Games Workshop announces a return to Middle Earth

By TGN Ross
In News
Jan 28th, 2012
21 Comments
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Games Workshop has announced The Lord of the Rings will get all new miniatures and five new Sourcebooks.

From their announcement:

Deep within the lands of Middle-earth, an evil power is stirring. In Mordor the Dark Lord Sauron is gathering his armies to him – Orcs, Men and other creatures too evil to mention. Vast hordes of warriors spill forth from the Black Gate intent on destruction and devastation – the One Ring will be found and the world will fall beneath the Dark Lord’s might. Against his vast armies stand the Kingdoms of Men, who have defended their lands from invasion time and time again – their warriors are exhausted, their lands have been ravaged, and their heroes have been slain. Yet hope remains, for both the Elves and the Dwarves have taken up arms to fight alongside them, and the Ring of Power has been found.

Now is the time to ready your Mûmaks, unleash your Wargs, saddle your horses and string your bows, because very soon The Lord of the Rings will get a whole host of new miniatures and five superb new Sourcebooks with which to build your armies. Excited? I know I am! To find out more about all these fantastic models, and to see a bit more about the new books, simply click on the links below where you can advance order them ready for next weekend. If you place your order before midnight on Sunday and have them shipped to your local Hobby Centre, then they will be sitting there waiting for you next Saturday on the day of release. Anyway, check them out in the links below, and then come back here to find out more about them all.

Okay, so what have we got? Well the denizens of Moria now have access to the brutally violent and utterly terrifying Watcher in the Water. Put it this way, no one is going to want to sneak up on your underground lair ever again. However, if someone is courageous enough to brave the depths of Moria, and cunning enough to get past the Watcher in the Water (maybe they used the back door), then the Dwellers in the Dark will be waiting for them. Much like the Balrog, they are demon creatures born of dark magic and evil intent, and with a stat line that is comparable to many Good heroes, you really won’t want to end up in combat with them. And if that wasn’t enough, you’ve also got two new heroes and a trio of Goblins mounted on a Warg Marauder (it’s like a normal Warg, but bigger and nastier).

Over in the East we have also have brand new Easterling Kataphrakts – a multi-part plastic kit with 70 components – perfect for customizing your Easterling warriors. There are even parts in there to make a banner bearer, musician and a Captain – it’s a mini army in a box right there. You’ve now also got a mounted Amdûr, mounted War Priest and mounted Dragon Knight, all available in Citadel Finecast.

And Mordor, glorious Mordor, you’ve got a new monster – the Great Beast of Gorgoroth. Essentially it’s a living battering ram of destruction and, much like the Mûmak, it’s covered in evil warriors. Admittedly these ones are Orcs and not quite as accurate at shooting as Haradrim, but they more than make up for it in enthusiasm.

But that’s not all (really?). Many of the commander boxes have now been repackaged to include a new hero model. For example, the Rohan Commanders box now includes the King’s Huntsman – a veteran warrior of many years who has a habit of shooting enemy warriors in very painful places. He’s also very good at hunting down enemy heroes.

To be honest, there’s so much to talk about I have completely run out of space – I didn’t even get on to the new books! To find out more about the models, make sure you read February’s copy of White Dwarf, which is available in your local Hobby Centre this Saturday.

  • Thrower7200

    Like the models, but still hate, hate the scale. I really don’t know what they were thinking. The rest of their range is in 28mm why make their LOTR Range any different? I know a dwarf player who would have loved to use them in his Fantasy army but the scale was all wrong. I painted up the Mines of Moria boxed set and it was a nightmare.

    • I like the LOTR line better than GW’s other stuff simply because I’m not a big fan of the goofy proportions of Heroic scale models.

    • metalsifter

      It was part of the licensing agreement with NLP.

      GW had to make the models as accurate to the movie as they could, which meant “true scale”.

      GW also had to keep the LOTR line separate from the regular GW ranges, which is also why the early issues of White Dwarf magazine had the LOTR part printed upside down and you cold not mix the LOTR range with the others for Games Day Golden Demon awards etc.

      They even had to install a key-card entry system to the HQ, cameras and full-time on site security.

      Most everything GW did from about 2000 on was for the LOTR license, including having a separate manufacturing facility separate from Sales which was one of the reasons GW moved to Memphis.

      LOTR dominated GW for a long time, from a business perspective.

      • General Hobbs

        If you are referring to the Glen Burnie, MD HQ, they had a keycard security system long before LOTR was released.

        The move of the production facilities to Memphis had nothing to do with LOTR. Memphis is a major shipping hub. It is cheaper to make and ship from there than from Baltimore.

        GW is such a small company, that once something goes in to production, there is no way of keeping it secret. Only the design studio keeps them.

    • Ghost

      They are not compatible with Warhammer. This is intentional.

