Wednesday, January 25, 2012

GW goes back to Middle Earth.

Looks like Games Workshop has pulled a bit of a surprise out its hat and much to the chagrin of 40K haters over at the various forums. Rumor has been bubbling for the last 6 weeks or so about a new skirmish ruleset for the SBG in Feburary. While the LotR SBG community is small it is dedicated and we've seen a big rise in player populace here in the midwest over the last year, either as a result of the exodus from other systems or as just an increase in curiosity from other player bases.  Last November's Bilbos Birthday Bash was the single biggest LotR tournament to date with attendance up 400% since its start in 2009. The tournament was as grand a *hobby* spectacle as you are going to see around these parts outside of Adepticon.

As the cover of this French version of February's White Dwarf confirms this is a reality. From the rumors that seem reasonable on a couple of reliable forums..It seems like they aren't changing the rules so much but tweaking unit values and command structures on how many models a particular hero model is capable of commanding. This is an awesome move that will shake the game up in a good way in my opinion because one the few problems with game on the tournament level is that players can spam models using only Captains or low costing generic command figures as leaders. This gamey disregard to *theme* allows you maximize model counts  and while its the best tactical game GW has managed to come up with, It is still very much a game of numbers. Also mentioned are a whole of bunch of new models this month..*what* I am not sure as releases for *The Hobbit* should still be pending probably late this fall to tie in with the new film. Whatever they do lets hope they dont mess with core rules and keep the Finecast to a minimum. Going by the standard info release schedules we should know the details this weekend.

In other LotR/ GW news not sure if anyone else noticed who doesnt play but GW recently, in typical fashion, repackaged the plastic troop boxes lowering the number of models in a box by 50% but lowering the price only about 25%,  This isnt something they would have invested money into if they were just trying to *blow out inventory* like I've read speculated. Considering GW fought like hell to even get the rights to do models for the new films, I think we can plan on a significant amount of attention on the game from GW over the next 24 months considering its the companies sizable investment. Sorry 40K dudes.


Martin said...

I have mixed feelings about this. It is good to see that LOTR is getting back into the spotlight, however "back on the spotlight" in GW terms means price increases, less models for the same or more money. Rules-wise I can not say, I'd rather wait and see.

Conspyre said...

It's good to see the SBG get some love- hopefully War of the Ring will get some similar checks and balances to bring the abuse of cheap casters and large monsters into line. It's a pity that they're reboxing by just pulling a sprue- I was holding out hope for some recuts so that you could get a box of say, just archers or spearmen. It was a little surprising they stayed as cheap as they were for so long, especially given the quality of the later sculpts, but with spears just counting as hand weapons in WotR, it made about a third of the box frustrating to use if you wanted to be 100% WYSIWYG, rather than making units that looked like SBG formations (HW/shield in the front, supporting spears behind).

I'm of two minds on the troops/heroes limitations- I do think the horde armies are getting a little silly, but I think the problem may be more with the points being played rather than army lists. If you look at the original rulebooks and the journey books, the only time they're going big is to get the Fellowship in or to run the gigantic battles, which never quite worked right. The "rubber-swords" design of the game makes for a really fun scenario game, one that cracks really hard under either type of extreme army (1000 goblins, or six Defense 1000 dwarves).

Tim Kulinski said...


I too am a little worried about what is going to happen.

On one hand I am excited about LotR SBG getting some attention, but on the other hand I have been around long enough to know just how GW makes things "better".

I also am horrified at the prices and the reductions of the amount of figures recently. Good thing I got all my stuff years ago and none of the new models say "go buy me".

I really think if the new updates go south, I may go back to historicals, or just play my own game!

I guess we will see what happens in a few days. Like i have said, I will pray for the best, prepare for the worst.

eriochrome said...

It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out. GW has a lot of new competition on the scale with both Heroclix LOTR and LEGO LOTR coming out in the near future (probably closer to summer). While they are all different they, do target similar demographics of kids, Teens, and certain grown ups.

I personally am more interested in the Lego series as they interface better between me and my young kids who use up most of my free time currently.

Anonymous said...

Aghast! The price of pipe-weed has increased thrice while the bounty of my leather pouch in which I store the fine herb has diminished! This must be some fell sorcery from Sauron himself! ;) I have been meaning to try this game sometime. Maybe I can borrow some orcs from you sometime, John and give it a swing.


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