I just felt the need to comment on some of these (avoiding the prices, which are all pretty much "eww").
Groblog is one of the most ridiculous models I've seen in some time - the only thing keeping me from staring at him in complete disbelief is the collection of goblins on a giant rabid hamster just above him on the advance order page
The Dweller in the Dark is lovely, though the 360 view bothers me that his one foot appears to not touch the ground.
The Watcher in the Water is horrifying in a Lovecraftian way. That thing is just sick...one of the weirdest/best models GW has put out in some time.
The Kataphrakts are lovely. I rather like the new command packaging for the Finecast releases as well.
Overall I'd say it's a pretty good release - several things I wouldn't mind having...
Yeah, I am a bit puzzled by that as well. It made excellent sense as a skirmish game.
Originally Posted by Salty
I ordered the Moria / Angmar and Fallen Realms books, can't wait to see the updated rules and changes made.
I also ordered the Finecast Haradrim Command, not too keen on the price rise but the models are great and it'll be interesting to see how such fine detailed models work in the material.
Overall, I'm rather pleased!
So a review will be forthcoming, correct?
Originally Posted by Salty
I have ordered three of the books (Mordor, Men, Free Peoples) and am also looking forward to any changes they may bring. Things can only get better for my Rohan army, anyway. :P
I've got Kingdoms of Men and Fallen Realms ordered from my local GW and I'm going to hit up the local indy store for Free Peoples and Mordor. I've got a friend who owes me money so I'll have him probably pick up a Gondor command set for me.
As a collector, do they really expect me to buy a box of four figures just to get one new (finecast) figure! Shocking behaviour GW. I was hoping the next releases would be officially for The Hobbit so I could call it a day for LotR with a clean break. As it is, it will be an acrimonious seperation...
I'm very curious to see what new units will be in the books. Do you think it will be a bit like Legions was when it first came out? I mean, we got two new monsters, 2 new characters, and a new cavalry mount too all for the moria book. It only seems reasonable to expect that there'll be some new units in the other books as well.
The models are reasonable, but I have one huge issue with this bunch.
3 Goblins on a Warg? No. Wargs are intelligent and work with Goblins. These are WFB type things.
Dweller in the Dark? WTF is that? I see no reference to that in any of the (numerous) Tolkiens I have lying around.
Watcher in the Water. Fine, rerelease the model. But it would be nice if it was, y'know, in the water. The point in it is that you DON'T see any legs or body or anything.
Sorry, but I can't get over how they're upping the scale and price of all their games and demolishing the beautiful source material of this particular one.
Dweller in the Dark is not un-Tolkien... best you can do is make an arguement from silence and disagree with their creative approach. Watcher could also fit in that category, but it certainly isn't what I would have pictured from Tolkien's breif and undetailed descripiton. Goblins look rediculous, but that's typical for GW orcs. Closer to WHF than New Line's stuff.
Books? Definitely getting the Realms of Men. I have both Minas Tirigh, Numenor, and Rohirim models.
Looking forward to the updated profiles, warband rules, and army building changes.
Core rules will stay the same though, until the Hobbit is released, at least.
I agree that the goblin ridden warg is a bit ridiculous, and the dweller in the dark is nothing more then an unimaginative demi balrog that demeans the balrog by it's very existence, but the watcher in the water is hardly described as a few tentacles in the books. Gandalf didn't even know if it was one beast that attacked them, let alone what it was. the movies interpreted this as single creature emerging from the water, but the fellowship were a good distance from it before it had a chance to fully emerge. Gw have simply gone a step further and filled in the blanks. Is it in tolkin's own writings? no. does that mean it doesn't fit? depends on your point of view.
I don't have a problem with gw making new things for lotr that aren't in the books or movies. if they didn't there would be no room for expansion and the game would soon die out. the important thing is not that tolkin did it first, but if it dits reasonably seamlessly into tolkins world.
things like this new take on the watcher in the water, easterling kataphracts, suladan etc are all gw creations that add to the world without being incredibly out of place. they match the same subtly from the existing work by tolkin while also expanding on the versatility and character of the game
things like arkban guard, the last 3 named wraiths, galadhrim cavalry etc are highly stylised additions that feel too cartoonish or too specific to really fit in with the existing work by tolkin. oddly enough though some of these are relatively founded within the books but gw has taken an extremely odd approach to them.
At the end of the day though you have to accept that GW have to make very specific monsters, units and heroes using the very vague works of a man long since dead. tolkin's works are great and all, but they are very vague and rarely that specific on details. I believe he actually wrote a lot of his middle earth fiction more as a tool to develop his elf langue then a world to use for story telling. with what they have to work with and what they have to produce in order to provide a wargame to the standards of 40k and fantasy, gw does pretty well 9 times out of 10 imo.
ultimately, the middle earth represented by GW is GW's interpretation and continuation of tolkin's works, just as the movies were Jackson's and weta's. even if gw tried to stay 100% true to the books, at some point you will cry out over something, because everyone interprets books slightly differently. deal with it how you will, but as i see it, pure tolkin cannon, that is middle earth as depicted by his books and only by his books, =/= GW middle earth cannon
Even if you don't like that interpretation, it fits just fine with the established WETA aesthetic and it doesn't seem like an unreasonable entry into the GW Middle Earth lore. I'm more annoyed by GW or PJ inventions that directly contradict Tolkien than ones that have little or no impact.
Or, just treat it as a Balrog. The one we have is frankly considerably more powerful than I ever imagined them being and I wouldn't mind a seriously scaled-down profile that would be more playable.
The 3 goblins on the warg are just stupid, though...
The whole thing screams "balrog jnr" which is dumb, dumb, dumb as a concept, if they'd wanted to expand into something completely new they should have made a completely clean break with the existing stuff, not simply make a smaller version of something that is well attested in Tolkiens works and write a background about it being something completely different. When I saw the model I half expected some idiotic fluff about it being the hybrid child of a balrog and a cave troll, but fortunately even the design team weren't that idiotic.