In Defense of the Shire and the Eriador Project

Another week in the books and its once again time to check in on my hobby progress which was somewhat light this time.  All I have to show is three painted up Hobbit Militia who are done other than being based.  Surprisingly, I had a pretty good time painting these metal sculpts which don’t have the greatest faces but are otherwise pretty nice.  I really spent a lot of time on the backs of these minis as you can see in the pictures below, I am quite proud of that part of them.  as odd as that is.

Hobbit Militia Games Workshop Scouring of the Shire Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game

Hobbit Militia Games Workshop Scouring of the Shire Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game

One thing I realized as I painted these Hobbits and thought about the various projects I have going is that I’m nowhere close to playing any Scouring of the Shire scenarios so I might as well accept that and consider that more of a long-term project instead of anything I can achieve in the near future.  The scenarios in the book are tempting because they have such low model counts that you’ll trick yourself into thinking, if I just paint up a couple Hobbits and a few Ruffians, I’m good to play one surely.  But the reality is, for me anyway, is that there is a lot of terrain I need to build/add to my collection to play any of the scenarios and so I can chip away at the painting and terrain needed to play but there’s no reason to think I can play any of the scenarios soon or should even focus on it.  Instead, I will focus on the An Unexpected Journey stuff for the near future as I’m much closer to being able to play more games with it and achieve some goals along the way but more on that in a bit.

Gandalf Hobbit Finecast Resin Games Workshop Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game Hobbit Strategy Battle Game

I also got my first of two Made To Order purchases from GW today and I was so pleased with the sculpts on Gandalf and Bilbo, I thought I’d show them off.  The Goblin King is very much representative of “Failcast” and will require quite a bit of prep work but the detail of the sculpt is quite nice.  I envision Gandalf being used in some cool Shire pictures (or maybe even a display base!) but I don’t need him at all for gaming purposes.  I suppose the other two minis are similar in that regard but the collector bug bit me when it came to these three sculpts.

Bilbo Hobbit Finecast Resin Games Workshop Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game Hobbit Strategy Battle Game

So I’ve mentioned the Eriador/AUJ Project quite a bit without really describing what it is I’m working on and if you don’t have the An Unexpected Journey rulebook or There and Back Again book, you probably have no idea exactly what I am working towards.  So I figure I might as well lay it out here and maybe I’ll check off some of this as I work towards it to help us track it better.  I have briefly described the scenarios that make up the campaign and then I describe what I have finished and what I need to complete for each scenario below that.

The An Unexpected Journey campaign contains the following scenarios:

Roast Mutton – The three trolls face off against Thorin’s Company.

The Chase – Azog’s hunter orcs try to find and kill Thorin’s Company while Radagast and his sleigh serve as a distraction.

The Capture – Thorin’s Company is surprised and trapped by the goblins in the caves of the Misty Mountains.

Flight to Freedom – The dwarves seek to regain their weapons and fight their way out of the Goblin King’s grasp.

Breakout – Thorin and company attempt to escape the goblins’ domain once and for all.

Out of the Frying Pan – Azog’s orcs seek to slay the dwarves who try to flee into the trees and take refuge.

Into the Fire – Thorin is in trouble as the orcs press the dwarves further and only the eagles can rescue everyone.

And with that description, here is what I have and what I need for each scenario:

Roast Mutton Completed – Thorin’s Company and Trolls.  Almost all terrain needed.

Roast Mutton To be Completed – A little more terrain would fill out the board.  Sacks would be nice and stable and/or some ponies (though quite frankly I’m not sure how much more work I’m willing to put into this scenario as it isn’t that fun)

The Chase Completed – Thorin’s Company, 5 Hunter Orcs on Fell Warg, Yazneg on Fell Warg

The Chase To be Completed – Radagast on Sleigh, Fimbul (who is out of print currently), 7 more Hunter Orcs on Fell Warg, Yazneg on foot (I bought my copy on eBay and the foot version was not worth painting due to finecast), more hills and rocky terrain.

The Capture Completed – Thorin’s Company, goblins.

The Capture To be Completed – Rocky terrain and lots of it (which is annoying because it wouldn’t get used much outside of this scenario for the foreseeable future).

Flight to Freedom Completed – Thorin’s Company, Goblin King, Grinnah, Goblins, and Scribe

Flight to Freedom To be Completed – More Goblin Town Terrain (at least another box or probably two), extra goblins (because of the Goblin Scribe).  Some rocky terrain would be nice but is not a must have for the scenario to be playable.

Breakout Completed – Thorin’s Company, Goblin King, Grinnah, and Goblins

Breakout To be Completed – More Goblin Town Terrain (at least another box or probably two).  Some rocky terrain would be nice but is not a must have for the scenario to be playable.

Out of the Frying-Pan Completed – Thorin’s Company, 5 Hunter Orcs on Fell Warg

Out of the Frying Pan To be Completed – Fimbul (who is out of print currently), 7 more Hunter Orcs on Fell Wargs, 12 Fell Wargs, at least 8 more trees, more rocky and hilly terrain.

