Amazon's Lord of the Rings series "Rings of Power" is currently causing a hype about the fantasy franchise. The stories of Middle-earth are brought to life - not just on the TV screen. Parallel to the series or afterwards you can experience further adventures, for example with board games. Five good Lord of the Rings board games provide plenty of action between Hobbiton and Mordor.

With the series for The Lord of the Rings, Amazon captured the spirit of the times: people are looking for relaxation and good stories in fantastic worlds. The fact that the production is big and not messy fuels the hype about “rings of power”. The series not only depicts just part of the stories in Tolkien's fantasy universe, it is also just one medium of many that fans can use to experience adventures in Middle-earth. Authors and publishers have brought a good number of good board games onto the market in recent months and in some cases have gradually developed them further. Some of the board games for The Lord of the Rings even tell completely new stories. If you want to explore Middle-earth to its full extent, you can't avoid the following five board games.

The Lord of the Rings - Journey through Middle-earth

Players in this country can dare the journey through Middle-earth with the board game from Asmodee. Image: Asmodee

Players in this country can dare the journey through Middle-earth with the board game from Asmodee. Image: Asmodee

Once upon a time, The Lord of the Rings - Journey through Middle-earth appeared as a comprehensive and courageous board game. It was the time when board games with app support were new and rare. Fantasy Flight Games needed a board game on the market that didn't use the software part as a mere accessory, but integrated it as a central element in the gameplay. The journey through Middle-earth therefore also feels like one: it's about new adventures and new stories with well-known heroes from Middle-earth. Asmodee Germany is still localizing the title for the German-speaking market.

The idea: Players slip into the roles of various characters from The Lord of the Rings universe, including Aragorn, Legolas or Gimli. Each hero figure is unique and equipped with individual skills and pieces of equipment. When preparing for a game, the first thing that matters is a clever group composition and the right tactics on the pitch. The app provides a fragment of the story, which then develops live during the game. Together, players discover the different locations on the landscape made up of modular fields, have conversations, look for clues and fight out battles. Heden and opponents are represented by miniatures. 

The highlight of The Lord of the Rings – Journeys in Middle-earth is the gradually evolving gameplay. You complete missions, collect equipment and experience points and improve the heroes during the breaks around the campfire, among other things with new skills. Coordination within the group and interaction are relevant. The board game is challenging, some missions sometimes difficult. Fantasy Flight Games and Asmodee have successively expanded the board game over the months. New heroes, new enemies, new missions - there is an all-round carefree package for fans who want to experience new stories in Middle-earth together with their companions (friends). 

The Lord of the Rings – Journeys in Middle-earth for 1-5 people is recommended for ages 14+. The playing time is between 60 and 120 minutes.

The Lord of the Rings - The Card Game

The card game for The Lord of the Rings has experienced a new start. Image: Asmodee

The card game for The Lord of the Rings has experienced a new start. Image: Asmodee

The Lord of the Rings – The Card Game is a so-called Living Card Game. In addition to the basic box, there are card packages to buy, but they contain fixed cards. The game is similar to a trading card game, but is completely different, at least in terms of collecting, because it is predictable. The focus of the card game for The Lord of the Rings is clearly on the gaming experience itself: You play a campaign cooperatively, complete missions - but build your own individual deck of cards. 

Different factions have different strengths and weaknesses, for example an effective attack or powerful supporting skills. In a game with several players, it is important to develop combinations among each other in order to be able to act as efficiently as possible on the gaming table. The individual players and their decks even have special roles and tasks. 

The LCG for The Lord of the Rings is now available in a revised edition. Fantasy Flight Games and in this country Asmodee Germany have started it from scratch. One reason: it was almost impossible for beginners in particular to get into the card game due to the large number of expansion packs available. If you want to start The Lord of the Rings – The Card Game, you should do so as soon as possible – because more and more content about the best The Lord of the Rings card game on the market is now appearing again. The level of play is quite demanding. The higher the level of difficulty, the more relevant card knowledge and individual adjustments to the decks become. 

The Lord of the Rings: LCG is a connoisseur game for 1-4 players aged 14 and over. The game lasts between 30 and 60 minutes.

