The J.R.R. Tolkien novels set in the Lord of the Rings universe have captivated readers since they were first printed. With these games, you can recreate the LotR experience in another way. Here are my picks for the best games based on Lord of the Rings.
Players work together in this game, trying to destroy the Ring and eliminate its evil influence. But Sauron is trying to corrupt the players as they work to complete their mission. The game includes several boards, and expansions are available. For two to five players. This is the game designed by Reiner Knizia
; there are others with this generic title, so look carefully before purchasing.
Elements of Stratego, but there's much more to it than that including a distinct Lord of the Rings feel. One player controls Frodo and the good side; the other controls Lord Sauron and the evil side. For two players. Also designed by Reiner Knizia.
Photo © Erik Arneson
This is Risk set in Middle-earth. The gameplay falls somewhere between classic Risk and the newer Risk 2210 AD. The board is divided into 6 regions of Middle-earth, taken from the first two books of the trilogy: Rhun, Mirkwood, Eriador, Rohan, Rhovanion, and Arnor. The armies represent Elven Archers, Orcs, the Riders of Rohan, the Dark Riders, the mighty Eagles, and Cave Trolls.
Warhammer meets Tolkien with this fantasy wargame. Most of the gameplay is identical to that in Warhammer, except a bit shorter, so fans of that game will be able to pick this one up right without much difficulty. Games Workshop also provides great material for newcomers to the genre. For two players.
Players visit 10 sites, trying to have the most influence on as many sites as possible. Card management is the key. This game, reminiscent of the board game Samurai (both were designed by Reiner Knizia) includes photos from the movie. For two to four players.