[Note: This is a mirror of the original document from ICE's site.]
This section presents some annotations to various sections of the Starter
and Standard Rules. They address situations that occur infrequently and
often are subtle. Players should not get bogged down with committing this
section to memory until they are comfortable with the regular rules and
subtle issues on timing and so forth begin to arise.
Table of Contents
An action that is played out through one or more specific entities as stated
on a card or in the rules is considered to "target" the entities.
A targeted entity is said to be a "target" of the action. Possible
targets include characters, sites, companies, regions, items, factions,
corruption checks, and combat dice-rolls. A card that acts on a class of
entities, however, does not target them (e.g., Foul Fumes).
A card is not in play until it is resolved in its chain of effects. When
the play of a card is declared, no elements of the card may be the target
of actions declared in the same chain of effects. An exception to this is
a dice-rolling action, e.g., a corruption check.
A corruption check or any dice-rolling action can be targeted in the chain
of effects during which it was declared.
Long-events and certain other cards do not have targets because they are
not played out through one specific entity, i.e., they generally affect
an entire class of things.
An action may not target a face-down card nor any element of a face down
card. Face down cards include unrevealed new site cards and on-guard cards.
Actions and Active and
There are two types of conditions for actions in METW: active and passive.
Active and Passive Conditions
An active condition must be in play or established when the action
requiring it is declared. Typical active conditions are tapping a card and
discarding a card. For example, Magic Ring of Stealth can cancel a strike
against its bearer if two particular active conditions are met: the bearer
must be a scout and Magic Ring of Stealth must tap. These are called active
conditions because a player actively decides to invoke the action they satisfy.
Active conditions serve as the price of an action. They are restrictions
to the player invoking the action. In the case of Magic Ring of Stealth,
the player cancelling the strike must have provided a scout and he must
tap the ring, which renders the ring unable to be used again until his next
If an action requires an entity to tap as a condition for the action's main
effect, that entity must be untapped when the action is declared; else,
the action may not be declared. Tap the entity at this point; this is considered
synonymous with the action's declaration, i.e., it is not a separate action.
When it comes time to resolve the action in its chain of effects, that entity
must still be in play and tapped or the action is cancelled.
If an action requires an entity to be discarded as a condition for the
action's main effect, that entity must be discarded when the action is declared;
this is considered synonymous with the action's declaration, i.e., it is
not a separate action.
If any other active condition for an action does not exist when the action
is resolved, the action has no effect; if the action were playing a card
from your hand, it is discarded.
An action that requires a target is considered to have the active condition
that the target be in play when the action is declared and when it is resolved.
An action may not be declared if its target is not in play. However, dice-rolling
actions may always be targeted by other actions declared later in the same
chain of effects
A passive condition causes an action to happen as stated on a card
already in play. Typical passive conditions involve forcing corruption checks
and forcing the effects of environmental long-events. These are called passive
conditions because the actions they satisfy come into play only indirectly
as the result of a decision made by a player.
If a card specifies that an action is to occur as a result of some specific
passive condition, this action becomes automatically the first action declared
in the chain of effects to immediately follow the chain of effects producing
the passive condition. The passive condition must exist when this resulting
action is resolved in its own chain of effects, or the action is cancelled.
Note that actions in the strike sequence follow a different set of rules.
Foul Fumes is a long-event which states that if a company without a ranger
has a shadow-land or dark-domain in its site path, it must return to its
site of origin. Additionally, if Doors of Night is in play, any site with
a shadow-land or dark-domain in its site path becomes tapped.
Larry has two companies. When the first company reveals its new site, Larry's
opponent, Mark, plays Foul Fumes. The first company is unaffected because
it has all wildernesses in its site path. However, Larry's second company
has no ranger and a shadow-land in its site path. Oops! The act of flipping
over the second company's site card establishes the passive condition for
Foul Fumes. Larry's second company returning to it site of origin becomes
the first declared action in the chain of effects following.
