Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Thoughts on GW and the Hobbit

Hi everyone, I thought I'd weigh in the topic of GW's new line of the Hobbit products. Since they were announced I think there have been a few areas of consensus within the gaming community:

- The products are all very expensive.
- The sculpts seem to be polarizing.
- The need to buy the big rulebook to get certain stat lines and points values has people up in arms.

For my part, I was going to take a pass on these. I actually thought the starter box (Escape from Goblin Town) looked pretty cool...but not 150 dollars cool (Canadian). In fact there was even a local store doing a preorder deal at a very good price and I still passed on it.

Then, on release day, I wandered into a different local game store and they had the models out and assembled. BAM - my plastic addiction overcame me and I plunked down for the starter and the Goblin Town box.

I've spent some time reading the basic rules that come in the set and it seems like a pretty fun little rule set! That said, I have no illusions that there will be anyone for me to play it with. In fact having read the small rules I actually want the larger rulebook but again I have to be honest with myself about not having opponents nor time to play really.

The sculpt quality is great in my opinion. I really like the Goblin King, the dwarves and Gandalf are fantastic, and the smaller goblins are true to the movie designs. I think part of the problem is the goblins don't really hold up well with big, zoomed in photos. But with a decent paintjob I think they look great on the tabletop. I've been painting some up (pretty rapidly, using the airbrush).

I also really like the scenery. It's hard to explain's just flat planking and platforms...but I still dig it. I'm sure you can make this with wooden sticks or stir sticks but (a) I wouldnt have the time or inclination and (b) I have doubts it would look as good as this. I'd love to build a goblin town layout like in the rules and White Dwarf but that's a lot of sets and what appears to be foam rock etc :)

So overall I think the starter box is a good set, although admittedly it pushes the envelope as far as it will go on the price. 

The trolls have grown on me too - I didn't buy them yet, but I think they are pretty nice and again true to the designs in PJ's film.

I'm less interested in the orcs, but I can see that those are pretty nice plastic sculpts as well. I'm not very interested in the finecast models (I'm really trying to avoid FC as a general rule, it's really brittle stuff) and obviously the white council set is a bit obscene.

I guess in summary - if you are interested in the Hobbit and/or painting the models and getting some neat scenery that works for a variety of games, the starter seems like a good buy. The rest are up to personal taste and financial situations :)


Here's a totally impromptu WIP shot from my painting station.


  1. Your Goblin King is looking sexy buddy. I'll be really interested to see what you do with them paint wise. I'm of two minds with regards the Hobbit game. I've admitted I was a bit of a fan of the original LotR game, which is basically what this is with a few new rules thrown in. As a narrative game I always felt it was great. But for me the price is prohibitive and I just don't see the game ever developing enough of a fan-base to make all that expense worthwhile. Shame.

  2. Hello, great stuff by the way! Saw you on coolmini and followed from there:) In regards to the Hobbit miniatures, I was appalled when I saw the prices especially compared to past lotr miniature prices and quality. I was of the mind that I wasn't going to touch these until I saw a few at 25% online and gave in. I bought the 3 trolls and the goblin leader. The trolls are nice but I feel they are lacking skin texture and detail. I also use an airbrush to paint, so for these guys I'm trying to create texture with splatter and a sponge. As for the goblin captain, I don't think I will ever buy Fincast again! he had airbubbles in several spots and was so brittle he broke twice while removing flash. Luckily super glue puts a deathgrip on finecast. Its just sad that GW is asking a small fortune for these.