[METW] Repost, CRF 4, General Part 1

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May 23, 1997, 3:00:00 AM5/23/97

Middle-earth: Collectible Card Game Collected Official Rulings File Version
4 current as of 02-28-97.

The MECCG Collected Official Ruling File has taken the place of the
official FAQ.

Every now and then, this rulings file will be updated. Items marked with a
-=- are either new, changed, or certified free of Dragon infestations for
the latest update.

The Annotations from the Middle-earth: The Wizards Companion have now been
integrated into the rulings. They are denoted as annotations and retain
their original numbering as given in the Companion. Note that Annotations
11 and 24 have been modified from what is printed in the Companion.

If playing in a tournament, be sure to check the tournament rulings, as
some of them differ from the rulings for casual play.


I. The Turn Sequence

II. Rulings by Term

III. Timing Rulings

IV. Miscellaneous Rulings

V. Tournament Rulings

VI. Card Errata and Rulings


Begining of the Game

If a character is put in the deck due to duplication in the starting
company, then it does not count against the 10 character limit. Note, when
playing in a Council of Lorien sanctioned tournament, and thus using the
Character Draft, duplicated starting characters do count against the 10
character limit.

Either draw numbers for the whole game or roll dice for the whole game.
Note that players must roll dice in Council of Lórien sanctioned

A. Untap Phase

Corruption checks triggered at the end of this phase happen after everyone
untaps. Characters that tap to aid the check will not untap until their
next untap phase.

You may do things besides untap during this phase.

B. Organization Phase


A character cannot use a bonus to direct influence against "Blue Mountain
Dwarves" to control characters with the home site Blue Mountain Dwarf-hold.

Bonuses to direct influence against characters apply only once, not for
each character.

Playing Characters

[This is a modification to an existing ruling.] You may play a character if
you do not have enough influence to control them. However, if there are any
characters you do not have the influence to control at the end of your
organization phase, the character you brought into play this turn must be
returned to your hand.

You may play a character under general influence at their home site without
a company at that site. The one exception to this is if you are playing
Standard Game and your Wizard has been revealed. In that case your Wizard
must be present to bring a character into play under general influence.

Hobbits may only be brought into play at Bag End, not at Havens.

Choosing a New Site

(clarification) Region cards are not unique. However, any single site path
cannot have more than one copy of a particular region card. With the
acceptable (and preferred) method of moving using a map and not actual
region cards, this rule translates into a company cannot backtrack.

(errata) This is big, a company can split, and any of the resulting
companies can move with region movement. Region movement is no longer
limited to one company of a split. This is errata to the rules about a
company splitting.

-=- Any company may declare as its new site a site already on the table.
That site will remain on the table at least until the end of that company's
movement/hazard phase.

C. Long Event Phase

D. Movement/Hazard Phase


A company is not considered to be at the site of destination (i.e., its new
site) until the end of the company's movement/hazard phase and the site of
origin is removed. A company is only considered to be moving during its
movement/hazard phase, and only if it plays a new site card.

Resource cards cannot be played between the movement/hazard phases of two
different companies.

You do not have to decide how many cards you want to draw before you start
to draw them.


Strikes are assigned in the following manner: First the defending player
assigns strikes to his untapped characters; Second the attacking player
assigns the remaining strikes; Third the attacking player may assign extra
strikes as -1 modifiers to characters' prowess. Each character must be
assigned one strike before any character gets an extra strike. The extra
strikes need not be assigned to a character until that character's strike
is resolved.

An attack may be canceled at any time up until the strikes are assigned. A
strike may be canceled at any time up until the dice are rolled.

Cancelling a strike does not defeat it.

A creature cannot be canceled based on region type if that creature was
played keyed to a region by name.

Side effects of losing a character are resolved immediately after the
character is lost, before other characters resolve their strikes.

Wounded characters only suffer a -2 prowess. In general, wounded charcters
are not considered tapped.

If a creature has a body, each strike is only defeated if the body is
defeated for that strike.

Prowess modifications from items come first. Then other bonuses are applied
in the order the player controlling the character decides. Even a bonus
given on a character's card is applied after item bonuses.

-=- If an attack states all characters in a company face a strike, then
effects which allow a character to face more than one strike have no effect
against the attack. Similarly, effects that change the attack's number of
strikes have no effect. As an exception, effects which reduce the number of
strikes to a specific number do work.

