Pause for the Cause…

Following our last game, the rescue of Cailon the Galadhrim sergeant, my wife and I decided to take a break from the gaming to get some painting and terrain work done as well as consider if we are on the right track with our current gaming plan.

Above you can see some things that I had on the go and finally finished. More details to come…

I am not sure who sculpted this metal model. We got it as part of a larger bulk auction and it had damaged paint work. I rebased it and repainted it completely. My wife did not like it, the pose put her off as she did not like how he appears to be looking down. But once I painted it, she came around and whilst still disliking the pose she likes the paintwork enough to keep it now. I am thinking it will be a fine proxy for Thranduil or a random Elven Captain.

A couple of plastic GW LOTR Wood Elves. These were won in auction part painted, with thick paint. I did not strip them, thinking to save time. The result shows. OK I suppose if we need a big group.

Some animals for atmosphere more than anything else really. The horses are cheap 1/72nd scale plastic, probably for a train set. I tried to make them acceptable young horses. The bear is a soft plastic kids toys that painted up better than I expected. The rat is a metal GW Fantasy giant rat. There are some unofficial rules for giant rats in Middle Earth in Battles of Wilderland that we will be trying at some point.

I have gone back and forth on how to model Black Numenoreans and Dead Marsh Spectres. I find myself struggling with GW and Peter Jackson implying the Black Numenoreans may be a kind of undead and the Dead Marsh Spectres not being spectral. Not to mention Dead Marsh Spectres being places other than just the Dead Marshes, ie Angmar and Minas Morgul.

My wife and I debated this at length. She does not see Black Numenoreans as undead in any way. Just long lived Men, like the Dunedain. And she sees the Dead Marsh Spectres as corpses rather than spectral ghosts. So our Army of the Dead models will be Dead Marsh Spectres, we will use various different models for Black Numenoreans but striving for a Gothic appearance as per the Nazgul and GW Fantasy Chainrasps for the spectral Army of the Dead. To that end I repainted a mini and painted three new ones, all to be Dead Marsh Spectres….

I repainted the above from a more spectral appearance to be more inline with the corpse appearance on the rest of our repurposed Army of the Dead models.

And quite fun to make were these…

The new undead from Fireforge, with an obvious Game of Thrones vibe to them. Quite fun, a bit on the large side but I like them.

Originally I had thought to use skeletons somehow in our Middle Earth Gaming but I am not so sure any more. Either way, these Rune Wars skeleton models are a bit to World of Warcraft for my taste. I painted over a pretty thick original paintjob and the result is obvious.

These will likely go the same route as the old GW Wood Elf… even my painting could not convince my wife to like the cartoonish 80’s sculpt. Looks like a number of our older GW sculpts are destined for eBay….

As for our thoughts on the future of our gaming campaign… we found that we were not keen on the direct, competitively adversarial nature of Good (My wife) versus Evil (me). Not to mention I find role playing Evil all the time exhausting. So seeing how some folks are doing things on YouTube we are going to make the Taken of Minas Morgul an NPC company and I will be starting a company of Dwarves! We have some fun twists and turns to enhance the narrative nature of our gaming, which we will elaborate on in a future blog entry.

Our house rules seem to be settling in ok. We do have a couple things we would love to have your input on.

  1. Range at night. Battle Companies night scenario says 6″, SBG night scenario says 12″. Which do you think we should use, and why?
  2. SBG rules say that forces do not check Courage when Broken in Narrative Scenarios. Battle Companies does not say one way or the other. We have been following the SBG rule but we see folks on YouTube having troops check Courage when Broken, which does have a big impact on the starting scenarios when you have high Courage troops versus low Courage troops. Which do you use? Which is correct?

If you are curious who I have been watching play Battle Companies on YouTube lately….

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11 Comments

  1. Range at night. Battle Companies night scenario says 6″, SBG night scenario says 12″. Which do you think we should use, and why? – I think it would depend on the size of your gaming table and since you use weather also, that factor. Personally I would use the 6″ rule, makes it more realistic in my mind. Unless it’s a full moon and then you could use 12″ 🙂

    I answered question #2 on the one ring before I came here.

    FYI – Saw this as a scenario option in SPQR – attack at dawn – attackers with sun behind them get +1 bow, defenders with sun in face get -1

    In case you haven’t seen this blog, he is playing Battle Companies with his son. simbattleboard.blogspot.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funny you should say that… this morning I was just thinking if 6“ took into account foggy weather and 12″ was a clear night but did not make the time to go back and check the scenarios.

      Thanks for the reply on One Ring. Sometimes I feel like I am talking to myself on there and Lead Adventure when I get no reply to the questions I post on those forums.

      I do enjoy reading that blog… I would leave him positive feedback but I do not have a google or Facebook account.

