Many of you are hungry for news on the production status of the Anniversary Release of our WAR OF THE RING Second Edition game.

The release date was first announced to be April this year, then postponed to September. “Is the game ship according to this latest schedule?” is a question we’re frequently asked.

Anniversary Release of War of the Ring: box final design.

Anniversary Release of War of the Ring: box final design.

We have been busy at work on this product for many months now, and we are now running very close to get it shipped. If you do not care much about “why” we are late but you only really want to know “when” – the answer is we’re now expecting to ship the game from China in 6 to 8 weeks from now, around the end of October. Typically, the transit time to warehouses is another 4-6 weeks, which means the game will ship around the end of November/early December to your home.

Why this further delay? Because this product is very, very complex in terms of the way it is built.

As you know from our previous articles on the Anniversary Release, we are working to make this edition of War of the Ring as beautiful as our creative skills allow. To do so, we added a lot of production features which you rarely see together – UV masks, metal foil printing, cloth paper, multiple materials used in binding. To get all this to work together and to achieve the effect we desired, we took a lot of tests and trials. Many of these items had to be done and modified multiple times, before we were really happy with the results (this is not to mention the painted figures, the complex plastic trays holding them, the special dice, the embroidered cloth bag – other things we had mostly get done and finished already).

The hardcover volumes for the Game Rules and Companion (Strategy Guide).

The hardcover volumes for the Game Rules and Companion (Strategy Guide).

On top of this, the product was (and still is, until the very day production copies are ready) very tricky because of the size and weight of the components. When you put together extra-large double boards, more than 200 painted figures, a slipcase with two hardcover volumes, and all the rest – you find out you’ve got a little “monster” which is 50 x 40 x 16 cm in size (not counting the outer shipment carton), but weighs more than 15 pounds. There are few things heavier than cardboard! So, we found out we had to deal with an unprecedented challenge (at least for us) in building boxes and trays, to make sure they survive drop tests – that is, to make sure they will arrive in perfect shape at your door. This issue gave us (and partly, is still giving us) more headaches than we expected, but we are optimistic that the next round of pre-production samples (scheduled next week) will be the final one.

Finally, it looks like all the various production threads – plastic manufacturing, printing, creating packaging (getting trays done, shaping up the box properly to protect those trays) – are converging. We think we’ll be ready, 7 to 10 days from now, to start the mass production of the latest unfinished items (many of the most complex items are already in our warehouse, ready to join the rest of the components). And we look forward to deliver you the game according to the dates mentioned above.

We’re very proud of the way the product has shaped up. We’re less proud of the time we took to do so, in all honesty. However, we are sure you will be pleased when you finally receive the game. We know you have very high expectations, and we want to fulfill them.

As a final note – the War of the Ring Anniversary Release is currently sold out. So, unless somebody cancels its reservation (which, as you remember, you’re allowed to do anytime, no questions asked), pre-orders are now officially closed.

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