Wizards, The (Unlimited)

In Middle-earth: The Wizards, you play one of these five Wizards. Your goal is to marshal forces of the Free Peoples so that Sauron can be resisted until the One Ring is destroyed. Since your fellow Wizards do not agree on how best to accomplish this goal, you must battle for the minds, bodies, and souls of the Free Peoples.

In Lord of the Rings, Gandalf was the only Wizard to succeed. Saruman was corrupted by power, Radagast “went native,” Alatar and Pallando disappeared into the East. Only Gandalf remained true to his task, marshaling the characters and forces that withstood Sauron long enough for the Fellowship to destroy the Ruling Ring.

“Evil forces” are represented by hazards that the players use against one another. For example, if you move a character into Moria, your opponent could play a Troll card as a hazard. These hazards are not “controlled” by the Wizards, but rather they represent the forces of Sauron, who himself is in a “dormant” or hiding phase. All plaers are “good,” so conflict takes the form of hazards and direct attempts to “persuade” or “dominate” each other and each others characters and forces, rather than the form of direct conflict.