Showing posts with label The Hobbit. Show all posts
Showing posts with label The Hobbit. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Unboxing the Hobbit- A Review

 As I previously mentioned I pulled the trigger on the $125.00 USD retail box for Games Workshops The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey Box Set. While this is starter set all you really need is the new rule book to accompany the current army books if you are already an SBG player. If you are new to the game this is the replacement intro set to the original Mines of Moria. Here is my review, where you can judge whether its worth it. I'm grading the box on the following categories: Presentation, Contents, Models, Extras, and Rules all on a 1-10 scale. I'll multiply the individual 5 category scores x 2 to give you a generic 100 percentile score.
PRESENTATION:  The box and layout is superb, eye catching with fantastic paint, not much to say here GW knows how to market their stuff, the lengths to make the figures and art look exactly like the upcoming film are second to none. (Whether you think that's a good or bad thing depends on your taste)  SCORE 10
THE MODELS: The box comes with 57 models if you include the limited edition Radagast that comes with the LE, you pay I believe the non LE set which I dont see listed on the GW site is either $10-15 cheaper so keep that in mind if you looking at the LE that is the only difference.

Goblins-  For me they are high point of the set figure wise. Scalewise they are somewhat larger then their original plastic cousins shown here. I really like these for couple different purposes, One I want to do a moria army around my Cave Drake and these guys will be the rank and file, Two the scale is sufficent and they look sinister enough they can proxy all kinds  of other bad guys in X random game, getting 36 of these guys is a bonus...especially at $70 retail for 2 boxes. While I think the Goblin King is kind of dumb looking, he doesnt detract from the usefulness of these. I overall rate the goblins a 9 out of 10.
 Dwarves-  I am not of fan of the artistic license taken with Thorins company for the new film, You know damn well when Warner Brothers found out the main character were Dwarves , some studio exec demanded they be "Sexed Up" in order to be stars of the film, as a result we Fili and Kili looking like Soap Opera cast extras...Thorin looking like Tom Cruise playing Aragorn and the rest looking like Snow Whites sevens dwarfs for comic relief..with the exception of Dwalin who some how gets excluded and looks like a bad ass.  In short I dont like the dwarf models..Scalewise they are ok, see left dwarf (looks like a dwarf)vs "breaking Gimli" vs the guy on the right...Not a dwarf proportionally IMO. Dwarves get a 4 out of 10 for me. not only because of my personal distaste for the style  but I dont really see the models usable in overall SBG as these  Dwarves just dont fit in with the rest of Dwarf models in the current Citadel range. They are Thorin's Company from the movie period. Their overall utility is lax.

Bilbo:-  The Bilbo model is great , and having two different arm option, Walking Stick and Sting is great! However the scale during design was botched. see him versus Frodo and Pippin here- he's smaller scalewise than all my other Hobbits. I dont find this model usable outside the core game here, it does not fit in and it really looks like 20 mm model. Great model, but I cant game with it along side all my other Citadel Hobbits  because its wildly out of scale.  1 out of 10 for Biblo..this is most disappointing thing in the set for me.
The Wizards- Gandalf and Radagast (not pictured) came out great the scale is solid and the detail and sculpts excellent , Gandalfs hat is too small however compared to all other hats he wears in the range I think can use some green stuff and get it where it needs to be but I shouldnt have to. Consistency should be GW's bread and butter after 3 decades of miniature making, the fail at it far too often.

Wizards 8 out of 10.

Models: I rate the models in the box combined an average SCORE of 6 ( if this was not the LE it would be a 5!) 

EXTRAS:  Here we mean the Terrain, the extra figures for game on the Gobin King sprue and a few other extras I see on the sprues.  The Terrain is 2 identical sprues  The sprue shown is one half of the individual retail "Goblin Town Expansion" if you buy the $60 dollar retail box you get one of these sprues and another sprue that is basically all support pieces.  I have in the above pictures some casts from the Hirst Arts wooden plank mold to show you that they are very close to what you a paying alot of money for. I am going to be building a 2 x 2 (maybe bigger) Moria Board....and guess which will see the most use? the plastic at $30 dollars a sprue? or the plaster at $30 for the mold? The spues have some skull details like all GW stuff, but unlike WFB these skulls actually have a place here. Due to cost of the expansion and the unflexibility of the two sprues in the box. I also give the extras a SCORE of 6

 RULES: There is alot of misinformation on the rules out there, I reported some rules details in my last post that turns out to totally incorrect. I dont understand how people with the book, could get things so wrong, but I now have the book and am quite comfortable saying the new rules are GREAT. The mini rulebook is well formatted and clear for new players, although the lack of profiles and points from at least the starter models is disappointing, adding them just would have been good form.
 (note: profiles for play but not points are contained in the starter material. in the original Mine of Moria starter the rulebook contained a host of profiles and points, you get none in the rulebook.)

