By Marcos Cáceres for the Council of Rivendel in collaboration with the Council Members and other supporters.

Council of Rivendel’s NetRep team has made some interpretations based on existing rules, Digest and Rulings, in order to solve some usual conflicts whose solution are nowhere to be found on current existing rules documents. Said interpretations will be considered as official Ruling Digest for any event organized by the Council. In any case, we intend to focus on more permissive takes with the purpose of keeping an open spectrum of game’s possibilities.

Rulings by card

  • Flatter a Foe

The card reads: “… Playable on a character whose company is facing an attack of the type listed below. Character makes an influence check…»
– Two questions came up:

1- Do allies count for the bonus to the influence attempt on Flatter a Foe if a player plays A Friend or Three since “allies counts as characters during combat”?

-> To solve this question we need to be more specific on the affirmation “allies counts as characters during combat”. “CRF – Rulings by Term – Ally” reads as follows: Allies count as characters for the purposes of combat, including performing actions in combat that characters do (getting assigned strikes, tapping for +1 to prowess) and for the play of cards that directly affect the attack.
Keeping this in mind we rule that they won’t count because A) counting for the bonus is not “an action in combat that a character do” and B) playing a Friend or Three is not a card that directly affect the attack (though Flatter a Foe does).

2- Can a diplomant ally play Flatter a Foe?

-> It is important to know that allies can’t make influence attempts, therefore even though a diplomat ally can play other skill cards (such as Ruse, New Friendship, Eagle-Mounts), they can’t play Flatter a Foe. Roac’s and Radagast’s Black Bird’s own abilities to play factions are an exception to this restriction. To solve this question we take CoE digest 62 as a guideline:
What is the deal with Röac the Raven’s ability?

A. RtR must make the influence on the faction
B. Nobody is making the influence on the faction
C. Any character in the company can make the influence

A is correct. The CRF ruling “He can make the attempt by himself.” says that Röac is an exception to the rule that allies cannot make influence attempts. It does not intend to imply that other characters in Röac’s company have the option of making the influence attempt after discarding Röac.

  • Long Dark Reach

The card reads: “…The creature must be playable in a region besides Coastal Sea [c]…”.
– The question has came up about whether or not is it possible to reveal a “deep” region creature with it, such as Wild Fell Beast or Were-Worm.

-> To solve this question we took current CRF entry for Elven Cloak as a precedent, meaning that “a region” does not strictly means “one region”, allowing deep region creatures to be eligible with Long Dark Reach.

  • Reluctant Final Parting

The card reads: “Discard any ally if its current site is an Under-deeps site or if its current site’s nearest Haven is not the same as the nearest Haven for the site at which the ally can be played…”
– The question has came up about whether or not, its effect applies to allies playable at the under-deeps once they move to surface, because sites where they are playable doesn’t have a nearest Haven. Does “current site not having a nearest haven” equals “current site’s nearest Haven is not the same as the nearest Haven for the site at which the ally can be played”?

-> To solve this question we took CoE Digest 121 as a precedent: Q- Seized By Terror states: “Playable on a non-Wizard character moving in a Shadow-land [S] or Dark-domain [D]. Target character makes a roll (draws a #) and adds his mind. If the result is less than 12, that character splits off into a different company, and immediately returns to his original company’s site of origin.” Since the card requires the result of adding two values and compares this result to a number, will it work on a Ringwraith, who cannot add any mind value (not even zero)? A- Target character will need to have a mind value, so you can’t use Seized on a RW.

Keeping this in mind, we rule that in order for a card to compare two atributes, both of such attributes must exist. A non-existing value is not the same as an existing value of zero, therefore the site’s attributes can’t be compared and the allies won’t be discarded once they are at the surface.

  • Stealth/ Sneakin (and similars)

The card reads: “…No creature hazards may be played on his company this turn.”
– The question has came up about whether or not cards that create a “hazard creature attack” are playable against a company with a stealth effect. I.e.: Long Dark Reach, In Great Wrath, Exhalation of Decay, Ride Against the Enemy, etc.

-> To solve this question we have to consider multiple CRF and Digest entries:
1- CRF – Rulings by term – Playing a Card: Playing a card is the process of bringing a card from your hand into play.
2- CoE Digest 120: Q- Does Long Dark Reach “break” Stealth? That is, can Long Dark Reach be used to attack a company that successfully played Stealth in the Organization Phase. A- Yes, it can. The creature is not played but revealed. The CRF clarification on Long Dark Reach saying “A creature must be played if there is one available” does not use ‘play’ in the technical sense of bringing a card from the hand into play.
3- CoE Digest 50: Q- Ride Against the Enemy: I just wondered if you could Ready to His Will it. A- No, because Ready to His Will requires a hazard creature, and Ride Against the Enemy creates a hazard creature attack, but the character is not considered a hazard creature.

