Monday, March 14, 2016

Cubicle 7 Entertainment to Produce D&D-compatable Middle-Earth RPG

This was announced today by Cubicle 7 Entertainment:
Cubicle 7 Entertainment and Sophisticated Games have announced plans to make a Dungeons & Dragons® compatible roleplaying series for J R R Tolkien’s legendary fantasy world of Middle-earth, the setting for The Lord of the Rings® and The Hobbit®. Cubicle 7’s CEO Dominic McDowall said, “We’re all very excited to be building on the success of The One Ring Roleplaying Game and bringing Middle-earth to D&D® players. Uniting two things very close to the hearts of gamers, me included, is very cool – I can't wait for the summer.” The best selling The One Ring Roleplaying Game will continue as a separate and independent line, with some very exciting announcements coming this week. The new series will be based upon Francesco Nepitello’s highly praised work in The One Ring®, with Francesco acting as creative consultant. Further details will be released in the coming months, with the release set for Summer 2016.
It's too early to comment on this, but I will be watching how things develop with great interest.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Light the beacons, for I have returned!

Time has flown by while I’ve been head-down in other projects for work and neglecting my miniature adventures in Middle-Earth. Now, however, sunlight shines through the clouds and I can return to chronicling tales of conflict and triumph in the Professor’s creation.

I’ve been working on getting my Grey Company army painted while I’ve been away and I’m almost ready to display them for public view. I need to finish basing them, but I have been hampered by the cold weather here in New York. Luckily, today is a pleasant and warm one, ripe for priming, sealing, and basing. My worktable should soon be clear and I’ll then be able to get back to working my way through Battle Games in Middle-Earth.

Before we get back to that, let me share with you the fun I had this past weekend at Gary Con VII in lovely Lake Geneva, WI, the birthplace of role-playing and home to many a miniature battle over the years. Gary Con is held each year to commemorate the life and work of D&D co-creator, Gary Gygax, and is one heck of a convention. This was my fifth Gary Con and it shows no signs of slowing down.

Gary Con is my chance to play games I rarely get the opportunity to play anywhere else and my convention schedule—aside from my duties for Goodman Games—always has one or two old school miniatures events. This year saw me playing Dawn Patrol for the first time and Chainmail for the second. The Chainmail game was a Middle-Earth-based scenario that occurred during the Kin-strife of Gondor, a pitched battle outside the walls of Linhir. I command the Umbar Marines, faithful soldiers beneath the command of Castamir the Usurper. Things did not go well for Castamir and my Marines were trampled beneath the hooves of the Eotheod, but it was a great game. Game organizer and referee Kevin Cabai has some wonderfully painted Games Workshop miniatures he used with the Chainmail rules and it was seeing his game at Gary Con VII and Gen Con that made me sign-up to play this year.

The forces are assembled before the gates of Linhir
Opening gambits. My Umbar Marines are down on the near left
Umbar forces with Chainmail stats
Umbar tentatively advances from beyond the cover of the farmhouse
The Eotheod advances from around the hill. Umbar realizes it must hold the right flank
The Eotheod is hesitant and refuses to come into archer range. The Marines attempt to draw them out
Half-trolls for Hadad and far too many slain Umbar Marines stand off the battlefield
The battle was lost, Umbar was decimated, but I technically survived to earn a certificate

I was too busy fighting for my life to take further pictures, but suffice to say the results weren't pretty. Umbar held on as long as it could, but the infantry was outmatched by the medium cavalry of the Eotheod. The right flank collapsed when Umbar was routed and the middle of Castamir's line soon buckled under its own enemies. The Usurper was driven away and the legitimate reign of Gondor endured a while longer. I did received a nice certificate of participation and a pair of dice for answering Middle-Earth trivia correctly. I've said I'm no Tolkien scholar, but apparently I'm pretty good with Arnor-related minutia.

That's it for now, but new content is on the way, including the next installment of the Battle Games in Middle-Earth project. Until then, may your marines never be forced to face off against charging cavalry without support!