The Strike Sequence

The strike sequence is a period of time that begins when a player announces
one of his characters will resolve a strike and ends after the strike
dice-roll (or strike cancellation) and any body checks resulting from that

Annotation 17: The only actions that may be declared during a strike
sequence are those outlined in Annotation 18.

Annotation 18: When a defending player chooses to resolve a strike against
a particular character, the only actions that may be taken by either player
until the strike dice-roll is made are the following: play hazard cards
that affect the strike, the attacker may decide to use any or all of his
remaining -1 modifications due to strikes in excess of the company's size,
a target untapped character may take a -3 modification so that he will not
automatically tap, and the defending character may play resource cards that
affect the strike. An action that has the condition that a target character
tap, but which otherwise has an effect not outlined here, may not be
declared at this point. This is true even if the recipient of the strike
would be the target character tapping and thus recieve -1 to his prowess.

Annotation 19: Following each successful strike or failed strike, a body
check must be rolled (unless the failed strike has no body). However, if
the strike calls for any special actions to follow it (e.g., a character
wounded by "William" may be required to discard his items), these special
actions are resolved before the body check. The body check is the first
declared action in a nested chain of effects that immediately follows the
strike dice-roll and special actions resulting from the strike. Other
actions may be declared in response to a body check, in the same chain of
effects, but these are limited to those actions that directly affect the
body check dice-roll. E.g., Tookish Blood could not be declared in response
to the body check caused by Giant Spiders wounding a Hobbit. No action may
be declared in response to a special action resulting from a strike unless
the special action is a dice-rolling action, i.e., a special action is
generally considered synonymous with the strike dice-roll. If the special
action is a dice-rolling action, an action may be declared in response to
it if the action directly affects the dice-roll.

Annotation 20: If more than one special action is to follow a strike, the
defending player decides the order they are resolved.

Annotation 21: A successful strike against a character is synonymous with
that character being wounded, i.e., inverting a character card on the
playing surface is not a seperate action from the successful strike.

Annotation 22: When a character fails a body check, his items may be
immediately reassigned to unwounded character in his company. Reassigning
of the eliminate character's items is considered to be synonymous with his
failed body check, i.e., no action may take place between the failed check
and reassigning the items. Unassigned items are discarded.


At the end of his movement/hazard phase, if a player has multiple companies
at the same site, these companies must join into one company. If the
resulting company has a size greater than seven, they must still join, and
then be split into multiple companies (or otherwise resolved) during the
player's following organization phase.


Starter movement works as follows: Each company will have a face up site
card showing the site it is at. This is called the site of origin. By the
end of the organization phase put a face down new site for each of your
companies that wishes to move. If a company's site of origin is a non-haven
site (not Rivendell, Lorien, Edhellond, or Grey Havens), the new site must
be the nearest haven. If the site of origin is a haven site there are two
options. If you want to go to another haven you may go to one of the two
nearest havens listed on your site of origin card, the new site card would
be one of these two havens. If you want to go to a non-haven site it must
be one which lists the site of origin as the nearest haven. If the company
successfully makes it to the new site, discard the site of origin at the
end of that company's movement/hazard phase.

Region movement works as follows: To move a company from its site of origin
to another site using region movement, lay down a series of up to four
regions and the new site by the end of your organization phase. Each region
in the series must list on its card the regions that are connected with it
in the series as adjacent regions. The region at the beginning of the
series must be the region listed on the site of origin card. The region at
the end of the series must be the region listed on the new site card. A
site which lies more than four regions away from the site of origin may not
be reached in one turn with region movement (without Bridge, Shadowfax,

Region movement can be used to move from one non-Haven site to another
non-Haven site.

A company does not have to move each turn. If a company does not move it
still has a movement/hazard phase. No cards are drawn for the company and
the only hazards that can be played on the company are creatures that can
be keyed to the company's site and events.

Lebennin and Ithilien are not adjacent, even though they look that way in
the rule book.

A company's movement/hazard phase is concluded when both players agree to
reconcile (discard down to/draw up to) their hand sizes. No resources (and
obviously no hazards) can be played--and no resource effects can be
activated--until the site phase or until both players have drawn cards for
the movement of a following company.

Playing Hazards

The hazard limit does not change if a character is eliminated or discarded
during the movement/hazard phase.

Hazard permanent-events count against the hazard limit. Some hazard
permanent-events allow you to tap or discard them for an effect, and this
counts against the hazard limit unless specified otherwise on the card.

