"All about the hills the host of Mordor raged.
The Captains of the West were foundering in a gathering sea.
The sun gleamed red, and under the wings of the Nazgűl
the shadows of death fell upon the earth."

From The Lord of the Rings

The War of the Ring boardgame is a grand-strategic game covering Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings.

While the Fellowship of the Ring advances towards Mordor and Mount Doom, the Dark Lord Sauron tries to find the location and purpose of the Ring-bearer, at the same time unleashing his armies against the last strongholds of the Free Peoples.

The Free Peoples player must use his Characters wisely, as they are needed both to raise and lead the Free Peoples armies and to help the Ring-bearer in his quest. At the same time, the outlook of the peoples of Middle Earth regarding Sauron must be taken into account: not all of them are convinced to be belligerant against the Dark Lord, and political pressure from Mordor has forced the Free Peoples into a dangerous inactivity. The Dark Lord must balance his political and military actions against the search efforts needed to hunt the Ring-bearer and uncover his true purpose.

Faithful to the books and to the epic flavour of the stories; Characters and Strongholds play a major role in the flow of the game and represent the main focus of the military action. An elegant and fun, dice based, "resource management" mechanism is used to determine, for each turn, the various types of action possible for each player. The presence of Characters is critical as many actions can be done by players only where Characters are present, and the main Characters have special powers which can be resolutive in many instances. The armies moving on the board are initially small in number, but as the game goes on, more and more troops come to the fields of battle, introducing a natural progression in the challenge level during the game.

Very original and smooth mechanics have been devised to handle the hidden movement of the Fellowship of the Ring and the Hunt for the Ring. Events from the books and possible alternate events are introduced both indirectly (through the game mechanics themselves) and directly with the use of Event cards which the players can use to "turn the tide" of the events in their favour.

The One Ring, the Ring of Power, is the focal point of "The Lord of the Rings" story and it is also a main element in the War of the Ring game. While the Free Peoples are secretly trying to destroy it, Sauron is desperately looking for it. However, the Dark Lord does not realize the intentions of his opponents, and so is not directing the Hunt for the Ring at the heart of his realm, the very place that the Fellowship is trying to reach. From the moment the One Ring reaches the borders of Mordor, the real struggle is between the will of the Ring to return to its Master and the will of the Ring-bearer to pursue his mission to the end.

The First Edition (2004) of War of the Ring was produced and licensed worldwide by Nexus Editrice and international rights were granted to several companies, including Fantasy Flight (English language), Tilsit (French language), 999 Games/Phalanx Games (Dutch and German). The Second Edition (2011) of War of the Ring is produced and licensed worldwide by Ares Games.

The boxed game includes a huge 70 x 100 cm full colour map of Middle Earth, more than 200 plastic models in 25mm scale (sculpts by Bob Naismith, based on concepts by Matteo Macchi), 110 cards with special Events and Characters from The Lord Of The Rings, sixteen Special Actions Dice, cardboard counters, and more...

Please note that some of the images on this website are a preview of Art by John Howe from "War of the Ring"
a game published by Ares Games under license from Sophisticated Games and Middle-earth Enterprises.