View Full Version : Starting LOTR

19-06-2015, 06:46
As asked in another thread:

"With all that's going on in Fantasy atm I was thinking of starting the SBG, I know it's on its last legs also but there really is no other good high fantasy game out there at the moment. I've never played, what's a standard sized game?"

So I figured it would be a good time to answer this, and more, about the LOTR franchise!

Typical points match sizes


With 500-750 being very common!

I love 500pts as its a small, manageable amount of models - really quick to play - I would say this is a fantastic level for new players to look at.

Once comfortable the sky is the limit but 1,000 is typically the larger end of the scale

For eg, at 500pts I could grab 2-3 heroes and a small handful of warriors - my dwarfs are 3 heroes and 24 warriors

Thorin, Balin, and Dwalin (from starter set)
12 Warriors of Erebor (1 box set)
12 Grim Hammers (1 box set)

That's a 500pt army of just 27 models that I painted in 2 weeks!!!

Cost wise I spent $80 plus tax on the army, and the Escape from Goblin Town box at $150

The boxed set also got me the start of a decent collection of an evil army, some terrain, and a mini-rule book.

The additional rules & points for the mods I downloaded as a free PDF from the GW website!

But do take the following into consideration...

The Hobbit Hobby is seeing its final days, the End Times are here!!!

- Army books going out of print (just two left)
- Some models gone out of print
- No new model releases for the longest time

But don't worry about it!

1) Find some players! I saw a guy playing our GW manager before Xmas, asked if he wanted a game. Played him a week later, saw another guy painting LOTR minis - asked him for a game! We now have a solid group of 20 players with about 2-3 games a week going down, and we run tournaments and events (last one was a doubles event that had EIGHT teams!

2) It's a fun, fun game! I've been playing Warhammer from age 10 and I'm now 38! I love Fantasy, I really do! But LOTR is just a simple, effective, and above all fun system! So much so it's my exclusive game right now

3) Still an easy & cheap hobby - aim for 500pt warband and you will be pleasantly surprised at the affordability of the hobby!

4) Great models and story - it's LOTR for Pete's sake!!

5) Super relaxed and easy to collect - a legal army is made up of Warbands.

A warband contains..

A single Hero! That's all!

You can choose to add up to 12 Warriors to that warband

And you can take as many allies warbands as you wish.

6) Play a demo game - best way to get your feet wet

So just look at a faction that appeals, model/story wise and go to town!

Feel free to post if your looking for second opinions or guidance!

19-06-2015, 09:42
Great post by Jind Singh! One additional observation, while several of the army books are OOP, they are still fairly easy to find on one of the online auction sites. I picked them up that way in the last couple of months.

From a Galaxy far, far away...

Smooth Boy
20-06-2015, 01:21
All sounds like good advice. Some of the reasons I'm interested in starting is the games low cost/model count, and that in some ways LOTR is like a historical game. It doesn't matter who's models you buy or rules you use, Gondor will always be Gondor. I do have a few questions though since the game's in a bit of a state. Are the Hobbit books compatible with the previous LOTR books? So if I wanted to start a Mordor army I could just find a 2nd hand sourcebook and buy the big Hobbit rule book and I'm good to go?

20-06-2015, 04:43
Yes, the BIG Hobbit rulebook is just the most current update of the same rules from LOTR. The Hobbit rulebook and the Mordor source book would give you everything you need to play a Mordor themed force.

20-06-2015, 06:37
The games actually in a great state!

Before going on the lowdown GW released a brand new set of source books

- Mordor
- Fallen Realms (Isengaurd, Easterlings, Harad & Umbar)
- Moria & Angmar

- Kingdoms of men (Gondor, Fiefdoms, Rohan, Arnor, Numanor)
- The Free Peoples (High Elves, Wood Elves, Durins Folk, Shire, white council, fellowship, and some other small misc factions)

The rules are fully compatible with the new Hobbit ruleset!

The new Hobbit Factions work just fine and can be used against LOTR factions - you may find some match ups unequal as the LOTR factions had a LOT of different models released for them - But it's easy enough to ally in factions from all over the place

The Hobbit ruleset just took the old ruleset tightened it up, added
New missions and ways to build the army.
It introduced some new rules like special strikes for weapons and brutal power ATTACKS for monsters!

