The upcoming War of the Ring card game - based on the acclaimed Lord of the Rings board game - and the first expansion for spin-off game Hunt for the Ring have been delayed to the second half of 2022.
Publisher Ares Games confirmed the delays to Dicebreaker at this year’s Essen Spiel 2021 board game convention, saying that the two titles had been pushed from their planned release dates in 2021 due to the ongoing shipping crisis and production problems affecting the tabletop industry.
Dicebreaker first revealed War of the Ring: The Card Game in late 2020. Designed by Quartermaster General creator Ian Brody, the card game adaptation of the celebrated strategy game similarly covers the entirety of JRR Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy. In place of War of the Ring’s dice, players will use cards to manage their available resources. The card game is described as being a simpler and more accessible experience than the lengthy War of the Ring, while retaining a similar level of thematic immersion and faithfulness to Tolkien’s world and story.
Up to four players take turns to play one card from their hand and discard another, with each player’s unique deck representing the forces of Rohan, elves and Saruman’s Isengard troops, among other factions and characters from Middle-earth. Like War of the Ring, the players will also attempt to help or hinder Frodo and the Fellowship of the Ring as they make their way from the Shire to Mount Doom, represented by a semi-randomly-generated track.
Ares Games director of production Roberto Di Meglio told Dicebreaker that War of the Ring: The Card Game will now be released in 2022. A specific release date is yet to be confirmed, with Di Meglio predicting a launch in the second half of the year. The card game will be released directly to retail following a possible pre-order campaign, rather than crowdfunding on Kickstarter. A planned expansion will expand the game’s player count up to six people.
Di Meglio also confirmed that the first expansion for Hunt for the Ring, the 2017 hidden-movement board game set at the beginning of Fellowship of the Ring that tasks Frodo and the hobbits with escaping the pursuing Nazgûl, had been delayed to 2022 from a planned launch this year.
Hunt for the Ring: Light & Shadow will “very likely” release in the last quarter of 2022, Di Meglio said, adding that predicting a specific launch date was difficult as the result of the current production landscape.
Light & Shadow is the only expansion for Hunt for the Ring planned. Di Meglio said the War of the Ring spin-off had been "less successful than we would’ve liked”, but noted that Ares Games had not cancelled any planned content as the result of the game’s sales.
“We do not have more expansions in the works,” Di Meglio confirmed. “But we do not believe the game needs expansions, it is not like that there was anything planned which was cancelled.”
Asked whether Ares Games has any further War of the Ring games in development, Di Meglio confirmed that there were no current plans for a new edition of the board game following the release of its second edition in 2012. War of the Ring’s latest expansion, Kings of Middle-earth, is due for release in 2022, following reprints of the original game and its spiritual successor based on The Hobbit, Battle of Five Armies, this year.
Di Meglio added that no new standalone War of the Ring games - aside from expansions and reprints - would be released in 2022, but revealed “we do have plans for more games, especially the return of the ‘battle’ games Gondor/Rohan”.