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The One Ring Forums: Tolkien Topics: Gaming & Collecting:
Games Workshop: Battle of Pelennor Fields


Aug 31 2018, 11:19am

Post #1 of 4 (3051 views)
Games Workshop: Battle of Pelennor Fields Can't Post

Games Workshop, Ltd. will be releasing a new game, Battle of Pelennor Fields, the first new boxed game in their Middle-earth line of tabletop miniatures games since their Escape from Goblin Town game in 2012, and their first self-contained Lord of the Rings product since 2005’s Mines of Moria.


If you are not familiar with their product line, the British company, Games Workshop, Ltd., markets tabletop (if you have a big table) miniatures games, in which you field an army of small painted sculptures (typically about 25–28mm high for a human character) and maneuver them according to the game rules, resolving combat (including magic spells and the like) by rolling dice to determine the outcome. Actually, what GW markets is not just games, but an entire hobby. They sell the rulebooks (the new rulebook for the Middle-earth Strategy Battle Game, which is used as the basis for an unlimited number of battle scenarios, is 208 pages long), miniatures, paints and brushes for the miniatures, painting guides, scenario packs, and so on; and also sponsor tournaments and similar activities through their own chain of hobby stores. Needless to say, it is possible to invest quite a lot of time and money into this hobby.

In recent years, GW has been facing falling profits, and fans of their Middle-earth products were uncertain as to whether they might drop the expensive license rather than continuing to support the line. Apparently, they have renewed the license for a few years, and the response from their existing customer base has been quite positive.

The present product is intended as a “starter” product intended to attract new people into the hobby. However, it is a large and rather expensive product: it contains 84 unpainted plastic miniatures: 24 Rohan warriors and riders, 20 Warriors of the Dead, 36 Morannon Orcs, a Mordor Troll, and the Witch-king of Angmar on his flying ‘Fell Beast’ are all reissues of previous models; and Théoden, King of Rohan appears in two brand-new models, one mounted and one on foot. It also includes: the new hard-bound 208-page rulebook and a 16-page scenario booklet providing the rules for four scenarios using the miniatures in the box; 12 dice; a pair of range rulers to govern movement; assembly instructions for the models; and a small sheet of cardboard game state tokens. The US price for this big box is $150, so it is quite an investment: and most people will be unsatisfied with playing the game with the unpainted figures and will want to invest more time and money into painting them up (and perhaps buying suitable ground terrain from a model train store). As noted, GW sells a whole hobby, not just games.

Like many game companies, GW has to walk an uncertain line between attracting and appealing to new players, and supporting long-standing customers with new content. It remains to be seen whether GW has succeeded on both counts with this new product. While expensive, it really is quite a reasonable value for a game of this type (GW sells the rulebook, a new streamlined consolidation of the previous ‘Hobbit’ and ‘Lord of the Rings’ rules, for $60 as a separate item). It includes a very large number of miniature figures, and the unique figures (Witch-king, Troll, Théoden) look excellent. On the other hand, it is a bit peculiar from a story standpoint. The presence of the Army of the Dead on the fields of Pelennor is a movie element – GW’s license is based on the movies – and even at that, they do not arrive until Théoden has departed the field, so it is a peculiar choice. I conjecture that it was an artistic and game decision. Adding their existing Knights of Dol Amroth figures would have been a bit superfluous given the Riders of Rohan; and a bunch of Gondor regulars would perhaps have been a bit bland.

All in all, for someone with the money and time (and table space) to spend who might have been thinking about getting into these games, this is probably as good an entry point as you will see. If you are already a fan of the line and are interested in the new rulebook and the sculpts, this will probably appeal. See The Games Workshop site for complete information.


Aug 31 2018, 6:44pm

Post #2 of 4 (3035 views)
Nice. [In reply to] Can't Post

Do you ever receive press releases from Cubicle 7 regarding either The One Ring Roleplaying Game or Adventures in Middle-earth? They are a small company, but i have written the staff that such PR might be valuable. The most recent news update from Cubicle 7 (May 31!) included the following items for those two games:

The One Ring
Oaths of the Riddermark pre-orders have shipped to UK/Europe/Rest of World. We're awaiting confirmation of US arrival.
Next up is the Erebor adventure supplement - The Laughter of Dragons. It's shaping up to be a 160 page campaign. Writing and editing are complete.

We released the awesome cover to The Laughter of Dragons here.

MORIA! A deluxe boxed set for TOR and AME is coming 2018

Adventures in Middle-Earth

Eriador Adventures is available for pre-order now. PDF is out now, hardcover Summer 2018.

Pre-orders of Rivendell Region Guide have all shipped, with confirmed sighting in the US.

MORIA! A deluxe boxed set for TOR and AME is coming 2018

"For a brief time I was here; and for a brief time I mattered." - Harlan Ellison

(This post was edited by Otaku-sempai on Aug 31 2018, 6:52pm)


Nov 10 2018, 6:18pm

Post #3 of 4 (1951 views)
Dear Santa [In reply to] Can't Post

I reeeaaallly want this, and promise to be good for the 45 or so days before Christmas!

When you add up all the parts of this set, including the manuals, it's really is a great price.

I've already picked up the "Knights of Minas Tirith" set of 6 mounted soldiers. Thankfully they seem cut from similar dies as the early 2000 LotR pieces.

Grey Havens

Nov 12 2018, 10:49am

Post #4 of 4 (1827 views)
If you don't have them, ask Santa for [In reply to] Can't Post

a paperback or two for the Reading Room discussion beginning in January
1. The Tolkien Reader2. Smith of Wootten Major

says Santa's helper Smile

"I shall not wholly fail if anything can still grow fair in days to come."


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