Wednesday, October 21, 2020

Middle Earth Battles: The (Beta) Rules

Well, here you go, the beta for my Middle Earth Battles rules.  After a very successful playtest last weekend I incorporated many updates and got the Rohan and Isengard army lists into a playable state.

You can download the rules in PDF format here (v1.6)

To be clear on a few things:

  • I'm sharing these so that other wargamers may enjoy them, but the primary purpose of these rules is to serve my own purposes with my group. They are a work of fan fiction and in no way meant to replace any official rules offered by Games Workshop.
  • I've only just started playtesting the rules.  While many elements are based on my Empires at War (Napoleonic's) and This Hallowed Ground (ACW) rules, this represents a major shift in the core game away from a "shooting focused" game system for horse and musket periods to a "melee" focused game that I intend to use for not just Middle Earth, but for other historical periods such as the 100 Years War and War of the Roses.
  • I'm absolutely all ears on any feedback you wish to provide, simply just pass it along.  Also happy to answer questions as time permits.  However, please do realize that I have a full time and very demanding job - so any "rules support" is strictly as time permits.

Finally, I'm not saying these are the best fit for everyone - they are very much written and presented for those who are experienced wargamers and have some background in historical wargame rules. If you are a Games Workshop pure-blood wargamer, these may not be for you.

I'm very focused here on mass battles - hence many granular aspects of the field of battle or units/heroes are intentionally abstracted into units/special rules.

Screenshots of the pages are below.  There are 10 total pages at the moment.  8 pages cover the rules and everything after is just army lists.

And that is it - hopefully you can find some enjoyment out of the rules.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Middle Earth Battles: Battle Report (Playtest)

Ran the first playtest of my new Middle Earth Battles rules today.  Dan Kerrick and Roy Scaife joined me for the action.  Turned out to be fairly hot outside so I didn't open up the garage door - which meant it was a little darker for taking pictures.

The purpose of this game was to get a lot of different/mixed units on the table to see how most of the different unit types and heroes influenced and interacted with the game system.

For the "bad guys" I had Uruk-hai Assault Ballistas, Uruk-hai Phalanx (pikes), Morannon Orcs, Isengard and Mordor Trolls, Wild Wargs, 2 x Warg Riders (with Sharku in one of the units), and 3 x War Mûmaks.

The good guys had Haldir's Elves, 2 x Oathsworn Bowmen, Oathsworn Warriors, Riders of Rohan Éoreds (2 with no heroes, and three with - Eomer, Erkenbrand and Elfhelm), and a Royal Guard Éored (with Théoden, Gamling and Déorwine).

There was a good mix of small (2 bases), standard (4 bases), large (6 bases) and very large (8 bases) units.  I essentially put out everything I managed to get based so far - which heavily favored the good side.

The game actually went very well.  I kept the table very basic. It is a melee/close combat heavy system as it should be - with a special new phase I added called the Impact Phase.  The impact phase represents the favor of charging troops into melee - with the initial impact of the charge being the damage done by say cavalry horses crashing into a unit, infantry bracing for the impact, the inertia/physical momentum of the charge.  This essentially has charging units deal hits before the actual melee is fought.

I have several notes and some clean up to do but will be posting the rules for anyone who is interested very soon (on the blog).  I'm VERY happy with the look and functionality of the clear basing here - it really makes the units blend into the tabletop.

Until then, enjoy some pictures of the game below ... first up the "fancy" camera ... then after that the phone pictures ...

Phone pictures below ...

Lots more to come on this front.