Press Release: LOTR CCG To release Return of the King Set on November 5 – Decipher

by Sep 17, 2003Games


253 granby street — norfolk, virginia 23510 – 1813
phone — 757.623.3600 — fax 757.623.3630
norfolk — los angeles

For Immediate Release

Get An Advance Look Into the World of Middle-earth on November 5th When The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game Begins A New Chapter with The Return of the King

Newest Base Set to Hit Stores Worldwide Weeks Before the Stunning Final Installment of the Epic The Lord of the Rings Film Trilogy Unfolds on December 17th

(Norfolk, VA–September 16, 2003)–It all began with The Fellowship of the Ring as Frodo Baggins and his Hobbit friends embarked on a journey unlike anything they could have ever imagined. The journey then continued with The Two Towers as the Fellowship of Nine disbanded in various forms, each encountering adventures that would bring them closer to the evil lurking within Middle-earth. Now, J.R.R. Tolkien fans around the world anxiously await New Line Cinema‘s theatrical release of The Return of the King, the final chapter that is sure to be the most highly anticipated film of Peter Jackson’s epic dramatic trilogy.

Decipher is proud to bring this electrifying chapter of the trilogy to life with the latest base set for The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game: The Return of the King. Available worldwide on November 5th, The Return of the King will tell the tale of Aragorn — revealed as the hidden heir to the Kings of the West — as he joins with the forces of Gondor to take down the armies of Sauron, while Frodo races to destroy the One Ring at Mount Doom. With breathtaking new images from the film featured on 365 new cards for new characters, sites, and themes, this set is sure to be a must-have for fans of J.R.R. Tolkien, Peter Jackson’s trilogy, and TCG players alike.

The Return of the King also introduces exciting, new gameplay mechanics that represent the increasing threat of the shadow of Sauron. “Threats” are a new mechanic that presents players with an activated effect using wounds that threaten every Fellowship companion when just one dies. “Initiative” is an innovative new mechanic that activates powerful cards that key off of the cards a player has in hand. This will discourage the Fellowship player from playing every card possible to survive and will also add new discarding strategies for the Shadow player in order to win initiative.

“The Lord of the Rings trilogy has given us an opportunity to take an exceptional storyline and bring it to life in a format that can convey all of the dramatic twists and turns that are inherent to the plot,” said Decipher Senior Game Designer Tom Lischke. “Although The Return of the King is the final chapter in the film trilogy, this base set is the beginning of yet another enlivening block for the trading card game — which introduces even more new characters and mechanics. And, unlike the film, it won’t end here. We have plans for new expansions for The Lord of the Rings TCG for years to come.”

Players will be able to participate in release day events on November 5th. Retail locations worldwide will participate in these tournaments where prizes will be awarded to the top finishers. In addition, a special Release Day card will be presented to all competitors.

This 365-card base set contains: 121 rare cards; 121 uncommon cards; 121 common cards; and two starter-only premium cards.

The Return of the King will be available in the following product configurations:

  • 63-card Starter Decks: Starter decks will be available in two versions, Éomer and Aragorn. Each deck has three random rare cards, 2 premium cards, and a rulebook. MSRP: US $10.99

  • Booster Packs: 11-card packs will include 1 rare plus a mixture of common and uncommon cards. Foil cards will be found in approximately one out of six booster packs. MSRP: US $3.29

  • As with previous The Lord of the Rings TCG cards, all cards in The Return of the King will receive a foil treatment in a parallel set.

The Lord of the Rings TCG: The Return of the King set continues the mission introduced with The Fellowship of the Ring, which introduced the top award-winning trading card game of 2001 and 2002. Players try to win the game by advancing their Ring-bearer to the end of the adventure path; killing the opponent’s Ring-bearer; or corrupting the opponent’s Ring-bearer.

Just in time for New Line Cinema’s December 17, 2003 theatrical release of the third and final installment, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, look for the new base set of The Lord of the Rings TCG in November when The Return of the King releases in stores worldwide!

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About Decipher
Celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2003, Decipher Inc. founded by Warren Holland is a worldwide leader in the collectible card game industry and fan club industry. The company’s Trading Card Game Studio produces STAR TREK and The Lord of the Rings trading card games. Decipher will also launch two new trading card games this fall, .hack//ENEMY and Beyblade, each based on anime properties. Decipher’s Fan Club Studio operates the official fan clubs for Star Trek and The Lord of the Rings which includes publishing official fan magazines and managing online stores. Decipher’s RPG (roleplaying games) & Miniatures Studio is responsible for the creation of the STAR TREK  Roleplaying Game and The Lord of the Rings Roleplaying Game. Decipher’s Online Games Studio offers digital versions of its STAR TREK  and, soon, its The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Games. Decipher’s Games Studio produces leading party, card and board games such as How To Host A Murder®, How To Host A Teen Mystery, Scratchees and more. Decipher’s Boy Crazy! Studio markets the popular Boy Crazy! brand for girls which includes a magazine, web site at, and various publishing and licensing ventures.

Visit for additional information.

About New Line Cinema
Founded in 1967, New Line Cinema is among the entertainment industry’s leading independent producer and distributor of theatrical motion pictures. New Line licenses its films to ancillary markets, including cable and broadcast television, as well as to international venues. The company, which is a subsidiary of AOL Time Warner Inc., operates several divisions including in-house theatrical distribution, marketing, home video, television, acquisitions, production, licensing and merchandising units. More information about New Line Cinema can be obtained at For more information about New Line Cinema’s licensing and merchandising, contact Sheila Feren or Stephanie Baumoel at FerenComm, 212.983.9898.

The third installment, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, premieres December 17, 2003. For more information about New Line Cinema’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, go to


© MMIII New Line Productions, Inc. ™ Tolkien Ent. Lic. to New Line Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. TM, ® & © 2003 Decipher Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Release Schedule for The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game for 2004 – 2007:

Siege of Gondor – March 2004
Mount Doom – July 2004
Shadows – November 2004
Black Rider – March 2005
Bloodlines – July 2005
The Hunters – November 2005
Rise of Saruman – March 2006
Treachery and Deceit – July 2006
The Great Eye – November 2006
Shelob’s Lair – March 2007
Age’s End – July 2007


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