Pack your hiking clothes, now it's time for an adventure! The cooperative board game The Lord of the Rings – Together to Mount Doom was recently published by Kosmos Verlag. The game is for 1-4 players aged 8+ and is based on the adventures of JRR Tolkien.

Cosmos and The Lord of the Rings? This is nothing new, because the publisher has released one or two games on the subject in recent years, including The Lord of the Rings: The Quest, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, but also the exit game The Lord of the Rings: Shadows over Middle-earth.

One ring to rule them, to find them all
To drift into darkness and bind forever
In the land of Mordor where the shadows loom.

An arduous journey

The aim of the game is to guide the ring bearer to Mount Doom where he can destroy the one ring. For this he goes together with the companions consisting of Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, Merry and Pippin. That's not all companions, is it? That's right, but Boromir and Gandalf also try to support you in the game, but they aren't their own characters. And Sam? He's even on one character with Frodo. Merry and Pippin also share a character.

The Lord of the Rings: Together to Mount Doom, Photo: Tim Nissel

The Lord of the Rings: Together to Mount Doom, Photo: Tim Nissel

The game consists of 7 stages and takes you through Lothlórien, Rohan, Helm's Deep, Gondor, Minas Morgul and finally Mount Doom. You lose your mission anytime if Frodo loses his confidence or you place the ninth Nazgul after Minas Morgul.

Here is a rules video for the game:

Otherwise, there are now the basic rules and then my opinion on the game.

Whenever you start a stage, place 6 encounter cards (matching the stage) below the game board. The first and sixth cards are placed face down. Whoever has a turn first rolls both black and two colored dice and chooses one of each and places it on the dice board. Then the two dice are rolled again with a new colored die. Here, too, you choose one cube each and place it on the board.

Now the sides of the dice board become active one after the other. First the left side, then the right side, always the upper black cube first. Black dice activate the encounter cards. These can be friend cards or opponent cards. You take friend cards directly with you and lay them out openly - in general, you can use cards you have collected together, including the cards of other people, after all you play together. After use, friend cards are removed from the game. Enemy cards put you at a disadvantage. Uruk-hai or Nazgul may need to be placed, or Frodo's Confidence will drop (then move the ring on the bar). But it can also come to a fight, which is relatively simple: Roll the battle die and see which symbol is on top. If it is one of the companions that shares a space with the ring-bearer, you win the battle. If the companion is somewhere else, you lose the fight. If you roll Sauron, you lose the fight. If you roll Gandalf, you also lose the fight, unless you discard a collected Gandalf card. So it's not for nothing that the game is called TOGETHER to Mount Doom. You try to move the figures so that they stand together with the ring-bearer or in front of him, but not beyond the stage, in order to support him in possible fights.

But how do you actually move? With the colored cubes that you have chosen. For example, if you have a red 3 on your dice board, then Gimli (because his color is red (you can see that on the base)) moves according to the roll of the dice.

Once the ring bearer reaches a stage goal, the current round will still end and then a new stage will begin. This means that the encounter cards are exchanged. A special feature is the last stage, because the ring bearer walks this path alone. You then no longer roll multiple dice, but instead roll a black one in turn and resolve the encounter card. If you make it to Mount Doom before confidence is too low or the last Nazgul is placed, you win the game together.

A walk to Mount Doom?

Together to the mountain of fate, photo: Tim Nissel

Together to the mountain of fate, photo: Tim Nissel

The rules are relatively simple and can be learned quickly. In addition to the classic instructions, Kosmos also offers interactive instructions in its own explainer app. There is a very simple inlay, but it is really beautifully illustrated. In general, I really like the design of the game, even if the map doesn't show the journey of the companions in detail, of course.

After reading the manual for the first time, I was afraid that the game would be very simple and that you could just throw the ring into Mount Doom. But the first game already showed: far from it! The game requires a lot of strategy and luck with the dice. No matter how well you plan, if you roll the wrong encounter cards, your chances of winning the game decrease. It is therefore important to keep friend cards and use them at the ideal time. It is also important not to leave Frodo alone in fights.

In my game rounds we have liked the game so far, in a group it is clearly more fun than alone. I always thought it was nice when we could discuss which dice to choose or when to activate which friend cards. As a result, the idleness of the inactive people was not noticed negatively, since they were always involved in the action and the rounds can also be played quickly.

But the game also has elements of luck that can make the game frustrating at times. While we still have choices when choosing the first dice, the second time we have to take the black die as it comes. Of course, he also likes to be on the encounter card, which we can use the least...

In the end it will be seen whether the game can also convince in the long term - there is no known story, but the process is always the same. Due to the luck of the dice and the changing encounter cards, no game is like the other. For the moment, however, the journey to Mount Doom was a lot of fun.

Preview Product Rating Price
KOSMOS 682804 The Lord of the Rings - Together to Mount Doom,... KOSMOS 682804 The Lord of the Rings - Together to Mount Doom,... * Currently no reviews 29,99 EURAmazon Prime

Last updated on 25.05.2023/XNUMX/XNUMX / Affiliate Links / Images from the Amazon Product Advertising API. * = Affiliate links. Images from Amazon PA API