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Author Topic: Blast from the past -- gaming the Silmarillion  (Read 4999 times)

Offline SBMiniaturesGuy

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Blast from the past -- gaming the Silmarillion
« on: August 28, 2012, 02:43:11 PM »
With all the focus on the 3rd Age of Middle Earth, it seems that the First Age has a lot of gaming potential for both adventure gaming and wargames. Here's an old set of documents I did for the MERP system by Iron Crown, but we also used Warhammer to game some of the battles. If you want epic Middle Earth games, the First Age is it -- by the time of the 3rd Age, the power Sauron exercises is a faint shadow compared to Morgoth with his fell magic, vast hordes or orcs, and armies that included scores of Balrogs, Dragons, packs of Werewolves and other sundry critters!

http://oldest.merp.com/Members/EasyEight/silmarillion-ice-merp-in-the-first-age-of-middle-earth?searchterm=first+age
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Offline doctor_ocks

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Re: Blast from the past -- gaming the Silmarillion
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2012, 11:37:52 PM »
This is a terrific idea!

Offline Glitzer

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Re: Blast from the past -- gaming the Silmarillion
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2012, 12:04:44 AM »
Yeah, who would want to game the Last Stand of Gondor, when we could play the Fall of Gondolin?

PS: I'd really like to play the battle of Alquelondë from the Flight of the Noldor tale
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 12:13:11 AM by Glitzer »

Offline Estarriol

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Re: Blast from the past -- gaming the Silmarillion
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2012, 05:00:41 AM »
The wars between the Elves and Durin's Folk are where it's at!

Offline FramFramson

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Re: Blast from the past -- gaming the Silmarillion
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2012, 05:32:43 AM »
I guess the Dagor Bragollach or the Nirnaeth Arnoediad are only going to be fun if you're on Morgoth's side...  :D


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Offline tomogui

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Re: Blast from the past -- gaming the Silmarillion
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2012, 06:11:40 AM »

It would be a blast, no doubt.

I've thought about Silmarillion gaming a lot, and I think I prefer the idea of setting it in the Second Age, as the extended saga of Numenor. All that Ring-forging with Celebrimbor, Sauron walking the earth as Annatar, the degeneracy and fall of Numenor and subsequent inundation of Middle-earth, and of course the Last Alliance against Sauron.
 
Lots of scope for battles and skirmishes, and the Second Age just seems more human and real to me - even allowing for the inevitable exaggeration of later mythic tales, First Age characters seem as powerful as gods, whereas re-imagining the Second Age would make for an noble history of mortal men and elves.

Offline Doomhippie

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Re: Blast from the past -- gaming the Silmarillion
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2012, 09:06:32 AM »
I've been toying with the idea of playing in the First and Second Age but overall I shy away from it for the simple reason that I like those times to be shrouded in mystery and not be so rationably available as to put numbers to important characters. But I can see the appeal of those times.
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Offline Blackwolf

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Re: Blast from the past -- gaming the Silmarillion
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2012, 09:16:23 AM »
I've been toying with the idea of playing in the First and Second Age but overall I shy away from it for the simple reason that I like those times to be shrouded in mystery and not be so rationably available as to put numbers to important characters. But I can see the appeal of those times.

Exactly! I'm a huge Silmarillion nut,more so I guess than the Lord of the Rings; it's the mythology,the poetry and it's the tragedy. Could I play a game based on the Silmarillion? Possibly. Would I be happy with it.....? Difficult,as Lars says, very hard to put numbers to the characters,turning them into stats; I would feel somewhat dirty.
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Offline Emir of Askaristan

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Re: Blast from the past -- gaming the Silmarillion
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2012, 01:45:40 PM »
This sounds interesting. I am a big Tolkien fan and the Silmarillion contains some of my favourite parts of his work. I'd though that this could be covered, perhaps not in 28 or even 15 but with some of the best 10mm figs out there from the likes of copplestone. This would allow some of the scale of the scenery and setting to be represented too.

The added bonus of this "period" is that it has not been coloured by the film or by GW's rules (not objecting to those, just saying...).

I'm off to have a look at your ideas... Thanks for sharing!

Offline SBMiniaturesGuy

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Re: Blast from the past -- gaming the Silmarillion
« Reply #9 on: August 29, 2012, 03:21:17 PM »
The First Age would be perfect for a revival of Warmaster for large scale battles (well, if you have enough Warhammer 28mm and other 28mm go for it!) given the epic scale of the struggles in the First Age. The First Age would be the closest thing to "High Fantasy" that Tolkien ever did.

