i was impressed by how the starter experience was laid out. Quite liked that you can turn the box into a board of just the right size for the scenarios – i see wot they did thar. It was nice that the scenarios followed the film version of events, and that they explained how the rules mechanics translated into real fighting. For instance, in melee, where the loser of a fight has to back away two centimetres, the booklet translates this as “representing the losing model backing off, desperately trying to escape the enemy”. Obviously it has to be aimed at the youngest end of the hobby market, so it does come off as a little simplistic and twee, but it’s not terrible. The way that the battles got bigger was good for teaching you the rules and making sure you’d grasped them firmly, before moving on to more rules. One or two of the scenarios seemed a little unbalanced – but then again, it’s difficult to balance the fact that some of the Fellowship are very impressive, stats-wise, vs. the Goblins, that have a pretty poor statline. Vice-versa, it’s difficult to balance nine dudes vs. millions of gobbos.
i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, i’m very impressed by the sculpting on these little dudes. i feel that makers of action figures could learn a lot from whoever did the sculpting of the Lord of the Rings models, ’cause i can actually tell the difference between Aragorn and Boromir, despite the fact that they’re both beardy guys. This impresses me.
It’s been a bit of a learning curve with the painting, though, as the techniques i use for this are completely different to the techniques i use on canvas. For a start, the amount of paint you use is different – obviously due to the size of the canvas, ’cause i like mine about three foot square, and here’s twenty-five millimetres of plastic, but even taking that into account, i have to use a hell of a lot less on the brush than i think. As little as possible is key – sometimes you put as little as possible on and then you still take some of it off to get the effect you want.