Tabletop 101

Why play Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game (MESBG)

by Armin, LOTR Community Leader @ The Guild Hall

August 5, 2021

Greetings, fellow travelers! What brings you to the Shire? In need of a night’s rest, I see. A great idea, for the forests are teeming with Nazgul and undead spirits, I hear. While we sit, why don’t I tell you a tale or two about a wargame I think you might fancy…

MESBG (Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game) is a miniatures wargame designed by Games Workshop which puts you in the middle of the greatest moments in The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, right alongside all the iconic heroes and villains. In this article I will describe some of the reasons why I think this game might just be the thing you need to alleviate the Corona blues we’ve all felt lately.

1. It’s Lord of the Rings, the holy father of all of fantasy.

Really, that’s my first and foremost argument. If you’re a fan of Tolkien’s works, then you are guaranteed to feel the entire rollercoaster of emotions of the movies, just that this time you’re part of the story! And that makes it 100 times more intense. Protect Minas Tirith alongside Gandalf, ride on a Fellbeast alongside the Witch King or create your own story and army as you see fit.

Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game

2. The miniatures look exactly like the characters

3. Easy to learn, hard to master

4. It combines small armies with RPG campaigning

Recently, Games Workshop has released an alternative narrative-based game mode for MESBG named Battle Companies. Instead of commanding wide armies of men and beasts, you take control of a single small squad of basic soldiers (about 5-10 models). As the campaign progresses, they rank up, gain new equipment and skills (and wounds) and face off against each other in a series of special, interlinked scenarios. Adding to this, you can build diverse battle companies which you wouldn’t find in the larger MESBG factions, such as Wanderers in the Wild or the Dark Denizens of Mirkwood. All the game rules are exactly the same, so it’s a perfect way to start your journey into this hobby.

Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game
So, if I’ve piqued your interest, stay tuned for the second part of the article, where I’ll be explaining the easiest ways to buy the models and start your hobby journey.

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