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"Going back into GW's LOTR and/or The Hobbit?" Topic

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Tgunner31 Dec 2012 11:18 a.m. PST

I'm an old gamer. I started gaming back in '79 and I've had a long, fun run with miniatures, board games, and the odd rpg (game, not bazooka). I hooked up with Battletech and got burned out on it after the Clans came about. After that it was the Army, girls, and college and I pretty much stopped gaming outside computer games. Then LOTR came out in 2001 and I was totally hooked.

For a while I grabbed everything that came out and I played it every week with a local gaming group and my nephew. Loads of fun! Granted the minis were expensive but not terribly so. $30 USD could easily get you a new, small, but playable, force. I collected a lot of them too! Dwarves, High Elves, Wood Elves, Moria Goblins, Rohan, Minas Tirith, Orcs in several flavors. Great stuff! But I slowly got burned out on it around 2006 to 2007 and my nephew grew up and naturally gravitated toward girls and social stuff. Then the usual GW price increases… so I dropped out. I kept my things, I even played every so often, and figured that I would get a second round with my two boys. So I put my minis and books away and waited.

Then Fall In arrived and I played my first LOTR game in ages. Man it was great. I love the game and it was so much fun playing it with my boy Jeremy. I'm ready to introduce him to the game and to the hobby and what better way to do that than with the new "The Hobbit" line?


Yeah, right… I hate to admit it but I'm pretty shocked at the prices. At first I thought that only The Hobbit miniatures were expensive but it's worse than I thought. I price checked an old favorite of mine: The Men of Minas Tirith plastic set. At first I was thrilled at the price of $24.95 USD but then I looked a little deeper. It seems that you get only ONE SPRUE! That's 12 men: 4 sword, 4 spear, 4 bow. It doesn't seem that long ago that you could get the boxed set of two sprues for $30 USD and get 24 troopers! And don't get me started on "Finecast"….

So after being throughly repulsed by the prices I've decided that I'm going to stay away from "The Hobbit". I'm happy with my "Blue Book" rules and supplements (although I might spring for the new rules), I have hundreds of models in my closet, and I can Ebay or "Bring and Buy" it for any others that I want. Heck, I can probably do scenarios for "The Hobbit" with my current dwarves, hobbits, and other miniatures. Granted, some of the new miniatures are really sweet! Maybe I can get them discounted or second hand, but I'm just going to say "no", for the most part, to GW and go my own way. Honestly they have priced me out of the market.

Is there anyone else out there thinking this out too? What have you decided? Are you going to bite the bullet and jump in or are you going to stay on the fence? Something else?


Xintao Supporting Member of TMP31 Dec 2012 11:51 a.m. PST

I've been collecting LOTR figures since 2001. Never played a game, never painted. Just kept buying and thinking, next week I'll start that project…11 years later.

With the release of the Hobbit, I've finally got LOTR gaming to the front of the que. Now that I've started actually painting and looking what I need to put an army down on the table, I'm missing alot. I have random box sets that I picked up here or there from flea markets, but no commanders, characters. So I will buy what I need and avoid Failcast at all costs.

I just got back from the local game store and dropped $150 USD on characters, and commanders. I also bought some stuff that was OOP Metal and is now Failcast, just cause if I want it later I'll have it in metal.

So I guess I'm biting the bullet to some extent and buying what I need. I'll try to bargin shop at first, cleaning out local stores of metal blisters, but if need be I'll hit up The War Store(Awesome guys BTW) or some other online venue. And lastly resorting to GW itself.

I tried to buy the new Hardback rules from 3 local stores, no one had it, so I got it from The War Store for cheaper.

"He who needs to sneak his purchase in the house", Xin

GaryRP Inactive Member31 Dec 2012 1:35 p.m. PST

Staying on the fence for now. LOTR is a nice little set of skirmish rules. Don't see the need to buy the Hobbit rule book.

