In 2010, Fantasy Flight Games released a collector’s edition of their popular War of the Ring game, based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Ring novels. That version contained nearly 250 hand-painted miniatures, larger cards and game board, all-new art by John Howe, and of course the huge wooden box. Selling for just under four hundred dollars, used copies of the game with dings and scratches can be found on ebay for the low, low price of $1525.
Ares Games then released the second edition of War of the Ring. Now, to celebrate the fifth year of the new edition (and the 60th anniversary of the publication of Return of the King), Ares has announced the Anniversary Release of War of the Ring Second Edition. This version will not be in a wooden box like the collector’s edition, but will include 205 hand-painted miniatures, a larger board, two hardcover books in a slipcase (one rules, the other a companion book), and dice produced in new colors specifically for this edition.
Preorders begin at 2 PM, EDT, on July 20th, according to the countdown clock on the website. Preorders begin at 1 PM, EDT, on July 20th, according to the press release. However, no need to rush to the website at one o’clock or two — Ares does not have a limit on how many copies will be printed. Although initially saying the run will be just 2000 copies, there was concern about disappointing fans who were not quick enough to the website. “We hope 48 hours is an adequate time to make sure all interested War of the Ring fans, who cannot be in front of their computer at the time pre-order opens, will have a chance to get a copy,” said the company.
The game will be sold only during this two-day pre-order period for $369 per copy, plus 19% VAT for members of the EU (about $71), postage and handling (anywhere from $20 to $75).
Ares estimates the game will be shipping in Spring, 2016. They say that they “may need to consider shipping the product out in waves” if they receive significantly more than 2000 pre-orders. “Realistically, we should be able to fulfill all such orders in Spring or Summer 2016, at the latest.”
Once all three expansions for the base game are released, Ares states they would like to manufacture a similar Anniversary Release-like expansion companion. But, as many factors can come into play regarding the practicality of doing all expansions as a single release, the company recommends not basing “your purchase of [the Anniversary Release] on the expectation of a future release of painted expansion sets.”
And, as a personal note: Please give me $389 so I can get a copy.
I’ll also take a review copy, Ares. Ares? Hello?