The bear necessities
You don't have any posts on the blog for eight months and then two come along within a few days! My renewed enthusiasm for all things Tolkien has been engendered by watching the extended version of The Hobbit An Unexpected Journey and listening to the new Howard Shore soundtrack for The Desolation of Smaug.
I went into Games Workshop in Oxford Street yesterday to pick up the warriors of Erebor, as I liked the Battle of Dimrill Dale in An Unexpected Journey between the dwarves and the orcs.
I also picked up the supplement for The Desolation of Smaug which has five scenarios from the new film (including one for their £40 set of Thorin's company in barrels!) but also three built around the Battle of Dimrill Dale from the first film. It also takes each of the scenarios for the first book and the second and puts them together to build one continuous campaign. This, of course, is probably why we haven't seen any gaming articles in White Dwarf this year as there are scenarios in the book based on the film, plus some more generic ideas for battles in Mirkwood. One of the scenarios, however, requires 18 mirkwood spiders. These cost £22 for two so you will need to spend £198 on spiders for this one!
There are some pictures of a few figures which haven't been released yet, including Beorn in his bear form (top) and armoured orcs of Gundabad (above) which look like an imminent plastic box set. I'm not sure about the design of these but at least they look quick to paint as they are quite uruk hai-like. The Laketown guard look very silly, I'm afraid, but that isn't Games Workshop's fault! What there isn't is any hint of Smaug so perhaps he will come for the final film.
So for me it will be dwarves versus orcs for a bit (although those Mirkwood rangers do look awfully nice!)
There are some painting guides and pictures of other people's armies to pad it out a bit and, of course, profiles for the new figures.