I'm with you on the prices for The Hobbit figs. Most of the GW prices don't faze me too much but I have to admit those Hobbit prices are, well, pricey!

Stayin' on the fence… maybe even climbing back down.


Bob in Edmonton31 Dec 2012 2:43 p.m. PST

Nope. Sold the bunch I had and given the prices, happy I did.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP31 Dec 2012 2:46 p.m. PST

I have tons of figures so really, I may pick up the new characters or leaders (haven't looked at what's out yet) but I'll just use my Moria goblins – so I might get Radagast and the 13 dwarves but otherwise….

Don't forget there are lots of less expensive miniature ranges you can use in their place!

Jojojimmyjohn Inactive Member31 Dec 2012 3:52 p.m. PST

I am in pretty much the same position. I picked up a bunch of random box sets and character minis over the the last ten years including the Mines of Moria set – primarily to get the character figs and the mini rulebook which still sees regular use in our house.

Wasn't planning on buying anything new from the Hobbit lines due mostly to the crazy prices. That said, I am tempted by the new warg rider set as I like the new design better than the giant hyena things from LoTR. The new goblins have grown on me a little too after seeing some alternate paint jobs. I could see throwing them in front of my Moria legions (Retasked as Bolg's army) as fodder for a Battle of Five Armies scenario…

Crucible Orc Inactive Member31 Dec 2012 4:10 p.m. PST

I had a rather large collection of stuff when War of the ring came out, and for the most part, i filled in the gaps. i now have 4 good sized war of teh ring armies, with all hte characters i want for Rohan, Easterlings, Uruk-hai and Elves.

the main hobbit box looks like a good deal if you can get it 20% off, but everything else is rediculous. 100 dollars for 3 plastic trolls? good god!

Milites Inactive Member31 Dec 2012 6:09 p.m. PST

Exactly the same situation, showed my son the LOTR movies, reading him the Hobbit and thought, aha! Lets have a look at those GW figures, from the movie. Ridiculous prices and I'm wishing he had got the bug 3-4 years ago, but he'd have been 5, a tad young! Really gutted, the figures are excellent, he's watched some YouTube videos about how good they look with a modicum of painting and is himself a highly talented artist.

GW must have serious cashflow problems or else think they have the One Master Ring! Cannot see how it works out, my students, who used to religiously, buy all GW figures are shopping elsewhere. I'm tempted by 1/72 but am struggling for good Gondorians, Riders of Rohan and Trolls and financially cannot justify the cost, of the GM figures, to my wife, now we are a one income family again. My boy is struggling in school, with maths, and I thought, apart from the shared fun gaming would bring, might help. I bought a copy of SoBH last year, for an Arthurian themed game (he loved the BBC Merlin) but the little man was not that keen, Middle Earth though, has lit a fire in his soul I have not seen for a longtime and he recently asked me about the SoBH rules.

Final question, who is buying? The GW shop seems quieter than before, and the local stockist has had very little interest since the price increases.

CPBelt Inactive Member31 Dec 2012 8:18 p.m. PST

Milites, Black Tree Design is having a 50% off sale if you register. Plenty of cheap good minis you could use in the historical lines, plus some fantasy stuff.

I'm out of LotR. I'm keeping my unpainted metals, but am thinking of selling off my plastic sprues from the Fellowship and Return of the King starters, especially if they would go to help a dad and son. I'd help you Milites, but I'm in the US and shipping is a bear to the UK.

thehawk31 Dec 2012 9:34 p.m. PST

I don't think there is any need to stick with the GW minis as there are plenty of alternatives available.
After all the films are not necessarily how JRRT imagined things, visually they are the work of PJ and the films' graphic designers. I always looked for figures that matched depictions in the books, so did not buy the Uruk-Hai, Easterlings, wargs, 3rd Age Gondorians, and only the metal elves etc. The best figures were the Army Of The Dead, and a non-dead version of these would have been brilliant.
And then when the prices went up, stopped buying GW stuff altogether.

