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More on LOTR: The Search
Xoanon @ 1:22 pm EST

From: Olorin

I saw the articles about the new LotR game, "The Search", and I've attempted a translation of the German translation. It's not perfect though, and may have lost a bit in the translation. Anyway, here it is, and hopefully it helps for people interested in the game.

The Search

The Search For Mount Doom

A " game for two " from the Lord of the Rings cycle of the Kosmos publishing house

The large " Lord of the Rings " board game appeared in the autumn 2000 with KOSMOS associates and now there is a game for two people, in which the two Hobbits Frodo and Sam go on the search for Mount Doom. Only in the fiery glow of this seething mountain can the fateful Ring be destroyed, which threatens to throw Middle-earth completely into ruin. For those who know Tolkien's " the Lord of the rings ", there are, as with Reiner Knizia's large board game, many central motives from the book to recognize. But similarly as with Knizia's opulent work there is also the " search " for Mount Doom, which is a main aim in Tolkien's famous book, and the sole aim of this fun game. Of 48 small landscape cards, the landscape will consist of under 8 dark-green cards for the forest, 8 lightgreen cards for the plains, 8 blue cards for water and 20 cards for the mountains, which the players with their two Hobbit figures, Frodo and Sam, wander through and discover - In the peaceful land of the Shire the adventure begins.

The " Shire " is sorted out from the small landscape cards before the beginning of the game and put into the center of the table. The remaining 47 small cards are mixed and stored in three face up piles. There are four different landscape types: Forest, plains, water and mountains. The small landscape cards are divided into four sections and therefore offer different combinations of landscape forms. The putting together of similar landscape segments results in larger and smaller mountain courses, forests, plains and water the course of the play. Also the colours of the landscapes appropriate adventure tile are mixed and laid out - the playing field is structured in the course of the play by the players. Here the first small landscape cards must be set so that on the start small card, thus the " Shire ", two landscape axles crossing in the " Shire " develop themselves. Naturally therefore only the same landscape forms may be put together. As soon as a final landscape from equivalent paragraph is formed, an adventure tile in the colour of the landscape is put face down on the final area. After putting a small landscape card by the face down pile one draws tight again. If a player does not have a suitable small card, then he puts all three small landscape cards, which he has in his hand, openly to the supply and draws three new cards of the face down pile. That applies until the one small card axle from 6, which consists others of 8 cards. The cross developed now limits the length and width of the playing field. The Hobbit figures are set on the Shire. Alternating players now carry out the following three actions: Card from the hand create - draw play figure - card pull tight. The players draw their Hobbits from landscape to landscape, (not (!) from small cards to small cards) and collect adventure tiles, which bring either victory points or, as the blue adventure small cards, in addition also bestow special abilities aswell. In order to be able to draw a blue tile however on a lake, one needs a boat. This boat provides one with the help of grey adventure wafers; these give the players bad surprises in addition, e.g. an assault of the Orks.

If the face up small landscape card pile is used up and both players have also no more cards in their hands, Mount Doom can be found. The player immediately takes cards from the open supply (consisting of cards, which, because they did not fit, were stored). If none of the cards from the open supply fit, Mount Doom comes into play.

The active player sets any landscape card with the neutral rear side face up on two any cards on the playing field. This card is now Mount Doom. Since all landscapes fit the neutral sides, one now again may find it easier to find suitable small cards - follow these steps in the further run of the game: if the situation is that no suitable card is available again, then proceed again as described above, and Mount Doom " moves " thus to a new place.

Only if Middle-earth is completely uncovered, i.e. all 48 small cards are placed, will the Hobbits know where Mount Doom is really situated. The players now breach to a " final spurt " on Mount Doom. The Hobbits, whichever one first achieves this, receives special points. Then the game and " The Search " are over.

The Search by Peter Neugebauer, 2 players starting from 10 years, spieldauer 30-50 min., Kosmos (2001), approx. 29 DM

Fritz Gruber