An Unexpected Return

Posted in The Hobbit on December 3, 2012 by BrentS



“Sorry! I don’t want any adventures, thank you. Not Today. Good morning! But please come to tea -any time you like! Why not tomorrow? Good bye!” – Bilbo Baggins, The Hobbit

Well , its time to blow the dust off this blog.  While I haven’t been posting on my own blog, I’ve still been quite busy with various hobby projects.  I also check in on some of my favorite blogs (Dave Taylor Miniatures, Cursed Treasures, and Plastic Legions and their respective blog rolls) on a near daily basis.  On some of these websites, I’ve seen the Leiber awards being passed handed out.  Seeing these blogs getting recognition inspired me to try and reenergize my own blog.

 So what to blog about?  Well today, I’m going to weigh in on The Hobbit: The Unexpected Journey Strategy Battle Game (whew that’s quite a title).  Anyone who is reading this blog post is probably already very familiar with Games Workshop’s latest version of the Strategy Battle Game.  You are also probably well aware of the consternation over the price increase for the new Hobbit line and how they changed the “model” for the mini-rule book so that it doesn’t contain the all the profiles for the miniatures.  I understand everyone being up in arms over these changes and feeling slighted by Games Workshop.  However, this isn’t another blog where I’m going to rant on Games Workshop.

 Why am I interested in the Hobbit?  Well, I’m interested because I enjoy the game.  I’m interested because I’ve made a lot of friends over the years playing this game.  No one is holding a gun to my head making me buy these new rules or the new rules.  However, I will buy them… because I enjoy the game!  Has GW flipped the model on us?  Absolutely.  Are the miniatures and the rules overpriced?  Absolutely.  Do I want to play this new version of the game?  Absolutely.  Maybe I’m just being “fanboy” here but I’m excited by these new rules.  I’m excited by (some) of the new models.  I’m really excited that for the next three years I’ll have new movies based on the stories of Middle Earth to look forward too. 

 So how am I handling this Unexpected Journey…  I’m buying the Escape from GoblinTown set, the Hardback Rulebook, The Trolls, and the Goblin Town Scenery Kits.

 Escape of Goblin Town, Limited Edition:


While the price is high at $125 for the limited edition set, its really a good “value” (rationalizing I know) when comparing the contents to the other releases.  Here’s my break down for the value:

  •  Thorin’s Company (including Bilbo and Gandalf) – 15 plastic hero models.  Compare this to the recently released Mines of Moria Fellowship boxed set (crappy sculpts and all) and this sprue would likely sell for $45
  • 36 MistyMountain Goblines – At retail, these would sell for $70
  • Goblin King and Throne – I figure this would sell individually for at least $25 (compare to the Mordor Troll or Ent plastic kit and its not hard to imagine this being even higher).
  • Goblin Captians (Grinna, the mini dude, and the Scribe) – I assume that a plastic set of three captains would be at least $20 (again probably under estimated)
  • GoblinTown Scenery – Two of the three sprues from the Goblin Town Scenery kit are included in the Boxed Game.  The Scenery kit is 3 Sprues for $60 so I figure the terrain included in the game is worth $40
  • Limited Edition Radagast – I count him as $10 but only because the Escape from GoblinTown will also be sold without this mini for $10 less.
  • The Mini-Rule book – If the hardback rule book is $85 for all the rules, profiles, and “hobby stuff”, I figure the miniature rule book is probably worth about $25

 Adding all this up and the total value of the Boxed Set is probably somewhere north of $230.  I know that I’m just “justifying” things in my mind, but still it feels like a good deal.

 The Hardback rulebook


I’m a sucker for rule books and I like having a big beefy tome that I can read at my house.  I love looking at the pretty pictures and getting additional inspiration.  I’m not one that is grossly upset that the profiles for the new Hobbit models are only in the Big Rulebook.  Sure I would have preferred to have them in the mini-rule book too.  However, in reality, even with the One Ring version of the mini-rule book (the one that came with the Mines of Moria) not all of the profiles were included.  What do I want from a mini version of the rule book.  Well I want a small portable copy of the RULES that I can take with me when I go and play games.

 The Trolls

TheTrollsWell I admit, this one was an impulse.  Long time followers of my blog will remember my first foray into the Unexpected Party.  I had acquired a set of stone trolls from an online vendor and used them as part of my display base.  So to me, the Trolls are just an iconic part of story and I had to get them.  Yes they are overpriced but are cheaper than buying three Mordor trolls (for what’s that worth).

 Goblin Town Scenery


Now were talking… I haven’t talked a big terrain project in a long time.  This Goblin town terrain really got me thinking.  So I’m on a mission to get my hands on as much of this as I can so that I can build a fun GoblinTown game board for use at Adepticon and Bilbo’s Birthday Bash. 


Everything else in this release.  Well, I’m just waiting.  I like a lot of the other new models but I don’t feel compelled to buy them.  Maybe someday I’ll do a Hunter Orc army and go out and buy them.  However, for now, I’ll just admire them from afar. 

One last thought regarding the costs… although most griping is pointed at the Games Workshop Retail prices.  You don’t have to buy your models at the stores.  Three are plenty of online resellers that offer a discount.  Now that the Hobbit will be returned as a “Core Game”, I suspect the number of sites offering the Hobbit products will likely increase.

 There I am back and I blogged again.  Hopefully I won’t be a stranger in the future.  I’ve done a lot of hobbying in the year since my Blog was last updated.  I hope to bring some new content that from Middle Earth, 40K, and CMON and Guillotine Games’ Zombicide!

