Covered in this article: the Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game, MESBG, Warhammer Middle Earth, Warhammer Lord of the Rings, Warhammer The Hobbit, Games Workshop.
The Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game
The Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game is a tabletop wargame created by Games Workshop, to compliment the movie trilogies of both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit.
The Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game mirrors the format of the existing Warhammer tabletop games, in terms of gameplay based around strategy, dice and luck, alongside a set of plastic and metal based miniature figures which represent characters and fighting units from the movie franchise (and original books).
Games Workshop historically produced a number of model sets related to both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit back during the 1980’s and 1990’s. However, with the advent of the blockbuster movies which first hit the big screen back in 2001 – a whole new dedicated product line was produced and released to market.
The Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game (MESBG) enables enthusiasts of both the Tolkien worlds and the Warhammer worlds – to enjoy tabletop games recreating classic battles from the movies and wider Tolkien literature.
The model sets released for both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, match the same level of detail and high quality standards that have become familiar across the wider Warhammer product ranges. Where the two product offerings differ though, is in their current market popularity. The Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game continues to be enjoyed by hobbyists, but new model releases are now infrequent. The game and product range cannot be considered to be in growth in the same way as Warhammer 40,000 continues to be.
Are Middle Earth models compatible with Warhammer?
At first glance, the Middle Earth model sets (both for The Lord of the Rings, and The Hobbit), have a couple of issues which might make them less than ideal candidates for usage in a game of Warhammer Age of Sigmar, but it is still possible…
In terms of model size and scale, Middle Earth models are a smiliar, if slightly smaller scale to anything in the Warhammer Age of Sigmar product line. On that front, they wouldn’t look too out of place alongside one another.
The bigger issue though is context and how the two model sets complement (or conflict) with one another. Both the Middle Earth and Age of Sigmar universes share a lot of commonalities in terms of weapons, magic, and species. For example – Humans, Orcs, Trolls, and Dragons all exist in both settings.
However both universes have very well established races and factions and deeply entrenched livery, colour schemes and associated imagery for these.
Typically, Mordor Orcs look very much like something straight out of one of the movies, and also look different to say the Kruleboyz or Ironjawz of the Orruk Warclans (nearest match in terms of species / race).
There are still opportunities for cross-over though, and you can always get creative and convert models from The Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, for use in Warhammer Age of Sigmar. One race where there is a close likeness is probably the Elves…
Some of the ‘Wood Elves’ or Mirkwood Elves from the Middle Earth range perhaps wouldn’t look out of place if blended in with the Wood Elves of old Warhammer. A unifying colour scheme and a few weapons conversions could very well create some great unique units to add to an Age of Sigmar army.
Games Workshop’s Copyright and Legal Information:
© Copyright Games Workshop Limited 2022. GW, Games Workshop, Citadel, White Dwarf, Space Marine, 40K, Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000, the ‘Aquila’ Double-headed Eagle logo, Warhammer Age of Sigmar, Battletome, Stormcast Eternals, and all associated logos, illustrations, images, names, creatures, races, vehicles, locations, weapons, characters, and the distinctive likenesses thereof, are either ® or ™, and/or © Games Workshop Limited, variably registered around the world. All Rights Reserved.
© Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All rights reserved. THE HOBBIT: AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY, THE HOBBIT: THE DESOLATION OF SMAUG, THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES and the names of the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises under license to New Line Productions, Inc. (s19)
© 2022 New Line Productions, Inc. All rights reserved. The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and the names of the characters, items, events and places therein are trademarks of The Saul Zaentz Company d/b/a Middle-earth Enterprises under license to New Line Productions, Inc.