P>This is an easy playing, funny boardgame for 2-4 players with much interaction between the players.
The design and graphics of the game are taken from the Bakshi-Film.
The players start the game in Rivendell, each player having 5 playing cards.
In turn, players can choose between moving, playing a card (and drawing a new one) or discarding a card (and drawing a new one).
At some points of the voyage (Bree, Rivendell, Lorien), the players get Rings (Yellow Plastic Cicles) which they can use to run from Orcs and Nazguls.
The first player who reaches Mount Doom with a Ring left wins the game.
On their way, players may encounter Orcs or Nazgul which they may defeat by rolling the die (waiting till they toss a "5" or "6").
A very important element of the game are the playing cards by which players may hinder each other. Players may steal Rings, may move other Players on Hexes occupied by Monsters or they may even force others to change hands.
Also included are some cards which allow a quick vitory against monsters.
At first sight, the gameboard is a real joke.
Honestly, the map has nearly no similiarity with Middle Earth, and I think the game was designed by people who just had read a short summary of the "Lord Of the Rings".
BUT: When you give the game a try, you will discover that it is quite playable.
Average playing time is 45 min., and I personally grew to like the game, since it doesnīt have many rules and it really makes fun to make such a "run" on Mount Doom...
Object: Be the first player to reach Mount Doom and throw in the Ring.
To set up the game:
- 1. Place one Nazgul on each "N" space on the gameboard. These spaces are only used to indicate initial placement and are considered clear terrain when empty.
- 2. Chose characters and place them at "Start".
- 3. Shuffle the cards and deal five to each player. Place the remaining cards on the board space marked "cards".
- 4. Give each player a special mountain dice (Note: you will need to manufacture such a dice. Itīs 6-sided and contains the following digits: 0, 1, 1, 1, 2, 3. In addition you will need a normal D6)
- 5. Put the yellow rings in a pile off the board (Note: the game included 12 yellow plastic rings. You will need tokens to replace these).
- 1. Roll the dice. Higher roller goes first, other players follow in turn, clockwise.
- 2. On your turn you can do ONE of the following things:
- a. Move your pawn one space along the path towards Mount Doom.
- b. Play a card from your hand and follow the directions on the card. Draw another card from the pile as replacement.
- c. Try to roll a 5 or 6 (on the regular dice) if you are on the same space with a monster.
- d. Turn your Mountain dice to the next lower number if you are on a Mountain space.
- e. Discard one of your cards and draw another.
- f. Play a ring to escape a monster.
- 3. When moving on the path, you are not allowed to cross the heavy black or orange lines.
- 4. You can land on opponents without penalty.
- 5. When the draw-pile is used up, shuffle the discards and put them face down on the cards space to start a new draw pile.
- 1. Clear Terrain Spaces: These are open spaces. You can be attacked by a Nazgul and you can be moved by an opponent. If there is anything (Nazgul, Orc, etc.) on a space other than another player or players, then that space is NOT considered clear terrain.
- 2. River Spaces: These are SAFE spaces. You cannot move your opponent or put a Nazgul on him when your opponent is on a safe space.
- 3. Town Spaces: These spaces are also safe spaces. When you reach a town, you can discard as many cards from your hand as you whish and draw that many cards to replace them. You also get rings (to be used to escape) when you stop on a town. You cannot collect rings or change cards at any town more than once.
- a. Bree: Draw one ring.
- b. Rivendell: draw two rings.
- c. Lorien: Draw as many rings as needed to give you a total of three rings. If you already have more than three rings when you reach Lorien, you must discard all extra rings.
- 4. Monster: Nazgul, Orcs, Shelob, Gollum Spaces: You must stop when you come to one of these spaces. On your next turn, you must either play a card or a rings or roll the dice in order to leave.
- a. Nazguls: To leave a space occupied by a Nazgul, you must play an "Escape"-card, a ring, a "Defeat Nazgul" card, a "Move Nazgul" card or roll a 5 or 6 on the regular dice. If you play a "Defeat Nazgul" card or roll a 5 or 6, remove the Nazgul from the board and advance one space. If you play an "Escape" card or a ring, advance one space and take another turn (Donīt remove the Nazgul). If you play a "Move Nazgul" card, move the Nazgul to any clear terrain space and wait until your next turn to advance.
