Board game reviews, strategy tips & session reports
No. of players: 2-4
Amount of time to play: 180 min
Age requirements: 13+
Set-up time: 10-15 minutes
Warriors of Middle-Earth is the second expansion for the Second Edition of War of the Ring. It adds factions for the Shadow and Free Peoples players.
If you have not played War of the Ring, you should. But to better understand the Warriors of Middle-Earth expansion you could read my review of War of the Ring. It will help you understand the basic game play of the base game. The rest of this post is going to focus on the new elements added in this expansion.
Factions have been added and represent the allies that supported Sauron and the Free Peoples. They include corsairs, dunlendings, and spiders, and dead men, eagles and ents.
Using this expansion changes the setup. You have to take out some Event cards, but they replaced with Event cards from this set. Each player also gains a faction deck and die.
Faction cards are similar to Event cards. You draw one at the start of your turn but you can never have more than four. The Faction cards help you recruit faction units and determine what you can do with those units. Call to Battle cards are played like Event cards and let you bring nearby factions into a battle.
You gain your Faction die once you have a faction in play. The die’s result can only be used on Faction cards or units. Your die lets you draw or play Faction cards or recruit Faction units. The Shadow Faction die has an Eye of Sauron result that adds it to the Hunt Pool.
Each faction enters the game in a different way. Once a faction’s specific conditions are met some of the units are placed on the board. Then you can add more Faction units to the board with Faction die Recruit results or your regular die Muster result.
Warriors of Middle-Earth does a good job adding allies to the forces in War of the Ring. Like Lords of Middle-Earth this expansion adds even more theme to this thematic classic.
The components for this expansion fit right in with the rest of the series. Everything looks great and the rules are easy to understand as well.
The new factions for the Free Peoples help you take the fight to the Shadow player. You might not be attacking their strongholds but you might have a force that is able to intercept or slow down an invading force. The Shadow player gets some mobility with the corsairs, cannon fodder from the dunlendings and can harass the Fellowship with the spiders.
The new Faction rules blend in with those from the base game and don’t disrupt gameplay. Likewise the factions support but do not overpower or outshine the main characters and armies for either side from the base game.
Warriors of Middle-Earth adds more theme, more plastic and more options to War of the Ring. And it does it in such a thematic way. Nothing is forced or seems out of place. If you own the base game and want to add more theme and variety to it, pick up Warriors of Middle-Earth.
Score and synopsis: (Click here for an explanation of these review categories.)
Strategy 4 out of 6
Luck 5 out of 6
Player Interaction 6 out of 6
Replay Value 6 out of 6
Complexity 6 out of 6
Fun 6 out of 6
Overall 6 out of 6