Larry comes up with a plan to avoid this fate. One of his characters, a
warrior, is bearing a Beautiful Gold Ring. A sage is in the company. In
Larry's hand is a Test of Lore and a Magic Ring of Nature. In response to
the automatic action brought on by Foul Fumes, Larry plays Test of Lore
on the gold ring. No other actions are declared in this chain of effects.
Larry rolls an 8 for the ring test. Subtracting one from the roll as dictated
by Test of Lore results in a 7, which allows him to play Magic Ring of Nature.
This gives the warrior, the bearer of the ring, ranger skill. A passive
condition for Foul Fumes is removed and thus the effect is cancelled!
If more than one action is required to be the first action declared in a
chain of effects, the player whose turn it is chooses the order in which
they are declared. No other actions may be declared in this follow-up chain
until the multiple required actions have been declared.
Cards that "Cannot Be Duplicated"
The requirement of cards that cannot be duplicated is not considered while
a chain of effects is being declared and resolved. Once the chain is resolved,
second and later resolved copies of any card in play that cannot be duplicated
are discarded. Once the chain is resolved, second and later resolved effects
of any card that cannot be duplicated are cancelled. Some cards cannot be
duplicated in limited cases-generally on a specific target. Multiple copies
of these cards or their effects may be in play normally, so long as each
applies to a different target.
Teri plays Doors of Night during Ying's movement/hazard phase. Teri then
plays Morgul Night. Ying responds with Twilight targeting Doors of Night;
she sees that if Doors of Night is discarded before Morgul Night is resolved,
Morgul Night will also have to be discarded because its active condition
for play would be removed (Morgul Night is playable only if Doors of Night
is in play). Teri, however, responds with a second Doors of Night. This
will preserve her Morgul Night. Resolving from first to last, Teri's second
Doors of Night comes into play. Even though Doors of Night cannot be duplicated,
the card may be declared even if another is in play. Twilight is resolved
next, so the first Doors of Night is discarded. Finally, Morgul Night is
played successfully. If Ying had not played Twilight, Teri's second Doors
of Night would be discarded at the end of the chain of effects. (Of course,
Teri would not have played her second Doors of Night, if Ying had not played
An attack is considered to be resolved and concluded when the final strike,
all special actions resulting from the final strike, and the associated
body check are resolved.
An attack may not be cancelled once its strikes have been assigned. A strike
may not be cancelled once the dice-roll for the strike has been made.
A cancelled attack has no effect on its target company, except that the
company is considered in its history to have faced the attack.
An attack must be the first declared action in a chain of effects, i.e.,
a creature card may not be played in response to another card in the same
chain of effects. Revealing an on-guard creature is an exception.
When a wounded character becomes unwounded, he is considered in his history
to have been wounded and must face any special actions the wounding strike
The Pale Sword gives 6 corruption points to one character wounded by a Nazgûl's
strike that was enhanced by The Pale Sword. This corruption is to be assigned
after the Nazgûl's attack is resolved. If, in the meantime, another
character in the wounded character's company tapped and used Healing Herbs
to make his companion unwounded, the attacking player could nevertheless
assign The Pale Sword as a corruption card to the character the Nazgûl
The strike sequence is a period of time that begins when a player announces
one of his characters will resolve a strike and ends after the strike dice-roll
(or strike cancellation) and any body checks resulting from that strike.
The Strike Sequence
The only actions that may be declared during a strike sequence are those
When a defending player chooses to resolve a strike against a particular
character, the only actions that may be taken by either player until the
strike dice-roll are those outlined in the section on sequencing strikes
(page 24). An action that has the condition that a target character tap,
but which otherwise has an effect not outlined in this section, may not
be declared at this point. This is true even if the recipient of the strike
would be the target character tapping and thus receive -1 to his prowess.
Following each successful strike or failed strike, a body check must be
rolled (unless the failed strike has no body). However, if the strike calls
for any special actions to follow it (e.g., a character wounded by "William"
may be required to discard his items), these special actions are resolved
before the body check. The body check is the first declared action in a
nested chain of effects that immediately follows the strike dice-roll and
special actions resulting from the strike. Other actions may be declared
in response to a body check in the same chain of effects, but these are
limited to those actions that directly affect the body check dice-roll.
