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Subject: Two starter decks: are they enough to start playing? rss

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The Orientalist
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Hello All,

I've just received two THE WIZARDS Starer Decks. Each 75 cards.

Are these two decks enough for solitaire play?

Are they also enough for two players to play against each other? For fun, not for tournament or anything similar.

Many thanks!
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Nigel Buckle
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Well it will depend a bit which starter decks you have!

There were 5 different fixed packs, with some duplication of cards between them:

http://www.non.com/metw/tech/fixedpack.html

Ideally you'll have different packs and not much overlap.

The biggest problem will be sites - you need sites to play the resources, the fixed portion goes some way to helping as you'll have the matching site and faction etc, but chances are you'll have unplayable stuff in the rest of the box.

For example, magic rings and no gold rings, or no ring test. Factions with no matching site, or limited sites to play your items.

I suggest downloading a map, and using that instead of the site cards and recording what sites are 'tapped' (as you use them).

Similarly your hazards are unlikely to have much synergy - so you'll have a few creatures but you're unlikely to have the right boosters to go with them.

But saying that, both decks are in the same boat, so try it - if one deck seems to have better cards than the other (or rather more playable cards), then randomise them, or do a draft so each player gets to pick what cards they have to balance it a bit.
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Wiedewiet
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If you want an easy entrance into this game I suggest buying 2 (or all 5) Hero Challenge Decks (labeled A through E). They are streamlined and diverse enough to get you playing and develop a feel for the game. Then, once you start loving it, you can hope to get lucky and find someone who sells his whole collection
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The Orientalist
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I am currently re-reading the tiny rulebook which comes with the Wizards Deck.

Oh my dear.

I am feeling like someone is doing a surgery on my brain, with no anesthetic. Com'on, this is ridiculous, It will probably take me up to two months to learn the rules. Wow!

I will pay - with real money! - if someone here will post a video, explaining the rules and showing an actual game. I am serious.

Wiet, why are the Hero Challenge Decks more friendly to the newbie than the Starter Decks, as the Wizards for example? I will buy 2 Challenge Decks today.

Thank you kindly for your response, Nigel.
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José San Miguel
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The Challenge Decks are preconstruted decks with viable strategies, while the starter decks are mostly random.

It's no small feat to learn MECCG by oneself. These sites may be of help:

http://www.councilofelrond.org/forum/index.php
http://www.meccg.net/netherlands/meccg/
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Orientalist wrote:
Wiet, why are the Hero Challenge Decks more friendly to the newbie than the Starter Decks, as the Wizards for example? I will buy 2 Challenge Decks today.

As Jose said, the Challenge Decks have more constructed cardset.
If you buy only two Challenge Decks, may I suggest you get the Radagast (D) and Alatar (B) ones? Those are widely regarded as the strongest two, and thus match up well.

Maybe you're thinking of buying the Gandalf deck (E). Sure, Gandalf is cool, but the deck is themed around Gondor and getting Aragorn there with Arwen to crown him king. Imho one of the more boring themes. Radagast's deck has Gimli & Legolas with Beorn recruiting factions around Mirkwood and the lands to the east. They are cool and strong characters. Alatar's deck has some elves on a rescue mission to the mountains around Rivendell. They'll score some cool loot on the way as well. Very strong characters, so you can pick a fight here and there and score killpoints that way. The hazards in this deck are the cool spooky ones: lots of undead :-)

A personal favourite of mine is Pallando's deck (C) as it has Thorin, Dori, Kili, Óin & Glóin on a quest for treasure in dragon country. The hazars in this deck are cool beasts: wolves, spiders, etc.

Take a look at my Challenge Deck Playeraid in the file section. You can read about the different strategies and see all cards in the decks.
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Nick Bolton
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You could do worse by reading this document first before you begin to absorb the full rules and then the various expansion rules (if you want to go that far).


http://www.chrisvos.com/meuk/lackey/meccg/rules/Simplified_R...

You can still have quite a bit of fun just playing with the Wizards cards for a while with maybe a few Dragons cards. When that all makes sense you can move on.

When you get onto reading the eratta and collected rulings your head really begins to hurt - but this isn't all necessary to play solitaire with the first few releases.
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Nick Bolton
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Orientalist wrote:

I will pay - with real money! - if someone here will post a video, explaining the rules and showing an actual game. I am serious.


There is a Wizards two player box set that takes you step by step through an actual game with special numbered cards designed for this purpose. It's not particularly exiting but it is quite a good basic introduction if you are starting out on your own.

However it's very pricy these days (when you can find it on ebay) for what it is.
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Mike Brewer
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The rulebook is not that easy, is it. In principle, you do have enough cards to play solitaire, as you only need 30 hazards and 30 resources. Your main problem will be a lack of sites.

Suggestions:

- only play the simple rules to start with, and do not use Region movement

- play a simple solitaire game as per the official solitaire rules. That should give you some idea for what is going on

You should still be able to play it, and you can challenge yourself to maximise the number of MPs you can get.

Don't give up: it's a great game.