The Lord of the Rings - Exit

An exit spin-off for The Lord of the Rings has been released via Kosmos. Image: Cosmos

An exit spin-off for The Lord of the Rings has been released via Kosmos. Image: Cosmos

The Exit series doesn't stop at Middle-earth either. This has been known at the latest since the release of the corresponding offshoot by the publishing house Kosmos. The escape room game for up to four players is most fun in a team - just like almost all puzzle games that focus on solving puzzles together. The Lord of the Rings – Shadows over Middle-earth is a one-time play event title that will be approached cooperatively.

In terms of story, this game starts with the well-known premise: The nasty Sauron is after the One Ring. As opponents, Frodo and Co are intent on bringing the jewel to Mount Doom. The exit game is now about solving the tasks set by Gandalf in order to be successful on the mission. Knowledge of the stories of Middle-earth is not required to play The Lord of the Rings: Shadows over Middle-earth. Kosmos did a good job here. The exit game can theoretically be played as another in the series - but it is much more interesting for fans. 

Basically, this exit title is more of a puzzle game for Lord of the Rings fans and not a work for exit connoisseurs. The latter should hardly have any problems solving the tasks. The game is entry-level. Incidentally, the game does not strictly follow the Lord of the Rings canon – at least die-hard fans may notice that. This is also where the puzzle game draws its charm from.  

The Lord of the Rings – Shadows over Middle-earth is a game for 1-4 trolls aged 10+. The playing time is about 60 to 120 minutes.

war of the ring

War of the Ring is older but one of the best two player games out there. Image: Heidelbär

War of the Ring is older but one of the best two player games out there. Image: Heidelbär

War of the Ring is one of the older board games of The Lord of the Rings, but also one of the most recommended. The second edition of the game was published in German by Heidelberger Spieleverlag, today the title is rare and therefore expensive. What the authors R. Di Meglio, Maggi and Nepitello conjure up on the table is pure strategy - garnished with the well-known framework from the Middle-earth universe. 

Up to four players experience epic battles with game times of more than three hours. This is a classic dueling concept. The good side meets the bad – the War of the Ring is therefore good as a two-player game. That is also the focus. The game with a full cast turns out to be a 2-on-2 team game in the end - this works, but is not necessary for the fun of the game. The atmosphere around the battles of the shadows against the free peoples is a great strength of the War of the Ring, the structure of which is based on the book template: Sauron stands with his henchmen at the gates of Gondor. Then it cracks. 

You shouldn't expect a special game depth in the sense of a story, but the War of the Ring shines mechanically with its pronounced tactical components. By the way, the War of the Ring including the expansion is significantly better than the pure basic game. There are quite a few players who say that War of the Ring is one of the best two-player games out there - and they're right. The license is used but not too intrusive; you know the content, but experience it in a completely different way; the playful demands are as enormous as the playing time, which can sometimes even exceed the four-hour mark. In short: as a Lord of the Rings fan with a penchant for board games, you cannot avoid War of the Ring. 

War of the Ring is a game for 2 to 4 players aged 14+. With a playing time of around 180 minutes, a game takes a comparatively long time. 

The Lord of the Rings - The Board Game by Kosmos

The Lord of the Rings - from Kosmos there is a "real" board game about stories from Middle-earth. Image: Cosmos

The Lord of the Rings - from Kosmos there is a "real" board game about stories from Middle-earth. Image: Cosmos

The Lord of the Rings is a board game by Reiner Knizia, which is also published by Kosmos. It is a cooperative fantasy adventure for up to five players with the well-known basic story: Sauron wants the ring, everyone else wants to prevent it.

Kosmos takes a slightly different approach with the board game, a more classic one: it's not a miniature game, but a title with small wooden figures as you know them from other board games. The level is high, somewhere in the range of a connoisseur's game. The preparation for the first games is correspondingly extensive. Once understood, the title can be played down well - even if individual games sometimes feel drawn out. 

Anyone who knows and likes the story of the template will find it again in the board game and will be able to experience it for themselves in a way, then even together with up to four companions. The cooperative gaming experience is a major strength, as is the tactical component. Even if you are completely ignorant of The Lord of the Rings, this board game can be tackled: there are brief explanations of the events in the manual at the relevant points - well done!

The Lord of the Rings is a game for 2 to 5 players aged 12 and over. The playing time is around 60 to 90 minutes.

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Last updated on 1.12.2022/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API