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Risk: Lord of the Rings Trilogy Edition

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Risk: Lord of the Rings Trilogy Edition is a board game based upon the game Risk, set in Middle-earth. It was released in 2003.

The box contains: a rules manual; a map on a cardboard board, depicting the northwest area of Middle-earth at the end of the Third Age; playing pieces--two light-colored sets containing Elven Archers, Riders of Rohan, Eagles, and elven-style leader shields, and two dark-colored sets containing Orcs, Dark Riders, Cavetrolls, and orcish leader shields; and, finally, a pewter replica of the One Ring.

Gameplay is similar to the original Risk, but there are additional cards (earned by entering certain territories with a leader piece) that give missions for leader pieces to accomplish, provide special bonuses, or cause "special events" to occur. Also, strongholds and leader pieces modify combat rolls. One key difference is that the game itself is randomly time-limited by the Ring moving along the Fellowship's path at the end of each player's turn, its rate determined by dice rolls. The game ends when the Ring reaches the end of its path. Points being awarded to each player based on the territories, strongholds and regions they control, as well as what cards they have played during game then determine the winner. The player with the most points is the winner. However, many choose to not use the Ring Quest rules and simply play a standard global domination game.

Many fans were upset about the initial release of "Risk: Lord of the Rings edition" because it did not include the regions (continents) of Gondor and Mordor. This was odd because unlike normal Risk, in this game, certain players use "Forces of Darkness" armies and others use "Forces of Light" armies: Gondor is the head "good" country and Mordor is the head "bad" country. It was thought that the "Trilogy Edition", to be released a year after the first, would be something of an add-on pack, including only Gondor and Mordor and intended to be lined up with existing Risk sets. However, the "Trilogy Edition" was actually a large super-map, containing all the original regions as well as Gondor and Mordor. As a result, fans that bought the original edition were left with "incomplete" Risk maps and would have to buy an entirely new game if they wanted the "full" version.

An Expansion Set for the game was released, but only in Europe. This set adds a board with the remaining areas of the map to include Gondor, Mordor and Haradwaith along with additional units and cards for all 4 players (yellow, green, black and red). Also included is a bonus 2-player game centered on the siege of Minas Tirith with the play area for that on the reverse side of the board. It was also released in 2003.

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