If you’re not familiar with the growing movement behind MESBG at the moment then my next post will perhaps surprise you. My review today is not about an official sourcebook or magazine.
In fact it’s a completely fan made magazine. As the tagline reads; this is ‘for the fans’.
The Hill of Sorcery is the third installment in the project headed by Tom Harrison and Damian O’Byrne. The two are notable for their involvement in the highly successful YouTube channel, the GBHL
The magazine itself is as professional a supplement as you will find. It details the fall of the necromancer and a re-imagined siege of Dol Guldur, taking it’s beats from both film and book.
The magazines many contributors weave a combination of tactica, painting, conversions and a tense battle report around the central narrative. If you ever read White Dwarf in its prime, or even the ‘Battle Games in Middle Earth’ series, this magazine takes those structural motifs and runs with them.
The magazine contains its usual perspective of the hobby life, this time through the eyes of a first time tournament attender, and includes more analysis on under-costed heroes. Perfect for those of you interested in the meta, and competitive list building.
Also on show is the fantastic board created by Barry O’Neil. It. Is. Stunning.
Check this video for a fly through tour. You’ll also spot some of the fantastic conversions and scratch built models used. Dave Fredericks and Matt Davies sculpt and convert the necromancer and the nine ringwratihs respectively. I don’t want to spoil your experience of seeing these in a glossy magazine so have just included one of these conversions here. Behold Khamul the Easterling. As someone who is building an Easterling force at the moment, I would love to try and convert something unique just like this. It’s a beautiful sculpt I would happily buy, and one of nine incredible, characterful wraiths.
I won’t spoil the battle report either. But I’ll say this. Damian writes as part of his editorial that he had seen Peter Jackson describe the future theatrical siege of Dol Guldur as ‘Helms Deep, but this time with the elves on the outside’. This report is just that, a tense, page turning affair that pits the White Council and Thranduil’s elves against the Necromancer and his minions. Beautiful models, stunning terrain and a gripping narrative means that this battle report sits up with one of the best I’ve read. It’s certainly something to aspire to with my small battle company series!
I honestly can’t get enough of the magazine, and each time I go back to it I find new parts that grab my attention. From a crtical point of view, the magazine is near perfect and more than worth the £10 donation. The pictures are stunning, and photogarphy is excellent. What I love about this is that none of the images are taken externally, and all belong to the people involved.
It’s impossible to do the magazine justice without seeing it yourself!
If you’re interested in getting yourself a copy. Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
When writing this I refrained from reading other reviews, but plenty are their to enjoy at the moment across YouTube. Go and check them out!
A fantastic supplement to the magazine is the Q&A panel from the recent Desolation of Stockport. Go and check it out here
Thanks for the comments and feedback!