All of the links in this first paragraph take you away from my site:  MEPBM is run by Middle Earth Games, in English speaking Europe, North America and Australasia. In the USA the game used to be run by GSI, or perhaps Deft Games (Blighters all keep changing their company names) who still own and license it. There is still a comprehensive range of helpful articles on their site. All the "insider information" that you need to know is on the old Stormy site and a more recent alternative is Bobbin's site. More articles can be found on Facade's (ME Manuscripts) site and also on Baerauble's site. There is also a Spanish site which has the most up to date dragon data.  You can get to the NEW Mepbm forum here but you would do even better to subscribe to the Mepbm list here.

Then there's my own collection of jottings below or you can click here to see  my fantasy of what an MEPBM Second Edition would look like.

Here follow, fragments of information which I have not found to be available elsewhere or which I frequently have to look up:

How much do I need to pay in order to bribe/recruit a character?

Use the magic formula:

% chance = amount/200 + (1/2) * emissary rank - (1/2) * bribed char rank

I always work this one out to 100% and it has never failed me. I've now simplified the formula:

Assuming you want the 100% chance then

100 ( 200 - e + r ) = b

where e is emissary rank, r is the other character's rank and b is the amount of bribe you need to offer.

Do I lose the gold if my bribe/recruit attempt fails?

Gold offered in unsuccessful bribes, is just that, offered, but not handed over. Thanks to Mike Sankey for the turnsheets by which I tested and confirmed this.

Will my attempt to improve this pop centre succeed?

Add the rank of the emissary to the loyalty of the pop. You need a total of 70 to upgrade to a village, 90 to go to a town, 110 to go to an MT and 130 to go to a city. There is some random element, but it's small - five points lower than these figures, and you will certainly fail, five points higher and you should always succeed.

Will my character show up? (Kim Andersen's theory)

Loyalty + total skill - stealth must give the following for each centre for a character to show up:

Camp 120-125 Village 130-135 Town 140-145 MT 150-155 City 160-165

I remain unconvinced by this one...  In fact it ignores size, which the rule book gives as a factor.

More on: Will my character show up?

Apparently, characters are NEVER reported by the populations of hidden centers, only armies.

Which are the "Curses" artefacts?

15 Tinculin +40M N

86 Nallagurth +750 E starts with WiK

135 Elenruth +750 N

169 Gurthang +2250 E

188 E Mere Vado +10M G

189 Blue Ring +10M E

Do dragons in an army help when attacking a pop centre?

No. No, not even if there is no defending army. Not even with all the wishful thinking you can muster. They don't act as a combat artefact or spell, they don't appear anywhere in the combat description. No. No. They don't you know. Don't believe what you read elsewhere. Don't try it. Don't!.... Oh well I tried to tell you......................

Recent thinking suggests that they may help, but that your army will only survive the pop centre (single round) battle if it has a constitution greater than the pop's defence (with enough margin such that 100+ men survive, if you want it to be a capture).

How do I meet the FP recruitable dragons?

A search of my mailbase from Feb 98 to Jan 00 for Scorba. Games 74 10 5 17 19 94 24. He showed up in these hexes:

2019 2408 2904 2206 2307 2004

This is interesting when plotted on the map. It covers the whole of the Misty Mountains including the nw arm and the Grey Mountains. That means his base range is probably all 49 of these mountain hexes, and significantly more if anyone has evidence (not hearsay) of him turning up in the hills/rough of Rhudaur Dunland.

Same for Throkmaw:

2208 2105 1918 2617 2405 2007 2111

Very interesting to plot these. NONE are mountain hexes. All are hills and rough.

If I recruit a dragon, which army will it go to?

"The dragon goes to the commander with the highest total of net ranks. That is command/agent/emissary/mage rank added together before artefacts." I've now seen a turn where the dragon went to a C44 with a +10C artefact rather than to either of two C50s, however, this seems to be an exceptional breach of the above rule of thumb.  Oh dear...  I now have a copy of ANOTHER pdf, in which an AComm C83(113)  (total net rank 83) got the dragon rather than an AComm C59 E27 (total net rank 86) -it's beginning to look like another debunked theory.

