The Armies fighting for Middle-earth and the heroes and monsters that lead them are represented in the game by plastic figures.


The bulk of the armed forces of a Nation are represented by Army units.

The Army units of a Nation are further divided into either Regular or Elite units, where the first category represents a fighting force of average warriors and the second a host of chosen fighters or powerful monsters.

A single Army unit corresponds to a variable number of warriors, from a few hundred expert fighters to thousands of Orcs. In game terms, all units of a kind (Regular or Elite) have the same fighting capabilities as any other of the same kind, regardless of the Nation they belong to.

All Army units inside a single region and controlled by the same player are considered a single group and are collectively called an Army.

An Army can be composed of a maximum of ten units, or five units if the Army is inside a Stronghold under siege.

Free Peoples Leaders

The captains and chieftains leading the Armies of the Free Peoples are represented by Leader figures.

Leaders are unable to move on their own and must always be part of a friendly Army. If at any time a Leader is on the map without an Army, he is immediately removed.

The presence of a Leader in an Army provides an advantage in combat and a superior movement capability. There is no limit to the number of Leaders who can be in the same Army. Free Peoples Leaders, regardless of nationality, can lead Armies composed of units from any Free Peoples Nation.

A Leader is not considered an Army unit and cannot be taken as a casualty, nor does the presence of a Leader add to the Combat Strength of an Army.


The Nazgûl, also called Ringwraiths, act as Leaders for the Shadow Armies and each is represented by the distinctive Ringwraith figure mounted on a winged beast.

The rules pertaining to the Free Peoples Leaders also apply to the Nazgûl, with the following exceptions:

— The Nazgûl are not obliged to be part of a friendly Army and can move on their own, flying to any region (even regions containing Free Peoples units) on the game board with a single movement.

Exception: a Nazgûl moving without an Army cannot be placed alone in an enemy-controlled Stronghold.

— The Nazgûl are unaffected by the presence of an enemy Army in the same region.


The main heroes of the story and their main antagonists are represented by the Character figures.

Characters are personalities with abilities superior to those of simple Leaders. Characters belonging to the Free Peoples are called Companions, while the Characters of the Shadow are called Minions.

Each Character is represented by a unique figure and a Character card detailing his special skills. Players should carefully read all of the Character cards before playing the game.

In game terms, Characters act much the same as Leaders, but they do not suffer the same restrictions and can move on the game board on their own, ignoring the presence of enemy Armies.

Companions: Legolas, Gimli, Boromir, Aragorn (as Strider), Meriadoc, Peregrin, and Gandalf the Grey start the game as the Companions of Frodo and Sam (the Ring-bearers) and members of the Fellowship of the Ring. As the game progresses, they can leave the Fellowship to help rouse the Free Peoples Nations to war and to act as Leaders for the Free Peoples Armies.

Under certain conditions (as described on their Character cards), Strider and Gandalf the Grey can be replaced by their more powerful incarnations: Aragorn – Heir to Isildur and Gandalf the White.

Aragorn – Heir to Isildur Marker

Gandalf the White Marker

When this happens, put the appropriate marker under the plastic figure of the Character to remember his new status.

Minions: The more prominent servants of the Dark Lord— Saruman, the Witch-king, and the Mouth of Sauron—do not start in play at the beginning of the game. They will enter play later, under the conditions specified on their Character cards.

Gollum: Gollum is a very unusual Character. Gollum is always assumed to be following the Fellowship of the Ring, and he becomes the Guide of the Fellowship if the Ringbearers are alone. When this happens, you may place the Gollum figure together with the Ring-bearers figure as a reminder of his presence. The effects of Gollum’s actions are represented in the game by the Gollum Character card and certain Event cards.