To me, Iron Crown Enterprise's Middle Earth: The Wizards holds some of the fondest memories of gaming. It was, and still is, the finest CCG produced. It captured Tolkien's world perfectly, and every game felt like you were telling the story of The One Ring's return, albeit in your own unique way. The game mechanics were fantastic and kept everyone involved, unlike many CCG's which tend to fail as multi-player, social games. Plus, the artwork was stunning! In fact, FFG used one of the pieces for the box cover of Reiner Knizia LOTR game (a work of genius!). If memory serves it was the "Stormcrow" card
This game is crying out to be restored and I believe it would do this best as an FFG LCG. Why, you ask? Behold my reasoning!
1. The game retains a strong following around the world, despite having died out many, many years ago. Cards still appear on e-bay and sell for high prices. An avid and loyal fanbase already exists - arguably greater than that of the later movie inspired CCG (a poorer, simpler, bastardised version in some ways).
2. The game would suit the fixed deck nature of an LCG. Like AGOT, there are many unique cards - whether they are characters, items or enemies - and often only a single copy is required. LCG's work well in this way, providing everyone with the chance to obtain such cards, but in the right quantity. Then there is the story based intent of the LCG format which would apply itself perfectly to the story based mechanics of the game. Interestingly, the base set of ME: TW was at one time released as a complete, unlimited set - predating FFG's LCG. It might have even inspired them.
3. ME: TW would benefit from the Premium Base Set concept currently used in FFG's LCG product line. The board could be the map of Middle Earth (replacing the only down side of the game - Region cards - which nobody bothered with thanks to the map in the Player's Guide) and pieces could be included to represent each players' fellowships. This would speed up working out travel in the game and act as a great centrepiece. In addition, as mentioned the game works best as a multi-player product. Whilst the original had all five Wizards, a base set could include four and play to their strengths. Potentially, Saruman could be removed for introduction at a later date (the later "Fallen Wizard" expansion for example).
4. The game already exists and much of the donkey work would not be required. It was a pretty balanced game due to the fact that there were no specific factions. And as an LCG you would eliminate the "Best Cards = Best Chance of Winning" syndrome some might argue afflicted the game.
5. As mentioned above, FFG already have connections with Tolkien, and presumably the estate. They also appear to have worked with Jon Howe, too. They also also have ties with Games Workshop who definitely have connections to LOTR.
6. With The Hobbit movie on the way, interest in Tolkien's work will once more be on the rise over the next few years.
7. It is potentially one of the few ways in which I could respect FFG more than I already do - you guys and gals rock! But could you rock harder? Resurrecting this fine game would be a resounding "YES".