As a child you wont be surprised to know I loved me some board games. Also you won’t be surprised to know I was gullible and naive to the world. You know ‘cos I was a kid.

I was excitedly on a trip to Toys ‘r’ Us because I had seen they had Star Wars Monopoly. What made it special was the box said it was “Collectors edition”. I’m a collector, sure, things that you collect can often be worth a lot. I didn’t realise thought this meant it would still be sold years and years later, but hey it had a metal R2D2.

Whilst on this fateful trip though I went looking in the bargain bin and found some weird old game with castles and catapults for £5 as it had no box.

It also turned out had no rules and despite my best imagination the games I created out of the pieces were not particularly fun, or at least no one else would play them with me.

Being the very early 00s this meant my mother writing a polite letter to the publishers asking if we could get the rules in the post.

After a couple of weeks of waiting (remember how slow post was) I got the letter I craved with rules, but also a much bigger box. As way of apology for the missing rules they had sent me their latest game “Lord of the rings”.

This was just before all of those Elijah wood movies and so is how I learnt about the world of Lord of the rings and the hobbits. You know the 5 of them:

Frodo

Sam

Merry

Pippin

and Fatty.

This was a co-op game about getting the ring to mount doom and so obviously I always played as Fatty and made sure he was the one to throw that ring into the fiery depths of mount doom. It was with great excitement then I would come to watch the movie to see my favourite hobbit… who was nowhere to be seen.

Well it turns out Fatty was largely written out of the books and makes a token appearance in the film to give a wave. He originally was one of the gang, the fellowship. Now relegated to a nobody.

Not however in the Lord of the Rings board game. There he could be a true hero and a saviour of middle earth. That is what board games give us, the chance to play out fantasies we didn’t even know we wanted. To have a portly short fella throw a ring into a volcano.