Conquest of the Ring (boardgame)
Published by Hobbit Toy and Games; 1970
This boardgame, as far as I have found, is the first published boardgame based on Tolkiens work. It is a very simple game and is only loosely based on The Hobbit. The game consists of a board that is laid out with a square grid maze. The Hobbits are simple colored pawns that start in separate corners of the maze. The object of the game is to work your way to the middle of the board by the roll of the die. The first one to the center places the golden ring around the pawn then tries to get back to their prospective corners without being captured. If one of the other pawns land on the space with the pawn that has the golden ring, it is captured and that pawn makes a run for their corner (Shire one color for each corner) with the ring, and so on. First pawn to return to the their corner wins. Hobbits, the Shire, and the Great Ring are all mentioned in the rules.
The cover and board art are based on the art style of the late 60s Lord of the Rings paperback books. The ones with the weird landscape that had little to do with Middle Earth (Emus in the Shire?). Tolkien himself did not like the book art for those books either. There are graphic picture of two Hobbits (one is smoking a pipe), Gollum, and Gandolf although neither of these last two really have anything to do with the game unless you want to pretend that the Red pawn is Gandolf.
Game consists of the following:
Typical fold-open boardgame type board
4 plastic playing piece pawns (red, blue, green, yellow)
1 brass ring
1 die, six sided
Rules are printed inside the box lid
Conquest of the Ring board and box