Hazards may only be played on a company whose movement/hazard phase is
being resolved. Long-events and permanent-events may effect more than one
company even though they are only played "on" one company.

If a card must be keyed to two or more instances of a region type, those
region types do not have to be consecutive in the site path.

If a creature hazard resolves and there are no longer any instances of the
region or site it was keyed to, then the creature is immediately discarded
for no effect on play. If any instances of the region or site it was keyed
to are in the site path when the creature resolves, the creature takes
effect (even if those instances are not the ones that were there when the
creature was declared).

If you say you are done playing hazards and your opponent plays a resource
before the movement/hazard phase ends, you may then continue playing
hazards (assuming you have not yet reached the hazard limit).

A creature that be played in a specific region (i.e., "Playable in
Cardolan") can be played on a company using starter movement if that
company's site of origin or site of destination is in that specific region.

Returning to Site of Origin

If a company returns to its site of origin, its site path immediately
disappears. Corruption checks would not be triggered on Lure of Nature if
its bearer's company returns to its site of origin.

Any effect that returns a company to its site of origin may not be declared
in the middle of an attack.

E. Site Phase

The Golden Rule: in order to play any card during the site phase (or take
any action with the company in question), the site must be entered. This
means facing any automatic-attacks, even if you have entered the site on a
previous turn.

The Golden Rule, Part II: Besides all those resources which the rules state
must be played during the site phase (items, factions, allies), a resource
does not have to be played during the site phase unless the card says so.
You can play Fate of the Ithil-stone during the organization phase, for
example. You can test a ring during the end-of-turn phase, for example.

The Golden Rule, Part III: There is no one item/ally/faction/information
card per site phase rule. The only requirements to playing such a resource
is that the site be untapped and that you faced any automatic-attacks at
the start of the site phase. Of course, playing such a resource taps the
site, and imposes an effective one site-tapping resouce per turn rule
without enhancement.

Exploring A Site/Automatic-attacks

To explore a site, first declare you are exploring the site. Then face any
automatic-attacks at the site and any on-guard hazard creatures revealed.
Then, if you have any untapped characters, you may tap one to play an item,
information, ally, or faction card. For most items and information cards
the site will say if they are playable at that site. Some items, and
factions and allies, say on the resource card at which sites they are

A card that can cancel an attack can cancel an automatic-attack, and this
counts as facing the automatic-attack.

The automatic-attack is not a hazard.

You must face the automatic-attack on the turn you attempt to play any
resource during the site phase (or enact any resource effect), even if you
faced that attack on a previous turn.

Automatic-attacks added to a site are faced after the normal
automatic-attacks for the site. Multiple automatic-attacks are faced in the
order listed and resolved.

Influence Attempts

It is not possible to influence an item away from a Wizard.

If an influence attempt against a character is succesful, then any allies
they control are discarded.

You must enter a site to make an influence attempt.

You may influence a Hobbit if you are not at Bag End.

On-Guard Cards

An often confusing point is when and if certain hazards can be revealed as
on-guard cards. There are two cases when a face down card may be revealed,
and, thusly, affect an opponent's company: 1) when the company announces it
will face a site's automatic-attacks (before the automatic-attack is itself
faced), and 2) when the company plays a card keyed to the site.

For case #1, it is essential to realize that if the site has no
automatic-attacks (like all normally occuring Free-holds), you cannot
reveal an on-guard card according to this criterium. Additionally, an event
that modifies the prowess of a character may not be revealed--only hazards
that modify an automatic-attack itself can be. A creature revealed as an
on-guard card is not considered an automatic-attack--it is considered a
hazard creature attack.

For case #2, specifically, you may reveal an on-guard card in the same
chain of effects in response to the play (declaration thereof) of any item,
faction, ally, or other card that potentially taps the site. Successfully
testing for and playing a ring special item does not count! You may reveal
an on-guard card in response to the declaration of an influence attempt on
a faction that only has an effect if the attempt would be successful (e.g.,
Lure of Power). Also, in the case of a faction, you may reveal an on-guard
card that affects the actual influence attempt.

Additionally, the on-guard card may only be revealed if it affects the
company or a character in the company that site phase--this clarification
is actually looser than the rule printed on page page 61 of the METW
Unlimited Rulesbook. This rule did state the on-guard card may only be
revealed if it directly affected the company. Only declared or on-going
cards and effects can be considered when determining the validy of
revealing an on-guard card--cards in your hand, your opponent's hand, play
deck, discard pile, etc. cannot be considered and potential effects that
have not been triggered cannot be considered. An on-guard card may not be
revealed if it has an effect that is meaningless during a company's site

As an example of how this requirement is looser now, Balance of Things may
be revealed as an on-guard card so long as at least one character in the
company, during whose site phase Balance of Things is revealed, carries at
least one corruption source.