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  2. I agree with your wife that the elf looks a little off in how its head is posed. Its a shame because the model would look great if not for that. The undead miniatures look well-painted and I think the eBay rescues might be a restrictive canvas that is preventing you from showing off your full skills. Its a tradeoff though as I know it saves money but I’d also say that is a compliment to your painting skills! 🙂

    Both of your questions are great ones and I would say that if 6″ feels like it neuters ranged shooting too much or is preventing companies from taking ranged infantry then go with 12″. Personally, I think 6″ makes it pretty unlikely that shooting will be used as you can charge or nearly charge with most forces at that range.

    The broken question is a great one and I will have to jump on One Ring to see what Bret said as I’m curious about it too. It is a shame but I think OR experienced a brief resurgence in popularity a couple of months ago but is starting to go quiet again. I wouldn’t sweat it if nobody responds to your question as it is not as lively as it probably should be. Facebook has really become the go to place for MESBG for better and worse. I’m in the main MESBG groups but find them fairly uninteresting and uninspiring sadly.

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  3. One reason I am a big fan of all the recent plastic multi-part, multi-pose miniature releases of late is getting to personalize the minis and not have to work around awkward sculpts.

    You are very kind with your words. I know my painting is just average but at least I am no longer embarrassed by most of my work.

    Good point on the 6″ charge range. I am leaning towards 12″ for clear evenings, perhaps more for a clear night with a full moon.

    Not checking Courage on Breaking in Narrative Scenarios certainly gives them a very different feel from match play scenarios.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Multi-part miniatures are the way to go and I hope that GW makes them in the future. I’m afraid GW doesn’t want invest in new sculpts for MESBG besides major characters but I hope they prove me wrong!

      Absolutely on the no courage test in narrative scenarios. In the Hobbit era rules, courage tests were part of narrative play so a lot of the Goblin Town scenarios hinge upon breaking the goblins to thin out their numbers. I think with cowardly foes like the goblins, having a break point/test makes a lot of sense and I think I might miss that. On the other hand, when it is elves, dunedain, or dwarves doing the fighting, they should stick around no matter the odds because that is more fitting of their bravery and style! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I really do not get GW’s marketing and production strategy in regards to MESBG.

        The dice for example. Clearly there is great demand for them, why make them such in such small numbers? I ordered a set of Mordor Dice and Rohan Dice from Fantasywelt, a big online supplier here in Germany, when the big Pelannor Fields MESBG relaunch happened. We got the Rohan dice but the Mordor Dice were back ordered and I never received them. I had no idea that dice were a limited edition type product. Since then we managed to get the Gandalf Dice and One Ring Dice at the original retail price but all the other sets have come and gone now on to expensive EBay listings before we could grab them. We have instead started looking for custom made dice.

        This is part of the reason I am keen on proxies and conversions. Waiting for an old sculpt to be re-introduced for a limited time is ridiculous.

        As is appearing to price things based on points value rather than production costs.

        As for Courage….It is always slightly jarring to me and my wife when an Elf hero abandons his friends and flees.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I know exactly what you mean about the shortages and limited time items that shouldn’t be limited. There have been the same issues here in the US and it all points to GW not really caring about MESBG as much as we would like. That is the only explanation I can come up with because they don’t seem to want to make more of popular items like the dice and profile cards which means they’re leaving money on the table.

        I do understand that they have limited production capabilities and obscure metal characters don’t need to be in-stock at all times but I think it would be better if they said each quarter we’ll do made to order on X items and then those sculpts will be back next year or something along those lines instead of saying we’ll do it once and possibly never again. That isn’t a great way to treat their customers I don’t think 😦

        GW has gotten a lot better in the past few years but they certainly have room to grow and I think they haven’t tried very hard to make MESBG not seem like Warhammer’s little brother (and as we say in the US), I would even go so far as to say the red-headed stepchild of Warhammer as well.

        It isn’t all bad but there is certainly plenty to be frustrated about at the same time!

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      3. Its a great interview and while I saw it a while back and have forgotten the details, it definitely gives you a sense of how GW views MESBG. I might just give it a rewatch to refresh my memory 🙂

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  4. I hadn’t considered the distance the same as charging that Kuribo mentioned. I wonder though, how effective bows should be at night. Moonlight and trees cause strange shadows and one imagines things that aren’t there. If you are in familiar territory it is one thing but a chance encounter at night are you going to be shooting at every shadow? Just more food for thought.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Yeah, I can see that argument. I guess it comes down, as usual, to a balance of game and simulation. The +1 Strength in the official night scenario rules makes sense from a game balance perspective but my wife and I both balked at the suggested simulation aspect that the additional strength comes from the difficulty of dodging missile weapons in the dark. Increased armor penetration at closer range we agreed on in theory but not dodging arrows intentionally. That said, we did not want to get so crunchy as to add +1 Strength to all missile fire at 6 or 12“ regardless of time of day. We may rethink our stand on that however considering how inconsistent archery results feel at this stage in our gaming.

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