Cover of The Battle of the Five Armies supplement issued with White Dwarf #46
White Dwarf became a weekly printed magazine about a year ago, but it is now mainly aimed at Games Workshop's two main universes: Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000, with a smattering of The Hobbit thrown into the mix occasionally. As I do not play in either of GW's universes, I am limited to how often I buy the magazine, but as it contained a supplement of a game I would like to get back to playing, I bought it.
It is in a stapled magazine format rather than a stiff-card bound cover so, unfortunately, it will not look good on the shelf with the rest of my LotR and The Hobbit supplements. Hopefully, if GW release another issue (see later), the two may be combined into a hard card cover at some later date and I will purchase that one for my shelf.
Anyway, onto the contents - please note if you have not seen the film yet, this may contain some spoilers.
There are two new scenarios featured plus a small section on how to link them together along with the scenarios from the preceding supplements already published. These combined now tell a narrative that spans all three films...
- The first scenario is called Fire and Water. It pits Bard, 4 dwarfs, Tauriel, the Master of Laketown, Alfrid and a captain along with 3 dozen Lake Town guardsmen against Smaug. This is meant to represent the scene in which Smaug meets his nemesis
- The second new scenario is Assault on Ravenhill. This is a battle that pits Bilbo, 4 dwarfs including Thorin, Radagast on an eagle, 2 great eagles and Beorn against Azog, Bolg, 3 Gundabad orc captains and 3 dozen Gundabad orcs. This is meant to represent the scene where the dwarfs attack the orc leaders upon Ravenhill to end the battle raging below them
After the scenarios section is a part with the profiles for all the new The Hobbit miniatures that have just been released...
- The Good Heroes section contains the stats for Bard, Lake Town captains, the Company of Dwarfs plus Bilbo, Saruman, Radagast, Galadriel, Elrond, Thranduil, Legolas, Tauriel and Mirkwood Elf captains
- The Good Warriors section contains the stats for Mirkwood Elf cavalry, Mirkwood Elves and Laketown Militia
- The Evil Heroes section contains the stats for Azog, Bolg and Smaug
The final section of the supplement contains details on how to create themed armies depending upon where they are from or who you want to build a force around...
- There are three new armies: Desolation of the North (Smaug), Erebor Reclaimed (The Company), and Survivors of Laketown (Bard, Laketown Captains and Laketown Miltia)
- There are also amendments to some previous army lists detailed in previous supplements: Thranduil's Hall, The Army of Laketown, Azog's Hunters, Radagast's Alliance and The White Council
The final page has summary details of all of the new stats.
Overall, I am happy with the supplement, considering it cost me only the price of an issue of White Dwarf. However, I do have a few nits to pick...
- I was hoping it would detail some of the cool evil troops in the film like the new troll variants, the ogre-type (Olog-Hai?), and the various other new orcs, as well as the Iron Hills Dwarfs, but I imagine GW are awaiting the release of some more minis before releasing another new supplement in White Dwarf that contains those missing stats
- I had hoped a combined (this one plus my hoped-for evil one) supplement would have been released in hard card cover so that it matched in with the rest of the supplements I already own
- As I am not a regular White Dwarf reader I have no way of knowing when these types of things come out. Even though I do subscribe to their newsletter, I still have to rely on rumours on the internet as The Hobbit material is not very well advertised