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Lord of the Rings (board game)

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Lord of the Rings
Lotrbgbox
Designer(s) Reiner Knizia


Publisher(s) Kosmos
Fantasy Flight Games
999 Games
Release Date 2000


Number of Players 2–5
Age Range 12 to Adult
Setup Time 5 minutes


Playing Time 45–75 minutes
Rules complexity High
Strategy depth Medium


Random chance Medium (Cards, Dice)


Skills required Cooperation
Credits | History | Rules

Lord of the Rings is a family board game designed by Reiner Knizia based on The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien. The game was published in 2000 by Kosmos and Fantasy Flight Games, and won a Spiel des Jahres special award for best use of literature in a game. 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

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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