The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Deck-Building Game First Look

By Mike Rosenberg

Journey into the world of hobbits, humans, elves, and dwarves and become part of the fellowship in The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Deck-Building Game!

In this fast-paced deck-building game, players band together as they take on the role of the fellowship in their quest to take down whatever the path throws at them. Players start with ten card starting decks, and during each of their turns, players can spend the Power that their cards give them in order to purchase cards from the path. Once they've spent all or most of their power, the player's turn ends, they discard their hand and draw back up to five cards, and new cards from the top of the main deck enter the path.

Once the players have fought through all Archenemies that were in the Archenemy pile (kept next to the path), or once the main deck is out of cards to add to the path, the game ends. At that point, whoever has the most Victory Points at the end of the game is the winner.

Essentially, you and your fellow players will be venturing on the path to destroy the legendary One Ring, recruiting new allies and purchasing new items along the way. But be careful, as not everything on the path is safe. Sometimes, enemies will show up on the path and ambush unsuspecting players!

Each player is equipped for battle with a 6 Courages, 3 Despairs, and a special starting card that is associated with the hero that they select.

For example, take a look at Aragorn™ and Aragorn's Sword.

Aragorn's Sword encourages you to pick up a wide variety of card types. After all, Aragorn is a ranger, and he can work with just about anything to find his path.

The path can hold a variety of card types: allies, artifacts, locations, enemies, and fortunes.

Allies are the various good guys that you see on your journey. They offer more power or more effects than your starting cards, like most cards that you can purchase from the path. Allies also represent the characters that they portray. For example, Frodo Baggins™ (pictured above) gives you a little bonus when you have another ally to journey along with him, allowing you to destroy cards like Corruption (which make you lose points at the end of the game), or your Despair cards.

Artifacts represent the powerful trinkets and weapons that can be found in the world of Middle-earth. The Flaming Brand, as depicted, gives you a shot at drawing a card if you call the correct card type, in addition to the +3 Power it gives you to purchase cards from the path.

Maneuvers are like artifacts and allies, but instead represent quotes or big moments from the movie.

Locations represent key places in Middle-earth. Once you play these cards after purchasing them, they remain in play for the remainder of the game, and oftentimes give you a great effect each turn.

Enemies have similar effects to other cards when you play them once they are in your deck. However, many enemies come with an ambush effect. When a card with ambush appears on the path, it inflicts the next player with some sort of disaster at the start of their turn. Uruk'hai Scout, for example, makes you start your turn with fewer cards!

Not everything that appears on the path can be dangerous, however. Fortunes are free to purchase, and once you purchase them, you play it, get its effect, and immediately destroy it. Unlike ambushes, these can be a huge boon to a player's turn!

Not everything lurks in the main deck and on the path. Some big baddies lurk in the Archenemy pile. But what are Archenemies? What to do they do? What kind of horrors do they hold?

You'll just have to check back closer to the release of The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring Deck-Building Game to find out! It's coming early next year, so keep your eyes peeled on our Facebook and Twitter pages for more exciting updates!

Rosenfloggen's picture Mike Rosenberg

Mike Rosenberg has been a long-time trading card game fan and an active freelancer in the hobby game industry since 2004. He wrote, editted, and managed web content for Cryptozoic Entertainment from March 2012 until October 2013.