Into the Fire Completed – Thorin, Bilbo, 5 Hunter Orcs on Fell Warg

Into the Fire To be Completed – Azog, Fimbul (who is out of print currently), 1 more Hunter Orc on Fell Warg, 6 Fell Wargs, 4 Great Eagles, Gwaihir, at least 8 more trees, more rocky and hilly terrain.  This scenario technically calls for a board with cliffs but that is way beyond the scope I am willing to take on for this project.  I can’t see it being worth it for this one scenario either.

As you can see, I’m probably halfway or maybe even past halfway in this project.  Fimbul is the biggest obstacle to playing the rest of these scenarios and I’m certainly hoping GW re-release him soon.  I have plenty to work on in the meantime and my plan is to focus mostly on these projects until they’re done or I get bored.  We’ll see how I get on with it 🙂





8 thoughts on “In Defense of the Shire and the Eriador Project

  1. A great looking triad of Hobbitses! They look really good. How many more of them do you have to go? And are these three being submitted for Squaddie September (just leave me a link to this post for when I eventually do the wrap-up!)

    For the various scenarios, keep in mind that you can always play and replay them to your hearts’ content. No reason you can’t play Scouring of the Shire the first time using books and CDs as hills and hobbit holes and a water bottle as a silo and work up to eventually having that custom table that you’ve discussed.

    The rocky terrain likewise seems to have use in a fair few of the scenarios, and of course would work through a ton of the LotR scenarios if you plan to go through those later on as well.

    Have you thought of kitbashing your own Fimbul? It wouldn’t look exactly the same, but a decent proxy gets you playing now, and when/if you eventually get an official model down the line, the proxy then gets sidegraded to captain. “Blue Stuff” (Oyumaru) moulds and some greenstuff is great for making conversion parts, and both should be easily available from Amazon/Etsy/etc. I just made a replacement foot for a model with them overnight, and one of the feet on my recent Beast of Nurgle is made the same way.

    By writing out what you’re working on for your project, you’ve reminded me of my Fellowship lists as well. As did Marouda the other day. Apparently I just need Pippin, Merry and Aragorn done and then there’s a bunch of scenarios I’m model-good for.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks mate! I think the three hobbits is all I will get done this month and for most scenarios four or eight is how many you’d use but I don’t see why these guys couldn’t be in Squaddie September and I’m not going to have anything else to contribute I’m afraid so I’ll go add this post there.

      You are right about the scenarios but I prefer to have everything done before I play. I use that as motivation to get everything done and not leave a project behind. Bit too much of a perfectionist I’m afraid too!

      As far as the terrain goes, I need a bit of rocky cave terrain and then quite a bit more rocky plains terrain. I should have distinguished those two in this post as they are two very different things! The cave terrain would be useful in Moria so you’re right that it isn’t a total waste. It is also the most daunting to me as I have no idea how to carve up foam to make it look good. I’d love for someone to make some resin or plastic terrain like that and I could just paint it up.

      I’ve never been much of a converter or kitbasher but it is a skill I’d like to learn. The Fimbul sculpt is quite nice but I figure you’re right about rigging up another one. I’ll give it some thought though I do know GW has promised to re-release all Hobbit stuff that is out of print (and have already made good on many models) so I’m confidently waiting that I can get him without paying ridiculous prices on eBay. If I have to keep waiting though, kitbashing it is!

      Marouda and I agree then. Get those Fellowship models done! I want to see how you tackle them and I think you can get some games in then too which will also be a lot of fun 🙂


      1. Yeah, I just need to do my Sam and Bill stuff first before I get onto the others. And before I do Sam (who I recently got out of a tub of half-finished models) there are a few other things to get painted before him!
        For terrain, there’s always the foam option, though that takes resources and space to work.
        If you’re short on that, you could look into (discounted) aquarium scenery as I did with a few pieces here (and I somehow managed to lose a BOX more of the stuff shortly after buying the large desert-y rock formation. Don’t ask how that’s even possible…) Still, Aquarium stuff does cover the “someone else make it” aspect pretty well, and it’s cheaper than GW stuff, reasonably hardy, and is table-ready from the get go.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Take your time on them, mate and do them when you’re motivated/ready! I’m sure that will make the paint job look even nicer 🙂 Those are excellent suggestions and the aquarium scenery would be perfect for what I need. Thank you so much for recommending that stuff. I will keep that in mind as I get my Goblin Town board together! You are a wealth of knowledge, my friend 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Nice looking hobbits, those are more ferocious than what I typically think of when I think of hobbits. 😀

    When it’s all written down like that the list seems rather daunting. ☹️ I think there is a lot of overlap in the scenarios but it’s still a such a long term project. Good luck keeping to it and getting it all done to your high standards. Be sure to keep playing games so you don’t get burned out.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are quite heroic since they have to save their homeland 😀

      It is not a small list of things to do and to be honest, I didn’t realize how much hobby work it would take when I resolved to do it. I think the project is still doable so I’m sticking to it but I keep having to adjust my expectations as I realize everything takes a long time and almost always more than I imagined. I may look for more ways to save time with terrain instead of making it all from scratch as well. Thankfully, I don’t think I will get burnt out or if I do, I’ll switch to another project to maintain interest. I would say, you may run into some of these kinds of issues as you play more scenarios in Gondor at War. The terrain requirements and model count requires a lot of work there as well unfortunately. I’ll certainly be cheering you on though 🙂


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