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Subject: Fun Lord of the Rings Max variant...yeah, I said Lord of the Rings rss

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heath fowler
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Temple
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I used a Black Rider as Max and 3 pewter Fellowship figures - all from the Lord of the Rings Trivial Pursuit game ( http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/266640?size=original ). In our case the fellowship people were Frodo, Gandalf (or Roundoff as one of my daughters called him) and Aragorn. I played with my 3 year old son (he's almost 4) and his two older 8 year old sisters and my wife.

I don't own Max so I made a duplicate of the board in Photoshop and printed it on regular typing paper - it was about 25% too small :( . I also didn't have the right die so we used regular die and just said the Black Rider moves on Odd numbers and the good guys move on Even. So two Even rolls means the Fellowship can move 1 guy 2 spaces or 2 guys can each move 1 space. Two Odd rolls means the black rider can move 2 spaces. An Odd and an Even number means the Fellowship can move 1 person 1 space and the Black Rider can move one space.

Aragorn took the yellow shortcut. Gandalf took the blue. Frodo took the red. The Black Rider took all the shortcuts as soon as he landed on them. I'm sure we could add another rule about as long as Frodo makes it to the end then you win but I'll leave that for another day.

That was fun but then we started adding more rules.

Whenever the Black Rider would land on a fellowship member we'd roll dice for battle. Two even numbers means that the Black Rider would win and that character was out. Two odd numbers means the Fellowship character won and the Black Rider would have to go back to the beginning. We'd take turns rolling for battle until either 2 odd or 2 even numbers would come up.

We also added a rule where if the Black Rider made it to the end of the board then he'd go backwards the same way he went forward. This kind of simulated him hunting for the Ring.

The corners had a special rule if you landed on them. You'd have to roll 2 odd or 2 even numbers. If you got 2 even numbers as a Fellowship member then you got to move one space forward for free. If you got 2 odd numbers you had to move back one space. The opposite happened to the Black Rider if he landed on a corner. This would simulate various locations like Moria, etc. and the problems or advantages of going though those places.

It's simplistic for sure but all I know is that we played for 2 hours and probably played 10-15 games. My wife played for most of those as well. It was awesome. I'm thinking of making a new board with Middle Earth artwork with more special spaces like the corners (and making it bigger of course).

Now I feel like I should order Max just as a way of saying thank you to Family Pastimes for making such a fun game for me to mess with.

Oooh, almost forgot. I need to thank yekrats for the inspiration. He has a thread ( http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/98673 )where he talks about using this game (Max) to get kids ready for meatier games like Knizia's Lord of the Rings. That gave me the idea for this. Thanks ;)
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Gozilla Gozilla
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I read this post many years after it was written, but the clever retheme and the variant rules was an instant inspiration.

Here is the personal build that came out.

Frodo and Sam start from the Shire, and meet Gollum along the way to Mount Doom.
Mordor and elvish fonts are used for the design of the shortcut paths.
The corner tiles at the center of the shortcut arcs have an elvish font which appears also on the character's token.
This identify an "area" for each of the 3 characters (the tiles inside the shortcut path).

Since the Nazgul takes all shortcuts and can thus encounter the characters along them, I modified the rules in a way that each of the 3 characters can take temporary refuge (hide) by entering his own area and therefore skipping the encounter once.

4 non-playing characters can be called, once each, for help: Aragorn, Gandalf, Gimli and Legolas. They battle the Nazgul and send him back to Mount Doom.
The Nazgul, as in the variant of mrwolf710, starts from there, goes towards the Shire and then back again to Mount Doom doing this as many times as needed.

As in the variant, the Nazgul and the characters battle when they encounter each other with the character being killed with an odd number and the Nazgul being sent back to Mordor with an even number result.

Whenever one of the characters lands on the Ring tile, the last tile at the feet of Mount Doom, the Eye of Sauron finally understands their plans and the Nazgul is automatically sent to the last corner tile to try to catch them.

The game is lost whenever Frodo dies.
In a solo game the game is won when Frodo reaches Mount Doom, while the other two characters are more used to help with battling the Nazgul than anything else.

It works fine both as a solo game than as a two-three player game, but the characters have still a better chance to win than the Nazgul.

The build took just an afternoon, from searching for images/fonts to the graphic design and the construction.
The board is printed on a color copy and pasted on a rigid board 23cm x 20cm.
Same for the tokens.

It was fun !







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Eli Alampay
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University Place
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So very cool! Hope you can share the files so I can make my own copy. Thanks.
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Gozilla Gozilla
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Hi Eli,

I just submitted an Illustrator CS4 template for the board and the Elvish font to BGG admins.
You'll have to wait a bit until the files are cleared by them for upload.
As for the images, they will not be included but you can download and use whatever legally permitted from the web.

You can open the file with Adobe Illustrator or with a free software like GIMP or Inkscape. The elvish font is for Windows system.

This is what I can do, but I hope it helps.
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Gozilla Gozilla
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The illustrator template and the font can now be found in the Files section.
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