Wednesday, 18 February 2009

War of the Ring

OK, I'm sure everyone knows Games Workshop, and I'm pretty sure you'll all agree their prices leave a bit to be desired. However, in my opinion the best value range the do is the Lord of the Rings range. For example, in 40K a box of Assault Marines costs £15 for 5 figures. In Lord of the Rings the same price will get you 24 warriors which for Games Workshop isn't that bad.

War of The Ring is the game of massed battles in Middle-earth; it's the way to recreate the epic encounters described in The Lord of The Rings. In War of The Ring you collect an army of warriors and unleash them on the field of battle in a size and scale never before attainable with Games Workshop's The Lord of The Rings miniatures.

In this article I'll be taking a look at how to start preparing for the oncoming War of The Ring and examine the best ways to begin or expand your The Lord of The Rings miniatures collection.

You might have already formed a couple of questions, so I'll take a stab at the two most commonly asked ones before I push on:

So, does this replace The Lord of The Rings Strategy Battle Game?
Absolutely not! The Strategy Battle Game is the perfect format for recreating many of the thrilling scenes that take place throughout The Lord of The Rings - the blistering fight in Balin's Tomb, the daring escape through Dwarrowdelf, the Ambush at Amon Hen and more besides. Much as we love that system, however, (and I really do, with a massive collection of miniatures that grows ever larger) we realised we wanted something that let us fight the greatest battles in The Lord of The Rings - so we invented some rules to play big battles, and the War of The Ring was born.

So, if you're a fan of the Strategy Battle Game, it's all good news! War of The Ring has given us even more enthusiasm for our range of The Lord of The Rings miniatures and of course everything we release for one system can be used for the other (so keep your eyes peeled over the coming months for even more great releases and rules). Meanwhile, if you're interested in fighting massed battles in Middle-earth, you might find that War of The Ring is just what you've been looking for.

The first thing to learn about War of The Ring is how models interact with each other. Unlike the skirmish game, miniatures are grouped onto bases called a company (eight infantry models or two cavalry models form a single company). These fight as formations, which are several companies all chosen and grouped together. The warriors in a formation are generally all armed in the same way. Monsters are considered big enough (and dangerous enough) that they aren't grouped into formations.

In this picture we've arranged two formations and a monster. You'll notice that the infantry companies each have eight models (and are all armed in the same fashion) and that the cavalry companies have two models. The monster is on his own.

Generally speaking formations can be anywhere in size from one company to six companies in size, although a few particularly elite, or weak, formations can be smaller or larger in size.

If you're looking to collect a War of The Ring force, it's worth thinking in these numbers - the plastic box sets for The Lord of The Rings are generally packaged in a manner which lends itself to these numbers too, so it's fairly easy to get started.

So, what are those bases all about?
Well, companies in War of The Ring are mounted on movement trays. This makes them easier to move about the table, and also helps us to keep track of the space that they take up on the battlefield. We're releasing moulded plastic movement trays (on the 28th of February), which are ideal for mounting your miniatures on, but there's nothing to stop you making your own out of cardboard, plasticard or some other suitable material - I've used plasticard to make my own bases.

To make the game fair, and to keep things consistent, there are minimum sizes for these movement trays:

Infantry: Infantry companies are mounted on bases at least 110mm wide by 60mm deep.
Cavalry: Cavalry companies are mounted on bases at least 90mm wide by 50mm deep.

If you're making your own bases, it's important that they adhere to these minimum sizes, and they probably shouldn't exceed those measurements by too much either - the game is fairest for everyone if the movement trays are all equally sized, but a few millimetres at either side isn't going to be a problem.

So how do Captains, named Heroes and Banner Bearers fit in?
The Lord of The Rings is a story about heroic acts, sacrifice and glory - and the heroes of the story feature heavily in War of The Ring. Generally speaking Heroes are added to a company within a formation at the start of a game (and Epic Heroes can move from one formation to another during play). While they are part of a company, it benefits from some of the Hero's statistics, and the whole formation will gain access to certain special rules.

The same is true of unnamed Heroes such as Captains - in fact, as you play War of The Ring, you'll soon come to realise that Heroes, in all their shapes and sizes, are essential if you're looking to get the best from your formations.

Banner Bearers (and other models such as Drummers, Hornblowers and so forth) each confer additional benefits to the formation, and you'll probably want to add some into your collection once you start playing.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hit CountersRank Noodle