Scimitars of Steel

Since the beginning of the game, Orc/Troll decks haven't been particularly widely viable. Dark Minions has changed that (we had a big ol' orc/troll/Nazgul bash tonight with lots of dead characters :-)

Scimitars of Steel - Hazard - Permanent-event
Playable only if you have a Nazgul permanent-event in play. Discard the Nazgul when this card is brought into play. All Orc, Troll, and Men attacks receive +1 prowess.

Well, at first glance, this card looks like it might be a waste of a Nazgul, but if you look more closely later you can see that it can be quite useful. First off, this card may be quite a bit more useful than the Nazgul event would be (especially with Nazgul like Dwar of Waw and Akhorahil), partly because its effect is permanent (barring Marvels Told and Palantir of Osgiliath).

It's effect is simple, yet can be very powerful. One prowess isn't all that much, but I can't count the times tonight alone that someone missed by just one on a roll. Plus, when combined with cards like Minions Stir and Tribal Banner, Helm of Iron just to name a few. To help the men (and this one includes agents) you can use Rank Upon Rank (which doesn't). One very good card to use this with is Two or Three Tribes Present. With 4, 5, even 6 attacks at +1 prowess there's a very good chance that you'll do some damage.

Another good use for this card is if your opponent is planning on hitting sites with orc, troll, or man auto-attacks. Many of the sites from wizards had orc attacks and there are 6 more from Dark Minions with orc or troll auto-attacks. This card can be used to great effect with cards like Redoubled Force and the Arouse, Awaken, and Incite Denizens/Minions. Combos like this make just facing the auto-attacks a very dangerous prospect, making it less likely that there will be enough untapped characters to get stuff during the site phase (which I discovered is a problem with Under-deeps sites).

There are two drawbacks to this card. The first is the fact that you have to discard one of your Nazgul. If you include them in your decks for cards like this, though, it's actually achieving their purpose. Not to mention you can then attack with the Nazgul (at +2/-1) with In Great Wrath. So what seems like a drawback can turn out to be a useful strategy (discard a Nazgul for this card, play Two or Three Tribes Present and a couple of Orcs to soften up a company and then attack with the Nazgul, all for 3 hazards). The other drawback is that your opponent's creatures get the same benefits. If you're both playing orc/troll/man decks and several Scimitars of Steel are out (this can be duplicated) then the game can turn into great fun. If you are planning on playing with this card, however, you should plan your movement so that you face a minimum of affected auto-attacks, as I have found that to do otherwise is suicidal.

Scimitars of Steel is a great card, even its disadvantages can be good.

More back issues

Card names and text copyright 1996 by Iron Crown Enterprises, all rights reserved. This document copyright 1996 by Trevor Stone. Permission given to duplicate so long as no profit is made and the copyright notice is kept in tact, blah, blah, blah.

Ratings for Scimitars of Steel:
Isildur: 9.0
Frodo: 6.0
Legolas: 9.0
Wormtongue: 7.5
Strider: 7.5
Gandalf: 5.0
Smaug: 8.5
Eonwe: 8.5
Farmer Maggot: 7.0
Average: 7.6