Worlds 2023: Sacramento, USA, Nov 10-12

MECCG World Championship discussion forum.
Post Reply
User avatar
Council Member
Posts: 308
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2013 10:38 am

The Council of Elrond is pleased to announce that the next Worlds will be held in Sacramento, USA, from November 10th to 12th.

Goblin King has offered to organize it, and it didn't take him long to convince the Council, as the schedule, venue, plans and initiative shown are exceptional.

He himself will act as the contact for everything, but only to report a variation from the usual Worlds custom: Sunday's final must be played with the same decks as Saturday's semifinal. Saturday's top four will not be able to change their decks, they will have to prove their worth with the same deck!

Goblin King, the floor is yours. We wish you all the luck in the world.
Last edited by Mordakai on Wed Sep 27, 2023 3:48 pm, edited 2 times in total.
C'mon, not the Elves of Lindon AGAIN...
Goblin King
Posts: 212
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:49 am

Thank you Mordakai and thank you the rest of the Council Of Elrond!

Once more from the top!
I’m happy and honored to accept the challenge of hosting Worlds 2023 for MECCG in Sacramento, California of the United State of America from 10th to 13th of November, 2023 (Veteran’s Day weekend in the USA)

There and Back Café. 1020 11th Street and Capitol Event Center at The MAY Building (next door) will be our hosts and venues.
Reserve your ticket to this event using the system on the There and Back Café website Registration is encouraged as it will help the organizer (me) and the venue and the vendors prepare and grow as this event grows!

The theme for this year's Worlds is There and Back Again and the first place winner of this Championship will be awarded the key to Bag End!

The major activities of the event are from Friday evening through Sunday afternoon. The opening evening is for casual gaming and getting to meet each other at There and Back Cafe. The official tournament games begin on Saturday morning in the Capitol Event Center. They are General Opponent, two-deck format of games. Rounds will be played on Saturday with the final four playing again on Sunday morning and afternoon. Sunday evening will involve more casual gaming and libation -- drowning the sorrows from defeats, celebrating victories! Monday will involve having second breakfast together before parting ways!

Other formats of this wonderful game will be available on each day include: multi-player game cube games, Challenge Deck tournaments and casual games. THE MULTI-PLAYER games, ARDA or as I call them, Wizards of ME and Nazgul of ME, require no previous experience with MECCG to play! And after 1 or 2 sessions of those, a novice will then be ready to participate in the Challenge Deck (pre-constructed deck) tournaments that are taking place around the main event. Wizards and Nazgul of ME are great fun for veteran players as well!

Two packages will be offered for this event:
Option ONE is a $50 admission to the three days.
Option TWO is $100 and it includes 3 meal tickets (can be used on different days or all the same day) for meals provided by There and Back Café. Alternatively there are restaurants in the immediate area. The tournament will halt for meal breaks on Saturday.

There And Back Café and Capitol Books will have a booth set up in the tournament area. The booth will be selling MECCG SINGLES! There are additional gaming supplies and Middle Earth merchandise available at the event, in the Café itself, or at Capitol Book around the corner.

Schedule of events:

Friday PM: Wizards of Middle Earth 5-player Middle Earth game Cubes (aka ARDA); Nazgul of Middle Earth 9-player game Cube (aka Dark ARDA).
Friday late night: Casual play/Challenge Deck Tournament

Saturday AM: General Opponent semis (2 deck)
Lunch Break
Saturday PM: General Opponent semis
Dinner Break
Saturday LATE: Wizards of Middle Earth/Nazgul of Middle Earth / Casual play

Sunday AM:
General Opponent finals (Top 4 play again round robin if there were 16+ players in semis)
Challenge Deck Tournaments/ Casual play
Sunday PM: Back to There & Back Cafe (Drinking Game TBD. There are plenty of bars walking distance.)

Monday AM: Breakfast and Farewell to all that are left.

There is more information about the region, mass transit, accommodations and more on the registration page. Last I checked, people were still able to register and get a free set of Bilbo's Door dice for signing up. (But that offer could run out soon, I'm not sure! :wink: )

I'm looking forward to seeing you all in Sacramento and to each international traveler I say, join me and I promise at some point you will hear me yell, "Mr. Butterbur! A round for this lot of traveler, if you please. It is on me!"

