HeroClix Review: The Hobbit—An Unexpected Journey—Starter Pack | Giant Fire Breathing Robot

HeroClix Review: The Hobbit—An Unexpected Journey—Starter Pack

Image via potomacdist.com

With the first of three The Hobbit films hitting cinemas and making buckets of money, games companies have jumped on board to release the characters from Middle-earth with their own unique gaming mechanics. And Wizkids/NECA is no exception with HeroClix.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey starter includes 7 exclusive figures, 48 Horde tokens, 6 Maps, Epic-level Campaign scenarios, a Powers and Abilities card, a 2012 HeroClix Rulebook, Dice, Objects, and Terrain Tokens; pretty much everything you need to start playing out of the box — always a plus.

Before going any further, I’ll start with a word of caution: In the starter are two special objects: The Orcrist and The Sting. Now the actual objects (not the accompanying cards) are taped to the packaging of the starter. Needless to say, in my zeal to get the HeroClix out and start playing, I discarded them with the packaging and didn’t realise until the following day, after the garbage had been taken out and collected by the garbage man. Much lamentation was heard in Big Tim’s house that day.

So make sure you get everything out of the starter before throwing anything away.

HeroClix: The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey checklist: Click on image to enlarge – Image via www.heroclix.xooit.fr

The first game I played was a straight up 300 point game that saw Bilbo Baggins, Gandalf, and Thorin Oakenshield in a fight to the death with Yazneg, Bolg, Warg, and Great Warg. The Heroclix play well, and appear to be fairly well balanced (I haven’t had a chance to use The Goblin King yet, but I hope to this weekend sometime). In short, it was a fun game using only what was provided in the starter.

What really excites me about The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey starter is the campaign scenarios. The campaign takes you through the fights and conflicts of the film with suggestions as to the appropriate characters to use per scenario.

What I’ve felt has been missing from HeroClix from the very beginning was a sense of narrative and RPG. I’ve often suggested on various forums that Wizkids/NECA should release a campaign book with each set to add a story or context to the characters and games you’re playing.

Wizards of the Coast used to do this well with their Star Wars miniatures as they’d release a Campaign book full of missions and maps to accompany each set. To me this brings extra flavour, excitement, and even insight into unfamiliar characters.

This is definitely a plus as it enhances my gaming experience. Of course you’ll need more than just the HeroClix in the starter to play the campaign scenarios, but you can sub in any characters from any HeroClix release (though I’ve found that the more Asgardian characters from Marvel Heroclix: Avengers movie are pretty good thematic subs for the campaigns).

All in all The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey starter is a highly entertaining game, both on its own and with additional Hobbit HeroClix and other expansions. If you’ve been reading my articles on HeroClix but were never sure where to jump in, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey starter is the perfect place.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey starter is available at good game stores around the world right now.

As far as HeroClix are concerned, I think this is one of the best products of the brand released over the last decade.

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