E.g., Tookish Blood could not be declared in response to the body check
caused by Giant Spiders wounding a Hobbit. No action may be declared in
response to a special action resulting from a strike unless the special
action is a dice-rolling action, i.e., a special action is generally considered
synonymous with the strike dice-roll. If the special action is a dice-rolling
action, an action may be declared in response to it if the action directly
affects the dice-roll.
Indûr Dawndeath, when in play as a permanent-event, can tap and cause
a wounded character to discard an item of his choice. Activating Indûr
Dawndeath in this way may not be declared immediately following a successful
strike. He must wait for a wounded character to make a body check before
forcing him to discard an item. If the character wounded by the strike failed
his body check, he could transfer all his items to unwounded characters
in his company and Indûr could not touch them.
If more than one special action is to follow a strike, the defending player
decides the order they are resolved.
A successful strike against a character is synonymous with that character
being wounded, i.e. inverting a character card on the playing surface is
not a separate action from the successful strike.
When a character fails a body check, his items may be immediately reassigned
to unwounded characters in his company. Reassigning of the eliminated character's
items is considered to be synonymous with his failed body check, i.e., no
action may take place between the failed check and reassigning the items.
Unassigned items are then discarded.
When a character fails a corruption check, the standard effects of this
(i.e., the character being discarded or eliminated and his items being discarded)
are implemented immediately and are considered synonymous with the failed
check. A card causing the corruption check may modify the standard effects
of a failed check (e.g., The Precious), but this timing would not be changed.
Certain cards, e.g., Traitor, which do not cause a corruption check, but
specify an action that results from the passive condition of a failed corruption
check, take effect as the first declared action in a chain of effects immediately
following the chain of effects that contains the corruption check.
If a card specifies that more than one action occurs when the card itself
is resolved in a chain of effects, all these actions are to be resolved
in the card's chain of effects uninterrupted and in the order listed on
the card. No actions may be declared to occur between these multiple actions.
The actions listed on the card are considered to have been declared in the
reverse order as they are printed.
Lucky Search taps a target scout when it is declared. When it is resolved,
the following actions occur in the order listed (assuming the scout is still
in play and tapped):
- turn over cards one at a time until you reach the end of your play
deck or until a non-special item is revealed;
- the scout takes control of the non-special item revealed;
- the scout faces a single-strike attack with prowess equal to 3 plus
the number of cards revealed (cannot be cancelled);
- reshuffle all revealed cards except the non-special item. (See p.
There is no way Healing Herbs could be used to untap the scout
before he faces the single-strike attack. You may not declare an action
to occur within the sequence of actions stated on a card. If you declare
Healing Herbs after Lucky Search in the same chain of effects, it would
resolve before Lucky Search resolves and untap the scout. This would cancel
Lucky Search, because an action is cancelled if a target character, tapped
when the action is declared, becomes untapped before the action is resolved.
You could, of course, declare Healing Herbs after the Lucky Search chain
of effects resolves and untap the scout, i.e., in its own chain of effects,
but after the scout faces the attack. You could play Risky Blow on the scout,
if he were also a warrior, after playing Lucky Search in the same chain
of effects, because an action can target a dice-rolling action declared
earlier in the same chain of effects.
A company is considered to be at the site given by their site card at all
times except from the moment their new site card is revealed during their
movement/hazard phase until their old site card is discarded during the
same movement/hazard phase. During this period a company is considered to
be en route between sites.
If at the start of a movement/hazard phase there are multiple effects in
play such that their net effect depends on the order they are applied, the
player who is currently not taking his turn decides the order in which they
are to be applied. Once this interpretation is established, all further
actions are applied in the order they are resolved for the rest of the turn.
