on January 8, 2013
I am a long term LOTR SBG gamer and LOTR figure collector. This box-set is a rock solid offering for new LOTR / Hobbit gamers. It is also a inexpensive way for longer-term gamers to obtain a rules update and some very nice miniatures.
Forces of Good:
The dwarves, the hobbit, and the Wizards are very nice sculpts. Several of these are multi-part minis and they are designed to go together with clever snap-in place features that make assembly a breeze. All of these capture the spirit of the characters from the movie. GW has come a long way with plastic miniatures and these are about as good as I have seen from any manufacturer.
Forces of Evil:
The box contains two sprues with 18 individual goblins on each (36 total). These are also very well done sculpts that capture the the goblins from the movie extremely well. Added to these are four goblin heroes including a small impish goblin captain, a named goblin captain with a whip, and the goblin scribe hoisted on a fulcrum lift (vice the zipline in the movie).
The great goblin requires a bit more work to fit his joints together without showing, but is typical of a large miniature. He has a matching throne and my only negative observation is that the rock wall behind the throne is hollow.
The terrain in the box is very nice and modular. You can snap it together and take it back apart for storage.
Rules and Scenario Books:
The small soft-cover rulebook contains all the rules to play the game. It does not contain any hobby info (painting, conversion, terrain, etc.) nor profiles for the miniatures. It includes lots of nice pictures, game illustrations, and clearly explains the rules using both Hobbit and LOTR miniatures in the examples.
A pamphlet with profiles for each mini and a set of 4 scenarios complete the the offering. These scenarios and profiles are limited to just the miniatures and terrain in the box-set. The profiles are complete but do not contain the point values for use in Point Match games.
As a stand-alone game this is fine, but to continue to expand the gaming with these minis and the other new Hobbit minis being released by GW, the player will need to obtain the points for these minis and the stats/points for the other minis. The most direct way to do this is to buy the hardbound Hobbit Rulebook, get the information from a friend, or a bit of internet research to figure out the point costs.
Of course, all of these minis and the new rules can be used with the vast array of existing LOTR minis from GW (and from other manufacturers for informal games). GW indicates that the new rules are fully backward compatible with the newest LOTR source-books.
Cons - Missing points values for minis in the box-set and no stats for the Hobbit models not in the box-set (Wild Wargs, Hunter Orcs, Azog, Bolg, Fimbul, Narzug, Trolls, Eagles, etc.).
- From a value perspective, there is a lot in this box. GW is now packaging most of the LOTR / Hobbit minis in 12 miniature "warbands". As such, this box represent the equivalent of 3 Goblin warbands each with a hero as leader, a dwarven warband with entire company, a very nice terrain set, and rulebook. Bought individually, they would go for a great deal more than the box set.
- LOTR / Hobbit SBG is a simple, fun game that captures the spirit of the movie. It can easily be taught to youngsters (8+). Collecting and painting the miniatures is a lot of fun by itself.
If you like LOTR, hobbits, and are interested in miniature wargames, this is a great place to start.
on December 2, 2012
So, i felt the need to tell you all the bad with this product up front. After going through the scenario book and the mini rules book that comes with this set i have discovered there are no point values for any of the miniatures in this set. The bottom line is this is a fantastic stand alone set that should be considered like a deluxe board game. The plastic quality and literature are the best i have seen for lord of the rings. However, if you wish to collect and play wiith models outside of the this box set's scenarios, say a points match, you are required to buy the $85 hard cover rules book or get the points values from a friend. Also, for using previous lord of the rings minis before this hobbitt set, you will need to reference the 5 strategy battlegame supplement books ( free peoples etc) that came out earlier this year.
Sorry to tell you all about the point values omission, but better you know what you are buying before considering spending at least $100 dollars.