Mike (who also taught himself MECCG with a starter deck and a couple of dozen of other random cards)
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Ronny Adriaens
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I have a rulebook at home which explains the rules with an example of play. I believe it came from the 2-players special edition.
As I have the original Player Guide and Companions as well, I'm willing to send you this rulebook, if you like.

Just let me know.
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The Orientalist
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Many thanks to all of you.

I feel like I am holding the Holy Graal in my hands. There is something very odd and very special about Middle Earth CCG from ICE. It really does feel like a magic, supernatural affair rather than a simple "card game". And well, call me nostalgic but I HIGHLY prefer the artwork from this game over the more slick, flashy, photoshoped artwork from LotR LCG from Fantasy Flight. I am in love with the aesthetics of this game! ICE really nailed Tolkien and Middle-Earth in their games. The Riddle of the Ring, The Fellowship of the Ring, the awesome The Lonely Mountain, The Battle of the Five Armies, MERP - all these are absolutely lovely, in every aspect. Well, yes, I am a nostalgic after all.

I know it will take me a few months to learn and understand the rules but I am willing to do it nonetheless.

One quick basic question: if I do have the MECCG large map, can I do without ... any sites card? How can that be possible? What is the use of the map (I've just bought one from Ebay, going to frame it nicely). I mean, there are many symbols and info on the sites card. Surely you cant just take them out of the game and play only with the map. Or can you?

Mike, the first step will be to learn playing it solo. Only then I will start teaching it to other players. Unfortunately, I have to say I don't quite like the solo rules in the official Wizards rulebook. To maximize the number of MPs. That's all? That's the solo play? A bit disappointing.... I understand there are OTHER solo rules in the Wizards Companion book. Can anyone here shed some light? How different are those solo rules?

Best to all!

Oh damn! I gave a thumb up to myself! Lol! Sorry.
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Nigel Buckle
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Look in the files section here on the geek, there are a couple of maps.

You'll also need a list of the sites - what type they are (ruins and lairs, borderholds etc), what the card draw is, automatic attack (if any) and what is playable at the site.

Then use figures to represent your companies (you might end up with more than one) and move them on the map to show their location. When you use a site (tap it) instead put a glass bead or similar on the map.

Once you've cycled your deck take the glass bead 'tap' markers off (as you can then use the sites again).

Either that or just write down the name of the site on a bit of paper.

Main thing is you need someway of having sites to move your companies to and play stuff. In the original game you used site cards - if you haven't got those then you need a suitable substitute.
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Jürgen Duvendack
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The Problem with only a map is, that you don't know the card draw and the attacks of the locations. But there's a special ruleset for playing sealed games with each region containing a "generic" location. You could use this rules to play with only a map and no location cards. Just track which region you already "exhausted".

http://www.meccg-berlin.de/files/rules/sealeddeckregioncards...

EDIT: I stand corrected by the above poster, that there are maps that include the necessary location info.
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Orientalist wrote:
Many thanks to all of you.

Unfortunately, I have to say I don't quite like the solo rules in the official Wizards rulebook. To maximize the number of MPs. That's all? That's the solo play? A bit disappointing.... I understand there are OTHER solo rules in the Wizards Companion book.


There are also various solo scenarios in the official guides produced by ICE, all with slightly different rules - but using the main solo rules as a basis. This does provide some variation for solo play and you have to achieve a variety of conditions for victory that are not just about points. This may of course involve buying more expensive out of print books, which may only contain 1 or 2 solo scenarios, but does provide some variation. (Some of these companion books can be found as pdfs on the internet with a google of their titles and a bit of persistence).
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Mike Brewer
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There are some solo (2?) scenarios in the Wizards Companion, and some different ones (3-4??) in the Players Companion, but you should note that these require specific (although not rare) cards, and so you won;t be able to play them with just your 2 starter decks. Some are on the Council of Elrond's site.

Others have pointed out that you don't need site cards provided you have a list of what is written on each site card, and you can get that info from the internet somewhere.

Mike
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mikeb13603 wrote:
Others have pointed out that you don't need site cards provided you have a list of what is written on each site card, and you can get that info from the internet somewhere.

In a game that already makes your head spin with all the different things to keep track of, not using the actual site cards in favor of using the printed out information would totally destroy gameplay for me.

The sites are what drive this game forward: you move your characters from site to site, the destination site dictates how many cards you draw as well as what type of hazards you may encounter on the way there. IMHO the info on the sites is so essential to gameplay, I would not want to have that element of play respresented by some printed out info you find online. Unless it's the actual card images you print out

Maybe this changes when you learn the game better (I know a friend of mine who has played since the '90 doesn't actually need the sites anymore, he knows them all by heart), but I would always recommend a new player to use the actual cards. They really help to grasp mechanics.
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Nigel Buckle
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Wiet wrote:
mikeb13603 wrote:
Others have pointed out that you don't need site cards provided you have a list of what is written on each site card, and you can get that info from the internet somewhere.

In a game that already makes your head spin with all the different things to keep track of, not using the actual site cards in favor of using the printed out information would totally destroy gameplay for me.

