The end of the Third Age was a dark time for Middle-earth. While the basic allegiances of the Free Peoples were clearly defined, their individual opinions towards the threat of Sauron differed widely. The diplomatic stance of the various Nations is represented in War of the Ring by a Nation’s position on the Political Track found on the game board.

The initial starting position of a Nation on the Political Track (marked by the individual Nation’s icon on the track itself) represents its diplomatic attitude at the beginning of the war. The farther its Political counter is from the “At War” step of the track, the less inclined that Nation is to take part in the conflict.

For a Nation to be considered completely mobilized and ready to fight, its Political counter must be in the last step in the track, marked “At War.”

To further reflect their reluctance in entering the war, all the Free Peoples Nations except the Elves start the game in a passive state (represented by the gray side of a Nation’s Political counter facing up).

As long as a Nation remains passive, it can never be moved to the last step of the track (“At War”) and thus be fully mobilized.