Lord of the Rings TCG

Tista Minis

Posted on October 16 2021

Lord of the Rings TCG

Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game

The Lord of the Rings: Trading Card Game is much more than a game. We find beautiful illustrated cards, based on the world of The Lord of the Rings, with complete playability. 

Most of the games in its genre are limited to killing monsters and creatures, while LOTR allows us to advance through Middle Earth, fight, make use of the abilities of the characters and objects and, of course, remove the ring.

Unfortunately, this game is out of print, but it is not difficult to achieve. You can find the set in our shop and much more game-based material at the best price.  

The History In a Nutshell 

Five Magi arrived in Middle Earth sent by the Valar for one purpose: to wipe out the Lord of the Rings, the evil Sauron. These arrived discreetly disguised as elders in the year 1000 of the Third Age. 

His task was to be accomplished, but without using his powers to subdue the free peoples of Middle-earth. Only one of them managed to follow the marked path, and that was Gandalf. He was the only one who was not captivated by Middle Earth and was not corroded by evil.

LOTR: Basic, Standard, and Optional Rules

LOTR TCG has three types of rules: basic, standard, and optional. The basic rules are an introduction to the game, made to learn fast and to play easily. The standards give more excitement to the games, as they are an extension of the basic rules. 

Finally, the optional ones include variations to the standard rules and offer a different point of view in some cases. The game's rule book, The Lord of the Rings The Magician, helps the Istar, explains in detail each of them. We will begin by briefly explaining the basics, leaving the other two for a new entry.

Objectives and Conditions For Victory

There are three conditions for winning a game. By completing any of them, we can achieve the desired victory.

  1. If we can get the One Ring to Mount Doom and remove it.
  2. If our opponent's Wizard is eliminated.
  3. If the free council decides that we are the winners. This council is convened when:

Two decks run out once. The council is called at the end of the current turn.

A player runs out of the deck for the first time. Summon if you want the council for your next turn.

A player sees that he has 20 points of victory. The council will begin on its next turn. If we only have starter decks, we reduce victory points to 18 instead of 20.

Free Council

Before starting to celebrate, all the characters perform a corruption check. The player who has played his last turn starts the checkup. The winner of the game at the council is the one who has the most points of victory (the points of victory are represented in the upper left corner of the cards). 

If the result is a draw, the victory will be joint. However, you can always roll a dice to break this tiebreaker (so much effort for this!).


To get started, you have to follow a few previous steps to make everything ready. The first thing will be to form a location deck with place cards. Among them, we will find normal places of refuge. As a refuge, we can include repeated ones that we want, but of the other cards, we can only include one of each place.

After having our Locations Deck ready, we will place a number between 25 and 50 Resources cards and an equal number of Adversity cards in the Game Deck. The cards on which you put the word "unique" means that we will only be able to place such a card in our playing deck. If this word does not appear, we can have up to three equal cards.

Now, we will continue with the characters. From them, we place from one to five in front of us, face down, without including the magician. Note that the sum of each character's mind attribute (represented in the first symbol on the left side of the character cards) must not exceed 20 points of overall influence.

Once this is done, the two players teach the characters at the same time, organize themselves into companies if we want and place the followers, also if we prefer it or if possible. Now, we move to Rivendell, taking Rivendell's location card and putting it next to the characters.

Once the characters are organized, each player can place minor items in their characters. Keep in mind that they are only two minor objects, not two objects per character. We then add a maximum of ten characters to our game deck, keeping in mind that we can only place one "unique" card.

After this, we place in the game deck up to two magician cards, being able to be the same magician twice, and shuffle the deck so that everything is well mixed. With our deck ready, we draw eight cards from this deck, roll the dice and whoever gets the highest score starts the game.

Summary and Clarifications

Once in the game, we follow the six phases: straightening, organization, lasting events, movement /adversities, places, and end of turn. The game will go on like this until you get one of the conditions of victory that we have explained before. 

However, although the basic games are not characterized by having as many complications as the others, some clarifications must be taken into account, referring to the characters, companies, and followers.

Characters, Companies, and Followers

The characters move and operate in different places on Middle Earth. Each character has abilities that are shown by attributes. These attributes are race, abilities, power, endurance, direct influence, mind, special abilities, and victory points. 

Characters can end up out of the game due to corruption or as a result of a fight. Each character is difficult to have on the playing table as many mind points as the card indicates.

Companies are formed by characters acting in groups, and the maximum size of a company is seven. Each character counts as one, minus the Hobbits, which count as a medium. 

It is important the number of members of the company, since according to the number of members, counting the Hobbits as a medium, rounded up, we will know how many adversities can throw us. 

The minimum is two, and the maximum is seven. It should also be noted that companies can only be created in a shelter, such as Rivendell and Lorien. In addition, companies can be divided into more companies, but each needs its own shelter.

Followers are characters who are controlled by the direct influence attribute of another character. This is possible if one character has a greater direct influence on the mind attribute of another character (second card symbol). If we wish, this character with the lower-minded attribute than direct influence will become a follower. 

Apart from the condition that in order to be a follower, the character has to have the attribute of mind lower than the attribute of direct influence that he intends to follow, the two characters must be active in the same place. This follower will always stand next to the character he follows, knowing that the follower cannot have followers. 

Finally, it is important to qualify that a follower is a character in every right like any other, with the great advantage that his attribute of mind does not count when spending our 20 points of general influence.

Check our Lord of the Rings sets, and stay tuned for more Trading Card Games!


Written by: Simona G

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