- b. Orcs: To leave a space markes by an Orcīs head, you must play an "Escape" card, a ring, a "Defeat Orcs" card or roll a 5 or 6 on the regular dice. After doing one of the above, advance one space. If you placed an "Escape" card or a ring, take another turn. Note: Orc spaces with the black background are played the same as other Orc spaces. They are coloured black to simulated an underground path.)
- c. Shelob and Gollum: To leave either of these spaces you must play an "Escape" cards, a ring or roll a 5 or 6 on the regular dice. Advance one space. Take another turn if you played an "Escape" card or a ring.
- 5. Mountain (Brown) Spaces: When you enter a mountain space, roll the special dice and place it on the space with your pawn. the number you rolled tells you the number of turns you must remain on that space before you advance. On your next turn, you may turn the dice to the next lower number, instead of playing a "Mountain" card or any other card. When the dice reads zero, move ahead on your next turn. If the next space is another mountain space, you must stop and roll the mountain dice as before. If you are leaving the mountains, you can play a "Move 2" or "Move 3" card. If you roll a zero when you first move onto a mountain space, you can move ahead to the next space on your next turn. You can play "Mountain" cards instead of rolling the dice to leave mountain spaces. Play the card and advance to the next space.
- 1. You receive rings when you reach towns and can gain or lose rings by playing a "Boromir" or "Gollum" card.
- 2. Use rings to escape monsters. Put one of your rings back into the pile by the board and move your pawn forward one space. Take another turn. Note: When taking your bonus-turn, you cannot play another ring or an escape card to escape a monster.
- 3. After leavin Lorien, save your rings to escape Gollum and win the game.
- 1. Move 2, Move 3: You can only use these cards when you are able to move the full amount. You cannot use them if y monster or Mountain is blocking your path.
- 2. Move 1 Space through the Mountains: Advance 1 space through the mountains. You do not roll the Mountain-dice.
- 3. Defeat Orcs and advance 1 space: Move off from an Orc space to the next space.
- 4. Move a Nazgul: Move any Nazgul that is presently on the board (including one that may be on the same space as your pawn.) to any clear terrain space. Note: Nazguls can be placed on clear terrain spaces occupied by other players. You cannot put more than one Nazgul on a space.
- 5. Defeat and Remove Nazgul. Advance 1 Space: Play this card only when you are on the same space as a Nazgul. Put the Nazgul off the board. Move ahead one space.
- 6. Move opponent one space: Move any opponent that is presently on a clear terrain forward or back one space, preferably to a Monster or Mountain space. If none of your opponents are on clear terrain, you cannot play this card.
- 7. Gollum and Boromir: When you play Gollum, take a ring from another player and keep it. When you play Boromir, take a ring from another player and return it to the pile off the board. Restriction: After a player has left Lorien, you cannot take his last ring.
- 8. Draw a new hand: Play this card, discard all remaining cards and draw five new cards.
- 9. Cancel opponentīs card (Play anytime !): Play this card whenever you want to cancel any card (except magic cards) played by an opponent. You can play these cards out of turn and can play cancel cards on cancel cards. If an odd number of cancel cards are played, then the first card played is cancelled. However, if an even number of cancel cards is played, then the first card played is valid. Draw another card immediately after playing a cancel card.
- 10. Magic Cards: These cards have a black background. These cards cannot be cancelled. The three magic cards are:
- a. Resurrect a Nazgul: You can play this card whenever at least one Nazgul has been removed from the board. Place one Nazgul on a clear terrain space, such as one occupied by an opponent.
- b. Escape. Advance one space. Take another Turn: Play this card only when you are on the same space with a monster. After playing the card, advance one space. Draw a card from the pile to replace the card you just played and take another turn. Note: You cannot play another "Escape" card or a ring when taking your bonus turn.
- c. Trade hands with opponent: Play this card and the opponent of your choise must give you his cards. Then your opponent draws a card from the pile to bring his hand up to 5 cards.
If you are the first player to escape Gollum with one ring still in your possession, throw it into the fires of Mount Doom and you win the game !!! (Advancing to Mount Doom and throwing the ring are parts of the same turn.)