The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game

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The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game
Low resolution The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game box and example gameplay layout
Other name(s)Der Herr der Ringe: Das Kartenspiel
Pán prstenů: Karetní hra
Le Seigneur des Anneaux: Le jeu de cartes
O Senhor dos Anéis: Card Game
El Señor de los Anillos: El Juego de Cartas
Il Signore degli Anelli: Il Gioco di Carte
Władca Pierścieni: Gra Karciana
Ο Άρχοντας των Δαχτυλιδιών
Designer(s)Nate French
Publisher(s)Fantasy Flight Games
Publication dateApril 20, 2011; 7 years ago (2011-04-20) [1]
Years active2011 - present
Genre(s)Co-operative Living Card Game (LCG) with Deck Building
Language(s)English, German, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Italian, Greek, Polish, Czech, Chinese
Players1 - 4 [2]
(Best with 2 players [3])
Setup time< 5 minutes
(excluding deck building)
Playing time30 - 90 minutes [2]
(typical: 60 minutes [3])
Random chanceSome (card drawing, deck building)
Skill(s) requiredCard playing, Deck building, Logic, Strategy
Material(s) requiredOptional: Pen and paper for scoring
Media typePlaying cards
WebsiteThe Lord of the Rings: The Card Game — Fantasy Flight Games

The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game is produced by Fantasy Flight Games. It is a cooperative game set in the fantasy world of JRR Tolkien's books. The initial time-frame for the game is the 17 years between Bilbo leaving the Shire and Frodo following him.


Like other games in Fantasy Flight's Living Card Game line, it has deck construction and regularly released expansions similar to a collectible card game, but without the randomized card distribution.[4]

Unlike most card games of this type, it may be played either solitaire or with a group. Although a core set only supports up to 2 players, the game can be played by 3 or 4 with an additional core set. Unusually, players are not opponents but cooperate against an "encounter deck" which represents the forces of Sauron and produces the obstacles that the adventurers have to conquer.

Each player has their own cards: their heroes (up to 3) which start in play, and a deck of at least 50 cards, composed of Allies, Attachments (such as weapons, armor, and other items) and Events. Although the core set comes with pre-constructed decks, deck construction is a major aspect of the game, and many players build their own decks, utilising cards from the various expansions.[5]


The Lord of the Rings Living Card Game has an active following, with multiple podcasts and blogs dedicated to discussing gameplay, strategy, deck-building and news, as well as providing custom content.

Podcasts: Cardboard of the Rings[6] The Grey Company[7] The Mouth of Sauron[8]

Blogs: Tales From the Cards[9]Hall of Beorn[10] Master of Lore[11] Dor Cuarthol[12]


There are several types of expansion to this game. Each Deluxe Expansion (and the core set) contain 3 quests and begins a new cycle, which usually share a mechanical or story driven theme. These releases are supplemented by 6 Adventure Packs for a total of 9 quests per cycle.

The Saga Expansions follow the story of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. The latter introduced a mode of play called Campaign mode allowing for some degree of permanence between the quests telling the story. Players can earn powerful "Boon" cards, which can be used in following quests, as well as "Burden" cards which make future quests more difficult.

The Standalone Scenarios are one-off quests released without any player cards. Fantasy Flight Games usually releases one to coincide with their Gen Con event and their Fellowship (in house) event. They have often been more difficult than a standard quest and allow the designers to experiment with ideas outside the confines of the main game.

Name of the expansion Type of expansion SKU Release year
Khazad-dum Deluxe Expansion MEC08 2011
Heirs of Numenor Deluxe Expansion MEC17 2012
The Voice of Isengard Deluxe Expansion MEC25 2014
The Lost Realm Deluxe Expansion MEC38 2015
The Grey Havens Deluxe Expansion MEC47 2015
The Sands of Harad Deluxe Expansion MEC55 2016
The Wilds of Rhovanion Deluxe Expansion MEC65 2018
The Hobbit: Over Hill and Under Hill Saga Expansion MEC16 2012
The Hobbit: On the Doorstep Saga Expansion MEC24 2013
The Black Riders Saga Expansion MEC32 2013
The Road Darkens Saga Expansion MEC34 2014
The Treason of Saruman Saga Expansion MEC45 2015
The Land of Shadow Saga Expansion MEC46 2015
The Flame of the West Saga Expansion MEC54 2016
The Mountain of Fire Saga Expansion MEC62 2017
The Massing at Osgiliath Standalone Scenarios uMEC15 2011
The Battle of Laketown Standalone Scenarios uMEC35 2012
The Stone of Erech Standalone Scenarios uMEC33 2013
Fog on the Barrow-downs Standalone Scenarios uMEC36 2014
The Old Forest Standalone Scenarios uMEC37 2014
The Ruins of Belegost Standalone Scenarios uMEC63 2015
Murder at the Prancing Pony Standalone Scenarios uMEC64 2015
The Siege of Annuminas Standalone Scenarios uMEC72 2016
Attack on Dol Guldur Standalone Scenarios uMEC74 2017

Digital adaptation[edit]

Fantasy Flight Interactive developed a digital version of the game for Microsoft Windows, which was released on 28 August 2018.[13] The game, still in an early access phase, was made free to play at its full release.[14]


  1. ^ "Your Tale Begins Today". Fantasy Flight Games. 20 April 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  2. ^ a b c "The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game". Fantasy Flight Games. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game". Boardgame Geek. Retrieved 26 March 2016.
  4. ^ "LCG Player's Guide". Fantasy Flight Games. 14 October 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2016.
  5. ^ "Deck Building 101". Tales from the Cards. 2013-02-12. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  6. ^ "Cardboard of the rings". Cardboard of the rings. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  7. ^ "Grey Company Podcast". Grey Company Podcast. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  8. ^ "The Mouth of Sauron Podcast". The Mouth of Sauron Podcast. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  9. ^ "Tales from the Cards". Tales from the Cards. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  10. ^ "Hall of Beorn". Hall of Beorn. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  11. ^ "Master of Lore". Master of Lore. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  12. ^ "Dor Cuarthol". Dor Cuarthol. Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  13. ^ "The Lord of the Rings: Living Card Game on Steam". Retrieved 2018-12-27.
  14. ^ Tarason, Dominic (December 9, 2017). "Fantasy Flight Interactive are bringing The Lord Of The Rings LCG to Steam via Early Access". PCGamesN. Retrieved December 9, 2017.

External links[edit]