The best move for players old and new would have been making the included "Your Journey begins here" starter guide an actual "Unexpected Journey" sourcebook that could also have been sold separately. That would have been a very smart business move and would have been maddeningly easy to do. All they would have needed to do was add additional profiles and all the point values and change the art. Then you would have useful product to stand along side the rulebook.

So while the rules themselves are great, GW's wisdom and foresight is not. The way the distribution of new rules material in this set is handled leaves alot to be desired as you still must order the $85 big rulebook to expand play outside this set. As a result as much as I like the new rules, looking at the set contents and what should have been, I must give the included rules a SCORE of 5.

 CONTENTS:  The overall contents of this package, which also include some measuring sticks (why? how about a tape measure?) and Dice. My set for whatever bad luck..DID NOT COME WITH DICE
that is just sloppy on the packing end./ Overall the complete contents of this package are fantastic value for the intro gamer,.I would give it a score of 10 for that. However I am not a into gamer, as a veteran gamer, I rate the contents here a 6 for an overall SCORE of  8.
= 35 X 2 or a 70% Score. when I was in school a 70% was just barely passing and the low end of "C" or Average score, I think that holds true here.

The big take away point I want to make here (and if you've read this blog in the last year or so, you know I am no longer Games Workshop biggest fan, so take this as you will. ) is that Games Workshop's current secrecy policy on product release information is not doing them any favors in terms of veteran customer loyalty. By not clearly telling us about their products what we are actually getting in advance I feel they are doing us a great disservice.
In the end this was not the product for me. As a veteran player of the game, I should have just bought the big book and a box of goblins and the town kit and waited for the new Radagast figure (pictured below, which I did not know was coming.)  Instead I ate their marketing hook line and sinker, got caught up in the release mania and am now somewhat disappointed in my purchase,  While I got my moneys worth, and some cool figures. (I'll model up and play the games a few times).This sets overall usefulness is limited to me. I'll still end up picking up additional items, like the big rulebook anyway, but 6 months from now it will turn out I did not need this set at all. My long term LotR gaming use coming from the new book and a variety of individual models and some terrain.
So they got  more money out of me now, but have just pushed me further to the edge.

In short if you or someone you know is looking to get into LotR (Hobbit) SBG then this is good buy for you. If you are already a veteran of the game stay away from this the big book and pick up what you need. Personally I am tired of the GW merry go round. This is most likely my last direct retail purchase from Games Workshop anything else will be trade, second hand, discount or if I must have something new I will buy it from an Indy distributor.

I should also mention doing GW's Advance Orders is just dumb, they scare you with "the limited edition" get its before it sells out ticking clock so I made sure I got that pre-order in early. Instead of getting mine this Saturday on release day at my local shop, like plenty of other people. I instead got mine Tuesday at 5pm -72 hours later..even thou I ordered mine well within the same as release day window they advertised..There is just no point anymore, its total waste of time.

 New Elven Cavarly looks good.
White Council in Action with Gwaihir, check out mounted Elrond.!!
(correction: It's been pointed out by a reader that's not mounted Elrond but the Captain from the February Elven Cavalry box, I have read there is a new mounted Elrond coming..thou.)

Monday, August 13, 2012

"The Hobbit"- rampant speculation?, not really.

Lord of the Rings fans everywhere have been following the development of the upcoming Hobbit films since long before their official announcement.  Like us few and proud fans of the Games Workshop miniatures game, its difficult to observe the creation of such a thing,  that is the deeply rooted canon to so many, without adopting a Sauron-like cynical eye. An eye that scans the land for something as small as two hobbits or in this case, umbrage of too much meddling in the Professors beloved work.

When I recently read that the upcoming Hobbit movies, were growing into another cash creating trilogy, from the originally proposed two films, I wasnt really much surprised. When I read the third film was "greenlit" by New Line with no budget or even a script, I wasn't that particularly thrown either.  (although one has to wonder *what* exactly is going to translate at best a 300 page story into 7-9 hours of blockbuster cinema) However, when I saw the leaked release schedule for 2013/2014 for Games Workshop's Hobbit film miniature releases, I about soiled my trousers.

