The publisher behind War of the Ring has announced it will offer for sale the last-ever Collector’s Edition copies of its board game based on The Hobbit, The Battle of Five Armies, to fundraise for Ukraine.
Ares Games released The Battle of Five Armies as a spin-off from its acclaimed The Lord of the Rings board game War of the Ring, created by the same team of designers. The board game used a similar set of rules as War of the Ring, but swapped that game’s sweeping depiction of Tolkien’s fantasy trilogy for a focus on the titular climactic fight at the end of its prequel.
Following the release of the standard The Battle of Five Armies in 2014, Ares released a limited-edition Collector’s Edition of the game in 2019. The premium release included over 120 hand-painted miniatures and other revamped components, new packaging, and a certificate of authenticity to prove it was one of the 1,500 numbered copies produced.
Also in the $250 box was The Fate of Erebor, a mini-expansion for War of the Ring that allowed Battle of Five Armies to be played as a prequel, with the outcome of the game influencing the starting setup of War of the Ring. Initially exclusive to the Collector’s Edition, The Fate of Erebor was later released as a standalone expansion.
Ares has announced that it will sell the remaining copies of The Battle of Five Armies: Collector’s Edition in aid of charities working in Ukraine to support those impacted by Russia’s ongoing invasion of the country.
The nine copies, numbered 1492 to 1500, date from the game’s original print run and were originally withheld from sale in 2019 due to a shortage of dice. The dice were eventually replaced by similar dice in a different colour, making the copies unique even among the limited-edition series.
“This small difference is acknowledged by a special signed letter included in the copies and signed by Ares’ director of production and co-author of the game, Roberto Di Meglio,” Ares said in its announcement. “Now, these copies will be even more special, as the proceeds of their sales are devolved [sic] to a cause we deem worthy.”
We #standwithukraine and with the victims and refugees of the Russian invasion. We will devolve to #redcross and #MSFDoctorsWithoutBorders the entire revenue of the sale of the last 9 copies of #TheBattleofFiveArmies CE Orders open March, 17th 2 PM UTC at https://t.co/bSkKG0wCxE pic.twitter.com/CpOKEaJ0tZ— Ares Games (@AresGamesSrl) March 15, 2022
Each copy of the game will cost $1,200, with all proceeds going towards Red Cross International and Doctors Without Borders.
“Ares Games stands with Ukraine and the victims and refugees of the Russian invasion,” Ares said. “There are many wars in the world, even today, but in Ukraine we see a crisis of a size without precedent in recent history, with a democratic European country suffering from a hostile aggression and millions of refugees fleeing their homes, while innocent victims are killed every day as the bombs hit civil buildings.”
The copies of Battle of Five Armies due to go on sale tomorrow, March 17th, will be the last-ever copies of the Collector’s Edition made available. Ares Games confirmed to Dicebreaker that the Collector’s Edition would not be reprinted in the future, and there are no plans for another limited edition release.