Gryffen8831 Dec 2012 11:25 p.m. PST

I had gone into the store to buy a game and a friend showed me the boxed Hobbit set for $125 USD for 52 models and I thought "not terrible for GW" and then asked the store owned how much the rule book was by itself and actually called him a LIAR when he said it was $85 USD!! FOR RULES?? I can't see that for $75 USD for Warhammer 40k and this is $10 USD bucks more?? I didn't think it was selling that well when the Blue Book was $35 USD but $85 USD?
The local GW store said it was because the picture studio required it?!?!!? WHATEVER?? They don't set the price.
Not on the fence… not even in te GW yard!!

John Leahy01 Jan 2013 12:11 a.m. PST

There are Dwarves, Undead, Elves, Orcs, Goblins and Uruks in 1/72 scale plastics. Men could be Normans, Goths, Vikings, Saxons, etc. You could have vast LOTR armies in plastic 1/72 pretty cheaply.

I also bought vast amounts of LOTR stuff from the first three movies. No chance of getting the new stuff at those prices.



Tgunner01 Jan 2013 6:53 a.m. PST

Not much of a chance. You can check ebay but their prices are up over the old levels. The days of cheap LOTR are gone for now and with the high prices for "The Hobbit" I have to doubt a future with cheap miniatures for them too. Maybe you'll get the kiddy sell off in five or so years but that'll be too late for my boys who are 9 and 11. So I'm going with what I have now as I did buy a large collection back in the day. I don't have War of the Ring sized armies, I never caught that bug, but I did buy several Legions of Middle Earth scale warbands. Certainly enough for flavor and most of them are still unpainted so my boys can put brush to metal/plastic and build their own forces after shopping in "dad's closet".

I'm also going to allow myself to use proxies. I still have a smallish collection of Arthurian troops (I sold most them off ages ago) that I'll add in for generic men and I have a small but decent collection of Old Glory and Foundry Picts which I'll use to proxy Dunlanders. I always pictured the men of Dunland as being Welsh/Pictish in origin since their backstory mirrors that of the Britons. It's certainly better than paying $15 USD for just one blister of three poorish troops!



The rulebook is a killer at $85. USD But you can get it for cheaper if you troll ebay and discount sellers. I'm considering one that prices in around $70 USD with shipping. Not a great price but it beats retail! That might be all I get with "The Hobbit", although I'm sorely tempted by the new wave of Orcs:


I do like these Wargs better than the ones from LOTR. They look more like wolves but they don't appear to be as well armed as the old Warg Riders who had BOTH bows and throwing spears as options. And at $40 USD for a set of 4 they don't come cheap. But you can find them cheaper on Ebay.

I like the Hunters on foot too:


$35 USD for 12 orcs is a bit steep but that comes to about $3 USD per casting which isn't that out of line with 28mm figures. These Gripping Beast miniatures run about $2.40 USD a casting:


But honestly it was prices like these that caused me to move from 28mm modern and sci-fi to 15mm. But for fantasy skirmish where I don't need huge collections just to field basic armies $2 USD-3 a casting isn't too bad. But I probably will stay away from Finecast….


Get this, "This kit contains 2 components and one 25mm round base with which to make Narzug. " And he'll set you back $20 USD… $20 USD for a SINGLE FIGURE. That's nuts. Granted he is a captain and a captain in LOTR is a whole unit in any other game! But still! I can take a Hunter orc, modify him to taste, and give him a special paint job and I have a suitable captain with little extra expense.

To misquote Boromir, "It's folly!"

So I may buy a piece here and there especially discounted stuff but I'm staying away from GW retail, and Finecast, myself.

Milites Inactive Member01 Jan 2013 7:52 a.m. PST

Ok, 1/72nd it is then. The range of plastic figures though is quite limited, (I use the Plastic Soldier Review website). At least I won't have to field any 'tin man' Gondor guards.

