War of the Ring is a game for 2 to 4 players. The forces involved in the conflict are divided into two sides: the Free Peoples and the Shadow. When playing with three players, one player controls the Free Peoples and the remaining two control the Shadow, sharing tasks. When playing with four players, all participants evenly share the forces of the two sides.

Please note that these rules refer to games played with only two players. To play games with more than two players, see Chapter 11, Multiplayer Rules.