First appearing on the  Dakka Dakka wargaming forums. The release leak was immediately latched onto for discussion of its 40K material. Trying to get information about the Lord of the Rings miniatures game in a 40K thread is akin to wearing a pork chop necklace to a dogfight. Despite cries
of un-authenticity from 40K players over this that or the other thing, one only had to look at the Hobbit releases to confirm the documents legitimacy (Something I that found strangely overlooked in what I could handle reading in the thread) First of all while strange people in 40K and even WFB world have occasionally made up false rumors to gain some kind of attention to themselves or some personal agenda. (I for one was accused of this when I posted some of the first pictures of the GW's plastic Valkyrie that fell into my lap from an early release of  the Feb 09 White Dwarf)

Noone in the tiny universe of us LotR players is going bother to manufacture such an elaborate list of models from the Hobbit, especially since much of it isnt even in "the Hobbit" is clearly created fiction based on the source material by the filmmakers. If you followed the film you have seen some of these things mentioned from the Beornings, to the Werebeast, to things that are acutally Pre-hobbit material like the start of the War between the Dwarves and Orcs, and the ousting of the Dwarves at Erebor.

Despite the last years new rules falling flat, mainly due to the new lists invalidating old armies competitively. ( something GW has been doing forever to its other games.)  That and general antipathy toward GW over the lack of support for the game and it crazy price hikes, really kicked a game that was down,  down even further. Despite the initial splash and positive reaction and even  some milestone tournament turnouts, by the time we reached Adepticon this year the "new and shiny" luster had burned out and despite a better showing than the previous year and some new players, several notable national events have since been cancelled due to, either lack of support from GW, low player turnout or both.

If the face of this customer negativity  Games Workshop fought hard to win a renewed license to produce Hobbit miniatures from New Line Cinema for the films after their confirmation early last year. The cries of "Nooooo" from the premier games fanbase were plainly ignored. GW accounting feels they sell enough models to justify the lines expenses, enough to throw down a gigantic investment to go back for seconds. The list I am posting here is next year and beyond and doesnt even cover the initial releases we will see this fall. We are talking over 100 releases posted here. Most notable, and I think one thing that bring this game new life are the titles called "Adventure" which are coded with various box sizes.My hope is these are similar to old GW scenario packs from the mid eighties Things like the "The Tragedy of McDeath" or similar which were self contained campaign style games with miniatures, These will be great shot in the arm to many LotR players, as getting off the tournament roller coaster and just some having some fun with your models is something I think alot of players have forgotten.It something I think could make many enjoy the hobby again.

Anyway here is the list of models and some of the corresponding packaging codes for you to make sense of., use some common sense here...if you see an Adventure Box with the *a18 Medium single vehicle (rhino size) code* assume it contains some sort of terrain and models etc.  In short
Games Workshop is going whole hog, crazy with the Hobbit, the investment in plastic molds alone is staggering, they are planning on pumping these films for the next decade like they have done with initial Trilogy, while I move farther and father away from GW material in my Hobby pursuits, this is certainly the kind of stuff that can keep me and my money around.