So I can buy nearly a hundred plastic figures for the price of one! Really cannot see GW making a profit, in the UK families are being hardest hit and, from my experience it was the parents who were the ones paying for their kids GW habit. Our local toyshop had a below average Christmas, their model department regularly had GW merchandise being sold, not now though, the Hobbit range has been barely touched.

CP touched by your concern, and having ordered the CD of TOAWIII, from the States, am aware of the ridiculous shipping charges.

Spiffy Iguana Inactive Member01 Jan 2013 12:08 p.m. PST

When the LOTR games first started appearing I was given to understand, by GW staff, that part of the business plan was sell people on LOTR and then move them over to WHFB or 40K once they got into wargaming. Like many people I assumed they would follow the same pattern with The Hobbit. However, GW seems to have opted for a boutique approach catering to only die-hard GW/Tolkien fans. Its been rumored that the policy of selling starter boxes cheap (remember when Battle for Skull Pass was $45.00 USD?) didn't generate the kind of repeat sales GW had hoped for. So, they've moved on to their new business model of expensive models to the converted. Again, I don't know if its true, but its what I've heard from several sources.

Now, that said, GW isn't the only company to charge $20 USD for a single figure, lots of smaller companies do it all the time. Of course, given the size of GW's operation they ought to be able to charge drastically less then other operators. Ultimately, yes the Hobbit stuff is simply more than I'm willing to pay.

I understand why devotees of WHFB/40K are willing to pay the prices they do (and honestly some of GW's rank & file plastic sets are actually a decent value for the money). But I have no idea who is going to jump into the Hobbit with both feet. Based on my own observations and what I've read on the internet (even on GW fansites) there doesn't seem to be a lot of pent up demand for this product among gamers, and I don't see the uninitiated paying $85 USD for a book.

Milites Inactive Member01 Jan 2013 1:28 p.m. PST

The recession in the UK has hit the GW market badly, as the, predominantly middle class parents, who supported their childrens hobby have less and less disposable income. I'm amazed that GW, as a UK company, did not realise the threat this particular, white collar focused, recession posed, or they have taken on a poisoned chalice, forced on them by greedy media moguls!

skinkmasterreturns01 Jan 2013 2:47 p.m. PST

I'm not one to tell people what to spend their own money on,but I will say this-If I was paying that kind of money for a figure,I would make sure I painted it really,really well.

Milites Inactive Member01 Jan 2013 3:32 p.m. PST

So not using the new GW range of paints then! I loved the old range (perfect Dark Age colours) but Mr Vallejo gets my money now.

Interesting take from non-wargamers, they think the company is inherently strong. Though interestingly the LOTR range caused losses, as they did not focus on their core business, Warhammer.


Having read this, I can see their strategy more clearly and will now expect further price increases, as each movie is released.

Spiffy Iguana Inactive Member01 Jan 2013 6:46 p.m. PST

Honestly, I agree that GW looks like a strong company going forward. A lot of people grumble about it, but seemingly there is no upper limit to the number of Space Marines people want to buy, or the price they are willing to pay for said Space Marines. So long as that holds true GW has a cash cow they can milk forever.

On the other hand, I don't see how The Hobbit fits in with their current business plan. But, it was theorized that The Hobbit release (small and expensive compared with LOTR) was done the way it was precisely because The Hobbit doesn't fit with the current strategy of appealing to current players.

Brian Smaller01 Jan 2013 7:06 p.m. PST

GW price the character figures like it was a collectible card game with rare cards etc. Except that the models are not rare. They crank them out as required. I have brought one box set of GW items retail in the last ten years. Everything else is from internet auctions and I have huge Bretonnian and Orc forces. Wait a few months and there will be a stack of Hobbit minis going cheap on ebay or local equivalents.

Glad to see your boy enjoyed himself. A great experience for you both.

