I for one am a huge Lord of the Rings fan. Tolkien is a literary god and Peter Jackson has made movie classics with Tolkien's work. I first fell in love with the LotR world when I read The Hobbit back in third grade. I loved the Rankin Bass animated films from the 70's, and still have copies of them today that I plan to share with my son (Down Down to Goblin Town, Down Down to Goblin Town! You go my lad! Ho-Ho my lad!)When the movies came out years ago I was STOKED. They were amazing. Simply amazing. Sure there are plenty of differences from the book, but they do a good job of telling the tale and capturing the epic struggle between good and evil. The problem is though that the epic struggle depicted in the books and movies is very much a narrow and personal one, influenced greatly by a select few individuals at every decisive point. While making for a great movie, book or RPG, this translates poorly into a table top wargame.
Yes, it is this argument again, but bear with me for a while if you would.
So Games Workshop has 3 core systems. First and foremost is their flagship. Their BRAND. Warhammer 40k. It has inspired an entire genre of Sci-fi, Grim Dark, with its own line of novels at the core. In addition there are all sorts of video games and specialists games (which we will revist here shortly). All of this spawns from vast ammounts of proprietary intellectual property and a highly unique view of Science Fiction and the future as a whole.
Next comes Warhammer Fantasy Battles. Considered the slightly more advanced game, it has a smaller player base but shares much of the same unique IP as its futuristic cousin, especially CHAOS. And it too has specialist games, some of them with very fanatical fan bases (Blood Bowl!)
|You have to play to understand that this truly is the greatest GW game ever made|
Furthermore, both translate really really well into a table top wargame system. Niether of them are particularly character driven. They are faction driven. What is more important, the tale of Commissar Cain or the feel you get in his novels about the Imperial Guard. In the long run, the Cain doesn't really matter. He is an interesting character, but the Imperium marches on with or without him. This translates well into the table top, where characters can die and the bad guys can win. GW makes their bad guys cool and detailed and strangely empathetic (IE Malus Darkblade). So it is okay when they win a game. And the good guys are slowing loosing anyway, so it is to be expected even. Read any BL book and a main character WILL DIE. It is a given fact and another factor to the faction versus character driven story.
|This makes me want to watch a movie and read a book, not play a game|
But the ship that has sailed the furthest is IP. The books are already all written, the movies all filmed. There is viturally nothing except a game system that GW can add to it, and while the game system is important, it is not what attracted you to the hobby, otherwise we would all just do this game on computers or with proxies. But GW proprietary property does not suffer this limitation. It has so many opportunities for expansion. All of which are being squandered on support of the Hobbit and LotR franchise in my opinion.
This is where specialist games can come back in for GW. If they were treated as a whole like a 3rd Core system instead of a 3rd wheel I think they could be a boon to the GW franchise. Why just collect Blood Angels when you can have the entire chapter for Epic and the Fleet for BFG. Only 1 hour left at your club, why nto wrap up the night with a game of Necromunda or Bloodbowl. A slow and steady release and update schedule for these games could keep people interested, garner attention from new comers and please and hold the interest of veterans. And they fit in with the image and methodology of GW. They can grow and change and their image is GW's to determine.
|Your IP is what makes you Genuine GW, not the IP of Tolkien and New Line Cinema|
|Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game was made by the dead and the dead keep it!|