Best place for beginner to start - easier rules?

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EndersGame
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Best place for beginner to start - easier rules?

Post by EndersGame » Mon Apr 25, 2005 11:40 pm

Hi there,

Along with a friend, I'm interested in learning about Middle Earth CCG, and am trying to figure out what is the best thing to buy to learn the game and start getting into it. I found your forum very helpful as a source! But I still could do with a little advice. Here is what I have found so far, and I would welcome hearing from you whether I am on the right track, and if you have any suggestions for me.

I'm leaning either to getting two starter decks (or more), or perhaps some challenge decks. Here is what I understand about the game so far, and please correct me if I am mistaken in anything!

UNDERSTANDING THE GAME

The base game is "The Wizards", followed by the expansions “Dragons” and “Dark Minions”. You play a wizard, and decks are called Hero Decks or “Wizards”.

A later version is "The Lidless Eye", followed by expansions “Against the Shadow” and “the White Hand”, and “the Balrog”. You play a ringwraith, and decks are called Minion Decks or “Ringwraiths”. These are not as good as the base game "Wizards" and its first two expansions, and are more complex.
Is this right?

WHERE TO START

1. A "2 Player Starter Set" contained two introductory decks (Gandalf & Saruman) was issued, but it was somewhat simplified and didn't include all aspects of the game.

2. A "Starter Deck" of the base "Wizards" consists of 76 cards:
a) 52 random cards (3 rares, 9 uncommons, 40 commons)
b) 24 fixed cards
See here: http://www.non.com/metw/tech/packorder.html
The 24 fixed cards will be one of 5 fixed sets as follows:
http://www.non.com/metw/lists/fixedpack.html
So essentially there are 5 different starter decks possible (with 52 random cards in each).
Booster sets will improve possibilities for deck building, but two different starter decks of the "Wizards" base game will already be enough to play and enjoy the basic version of the game with two players.

3. "Challenge Decks" are pre-constructed decks of 110 cards. Two kinds are available:
a) 5 Wizard-Based preconstructed decks (with cards from the "Wizards" base set and two expansions)
a) 5 Ringwraith-Based preconstructed decks (with cards from the "Ringwraith"/"Lidded Eye" base set and two expansions
The cards in these decks are described here: (scroll to bottom of page, and click on links)
http://www.meccg.net/netherlands/meccg/decks.html
The Wizard challenge decks are best, and although they are somewhat more complex than the "Starter Decks", they are still a good way for newcomers to get introduced to the game.
I should start either with two starter decks (and play with my friend), or buy some of the “Wizards” Challenge decks.

Is the above accurate do you think? Am I understanding it right?

It’s like a whole new world…but by the sounds of things, an exciting world! I look forward to getting into it, and once again I thank you for your time! Any advice you can give me will be much appreciated.

Please note that I'm not planning on spending all kinds of money on the game playing with different people, because it will just be a friend and I playing together.

Appreciatively,
EndersGame
Last edited by EndersGame on Fri May 27, 2005 1:47 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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jhunholz
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Re: Best place for beginner to start - easier rules?

Post by jhunholz » Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:52 am

EndersGame wrote:Hi there,

Along with a friend, I'm interested in learning about Middle Earth CCG, and am trying to figure out what is the best thing to buy to learn the game and start getting into it. I found your forum very helpful as a source! But I still could do with a little advice. Here is what I have found so far, and I would welcome hearing from you whether I am on the right track, and if you have any suggestions for me.

I'm leaning either to getting two starter decks (or more), or perhaps some challenge decks. Here is what I understand about the game so far, and please correct me if I am mistaken in anything!


UNDERSTANDING THE GAME

The base game is "The Wizards", followed by the expansions “Dragons” and “Dark Minions”. You play a wizard, and decks are called Hero Decks or “Wizards”.

A later version is "The Lidless Eye", followed by expansions “Against the Shadow” and “the White Hand”, and “the Balrog”. You play a ringwraith, and decks are called Minion Decks or “Ringwraiths”. These are not as good as the base game "Wizards" and its first two expansions, and are more complex.
Is this right?
Some people actually prefer to play Minion, but it definately is more challenging. It is easiet to learn with the Wizards set, then add in Dragons to get more variety.
EndersGame wrote: WHERE TO START

1. A "2 Player Starter Set" contained two introductory decks (Gandalf & Saruman) was issued, but it was somewhat simplified and didn't include all aspects of the game.

2. A "Starter Deck" of the base "Wizards" consists of 76 cards:
a) 52 random cards (3 rares, 9 uncommons, 40 commons)
b) 24 fixed cards
See here: http://www.non.com/metw/tech/packorder.html
The 24 fixed cards will be one of 5 fixed sets as follows:
http://www.non.com/metw/lists/fixedpack.html
So essentially there are 5 different starter decks possible (with 52 random cards in each).
Booster sets will improve possibilities for deck building, but two different starter decks of the "Wizards" base game will already be enough to play and enjoy the basic version of the game with two players.
Actually, just 2 starters won't be enough for 2 people. You will really want 2 starters and 2+ boosters each, so you can do at least a little picking/choosing of the cards you use.
EndersGame wrote: 3. "Challenge Decks" are pre-constructed decks of 110 cards. Two kinds are available:
a) 5 Wizard-Based preconstructed decks (with cards from the "Wizards" base set and two expansions)
a) 5 Ringwraith-Based preconstructed decks (with cards from the "Ringwraith"/"Lidded Eye" base set and two expansions
The cards in these decks are described here: (scroll to bottom of page, and click on links)
http://www.meccg.net/netherlands/meccg/decks.html
The Wizard challenge decks are best, and although they are somewhat more complex than the "Starter Decks", they are still a good way for newcomers to get introduced to the game.
I should start either with two starter decks (and play with my friend), or buy some of the “Wizards” Challenge decks.
I definately think that Challenge decks are the best teaching tool out there. I've used mine to teach people to play and some of the decks are actually quite fun to play as well.
EndersGame wrote: Is the above accurate do you think? Am I understanding it right?

