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Martin Wallace Hobbit Card Game Coming from Fantasy Flight

Hot on the heels of his Doctor Who: The Card Game, designer Martin Wallace is turning his attention to another card game tackling another legendary property, The Hobbit. Coming from Fantasy Flight Games, The Hobbit will provide up to five players with the opportunity to take on the persona of a hero or villain for J. R. R. Tolkien’s classic. It looks as if this is a trick taking game so I’m not sure how much Middle Earth flavor the design will hold or if the theme will feel tacked on as in many card games… The game will be available later this year and carry an MSRP of $9.95.

From FFG:

“There is one point that you haven’t noticed,” said the wizard, […] “but Smaug could not creep into a hole that size, not even when he was a young dragon, certainly not after devouring so many of the dwarves and men of Dale.”
“It seems a great big hole to me,” squeaked Bilbo (who had no experience of dragons and only of hobbit-holes).
     –J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit

Fantasy Flight Games is happy to announce The Hobbit Card Game, Martin Wallace’s fast-paced, standalone, trick-taking card game for 2-5 players. Players win hands by trying to lay down the highest card of the suit in play. Use the cards you’ve won to deal damage to opponents, or heal allies and help them with extra cards. Each character assigns cards differently, so use your skills wisely! Fight the forces of evil as Gandalf, Thorin, or Bilbo, or smash the hopes of the heroes as Smaug or Bolg, the goblin leader.

Each player takes on the role of one of the heroes or villains in the classic story of Bilbo’s adventures. In order to win, the villainous characters must use their combined power to destroy all of the forces of good before the end of the final round of play, and the heroes must simply work together to survive the onslaught.

Attack Your Enemies, Support Your Allies

Players work to win hands, and then assign cards to themselves or other characters depending on the rules outlined on their character card. Each card can have one of three symbols on them or be blank.

Each character has a special affinity with the forces that govern his motives. Gandalf, Bilbo, and Thorin are scions of good, while Smaug and Bolg are cruel and evil. The cards respond to these alignments accordingly. A white star on the card symbolizes the forces of good, the helm of an orc adorns cards possessed of evil power, and assigning a card with a pipe grants players the ability to draw an extra card in the next round. If a card with the opposite power is assigned to your character (Gandalf gets an orc helmet, or Smaug gets a star), then that character takes a point of damage. If your character is already damaged and is assigned a card with the symbol of their own side (Bilbo gets a star, or Bolg gets an orc helmet) then that character gets a single point of damage healed. Two points of damage eliminates a character from the game, so use the cards you win to knock out your opponents and heal your allies.

The round ends when players have emptied their hands, and the last of the cards that were in play have been assigned to the characters. Players who have taken enough damage are eliminated at this point. Depending of the number of players, if enough good characters have survived, the game continues until the final round. If the evil characters have killed enough of the heroes, then the villains win the day!

Whether you’d like to take your chances outlasting the assault of evil, or you’re interested in annihilating the heroes, look for The Hobbit Card Game later this year and take part in the legendary tale of Bilbo’s adventure!

Jeff McAleer

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