Balrog of Moria could be revealed when a company chooses to face the
automatic-attacks at Moria (Balrog modifies Moria's automatic-attacks).
However, it could not be revealed in response to the play of an item at
Moria because Balrog in no way can affect the company for the rest of the
site phase (unless for some reason the company is fated to face the
automatic-attacks again).

A corruption card can be revealed as an on-guard card (so long as it
otherwise is legal)--because a character in the company is affected. A card
that changes the company's site type cannot be revealed unless this has
some obvious effect on the company that site phase.

1) A card cannot be revealed that returns a company to its site of origin.

2) A card cannot be revealed that taps a company's site.

3) A card cannot be revealed that potentially removes a character from a

4) A card cannot be revealed that forces a company to do nothing during its
site phase.

5) A card that potentially removes an ally from the company can be revealed
(so long as it otherwise is legal).

6) Traitor cannot be revealed.

7) Troll-purse (from Middle-earth: Dark Minions) can be revealed.

-=- 8) A card may not be revealed that taps a character in the company.

The spirit of the on-guard card is to represent a hazard threat that
existed during a company's movement/hazard phase, but of which the company
was not aware. The actual rule that portrays this spirit is: an on-guard
may only be revealed if it could have also been played during the
movement/hazard phase--this is a slight modification from the rule printed
on page page 61 of the METW Unlimited Rulesbook. Practically, this means
all targets of the card must have existed during the movement/hazard phase
in order for the card to be revealed.

IMPORTANT: A revealed on-guard card retroactively takes effect as though it
were both declared and resolved immediately prior to the chain of effects
during which it was revealed. For example, if a Greed is played in reponse
to the play of an item, it is considered to be in effect immediately prior
to the play of item. Thus, Greed would cause corruption checks following
the play of the item.

As a final, encompassing example, Muster Disperses cannot be revealed as an
on-guard card for three reasons.

1) Muster Disperses cannot target a faction played during the site phase
during which it would be revealed because this target did not exist during
the movement/hazard phase.

2) Muster Disperses cannot target a faction already in play at the start of
the site phase because it would not affect a company or a character in the

3) Muster Disperses cannot target a faction played during the site phase
during which it would be revealed because this target does not exist when
Muster Disperses would be revealed. A card can only be revealed in the same
chain of effects as the play of a resource that potentially taps the site,
and this resource actually is not resolved and cannot be targetted at that

Some long- and permanent-events (like Awaken Denizens) can be revealed
on-guard and effect multiple companies. These cards specify that they
affect "each" or "all" sites of a certain type.

Creatures cannot be revealed on-guard at a site with no automatic-attack.
They can be played on-guard at such sites, but will return to your hand at
the end of the site phase.

You may play two on-guard hazards on the same site if two companies are
moving to the same site.

The on-guard card is not considered to be in any player's hand.

-=- On-guard creatures are faced after a Burglaring attempt regardless of
the success of the attempt.

Playing Allies

You do not need to spend influence (direct or general) to control an ally.

Allies cannot be passed from one player to another.

Playing Factions

The site does not tap unless the faction is succesfully played.

Playing Items

You may play two weapons, shields, or armors on the same character but only
one of each may have an effect on the character.

You may play a minor item after succesfully playing a resource that taps
the site even if minor items are not playable at that site.

The "free" minor item may only be played immediately after playing the
resource that taps that site.

F. End-of-Turn Phase

Resources may be played after you reconcile your hand.

G. Free Council

If you have 0 marshalling points in characters, items, factions, or allies
then your opponents points for that type are doubled [standard game]. This
includes if you are brought down to 0 points in a category due to negative
marshalling points.

Characters may tap to aid corruption checks. Note that the player calling
the Free Council does not get an untap phase before it.

Long- and permanent-events still in play will still have an effect.

Resources may be played during the Free Council.

------ "The Crossing-guard of Mordor" ------
Craig "Ichabod" O'Brien http://www.cstone.net/~ichabod
ich...@cstone.net Me:CCG Official Netrep
Vegetarians Taste Better Praise "Bob"
--Self Proclaimed Most Mediocre Magic Player in the World--

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