Middle-earth Collectible Card Game (MeCCG) was the first collectible card game that allowed players to experience their own adventures in J.R.R. Tolkien’s Middle Earth. It was released by Iron Crown Enterprises (ICE) in the last quarter of 1995.
The illustrations appearing in the cards belong to many different artists. Many of these artists were already doing Tolkien-based illustration, as in the case of Angus McBride, John Howe and Ted Nasmith.
The game is divided into seven expansions:
- The Wizards
- The Dragons
- Dark Minions
- The Lidless eye
- Against the shadow
- The White Hand
- The Balrog
The game is designed for 2-5 players, but also includes alternate rulings for solo play. Each player chooses one of the following alignments:
- When playing Hero, the player will represent one of the five Wizards: Gandalf, Saruman, Radagast, Alatar or Pallando.
- When playing Minion, the player will represent one of the nine Ringwraiths, Sauron or even the Balrog of Moria.
- When playing Fallen Wizard, the player will represent one of the five Wizards, but he has given up on his initial objetives and he is now pursuading his own goals, which will depend on the chosen Wizard.
The game works as follows:
During his or her turn, a player guides his or her characters through Middle Earth using site cards, trying to gather resources to help in his or her goal, while the other player tries to block and counter through the play of hazard cards. When the turn is finished, roles change: the player who was playing resources will now play hazards against the opponent, and vice versa.
Players win by scoring more Marshalling Points than anyone else. It’s also possible to win the game by other meanings, like destroying the One Ring (as in the case of hero players) or giving it to Sauron himself (as in the case of minion players).
The game also uses a pair of six sided dices, which adds a luck factor.
Each player has to build his or her own deck according to personal preferences. In this link you will find a selection of decks published by players from all over the world. If you are new to the game, it’s advisable to start playing hero decks against other hero players. Then, eventually, you will be able to discover new alignments and new ways of playing the game.
Each deck has to include at least 30 resources, 30 hazards, several characters and 3 wizards/ringwraiths (or other cards that represent your avatar).
Some of your resources will be worth Marshalling Points, as is the case of items, allies, permanent events and factions that may join your cause. The other resources will help you achieve your goals.
Starting to play
As we have already mentioned, the easiest way of learning is playing a hero deck against a hero opponent. You can visit these parts of the website:
The player community
Nowadays there are many active players around the world. This website has been designed by the Spanish community, called The Council of Rivendell. Of course, there are more active communities: Germany, USA, Deutschland or Finland, among others. The world community is officially coordinated by The Council of Elrond.
If you’re to the new to the game, you may feel overwhelmed by the sheer amount of information you’re about to find. That’s why the community is here to help you in this process.
Other websites of interest
Council of Elrond – Official site for the world community
fallen-gandalf.net – Tournament results and Player Rankings
meccg.net/forum – Former international forum
Dutch Council Site – Dutch community and also home of the official rules
MeCCG en Facebook – Meeting point for players all around the globe