What happens when opposing armies attempt to move onto each other's hexes?

Here's GSI writing on movement:

An army moves from 3632 to 3832: Moves from 3632 to 3732 (costs 5 mp) - days 1-5 are spent in 3732. Thus, on day 1, the army moves from 3632 to 3732 and spends days 2-5 there as well. On day 6, the army moves from 3732 to 3832 and spends days 7-10 there as well. Days 11-14 are spent in 3832 also since no other movement was indicated.

The number of movement points represents the number of days that a force will spend in (traversing) that hex (this include terrain costs, river/fords, and mode costs). If the force does not have enough days (movement points) left to accomplish the move (less points than the total movement costs for the next hex), then it stays put.

Almost forces move on day 1. Exceptions are:

forces that are stopped due to 'Stand and Defend' orders given by others,

forces that are stopped due to non-friendly/tolerant forces entering their hex first. This only occurs when two such forces, moving in opposite directions, attempt to enter the same hex on day 1. In such cases, one force moves first, enters the other's hex, and thus stops that forces before any movement occurs. Otherwise, such forces could pass in the night, so to speak.

forces that give no movement orders or give HOME move orders on day 1

On each subsequent day, those forces that have spend the allotted days, traversing the hex are thus allowed to attempt to move into the next hex.


One Ring, One Ring

Despite common belief that a low ranked character is needed as Ringbearer, it seems that this is not the case. In a recent game, a high mage picked it up, and tried to transfer it to a low character. He got the message "The Ring was not transferred, because it did not WANT to be transferred. It is also reported that once the ring is found and lost, it remains lost despite all efforts, for exactly 12 turns, becoming available again on the 13th.

How does tax affect loyalty?

Joseph Williams gives:

Tax Rate Loyalty Effect
01% - 13% +2, +3, +4
14% - 26% +1, +2, +3
27% - 39% +0, +1, +2
40% - 60% -1, +0, +1
61% - 73% -2, -1, +0
74% - 86% -3, -2, -1
87% - 100% -4, -3, -2
For every 1 point you raise taxes loyalty may drop a point.
For every 1 point you lower taxes loyalty may improve a point.
Averages 1 point loyalty change for every 2 points of tax change.

Which means that for most practical purposes, the tax settings you need are 39 or 60.

Will my threat succeed?

A suggested formula, which I am testing and regard with slowly increasing faith. It may at least serve as a rough rule of thumb: Start by finding the "Force needed to threaten" figure from the "Population size factors" table in the rule book. Then turn your actual troops into a percentage of that, so you might have 90% or 150% of the troops theoretically "needed to threaten", then apply:

chance = comm rank + % of troops - pop centre loyalty - 20 per level of fort - 25 if capital

What happens when I take a dragon to sea?

He leaves your army. A variation on the departure message demonstrates that this is due to the voyage, and not that the dragon was due to leave anyway: He was ordered to move the navy. He accepted the navy movement orders. Uruial announced plans to depart and bid Banararsplyt farewell.

Alternative desktop icons

I made these alternative (and unofficial) desktop icons for the Mepbm utility programs.  That panther in Meow was upsetting my sensibilities, as I don't find any panthers in Tolkien, however Queen Berúthiel of Gondor had nine black and one white cat, so my icon is based on that.  The default Palantir icon is I think, one selected from a library and looks to me like a broadcasting beacon, so I made one that looks (at least a little) more like a palantir stone.  They are, I'm afraid, only 16 bit, as I am too mean to splash out on the 32 bit icon editor.

To see the icons (on an unhelpful white background) click on the links below.  Then come back to this page using the Back button on your browser.  To download the icons right click on the links below (not on the picture on the white background) and select "Save as".  Save the files as MEOW.ICO & PALANTIR.ICO somewhere where you'll find them again such as your Downloads or MyDocuments folder.  To replace your old desktop icons for these programs, right click them on the desktop, then select Properties, Change icon.  Then browse to find the new icon where you stored it, select it, then click Apply and OK.  Bob's yer uncle.

The alternative Meow icon

The alternative Palantir icon

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