November 7, 2014 by brennon
So the new trailer for the final installment of The Hobbit franchise has hit the internet (see above) and that means that Games Workshop must be gearing up soon to release some more miniatures for the Strategy Battle Game. While The Battle 0f the Five Armies (BOTFA) is going to be the biggest entry in the movie trilogy are Games Workshop going to deliver to the same degree?
A New Starting Point?
I thought that I’d start things off with what I hope we’ll get when BOTFA comes out around the middle of December. To start with I think it would be fairly awesome to see them do what they did with The Lord of the Rings where they condensed everything down into one big book rules wise. Simply retitled the book The Hobbit Strategy Battle Game instead of attaching a subtitle and you can attach the additional units from the past books into it alongside the new ones.
The leads me on to a potential new boxed set for the game. Above you can see the armoured Dwarves of Thorin’s Company who are just begging to be made into a nice new plastic set. The new boxed set could contain Thorin’s Company going up against an armoured version of Bolg and a selection of Dol Guldur Orcs in their heavy armour.
The scenarios, much like in Escape From Goblin Town, would follow smaller encounters in the midst of the bigger battle. If you’re looking for a limited edition miniature then they could always throw in Azog with his fancy new sword arm. I think a nice looking boxed set with some cool terrain, maybe the ruined gates of Erebor, would be a massive hit with wargamers looking for an entry point into the game.
This would pretty much be the perfect start to the BOTFA series of miniatures coming out of Games Workshop but whether or not they’ll dive in and push for a full boxed game I don’t know.
What I Think We’re Getting!
The chances are that instead of that we’re going to get ourselves a new Sourcebook for the game and then a collection of boxed plastic miniatures alongside a range of finecast (why they insist on using this for The Hobbit I don’t know) characters. Talking of boxed plastic kits here’s what I think we’re going to be looking at…
First up the new trailers have shown off some heavily armoured Mirkwood Elves that I think are going to be getting a facelift from the existing Palace Guard removing the veils and handing out a whole bunch of bows. The chances are we could also see them potentially become resin blister packs instead made to fit in with the Palace Guard as it stands. Thranduil is hopefully getting an upgrade to with an armoured version and of course mounted on his elk I would guess.
With them we also have Bard the Bowman. While Bard himself is clearly going to get himself an armoured version with a chainmail shirt and maybe even a mounted option and even one of him about to take down Smaug it would also be cool to see some of the Laketown Refugees that you see rallying behind him in the image here. There is meant to be a full on army of men at the battle so it would make sense to see this more ragtag band of warriors.
As well as the on foot options it looks like we’re also going to be seeing Dain Ironfoot (check him out down below vs a Giant/Troll in some concept art!) and his army in the movie too. With Dain comes a horde of ram mounted Dwarves with spears looking utterly awesome. If we don’t get these as a plastic kit then I’d be very disappointed.
The Dwarves might also get their hands on some of this siege weaponry coming in the form of a brutal ballista. When you see the Catapult Giants in the trailer too it does seem to make sense that if we get some of those as big plastic kits then you’d imagine the ballista would be the match for it!
It wouldn’t be the BOTFA without some Bats as well called from the shadows and it looks like Peter Jackson is putting his unique spin on them. Instead of just normal bats they appear to have a bit more of the harpy or demon about them with elongated legs. I guess the other comparison would be to gargoyles? Either way I reckon you’ll have to see these appear as one of the key components of the whole Five Armies element.
In terms of their challengers in the sky, the Eagles, there are already some cool miniatures out there you can pick up. Some whispers have mentioned that we’re going to get a proper new Gwahir miniature however setting him apart from the others. Here’s hoping for a bit of adornment to him like they had in War in the North.
We also got to see this Troll character focused in one who appears to be having a tussle with Bard later on in the trailer. Folks have assumed this is a new character that could potentially be in charge of the large giants that are bought to the battlefield. We could well see him get his own finecast release as well. Armoured trolls feature a lot in the posters and such for the movie too so there’s a chance maybe we’ll see him alongside some as his bodyguard. An all troll army for the tabletop? Yes please!
Let’s not forget that Beorn is also going to be showing up at the battle and whether or not we get to see a fully angered Beorn with an alternate sculpt this time around is going to be interesting. Surely you’ve got to have one of him full of arrows defending the fallen Thorin?
One of the big parts of the new films however is that they’re bringing in the events of Dol Guldur and the White Councils attack on Sauron the Necromancer to drive him from the fortress. Elrond above is pictured with a nice full suit of armour and it would be nice to see him get that more action packed look. I reckon we could even see some of the wraiths pictured in the bottom image as well as their enemy in a scenario or two.
Throughout the whole thing we’ve not mentioned Bilbo! Hopefully we’re going to get to see him in his Laketown wardrobe and all messed up from his adventures in Erebor against Smaug. It would be rather cool to see a miniature of him holding the Arkenstone and maybe another in a little vignette piece against the mighty Smaug himself.
Talking of the dragon himself we have heard whisperings that there is indeed a big miniature kit coming to your tabletop for this fiery beast. It’s surely got to be one of the biggest kits that Games Workshop have ever produced and if they don’t make him it will be an opportunity missed I dare say. I reckon you’ll see him as a big limited edition release for the game closer to Christmas time and all made in plastic with a lovely scenic base. Don’t expect it to be cheap either.
Doing a bit of a recap then for Good we have…
- Thranduil Mounted on Elk
- Armoured Thorin’s Company (if not an entirely new boxed game?)
- New White Council
- Dwarf Ram Cavalry
- Mirkwood Armoured Elves
- Bard in Armour and maybe Mounted
- Dwarven Ballista
- Dain Ironfoot!
- Laketown Refugee Army
- New Gwahir
…and for Evil
- Catapult Giants
- New Troll Character?
- Armoured Trolls
…and more besides! The wealth of content that Games Workshop could draw on for this finale on the tabletop is something I’d love them to mine out. Whether or not we see them push for a bigger investment in the releases to really drive on the game is another matter entirely. I just hope we’re not severely disappointed by a meagre release that only deals with a couple of the main characters and Smaug himself.
As an aside before I finished I’m also going to be breaking out The Battle of Five Armies boxed set that Games Workshop produced all those years ago and should be playing it at my local club soon! When the battle happens I will be sure to get some pictures and such up here for you to check out!
What do you think we’ll see?