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View Full Version : The Desolation That Should Have Been



Ironmonger
24-03-2014, 02:38
When the DoS book came out, I admit I was pretty excited. When I saw the size of the book, my excitement was diminished a bit, but I still went ahead and picked her up. Then, of course, I read through it.

So, essentially, this wasn't the DoS: this was Mirkwood, with a smattering of Laketown. What a horrible let down. No Erebor scenarios. No other plastic kits (2 beautiful Mirkwood kits, compared with 10 AUJ kits). A bunch of Failcost, with the latest disappointments popping up a few days ago. And, of course, not a whisper of Smaug.

So, what SHOULD have been in it? Just off the top of my head:

Smaug, certainly (people's straw man arguments against scale notwithstanding).
Gundabad, spiders and Laketown in plastic.
Banners and warhorns (in Failcost, sure) for everyone who can take them (specifically, Erebor, Dale, Palace Guard).
Rumored Laketown scenery, if not Erebor/Dale ruins.
Much longer book, with three clearly defined sections paid attention to in art and fluff, if not outright gameplay: Mirkwood/Dol Guldur, Laketown/Dale, Erebor. This really felt like Mirkwood (great!), with a few little nods towards other stuff.
A non-HORRIBLE Bear Beorn. Still can't believe that thing is being marketed...

So, what else should have been in a $50 hardback Desolation of Smaug release?

Sniper Kelly
24-03-2014, 15:37
I'm still waiting for Bolg.

It does seem odd that there're no Laketown or Erebor scenarios in the DOS book, but there are three for the Battle of Dimrill Dale from the first film. Maybe GW couldn't get permission to include them in time? Certainly both Hobbit books so far seem to be last minute rush jobs.

If the rumours of Laketown scenery are true, I'm sure scenarios would be published in some form, either in a new book or in WD. GW might be holding stuff back, we just don't know for sure.

Spiney Norman
24-03-2014, 15:42
When the DoS book came out, I admit I was pretty excited. When I saw the size of the book, my excitement was diminished a bit, but I still went ahead and picked her up. Then, of course, I read through it.

So, essentially, this wasn't the DoS: this was Mirkwood, with a smattering of Laketown. What a horrible let down. No Erebor scenarios. No other plastic kits (2 beautiful Mirkwood kits, compared with 10 AUJ kits). A bunch of Failcost, with the latest disappointments popping up a few days ago. And, of course, not a whisper of Smaug.

So, what SHOULD have been in it? Just off the top of my head:

Smaug, certainly (people's straw man arguments against scale notwithstanding).
Bare in mind we don't know exactly what is to come for the rest of the year, and we've not closed out the third month yet, I would be surprised if they don't do Smaug at some stage, but if we assume that such a large, complex kit requires a long period of development its possible that when they planned out the Smaug project they didn't know Jackson was going to subdivide the film into three (and as such Smaug would not have appeared until the last movie) so I think it could be argued logically that Smaug is more likely to crop up for the final installment than being rushed through for a middle installment they didn't previously know about.


Gundabad, spiders and Laketown in plastic.

The really sad thing is if they had done this, we would still have only had half the number of plastic kits produced for DoS than they did for AUJ. For me this just demonstrates a total lack of confidence in the brand on the part of GW, and I certainly worry for the future of the game when the last Hobbit movie is out. If they can't maintain an adequet level of support when there are films doing all their promo work for them I would expect support for the game to vanish completely when the last one is done.


Banners and warhorns (in Failcost, sure) for everyone who can take them (specifically, Erebor, Dale, Palace Guard).
Heck no, banners and warhorns should always have been components in plastic sets like they did with the swan/Morgul knight sets, why they didn't extend this to plastic infantry sets (not to mention the mounted Hunter Orcs box) was totally beyond my comprehension.


Rumored Laketown scenery, if not Erebor/Dale ruins.

I do expect that we'll get the Laketown scenery before the year is out, we have already seen it in the promo videos on YouTube so we know they've definitely made it, its just a question of where it will drop in the release order.


Much longer book, with three clearly defined sections paid attention to in art and fluff, if not outright gameplay: Mirkwood/Dol Guldur, Laketown/Dale, Erebor. This really felt like Mirkwood (great!), with a few little nods towards other stuff.

Hell no, I was gutted enough that they sold me a starter set with a copy of the new rules in and then expected me to fork out 50 just to get a copy of the profiles in a hard back version of a book I already owned. What they did with the DoS profiles was exactly the right thing to do, and exactly what they should have done with the AUJ profiles in the first place.


A non-HORRIBLE Bear Beorn. Still can't believe that thing is being marketed...

So, what else should have been in a $50 hardback Desolation of Smaug release?

Not that I want to defend the monstrosity that is the bear, but sometimes they put out a derpy sculpt and regrettably we have to live with it. On the other hand this can't possibly have come as a surprise to anyone surely, we've had images of that bear in the public domain since the DoS book came out.

Ironmonger
24-03-2014, 19:27
Oh, and a Dwarvish Windlance :P

Yarp, the caveat to this thread should have been 'of course, the story's not done yet, nor are the releases.' That was kinda the point, though: what SHOULD have, in a perfect world, been in the book. Sure, I have really high hopes for TABA and the BOFA/Dol Guldur set pieces (which I'd be REALLY surprised if Peter Jackson doesn't turn into a 'southern theatre' of the BOFA, complete with Galadhrim and Rivendell wrecking face), and the disappointment of the DoS was clearly a rush job (I'm assuming that Frank the Intern was tickled pink that his custom painted Orc army was called to be photographed at the last minute /hyperbole), but it shouldn't have been, and didn't need to be.

I, personally, would have liked a larger, expanded book ;)

As for that BEAR, I knew it was coming since DoS, but this thread was supposed to be about that selfsame book, so, yeah, hated from the start. Additionally, I was, in truth, hoping that it would get a resculpt a la man Beorn and Bard (both of which weren't bad, but got better sculpts).

Spiney Norman
26-03-2014, 16:06
I would very much like a windlance, I would guess if we do get one it won't be before the third movie as I suspect it is destined to play a key role in the storyline ;)

Ironmonger
26-03-2014, 17:10
I would very much like a windlance, I would guess if we do get one it won't be before the third movie as I suspect it is destined to play a key role in the storyline ;)

It suddenly struck me the other day that the Windlance/black arrow plot might be a kind of 'Black Herring,' and Bard will, in the end, be forced to just use his regular skills:cool: Here's hoping we get one, though, so I don't have to scratch build my own...