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OK Now I've dragged you in here with a meaningless title I'll tell you what this post is about.
GW's Lord of the Rings battle game.
No don't run away, don't leave. Here me out. You too, yes you the one at the back sneaking away!
I, like most players, veered away from the LotR range when it appeared, I was sceptical about putting money into a sinking ship, a game that would get no following as it was probably substandard, had simplistic rules and crap models. Now as you may have noticed LotR is no where near as big as WHFB or WH40K and indeed it may well sink yet, but I'm writing this to let you know why you should at least give it a look.
Why I started LotR:
As an avid DE player I enjoy 40k very much so spend quite alot of time in GW stores, I also have a small WHFB army of dwarves, although I am not so good with those. To this end getting my girlfriend of the time interested in GW was a great idea to me (if she played she could hardly complain could she?) and as she was already a fan of DnD and other RPG's I thought it wouldn't be too hard, but try as I might she wouldn't entertain my toy soldiers. Until LotR arrived, she liked that and said that if I started collecting them she would too as she thought it would be fun, but didn't want to have to go to GW (where she was treated as an object by some of the other gamers) until seh was sure she could play. So I started collect LotR hoping to ween her onto a 'proper' game later. Its now several years later, we've split up and I'm still playing LotR, so there has to be omething in it and here I will explain what I think that is.
I will address each of the concerns I had before I started as a simple way to show how good the game really can be.
The game has simplistic rules:
I, now having played it, don'th think this is true in the least the game has SIMPLE rules, but far from simplistic, they are in fact a slick well honed rule system that is, in my opinion superior to the WHFB rules set as it allows more flexibility. Many people I have talked to seem to think that as each model is an individual there are not classic tactics involved, this is far from true, you find yourself forming units with your minatures, a Phalanx formation is, for example, the most effective way to use Uruk-Hai with shields, Orcs with spears adn Urukhai with pikes in a combined unit in my opinion. You also find that once your form a unit, sucha s the phalanx above it moves in wheels and turns, just as real units do and the reason for this si simple, its the only way you can move and stay in formation... and once you have formations you ahcve weak spots adn flanking tactics.
More? You also find yourself using light infantry and light cavalry for their usual roles as skirmishing units, why? if they're spread out they are less vulnerable to enemy bowfire, not because of a rule imposing penalties to hit, but simply because a volley of arrows (using the Volley fire rules) falls only in a certain area so skirmishing, wide spread groups take less damage than tightly packed formations. Also skirmishing style units operating in loose groups can turn and outmanoever the bigger infantry blocks, allowing them to harras flanks or go after archers. You also find that using classic tactics such as a spear shaped formation to break a block of infantry from the front or a charge into the flank or rear become important because the simple mechanics of the game mean these tactics are effective, as they were when used in the real world
So all in all I think the simple rules give a complex tactical game that is more realistic than the more artificial feeling WHFB.
The models are crap:
To be honest some of the earlier models are crap. I am not a great fan of the orcs or the Warriors of Gondor, however as time has gone on they have improved, the Harradrim are really nice minis as are the Uruk-HAi (probably the best plastics for the range) and the white metal Knights of Dol Amroth really are a treat, the general level of the models quality and detail has been raised and now they compete against the other games quite well looks wise (I prefer Uruks to DE warriors looks wise and Knights of Dol Amroth look better than marines.)
The game is too rigid:
Not so. Just because there are only two sides doesn't eman their are only two armies, themed amies usually work better in game anyway as its easier to form them into units so you find people will play Isengard, Mordor, Gondor, Rohan or sometimes a mixed army such as Gondor and Rohan, you rarely see armies that try to cram all the 'best bits' from their constituant parts into one as these pieces don't compliment each other well. Add to that you can either have an army of 10-400 models in 1000 points (the fellowship costs about 1000 points, as do about 400 goblins) and you see the huge variation possible.
Also if you play games set after the war of the ring you can make up your own stories and characters for the time, so you are not restricted i the wars you fight, who says that Rohand and gondor did not go to war at some point after the last books were written? Make it up, play it your way if you want. Also with the battle companies rules (which are frankly excellent) you can build your own heroes, eitehr by palying battle companies games or just using the points system supplied with the Battle companies to build and price a hero of your own... toatally unique.
I don't ahve time to paint another army:
Start with battle companies and you have a force of just 6-12 figures to paint (no great task) that naturally builds up over time, its a great way to get itno LotR and I also personalyl feel that playing Battle Companies games or using you Company in a poitns match is far mroe rewarding than a normal battle, afterall they all have names and personalities (one of my friends has almost given up having his Uruk captain fire his crossbow, he never ever hits, but is great at beating people to death with it, simialrly he ahs a normal orc warrior who seems to be some kind of sniper as that 5+ followed by a 6+ comes up so often for him and down go heavily armoured men).
On a side not ethe White Dwarf article in the LotR section tend to be fairer and more sensible than in 40k and fantasy as they don't really have a favourite cash cow to flog so much. For example when the Mumak was released tehir were 4-5 articles on it spread over 3 months whilst other content for the uninterested was also included, one of the articles was a battle report which didn't appear rigged and there were also articles both on how to use and how to fight the mumak, whcih seemed reasonably fair tactics articles. Ther was also a painting article which included modelling tips fopr teh base and pissible conversins as well as the main model, which is always nice.
Ok if that hasn't convinced you to at least think about it please let me know why not and what it is about the game you don't like.
I too don't mind the LoTR game. I agree with all your points, and the only reason I don't play it is none of my friends are even the least bit interested in it.
Dice for the Dice God!
Darn you and your snappy title.........
Mentor of Space Marine Commanders far and wide.
Efficiency VS Point Cost VS Ease Of Use - Your best bets:
1) Chaplain led Assault squad - 2 plasma pistols, powerfisted sergeant
2) 8 man Devastator squad - 4 missile launchers
3) Land Speeder Tornado - HB + AC