Middle Earth


SBG Issue 6 - Spring 2018

As I review this issue, I came to realise I'm slowly catching up on the current edition.  As time of writing, I'm waiting for issue 8 to arrive in the mail, while issue 9 of this fantastic fanzine is entering production and shouldn't take to long either to come out.And the theme of this issue is To The King, following up on the huge battle of Dale last issue, the central battle of this issue is the one in front of the gates of Erebor.Once again produced in high quality, let's flick through the magazine and see what tales of Middle-Earth are brought to us this issue, as we go through the editiorial and right to the first feature, the snippets page of SBG Towers.Of Dice and Men is the second part of the article series that details with the mathematical odds of combats, and how to best min / max those odds to get a preferable outcome in your fights.Cubes of Woe builds further upon this, with some of the most improbable odds rolls around the studio.The Dr's Corner returns this month, as it takes a look at ho

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Rivendell Warriors

The latest figures to be finished for my games of MESBG, these guys are going to please Noshi.Because she tends to pick the elves to play with, and now she can have more basic troops to choose from.This time, I completed 5 more swordsmen and a single archer, to bring more balance to the 1/3rd ratio of options she can have and 47 points to her total available points.  The models are the plastic ones from The Last Alliance, hailing all the way back to the 2001 release of the game system, and still look the deal.Now to get her some spearmen painted up for her battle company...

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Armies of The Hobbit

The companion book to Armies of The Lord of the Rings, this book is understandably a bit thinner.Because while the movies where just as long, the sourcebook was only a fraction of Tolkien's masterwork after all.Coming in at 160 pages (that's 80 less then it's companion tome), it does feature the same style and structure, filled with pages of gorgeous movie stills and miniature pictures.The largest section of the book is once again for the army lists of course, as it features 20 lists for you to play, divided into 13 Good and 7 Evil lists.  Now mind you, two of those are one figure lists though.  Wanderers in The Wild allows you to take Thrain the Broken only, while the Desolator of The North features only our beloved (and magnificent model) Smaug.Now, this book also features two of the strongest lists in the game, with on the one hand The Iron Hills dwarves of Dain (the chariot alone takes 4 pages of rules!!!) which are little tanks that can deal a lot of punishment, and on the other hand the Azog's

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Goal Completed: 700 points Mordor force

And then some...With the completion of the Orc warriors and the captain last week, I rounded out the goal I set myself, painting a 700 point force of Mordor.Now, the total will go even higher then that over the coming weeks and months, as I`m still working on more Morannon's, a shaman and a standard bearer, but then they will be put aside for this year.  Though after the move, the legion of the Dark Lord will grow a lot more, as I still have tons of them lying around...Now, to get the Ring back for lord Sauron...

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The Fall of Gondolin - JRR Tolkien

The latest Tolkien book I devoured, the Fall of Gondolin, like Beren and Luthien before it, handles the tale from the Silmarillion, but also looks deeper in how the tale came to be through it's various iterations.And it has those gorgeous Alan Lee illustrations again.In the Tale of The Fall of Gondolin are two of the greatest powers in the world.  There is Morgoth of the uttermost evil, unseen in this story but ruling over a vast military power from his fortress of Angband.  Deeply opposed to Morgoth is Ulmo, second in might only to Manwe, chief of the Valar:  he is called the Lord of Waters, of all seas, lakes and rivers under the sky.  But he works in secret in Middle-Earth to support the Noldor, the kindred of the Elves among whom numbered Hurin and Turin Turambar.Central to this enmity of the gods is the city of Gondolin, beautiful but undiscoverable... until it becomes under siege due to an act of supreme treachery.  Balrogs and countless orcs assault the city, dragons burn down

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Lobelia Sackville - Baggins

Bilbo's "favorite" relative, Lobelia was a not so much and rather rude Hobbit... but she showed remarkable courage when dragged to the Lockdowns.And I always liked the character, and loved the model.  So when I received her on friday afternoonm I immediatly began painting her.She was varnished 5 hours later, and based and flocked the next morning... so when I fill in the bingo, I can scratch off that 48 hours square as well...In game, she is a cheap 15 points addition to include in a Shire force, and while only a Minor hero, she comes with some great rules... especially if you can force her in the enemy at the moment he is about to brake.Just don`t keep her TO close to your own force either... they don`t like her ;-)

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SBG issue 5 - Summer 2017

Time for another "walkthrough" of one of the best fanzines out there, the Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game magazine.And this time, the theme of the issue is the epic Battle of Dale, as seen in the third instalment of the The Hobbit trilogy.The magazine starts as always with the editorial and the contents table, so that is nothing spectacular.Next up is the collection of short items, bundled together in the SBG Towers column.The first article in the issue is a first parter of a series, detailing your dice roll odds in the game.  By putting up some combat set-ups, it gives a good idea on how to stack the dice in your favour.  And accompanied by Cubes of Woe, which gives some examples of impossible failed dice rolls...In the next article, a Lifetime of Tolkien Gaming, the author of the Frostgrave fantasy game by Osprey looks back at what inspired him, all th way down to the old Middle-Earth roleplaying game.In this months Tactica, the best use of the various Elven spellcasters is handled, like which v

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The Middle-Earth Hobby Bingo update 3

