Saturday, December 5, 2015

There and Back Again!

You know how sometimes you lose track of time? Like, when you're carefully crafting an email to someone at work and you forget to join your scheduled conference call until 5 minutes into it (and you feel like a total jerk)?

Or, in another example, when you pick up Fallout 4 and you lose track of the entire month of November?
"Hey everybody, did the news get around
About a guy named Butcher Pete..."

Yeah, so, you get the idea.

But now I'm back, and the twice-a-week updates are also back, baby!

So lately, I've been thinking about HOBBITS.
Elevensies! Hairy Feet! Second Breakfast! Pipeweed! ...uh, other Hobbit stuff!

Well, really the Lord of the Rings miniature Strategy Battle Game (more recently re-released as "The Hobbit Strategy Battle Game").

I don't know what the hell is wrong with me, but every two years or so I get the hankering to punish myself and get back into a wallet-draining Games Workshop miniature wargame. Its probably because I already paint various minis for rpgs all year long, and sometimes I just want to put together a squad of noble warriors with the intention of crushing a horde of orcs, without worrying about role-playing the orcs properly or making the encounters well-balanced as a DM.

I used to play Warhammer 40k (WH40k), which is of course the Games Workshop Game-of-Games here in the US of A (*eagle's cry*). However, just like every other ex-WH40K player who ever lived, I got burnt out on trying to keep up with the annual major rules changes and new-mini power creep, so sold my Imperial Guard and Necron armies on ebay and dropped Games Workshop like an overheated Plasma Pistol.

But then the Lord of the Rings minis came out. The sculpts looked so good compared to regular Warhammer minis that I just couldn't help myself but buy the Mines of Moria set to paint up. Then I got a few more scenario sets and painted those... Then before I knew it I had an entire army of Rohan sitting on my display shelf, complete with Theoden, Aowen, Gamling, and all our favorite Horse-lords.
WE RIDE TO WAR! ... or, maybe just to the shelf.

 I think a lot of my fascination with these sculpts has to do with the scaling of the LotR minis vs most gaming minis. They have normal, human porportions, which is a rarity in miniature-painter land.

Most Warhammer-type minis are what they label as: "Heroic-scale," but which I feel should be more appropriately labeled: "Cartoony Heads and Giant Stupid Hands-scale."

Lord of the Rings minis are based on people with actual human proportions, so they stand out in a world of minis wielding stupidly-oversized swords and ridiculous boob-sizes.
Example 1:Warhammer Hobbit vs. Merry Brandybuck (in Rohan Armor) sculpts

Example B: A Warhammer Necromancer vs. Saruman sculpt. (Look at those giant Manos hands!)

I do use my painted Lord of the Rings minis as villagers and NPCs in some rpgs I run, but occasionally I sure would like to ride down some blasted Uruk-Hai with these guys and take the fight to Saruman himself. But the Lord of the Rings game is long in the tooth for Games Workshop, and they really prefer to focus on their own intellectual property (Warhammer and 40k) so their LotR game support is minimal. I checked with all the gamin' stores in Wisconsin, and no one else within twenty leagues seems to play this game anymore. 

To my shock, I guess other people don't want to overpay for miniatures from Games Workshop and then play a somewhat broken tactical miniatures game? Boo hoo for me.

I guess I could teach another person to play this Games Workshop game, but that kinda feels like spreading an infection they're probably better off without.

But there is a silver lining. The Great Britain Hobbit League (GBHL) podcast. I guess in Merry Ol' England the love of the Lord of the Rings is still strong enough to keep the LotR game going. These guys are pretty earnest about doing their Battle Reports on Youtube, and are fairly entertaining to watch. 

So if you feel like you might have a hankering to check out the LotR game, go ahead and give these guys a watch.

Game on!
Post a Comment