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Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation
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Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation

English language edition

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Product Awards:  
International Gamers Awards
Best 2-Player Game, 2003

Ages Play Time Players
12+ 30 minutes 2

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Product Description

This stand-alone two-player Lord of the Rings game is designed by master game designer Reiner Knizia and illustrated by acclaimed Tolkien artist John Howe, the duo behind the bestselling core Lord of the Rings board game. In this wonderful game interpretation of the novels, the Fellowship must seek to bring Frodo to Mordor, and the dark lord Sauron must seek to capture Frodo and the One Ring before Frodo reaches Mt. Doom.

Each player controls nine characters who each have a unique special ability (the nine characters of the Fellowship are controlled by one player, and nine of Sauron's greatest minions are controlled by the opposing player). The game uses a hidden movement system to simulate the search for the ring, and the conflict resolution system is a brilliant cardplay mechanic from a limited resource pool of cards. The dark lord Sauron is stronger and projects more power, but the Fellowship have more devious and surprising maneuvers at hand. The straight-forward gameplay of The Confrontation allows each game to be played in about a half hour. Great strategy and fun.

Product Awards

International Gamers Awards
Best 2-Player Game, 2003

Product Information


  • 1 Game Board
  • 18 Plastic Towers
  • 18 Cardboard Characters (for Towers)
  • 22 Oversize Cards
  • 1 Color Rules Booklet
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Product Reviews


Average Rating: 4.4 in 22 reviews

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by Megan
Don't believe positive reviews!
January 02, 2009

I read the reviews on this game, and thought I couldn't go wrong. My husband is a huge LOTR fan and I was very excited to give it to him. We played it once. And it was AWFUL. I don't understand where people come from saying it's a great game! It was boring, had little strategy, and the pieces were not well made. We did not enjoy it one bit!

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
Very good for partners
June 25, 2007

Most of what has already been said I can only endorse: 1) Design: the elegant simplicity represents an exquisite economy of ideas and allows a wide range of strategy in play, 2) Immersion: 18 pieces, a handful of rules, and a tiny board truly convey the struggle to get the One Ring into Mordor, 3) Replayability: I do not mind losing this game at all, I simply want to set up the pieces and go at it again.

I would stress, despite the comments and misgivings of a previous reviewer, that the game seems a good fit for evenings with husbands, wives, girlfriends, or other partners who may not be hardcore gamers. My wife prefers Scrabble and an occasional round of Lost Cities. Nevertheless, we have both really enjoyed this game and it isn't difficult to get her to play. I imagine the brevity of play is a factor in this regard. Caveat: my wife likes the Lord of the Rings theme, which tilts things in the game's favor.

A perfect game for gamers looking to involve significant others.

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.
One-in-a-Lifetime Combination of Excellence and License
May 26, 2007

Every now and then you see a departure from the usual "licensed" movie property, where for once you don't see a mediocre product relying on the movie license to sell it, and instead you get a great license combined with a great game. Lord of the Rings: The Confrontation (both the deluxe edition and the original) is such a game -- famed game designer Reiner Knizia did the design, and this is one of his best. Frankly this is one of the best two-player board games ever made. It draws a bit of inspiration from the classic Stratego, but combines it with a fast "modern" pacing and a lot of creativity. You'll want to play it over, and over, and over, and over!

Brian Reynolds

Note: this review refers to a different release of this product.

Show all 22 reviews >

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