Lordgoober Inactive Member01 Jan 2013 7:20 p.m. PST

The major kicker with the Hobbit release that has put me on a permanent GW minis purchasing boycott (I will buy an occasional paint pot if I run out of a pot while painting at my local Bunker and I will trade for new minis) was that the ONLY way to get the points values for all the models in the Hobbit release is to buy that $85 USD rulebook. The starter box does NOT have the point values in the mini rulebook.

firstvarty197901 Jan 2013 9:33 p.m. PST

Forecasting the price increases, I went a little nuts on eBay this past Fall buying up figures for five LOTR armies: Numenorian, Elven, Rohan, Haradrim, and Mordor Orcs. I probably spent over $500 USD, but nearly all of my buys were far under retail, so I now have huge forces for each army, with a total of probably 600+ models. I always tried to get foot plastics for under a dollar each, and mounted models for around $3 USD each, but sometimes I got much lower, and sometimes a bit more than that.

I may buy a few new models from GW if I especially like them, or if I can find them from a reseller for less, but I won't be buy much of The Hobbit line I predict. I'm sticking with the Blue SBG book for now. I think using the points values from it, me and my friends could build and refight most of the actions from the Hobbit book or movies.

Xintao Supporting Member of TMP01 Jan 2013 11:23 p.m. PST

Here's what I don't get about the LOTR line and the SBG game. I never see anyone playing it, but by using ebay as an indicator, there is demand for these figures.

Back in mid 2000's you could pick up figures for a song on ebay. I'd assumed that was the sell off from the movie bump. The last few years, prices have been going up. It's harder to find those killer deals you could 4 or 5 years ago.

Who is buying these figures? And if it's any of you lot, cut it out, your taking food out of my kids mouths, as I feed my addiction.

Cheers, Xin

Milites Inactive Member02 Jan 2013 5:43 a.m. PST

I think there are a lot of figures languishing in attics, as their previous owners have given up the game and the parents do not realise they could recoup some of their investment on ebay.

Fascinating to find out that the LOTR range caused some of GW's worst losses, they must have invested heavily in the range. It also shows how a wargamers perspective is somewhat skewed by his hobby. Companies exist to make profits, GW are doing it, therefore they will continue their strategy.

Gary Flack Inactive Member02 Jan 2013 5:44 a.m. PST

Well I did look at the box set "ooh shiney"
But baulked at the Sterling £75.00 GBP price tag
But in retrospect – 60 odd figures, rule book, dice … self contained game …
Well … perhaps it's not THAT expensive?? [same as a tank of fuel for me]
But at present I think I'll pass on it and spend my money on some WWII stuff to go with the Battlegroup Kursk rules I got for xmas
So in answer to the post title – I don't think I'll be going back into it anytime soon.
[of course, once I see the movie no doubt I'll be all enthused and rush out an buy the set … :-)]

Personal logo Jlundberg Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2013 4:52 p.m. PST

I bought the box set and a box of goblins. You can find people on ebay breaking the box set up and it is a much better deal than the independent box sets. I like the wargs and will likely look to get them

Tumbleweed Supporting Member of TMP02 Jan 2013 6:45 p.m. PST
Hobilar02 Jan 2013 11:57 p.m. PST

I'll probably buy a few things like Wargs and Spiders when they come out, but GW prices have pushed me away too.

I'll look for similar things I can buy in the historical ranges out there and just buy specialty troops I like. Captains and personalities will just have to be modified troops unless I can find cheap ebay deals.

So far I have heard of no significant rules changes that require me to buy the new rulebook.

darclegion Inactive Member03 Jan 2013 10:25 a.m. PST

I have all of the GW rule books, but I use the old Harlequin LOTR figures that Scotia-Grendel now own and produce. I have about 1500 plus or minus all painted. Mostly Rohan, Gondor and Orcs.

(Phil Dutre) Inactive Member06 Jan 2013 4:11 a.m. PST

Is anyone still using the Mithril LOTR figures?

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