Tolkien Boardgames

Tolkien Boardgame Collecting

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Siege of Barad-Dur (magazine wargame)

Published by Jagdpanther (wargame magazine), issue #8; Designed by Steve Rusch;

1975 (May/June?)



This is a very rare game.  According to the editor’s comments at the beginning of the magazine, this particular issue (#8) had a print run of 190.  I am not sure how many sure how many survived, but a conservative guess would be that 50% (realistically, probably no more than 25%) were kept in collections.  That leaves only 80 (and probably less than 40) or so surviving games.  I came across reference to this game in an old wargaming book called “Wargame Design” that was published by Strategy and Tactics back in 1978 and had a complete listing of wargames to that date.  This game was listed.  It took me years to find a copy.  With that said, this game is not from LOTR, but from a battle from the Second Age (3430 S.A.) as described in The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien (although this game was published before the book was published, so the information for this game comes from the appendix found in The Return of the King).  Lord of the Rings took place at the end of the Third Age.  This is the only game that I have found that is from the earlier ages.  The battle depicts the struggle between the Last Alliance between Men and Elves lead by the elf king Gil-Galiad and the high king of men, Elendil, against the resurgence of Sauron and his evil creatures (The Nazgul and Orcs).


Being a wargame, this is a hexboard game that is found in the magazine.  To get the board out, it had to be pulled out of the stapled binding.  The game pieces are also found in the center pages (mixed in among the other game found in this issue, a submarine game called PQ-17).  The counters would have to be cut out and mounted on cardboard.  I had a hard time separating out which pieces belong to which game.  I finally figured it out and I have listed the game pieces that are used for this game.  The graphics are basic and crude with the names like Ilendil hand written in.  Large fat arrows indicate orcs while thin arrows are elves and men (different shaped arrows).  Elrond’s symbol is a house (is that useful in combat?).  I presume a house was used due to the reference in Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit of the Last Homely House.  Remember, this game came out before The Silmarillion was published (1977).  Sauron’s symbol is a star in the center of a circle, which could be a ring I suppose.  The Eye of Sauron would have come after his defeat in this battle according to the books.


I haven’t had time to play this game yet, so I do not know how even the game play is.


Game Consists of the following:

Elves and Men: Black on light blue paper

Sauron: Black on light red (pink) paper

Black on white paper board.

Cut out counters, black and white with crude graphics (some are hand drawn)



Jagdpanther #8 Cover                            The Siege of Barad-Dur Fold-out Map



 The Siege of Barad-Dur Alliance Units