An adventure you say? Better grab the Lembas, elven capes, and…cardboard?

Beloved by all, it’s no surprise that Tolkien’s are a mainstay of the hobby. But, like following a magic sword as it struggles to find its target, choosing the right game for your group can be challenging.

So, here’s ten great games for your own Fellowship. Starting with-

10 | Risk: The Lord of the Rings (2002)

Trust us, this one’ll surprise you. Much more than a reskinned Risk, this version adds a wealth of small tweaks that add thematic depth and are easy for everyday players to grasp. Alongside branded art and gorgeous pieces (tiny wee Nazgul – we’re looking at you), the game adds leaders, action cards, fortresses, and an innovative take on the long-standing reinforcement rules that accommodate noble heroics and villainous gambits. Simple to pick up and available for a song, the game is a perfect Sunday afternoon pick or low-stress accompaniment to a rewatch. But if you’re looking to add something with a little more meat to the menu-

9 | The Battle of Five Armies (2014)

You’ve got dwarves, you’ve got orcs, you’ve got elves, you’ve got a smaller version of the venerable War of the Ring that’s surprisingly great. Boiling down the byzantine rules of its infamous Dad, Five Armies is a two-player delight that focuses on tactical combat and weighty decisions. Set against a ‘fate’ timer, the game never overstays its welcome and encourages knife-edge plays, asymmetric strategy, and rattles to a close at just over two hours. Batter Bolg, gut Gandalf, straight-up stab Bilbo; tell your story as mercilessly as possible.

8 | The Lord ot the Rings: The Card Game (2011)

A pioneer for Fantasy Flight’s Living Card Series, the game beautifully recreates the Fellowship’s adventures as they struggle to destroy the one ring and manage their hand size. Now allowing you to recreate every step of their journey, the series’ saga expansions extend into a colossal campaign, allowing you to dip into specific moments with standalone scenarios. While picking it up may be a goliath undertaking, remember that every journey begins with a first step…and picking up a copy of the starter set to see if it’s worth spending close to €1250 to save the shire.

7 | The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2013)

Sowing the seeds of the fellowship’s journey, this game follows Bilbo on his trek from his front door all the way through to the misty mountains, with a retinue of dwarves in tow. Accessible and gorgeous, the game requires sacrifice, a steady hand, and a little bit of Baggins guile as you thread through trolls, goblins, and more. And with an additional expansion, you’ll be able to take your team all the way through to the film’s gripping conclusion.

6 | Middle-earth Strategy Battle Game: Battle Companies (2017)

While Tolkien’s books have endured thanks to their humanity and elegant worldbuilding, sometimes you just want to climb up on a Fellbeast and lop some heads. Created by the geniuses at Games Workshop, the series has gone from strength to strength and comes with rules for campaigns, pitched battles, tournament, play and more. And with some absolutely gorgeous miniatures, assembling your army many be expensive, but it’ll be absolutely worth it.

5 | Middle-Earth quest (2009)

Describing itself as a “game of adventure and conflict”, this is one of the few times a big-box purchase undersells itself. Letting you play as characters between the events of the two books, with one player taking on the role of Sauron and the others struggling to hold back the tide and support the heroes of the Ring War. With a high degree of replayability, genuine tension, and an appearance from everyone’s favourite character; it’s the perfect shout for the Tolkien fanboy in all of us.

4 | Lord Of the Rings: The Confrontation (2002)

Who knew Stratego was so *&^ing good?! Neat, lean, and gorgeous, the game boils down the story of the book into a wafer-thin ruleset. The game involves shunting hidden characters across the board, with the side of good winning when Frodo drops his ring off and Sauron emerging triumphant when he kills the ringbearer or scours the Shire. Also available in an expanded edition, the game is a delight that anyone can play.

3 | Hunt for the Ring (2017)

Let’s be honest…the Ringwraiths were terrifying when we saw the film as a kid. And this game lets you play out this iconic moment for an unbearably tense ninety minutes. Split over two halves, Frodo must avoid being corrupted by the ring while travelling to Bree, before shifting to Gandalf’s perspective as he attempts to obfuscate the Nazgul as best as he can. Depending on who wins, you can even grant advantage to a side in the next game on our list-

2 | War of the Ring: Second edition (2012)

Lord of the Rings is a book of two halves, and one of those involves a lot of high stakes, apocalyptic conflict. A legend among the gaming community, war is an asymmetric recreation of the grand scope of the story with the Free Peoples clashing against the weight of Sauron’s army. Recreating the initial reluctance to meet the challenge, the good players flit around the map raising opposition as the Dark Lord surges forward as a tide searching for his precious. Meanwhile the ringbearer creeps closer to Mount Doom as Gandalf falls, Lothlorien is burned to the ground, and Boromir is still standing. But for those of us who love the heart of the tale-

1 | The Lord Of The Rings (2000)

While War of the Ring may be the better game, in terms of theme – it simply doesn’t get better than this Knizia classic. Putting you in the size 16-feet of Tolkien’s Hobbits, the game may lack the blood and thunder of other games in the list, but it truly captures what the series is about. To pass the challenges in their path, players must band together, support each other and – in some parts – slog your way through hardship to achieve their goal. Add in gorgeous art from John Howe, a range of expansions, and a copy of the soundtrack…you’ve got an experience that’s very special indeed.


Which is your favorite Lord of the Rings game? Share it in the comments below :)

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