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Davis Talhone
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It's pretty common knowledge that the three Lord of the Rings movie board games from RoseArt are among the worst games ever produced. There are so many flaws in the rules and game mechanics system that having fun playing is all but an impossibility. The good news is I've written a new rule set for any one of the 3 games I call "The Battle of Middle Earth". It uses nothing more than the pieces included and is actually far more entertaining than the original rules! Best of all, it allows for 2 - 12 simultaneous players!

- Please note that the rules of the game were written using the third game of the series, "Return of the King". They should work with very little modification for any one of the three games (Fellowship of the Ring & The Two Towers) with minimal modification required. They also function perfectly if you own all three games and wish to link them together, only rather than a maximum of 12 players, it would allow for 36!

Without further ado, here is the expansion rules for The Battle of Middle Earth. Please drop a line with any feedback or if you wish me to send you a printer-friendly version of the rule sheet.

The Lord OF the Rings
The Battle of Middle Earth Patch/ Expansion Rules
2-12 players

OBJECT OF THE GAME:

There are 2 ways to win: Be the first to reach 90 points (the right side S on your counter) or be the last player who’s character has not been defeated.
**NOTE: If your counter reaches the S on the left side of the gage your character has been defeated and it’s game over so watch your scale carefully.


GAME SETUP:


1. Set up the scoring gages by adding one ring to each gage and starting the ring within the groove above number 67.
2. Separate the cards into three piles (74 ring cards, 13 character cards, and 6 character trait cards.
3. Set up the entire board.
4. Select one character (pawn) that will be your character for the duration of the game Please note if you choose to play the game with the Gollum/Smeagol character you will begin the game as Gollum (Gollums’ stats) and flip the card when instructed to do so by the ring cards even if the instruction is given on another players turn.
5. Locate your character’s character card and place it before you. This card contains your characters stats for the duration of the game unless the player uses the PURCHASE STAT OPTION (explained below). Please note there are purple cards within the 74 ring card deck that will provide special strengths to specific characters should you happen upon one of these cards take and place it next to your character card in front of you for use in a later battle of your choosing.
6. Place the characters on their marked starting points.
7. Shuffle the evil army tokens and place them randomly in any space around the board “ring side” down..
8. Place the ring cards on the side of the board, you will take turns reading the cards aloud.

GAME PLAY:

1. The youngest player starts first then play passes to the left.
2. Roll the die and move that many number of spaces. You do not add the characters “speed number” of the character card to the amount of spaces moved. Only move as many spaces as the die indicates.
3. You can pass any ring space unless it is red, then you must stop on that space and follow the instruction of the corresponding card.
4. If your roll results in your character’s landing on a ring space you must do the instruction of the corresponding card to proceed.

BATTLE:

If you land on an enemy token flip the token over and reveal the number that corresponds with the ring card. Follow the actions on the card. The player must stop on every enemy army token, when an enemy is defeated remove the token from the board. If an enemy is not defeated in a players turn follow the instructions presented on that particular battle card then the players turn is over. Once it is that players turn again the battle begins again until either the player or the enemy is defeated.

PURCHASE STAT

If your characters stats make it impossible to defeat an enemy in battle you may use the PURCHASE STAT option which subtracts 2 points from the players counter in exchange for the statistics of any character on the card of their choosing only for that particular turn this option is not available for players whose counter is at 63 points or below.

ESCAPE

Players have the option of attempting to flee from a battle at any time though it is most beneficial when they lack the scoring points to use the PURCHASE STAT option.

To exercise the escape option, the player rolls the die and adds the number rolled to his character’s speed statistic. (which can be found on the character trait card) If the value indicated on the die plus the character’s speed trait together equals at least the following values, the escape was successful.

Gimli = +10
Legolas = + 14
Aragorn = +13
Pippin = +10
Merry = +10
Sam = +9
Frodo = +7
Gandolf = +14
Gollum = +14
Smeagol =+12
Eowyn = +10
Theoden = +12
Faramir= +10

A successful escape counts for the players turn the evil army token is not removed from the board and the player is free to roll his next turn and move accordingly. If the player is unsuccessful at attempting an escape, his turn is over. Once it is his turn again he must follow the instructions indicated on the card to win the battle.

If on your turn you happen to encounter the “THEY COME!” ring card, ignore the specific instructions given on the card and instead roll the die. Move as many evil army tokens as indicated on the die as you see fit.
*Note: not only does this opportunity allow a player to lighten the path ahead, it can also be used to make opponents paths more difficult.

Other Rules/ Scenarios

Regardless of whether or not the ring card states to discard after use, return the card to the deck to be used again.

If your character reaches the end of his/her path on the board, stop at the final space indicated and roll the die. If you roll a 1 or 6, you are free to begin again on any other character’s path on the board of your choosing. You will likely wish to select a path that has not been used as it will contain the most evil army tokens for you to battle against however, you can also choose to begin upon a path being used by another player in the game (which is a certainty with 12 players, for example).
If you fail to roll a 1 or a 6, your turn has ended and you do not move your pawn that round. When your turn comes around again, roll again in the hopes of getting a 1 or a 6.

Finally, as the game relies upon the battle element to determine a winner (rather than the movie-story lines), ignore all ring card commands that integrate the 3D game board into the story (example- rotate the Eye of Sauron and so on).
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