View Full Version : Is it worth it to start WOTR now?

21-08-2010, 10:08
Basically as the title says. I've been really interested in the game ever since I bought the beautiful rulebook. The mechanics of the game sound basically perfect to me, exactly what I want from a mass battle game. I also really like the more true scale of the miniatures and I used to be a huge Tolkien fan.

However, I'm really uncertain about starting for a few reasons:

1. The game seems to be losing popularity, heck I've never seen anyone playing it at any LGS I've been to. I am moving out to a bigger city soon though, and I'm hoping with an actual Games Workshop store I might find some players. What are your experiences with player population.

2. The game also seems to get much less support from GW, what're the chances we'll be seeing it in the specialist games section within a few years?

3. I've heard there are a lot of balance problems in the game, is this true? I'm interested in Elves, Angmar and the Fallen Kingdoms, would I be fine choosing any of them?

4. What is the average game size people play and how does it scale? I don't want to have to invest too much money into another game.

5. The amount of plastics the game has, I greatly prefer plastic to metal, especially in mass battle games. How are the plastic ratios, can most forces build a fully plastic army excepting heroes and more elite units?

I suppose that's about it for my questions. Thanks in advance to anyone who answers.

21-08-2010, 10:31
I'm also getting started with the game, switching over from Warhammer Fantasy.

I'll try to answer your question:

1. I'd guess it's hard to find people playing WotR, because there is also Warhammer. But ask in the shop. I also noticed that it is often not demonstrated, probably because it's not that much a core game as they like to suggest. I think there are enough people who play.

2. As most models are out, there is not much they need to add. Models will still be available, even in the shops, I think. So there not much to worry about (yet).

3. Can't answer that, because I haven't played that much.

4. I think 1500 points is about avarage. It also depends on which armies you play. Some have only a few characters (ie Epic Heroes), which is a must if you play large battles.

5. Also depends on the army you want. A lot of basic troops are plastic and some are re-released as plastics. It is likely they will bring more and more models out in plastic.

Hope this helps.

21-08-2010, 10:43

It is ultimately going to depend on what those local to you actually play. If you are unsure, check it out first. However, I will say that this is a game that attracts a lot of older gamers that would never play Warhammer/40k. So you might be surprised who gets into it if someone enthusiastic pushes it.

The game has pretty big balance issues. Nothing crippling, but it is there. Comparatively speaking I don't know how to describe it, coming from FOG/FOW some of the things in this game are laughably out of whack (so much so that I don't know how people field them without embarrassment) but there are multiple effective lists so this might just be typical GW balance. Over half the lists can be made to work very well.

In terms of your list, Elves are only for the very keen IMO, Forgotten Kingdoms are only there to provide allies for other lists and Angmar is great, and has plentiful plastics for all base troops.

If you base it on Carn Dum warbands and use GB/WF plastic vikings that is ;)

21-08-2010, 20:37
WotR is a really great game for playing with really big armies. To answer your questions.

1 - The game is actually gaining in popularity in my area. For a while we were more popular than WFB, but 8th ed stole some of our thunder. Just yesterday though I played a 2000 point team game and my LGS is talking about holding tournaments soon.

2 - WotR does get less support from GW than either of the Warhammers, but my sense is that they are still ramping up the support, not cutting it back. While the Strategy Battle Game might arguably be going specialist soon, I don't see WotR doing so, especially if the rumored starter set is true.

3 - Yes, there are some balance problems. These tend to be with specific formations and not with armies though, since you can ally in units from other lists. The big issues are the point cost of the Nazgul and Corsair crossbows. Despite what you may read online, the only area of the rules that is really broken however is the counselor might battery. If you are going try and get people involved in the game it is a good idea to make sure everyone agrees on a fix for that.

As for your armies. Elves can be effective but require some skill to play because there are so few of them, you can't afford to take casualties in a game with massive amounts of casualties. Fallen Realms are a very popular army it seems and have a lot of really good troops. Angmar is know for being very hard to play well, though we have a couple people here who swear they are unbeatable.