- Magic was relatively commonplace, and all the Maiar and Istari (Wizards) were involved
- Wide availability of superb quality equipment, and magic items more common
- Additional races and creatures
- Massive scale -- the First Age was the "Eastern Front" of ME history

For example, in the Battle of Sudden Flame (went for several years), Morgoth broke guarding forces with a massive series of volcanic eruptions that shot lava and fire across the plains of Ard-Galen, killing many men and elves and driving them away as his forces advanced. The ensuing onslaught saw the allied forces routed and 10,000 Elves marched in chains to the pits of Morgoth's fortress. I think that's more Elves than exist in the 3rd Age. So while the 3rd Age has a definite Dark Ages feel and scope, with many races and cultures at their ropes end living in the shadow of their own fallen, lost achievements, the 1st Age is more of a High Middle Ages feel, the world is young, the races are young and numerous, their cultures and achievements more sophisticated. The First Age, I guess, you could call the Age of the Elves (they drive the high culture and "global" policy, though Dwarves are also numerous). The 2nd Age is basically an Age of Transition as Man rises, and the Elves wane. While the 3rd Age has become the Age of Man as the other races of ME slip into obscurity. Interesting contrast.

From a campaign point -- it could even be possible to do a Rise and Fall of the Elves theme. A series of linked campaigns where, as an Elven player, you have diminishing reinforcements as you transition from the 1st Age to the 2nd, and by the 3rd Age you do not get reinforcements for your campaign forces. Can you husband your resources, win your objectives and survive from the Fall of Morgoth through the last Fall of Sauron??
« Last Edit: August 29, 2012, 03:27:00 PM by SBMiniaturesGuy »

Offline robh

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Re: Blast from the past -- gaming the Silmarillion
« Reply #10 on: August 29, 2012, 05:57:31 PM »
Even in 10mm you could not do justice to the epic size of armies and cities in the Silmarillion, maybe 6mm but I still doubt it unless your resources are as vast as your table.

No doubt you could game something, but unfortunately it wouldn't be the Silmarillion.

Offline Belgian

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Re: Blast from the past -- gaming the Silmarillion
« Reply #11 on: August 29, 2012, 06:00:44 PM »
Wow, 10 000 captured elves that must have been a massive elvish army! Tempted, never mind I only have 50 painted orcs  lol
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Offline FramFramson

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Re: Blast from the past -- gaming the Silmarillion
« Reply #12 on: August 30, 2012, 03:12:53 AM »
It would be a blast, no doubt.

I've thought about Silmarillion gaming a lot, and I think I prefer the idea of setting it in the Second Age, as the extended saga of Numenor. All that Ring-forging with Celebrimbor, Sauron walking the earth as Annatar, the degeneracy and fall of Numenor and subsequent inundation of Middle-earth, and of course the Last Alliance against Sauron.
 
Lots of scope for battles and skirmishes, and the Second Age just seems more human and real to me - even allowing for the inevitable exaggeration of later mythic tales, First Age characters seem as powerful as gods, whereas re-imagining the Second Age would make for an noble history of mortal men and elves.

I like this idea too. For first age gaming you'd need all kind of ridiculous monsters and creatures and all kind of enchanted beings and even natural hazards (like the aforementioned the volcanoes).

Offline tomogui

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Re: Blast from the past -- gaming the Silmarillion
« Reply #13 on: August 30, 2012, 03:26:20 AM »
The First Age would be perfect for a revival of Warmaster for large scale battles (well, if you have enough Warhammer 28mm and other 28mm go for it!) given the epic scale of the struggles in the First Age. The First Age would be the closest thing to "High Fantasy" that Tolkien ever did.

- Magic was relatively commonplace, and all the Maiar and Istari (Wizards) were involved
- Wide availability of superb quality equipment, and magic items more common
- Additional races and creatures
- Massive scale -- the First Age was the "Eastern Front" of ME history

Ok, I gotta be that guy: the Istari didn't get to Middle-earth until the Third Age.

Back OT, I think the sweeping saga of the First Age would be a great premise for a Hannibal-style board/wargame, but it's pretty ambitious doing it in 10mm. I would really love to see it done well though, with 10,000 elves fighting Balrogs and werewolves and dragons. The fall of Gondolin would be a great campaign.

Offline FramFramson

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Re: Blast from the past -- gaming the Silmarillion
« Reply #14 on: August 30, 2012, 04:37:53 AM »
The Istari weren't involved but there were plenty of Maiar muddling things up on both sides.

 

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