It’s like a whole new world…but by the sounds of things, an exciting world! I look forward to getting into it, and once again I thank you for your time! Any advice you can give me will be much appreciated.

Please note that I'm not planning on spending all kinds of money on the game playing with different people, because it will just be a friend and I playing together.

Appreciatively,
EndersGame
If you don't want to spend much, I suggest picking up a box of Challenge decks (one of each deck) and maybe a box of Dragons boosters just to add some variety. I will warn you though...once you start playing you will become adicted! :)

EndersGame
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Post by EndersGame » Tue Apr 26, 2005 1:01 am

Thanks for the response so far! Do the Challenge decks come with any rules?

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Post by jhunholz » Tue Apr 26, 2005 1:04 am

Yes, they each come with a full rules booklet.

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Post by Gwaihir » Tue Apr 26, 2005 10:05 am

I second the buying recommendation made, though if your budget is even thighter than that, I am confident that starting out with just a (hero) challenge deck each will still be very enjoyable for you guys.

Indeed each deck comes with a rulesbooklet and a map, but still I'd recommend to visit the downloads section of the Dutch Council site out here to pick up Ichabod's basic rules document and a larger map. In his document Ichabod lists the basic rules in the order in which you are most likely to need them during your first game or two. Using this document you don't need to tackle the complete (complex) rules book before you've got the basic understanding needed to make sense of it with some ease. As for the map: it is a handy game aid and you'll likely have a printer that gets well beyond the rather tiny two-playing-cards size of the map inside the rules booklet.

Mod note: moved: rules questions :arrow: meccg general
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EndersGame
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Post by EndersGame » Tue Apr 26, 2005 12:03 pm

If I was just to go for the five hero Challenge decks, what kind of replay value would the game have?
Thanks for the help thus far!

Warhammer
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Post by Warhammer » Tue Apr 26, 2005 1:18 pm

EndersGame wrote:If I was just to go for the five hero Challenge decks, what kind of replay value would the game have?
Thanks for the help thus far!
For repeated play not much, unless you make a point to play each one against each other one.

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Post by Gwaihir » Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:10 pm

You probably won't get the five hero ones for a price below that of the set of all ten (as most who pick "just five" go for the hero ones), so you might opt to take the minion ones too.

Perhaps I misinterpret "repeat value", as contrary to Warhammer I consider it quite high. No problem playing those decks against eachother for a decent number of times. And if they bore you as they are at some point, there's a good amount of mixing that can be done. (It's simple enough to reassemble them again later, as the cards are all marked (on the text side of course).)
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Post by jhunholz » Tue Apr 26, 2005 3:30 pm

I would agree with Wim on this...you can play each deck multiple times before it would get boring. Then, you could each take 2 challenge decks and build your own custom deck from those cards. If that's not enough for you, buy a box of Dragons boosters (very cheap!) and you can each add a few packs of those and build a deck.

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Post by Red Arrow » Sat Apr 30, 2005 5:25 pm

I agree with the recommendations especially about the challenge decks. I say get all 10 decks (5-heroes and 5 minions)! You get very well designed decks and a good way to have or start a play set. You may be able to get all 10 decks from eBay for less than $40-50.

But I also recommend the 2-player starter set... if you can find one. I had this set for awhile hoping to be able to teach a relative or friend but did not have the time to do so. Anyway, this past winter I opened it with my 7 year old son, and played thru the 'scripted game' with him. I was pleasantly surprised how good the product is. To the unitiated it is a good way to learn the game. It presents the game in a manner that you to grasp the basic mechanics of the game without burdening you with the complexities (corruption, road block, etc...) which is not fun when you are just beginning.

Plus you get a nice Map of the game. Helps a lot when you want to use region movements... don't even think of using region cards... please! Long time players knew it spoiled the game for some new players to the game, before the map was introduced. You also get some nice looking play sheets, a pair of lidless eye dice and a big easy to read rule book! Somehow it visually pumps you up for the game, gets you in the mood ;) You dont have site deck but get a site sheet with the site cards in them which uses starter movement.

To long time serious player it may be too basic, maybe even trivial... but to learn or relearn the game after a long absence this is the way to go I believe. Also a good way to TEACH it! After this, get the challenge decks! Ofcourse, having a real person tech you the game is still better. Happy gaming!

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Post by Gwaihir » Sat Apr 30, 2005 10:39 pm

Red Arrow wrote:But I also recommend the 2-player starter set... if you can find one.
That is indeed a big if.. Over here it has always been relatively hard to come by and overpriced. I think that goes world wide nowadays.

While it can help you grasp basics by following the script exactly, I find it doesn't encourage one to think for himself. If you do so anyway, you will rapidly become confused by the things overlooked in the script (such as Gimli's bonus vs. orcs) and the often downright stupid tactical choices it makes.
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trcanberra
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Another option (possibly)

Post by trcanberra » Wed Oct 11, 2006 4:01 am

Not sure how widely available they are now (or ever were) but the Gift Box is also a good place to start.  2 Unlimited starters, 2 Unlimited boosters, 2 Dragons boosters.  Map, 2 dice, 2 hobbits to mark MP on map, rule book, example game booklet, nice box to hold ~1,000 cards.

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