Colour art

Had a couple of nice compliments about the artwork, and that made me
think - which ones your favourite? Fav |FP/DS, Fav Neutral, Fav
female or male.

Just curious as I might get some more commissioned.

The color artwork was a pleasant addition for me coming back to MEPBM after a 27-year hiatus. I would like to see a larger catalog of color character art so that when we create new characters, they match the updated style. I know that comes at an expense, so it makes sense you are re-using line art from before.

I was always happy with the main character art, but thought the named character art was a bit flat. Now we have fancy color art for main characters (that typically are not at all similar to the original art) but then we are stuck with the same old mediocre art for the named characters. I think better, simple art for named characters would be nice to have, but not essential, and that fancy color art for any of the characters is superfluous.

What the game lacks is new blood. I am happy that I came out of my gunboat shell to participate in a full diplomacy game lately where there are some new players to help get acclimated. I recommend putting your efforts into ways to make the game more accessible for new players. Character portraits are window dressing. Clearer rules and game mechanics are money.

I will open a pdf once every 5 turns or so. And only on those occasions where I have to confirm what JOverseer is telling me in the odd hex, or to confirm bridges are down, etc. The character art on the pdf’s is completely irrelevant.


Favorite Female: from Kinstrife - Sesha Fairn

And a bit of a story behind it. I was going through my allies turns the other day and my teenage son was walking behind me and stopped in his tracks and asked me what I was doing. I told him I was working on my Middle Earth stuff. He asked if I could go back to the last page I was on, so I scrolled the pdf back and he said “Who is that”. I said “just one of my allies characters” and he said “she looks hot!”.

Now why am I pointing this out?

I am pretty much like Brad in that I do not pay much attention to the pictures. I play this game on more of a strategic and tactical level. I do not get too caught up in the graphics of the game. But my son and possibly some of our newer players might be impressed with some of the art work, encounters, and riddles. About 30 years ago, I know I was more involved with those things. I think if we leave the game looking like an old game from the 1980’s your fan base will probably remain those old board gamers that were looking for a game that they could play with other old board gamers after we all graduated and moved to different parts of the world. I have nothing against those players, as I am one of them. But if we expect my teenage son or other young adults to get involved, they might be attracted to a game that contained graphics that are more up to date. My guess is that this is why the web site was updated. So if the artwork proves to bring in more players or keep more players around, then I am for it, because I enjoy the game and would love to have some quality people to play against. I know it will take the younger generation some time to become quality players, but hopefully I have plenty of time for that. I also do not mind teaching some along the way if they are willing to listen.

So, just some thoughts on the topic. I would have to go back through turns to tell you which pictures were my favorites.

I do read my PDFs and I like the new art in general. Especially the Nazgul are nicely done. But after a few games of KS if have the Feeling that with some characters the Portraits are distributed randomly. So for my char Caramir (Morlaen) I got an elvish looking female. I think the starting characters should have fixed Portraits that match their style.
It is a nice addition to the athmosphere but I don’t believe that new artwork will attract any new and/ or young players. We are paying almost $ 8 for a PDF file. Why would a teenager do that? That’s more than most online games cost monthly – if they are not FTP anyway. Currently I play Mechwarrior Online (played the tabletop long time ago), which is FTP with ingame sales, which you don’t need but which increase the fun, and I am far, far from spending the amount I spend on MEPBM.
As I have repeatedly said, the only way I see to transfer this game to “modern times” and maybe make it more attractive for new players is to give it a web-based or app-based order input system, with all the support that JOverseer is currently offering, or more. When that input system is available for mobile phones and tablets, you might attract a new generation of players. But I realize that the programming involved is probably too expensive.

We’re slowly moving in that direction, this year saw us move the program onto PC and lots of development of the software. As for the new generation I generally find that the format of the game is not one that appeals to the younger non-hex game wargame generation so much. Saying that we’ve got a lot of old players come back into the game recently and continue to push that. New modules and our Champions module is now being play-tested which should have some appeal to the “faster” generation. (In other modes I’ve run products/apps that have had 100,000s of users so have some experience of this, having deve’d over 10 apps otherwise). So there is a process I’m following atm within the restraints of the program and other limitations. (As a further aside as a teenager I did spend a lot of my spare money on PBMs!!!)

The portraits, well we spent a lot of time allocating the images to each character, but feel free to feedback which character (ideally an email to us directly) should be changed and for what image might be better. Slow improvements over a long time mean a lot of improvements over the period players play…

Thanks for the feedback

MEPBM will never be an RTS game. It’s appeal is in the turn based long term strategy. So instead of aiming to be something else, it should improve it’s strengths. Funny enough, turn-based games are really popular (again). Why? Because the computer players (like me) are aging, but they still play. Indeed, when the “family phase” is over, they tend to play more again. And when you are 30+, you naturally don’t have much fun doing gazillion clicks per minute, or being beaten in Starcraft by a 16 year old. So there is a big and growing market for older players. But they want comfortable, easily accessible games . This is where MEPBM needs to improve to attract new players. Input assistance, online tutorials etc. But I see you are working on that :wink:

“Input assistance, online tutorials etc. But I see you are working on that”

Yes that’s the plan. CME the new module is designed as an intro module as well as for experienced players. When We’ve got JO so that it’s simple for players to install and use then we’ll look at more tutorials (we have a vid that we have planned at present). Having done tutorials within games before I find that for support reasons alone you try to keep the “guide” separate to the in-game tutorial if you can.

With the complexity of this game if you’re not prepared to read a module/guide then imo, you’re not the right sort of player for this game.

Ha! So many!!! Mostly the evils though I must admit.

The original Liz Danforth art is fantastic. If anyone hasn’t seen it in its original format - not the printed/scanned version which lost so much detail - they’re really worth seeing.

For the 1650 Evils
All the Nazghul in their original digital format.
Dancu - (What the heck is he wearing??)

Maben (his snake is very cool in the original)
Duran (Bird wings?)






Huz of Amov
Ovatha II

For the good guys

Hallas - so much expression in that slouch.
Elrond and the twins
Tharudan - (always wondered what was going on in this picture!)