4 - I don't really know if the community has settled on an "average" size. 1000 points is a really good starter size and makes for a great game. 1500 is probably the size most people expect an average game to be. 2000 and above you start having the points to spend on some of the really expensive monsters and heroes that everyone wants to play with.

As for scaling, it scales up well except that the balance issues I spoke of become more noticeable at higher point levels because people can buy more of the mis-costed units. If you go into a game with an agreement to limit the number of nazgul and super-heroes however then a huge game will work very well.

Final note on scaling, because of the large model size, and potential speed of formations, the game works well with bigger tables. I played 2000 points last night and somehow we ended up an a regular 6'x4' table and that was way too small. 4'x10' would have been better and I would have preferred 6'x8'

5 - If you are willing to do some minor conversions and be a little creative in your miniature selection then most armies can be done in mostly plastic fairly easily. Dwarves still have some metal troops that are hard to get around and the fallen realms have a couple of key units that are still in metal. Elves are a pretty good choice for plastic, Galadhrim, Wood elves and High Elves (with some men) can all be had in plastic.

Hope that helps

21-08-2010, 21:41
Re Size: 1000 pts is up to 30 companies with multiple Epic heroes already for many armies, more if you are Goblins. This is the max that seems to work well on a 6'x4'.

After a dalliance with 1500 locally (that needs 4'x8' IMO), we've fallen back on a 1000pts. Everything we want fits in, and personally, I'd rather field a new army than go through the slog of adding another 10-15 or so compoanies to an existing army.

21-08-2010, 21:55
That seems a little big. I play a goblin horde army and have 24 companies plus a troll and 2 epic heroes, no captains at 1000 points. On the other hand I think we have had this discussion before Xelee.

I wouldn't feel right including a dragon or similar huge monster at less than 2000 points. Even something like shelob or a stone giant I hold off until 1500 points.

21-08-2010, 22:40
30 companies of a Minas Tirith army is only 750 pts, if some of that is bow it might be 780. I never got around to counting the goblins in the local army, pretty much most of the deployment area's worth? He runs that with Durburz and 4x Cave trolls. Something like 9,8,8 (in goblins), 3, 3, 3 (in bow) 8, (in Blackshields), then 4X trolls and Durburz is 1000pts.

The issue is that troops are so much more effective than their alternatives and this goes with or without the suspect Ringwraiths etc. That this is so is a real credit to the game system IMO.

22-08-2010, 00:10
And if you divide that into the minimum # of formations, 5, and add in the cheapest hero possible (a Captain) for each you end up with exactly 1000 points of nothing but bare bones formations with no epic heroes. If you want to get a few epics in there, plus some captains so you have a hero in most of your formations and make a few of the formations elite troops and some banners for cavalry, that is going to drop to, my guess would be, around 20 companies.

The bare minimum cost for all those goblin companies would be 1090 points, 5-6 companies over. That is goblins with no shields or other upgrades except for the archers and no heroes to let him At the Double or call any heroic actions, no magic at all.

Even in my goblin army (with the 24 companies, 2 epics and a captain) I find myself nearly critically short on both heroes and magic. If I decide to put in another hero I will have to drop, probably, 3 companies and the troll.

I agree with you that one of the big strengths of the game is that regular line troops are very important, but you need to have SOME heroes and support. That's my thinking anyway.

23-08-2010, 13:40
First up, if you like the look of the game rules and figure wise, then it's probably a good idea to jump in.

1. Round me it's growing too. My immediate gaming group jumped into this game when it came out and haven't looked back. More players are joining, but this is players with armies realizing there is a group to play with, not so much people coming in fresh, though there are some of those.

2. GW have put out an excellent rules set backed up by their (IMO) best range of armies. I need no other support than that. My only issue with support is that a lot of figures, especially characters, go direct only on release or soon after.

3. There are no auto win/lose armies. Ally rules smooth over a lot of the bumps and grinds. Your armies should do okay.

4. Depends on the group. We tend towards 1500 points with characters and big models. 20-25 companies. We go lower but rarely higher, except for the book scenarios.

5. My armies are generally plastic only with the exception of characters and 1-2 formations/ models. Some armies go better in plastic than others. It's worth checking what you want versus availability.