Tale of 4 Gamers – Epic Fail

Posted in Tale of Four Gamers on November 28, 2011 by BrentS

Well, November is basically over and I’ve thrown in the towel for my portion of the Tale of 4 Gamers.  I know there are a lot of reasons why I didn’t fully engage in this project (real life certainly had a way of intervening) but in reality, I did have the time that I could have completed my monthly commitments.  After working on new Dwarf models for 5-6 hours over the extended Thanksgiving Holiday, I realized that I’m just not enjoying painting these models.  I went out on a limb to try and learn to paint using a NMM approach.  My results thus far are a mixed bag.  Some of the models look okay but others look downright awful.  I was working on some Khazad Guard this weekend… these models are absolutely amazing sculpts and I just couldn’t make them look good.  It really put a damper on my hobby spirits and I just pushed the tray of models to the side.

Currently, I’ve got about 2/3 of the models for the army painted in various stages from almost finished to 1-3 base colors put down.  However, I honestly think the next step is to dunk them in Simple Green and start over.  I think the traditional Metallic techniques would do them much better.  I could probably paint over the NMM parts but it might be easier to start with a “clean slate”.  However, having already spent the time on these that I have, I don’t have the motivation to “repaint” them.

So where do I stand?  I’m looking to focus on a different army for GitD (and Adepticon after that).  I’m going to start with armies that are already partially painted I think.  I’ll pick and chose my projects over the next few weeks and try to get my mojo back.

As far as T04G goes, I think I’m going to just fade away… I don’t like to be a quitter but the whole point of the T04G was to be inspired to work towards an objective and right now, the project I have feels like a chore.


Bilbo’s Birthday Bash 2011

Posted in Bilbos Birthday Bash, LOTR:SBG News, Tournament on November 11, 2011 by BrentS

Bilbo’s Birthday Bash, the  3rd Anniversary celebration of Bilbo’s Eleventy-first birthday has come and gone.  What a great weekend of Lord of the Rings Gaming.  Despite some life-related set-backs earlier in the week, my friends, the LOTR playing community really stepped up and did a great job of making for a memorable event.

I need to thank a lot of people who helped me out with this event.

  • Kyle, Chris, Jeremy, and Chris for all the help with making terrain!
  • Kyle and Frank for helping me get the terrain and Chris, Chris, Josh, and Jeff for also helping setting up the event!
  • Chris from Miniature Painting Authority for being a title sponsor to the event!
  • Tim for being a great host at the Chicago Battle Bunker
  • Dan and Chris for their tremendous help in providing prize support.
  • Joe from Battlefront Miniatures for helping provide the awesome custom made Gale Force 9 turn counters!

and of course, I have to thank all of the great players from all over the country that came out to support the event.

Here’s a few images from the weekend but be sure to check out the full coverage of the tournament up on the event website

Tale of 4 Gamers – October Update

Posted in Armies, Dwarves, Tale of Four Gamers on October 16, 2011 by BrentS

Well, here we are in the middle of October and it seems as if I’ve already completely abandoned the Tale of 4 Gamers within the first 6 weeks!  I’m happy to report that is not entirely true.  I did miss out of my September painting commitment, sort of…  Here’s a shot of my monthly commitment and all of them would pass the three-color minimum at least.  However, I obviously hold myself to a higher standard than that.

With this army, I’m trying to learn to do Non-Metallic Metal painting.  Not entirely sure how I’m doing but at first glance I think the models look okay.  Learning this new technique has definitely slowed me down quite a bit.  Add on top of that a very busy non-hobby family schedule and I came up short this month.

So what did I get finished… I’d say that 5 of the dwarves are 90% done.  I just have some highlighting and shading to do on the non-metallic parts.  I really spent a lot of time working on the metallic armor and weapons but don’t have much more than a basecoat on the other parts of the models:

I also did some work on the other five models.  The armor is done on the Bow-armed dwarves.  The Dwarf Warrior with the chainmail needs some work still – I’m trying to figure out how to paint NMM chainmail.  I also started painting Floi’s armor and I just wasn’t happy with how it came out so I might have to start over on him.

So that wraps up September’s commitment… or lack of commitment.  I’ll give myself +3 points in the painting requirement as they are “modlels completed late”.
Now, its mid-October I guess I should lay out this months commitment.  I’m going to small in model count this month and hopefully still have a fighting chance to finish up.  I hurt myself already since I haven’t started and its October 14th.  I’ve been traveling a lot this month for work and I’ve got this little Lord of the Rings tournament I need to finish planning:  So we’ll see how much I can get accomplished!

Here’s the commitment:

  • King’s Champion
  • 1x Iron Guard

That’s 150 points and only 4 models!

Wish me luck.

Bilbo's Birthday Bash

A Lord of the Rings SBG Indy GT sponsored by the AWC LOTR Club

Chef of War

Miniature Gaming from Middle Earth and Beyond

Secret Weapon Miniatures

Miniature Gaming from Middle Earth and Beyond

Chicago Skirmish Wargames

Miniature Gaming from Middle Earth and Beyond


Miniature Gaming from Middle Earth and Beyond

Drunken Samurai Painting Blog

Miniature Gaming from Middle Earth and Beyond

Blog Of The Five Armies

Miniature Gaming from Middle Earth and Beyond

Da Green Skins

Miniature Gaming from Middle Earth and Beyond


Miniature Gaming from Middle Earth and Beyond

Plastic Legions

Miniature Gaming from Middle Earth and Beyond

Jerry's Big Picture

Miniature Gaming from Middle Earth and Beyond

From the Warp

Miniature Gaming from Middle Earth and Beyond

Cursed Treasures

Miniature Gaming from Middle Earth and Beyond

Brian Carlson Miniatures

Miniature Gaming from Middle Earth and Beyond


Miniature Gaming from Middle Earth and Beyond

Chicago Terrain Factory

Terrain and Modeling in 28mm scale