Hello and welcome to my third instalment of "playing" this bingo in 2019.And while it has been a while since I showed the updated scorecard, some things did get crossed off the roster again.First and foremost, the "Finish an Evil army of at least 600 points" has been completed, as my Mordor force broke through that barrier when Gothmog was finished.Now, as you could read HERE, I also joined my first MESBG tournament ever (there weren't any during my first stint, and since starting again I discovered the Flemish Hobbit League), and this resulted in not only scratching off "Enter a Middle-Earth gaming event" but also "Play a game against an opponent you have never faced before".  It also gave me progress on the play all Matched Scenarios tracker, as Domination and Hold Ground can be crossed off now as well...With the Durin`s Folk battle company, the base was laid for the next army I really want to build out, and so "Start a new army" can be scratched of the list as well...A very good update indeed this tim

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Rohan vs Last Alliance: Tame the Beast MESBG Battle Companies BatRep

Somewhere in the Westfold, cattle are being slaughtered by an unknown horror.  As the Rohirrim set out to investigate, they soon find that it is a Cave Troll that wanders their lands.  They know they don`t have much hope to defeat it, when suddenly they see black clad warriors and their golden armoured allies appear on the horizon.  A band of the Last Alliance is clearly on the hunt for the beast as well...After last weeks victory for my Rohan warriors, we decided to play a second, more special scenario: the one with the Cave Troll. In this scenario, not only do you have to kill the troll, you must see that your opponent doesn`t steal your hard work and snatch victory...As such, we fielded the same bands from last report, Noshi commanding the Last Alliance while I had the Rohirrim under my command...With the troll deployed in the centre, Noshi opted for the safe route and deployed against her edge.  Knowing I had lousy missile power anyways, the brave men of Rohan went for the more agressi

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The Time of the Orc has Come

Mighty Gothmog, disfigured Gothmog.In charge of the armies of Mordor on the Fields of Pellenor, this orc is a true master of battle in the mesbg game.And as such a great model to join my forces of Mordor in their bid of domination over Middle-Earth.The model adds a hefty boost to my Mordor total with 130 points, and some well needed leadership to the feeble ranks of Morannon and Mordor orcs as a result.Let the world tremble!

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Rohan vs Last Alliance: Stand Your Ground MESBG Battle Companies BatRep

Once an alliance existed between the realms of Elf and Man, and on occasion those ancient bonds are honoured.  On one such occasion, a band of noble Elves of Rivendell and the last of the line of Numenor, blood that has all been spend, marched to battle once more to drive of a band of more uncivilised, even barbarian looking, men that where settling on the green meadows to graze their flocks of horses... but one night as they made camp, the Rohirrim struck!It's been a while since I took the field against Noshi, but as I had a tournament coming up on sunday, it was time for a uick fresh up of the basic rules.That full tournament report and how I fared will be posted tomorrow by the way...Noshi departed (slightly) from her Rivendell elves, as I still haven't obtained the required (metal) High Elf spearmen, and instead now fielded a force of Last Alliance troops.  A band I recently completed for the collection.  While this means she doesn't have two spear supporting troops, she also now has not on

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Durin's Folk Battle Company

The most recent battle company to roll off the table, and another one to go off the checklist of the forces that have to be painted up.The Dwarves in MESBG are your typical ones, small armoured tanks that compensate speed with survivability.The battle company as it starts out consists of 6 models, in the form of two each of dwarven warriors armed with a shield, a two-handed weapon and a bow respectively.And it now gives another option in the pool for the people wanting to learn how to play the game!

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Pippin, Squire of Gondor

When arriving in the White City, Pippin pledged himself to the service of Denethor and became a squire of Gondor.And as such, I completed the old metal version of this model, ready to stand amongst the forces of Minas Tirith in my games of MESBG.While not the mightiest of heroes, this plucky little chap can't lead a warband of his own, but can be included in another band and add some might to the force for a cheap points ratio.I will put him (thematically) into Denethor's band as a result, and I hope he will prove his might (pun intended) as a result, especially in smaller scale games where the high tier heroes are generally absent anyways.  And at 30 points including his cloak, he is quite a bargain...Now to get some Guards ready to join this warband...

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Rohan battle company finished

Finally I did it, I finished my battle company of my beloved Rohirrim.Now ready to take to the fields of battle, this has always been "my force" in the Lord of the Rings games, ever since I first read the book when I was around the age of 12.The archers had already been finished in the past, so for this paint session I added the warriors armed with shields, some wielding throwing spears to add in to the charge.And it also adds a small amount of points, 39 to be exact, to the Rohan army in build up... No idea how they will fare on the tabletop, they will be my band for the campaign I have planned in 2020 anyways...

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The Middle-Earth Hobby Bingo update 2

Welcome to the second update on the bingo, now about two months in.And I managed to scratch off some more squares this time round, even though I think the ratio will dwindle in the coming weeks, due to the house works.But before that, I did remove some open spaces, the first this update being the one to paint "Finish a Good army of at least 600 Points" with the soldiers of Minas Tirith.This also results de facto in the centre square being finished, "All of the finished models in your army are based", so that's two birds with one stone.Another square that could be crossed away, was the "Paint a model for an army you don`t currently play", in the form of the first warriors of Numenor.So that is a nice amount of progress on the chart this time round in the end!

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