Answer the call! Muster for Middle Earth!
Goblin King
Goblin King
Posts: 212
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:49 am

The narrative on the There and Back Cafe website has been updated to reflect that the tournament is now Worlds 2023. The owners/co-sponsors are very excited at the concept of meeting you all! They are very fine hobbit folks (even if many hobbits around here might say they are a little too fond of adventures).

Goblin King
Goblin King
Posts: 212
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:49 am

Hello fair folks of Middle Earth!
Iwant to let you know me and others are working on a Frequently Asked Questions document for the 2023 Worlds in Sacramento that we hope to post in the next week or two right on this thread.

I know a lot of USA players have not had an opportunity to play in MECCG tournaments for a long time (or maybe ever). There are also lots and lots and LOTS of rules.

In an effort to help those players returning to the game after a long Ent sleep, I really want to give you some basic information on how to prepare your decks and what to expect during the tournament. Of course, you will still want to read the rule and know your cards in your decks.

But as they say, there are not stupid questions! We will do our best to provide simple and straightforward answers.

If you are wanting to submit some questions, you can always drop them right here and we will add them to our list (if we didn't already address them).

Answer the call! Muster for Middle Earth!
Goblin King
Goblin King
Posts: 212
Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 4:49 am

Greetings all!
As promised here is my best attempt at:

WORLDS 2023 TOURNAMENT Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Simple and direct answers to questions for folk that haven’t played in a tournament for a long time or maybe ever.

Q: What does an “OPEN or General” tournament mean?
A: It means that you and your opponent can build and play any alignment you wish! There are three to choose from in MECCG: Hero (Wizard), Minion (which includes Nazgul, Sauron, Lidless Eye or Balrog) or Fallen Wizard. You must use cards printed by ICE from 1995 to 1999.

Q: I haven’t played the game in years and all my cards are old. What’s a Minion deck?
A: Instead of being a Hero and playing a Wizard, later versions of the game allow you to use a Nazgul, Sauron or his manifestation as the Lidless Eye, as the leader of your deck. There was also a Balrog deck which was also considered minion.

Q: So what’s a Fallen Wizard?
A: It’s a Wizard who is no longer a Hero of Middle Earth, but is fighting for their own goal. Saruman is a good example. In the game, a Fallen Wizard is not considered a Minion or a Hero.

Q: How many decks can I play in the tournament?
A: Only one alignment of decks are allowed for each player, for the entire tournament. (Hero, Minion, or Fallen Wizard). But apart from that, you have full flexibility! As an option, you can build two different decks to use depending on whether you face a Hero or Minion opponent. For example, if you are playing Hero alignment, you can play an Aragorn deck vs. Hero opponents and a Hobbit deck vs. Minion opponents; if you are playing Minion, you could build a Sauron deck vs. Hero opponents and a Balrog deck vs. Minion opponents and if you are playing Fallen Wizard alignment, you could play a Fallen Radagast deck vs. a Hero opponents and a Fallen Wizard Gandalf deck against Minions.

Q: Can I adjust my decks during the tournament?
A: No. The two decks cannot change during the tournament.

Q: What’s the point of two versions?
A: To compensate for the different deck types that have developed over the years.

Q: What if I’m playing a Fallen Wizard? Can I have a third version of my deck?
A: No. You must decide which of your two decks (vs. Hero or vs. Minion), will be used against Fallen Wizards and stick with that choice throughout the tournament! The sideboard of the deck you choose will be packing an extra 10 cards in the sideboard when facing a Fallen Wizard Opponent

Q. How many cards go in my deck and sideboard?
A. The minimum deck size for both Resource Cards and Hazard Cards are 30. You can make either one larger, but both sides must have the same number of cards. Your decks can have a sideboard of up to 30 cards. You can bring an additional 10 cards to add to your sideboard if you are facing a Fallen Wizard deck. We suggest you check out deck construction rules using online resources. This FAQ is focused on tournament rules.

Q: How do you pair people up for matches?
A: We are using the Swiss System for the format of our tournament. How the Swiss system works is explained in ... cy_no3.pdf. For the first round of the tournament people are paired randomly. If it is an odd number of players, one person will be randomly chosen to get a bye that round. More details about how that will work are in the policy document.

Q: Why is the pairing random?
A: The basic rules were set back in the 1990s when the game was still in print. There have been long debates about changing some rules – including this one. This year, the organizer is only changing one rule and it isn’t this one. But it might happen in the future.