500061211470209 Dwarves: Kili & Fili & Longbeard Archers PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
500062630170206 Dwarves: Bombur with Kettle RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
504018730770200 Wargs: Dire Warg RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
505007311470201 Dol Guldur: Leaping Spiders / Shiverfang Spiders PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
505007630170202 Dol Guldur: Spiderlings RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
500063330170206 Dwarves: Drogo Baggins & The Tavern Maid RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
507012730970209 White Council: Mounted Rivendell Nobles RE b09 Sou_A 02 cc
505000112070298 Adventure: Gandalf's Quest PL a20 Sou_A 02 507060412070297
507060412070297 Adventure: Gandalf's Quest PL a20 Sou_A 02 505000112070298
507017730170208 White Council: Lindir the Harper RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
500071011870291 Adventure: The Battle at the East Gate PL a18 Sou_A 02 501100211870295
501100211870295 Adventure: The Battle at the East Gate PL a18 Sou_A 02 500071011870291
500071411470206 Dwarves: Dáin & Iron Hill Berserkers PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
500071511470205 Dwarves: King Thráin & Longbeard Vanguard PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
500071711470203 Dwarves: Young Thorin & Longbeard Mattockguard PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
500072030170201 Dwarves: King Thrór RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
501061111470209 Mountain Orcs: Azog & Orc Needlers PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
501063230170206 Mountain Orcs: Azog (Wounded) RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
506005530170208 Men of Esgaroth: King Girion RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
504019211470206 Wargs: Grinnah & Mirkwood Werewolves PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
508000011570292 Adventure: The Fall of Dale PL a15 Sou_A 02 506000111570293
506000111570293 Adventure: The Fall of Dale PL a15 Sou_A 02 508000011570292
508000811570201 Grey Mountain Dragons: Fire-wyrms PL a15 Sou_A 02 cc
503024630170201 Beornings: Woodmen Healer RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
503025130170203 Beornings: Fair Daughter RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
507020230170203 White Council: Arwen & Estel RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
507021430170208 White Council: Galadriel (Barrel) RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
506000112070297 Adventure: The Belltower PL a20 Sou_A 02 508020112070293
508020112070293 Adventure: The Belltower PL a20 Sou_A 02 506000112070297
508008011870299 Adventure: A Thief in the Night PL a18 Sou_A 02 500100511870293
500100511870293 Adventure: A Thief in the Night PL a18 Sou_A 02 508008011870299
506006230170208 Men of Esgaroth: Fram the Watchman RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
506004130170205 Men of Esgaroth: The Master of Lake-Town RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
508009912070207 Smaug the Golden PL a20 Sou_A 02 cc
508008211470206 Grey Mountain Dragons: Braga & Goldscale Worshippers PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
508008730170205 Grey Mountain Dragons: Venomblade Assassin RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
508008930170203 Grey Mountain Dragons: Goldscale Priest RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
503024411570206 Beornings: Meneldor & Swiftbeak Flock PL a15 Sou_A 02 cc
506007411470209 Men of Esgaroth: Bard & Greystreak Bowmen PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
506003211470203 Men of Esgaroth: Bain & Quickstrings Gang / Trout Guild Militia PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
508000611570296 Adventure: Assault on the Aerie PL a15 Sou_A 02 503030111570293
503030111570293 Adventure: Assault on the Aerie PL a15 Sou_A 02 508000611570296
508000730770201 Grey Mountain Dragons: Bofur on Cold-Drake RE b07 Sou_A 02 cc
508009130170208 Grey Mountain Dragons: Dragon Thrall RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
502065111470299 Adventure: The Clearing of Foul Roots PL a14 Sou_A 02 505040111470293
505040111470293 Adventure: The Clearing of Foul Roots PL a14 Sou_A 02 502065111470299
505016330970203 Dol Guldur: The Willowhags RE b09 Sou_A 02 cc
507010912070297 Adventure: Assault on the Barrows PL a20 Sou_A 02 505040712070298
505040712070298 Adventure: Assault on the Barrows PL a20 Sou_A 02 507010912070297
502054111470200 Silvan Elves: Legolas & Mirkwood Fire Archers PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
503025511470205 Beornings: Gorm & Woodmen Axethrowers / Skin-Changers PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
503025711870201 Beornings: Whisperbark / Gnarlfir PL a18 Sou_A 02 cc
504017811870297 Adventure: Clash of the Beasts PL a18 Sou_A 02 503030711870298
503030711870298 Adventure: Clash of the Beasts PL a18 Sou_A 02 504017811870297
505017830770201 Dol Guldur: Bloodwraiths RE b07 Sou_A 02 cc
505017930170277 Dol Guldur: Gwethil RE c01 Sou_A 02 li
503023811570205 Beornings: Black Bear Pack PL a15 Sou_A 02 cc
504017211470202 Wargs: Feral Wolf Pack PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
504018111870208 Wargs: The Werebeast PL a18 Sou_A 02 cc
501084411870296 Adventure: Raid on the Wizard Hut PL a18 Sou_A 02 504030111870293
504030111870293 Adventure: Raid on the Wizard Hut PL a18 Sou_A 02 501084411870296
504016311470204 Wargs: Lagdush & Orc Wolfcloak Warriors PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
504018211470209 Wargs: Narzug & Orc Warg-Riders PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
504018430770203 Wargs: Dol Guldur Orc Overlords RE b07 Sou_A 02 cc
507013330170204 White Council: Radagast with Roäc & Swoop RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