All in all a great system to play & collect -
I have ZERO regrets about diving in

Smooth Boy
20-06-2015, 21:23
Well I agree that the game itself is in better shape than the other two systems since its rules are clean and sharp, none of the bloat 40K is suffering from. Also no chance that the background will suffer catastrophic change. Unfortunately GW is leaving the game to rag and ruin, not keeping the sourcebooks in print is a real pain. I wanted to start Easterlings but I can't find the Fallen Realms book on eBay or the GW site so I'll probably have to go for Mordor.

What does everyone think the future holds? Will it get a reshuffle as the Middle Earth SBG or will it go the way of specialists?

20-06-2015, 21:53
The way of the Dinosaurs I think.

From what I've read about or had people speak about...

- Once GW does not renew their agreement for SBG they will no longer be able to sell any of the models with the range.
- There are approx. 2 years left in the current agreement
- Apart from some local anomalies LOTR is not a best seller, nothing like the giant that it used to be, and it's not practical I guess to support a range that boasts little to no sales

I think that we'll see a few token finecast model releases here and there to keep GW within their contract rights - but overall I'm sensing the hobby to be going away abruptly once that agreement comes to an end.

Thankfully Gondor will ALWAYS be Gondor, and just as Star Wars never gets old neither does LOTR! I intend to have enough warbands to keep me going for a LOOOOONG time

21-06-2015, 00:12
Unfortunately, I have to agree. The LOTR/Hobbit SBG is on its last legs and when the licence runs it GW will drop it like a hit potato. I think between the game and the books, the fan base is strong enough to keep it alive. The big problem will be the rulebook and army books. Between historical and other fantasy lines proxies for the minis are easy enough to find once GW drops their figures. Maybe we'll end up with fan rules like exist for Battlefleet Gothic or Mordheim (two other discontinued GW games with strong fan folloings)?

From a Galaxy far, far away...

24-06-2015, 12:44
We use hail caesar as rules, so i'm mostly just sad to see the beautiful minis go.

24-06-2015, 17:18
I agree about the minis. I'm working hard to finish my collection by the end of this year. ;)

From a Galaxy far, far away...

01-07-2015, 10:36
Well it's not stopping me!

Just traded a Predator, a Whirlwind, and a Drop Pod for...

Starter Set Mines of Moria

You might say that I got the crappy end of the bargain - but I was in the market for those models and almost bought them new - so this trade was excellent.

Only regret is the drop pod as it was MINT but the two tanks I was happy to let go.

I've already replaced the flaming sword with the whip (used a metal pin to secure that part into place), and tomorrow I'll greenstuff the gaps before I unleash paints upon the figure. It's a solid model - and really happy to have added it to my collection. Now if I can grab hold of the Shaman (who enrages animals), he's out of stock on the GW site, and I heard a local FGS still has one Marauder for sale! I'm also going to save up for some Gundabad Blackshields - and I've always fancied the Cave Drake kit - just a beauty...

Oh perhaps a Watcher too...

That's Moria done! Well maybe a few more models but then it's done, I promise!

Next army to collect:

Erebor Unleashed
Azog's Hunters (Plus Gundabad Orcs)

But $$$ is tight so it's all pipe dreams for now

01-07-2015, 13:51
I'd say good deal on the Mines if Moria set. If it's complete they seem to go for a fair amount. And the Balrog is a brilliant model. And if you can get a Warg Marauder for regular retail, snap it up! They seem to be extremely rare these days and are selling for $60-80 when they do show up.

I actually just picked up a box of 12 Grim Hammers and another of 12 Warriors of Erebor for a good price. The mist expensive thing acquisition will be the OOP Erebor Captain and the Dwarf characters (I think its $160 for the 13 armored dwarfs plus Bilbo?)

From a Galaxy far, far away...

01-07-2015, 14:12
I'm just starting up my collection again. I had a few models when the first movies came out, but was never serious about it. Now the impending doom has caused me to jump in. Other games and rule sets will come, but these models are too amazing to pass up.