Middle Earth: The Heroines - A Fun Deck

Copyright Jean-Paul Keulen 1999

What do you do when you have to play Middle Earth against someone who has just bought his first couple of starter decks? Sure, you could take your world championship Fallen Pallando squatter deck and kick his sorry little butt with it, but that's not really going to be very much fun for him or her, right? And, to be honest, it isn't really going to be much fun for you either. So you build a so-called fun deck. You pick a theme or a very obscure card you never used before and build a deck around it. It's probably not going to be the best deck in the world - it's not supposed to - but you can build the best possible deck that fits your theme and still have an exiting game while playing against someone who has just discovered it would be nice to have two Cave-drakes instead of one, since 10 prowess is "pretty strong", in his opinion.

Here's an example: my "Heroines of Middle Earth" deck: a deck that uses only female characters.

The Characters

Let's have a look at the characters first. What female characters are there? There's Galadriel, of course, and there's Peath, Annelena, Arinmir, Arwen, Voteli, Galva, Eowyn, Ioreth and Vygavril. Hmmm, that's not a hell of a lot to work with. Let's see, what would be a good starting company? Peath is the only female character with a prowess of 4, she's a ranger and she can play the Dunlendings faction quite easily, so we'll use her. Let's give her a Shield of Iron-bound Ash to protect her. Since we will be planning to cancel most of the attacks comming our way, having a scout in our company would be nice too. Annelena is a scout/sage, with a decent body of 8. We'll give her an Elven Cloak. Because of Stealth, a card that can only be used if the company size is less than 3, we won't add anyone else to this company. This company will be travelling in the regions around Rivendell.

With still 13 general influence left, we want some more starting characters. Why not Galadriel, the only female character worth more than 1 MP? Also, we could use some of those cool Galadriel-only cards then. And let's use Arwen, too. Another sage for Marvels Told, she can be Galadriel's follower, and she can play Choice of Luthien. These two can travel to Lorien, once a Stealth shows up (Galadriel is, of course, much more fun when she's at Lorien).

Since there's no female wizard, we will not be using a wizard. This has a lot of disadvantages attached to it, but it also has one big advantage: you can play characters at any haven or at their homesite during the whole game. So we can put Voteli, Galva and Vygavril in the deck and they can play their own factions at their homesites. And let's put all of the other female characters in the deck too, in case something happens to Peath or Annelena.

The Marshalling Points

Include the factions your characters can play easily: the Dunlendings (Peath), the Lossoth (Voteli), and, if you have them, the Southrons (Vygavril) and the Easterlings (Galva). Since Tom Bombadil is obviously a male ally, we can't use him - he would be great, but he would spoil the theme of our deck, and we wouldn't want that, now would we? Goldberry is excellent, though - she's clearly female and she can cancel attacks, which will be very useful, considering the low prowesses of our heroines. Add some Noble Hounds, too; that's some more ally MP's and there no reason why they couldn't be female Noble Hounds. Good items would be Glamdring (which doesn't require warrior skill) and Torque of Hues. Now, since Annelena and Peath won't be able to do something every turn, we should include some MP-cards for Galadriel and Arwen as well. Choice of Luthien is nice, if you have it, and why not try to get the White Tree or play some factions? The Ents, unfortunately, are all male, and since only Eru knows where the Ent-wives went, we'll just be ignoring those odd tree-people entirely.

Other Resources

Lots of cancelling cards, of course; although Middle Earth's women are all full of willpower, their prowesses are so low even Crebain might be a problem. So: Concealment x3, Stealth x3, Dark Quarrels x3, Many Turns and Doublings perhaps. Come Merry Dol's a good card too.

And since we won't be playing a wizard, Saw Further and Deeper is a very good card; five extra general influence can never hurt you. Also, we'll need Smoke Rings and Longbottom Leaves, to access the sideboard. And Tempering Friendships, to help with the factions.

I won't include a complete deck-listing here; it's up to you to decide how many of each cancelling card you'd like to use.

As you will probably have seen by now, this isn't going to be a great deck; it will not completely crush a new player with just a few starters and boosters at his or her disposal - and that's exactly the point of making decks like these. You will have to use your deck-building abilities to their fullest to make the deck as competitive as possible, and you will also have to use your playing abilities to their fullest to win the game. The result: an exciting, fun game, for both you and your apprentice... Of course, you can also agree with your regular veteran opponent to both start playing fun decks. After all, Beorn gets boring after a while...

Editor's Note

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