So, this might be known as The One That Got TSR in Trouble, were there not competition for that title (cf. WARRIORS OF MARS). Gygax tells the story in anecdotal fashion:
TSR was served with papers threatening damages to the tune of half a mil
by the Saul Zantes (sp?) division of Elan Merchandising on behalf of
the tolkien Estate. The main objection was to the boardgame we were
publishing, The Battle of Five Armies. The author of that game had given
us a letter from his attorney claiming the work was grandfathered
because it was published after the copyrights for JRRT's works
had lapsed and before any renewals were made. The action also
demanded we remove balrog, dragon, elf, ent, goblin, hobbit,
orc, and warg from the D&D game. Although only balrog and
warg were unique names we agreed to hobbit as well, kept the rest,
of course. The boardgame was dumped, and thus the suit was
settled out of court at that.
—CHEERS, GARY (circa 2002) p. 108
Since it'd take a whole separate post if not more to unpack and fact-check Gygax's account (e.g., Zaentz's 'Tolkien Enterprises' did not represent the Tolkien Estate, though they often found it useful to give the impression that they did), and because I've written about this boardgame elsewhere, all I'll say about it here is that my favorite rule can be found at the bottom of page 5 of the rulebook:
SMAUG VS THE DWARVES
. . . For this scenario Smaug may only be killed by Bowfire. Note: In this scenario the Dwarves have no Bows.
--Think over that one for a bit. Kobayashi Maru, anyone?
Maintaining their confusing tradition in assigning stock/product numbers, this game is #F110
--that is, the tenth in their line of boardgames, this time tagged as a Fantasy title.
On a personal note, while I'm vague on exactly when I got most of the games I'm covering in their sequence of blog posts, this one I can be specific on: I got it at Origins in 1995 (Sunday July 16th), that being the only time I ever went to Origins. It cost me $18.95, probably because all the pieces have been punched and ziplock bagged. Finally, I bought it from Crazy Egor -- not just his booth but Crazy Egor himself. *
--current reading: three Japanese light novel (the equivalent of young adult fiction).
*I also bought the original boxed set of Chaosium's MASKS OF NYARLATHOTEP at the same time and place, but it cost me $29.95. It was worth it. And now, all these years later, I'm coming to the end of playing the adventure.