How to Get Started in Narrative MESBG Games

10 thoughts on “How to Get Started in Narrative MESBG Games”

  1. Will read more thoroughly and probably have some more comments but initial thoughts – you mention or show several items no longer available – the Mines of Moria set and the figures in the picture with the white council.

    One item you didn’t mention was Battle Companies where you can do Narrative play in a simplified manner – DnD in a LOTR setting.

    More to come (probably)

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    1. Thanks for giving this a look, Bret and happy to hear anymore thoughts you might have if you have time. You make a great point on those images. They could be a bit misleading. I can easily swap out the White Council picture and I should probably note that Mines of Moria can be hard to find on the secondary market. I can probably replace the Mines of Moria fellowship picture too. I mostly tried to find high quality pictures from GW but if I do some more looking, I bet I can find something else to use.

      Battle Companies is a very good suggestion. I don’t know tons about it because I have never owned the BC books (I’ve been debating picking it up as my collection gets bigger so that I can play more games as I miss writing battle reports). If you’ve got some experience with it or have some thoughts about it, I’d be happy to add them to this article and give you credit for them. I’ll try to research it a bit more myself as well as I think that is a great suggestion for new players.

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  2. Nice write-up! I hope many people will find this piece of information and start their own narrative adventures in Middle-earth. It is such a fun way to play, and also likely the best way to play this game solo. I agree with your advice that it is good to start small and expand from there. If someone can get their hands on them, I think the Battle Games in Middle-earth magazine series is great for this as well, seeing as these often contain very fun but smaller size scenarios (and has great terrain building tutorials to boot). Though those journey books are good as well for the same reasons. The only downside is that from what I’ve read they aren’t always very balanced.

    For me a great starting point is the scenario Bucklebury Ferry. You only need a bunch of trees (which can be bought relatively cheaply from hobby stores), a playing mat, the four Hobbits and a Ringwraith Foot & Mounted. And it’s very fun and iconic.

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    1. Thanks Gero! I am hopeful that people will find it useful as well. I think I should add Battle Games in Middle-Earth to the recommended paths a new player can take. Those magazines weren’t as popular in the US (I’ve never seen them in person) but I think for anybody visiting this site from other countries, that could be a great way to get started into the game. I’ll give you a shout-out and a link to your site when I get a chance to update the article with your suggestion! 🙂

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  3. What a tomb of great info. Great job. I’ve long since given up the point matches of lotr and am a narrative gamer and there is much here that resonates with me. There are plenty of narrative resources out there as you go over but also don’t be hesitant to make up your own scenarios for what you have in your collection. 😀

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    1. Thanks Stew! 🙂 This ended up taking way more time and effort than I expected so it is great to hear positive feedback. I’d love to see what kind of MESBG scenario you might design since you’re quite experienced with it. I intend to create some of my own narrative scenarios in the nearish future as well because it sounds like a lot of fun.

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  4. Great write-up. 🙂 it made me go back and check out my own Fellowship project post, for which I’ve done nothing in absolutely ages and the Ruffians and Shire-Hobbits don’t factor in at all. 😀
    I also think that the Battle Companies method of entry is a worthwhile one. Still heavily scenario based, but in which you’re able to essentially write your own stories with other heroes and villains (of your own making).

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    1. I was getting very interested in picking up the Battle Companies book and then the quarantine happened and I decided to pick up Fallout. I do intend to circle back and try Battle Companies but I need to build up my collection a bit further as I have a small amount of hobbits and ruffians, the Fellowship, Goblin-Town, Thorin’s Company, and a few Hunter Orcs from The Hobbit. Not quite enough in there to make for varied and exciting Battle Companies games.

      I look forward to seeing how inspired you get with LOTR stuff too 🙂

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      1. Well, the reorganisation has been useful, even though it’s not done yet and the first wave won’t have any LotR models in it – but that will change hopefully pretty quickly as I’ve got some stuff going in the background again…

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