The sites are what drive this game forward: you move your characters from site to site, the destination site dictates how many cards you draw as well as what type of hazards you may encounter on the way there. IMHO the info on the sites is so essential to gameplay, I would not want to have that element of play respresented by some printed out info you find online. Unless it's the actual card images you print out

Maybe this changes when you learn the game better (I know a friend of mine who has played since the '90 doesn't actually need the sites anymore, he knows them all by heart), but I would always recommend a new player to use the actual cards. They really help to grasp mechanics.


Except getting these sites is a royal pain, especially the rare ones, and you'll want 2 copies of each (more havens) one set per player and if you want to play minion or fallen wizard there are even more needed.

Even at the height of popularity of this game I used to bring multiple copies of sites to tournaments to give out and allow proxies. It's like playing a sport with bits of the pitch missing.

Play on a nice map works for me for the feel of moving around - and using region cards is just awful, doubles the play time for no gain, so even with a full set of sites I use a map (although, yes I have the geography fixed in my head now ...)

Only gameplay issue with not using site cards is anything that targets the actual site path on the site card (eg. Long Winter), but if you have that information on the sheet too it's fine.
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bucklen_uk wrote:
and using region cards is just awful, doubles the play time for no gain, so even with a full set of sites I use a map

I never said anything about the region cards, I hate them too! I also use a nice map together with site cards.

I'd say if you can't find the sites you need, print the card images and use these as proxies - glue them on top of the region cards so you make use of the nice card backs

Where to get the images? I think the easiest option is to install gccg (program to play meccg online) and run the card installer. It will download all the images automatically. After this is finished, you can find the jpg's on your harddrive. See http://gccg.sourceforge.net/ and follow installation instructions.

As an added bonus you can also try to use gccg and play the game online against lots and lots of pllayers worldwide
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José San Miguel
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Wiet wrote:
bucklen_uk wrote:
and using region cards is just awful, doubles the play time for no gain, so even with a full set of sites I use a map

I never said anything about the region cards, I hate them too! I also use a nice map together with site cards.

I'd say if you can't find the sites you need, print the card images and use these as proxies - glue them on top of the region cards so you make use of the nice card backs

Where to get the images? I think the easiest option is to install gccg (program to play meccg online) and run the card installer. It will download all the images automatically. After this is finished, you can find the jpg's on your harddrive. See http://gccg.sourceforge.net/ and follow installation instructions.

As an added bonus you can also try to use gccg and play the game online against lots and lots of pllayers worldwide


+1

Region cards are worthless, no doubt. Everybody uses a map instead.

But, site cards are a fundamental mechanic in the game, especially when several companies move. I don't see how that can be replaced by on-map information (except of course, solo play or very casual games).

Artscow is another good option if you desire more quality in your proxies.

Also remember that proxies are accepted in any Council of Elrond event.
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Ronny Adriaens
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I always use a map to do the travel and actual sites to move to.
On the map I have listed the regions, type, sitetypes, what's playable and the automatic-attacks. That way I use a map to know where I'll be going next. I use the real site cards and no region cards.
I also have high quality pictures of all the cards which can be used to print and paste on other cards (or just use deck protectors, the back of the card isn't that important).
As I'm writing this; I wonder if anyone uses site cards as noted in the rules, I mean when a site is tapped and discarded, do you put it in the same discard pile as your regular cards or do you use a different discard pile (only for sites) as I do?
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Lord Dragon wrote:

As I'm writing this; I wonder if anyone uses site cards as noted in the rules, I mean when a site is tapped and discarded, do you put it in the same discard pile as your regular cards or do you use a different discard pile (only for sites) as I do?


Always on a separate discard pile. There's no need to mix the card types.

On GCCG, though, discarded sites go to the only discard pile, but then there it's very easy and fast to return them to the site deck after the playing deck is exhausted.
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The Orientalist
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OK.

I am now officially lost with this discussion about using a map vs site cards, region cards, moving region, etc.

My goodness!

The guy who succeeds learning this game should be instantly awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace or something.

Hour after hour I feel that I will never be able to learn MECCG. I mean, I still have issues understanding different situations in LOTR: LCG, which I consider quite an easy to learn game.
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About 2-3 years I did a few sealed deck games of this just for fun, and it went well overall.

However, we used two Limited starter decks and supplemented with two additional Limited boosters and two Dragons boosters each as well. (i.e. 1 starter + 4 boosters each) Having the extra booster packs allowed us a little more customization which was helpful in fine tuning the deck. We opted to not draft the boosters, and decided what you got was what you got... work with it.

I would recommend snagging a few boosters for each person as well.
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I found MECCG to be a game best learnt in stages or layers. For initial solo and casual play, start with understanding and implementing the Wizards rules and add in other elements once you become familiar with these and have access to more cards.

The advice on use of proxies, sites & maps is good. I used region cards for a while, which I was felt was fine at the time (once I had obtained a set). At the start use whatever movement works for you - eventually you'll be using a map.

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