These rules are written with the assumption that you are playing the Trilogy scenario with 4 players.
In War of the Ring – The Card Game, each player will use a specific deck.
Each deck consists of cards from one or more factions. Each faction has a unique color scheme and a symbol in the upper left corner to distinguish it.
In the Trilogy scenario, players are named for a prominent character in their deck. The two Free Peoples players — Frodo and Aragorn — play as a team against the two Shadow players — The Witchking and Saruman.
Players’ decks are composed of the following factions:
1. FRODO — FREE PEOPLES
Dwarf, Hobbit, Rohan, and Wizard
2. THE WITCH-KING — SHADOW
3. ARAGORN — FREE PEOPLES
Dúnedain and Elf
4. SARUMAN — SHADOW
Isengard, Monstrous, and Southron
Note: Sometimes players may be referred to by one of the factions in their deck: for example, “The Hobbit player draws 2 cards.” Note that the actual card drawn might not be a Hobbit card, as the deck will contain other factions. The text is identifying the player that draws — not the card drawn.
Each player prepares their deck by taking all the cards of the appropriate factions, then shuffling it carefully.
Each player takes a Ring token and a player aid.
The Frodo player takes the starting player token.
Separate the Shadow and Free Peoples battleground cards. Shuffle each of the two battleground decks separately.
Next, assemble the path deck. Do not shuffle together all the path cards: stack them so that the three path 1 cards are on top, followed by the three path 2 cards, and so forth through to path 9.
Each player draws 7 cards, then must cycle 2 of the cards drawn, leaving a hand of 5 cards.
To cycle a card, place it face down in your cycle pile, to the right of your draw deck.