2-5 players play the hobbits from the books (with fatty from vol 1 thrown in for good measure) They must work together to get past the dangers of Moria, Helm's deep and Shelob's Lair and if they manage to survive that, get through Moria and destroy the ring. They must face the various events and challanges on the way, avoiding them if possible while trying not to be corrupted by the ring allow Sauron to get them.
As they move toward corruption Sauron draws closer, in fact the dark Lord may kill one or two players on the way but the beauty of this game is the necessity to sacrifice oneself to give the ring bearer the chance to destory the ring.
This game does skim over portions of the book in passing (however that is covered in the expansion sets) And the rules are a bit complex for the non game fanatic. (They are a bit complex for the game fanatic as well.) Once grasped however it rolls and pleases. I would suggest just diving in and checking the rules and it will come to you.
As far as durability the plastic figures are ok but I would consider purchasing minatures from your local gaming store to add flavor to your character. There are no spare cards in the deck which is a bad thing. Consider purchasing a spare set of cards if available.
Worth your money and then some.
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The game is played on two boards simultaneously--the Master Board and the Scenario Board, with each player assuming a Hobbit character and advancing or retreating on the Corruption Line of the Master board. The goal is to stay on the light side of the Corruption Line. There are two double-sided Scenario Boards representing the regions of Middle Earth you'll be traveling through. The action of the game is rather complicated, being dictated by the picking of Event Cards, Feature Cards, Activity Cards, and by rolling the die. You'll soon see that this game is all about cooperation, friendship, and compromise--you are asked to give up valuable cards for the common good of the Fellowship. If you get all the way to the dark end of the Corruption Line, you'll be eliminated from the game.
There is no individual winner; the group scores points as a whole. At the end of the game, points are awarded based on the amount of shields the players have left and whether or not they succeeded in destroying the Ring. Designed by the acclaimed and prolific game designer Reiner Knizia and beautifully illustrated by longtime "Middle ...