    • Toyznthehood

      These are 28mm models – the rest of GW’s range are the Heroic Scale (32mm?) models.

  • and this time?

  • Ghost

    Getting ready for renewed interest in LOTR franchise as The Hobbit builds up speed over 2012

  • scottjm

    $47.50 Cdn for 4 figs. Craziness.

  • Soulfinger

    Well, maybe new figs and a new movie will make all of the figures collecting dust on retailer shelves worth something again. These past couple years, my FLGS couldn’t give the old stuff away, and I recall there being somewhere around six entries in the LOTR category last year at GamesDay.

    • Trent

      I actually qualified for the 2011 LotR Throne of Skulls last year at Vegas. Too bad PP decided to run L&L the same weekend. Sorry GW, your system can’t compete! 😉

      All the same, I am looking forward to The Hobbit stuff! I would love to collect a huge plastic Hobbit army…even if I don’t use GW’s system to play with it in the long run.

  • General Hobbs

    The rules need massive updating. This game is an exercise in dice rolling. Roll enough dice, and have the highest Fighting stat, then have high Str to round. Done.

  • keltheos

    The Lord of the Rings game: horrible.
    The War of the Rings game: pretty fun, actually.

    Wish they’d taken more from WotR for Warhammer 8E than they did. Would have made for a better edition, IMO.

    • Zac

      WotR was fun but horribly unbalanced. Any game where I have close to a 100% win ratio has got to be broken. 🙂

  • the Paper Warrior

    are the rules really that bad for this game? I was going to buy the books but hate to invest the money if just a ‘highest roll wins’ game.

    I saw about a week ago they were doing some updates and got really excited. Broke out and repainted some old warhammer goblins in anticipation.

    I love GW’s War of the Rings because you don’t have to roll as many saves as in Warhammer and the courage tests aren’t quite so unit destroying. Thought this might be a similar game but less units.

    It’s really hard to find a generic fantasy skirmish game that has some depth to it. I was really hoping this would be it? Does anyone here think this is a good game? or is there a better generic fantasy skirmish game?

    • Trent

      It’s a fun game, as long as no one you play with stumbles across some of the broken combos. Just the slightest searching online will turn them up though.

    • Paper Warrio – LotR SBG is a good game in my opinion. At one time or another I’ve played every GW game – and I’ve quit them all except for LotR, BBowl and Warmaster. LotR SBG is a keeper, and unless you’ve played at least a handful of games, you’ll never realize the strategies involved in winning.

      Casual observers will see alot of dice rolling and not alot of tactics, because it’s hard to see tactics on an individual model’s scale. But it’s a game of optimal use of heroes, skirmish formations and risk. I love it! Another thing some don’t like is its scenario based format. Buy the rulebook, you won’t regret it.

  • Veritas

    So these source books only work for the strategy game, right? These don’t add anything to War of the Ring?

  • Osbad

    The SBG was one of the best rulesets that GW ever came up with. The pinnacle of Rick P’s career, I would say.

    And it is much more “balanced” than either 40k or WFB with nowhere near the issues that the likes of the Grey Knights codex cause to 40k or the Magic Phase cause to WFB.

    This is borne out by the plethora of spin-off rulesets that were produced by Warhammer Historical and gained some traction in the historical gaming community. The likes of Legends of the Old West and Legends of the High Seas were classics of their day.

    Frankly anyone comparing LotR unfavourably with 40k or WFB in the matter of balance is simply trying to swear black is white and demonstrably hasn’t had enough experience of the game. It isn’t perfect (Spider Queen spam?) but generally speaking it is as good a ruleset regarding balance as it is, requiring an absolute minimum of FAQs, compared to the relative telephone directories that are required for the other two core systems.

    On the other hand the WotR ruleset, while having elements of interest, really did have balance issues. It had all the signs of a system that was rushed out in a hurry. Compared to the SBG which had 4 editions in 4 years to work out all the kinks.

  • the Paper Warrior

    thanks for the posts ‘Battlemind’ and ‘Osbald’, I needed a couple of positive reviews to pull the triger on this one. I’ll buy the rulebook and play a few games with the units in it. If it gets a few plays I may pick up the new army books too.

    I get excited about GW’s stuff but always have to think about it two or three times before actually hitting the ‘buy button’. $60 for the book is probably a pretty good price, it’s a big book.

  • Osbad

    To get the best out of LotR you should play an interesting scenario with no more than a couple of dozen models per side, preferably with an interesting mix of types – some major heroes/monsters, some minor heroes, grunts of various flavours. It also favours lots of terrain that can be climbed over and hidden behind. The more the merrier.

    The game excels when it comes to in-game tactics rather than pre-game list building, although I guess the new supplements seem to tweak the system more into that format with this “Warbands” stuff.