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Games Workshop’s new Lord of the Rings board game revisits a desperate battle in the Mines of Moria

This isn't a mine - it's a board game.

Warhammer publisher Games Workshop has plotted a fresh excursion into the forsaken Mines of Moria that will play out on the tabletop. The company announced the upcoming board game Battle in Balin’s Tomb on November 18th, providing a few early details about the miniatures-based title.

Taking place during the events of the first movie in Peter Jackson’s adaptive trilogy, The Fellowship of the Ring, Battle in Balin’s Tomb pits players against a horde of goblins and their chained cave troll in a fight for survival. Games Workshop specifically said in the announcement post on their community blog that this new title celebrates the 20th anniversary of the movie’s original theatrical release in December 2001.

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At least two players will embody members of the Fellowship sent to accompany Frodo on his quest to deliver the Ring of Power into the fires of Mount Doom. All nine heroes are represented in 28mm miniatures, from the Hobbits and humans to Gandalf the Grey, and each will bring certain skills and combat prowess to bear against the flood of Moria Goblins.

The box will include nine Fellowship minis, 22 Goblins and a behemoth of a Cave Troll, along with the dice and cards necessary to play out the encounter. Details on how exactly the mechanics work are sparse, but promotional images show statistics and actions or special abilities printed on the heroes’ cards. Goblin cards piled to the side likely function similarly to an encounter deck and provide AI commands for the opposing force.

The board itself is flat and gridded with squares, some of which have the Fellowship’s names printed on them, aligning roughly with their staging during the events of the film (nice going with that bucket, Pippin). Numbers along the side might point to the number of rounds players must survive or act as a timer in which all goblins must be eliminated.

Games Workshop did not list a price or release date for Battle in Balin’s Tomb, but a tweet from the Warhammer Community account that same day said “Middle-earth fans will be able to pick up these boxes for Christmas”, indicating some day before December 25th. Dicebreaker has reached out to the miniature wargaming publisher to confirm.

The miniature models are the same used in the Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game, a Lord of the Rings wargame using the plot of the books and the likenesses of characters from Jackson’s trilogy of films. The entry on Dicebreaker's list of best LotR board games has not enjoyed a substantial release since 2020’s Quest of the Ringbearer. A supplement entitled Fall of the Necromancer was initially planned for release sometime this year but has ostensibly been delayed.

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Battle in Balin's Tomb

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Chase Carter avatar

Chase Carter


Chase is a freelance journalist and media critic. He enjoys the company of his two cats and always wants to hear more about that thing you love. Follow him on Twitter for photos of said cats and retweeted opinions from smarter folks.