04 January 2019
First Hunt for the Ring expansion and Battle of Five Armies special edition also announced
Definitive Lord of the Rings board game War of the Ring is bringing its own trilogy to a close with the release of the third and final expansion for its second edition in 2019.
Kings of Middle-earth follows 2012’s Lords of Middle-earth – which gave characters such as Balrog, Elrond and Galadriel a greater role in the sweeping strategy game – and 2016’s Warriors of Middle-earth, which focused on growing the side factions of ents, eagles, the dead men of Dunharrow and more beyond passing appearances on event cards.
While there’s no information yet on what Kings of Middle-earth might include – beyond the tease of its name, of course – publisher Ares Games has confirmed that it will be the last such set released for War of the Ring’s second edition. The 2004 first edition of the game only received only one major expansion: 2006’s Battles of the Third Age.
Ares also announced that it has plans to release the first expansion for the Lord of the Rings hidden movement game Hunt for the Ring, Light and Shadow, this year, following the game’s release in 2017. Following Frodo’s journey from the Shire to Rivendell as he’s chased by the Nazgul at the beginning of Fellowship of the Ring, the two-chapter game can be played as a prologue to War of the Ring, with specific gameplay implications.
Due out this September is a deluxe special edition of The Battle of Five Armies, the War of the Ring spin-off based on prequel The Hobbit. As with the limited edition of War of the Ring and its two expansions, the set will include 126 fully painted miniatures, plus the previously unreleased mini-expansion The Fate of Erebor.
The Battle of Five Armies’ standard edition is currently sold out, with Ares saying it has no plans for a reprint, making the premium set – limited to 1,500 copies, with each costing an eye-watering $250 (£197) – the only way to pick up the game at the moment.