ARDA VARIANTS

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Goblin King
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:49 am

ARDA VARIANTS

I’m starting to collect various different ways people have ARDA created. I’m going to try and record the differences for comparison sake. We will start with the Arda Basic Game>

ARDA Basic Game rules
These are the various elements of the basic game (version 5) that is posted here.
Shared Decks (4): The Play Deck, Marshalling Points Deck, Minor Offerings Deck, Roving Character Deck
Special Character Rules: Draft pool is 2 characters of 6 mind or higher plus 10 other characters.

Roving Character Deck Rules? none
Minor Offerings Deck Rules? None.

# of Players Max: 7 (2 copies of each wizard are available for play in larger games)

Game Start
Select your Wizard or Random:? Select
Minor Item Rules for Selections: Choose or Random? Choose 1 at a time.
Special Starting Hand Rules? None.
Special Starting Location Rules? None.

MPs Required to Call Council? 20
Scoring Special Rules: MP = X2 if no other player has items, RINGS, allies, factions)

ARDA Gandalf Gene rules
These are the rules I first played ARDA with when Gandalf Gene built an ARDA deck and started bringing to California gaming conventions.
Shared Decks (4): The Play Deck, Marshalling Points Deck, Minor Offerings Deck, Roving Character Deck)

Special Character Rules: Draft pool includes two characters of 7 mind or greater plus Gimli (6 mind). Strider and Aragorn are both in the opening draft of large characters. If one person draws one and a second person draws the other, then both are shuffled back into a deck with other available large mind characters and the two players each draw one card. As long as the two cards not drawn are each Aragorn and Strider, these will be the other characters available.

Roving Character Deck Rules? n Fram Framson cannot be selected as a starting character by anyone. If you draw him discard him and draw again.
Minor Offerings Deck Rules? Black Arrow goes to largest man on the table in draft. Largest hobbit has first dibs on Sting; Largest Dwarf gets Thorin’s Map, Largest elf gets Emerald of Doriath.

# of Players Max: 5

Game Start
Select your Wizard or Random:? Select
Minor Item Rules for Selections: Choose or Random? Choose 2 at a time.
Special Starting Hand Rules? None.
Special Starting Location Rules? None.

MPs Required to Call Council? 25
Scoring Special Rules: MP = X2 if no other player has (items, allies, factions)


ARDA Wizards of ME Game rules
This is my own version of ARDA that I decided to build after playing Gene’s version for years.

Shared Decks (4): The Play Deck, Marshalling Points Deck, Minor Offerings Deck, Roving Character Deck)
Special Character Rules: Draft pool includes two characters of 7 mind or greater plus Gimli (6 mind). Strider/Aragorn are removed from the pool before the draft.

Roving Character Deck Rules? Strider/Aragorn has text on his card that makes him like Fram. They cannot be in anyone’s opening fellowship. He has to be shuffled in to the Roving Character deck and recruited during the game.

Minor Offerings Deck Rules? None.

# of Players Max: 5

Game Start
Select your Wizard or Random:? Select
Minor Item Rules for Selections: Choose or Random? Choose 1 at a time.
Special Starting Hand Rules? None.
Special Starting Location Rules? None.

MPs Required to Call Council? 20
Scoring Special Rules: MP = X2 if no other player has items, allies, factions)



ARDA Winter/Lure 2024 rules
At Lure of Middle Earth I met members of the Winters family that are now on the second generation playing MECCG. They have their own versions of ARDA that I found very interesting. I’m sure I don’t have all of the rules correct, I tried to ask questions but I didn’t think of everything. Hopefully someone more familiar with the rules can correct them on this board.
Shared Decks (5): The Play Deck, Marshalling Points Deck, Roving Character Deck, Minor Offerings Deck; Tested Ring Deck
Special Character Rules: None.

Roving Character Deck Rules? No Roving Characters are Available on Turn #1
Minor Offerings Deck Rules? 4 minor items delt at random from the deck. You can take up to two of those items and discard the other two.

# of Players Max: 4

Game Start
Select your Wizard or Random:? Random
Minor Item Rules for Selections: Choose or Random? Dealt 4 choose 2.
Special Starting Hand Rules? None.
Special Starting Location Rules? None.

MPs Required to Call Council? 18/20 or 25
Scoring Special Rules: MP = X2 if no other player has (items, allies, factions)
Special Play rules: If you are not playing hobbits, pass any hobbit specific card to a person who is playing hobbits and draw a new card to replace it. Same goes for Dwarf/Elf/Dunidin Gandalf, Cerdin, Elrod or Galadriel specific cards.
Special Treasure cards: If you have special treature cards that apply to Aragorn or Dwarves, you must pass those cards to the person playing Aragorn or a dwarf, etc.

