The main portion of the game board shows a view of western Middle-earth at the end of the Third Age. The map is divided into territories called regions. Each region is identified by a name, which usually refers to a site of note or to an entire geographical area (such as Minas Tirith or Cardolan). Regions are used to regulate movement, combat, and the placement of all plastic figures.

Regions are normally separated by a white line or by a river between two white lines.

A thick black border denotes impassable terrain which cannot be crossed, usually a high mountain range. If the border between two regions is completely divided by such a line, those regions are not considered adjacent for any purpose.

Some areas of the board are completely blue, either surrounded by a black line or bordered by a white line. These areas are seas or lakes. A sea or lake area is not a region and can never be crossed or moved into.

Free Regions

The rules and Event cards often refer to a free region. A region is free for a player when it doesn’t contain an enemy Army and/or an enemy-controlled Settlement. A region containing a Stronghold controlled by the enemy is also free for a player when the Stronghold is besieged by an Army of that player.


Several regions are grouped and identified as Nations by their colored borders. Some Nations consist of several separate groups of regions, divided and distant from one another.