This is one of the most theme-drenched games I have ever played.
How can one take a classic, epic fantasy saga like The Lord of the Rings and incorporate the deeper nuances of the story, characters, locations, and events into one game and do it justice? On top of that, how does one treat the theme in this way and still make a game that is fun, challenging? The most difficult task would be to incorporate the game mechanics as such that they integrate with the theme...
And War of the Ring does it.
This strategy game reflecting the war in Middle Earth during the Third Age features all the major characters (and even minor!) of the story, and allows players to take the side of either the Free Peoples or the Shadow. The Shadow wins if: (1) they can score 10 Victory Points through conquering Free Peoples strongholds or (2) Frodo and the Fellowship become fully corrupted by the ring.
War of the Ring features a great assortment of plastic miniatures for each faction of Middle Earth, and the gameplay is quite asymmetrical, making for a different game every time. The artwork is simply gorgeous, and allows players to more fully soak into the theme.
The only negative I have experienced with the game is that the quality of the plastic miniatures is not the best. The sculpts are wonderful, but the plastic quality is too soft and gets "the dropsies", resulting in making them struggle to paint.
If you have any love for The Lord of the Rings, BUY THIS. NOW. Don't buy any other game until you do. This game will reward any gamer who has this on the shelf.