Q: What’s different about the rules for this tournament?
A: There is only one substantive difference for this tournament and it involves the second day of the competition. In the past, it is traditional for the top four players who advance to the second day to be allowed to change decks. That is not allowed for this tournament. The deck you started with on Day 1 is the deck you end with on Day 2.

Q: Why did you change the tournament rules for the second day?

A: There has been a long healthy debate on this issue for years. It is time to add some actual data to what has been a theoretical discussion. Also, it fits really well with the theme of the tournament. (There and Back Again!)

Q. How many rounds are in the tournament?
A: The number of Swiss rounds to be held on Saturday will be determined by the number of players that show up! Hopefully, we have enough people to have six rounds (33 to 64 players).

Q: How long is each round?
A: Each round is timed at 80 minutes. Believe me, time flies! The organizer will announce when the end of a round is near. When you hear the round has ended, that doesn’t mean the game is over! The number of turns have to be equal, so if your opponent went first, you are allowed a last turn. BOTH players need to focus on rapping up the game quickly, totaling their scores and reporting them to the organization desk. Do not tarry!

Q: How long do I have between rounds?
A: There is only about 10 minutes! So again, don’t tarry!

Q: Is there a player’s clock in use? Like a chess clock?
A: That issue has also been raised and debated healthily over the years! No there is currently not a chess clock. If you feel that your opponent is abusing their share of the 80 minutes, politely mention it them; you can also notify a judge who will look into the matter.

Q: Are there other conduct rules besides the prohibition on stalling?
A: There sure are! There’s a whole section in the Council of Lorien Tournament Policy 3 (Linked Above) called Rules of Etiquette that cover all sorts of things from blatant cheating to using marked cards. Every player should read this!

Q: So the top four players play each other again on the second day? But didn’t they just play each other? Why play again?
A: At the end of Day 1, if you make it into the top four, you may have played some of the other top finishers, but not all of them. Day 2 will feature both the excitement of a rematch and also a “What-if-they-met-yesterday” scenario. Again, this is from the traditional rules we are following.

Q: What does the winner get?
A: The admiration of everyone present for making history as part of a game that refuses to die! But the winner also gets the Key to Bag End! (A really cool replica of the movie prop.) And a gold ring!

Q: What happens if I don’t know the rule about something I might want to play?
A: You can either take a risk and play it or ask your opponent if you can play it. Sure, it will reveal something from your hand, but we have a helpful community of players. If you think the card plays one way and your opponent disagrees, first play the card and then call a judge over for a ruling. The judge will make the ruling and the game will move on with either the card effect having triggered or not.

Q: What happens if my opponent does something and I think that it is against a rule?
A: Tell your opponent your opinion. If you can’t work it out collectively, call a judge.

Q: Who are the judges? How were they selected?
A: The judges are experienced volunteers. They each have a long history with this game and really enjoy both it and its rules. Some judges will also be playing in the tournament, but they can’t make any rulings in their own game. They will have to call on someone else. There will be at least 3 judges for the event.

Q: What are tournament points?
A: Tournament points are what the Marshalling Points are converted into. Think of them as currency. Your Marshalling Point total is divided by the Marshaling Point value of your opponent. So the larger the difference between your Marshalling Point score and your opponent’s, the better! Those conversions will be done when you and your opponent report the results of your game to the organizer.

Q: Is there some way to track my tournament points online? Is there a way to track my record?
A: Yes! Thanks to an awesome new community project more information about it can be found using this weblink You and your opponent can either report your games before and after you play them at this tournament, or, all of the tournament sheets I collect after the end of the tournament will be reported (so don’t forget to turn them in). Everyone participating can start their player-point reporting at this tournament! It will help establish a global ranking system like the one used by chess players globally!

Q: Can I drop out of the tournament before all of the rounds are done?
A: Now why would you want to do such a thing? Just kidding. Yes, you can, but there are rules to do so.

Q: How do I drop out?
A: The Tournament Policy’s Rules of Etiquette say that if you are dropping out, make it between games and not during one, although we all know emergencies are an exception. Between rounds you should report that you are dropping out to the tournament organizer. If he has already posted the pairings for the next round, you should make every effort to find your opponent and inform them.

