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on 18 August 2016
Have only played this game two player, but its a lot of fun trying to beat it. Its a fairly abstract middle-earth with play taking place on four boars, the artwork of which is lovely, as players work together trying to destroy the ring.

The game is very simple to learn and you can get going pretty quickly. It can be difficult to beat - almost did it first time and thought it would be a breeze, but it wasn't until the 17th attempt that we finally succeeded! And that is what makes it a great game. Some of the most fun games I've had have been when up against it and almost winning but failing at the final hurdle. There is an element of luck (how you draw event tiles) but there's enough in it for some basic tactics.

Overall, it's a really fun co-op game.
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on 1 February 2015
very pleasant and keeps you allert it takes about an hour to complete
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on 3 September 2013
Great game! Rules require some reading but after the second play through could play without checking rules. Bought it as my first coop board game and enjoyed it! The game is tough though, don't expect to win every time even on easy mode! (For extra drama play with LOTR soundtrack in background!)
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on 3 February 2013
Just finished my first playthrough with me and my girlfriend, and we had a blast!

The art in the game is great (What's up with those photos on Amazon though? Ours looks much better, different edition maybe? Mystery...) and the boards (3 of them, 2 of which are 2-sided) are beautiful. All the tokens are made of thick cardboard but they seem durable.

The game itself is the first co-op board game I've played and does a great job encouraging you to work as a "Fellowship". Your actions will have consequences on the other players and if you're not careful (like us) your hopes on setting your foot on mount Doom to destroy The Ring will be crushed (like ours were too).

Recommended heavily!
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on 16 April 2013
Game good, ( 4 to 5 stars)plays to book theme and my kids ( 6, 7 and 9 ) love it but needed help obviously to get them started, artwork excellent
Main gripe, playing pieces cardboard crap ( 1 star)and no thought placed into making the small story tiles into cards ( 1/2 a star if possible) which can be easily shuffled as this is an essential part of the game.Also rule book ok.
I had seen earlier version of he game and pieces looked sound but was obviously hoodwinked by this latest version.

Try and get earlier version as the quality of this one is not up to the mark.( why do they do this just to save a few pennies?!)
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on 14 March 2011
The game is well produced and will be good for all LOTR fans, however, it is complicated to learn - you can't exactly open it and play from the off - but, should have long-lasting interest because of that -

The game aside the only drawback was the delivery - which I think was by a company called the home delivery network who repeatedly got the delivery instructions wrong and kept re-delivering to an address they weren't meant to. They don't delivder on weekends either and their nearest depot was circa 10 miles away! In fact, whilst they were very helpful in the contact centre, the actual delivery service was bad enough to make me re-think about ordering any more goods from amazon again if they use this courier as standard
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on 6 May 2013
The first thing I tell people when I introduce people to this game is this: "It's abstract. Like, really abstract. You don't have a character figure on a board or anything. A lot of it is down to the imagination and a lot of the game play is resource management."

I then open the box and begin setting up the game, to which the newest members of the fellowship begin to look very scared.

This game looks complex when you first pull it out, and it's not easy to explain so I'm not going to go too in-depth here (the rules are available elsewhere online if you're that bothered, to explain them here would take a lifetime). What the game consists of is five game boards. Yes, FIVE.

The main one you set up is a story\corruption board. The story part tells you where you are (Bag End\Rivendell\Moria etc). Some of these places are "safe havens", where you follow a set of instructions - normally drawing cards from the deck, and once you're done you move to the next part. Others are "conflicts" (Moria\Helms Deep\Shelob's Lair\Mordor), which when you are on them, you pull out one of the conflict boards (there are two double-sided boards that come with the game).

The corruption part of the board consists of a scale, with the players starting on one end, and Sauron at the other. Certain events will make characters move forward\back on the scale, and should you ever meet Sauron on the scale you are out of the game. If the ringbearer meets Sauron on the scale, the entire game is lost.

