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Subject: Middle Earth CCG: Worth picking up? rss

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Brad Miller
United States
Seattle
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So here's the deal. I've found a bunch of these cards in a thrift store. Probably around 600-700 or so, will cost me about 20 bucks. Approximately half of them show the lidless eye symbol on the card backs, the others are blueish on the fronts, and I can't recall what's on the backs. So the questions are:

Worth picking up?
Will I be able to find rules?
Are the cards all that are required to play?
What's up with the blue-ish cards?

Any input appreciated.
 
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Michael Barnes
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For $20, I'd say that's quite a deal. I'm not a huge fan of CCGs, but I just recently got into the game and I think it's very rich thematically and the gameplay is somewhat complex but very intriguing and rewarding. This is one of the very few CCGs that isn't bound to the mechanical conventions established by Magic: The Gathering. It has as much in common with Milles Borne as MTG.

The rules are available online in a number of places...be advised they are fairly lengthy and have a fairly substantial learning curve. ICE also released more detailed rulebooks (such as The Wizard's Companion) that are well worth tracking down for their better examples, detailed card lists, maps, and scenarios (yes, scenarios in a CCG- whodathunkit?)

The cards are all you need other than 2D6, which I'm pretty sure you have. The starter sets had a 'fixed' portion of cards that featured a wizard and a set of cards that work together so you don't get stuck not being able to play certain cards. I would suspect that this thrift store set probably contains several of these sets, there are lists online that detail what is in each fixed portion. I probably have around 1000 cards including all fixed portions and I can build countless viable (and fun) decks.

The blue cards are the limited edition, first printings of the cards. That's all. They have the lidless eye on the back.

If all else fails and you don't get all the fixed portions (which would be the worst case scenario in this situation), you can get them from Patrick at www.treebeard.com. This guy knows the game backward and forward and has TONS of cards for sale. He offers a number of good beginner packages and they're very inexpensive.

That's the long and short of it...I'd definitely recommend the game if you want a fairly heavy card game. It accomodates solitaire and multiplayer well.

M. B.
 
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David Boeren
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I would be wary of this unless you have a friend who knows something about the game. No doubt that MECCG is a good game, but with a bunch of random cards who knows what you are really getting?

You may end up with someone's extras and not be able to build playable decks out of them. The cards may be fine, but you lack the knowledge to build playable decks out of them. It's really hard to start with hundreds of cards for a game you don't know how to pay and figure out how to split them into several factions which are going to be well-balanced and playable. Do you know what percentage of the deck should be characters, events, resources, items, etc? Guess too far wrong and the game won't "work" anymore.

If you lack someone who knows the game to help you, I would just buy the fixed starters and then you know you are getting balanced working decks.
 
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David Singleton
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crackedlcd81 wrote:
The blue cards are the limited edition, first printings of the cards. That's all. They have the lidless eye on the back.


Just as a minor correction, unless my memory has deserted me, the limited (first) edition had black borders. The unlimited (any subsequent printing of the basic set) had blue borders. The expansions (The Dragons; Dark Minions; Lidless Eye; etc...) also had black borders I believe.
 
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Luca Iennaco
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I liked the game a lot back at the time, so I'd suggest to get it, especially if you like the LotR theme (but note that it's quite "complex" and "long" for a CCG).

drsingle wrote:
crackedlcd81 wrote:
The blue cards are the limited edition, first printings of the cards. That's all. They have the lidless eye on the back.


Just as a minor correction, unless my memory has deserted me, the limited (first) edition had black borders. The unlimited (any subsequent printing of the basic set) had blue borders. The expansions (The Dragons; Dark Minions; Lidless Eye; etc...) also had black borders I believe.


Right.
 
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Michael Merlino
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That's a good point, David...it is entirely possible that these are castoffs but I doubt someone who knew enough about the game would take the excess cards to thrift store. But that being said, it does bring up the issue that building a MECCG deck can be kind of tricky- some cards require certain locations or other cards and if you've got one but not the other- too bad. My bottom line is this though- even if the cards turn out to be a poor selection, it'd be pretty easy to recoup $20 (or more) on Ebay for them.

My course of action (and really how I got into the game) would be to get the bulk cards and then buy the 10 challenge decks- they're premade, lots of fun, and you can use them as a base to build your own tweaked decks with.

M. B.
 
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Michael Merlino
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Oops, I apologize for the error, had them mixed up...the black are the limited edition cards, the blue are the unlimited ones. There's also silver cards that are in the challenge decks.

M. B.
 
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Brad Miller
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Well, I bought them...

The "other cards" turned out to be the "region cards", which do have a different back. Doesn't look like the cards are great, (no Frodo, Sam, Gandalf, Merry, One Ring), but there's got to be enough to make some kind of a deck or two. Thanks for all the input.
 
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Jonathan Tang
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From what I recall, Gandalf was a fairly common card, so you should at least have 1 or 2. arrrh
 
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Ava Jarvis
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I would hit ebay or http://www.treebeard.com/ for the preconstructed wizard decks (five of the ten "Challenge" decks; you can get all ten for $35 on ebay these days).

Treebeard's place also has a "Beginner's Central" for MeCCG.

MeCCG is not so much a game as a game system, in my opinion. There are a few solitaire scenarios around, plus the goal amounts to "gather up marshalling points in some way", which can map to various meanings, depending on where you're gathering your marshalling points, what kind of marshalling points and what cards are used for those points, what characters are being used to get the marshalling points, where you store the points, etc. The Challenge decks can all be played against each other, but each has a different strategy and "background story".

The decks are pretty well-constructed, with some interesting rares, and each features a different resource and hazard strategy that are the basic ones of MeCCG. There are of course different strategies, too....

More information can also be found at http://fan.theonering.net/morgulrats/ , where all the scenarios from the various out-of-print books are, as well as a copy of the rules for the Lidless Eye, which includes rules for the Wizards as well as Ringwraiths.

GCCG ( http://gccg.sf.net ) will let you play MeCCG (and some others) online, which greatly expands your options for playing with other opponents.

Have fun!
 
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Mike Harris
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Hmmmmm.......I may want to check out MECCG too.
 
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