Rule of 9
The Rule of 9
From the Comprehensive Rulebook:
Play companion cards in a row, near the other members of your fellowship already in play. You cannot have more than nine total companions in play and in your dead pile at any time. (Each copy of a companion in play or in your dead pile counts as a separate companion, whether it is unique or non-unique.) This is referred to as The Rule of 9.
A nod to the nine members of The Fellowship of The Ring, a player is prevented from having more than 9 companions between the fellowship and the dead pile (companions in the discard pile are not counted). This keeps a player from constantly playing companions to replace those killed and allows the Shadow Player to make measurable progress with each member of the fellowship slain, whether a key companion or throwaway like Dwarf Guard. Further, the Comprehensive Rulebook clarifies that if a card like Sent Back is used to play another copy of a card already in the dead pile, those cards with the same name do contribute towards the fellowship total of 9 companions. Thus, if 4 copies of the same companion are in the dead pile, the fellowship is restricted to at most 5 companions rather than 8.
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