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LotR Wiki

Publications/Battle Games In Middle Earth/Issue1

Edit this page (last edited June 8, 2004)

>>Category Articles

Issue 1

The first issue of a really long, but interesting series.Get ready to be introduce to gaming in Middle Earth!

  • Issue 1
  • Specs
  • Overview
  • Scenarios
  • Painting Guides
  • User Reviews
  • Use Battle Reports
  • Conclusion
  • Specs

    • Magazine w/x# of pages
    • 1 Moria Goblin Sprue containing 12 models (4 swordsmen with shields, 4 spearmen, 4 archers)
    • 4 small tubs of paint
      • 1 Brown Paint tub
      • 1 Green Paint Tub
      • 1 Silver Paint Tub
      • 1 Black Paint Tub
    • 1 Standard sized Brush
    • 1 Page of Cutouts with the following pictures
      • Aragorn Weathertop pose
      • Boromir Fellowship pose
      • Pippin Fellowship pose
      • Frodo Fellowship pose
      • Sam Fellowship pose
      • Merry Fellowship pose
      • Elrond
      • Gandalf Fellowship pose
      • Legolas Fellowship pose
      • Gimli Fellowship pose
      • Gamling Heroes of Helm's Deep
      • Eowyn Heroes of Helm's Deep
    • 1 pullout add from De Agostini to subscribe to the magazine

    Overview

    This is the first Battle Games magazine, and it very slowly introduces the reader into the world of Middle Earth. While the miniatures inlcuded in the magazine are Goblins, it stresses Aragorn and lists some of his major battles, such as Weather Top, Amon Hen, and Helm's Deep.

    Mixed in with the scenario are the rules for the game. These rules are even simpler than the basic rules from the rulebook. They list out the four phases (Priority, Move, Shoot, Fight) and the basics of each, but no details. Priority is the same. Movement is almost completed. They don't talk about control zones, but they state that your movement stops if you touch an enemy's base. They don't however explain that you cannot move if you start your movement already touching an enemy's base (I had to explain this to my son). Shooting has been very dumbed down. In particular, there's no movement limitation to shooting (i.e. you can do a full move and still shoot), and there are no in-the-way rules. The only rules in fact were ranges and that you cannot shoot at a model engaged in combat (both good and evil are held to this rule).

    Fighting was simplified as well, with no rules for spearmen. They did keep the retreat-one-inch rule when losing a combat. It wasn't quite clear though that if you won the combat, then all forces on your side had a chance to wound the enemy (my son's first impression was that only those who beat my roll were able to wound. I had to correct him a couple times that if he won, then all dice were rerolled for wounding). No examples showing this, just a small description. There was also nothing at all about trapped warriors, which came up a couple times during the scenario (see below).

    Another simplification was the lack of lists. There were no stats or lists in issue 1, nothing indicating how strong or weak Aragorn was, or the Goblins. Instead, nestled within the rules were specific values for each type of model. For example, rather than a wound chart, it stated that for Goblins needed to roll a 5 or a 6 to wound Aragorn. Same with archery, stating "Aragorn only needs a 3 or more to hit a Goblin with his bow". And lastly there was nothing stating how many Wounds Aragorn had, just that he could sustain more than one wound but the goblins were killed on one wound.

    Simplified rules indeed, an interesting way to introduce newcomers to the game.

    Scenarios

    One scenario in this issue called Goblin Ambush, it's basically Aragorn vs. Goblins. A simple scenario played on a 2' x 2' board, the 12 Goblins included with the magazine vs. Aragorn (use the cutout as you don't get a metal miniature the ranger until issue 6). Objective, kill them all! Also, Aragorn can win if he escapes off the opposite side of the board.

    As noted above, the rules for playing the game are intersperced through out the scenario description. While simple victory is achieved by killing all the enemy outright, they do have an optional "Wound Scoring" way of winning, with Minor and Major Victories. At the end of the game, the total number of wounds Aragorn suffered is tallied:
    • 0 Wounds : Good Major Victory
    • 1 Wound: Good Minor Victory
    • 2 Wounds : Evil Minor Victory
    • 3 Wounds : Evil Major Victory (Aragorn's dead)

    With the simplistic rules in play, this is a fairly well balanced game. See my Battle Report at the end of this review to see this scenario played out in detail.

    Painting Guides

    The painting guide for this issue is how to paint your new Goblins. With only four paints and one brush, one cannot expect much here, but keep in mind this is an introduction issue.

    Starting with Goblins, you are instructed about base coating (black here), and base colorings. No mention yet of washes, highlights, detailing, etc. It's very basic, but very simplistic as well. Following the instructions in the guide, you will be able to paint all the Goblins well enough to play with them and they'll feel a little better than just the plain, unpainted models.

    Shown here is a snippit of what your models should look like after been painted.

    For those looking to paint their models as the masters from Games Workshop, fear not, later issues of BGi ME go into advanced techniques of painting, and after learning those, they will come back to these early painted models and apply shading and highlighting, improving the look of the model. Also note that these models are not sealed or protected in anyway, so make sure you store them in a way they will not rub against each other and chip away the paints. (See my Miniatures/Collecting/Custom Boxes article on a good way to do this).

    Note: Next sit-down with my son will be to paint the Goblins. I'll return with more details on this section after I do this.

    User Reviews

    Anyone who's read this issue and wants to leave their own personal reviews, do so here.
    • ./YourUserNamesReview?

    Use Battle Reports

    If you run any of the scenarios in this issue, then please create a Battle Report and link it here (preferably as a subpage of this issue).
    • ./YourBattleReport?

    Conclusion

    A very simplified, but completely playable version of the game is contained in the few pages of issue one. A successful way to introduce newcomers to the game. For seasoned veterans, some issues of BGi ME are worth getting, but this one is definately a pass. Nothing of value in the painting guides, scenarios, or rules. Newcomers though will most likely enjoy this issue, being able to play a very quick scenario without having to read 50+ pages of rules.

    Knowing what the game is capable of and the complexities it has to offer, I'm excited to see how they are presented in the next issues.

    -Shnar Gru

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