This new edition of the game introduces a few subtle but important changes. For this reason, we recommend a careful reading of the rules, even to experienced players. The main changes are summarized here to the benefit of players already familiar with the previous edition. Note that changes which are purely formal, but do not affect the game play, are not listed here. In addition to the rules changes, the following Character Cards and Event Cards have been modified.

  1. Character Abilities: Gandalf the Grey, Gollum, Meriadoc Brandybuck, Peregrin Took and The Witch-king now have modified special abilities (see their Character Cards). The changes to Gandalf the Grey (Guide ability) and The Witch-king (mustering pre-requisites, “Sorcerer” ability) are especially important to take notice of.
  2. Event Cards: Many Event Cards have been revised to improve their effectiveness, or simplify their use. The “Ents of Fangorn”, “Paths of the Woses” and “The Last Battle” cards have modified effects.

Army Setup

The Dwarven units setup in Erebor is now: 1 Regular, 2 Elites, 1 Leader.

The Game Turn

The Shadow player must allocate a minimum of 1 Action Die to the Hunt if the Free Peoples player placed at least one Action Die in the Hunt box in the previous turn (see pages 18-19).

Hunt Allocation

The Shadow player may now place a number of Action Dice in the Hunt Box located on the game board. The Shadow player must place at least one Action Die if the Free Peoples player retrieved at least 1 die from the Hunt Box during Phase 1. He may allocate only as many dice as the number of Companions remaining in the Fellowship.
These dice are not rolled during the following Action Roll phase.

Battle Resolution

Combat Cards are now chosen and played using a modified sequence (see page 29).

Play a Combat Card

At the beginning of each Combat Round, each player may play one Event Card from his hand as a Combat Card.
First, the attacker declares whether he wants to use a Combat Card and chooses the card.
Then, the defender declares if he wants to use a Combat Card and chooses the card. The defender may play a Combat Card even if the attacker chooses not to. Cards are chosen secretly, then revealed simultaneously.
However, the back of the chosen card is always visible to the opponent.

It is important that each player carefully reads the text on his Combat Card before choosing it, especially with respect to its requirements, modifiers, and application. Unless otherwise specified, the effects of a card only apply for the current Combat Round. Combat Cards are always discarded as soon as the Combat Round is over.

Timing of Combat Cards (already introduced by the Collector’s Edition Rules)

The text of a Combat Card should establish with reasonable clarity when the effects of a card should be applied during the battle.
In the case of any uncertainty as to timing, the initiative number in the bottom left corner of the card indicates which card must be applied first: the card with the lower number is applied first.

Example: The Shadow player is the attacker and plays “Durin’s Bane”, which allows him to roll a special attack before the normal combat begins (Initiative: 2). The Free Peoples player has played “Scouts”, however, which allows him to retreat his Army before normal Combat begins (Initiative: 1).

Since “Scouts” has a smaller number, it is resolved first and the Free Peoples Army retreats before the special attack of “Durin’s Bane” is possible. Both cards are then discarded.
If the two cards have the same initiative, the effects of the defender’s card are always applied first.

The Hunt for the Ring

There is a new sequence for the Hunt resolution, to streamline the application of Event Cards and Special Abilities (see pages 41-42).

Effects of the Hunt

To deal with the effects of a successful Hunt, follow these steps in order:

  1. The Free Peoples player may use one relevant “Play on the Table” Event Card to cancel or reduce the damage of the Hunt.
  2. Then, the Free Peoples player may use the Guide’s special ability. If, after these steps, the Hunt Damage reduce the Hunt Damage by taking a casualty (see below) — losing one Companion due to the hazards encountered by the Fellowship, or a fight between the Fellowship and servants of the Shadow.
  3. Any remaining Hunt Damage must be dealt with by using the Ring (see below), increasing the Corruption of the Ring-bearers.
  4. If the Hunt reveals the Fellowship, the Fellowship is now revealed (sometimes, revealing the Fellowship may cause the draw of a new tile, see Hunt Effects When Declaring or Revealing the Fellowship).

Note: If, at any time during the Hunt resolution, a new Guide is appointed (this happens, for example, when you use Meriadoc’s and Peregrin’s Guide ability, or because the Guide has been eliminated), the ability of the new Guide may be used immediately, if applicable.

Taking a Casualty

If the Free Peoples player takes a casualty, he must eliminate one Companion.
The Free Peoples player can decide between either taking the Guide as a casualty or randomly picking one Companion (excluding the Ring-bearers, but including the Guide) from the Fellowship. If the Free Peoples player decides to suffer a random casualty, the Shadow player randomly selects a face-down Companion Counter from the Fellowship Box. The drawn Companion is eliminated from the game.
If the Hunt Damage is higher than the Level of the eliminated Companion (including an eliminated Guide), any excess damage must still be taken as Corruption by the Ring-bearers (see below). If the Hunt Damage is lower than the Level of the Companion, he is eliminated nonetheless (i.e., it is not possible to “wound” Companions).

Using the Ring

When the Free Peoples player uses the Ring, he advances the Corruption Counter on the Fellowship Track by a number of steps equal to the Hunt Damage.

Example: During the fourth game turn, the Ringbearers are in the Goblin’s Gate region and the Free Peoples player is moving the Fellowship Progress Counter from step “1” to step “2” of the Fellowship Track.

There are three Shadow dice in the Hunt Box and one Free Peoples die, as this is the second time the Fellowship has moved this turn. The Shadow player rolls three Combat Dice: he must roll at least one “5” or “6” for the Hunt to be successful. He rolls “2”, “5”, and “6”: a total of two successes (the Shadow player needed only one success for the Hunt to succeed). He then draws a random tile from the Hunt Pool: a tile with a “3” and no Reveal icon. The Hunt Damage must be resolved.

There are no cards or Character’s abilities to be used, and the Free Peoples player decides to take a casualty. Strider is guiding the Fellowship, and the player does not want him to die, so he decides to draw a random Character instead. All the Companion Counters are shuffled and one is chosen randomly: Gimli is drawn. The valiant dwarf dies confronting the servants of the Shadow. As Gimli’s Level is 2, and the Hunt Damage is 3, 1 point of Hunt Damage remains to be taken as Corruption, and the Corruption of the Ring-bearers increases.

Because the tile does not have a Reveal icon, the Fellowship Progress Counter’s Hidden side remains face up.

The Fellowship in Mordor

To enter Mordor, it is now sufficient that the Ring-bearers are located in Minas Morgul or Morannon, without requirement of declaring the Fellowship. As a consequence, the Fellowship can enter Mordor even if it is not Hidden (see page 43).

If the Fellowship is in Minas Morgul or Morannon during a Fellowship Phase, the Free Peoples player may decide to enter Mordor. In this case, immediately proceed to the following steps (after fully resolving the declaration of the Fellowship's position, if necessary):

  1. Place the Ring-bearers figure on the first step of the Mordor Track (labeled with the Elven numeral “0”). From this moment on, the Fellowship is considered to be “On the Mordor Track”. The Fellowship Progress Counter is no longer advanced on the Fellowship Track, but it is still used to show whether the Fellowship is Hidden or Revealed.
  2. Create a new Hunt Pool by placing all Eye tiles previously drawn back with the remaining tiles of the Hunt Pool, and also add any Special Tiles put in play by Event Cards. Do not place back in the pool any tile which was permanently removed from the game.

Tags: ,