I am looking for a LOTR 2-player (1v1) board game I received for Christmas as a kid in the early 2000s (after the last movie got released, so probably 2003 or 2004, but the game in itself may have been older).
Each player controlled 9 characters: the white player controlled the Fellowship, while the black player controlled Sauron's forces.
The game was played on a square map divided in several cells of irregular sizes and shapes, each representing a region of Middle-Earth, with the Shire and Mordor at opposite sides, which I think served at the starting points for each team.
Each character I believe possessed a special ability and a "strength" level between 1 and 9.
The character tiles were printed with an artwork and showed the name, a description of the special ability, and the "strength". The tiles were inserted in plastic stands and placed face to their owner so that the opponent could not see which character was in which position on the board.
When 2 opposing characters were in the same region, players had to reveal them and then a battle phase started. During battle the players had to use cards but I don't remember what purpose they served.
The game ended when Frodo managed to reach Mordor (White wins) or was killed by the Enemy (Black wins).
The art style resembled a lot that of John Howe.