Things to look forward to in Battle Companies
The Battle Companies book is available to pre-order right now, and to celebrate the release of this brand new gaming supplement, we asked members of the Middle-earth™ team what some of their favourite things about it are:
Adam Troke: My favourite part of the Battle Companies Sourcebook is the narrative campaign you find nestled within it. A true first for the Strategy Battle Game, this five-Scenario adventure lets you take your warband on a daring quest across Middle-earth.
The Quest to Fornost emerged from a small idea we had while initially planning Battle Companies out, a germ of a concept that Jay took and ran with. The result is an enthralling adventure inspired by and humbly paying homage to those you see and read about in The Lord of the Rings™ and The Hobbit™.
Why do I love it though? Because it adds flavour and purpose to any Battle Companies campaign – play a few games with your company, then embark on the quest, lacing more matched play games between each campaign Scenario. Best of all, there’s plenty of replay value to it – random tables included in each Scenario within the Narrative Campaign mean that the outcomes and rewards should be different each time.
Keith Robertson: For me, the best thing about the new Battle Companies book has to be the opportunities it gives players to customise and personalise their Battle Company. The book contains a variety of unique options that provide plenty of new conversion opportunities, from new weaponry and useful equipment to extra warriors for your company.
I have already converted some Haradrim-style wicker armour onto one of Farmer Maggot’s hounds to represent a hunting dog for my Harad Battle Company, and I have a few more ideas for additional wargear options that I can add to some of my company’s other warriors. Other members of the Middle-earth team have made some of their own conversions – Adam has done some head-swaps on his Rohan™ company, whilst Jay has changed the weapons on some of his Uruk-hai and even chopped the arm off of one Scout to represent a serious battle wound!
Sam Jeffery: I play a lot of the Strategy Battle Game and find that Battle Companies offers a completely different style of play. You will usually have considerably fewer models in games of Battle Companies, and so each individual miniature matters so much more as each loss can be devastating to your plans.
Because of this, games of Battle Companies provide players with a brand new set of tactical challenges to face, ensuring that no two games are ever the same.
The book also contains a selection of 12 Scenarios that have been specially written for your games of Battle Companies, each one providing a completely different objective and a new way to play.
Ben Bailey: I love the character progression aspect of Battle Companies – being able to track the experience that my models gain on their adventures; seeing them progress, be promoted and gain new skills and abilities is something that I find really exciting. There are loads of different special rules and wargear that your characters can obtain if they gain enough experience, meaning that there are hundreds of different combinations of Heroes that you can make should you get the required dice rolls.
Progressing your Heroes and Warriors through a series of games really makes you attached to your company, and there is a genuine feeling of dread when your favourite warrior is defeated on the battlefield. You know that at the end of the game they will be forced to make an Injury roll to see what has happened to them, and there is every chance of them dying!
Jay Clare: The Battle Companies supplement contains a whopping 22 different companies for you to choose from, and more will be featured in White Dwarf magazine over time – we’ve already published the Erebor & Dale and Gundabad Battle Companies in November’s issue. There are Battle Companies from all corners of Middle-earth, from great realms such as Gondor, Rohan and Mordor™, to some of the stranger factions and regions such as Warg Riders, The Shire and Far Harad.
The sheer number of different Battle Companies means that there is plenty of variety for all players if you are doing a campaign – every person involved should be able to select a faction that suits their taste and play style without there being any duplicates!
My personal favourite company is Far Harad; I love the thought of upgrading the Mahûd Warriors into Heroes and giving them skills that suit the barbaric nature of these tribesmen. Also, if I am lucky enough to get a Half Troll in my company, they can make for truly frightening Heroes that can cause untold devastation!
So, if you haven’t pre-ordered your copy of Battle Companies yet (and why wouldn’t you!), you can order it today, then you can begin creating your own Battle Company and ready them for taking on their own adventures!