Friday, December 14, 2012

Middle-earth Role Playing Combat Screen - Review

I have the old Combat Screen in my collection and have had since the old days. My version consists of only a four panel fold-out piece of card, yet my memory is tingling with the idea that when I bought this there were some paper thingies inside. If that is so , and what the paper thingies may have been, my memory has failed to recall.

As stated, this is a cardboard four panel screen. The card is pretty thin and a little wobbly although it does stand up perfectly well. It is easily creased and does not stand wear very well. Each of the four panels is the size of the core rule book.

First lets have a look at the outside, the players side if you will. 

Panel 1: The back-cover sales blurb.

Panel 2: The front cover, the same art as the core rule book.

Panel 3: The action table, detailing various combat actions, such preparing a spell, loading a bow, melee attacks etc.

Panel 4: The Moving and Maneuver table. This is the full table and list of the usual mods.

Hmmm... not too sure I like their choices for this side. The M&M chart is useful to players, but the Action table not so much. I wonder if the basic combat charts might have been better. The other two panels which formed the front and back cover of the product on the shelf add some "colour", but are wasted in game terms.

Okay, so onto the GM's side.

Panel 1: 1-Handed-Slash/Conc, 2 Handed, Missile attack tables, plus lists of the Crit mods and the usual combats mods such as flank-attack.

Panel 2: Tooth/Claw Attack, Grappling, Movement and Maneuver(same table as shown on the players side) tables.

Panel 3: Action table (same as players side), Animal Weapon stats letting you know what crits Claw/Stomp/Beaks etc do.

Panel 4: This contains the general action chart, for Disarming Traps, Picking locks, Influence,Reading Runes, Tracking etc.

I think they made some good choices for this side of the screen. The product calls itself Combat Screen and they've got all the really important combat charts here. When I use this screen, I can leave the game rules open on the crit charts and I'm good to go.

Obviously the attack tables are a gimme, but the inclusion of the other mentioned charts really allows you to bring the combat environment alive by giving you everything you need as a GM. If you have some guys in melee protecting the wizard who's trying to open a magical lock, then this screen definitely has that covered.

If you don't like or want to use this as an actual screen, it is ideal to leave open on the table for reference during combat, it WILL save your book from half the wear and tare it would otherwise suffer.

Overall : Pretty Good.

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