The Event cards represent many of the fortunate (or unfortunate) episodes in The Lord of the Rings, as well as special items, unexpected occurrences, and "what if"s.
Moreover, each Event card can alternatively be used for a special combat effect to be employed in battle. When an Event card is used for its combat ability, we refer to the card as a Combat card.
Each player receives two decks of Event cards: his Strategy deck (represented graphically by an army banner) and his Character deck (represented graphically by a sword).
Cards in the Strategy deck usually offer military and political options to the player. Cards in the Character deck are often related to the Fellowship and to the actions of Companions and Minions on the map.
Drawing Event Cards
During the first phase of each game turn (including the first turn) both players must draw one card from each of their decks.
It is also possible for players to draw cards from either deck by using an Action die result during the Action Resolution phase.
Players may hold a maximum of six cards in their hand at any time and must immediately discard those in excess as soon as the maximum number is exceeded. Cards are discarded face down.
If a deck is depleted during the game, the discarded cards are not reshuffled. It is now no longer possible for the player to draw cards out of that deck (and thus he may only draw one card from the other deck during the Recover Action dice and Draw Event Cards phase).
Playing Event Cards
Event cards can be played during the Action Resolution phase in two ways:
- by using an Event Action die result (the Palantir symbol), or
- by using an Action die result whose icon matches the symbol on the upper right corner of the card.
Example: For the Free Peoples player to play the Strategy Card "Paths of the Woses" he must either use an Action dice that shows the Palantir symbol (the Event result), or an Action dice that shows the Banner symbol (the Army result).
Generally, Event cards are discarded as soon as their effects are resolved. The effects of an Event card are explained in its text. Often, some kind of requirement must be met for the effects of the card to apply; if a requirement is not fully satisfied, the card cannot be played.
Usually, a card allows a player to take an action that violates the standard rules; this is intentional, but any rule that is not expressly replaced by the card text still applies normally.
Some exceptions to the general rules use the following terminology:
If a card reads "Play on the table", it means that the card is not discarded after it is played, and its effects last until a particular condition or requirement is met after which the card is discarded.
If discarding a card requires the use of an Action die, discarding the card counts as an action.
Note that if the condition required to play such a card ceases to be met, the card is immediately discarded.
Example: "Denethor's Folly" is discarded if Minas Tirith is no longer under siege.
If a card text directs you to "recruit" units or Leaders, these units or Leaders are taken from your available reinforcements. See also Using an Event Card to Recruit Troops, on page 27, for the specific workings of Event cards who allow recruitments.
The actions indicated by an Event card are mandatory. However, it can happen that the effects of an Event card cannot be fully applied. In this case, the card can still be played, and its effects are applied to the maximum extent possible.
Example: The "Imrahil of Dol Amroth" card allows the Free Peoples player to recruit one Leader and one Elite (or Regular) unit in Dol Amroth. If no Leader is available in the Free Peoples reinforcements, only the Elite or Regular unit is recruited.
Event Cards Provoking Casualties
Several cards describe effects that may cause a player to remove some figures from play. If all the Army units in an Army are eliminated by the effect of such a card, all Free Peoples Leaders with the Army are immediately removed, while any Nazgul, Companions, or Minions are left in the region, unless specified differently in the card text.
In addition to their standard Event text, all Event cards contain additional text (located at the bottom of the cards) representing their use as Combat cards.
Unlike playing an Event card for its main use, playing it as a Combat card does not require taking an action. Combat cards are played during a battle.
Just like with Event card effects, Combat card effects modify the normal rules of the game, and the text of the card always has precedence over the normal rules. Event cards used as Combat cards are always discarded immediately after use.
The Event Cards