Lord of the Rings (board game)

From Tolkien Gateway
The name Lord of the Rings refers to more than one character, item or concept. For a list of other meanings, see The Lord of the Rings (disambiguation).
Lord of the Rings
DesignerReiner Knizia
PublisherSophisticated Games (developer)
Release date2000

Lord of the Rings is a board game designed by Reiner Knizia based on J.R.R. Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings. The game was published in 2000 by Kosmos and Fantasy Flight Games. It features artwork by illustrator John Howe.

The board game is unusual in that it is a cooperative board game — each player plays a hobbit in the party, and the party will succeed or fail as a group to destroy the One Ring, thus winning or losing the game.


Game play is centered on advancement through series of scenarios corresponding to the adventures of the books. Players turn tiles and play cards in order to move forward, and collect and spend tokens to avoid advancement toward the Dark Lord Sauron. In dire situations, tokens may be spent to call for the assistance of Gandalf, or the One Ring may be used to speed advancement at the cost of moving closer toward Sauron.

Players are eliminated by being on the same space as Sauron or by being behind him.

Expansion Packs

Three expansions currently exist, the Friends & Foes Expansion, Sauron Expansion, in which one player takes the role of Sauron and plays against all others, and a new expansion, Battlefields. It is commonly said by the players who use the expansions, that with each one you add to the main game, the more challenging the game becomes.

Limited Edition

The game was also released in a "Limited Edition" version, limited to 250 German and 500 English copies. The set features a box signed by game designer Knizia and illustrator Howe, as well as an art print limited to 750 copies, created and signed by Howe. The game board and pieces are identical to the standard version, with the exception of pewter hobbit character pieces and a 22-kt. gold One Ring. List price for this version was approximately $300.


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