Fantasy Flight Games have announced a new board game, based on tales from The Lord of the Rings, called Journeys in Middle-Earth. It’s a fully cooperative, app-supported board game for 1-5 players, aged 14+. Players take on the roles of Middle-Earth’s heroes such as Gimli the dwarf, and Frodo the hobbit, as they embark across Middle-Earth on grand adventures and fight against Sauron’s oppression.
“Shadows creep through the lands of Middle-earth, as whispers of new evils in Mirkwood and Mordor spread among the Free Peoples of Elves, Dwarves, and Men. As the shadow rises with festering evil and corruption, new heroes are needed to protect Middle-earth.” [source]
Individual games, which last roughly an hour, serve as standalone adventures in an overarching campaign across the wilderness. Players choose from 6 different heroes who have their own abilities and use special skill cards (instead of dice) while exploring, encountering threats, attacking enemies, and interacting with the people of Middle-earth. In addition to hero specific skill cards, there are also role specific skill cards which can be added to the deck. So, if Frodo takes on the role of a Pathfinder in one adventure, he could take on the role of a Hunter in another adventure and play very differently because of the cards in his deck.
As players travel across the map, tiles and encounters are revealed through the companion app, and matching tokens are placed on the physical tiles which represent the board. While many adventures take place on the bigger map, some scenarios will lead to combat situations which use a smaller board to represent an Orc camp or a musty cave. All enemies, represented by 25 miniatures, are controlled by the companion app. The campaign also features branching narratives and side quests to unlock so each play-through provides a different experience.
The Lord of the Rings: Journeys In Middle-Earth is designed by Nathan Hajek (known for Fallout, and Descent: Journeys in the Dark 2nd Ed – Road to Legend), and Grace Holdinghaus (known for the Mansions of Madness 2nd Ed: Streets of Arkham expansion). It will be released in the 2nd quarter of 2019, and Fantasy Flight Games are already taking pre-orders which includes deluxe player mats.