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    The Battle of the Pelennor Fields turned up on my doorstep yesterday and there’s a lot of plastic in there…

    The Forces of Good…
    Theoden on foot and mounted, a dozen Riders of Rohan, a dozen Warriors of Rohan and 20 Deadmen of Dunharrow.

    The Forces of Evil…
    The Witchking Angmar on Fell Beast, 36 Morannon Orcs and a Mordor Troll.

    The vast majority of the above are only in a few pieces, so assembly should be quick, painting not so much however.

    There’s also dice, two range rules, a short scenario booklet to introduce you to the game and the all important Rules Manual.

    Although I picked up The Hobbit Strategy Battle Game: Escape from Goblin Town a while back, I haven’t got around to painting everything, or read the rules, but yesterday I had a read through the revised rules of the game.

    I have recently bought Soul Wars too and was surprised to find that the rules of Middle Earth are considerably longer, but they offer a different type of game… a more heroic one.

    The terrain seems more important… leaping, climbing and swimming are all included… along with falling of course.

    I like that the combat is more individual… it’s not unit vs unit, but man vs man (or orc)… it gives the game that heroic feel as the likes of Aragorn charges towards a handful of orcs and has a good chance of winning.

    The addition of Might, Will and Fate helps to keep the heroes (and villains) alive. Might modifies dice rolls, allowing you to change failure to success, Will is used for magic and such, Fate can keep you alive. All three are in limited supply of course.

    There are Heroic Actions too… linked to the previous three characteristics.

    As for the combat… well that reminds me a bit of the old Warhammer Fantasy Battle that I still own… second edition. It has to hit and wound, but no armour save (that’s included in the Defence rating of the figure). Against some creatures you’ll need to roll higher than a 6, which requires a 6 followed by a 4, 5 or 6 (depending on the creatures Defence) and may even be impossible for someone puny to wound a big creature.

    I’ve not played either Battle of Pelennor Fields, or Soul Wars yet, but look forwards to doing so.

    Personally I think that Middle Earth will be more heroic and fun, especially with some terrain to make things interesting. Narrative play will be more rewarding and I hope to run through some of the smaller battles of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings using the older miniatures I have lying around… not official to tournaments, but fine for friendly games.

    But for that I need to buy ‘Armies of Middle Earth’… so that’s going on the list for my birthday I think.


    I played the first scenario (charge of the Rohirrim) from the new box yesterday, and it was great fun. Very cinematic with the riders trying to break through the lines of orcs. Still a bit luck dependent, with the very important roll off egg or initiative, but at least the maximum dice we rolled at one time were 8, and it’s only two stages and not three.

    I do find the miniatures wonderful and am looking forward to painting all of them.

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