We have a new recurring column on City Streets: Book Baubles! In conjunction with Literary Monday, Book Baubles will feature baubles that are thematically connected to the excerpt that we’re featuring. Enjoy!
(1) Silk Fabric Cloth Wall Poster of the Map of Middle Earth (20×13) by StuartsArt on Etsy
For those of you who’ve always wanted to mount a map of middle earth on your walls. Can be found here.
(2) Hobbit Door Oak notebook by woodandroot on Etsy
If you’re looking to get something unusual for the special Tolkien geek in your life, get it here.
(3) The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle Earth II: The Rise of the Witch-King
(This one was recommended by Mikaius, and he provides a little commentary below.)
Mikaius: Rise of the Witch King, the expansion to Battle for Middle-Earth II, is a wonderful Strategy game. The same studio behind the wonderful Command & Conquer 3 and Kane’s Wrath expansion. Many decried those two games as not true to the series C&C series, but they are on their own, fantastic RTS games. BfME is further proof of EA Los Angeles’ talent as RTS designers (though it is a shame that they chose the format they did for C&C4).
The campaign itself is interesting and absolutely enjoyable as a simple RTS campaign. However, the bread and butter of Rise of the Witch King is its Risk-like “War for the Ring” mode. Playing as factions across the known world of Middle-Earth, from the Iron Hills down into Mordor and Near Harad, to the Western coast and up through Lindon and Arnor in the North. Each faction has access to respective heroes from the fiction or user-created custom heroes. With these, areas are contested by skirmish matches against the other players, and holding certain areas or whole provinces, can add additional bonuses to the faction. For anyone familiar with the Total War series, this is extremely similar to the Third Age mod for Medieval II: Total War, with more magic and less “realistic”.
Overall, the game is sound in all degrees. However, the game seems to be out of print and is absurdly expensive online, without an option for it on EA’s Origin or other online services. Don’t go spending $100 in any currency on this, but if you can find it in a pack with Battle for Middle-Earth II or the full anthology, snap it up at $50 or less.
(Book Baubles will be linked with Literature Monday in the menus)