Middle Earth

Ok, so then you look up and a month has flown by and I’ve not updated the blog… and…

Well to tell the truth I’ve been fighting shy of this one, coz the rule set that I found next in my lil’life in miniatures is Middle Earth, written by the South London Warlords and published by Skytrex in 1976, a wargame in the style that WRG were producing in the same period, and obviously based on Tolkien’s world in Lord or the Ring et al.

the only picture from this 1976 publication

Now I had no trouble with the rules, slightly less involved than D&D but by no means simple, or the wargames aspect, it made a change to line up the few dozen minis we had in little warbands and advance them at each other, rather than ‘roleplay’ with them.
Where the issue lay was with the whole Tolkien background, implied but not exactly explained in the rules, a world similar to the one of my D&D experience, Orcs, Elves, Dwarves, even Dragons are allowed for in the rules, but there seemed to be so much more…
And this off is course the problem…
Of there is “so much more”, because Tokien’s world is huge, vast, a history and a mythology of a continent, over 1000’s of years, and I hadn’t read a single word of it…
I wanted to play, I loved the idea of battling armies of dwarves and elves but I was a complete wooden-top where Tolkien was concerned. 
“No…” Simon Maze would cry “…Nazgul do not have wings…” as I tried to rope in my Ral Patha demons as the Dark Lords servants…

a better draughtsman than writer?
It wouldn’t be another three or four years (after I left school) before I even attempted to read LotR, even then it took me a couple if attempts to get through it, and as anyone who has known me at all in the last 30 years will probably be able to tell you, I am not a fan of JRR.

I find there is just ‘too much’ LotR; the prose is leaden, the plot drawn out, and the dialogue stilted, I admire the scope of the book, and his work in general, bringing together all the tradition elements of the myths of Northern Europe into one whole as he does, you can’t doubt he knew his stuff but, but, but…
Like a huge Christmas dinner, where with the need to accommodate everyone’s favourite tradition goes into the meal, it gets larger and denser with every element added, until the whole thing is fit to burst… Now everyone likes a blow-out meal now and then, but Tolkien servers his spicy stodge all the time, page after page for 100’s of pages…
Ok, ok, ok, I know it’s not a popular opinion, and in the Geek World in which I live, it is almost considered heresy to say you aren’t a fan, but there ya’go, I can’t lie to you folks can I?
So, my introduction to The Master comes not from his great work, or his kids intro book, or the film (the Bakshi version kids, go ask your Mum) or some other kind of tie-in product (like there were any), but this little fan made rule set.
Check out my copy of Middle Earth here on Scribd

Ral Partha Demons, not Nazgul.
Next Combat 3000, where stealing ballpoint pens on far away worlds, is a distinct possibility.