Q: What else do you suggest I bring with me for the Worlds Tournament itself?
A: For the tournament itself, you want to bring your decks of course and any site deck you might use or need in order to run your deck properly. Make sure you have either new card sleeves and/or a few extra in the event that one of them breaks. You also want a pair of 6-sided dice and a MECCG Region Map. I would highly recommend also bringing something to write with AND a decklist printed out of the decks you will be playing in the tournament. If you don’t bring a print out, then you will be writing down your decklist during the tournament and submitting it to the organizer. (I’m not keeping or copying decklists. You can have it back after the first day, unless you are in the final four.)

Q: One more question: How far could Aragorn actually toss a fully armed and armored Gimli?
A: Ask Peter Jackson.


Q: I’m a new player. I don’t even own any cards!
A: Please come anyway! We have cards you can use for the day and will get you started with an amazing game that people have been playing for 24 years after it went out of print! And this three-day event will offer you ways to do the following:
• Learn the basic rules and mechanics of this while you are actually playing! There is an entry-level version called Wizards of Middle Earth you can play using preconstructed decks.
• We will also have competitions using preconstructed deck so that you can run you own Wizard or Nazgul around Middle Earth! Winners get prizes, like booster packs you can use to start your own collection.

Q: If I’m not a new player but I don’t feel up to the challenge of this kind of open tournament, Can I do something else or just watch the tournament?
A: Absolutely, Wizards of ME and Nazgul of ME are both fun games on their own! And the challenge deck competitions are much smaller and over more quickly.

Q: My wife/partner/friend/child is coming with and might play in a few of the side events, is a ticket required for just playing in side events or only playing in the main event?
A: A ticket is required for both. The side events are fun and great training! By playing in Wizards of ME and Nazgul of ME games, anyone will learn how to play both a Hero and a Minion deck. They will then be ready to enroll in a Challenge (pre-built deck tournament) as either a Hero or Minion player! We have been using this teaching system for new players at CA gaming conventions for more than a decade and it really works!

Q: What is Wizards of Middle Earth and how does it work?
A: Wizards of ME is a multi-player variant of MECCG created by Joe Bisz, a former World Champion. It is also known as ARDA. Basically, Wizards of ME is like a boardgame; you just sit down and play! Up to five players use a gamer cube of more than 500 resource and hazard cards, every treasure/character and most Marshalling Point cards in the game (including a One Ring and the cards needed to destroy it). Pick your wizard and draft your heroes as you all run around the map in a race to gather 20 Marshalling Points!

Q: What is Nazgul of Middle Earth?
A: It’s the dark, Minion, version of the multi-player variant (also known as DARK ARDA) first created by tournament organizer Ralph Montano inspired by the original Hero version. Up to nine players are now on the board and points are harder to come by (and you can attack each other!), so the totally you are racing to is only 15 MPs.

Q: After playing Wizards of ME and Nazgul of ME, will I be able to play traditional decks from the Middle Earth Collectible Card Game (MECCG)?
A. Absolutely! We’ve tested this progression at gaming conventions with completely new players. It works!

Q. What are Challenge Deck Tournaments?
A. The Challenge Decks were a special set of 10 pre-built decks (5 Hero and 5 Minion) that each featured few rare cards in each deck and are fairly balanced to play against each other. They are also considered a great entry or re-entry point to the game of MECCG.

Q Do I get to pick my Wizard or my Nazgul?
A. The Challenge Deck competition rules say you only get to pick whether you want to play a Hero or Minion deck. You then randomly choose one of the decks of that type. This is done each round (and you can’t change alignments between rounds.)

Q How many rounds in a Challenge Deck competition?
A. If all 10 decks are used, this is a double elimination competition. Other structures may be used for less than 10 players.

Q. Are there prizes for winning a Challenge Deck competition?
A. YES! Booster packs of cards for this game!

Q. Oh I forgot to ask are there prizes for winning a Wizards of ME or Nazgul of ME game?
A. Yes! Booster packs of cards for this game!

Q. What else do I need to bring besides what I brought for the main event?
A. Bring other decks you want to play in casual games! If you have decks built using the player-created expansions (aka Dreamcards), bring them! We may have some Dreamcard matches during the finals on Sunday. If you have cards available for trade, you might want to bring those as well.

Let me know if you have questions answers/corrections to this document and I will update it.
Answer the call! Muster for Middle Earth!
Goblin King
Post Reply

Return to “Worlds”