507015330170208 White Council: Galadriel (Water Steed) RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
504018530770202 Wargs: Orc Chieftain on Warg RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
504018930770208 Wargs: Orc Wolfbone Shaman RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
507013130770208 White Council: The War Council RE b07 Sou_A 02 cc
507021730170205 Gandalf (Dual Sword) RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
500075811470293 Adventure: The Last Stand PL a14 Sou_A 02 501100511470294
501100511470294 Adventure: The Last Stand PL a14 Sou_A 02 500075811470293
500076330970202 Dwarves: Dragon Mithril Company of Dwarves RE b09 Sou_A 02 cc
502074211470290 Adventure: The Raven Hill PL a14 Sou_A 02 501100811470291
501100811470291 Adventure: The Raven Hill PL a14 Sou_A 02 502074211470290
503026230970205 Beornings: Enraged Beorn RE b09 Sou_A 02 cc
506006311470296 Adventure: Thorin's Folly PL a14 Sou_A 02 500100411470296
500100411470296 Adventure: Thorin's Folly PL a14 Sou_A 02 506006311470296
506005811470294 Adventure: The Battle of Five Armies PL a14 Sou_A 02 502090111470291
502090111470291 Adventure: The Battle of Five Armies PL a14 Sou_A 02 506005811470294
500076111870295 Adventure: Breaking the Siege PL a18 Sou_A 02 508020711870294
508020711870294 Adventure: Breaking the Siege PL a18 Sou_A 02 500076111870295
500075611470202 Dwarves: Dáin Ironfoot & Iron Hill Boar Riders PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
500075611470202 Dwarves: Dáin Ironfoot & Iron Hill Boar Riders PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
501085611470200 Adventure: Revenge of the Goblin King PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
501085711470209 Mountain Orcs: Bolg & Great Goblin Bodyguard PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
502074530770200 Silvan Elves: Mirkwood Warhost RE b07 Sou_A 02 cc
506002311470205 Men of Esgaroth: Alfrid & Loyal Town Guard PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
506007711470206 Men of Esgaroth: Garf & Footsoldiers of the Dale PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
504017611470291 Adventure: Blacksoil Slope PL a14 Sou_A 02 500100111470299
500100111470299 Adventure: Blacksoil Slope PL a14 Sou_A 02 504017611470291
504019411470204 Adventure: The Final Onslaught PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
508008411470204 Grey Mountain Dragons: Money Bags & Hired Knives PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
501087411470206 Mountain Orcs: Armoured Hill-Trolls / Frenzied Trolls PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
501085930170201 Mountain Orcs: Orc Stone Thrower RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
502055430170208 Silvan Elves: King Thranduil (Battle Garb) RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
502055630170206 Silvan Elves: Tauriel (Mounted) RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
502055930170203 Silvan Elves: Castellan Amroth RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
503026411870201 Adventure: The Clouds Burst PL a18 Sou_A 02 cc
505025011470208 Adventure: The Ritual PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
505025111870205 Dol Guldur: The Necromancer / Flesh Avatar PL a18 Sou_A 02 cc
505024830770209 Dol Guldur: Narzug & Orc Summoner Coven RE b07 Sou_A 02 cc
505014611470206 Dol Guldur: Tomb Wights PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
505015211470207 Dol Guldur: Mounted Tomb Wights PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
507011511470204 White Council: Galadriel & Lórien Drumhooves PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
507012511270207 White Council: Chief Aravir & Dúnedain Rangers PL a12 Sou_A 02 cc
507021630170206 White Council: Dúnedain Runecaster RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
505026311470202 Dol Guldur: Saruman & The Ringwraiths PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
505024611470205 Dol Guldur: Vampire Bat Swarms PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
507010211470293 Adventure: The Haunted Tombs PL a14 Sou_A 02 502090611470296
502090611470296 Adventure: The Haunted Tombs PL a14 Sou_A 02 507010211470293
507011811470201 White Council: Elrond & Rivendell Spearguard PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
507012011470206 White Council: Elros & Rivendell Outriders PL a14 Sou_A 02 cc
503023512070295 Adventure: The Blight Breach PL a20 Sou_A 02 505040312070291
505040312070291 Adventure: The Blight Breach PL a20 Sou_A 02 503023512070295
503025030170204 Beornings: Grimbeorn (Greataxe) RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
507012111070207 White Council: Radagast's Chariot / Spellfire Cart PL a10 Sou_A 02 cc
508012330170206 Grey Mountain Dragons: Fell Hatchlings RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
500076630170203 Dwarves: Dís, Mother of Kili and Fili RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
500076830170201 Dwarves: Gimli (Stubble) RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc
500077230170204 Dwarves: Samwise Gamgee (Red Book) RE c01 Sou_A 02 c
507010611470299 Adventure: Gollum's Escape PL a14 Sou_A 02 505040611470298
505040611470298 Adventure: Gollum's Escape PL a14 Sou_A 02 507010611470299
507020530170200 White Council: Cirdan the Shipwright RE c01 Sou_A 02 cc

Packaging Codes.
PL- plastic

RE- Resin (finecast)
a10 upgrade pack - sprue in a plastic wrapper? Both resin and plastic codes.
a12 Plastic Small single vehicle (buggy/vyper size)
a14 standard squad size box
a15 Plastic Vehicle squadron boxes (bikes etc)
a18 Medium single vehicle (rhino size)
a20 Large single vehicle/building (building/land raider size)
a23 Huge building box (Astartes battle fortress)
b07 Resin blister/clamshell
b09 bigger resin blister/clamshell?
c01 Resin character packs  

I also have just noticed this is my 400th post on the blog...crazy.!


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