Monday 6 November 2023

Battle Report - Middle Earth #MESBG

Afternoon #WarHamFam and #WarhammerCommunity I've been playing games again but sadly, although I've taken many pictures of the games I haven't found the time to write them up and so most of them are somewhat redundant. It also meant that when I had a game of MESBG recently I didn't take as many pics and then I was compelled to actually write it up so we'll make do. Otty is still buzzing from his Double's tournament at Warhammer World where he even got to play against Adam Troke. I played against his Moria army, with a Dweller and a Balrog the other week and it was hard going, this time I got to be the goblins and he had a large force of Rohirrim, with Théoden leading them. We were playing the Relic mission, where there are 6 objectives and if you end your turn next to them on six on a D6 it is the relic and you have to hold onto it until the game ends. However, it's a cursed item of power and you can become transfixed by it. On top of that it was maelstrom deployment - each of your army's warbands arrives randomly, or not at all, from board edges via dice roll. Otty won priority, he brought one warband on from the east, one from the west, the one from the south [the top middle] and his last warband didn't turn up. His cavalry picked up the banner objective on the left to inspect it, rolled a 6 and found the relic instantly! Which made my deployment somewhat easier. I got to deploy the Balrog force to the South, in an attempt to cut off the inevitable desperate escape the horse lords would attempt now they had my cursed banner. I also brought my Dweller on from the left, to shadow his force. I'm much less mobile so my Warg Marauder was the great grey hope... Unfortunately my last warband, led by Durbûrz, rolled a 1 to arrive, so didn't. I could have used Might points to increase the roll, but 1 or 2 points would have meant Otty getting to choose, which would be totally isolated. Using all Durbûrz's 3 Might points would have got me on north or south but that's all his resources so I left them off.

Next turn and I lose priority, we both try Heroic moves and I think I won so I managed to trap some of his force but forgot Grôblog has to move first and he was effectively surrounded by goblins so I couldn't move far enough to snag the banner, which promptly scampered off. The rest of Otty's Elfhelm warband went on to surround Grôblog. His final Warband arrived and came on in the top left corner to try and take my Balrog's force, but too far away.

My Balrog moved forward but it's only got a 6" move and the goblins 5" so it was wishful thinking. The Balrog has an 8" flaming whip attack, which killed a Royal guard but that was it. Durbûrz rolled a 2 for deployment, which meant Otty could deploy him, but I spent 2 Might to make it a 4 and bring him on from the south [top of the board]. I was hoping to scuttle between his middle warband and the one in the top right [out of shot]. Unfortunately the gap between them was 12-13" so they would be charged from either side next turn. So I moved them more towards the middle so if they did get charged it would be by only one warband, and it would pull them away from the Balrog. It worked, the next turn Theoden charged me, but also got the Warg Marauder too, which gave the banner chance to move further out of reach. Eventually my Marauder from the left caught two of the body guards but couldn't kill them.

However, the dweller caught one and Balrog caught the other which allowed the Marauder to slip between them and chase down the fleeing rider with the banner, who had not succumbed to its accursed powers so far.

Meanwhile Elflhelm decimated Grôblog and his warband was down to slim pickings at this stage.

Similarly my southern force was now caught between two of his warbands and Durbûrz was surrounded. I think I had one last chance for my Marauder to killer the rider with the relic, failed and with Otty getting the next turn's priority he would tie him up with infantry and the rider would make for the borders. A loss, but such a good game.

I'm not sure I've had a bad game of MESBG and despite some frustrations, cursed dice rolls and a loss as the dust settles it felt like such a cinematic game. Discovering the banner from the very beginning and racing it across the field as flaming demons stomped from the sides and behind was epic. Now Otty did say it wasn't a banner they found but Grôblog's Mithril crown, as he failed every chance to make his fight better for the warband around him but either way that race to escpae the board was awesome. I had some last ditch chances, some Marauder archers trying to pick him off long range and catching up with him right at the end but Moria just didn't have the pace.

Anyway, I love this game and I felt compelled to share it because the fact I can't get behind 10th edition 40k shouldn't overshadow then genuine hobby joy I'm getting from other game systems. It's disappointing I'm not getting the best out of the myriad of painted 40k figures I have, but it's a small price to pay for the pleasure and fun we're having at Otty's shed.


  1. I do love the MESBG game system. Probably the one I played the most over the years and still the one play most regularly.
    Sounds like you had some good times as well! The Balrog is a force to be reckoned with, but those Riders can be really quite fast and slippery.

  2. It is such a wonderful universe to dig deeper into. I have seen a resurgence in D&D in my gaming group, we are back to weekly sessions at the moment playing Humblewood (a bit like Wind in the Willows with swords, or Redwall).