Middle-earth Collectible Card Game

From Tolkien Gateway

Middle-earth Collectible Card Game (MECCG) is a collectible card game released by Iron Crown Enterprises in late 1995. It is the first CCG based on J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth, with added content from ICE's Middle-earth Role Playing game.

The cards used in the game feature original artwork by a multitude of artists, many of them longtime Tolkien illustrators such as John Howe, Ted Nasmith, Angus McBride, et al.

Overview[edit | edit source]

Card back of MECCG

In its basic form, it is a game for one to five players, each choosing one of the five wizards to represent themselves. A turn in the game consists of one player's wandering around Middle-earth with the help of famous characters of Middle-earth, trying to gather influence and power to aid in the battle against The Dark Lord, while another player tries to harass, and ultimately kill his characters with specific hazard cards. Then, for each player's turn, the roles change clockwise around the table (the player who was moving his characters then throws hazards at the player to his or her right). Any player may also win by acquiring and destroying The One Ring after a complicated set of events.

Later expansions have added the possibility to take the role of a Ringwraith of Sauron (MELE), a corrupted wizard playing by his own rules (MEWH), the malevolent Balrog (MEBA), or even Sauron himself. The game is somewhat distinguished from most other CCG's with the use of two six-sided dice for a random factor and also by the actual map of Middle-earth, including regions your companies travel through, and site cards they visit.

MECCG won two Origins Awards: Best Card Game of 1995 for MECCG: The Wizards and Best Graphic Presentation of a Card Game or Expansion of 1996 for MECCG: The Dragons. The game's production ended in 1999, when ICE lost the license that allowed them to use the content of Tolkien's The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit (this license was later bought by Decipher, who used it to bring out another CCG, the The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game). MECCG still has a relatively loyal and active fanbase of players.

Rarity[edit | edit source]

Like the majority of collectible card games, individual cards in MECCG occurred more or less often in a booster or starter deck (except in MEBA). To describe the rarity of a card, ICE used a code system:

  • R = Rare.
  • U = Uncommon.
  • C = Common.
  • F# or Fixed# = Part of a fixed set of cards (of a starter deck).

These abbreviations were often combined with second abbreviations (e.g., "CB2"). For more information on the second abbreviations, which varied in the different expansion and basic sets, see the "Card list"-sections for the individual card sets below.

Products[edit | edit source]

Card sets[edit | edit source]

Two more expansion sets were designed, but never reached publication: The Dwarf-lords and The Elf-lords. In addition, a complete revision of the MECCG was planned to be released in 1999, which was to be named Lord of the Rings Expandable Card Game (LORE CG).[1]

Cards[edit | edit source]

Books[edit | edit source]

See also[edit | edit source]

External links[edit | edit source]


  1. CarolinaCon Regional MECCG Newsletter, Issue 4 (January 1999). Interview with Coleman Charlton.
Licensed Collectible Card Games set in Middle-earth
  Middle-earth Collectible Card Game (1995-1998)
  The Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game (2001-2007)
  The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game (2011-)
  The Lord of the Rings: Tales of Middle-earth (2023-)