Once the effects of an environment card have been applied to change a site
type or a region type in a site path during a given movement/hazard phase,
that effect is not applied again during the current turn. If several environment
cards are in effect at the beginning of a movement/hazard phase, the non-phasing
player chooses the order in which the effects of those cards are applied.
This choice is made after the moving player has revealed the first movement
declaration where the order of application would be a consideration.
At the start of Meredith's movement/hazard phase, Morgul Night and Fell
Winter, both long-events, are in play, because Meredith played them during
Quinton's movement/hazard phase. Morgul Night changes wildernesses to shadow-lands
and shadow-lands to dark-domains; Fell Winter changes free-domains to border-lands
and border-lands to wildernesses. Meredith reveals the new site of one of
her companies: Edhellond, which her company is moving to from Lórien.
Quinton now decides the order the two long events are to be applied to the
site path w b f f b w. Since Fell Winter does not affect wildernesses, Morgul
Night changes these to shadow-lands. The order the two environment cards
are applied does not affect this outcome. Since Morgul Night does not affect
free-domains, Fell Winter changes these to border-lands. The order of the
cards' application is important to determine the ultimate destiny of the
border-lands printed on the site path. If Morgul Night is applied first,
then Fell Winter, the border-lands end up as wildernesses (Morgul Night
could not be reapplied to then change these new wildernesses to shadow-lands).
If Fell Winter is applied first, they end up as shadow-lands. Since Quinton
is holding several double wilderness creatures in his hand, he chooses to
apply Morgul Night first, and then Fell Winter. For the remainder of the
turn Morgul Night must be applied first and then Fell Winter.
If Meredith plays Moon at a later point during her turn, the order of application
for the three cards is Morgul Night, Fell Winter, and then Moon.
If a card has optional effects, the player playing the card must choose
which will take place. He must do this at the time the card is played, not
when it is resolved in its chain of effects. When such a card is resolved,
if any active conditions for his choice of effects do not exist, the card
has no effect and is discarded-he may not at this point choose to implement
an alternative effect of the card.
Meredith plays a two-strike Troll-attack against one of Quinton's companies.
Before declaring which untapped characters will receive the strikes, Quinton
plays Gates of Morning. Then, Quinton plays Dark Quarrels and chooses its
second alternative effect, i.e., he would like to reduce the number of strikes
of the Troll-attack by half to one. This alternative effect requires Gates
of Morning to be in play. Quinton believes his character Boromir II can
easily defeat one Troll-strike, but no other character would have good odds
against the second strike. Naturally, Quinton is thinking about the marshalling
points for defeating all strikes of this attack, so he does not want to
cancel the attack. In response to Dark Quarrels, Meredith plays Doors of
Night which discards Gates of Morning. Quinton does not respond, and the
two cards are resolved. First, Doors of Night takes effect and Gates of
Morning is discarded. Then, Dark Quarrels is resolved, but the active condition
for Quinton's choice of effects no longer exists, so his card has no effect
and he must choose to assign both strikes of the Troll-attack. Quinton does
not have the option of now choosing the other alternative effect of Dark
Quarrels, i.e., cancelling a Troll-attack.
The Witch-king of Angmar in play as a permanent-event can tap during its
opponent's movement/hazard phase and become a long-event changing all shadow-holds
to dark-holds. During Claude's movement/hazard phase, Helmut has played
The Witch-king as a permanent-event. Claude plays Gates of Morning and reveals
a site for one of her companies that is a shadow-hold. For the purposes
of playing hazards, Helmut wants this shadow-hold to change to a dark-hold;
for the purposes of avoiding hazards, Claude wants the shadow-hold to change
to a ruins & lairs. She plays Quiet Lands which, among other alternatives,
changes one shadow-hold (thus, a target site) to a ruins & lairs. Helmut
taps The Witch-king in response to make the change he wants. Resolving the
actions from last declared to first, The Witch-king of Angmar goes off changing
the shadow-hold to a dark-hold. The Witch-king removed the target (and thus
the active condition) for Claude's action! Unfortunately for her, Quiet
Lands fizzles for no effect. She must discard it.
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