Dark ARDA
Several years ago I took on the challenge to make a Minion version of ARDA using both Agents and Minion Characters as Characters in the draft. It took a lot of tweaking before the game reached its current form, but I now find it to be very entertaining and a very different feel from Hero ARDA

Shared Decks (6): The Play Deck, Major Marshalling Points Deck, Minor Marshalling Points Deck, Tested Ring Deck, Roving Character Deck, Minor Offerings Deck;
Special Character Rules: Agents are Minions and don’t require special card played on them ahead of time. Each player starts with a set of mode cards (Dark Rider, Fell Rider, Heralded Lord) and can play one of them on their Ringwraith while at a Dark Haven.

Roving Character Deck Rules? None.
Minor Offerings Deck Rules? There are Orders from Lugburtz and Rumors of Rings in the deck that can be played opening turn instead of one minor item. If Rumors is taken by a player, they can draw two less treasure cards the first turn to place two Rings at random under the rumors card.

# of Players Max: 9 (3 players are first player at the same time.)
Game Start
Select your Ringwraith or Random:? Select with special rules based upon # of players
Minor Item Rules for Selections: Choose or Random? Choose.
Special Starting Hand Rules? See Rumors above.
Special Starting Location Rules? None.

MPs Required to Call Council? 20 or 25
Scoring Special Rules: MP = X2 if no other player has (items, allies, factions)
Special Play rules: Prone to Violence and Tokens to Show are both always in play.
Special Treasure cards: None.
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I'm slowly testing an "Intro Game" that takes a lot of inspiration from "Arda Revised" by Ryan Stueve. The most major change is that each card in the MP deck is paired with a specific site when the deck is built, and will always be found at that site when playing the game. The two cards are placed back-to-back in a clear sleeve (or you can print out double-sided proxies, which is what I do). I still use a standard 5-card MP hand with no shared MP card pool.

Here are the other significant differences from the normal Arda game:
  • Folco Boffin, Fram Framson, and Strider are not included in the character deck.
  • As in Gandalf Gene's rules, "major characters" are ones with 7 mind or more, not 6 (though Gimli is considered a major character).
  • Because of how the MP deck is designed, sites are not tapped when a resource is played there. Instead, the site is flipped to the resource side, which is then assigned to the character as though it was played.
  • Rather than being unable to play resources at tapped sites, companies may not visit any site that's paired with a resource held by one of the characters in that company.
  • Any wizard at Rivendell may tap to test a ring held by a character in his company (similar to Gandalf's ability).
  • Tested ring items are kept in their own deck. When a ring is tested, the testing player draws cards from that deck until he gets one that matches the test result. The other drawn rings are shuffled back into the deck.
  • Ringlore is included in the MP deck, and allows the player using it to search the ring deck rather than drawing for a ring.
  • Palantir text that reads "with its bearer able to use a palantir" becomes "if its bearer is a sage." Align Palantir and Use Palantir aren't included in the deck.
  • You do not lose the game if your wizard is eliminated, but instead suffer a permanent -5 MP penalty (similar to tournament rules, I believe).
  • You can always play a character to a haven, even alone, but may only play a character to its home site if you already have a company there. Your wizard doesn't need to be present either way.
  • Characters with a mind of four or less may be brought into play at any Free-hold, Border-hold, or Ruins & Lairs (again, as long as a company is already there).
  • If a player has not yet played a character on his turn, he may play one at the end of the site phase (after the company has entered or declined to enter the site, and following the usual character playing requirements).
  • The Free Council may be called at 20 MP, and scoring is done according to the starter rules (every card is worth its printed MP value; there's no doubling or limit of half your total points).
  • Anyone who drew or played a card during a movement/hazard phase reconciles their hand, even if they're not the resource player or primary hazard player.
  • Players may discard from both their play and MP hand at the end of the turn, rather than only one of them.
Also, I haven't played with dealing out four minor items and keeping two, but I'm definitely trying it out the next time I use these rules.
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Last edited by CCG Collector on Tue May 14, 2024 2:56 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Khamul the Easterling
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Location: Cologne
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I'm attaching the ARDA rules my play group often sticks to. Most are regular ARDA rules with a few alterations as also suggested in the ARDA general rules.

[German version:] Die deutsche Version ist in meiner Komplett-Regel enthalten, siehe http://www.velanar.de/lotr/meccg/regeln.htm
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