of the Fellowship
War of the Ring: Lords of Middle-earth
War of the Ring: Lords of Middle-earth – Treebeard Mini-Expansion
War of the Ring: Warriors of Middle-earth
War of the Ring: Warriors of Middle-earth – Tidings Not Burdens Mini-Expansion

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Components

  • 1 Game Board, composed of two fold-out sections
  • 2 Player Aids
  • 6 Free Peoples Action Dice
  • 10 Shadow Action Dice
  • 5 six-sided Combat Dice
  • 10 Companion Cards
  • 1 Gollum Card
  • 3 Minion Cards (Shadow Characters)
  • 96 Event Cards (divided into 4 decks of 24 cards each)
  • 205 plastic figures representing the Armies and Characters of the War of the Ring
  • 76 cardboard counters and markers, including:
  • Rulebook

Setup

Before you start playing, you should decide who will play the Free Peoples and who will play the Shadow.

Then, get the game ready to play by following these steps. …



Plastic Figures

The Armies fighting for Middle-earth and the heroes and monsters that lead them are represented in the game by plastic figures.

Armies

The bulk of the armed forces of a Nation are represented by Army units.

The Army units of a Nation are further divided into either Regular or Elite units, where the first category represents a fighting force of average warriors and the second a host of chosen fighters or powerful monsters.

A single Army unit corresponds to a variable number of warriors, from a few hundred expert fighters to thousands of Orcs. In game terms, all units of a kind (Regular or Elite) have the same fighting capabilities as any other of the same kind, regardless of the Nation they belong to. …



The Event cards represent many of the fortunate (or unfortunate) episodes in The Lord of the Rings, as well as special items, unexpected occurrences, and "what if"s.

Moreover, each Event card can alternatively be used for a special combat effect to be employed in battle. When an Event card is used for its combat ability, we refer to the card as a Combat card.

Event Decks

Each player receives two decks of Event cards: his Strategy deck (represented graphically by an army banner) and his Character deck (represented graphically by a sword). …



The vast hordes of the Dark Lord and the stout defenders of the West play a central role in War of the Ring, and their mustering and employment is crucial. From their initial starting positions (as described in Setting up the Game), the Armies of both players will swell with reinforcements and move to battle according to the following rules.

I. Characters

Playing Free Peoples Characters

Free Peoples Characters (Companions) are brought into play in two ways:

  • Companions enter play when they are separated from the Fellowship; …



The end of the Third Age was a dark time for Middle-earth. While the basic allegiances of the Free Peoples were clearly defined, their individual opinions towards the threat of Sauron differed widely.

The diplomatic stance of the various Nations is represented in War of the Ring by a Nation's position on the Political Track found on the game board.

The Political Track

The initial starting position of a Nation on the Political Track (marked by the individual Nation's icon on the track itself) represents its diplomatic attitude at the beginning of the war. The farther its Political counter is from the "At War" step of the track, the less inclined that Nation is to take part in the conflict. …



In War of the Ring, Frodo and Sam are inseparable and are represented collectively as the Ring-bearers. As told in The Lord of the Rings, the two Hobbits are accompanied by a number of Companions, chosen from among the Free Peoples of Middle-earth.

These Characters together form the Fellowship of the Ring. While Frodo and Sam are bent on reaching Mount Doom to complete their quest, the other Companions have a choice: they can stay and protect the Fellowship, or, in time, leave the Fellowship in order to help the Free Peoples of the West in their struggle against the Shadow. …



While the Fellowship covertly seeks to reach Mount Doom, Sauron is searching tirelessly for the Ring-bearers and their Companions. The Dark Lord gathers rumors and sends out spies, hoping to finally reclaim his long-lost treasure. These efforts are represented in War of the Ring by the Hunt for the Ring.

The Hunt Pool

The Hunt Pool is a set of cardboard tiles representing the effects of a successful Hunt. These tiles should be placed in an opaque container at the beginning of the game (such as a cup or similar container), as one tile must be drawn randomly each time the Hunt is successful. …



In a three- or four-player game, each player represents one of the major powers in The Lord of the Rings and controls some of the Nations and certain Characters.

Four-player Game

In a four-player game, the player responsibilities are broken down as follows:

Free Peoples:

  • Player 1: Gondor (also controls the Elves)
  • Player 2: Rohan (also controls the North and Dwarves)

Shadow:

  • Player 1: The Witch-king (the Sauron Nation)
  • Player 2: Saruman and Sauron Allies (Isengard and Southron & Easterling Nations)

All the rules in the standard game apply, with the following exceptions. …




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