Mines of Moria
A Board Game Scenario by Spencer Carney
This scenario first appeared in Issue 5 of « The Official MECCG Newsletter » by James Kight
This is a scenario that uses cards and rules from MECCG to simulate the fellowship's journey through the mines of Moria. My goal was to create a game that needed a minimum of new rules and that might take advantage of a boardgame-style map.
One way I tried to give the journey an "authentic" angle was to let the player start with the full fellowship of nine characters. (In and of itself, that has a pretty high "coolness factor" for me.) The second thing I did was to make combat the sole obstacle and to use creatures that were representative of what the fellowship would actually encounter in the mines.
The game can be played by one player or multiple players. I have found the solitaire variant to be fun, and you can modify the decks (both resource and hazards) to raise or lower the level of difficulty. Two suggestions - spells are vital (as is the wizard to cast them!), and you should consider resource cards that cancel combat rather than defeat it. You might find resources that give you an unfair advantage or that "break" the game; then again, my one play-tester complained about the game being too difficult "as is." It CAN be beaten, however, so give it a try!
The Fellowship (Starting Company) :
Begin the game with nine characters and two non-unique minor items. Use the nine characters of the actual fellowship or any one Wizard and 8 characters with a total mind of 42 or less. The mind of each substitute character (one not from the actual fellowship) costs +3 its printed value. Characters and items are only unique for each player. You and your opponents can duplicate each other’s cards. General influence is not a factor in this scenario.
Deck Construction :
Each player will have his own play deck, consisting of resources only (no characters or hazards).
There will be 4 hazard decks:
1. Ruins & Lairs deck
2. Shadow-hold deck
3. Dark-hold deck
4. Perilous-deeps deck
Each hazard deck should be constructed with the following guidelines. Multiply each number by the number of players. When playing multi-player you can have more than 3 copies of a creature. These are suggested card lists.
Ruins & Lairs Deck : 13 cards
10 Creatures - Animals, Spiders, Drakes; 3 events. [Watcher in the Water x3, Lesser Spiders x3, Giant Spiders x3, Nameless Thing x1, Wake of War x3]
Shadow-hold Deck : 17 cards
12 Creatures - Orcs, Trolls; 5 events. [Little Snuffler x3, Orc-watch x3, Orc-lieutenant x3, Half-trolls of Far Harad x3, Minions Stir x3, Doors of Night x2]
Dark-hold Deck : 17 cards
12 Creatures - Orcs, Trolls, Undead; 5 events. [Orc-guard x3, Olog-hai x3, Chill Douser x3, Barrow-wight x3, Plague of Wights x2, Awaken Minions x3]
Perilous-deeps Deck : 4 cards
4 Creatures - Trolls, Balrog; 0 events. [Rogrog, Buthrakaur the Green, Umagaur the Pale, Durin’s Bane]
Rules of Play :
All rules are identical to those of standard MECCG play with the exception of the following:
* Your hand will consist of resources only, and your hand size is 3.
* Use a marker to track your company on the map. You must keep a single company.
* Keep a record of the number of turns.
* The East Gate and the West Gate are considered surface sites and all other sites are considered Under-deeps sites.
* Whenever your company has a choice of two paths to take, make an Under-deeps roll. If you fail the roll you must take the dotted red path. Otherwise you may choose which path to take.
* Once you have entered a Perilous-deeps site, all subsequent Under-deeps rolls are automatically successful.
* Draw cards based on the matching template for the site type to which you are moving. Resources are drawn first. Hazards are drawn and played one at a time.
* There is no hazard limit.
* If during your untap phase you announce that you will not move that turn, all your wounded characters heal and you skip the movement/hazard phase and the site phase. (Be sure to record the turn on the turn marker.)
* During each site phase, you must always enter the site and face the automatic-attack.
* If, during the site phase, you do not play any items, you can instead draw 2 cards before going to the End-of-Turn phase.
Ending the Game :
The game stops after any End-of-Turn phase that a company is at the East Gate. At the end of the game, each player uses the following (and ONLY the following) to calculate his point total:
* Add 5 points if you are at the East Gate.
* Add 1 point for each item you have in play with a MP value greater than 2.
* Add 1 point for each creature you defeated worth 2 or more MPs.
* Subtract 2 points for each of your dead characters.
* Subtract 1 point for each turn you took over 10.
This can be a tough scenario if you are unprepared. The odds are very good that you will lose a character or two, but it can be done without losing anyone. As the suggestion was made before, your best bet is to try to cancel the attacks instead of fight them. Eventually you will be overrun with creatures and one of the Hobbits (if you decide to use them) will die.
© Spencer Carney.
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