The Hobbit Trilogy

The announcement that The Hobbit is to be a trilogy of films, rather than the expected pair, must be causing some considerable work at GW, depending on how far ahead they have things mapped out, and how the split from two to three films has been handled. There are probably a few cheers about having three years of revenue pretty much pinned down though (with the films slated for December 2012, December 2013 and mid 2014 apparently). Let's hope they can market the game well.

LotR has felt very much like the "other" game system that GW produce, and has felt that way for some time. While some of this could be put down to the wind up to The Hobbit, the film is certainly not wholly to blame. It's going to be very interesting to see what this December brings for GW's LotR line.

The evolution of LotR, from the games initial release alongside The Fellowship Of The Ring film (way back in 2001), to the present day has seen a steady increase in scope and scale, as the action in the film moved from the nucleus of the fellowship and their trials, to the larger battles, and then to truly grand engagements, and the game continued to grow beyond the silver screen.

The Hobbit follows no such easy, stepped, progression (although no doubt things will have been altered from the book), the engagements mostly sit at skirmish level (the Dwarves vs other forces) until towards the end of the book (so the third film). There just don't seem to be the engagements for GW to draw on to create a balanced selection of forces, as the "good" side remains unchanged, limited to the Dwarves, Bilbo, and Gandalf.. Although we could see Wood Elves and Lake-town forces I suppose, depending on how fast the plot moves come film two. The question will be how GW handle their releases to keep people interested.

In light of the above it's going to be very interesting to see what we get in the boxed game. Dwarves, a Hobbit, Gandalf, and probably Goblins and Wargs. I suspect we'll see Trolls as a separate kit. Talking of the game, proper, I wonder if we're going to see some different rules, and how the Hobbit will fir into the existing LotR range.

Hopefully Gandalf will be seen kicking arse at Dol Guldur at some point in amongst it all (my money is on next year). The appearance of characters from the LotR trilogy is going to be something to watch out for as well. The indications are we've going to see a lot more than just "The Hobbit" bought to the cinema screen.

Of course this is all speculation at this point, and is essentially me getting excited that Middle Earth will be back on the big screens soon.