23-08-2010, 18:51
I'm trying to hold off as long as possible until I hear news/confirmation of a starter set

23-08-2010, 19:17
Honestly, it's worth it. Plus, armies are cheap enough that you can have two matched forces to try to convert your friends. Oftentimes a good sample game goes farther than all the persuasion in the world.

23-08-2010, 23:05
I'm trying to hold off as long as possible until I hear news/confirmation of a starter set


I would hold fire for a while, but if there are armies you like you can always get small forces for the SBG. Get people interested in that (look, GW have done this really cool skirmish game. You only need to buy a few characters and a box of plastic troops!) Then, once everyone is sucked in (and the Harad player is wondering when he will ever get to use all those archers) you can introduce them to the SBGs big brother...

Hey, it seemed to work for GW.

Intrepid Adventurer
25-08-2010, 11:19
Great game. I don't think it's going anywhere for a while (I hear that said starterset is coming up?) and the rules are easily on par with the other two core systems.

Plus, if you like LotR, it's a must!

26-08-2010, 10:00
More than worth it I'd say. I think WOTR is much more enjoyable as you can field way more troops, the game moves way faster. Yes, the plastic/metal ratio is HUGELY weighted towards plastics- which is great. I hate gluing metal. I normally find 1000 points fits into a 1 1/2 hour slot, but 1500 games are WAY more fun. You can field sooo much more.

29-08-2010, 15:18
More than worth it I'd say. I think WOTR is much more enjoyable as you can field way more troops, the game moves way faster. Yes, the plastic/metal ratio is HUGELY weighted towards plastics- which is great. I hate gluing metal. I normally find 1000 points fits into a 1 1/2 hour slot, but 1500 games are WAY more fun. You can field sooo much more.

I'm with this. The bigger, the better.

10-09-2010, 03:15
The plastic to metal ratio is huge! Almost my whole army is plastic except my hero's! Believe me i hate metal models too, i also find painting the Lord of the rings miniatures are actually fun! Unlike wh40k i get board after painting a few models. If you really dont want metal heroes you could buy the mines of Moria set or get them off ebay because the fellowship is plastic in that set.

12-09-2010, 14:50
I love the metal modles, they have more details, makes it more fun to paint

17-09-2010, 04:55
I'm thinking about starting a WOTR army as well.. One thing, how's the distribution of armies? Are there any "Space Marines" of LOTR, meaning an army that everyone and their grandmother plays?

I'm also worried about the amount of models I'd have to paint :) Looking at Dwarfs, Elves or Mordor really..

17-09-2010, 05:03
Evil armies seem to be the most common, from what I have seen.

Elves are usually considered one of the 'trickier' lists to run due to the fact that they pay a lot for high fight values and courage values, which don't quite translate into a lot of extra lethality vs many armies. Still, non-shooting versions (bow is nothing to base a strategy around, unless it is 20pt bow) have potential IMO, even at lower points levels.

17-09-2010, 05:05
Well, Mordor is pretty popular but I don't think it dominates. I also see lots of Fallen Realms armies, but that may just be my local group.

Elves are certainly a good choice if you want a low model count. From what I have heard they struggle at the lower point games but get progressively better as the size of the game increases.

Sadly Dwarves can be an expensive army monetarily. Several of their elite units are still in metal. On the plus side you can get the really cool looking King's Champion model(s?) when they come out next month. (how should we refer to that now? is it one model because it is one unit on one base or is it 3 models because it has 3 guys?)

17-09-2010, 17:27
I guess I shouldn't worry too much about whether or not an army is heavily played since basically no-one around here plays it anyway :)

I'll buy some books and have a peek, see what I come up with. The Nazgul models look aboslutely amazing, could easily sway me there, but so do some of the Elf models..

Decisions, decisions.. One of my favourite parts about this hobby; playing around with armies and army compositions on my head :)

17-09-2010, 19:50
Keep in mind if Nazgul are what appeal to you you don't have to go with Mordor. Angmar and Fallen Realms both have Nazgul as part of their base list and the ally rules mean that you can include them in any evil army.

You can't really mix Elves and Nazgul though.