All things considered, we rule that In Great Wrath and Exhalation of Decay works the same way as Long Dark Reach, creatures aren’t played but only revealed and then they attack, so they all break Stealth the same way. Ride Against the Enemy works in the same fashion, but we also keep in mind that the character used for the attack is not a hazard(-creature) per sé, so it breaks Stealth as well and can’t be Readied to his Will.

  • The Balrog (ally)

The question has came up about whether or not The Balrog ally is discarded by Reluctant Final Parting.

-> To solve this question we keep in mind two rules:
1- MEBA Rulesbook – Miscellaneous: If you are a Balrog player, your opponent may not play any of the following cards: The Balrog (Ally), The Black Council, Durin’s Bane, Balrog of Moria, Reluctant Final Parting. However, if at any time your opponent has one of these cards in his hand, he may remove it from play and bring one card from his sideboard into his play deck.
2- CRF – Rulings by card – Reluctant Final Parting: Reluctant Final Parting has no effect on The Balrog.

All things considered, we rule that there is a clear difference between a card not being able to be played, and a card not having an effect on another card. Therefore we consider that MEBA rulesbook refers to a Balrog player meanwhile the CRF entry is refering to the Balrog ally since Reluctant Final Parting is already unable to be played against a Balrog player, hence the ally won’t be discarded.

  • Token of Goodwill

The card reads: “Playable on a diplomat whose company is facing an attack of the type listed below. Target diplomat makes a corruption check. If he does not fail, discard an item from his company (as listed below) to make a roll (or draw a #) adding the diplomat’s unused direct influence. If the result is greater than the listed values, the attack is canceled, and you may take one resource from your play deck or discard pile into your hand…”
– The question has came up about whether or not it can be played even if the attack cannot be cancelled (because of effects such as Forewarned is Forearmed), in order to fetch a resource anyways.

-> To solve this question, we have to consider that the card itself creates various actions, even though the attack cannot be cancelled, the remaining actions can be performed normally. The same applies to similar cards such as Flatter a Foe or Riddling Talk.

Rulings by term

  • Agents

Some  questions came up:
– Can multiple agents be at the same site? If yes, how so? 

-> “MEDM – Revealing an agent” rules reads:

“If one of your agents is revealed before it has moved, you must immediately choose which home site it is at-place the appropriate site card with the agent. If you do not have such a site card in your location deck, discard the agent at the end of the current turn.”

So, if the two agents have the same home site (or they can be revealed via Nobody’s friend or Inner Cunning), or agent A is already revealed and already at the site and agent B is being revealed this turn, then one of them will keep the site card and the other one will be discarded at the end of  turn. On a similar case, if one of your companies is using such site, then both agents can be revealed but they will be discarded at the end of the turn. In any case, if the site card is available it must be used, the site cannot be missed purposely.


– How are multiple agents revealed and resolved when they are at the same site? And which is the correct order of their attack’s declaration and resolution?

-> “MEDM – Attacking with an agent” rules reads:
During your opponent’s site phase, each of your agents may attack a company if the following conditions are met:

* The agent is at the same site as the company.

* The company decides to enter the site.

This attack is declared and enacted at the start of the site phase immediately following any automatic-attack. If face-down, turn the agent face-up.

So, according to the rules, for an agent to attack, two passive conditions must be met. Once this conditions are met, the “immediately following” underlined in the rules’s extract will trigger and the hazard player may then reveal both agents at the same time, and then choose in which order they will proceed to attack, and finally resolve one attack at a time, in a similar way that 2 ahunt dragons would attack a company moving through the regions that triggers their passive condition.


– Can a face-down agent use his/her abilities as per the agent’s text? 

-> When an agent is face down it is impossible to check the legality of such moves, therefore it is not posible.

  • Body checks

“MELE – Part I: Starter Rules – Combat  – Body checks” reads:
If a strike against a character is successful and the attack was not a detainment attack, the character is wounded and must make a body check. To make a body check, the attacker makes a roll (2D6). If the character was already wounded before this strike, the roll is modified by +1.

– The question has came up about whether or not the +1 modifier to body checks is applied to an already wounded character when a body check is forced by any way other than combat, because the definition on MELE rulesbook is a bit ambiguous.