Conflict boards must be resolved in order to continue on the story path. You flip tiles at random that tell you what is going on, and you have to deal with the situation either by taking the consequence (moving forward on the corruption scale, for example), or by discarding cards - resources that will soon wear thin in the later game. If you make it to the end of a conflict board intact, that conflict is complete and you carry on with the story. Certain events can make a conflict end prematurely, and if this happens the fellowship will take a massive penalty.

The biggest selling points for me are the difficulty and how tense it becomes. Each time I've played it we've always made it to Mordor, but failed to destroy the ring due to being too few on resources\too close to Sauron on the corruption scale. Its the final moments of the game that are the most enjoyable. Even if you do not win, the journey itself and watching your downfall is always enjoyable.

The game is played entirely co-operatively, and as such has always been a social game, forcing the party to talk about their actions and what they should do. There are moments where players are forced to choose between themselves who takes the penalties, and in several games I've seen most of the hobbits fall in hope of paving the way for the ringbearer (which never works, so don't try it).

If you're in a boardgame group, give this a whirl. I prefer this over games like Pandemic due to the chance that some players will make it where as others won't. If you don't have a boardgame group and you like the look of this, then that's slightly tricker. The game is incredibly imposing when you pull it out of the box - sprawling all over the place once you get playing - and the rulebook itself is giant and not quite as simple as it could be. As stated in the title, the game is incredibly abstract so people who are used to seeing characters on a board getting moved around may struggle to get their head around the mechanics. Saying that though, my girlfriend enjoys it and I thought it'd be beyond her, so there's that I guess.

You don't necessaries have to be a Lord of the Rings fan to enjoy this, but I imagine it'd help. It's based more on the books, but a simple understanding of the basic plot is all you need anyway.

This is one of my favourite games. I have to fight to get it to the table, but when it's there people love it. If you're looking at it and considering, I'd say take the dive, it really has to be played to be understood.

On a final note, whilst there are many expansions available, they are only compatible with the original release. If you think you're going to buy one, it may be worth trying to get hold of one of the older editions. The current photos on Amazon show the old version components - the current edition, in my opinion, looks much less dated.

One star docked for the confusing manual, the fact that the inside of the box doesn't really hold the components all that well, and the fact that the player markers are made of cardboard which lasts all of two seconds.
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on 21 February 2015
I found this LOTR board game very thrilling and enjoyable. At first set up and read through of the (complex) instructions booklet I thought the game looked too difficult, complex and maybe boring. There are lots and lots of parts to this game and at first sight some of them seem ridiculously stupd and pointless. But however after reading through the booklet and understanding and being familiar with the rules and instructions the gamemade a lot of sense and made for a great social interacgional friend and family game. We throroughluly enjoyes participating jn Frodo'squest to destroy the one ring and discussing and having fun while playing. The idea is fabulous, beatifully unique and a creative way to re-live the LOTR exactly as I remember feeling while reading the book.

I liked the idea of the seperate scenario boards (Moria/Helm's Deep/ Shelob's lair and Mordor) that each had their own challanges and characters. And also the general play of the hobbits and Sauron on the corruption line made a most enjoyable and scary ride. Also a huge love for tge artwork drawingz of the game drawn by John Howe ikkustrator of Tolkein's books. They were stunning and helpt to liven the game even more.

My only slight problems with the game itself are the not entirely quickly and easy way of stating the instructions to the player. (This took some time and there was a great deal of diving to the booklet to check rules etc. which actually prooved to be an amusig part of game play). And also the including of the stupidly named Fatty as the 5th playable hobbit. I thought the other four playable characters (Frodo/Sam/Merry/Pippin) were fine as a 4 player game. Fatty was not needed.

Great game. Great deal of fun in along time. Definitley recommend to all LOTR fans and others as it is a perfect family game.
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on 21 January 2012
Never before have I played a board game that captures the feeling of a book quite like this one; completing this game is a monumental task against all the odds.

It's incredibly hard to win, and takes a great deal of luck and planning and strategy, but it feels great to finally complete it successfully.

Even though most of the time you will lose, it's still very enjoyable and the perfect representation of the stories for Lord of the Rings fans.
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on 13 June 2014
Hate this game. To boring for me. Not a nuff freedom in game and no fun to play.
Game play is crap.
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