-> To solve this question, we take a look at the glossary in MELE rulesbook, as well as a couple of Digest:
1- MELE – Part V: Appendices – Glossary  – Body checks: A dice roll made by an opponent on your character or on a strike that failed against his character. On your character, if this dice roll is greater than the character’s body, the character is eliminated. On a strike, if this dice roll is greater than the strike’s body, the strike is defeated. Body checks usually result from a strike sequence in combat, but certain cards call for body checks at other times.
2- CoE Digest 17: If the Plague roll for Orcs/Trolls meets their ‘discard’ number, are they discarded – or not, since the Plague roll isn’t a Body Check…? Or is it? Does the Plague roll also get the +1 if the character is already wounded?
It’s not a body check, no discarding and no +1.
3- CoE Digest 57: If a character is already wounded when a body check is made, however, he gets a modification of +1 to the body check, and not a -1 to body.

Keeping this in mind, we consider that the Starter MELE rules refers to the normal way of making a body check, but the Glossary part makes the rule extensive to other ways of making it (i.e.: Veils Flungs Away, Dragon’s Blood, A Malady Without Healing), and also the existence of the digest sets a precedent for the matter in the sense that those digest refers to «body checks» and not to «body checks resulting from strikes». Therefore an already wounded character gets the +1 modification to any kind of body checks.

  • Bringing characters into play

The question has came up about whether or not is it possible to bring a character into play at the same non-darkhaven site as your Ringwraith and then move one of them to another site.

-> To solve this question we have to consider multiple Rules/ CRF/ Digest entries:
1- CoE Digest 47: Suppose I have a company at Barad-dur, can the Ringwraith be revealed at this place? And If possible should any company move in the M/H phase? Wim answered this correctly: If the Ringwraith can normally be played there he can still be played there when there is a company. Yes, at least one of the two companies must move. If both are still there at the end of all M/H phases the non-ringwraith company is discarded.
2- CRF – Turn Sequence Rulings – Playing character: If you play a Ringwraith at a non-Darkhaven site where there is one of your non-Ringwraith companies, one of the companies must move that turn. If both companies are still there at the end of the movement/hazard phase, discard the non-Ringwraith company.
3- CoE Digest 67: *** During the organization phase, one site card may be used to represent the location of two or more companies, so long as the distinction between companies is clearly presented spatially. Outside of the organization phase each company needs a separate site card.
4- MELE Rulesbook – Bringing Characters into play: To play a character card, you must have enough general influence or direct influence available to control the character into play. In addition, you must meet both of the following requirements:
*If the character is not an agent, you may only play him at his home site at any Darkhaven site. If the character is an agent, you may only play him at his home site.
*If your Ringwraith is in play, your Ringwraith (or a character with enough direct influence to control the character to be played) must be at the site at which the character is to be played. 

So, according to this rules, “Digest 47” and “CRF – Turn Sequence Rulings – Playing character” entry creates a precedent of a similar situation which is important to understand that a site is “available” for its use even if it is already in play with another company. Then by Digest 67, it is interpreted that one site can be used for multiple companies during organization phase, as long as they are spatially differentiated. And finally by “MELE Rulesbook – Bringing Characters into play”, we keep in mind that the character must enter play at the same site as the Ringwraith but not precisely at the same company (as seen on digest 67). All things considered, the character can enter play at the same site as the Ringwraith, but in a different company, and must move during the movement/hazard phase or be discarded at the end of the phase.

  • Company composition violation

– The question has came up about what happens when a minion dwarf at site A moves to site B where an Orc is there, and then the Orc moves to site A but he is sent back to his site of origin by Seized by Terror (or a similar effect).

-> Normally, when two or more companies moves and end up at a site in a way that they will violate company composition rules, the last one must return to its site of origin, but in this case in which a loop is created to solve this question we took “CRF – Turn Sequence Ruligns – Playing Characters” as a precedent:  If you play a Ringwraith at a non-Darkhaven site where there is one of your non-Ringwraith companies, one of the companies must move that turn. If both companies are still there at the end of the movement/hazard phase, discard the non-Ringwraith company.

We rule that this CRF entry doesn’t only refer to a Ringwraith’s company when it comes to company composition violation, so the CRF entry should be readed like this: If two companies end up at the sime site at the end of the movement/hazard phase, such as they will violate company composition rules, discard one of those companies. Therefore the resource player will need to choose for either the Orc or the Dwarf to be discarded. The same applies to any situation in which a violation occurs as a consequence of a company unable to be sent back to its site of origin (because of site shuffling or similar), i.e.: a Ringwraith and a non-Ringwraith, two leaders (with no orders from lugburz/ great demon), more than 7 characters in the company, orc/trolls at the same site as dwarves/ elves/ dunedains, etc.