The One Rulebook ReviewOne Book to rule them all,
One Book to find them.
One Book to bring them all
And in the Darkness bind them
In the Land of Mordor, where the Shadows lie.
Hobbyists across the world have been preparing for the arrival of the New Rulebook. Whether by saving money, begging for it, or just looking around for some extra cash, we all wanted the money for it. Now that itâ€™s out across the world, it's time we take a look at what we have in this 240 page, hardback masterpiece! Introduction
After the release of the first three main rulebooks and games for the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game, and the release of four supplements (so far), Games-Workshop have decided to make an all-encompassing rulebook, to override all of the existing ones. With all of the great material in here, it should be a great read. But let's just hope that Games-Workshop isn't turning into Sauron by creating this "One Rulebook to rule them all" The Layout
The book is split into six main categories, each with several subdivisions; they follow as below in order:
The Rulebook's Introduction
|Introduction to the Game Rules[list][*]The Basics|
[*]Starting a Game-Scenario's
[*]The Game turn
[*]The Priority Phase
[*]The Move Phase
[*]The Shoot Phase
[*]The Fight Phase[/list:u]Advanced Rules[list][*]Defending Barriers
[*]The Mumakil[/list:u]The Fortress[list][*]Fighting in the Fortress
[*]Besieging a Fortress
[*]Siege Towers[/list:u]Scenarios[list][*]Common Scenario Specific Rules[/list:u]
[*]Arnor & Angmar
[*]The Elven Havens
[*]The Woodland Realms
[*]Men of Numenor
[*]The Dwarf Holds
[*]A Shadow in the East
[*]Harad[/list:u]Collecting, Painting & Modelling[list][*]Assembling Miniatures
[*]Painting Your Models
[*]Warriors of Minas Tirith
[*]Forces of Mordor
[*]The Gaming Hobby
[*]Charts & Record Sheet[/list:u]
I found the introduction to the games rules to be very good, helping beginners to understand the basics of the Game, so that you can practice with the rules to get better. It shows you how the game follows a turn-based system and explains the characteristics
of models, to help you understand what each statistic is, what it does, and how you can use them to determine almost everything when playing. The Rules
The Rules section is split into the same sequence that the game follows, which makes it very easy for people to get right into a game and start following along with the book. First comes the Priority Phase, explaining how we determine who goes first and why it can be important in games.
Next is the Movement Phase, which has had some shifting around, and some re-writing where necessary. I find everything in here very clear and understandable, so anyone can follow them and see how Movement can be the most vital part of a game because it depends where your models go, and inevitably, who they will be facing in the game. I also noticed that the Defending Barriers has been moved from this section, as it should have been.
After this we enter the Shooting Phase, which has not had any obvious changes and has been copied word for word from the Return of the King rulebook. There is a slight adjustment to the Wound table - S3 now wounds D10 on 6/6, instead of 6/5.
The Fight Phase appears to have no changes also, so Iâ€™ll move on to the next section. Advanced Rules
Ahhâ€¦â€¦Advanced Rules, theyâ€™re like Marmite, you either love them, or you hate them!!! On the one hand, the Defending Barriers section has been moved here so that it doesn't confuse newcomers. Plus, the Advanced Rules allow us to play the game to its full extent and enjoyment!! But on the other hand, there are people who take some of the things said in this section either too literally, or not literally enough. As such, there are people who exploit these rules and try to change them to their liking, because they know that the other person is confused and doesn't understand. There are quite a few changes here, so lets take a look.
The Defending Barriers rule has obviously been moved here, but there are also a couple of changes to do with Courage and Cavalry!
With Cavalry, they have made the Extra Attack and Knock to the Ground rules easier to understand, so, for example, Aragorn mounted on his horse doesn't get 6 rolls to wound, he gets 8 (his normal 3 + 1 for being mounted, then doubled) - but he can only spread his dice rolls in multiples of two for each enemy faced. Also, you can now switch the Attacks/ Fight Value of your mount with yours, if they have higher statistics for either. Or, you can mix and match (very cool methinks).
With Courage, there is a new special rule called Broken, which makes the game go by faster if you read it, but of course, I can't actually write out the rules word-for-word here, because that's illegal! Finally, you can now use Will to change failed Courage Tests. Plus, the All on his Own test has been removed for easier game play. The Fortress
Here you can see all of the rules for Fighting in the Fortress, as seen in the Siege of Gondor Supplement. It shows you how to fight inside of it, how to separate different fights in difficult position and includes all rules for siege engines and how they fire etc. Nothing really changed here. Scenarios
Almost an entirely new section here. Shows a sample scenario, common scenario rules, and how to play scenarios with different people if you want to. The Forces
Hereâ€™s what everyone wanted the book for; the profile changes. Naturally, I can't actually post rule changes here, but I will tell you as much as I can.
As everyone probably already knows, the Forces are now split into separate sections of Middle-Earth, making our dreams of theming a reality!! As I mentioned before, the Forces are now split into these groups: [list]
[*]Arnor & Angmar
[*]The Elven Havens
[*]The Woodland Realms
[*]Men of Numenor
[*]The Dwarf Holds
[*]A Shadow in the East
As far as Iâ€™m concerned, Games-Workshop has done a great job with theme-ing in here. Now we wonâ€™t see all these crazy unthemed lists including Gandalf the White and Boromir in the same force. (Those silly people!)
The layout of the Profiles for these character is also much improved - better organised and laid out, and common Magical Powers are now in a section of their own, making it better and more easily understood.
I canâ€™t really go over what's been changed in here, so I'll just put in my thoughts of the changes and who got off better or worse...
As far as I'm concerned, GW has done a good job making adjustments and has not made any big changes as far as I'm aware.
Although, I have to say that Rohan has gotten the bad side of things. They haven't had any reductions or increases for the better, and one of their most valuable weapons is now considered very expensive.
Also, just for fun, GW has put a lot more into little bits of story added in here and there, and have even increased a lot of the background for characters. Changes
Here I will give a list of some of the changes since the Return of the King without giving away too much.Changes to the Rules
The Wound Chart has been fixed (Strength 5 verses Defence 10) (Page 22, 27, 239 )
The Courage Rule of the force being '˜broken', adds so much excitement to the game! (Page 35 )
Charging terrifying enemies have changed (Page 34)
Mounts and Courage (Page 35)
The use of Might/Will/Fate, clearer definitions, added benefits and disadvantages (Page 36-39)
Rules for defending a barrier have changed (Page 33)
Numbers of models needed to volley has increased (Page 45)
Rules for 'Unarmed'™ Models change the understanding of wargear (Page 42)
Calvary section has change with link to the new rules, read Calvalry & Fights (Page 50)
Monstrous Mount rules just got a whole lot better! (Page 51)
'Picking Up Weapons' is now a Common Scenario-Specific Rule (Page 72)
'Passengers' is now a Common Scenario-Specific Rule (Page 73)
Clearer rules for the Ring should more than one ringbearer be present(Page 138 )Revised Stats/ Wargear OptionsThe Shire
Gandalf the Grey same stats, special rules added, Horse and Shadowfax now available, more expensive (Page 79)
Glamdring special rules added (Page 79)
Frodo Baggins decreased stats, decreased points (Page 80)
Hobbit archers same stats, removed wargear (read rules for unarmed; Page 42), same price (Page 84)Arnor and Angmar
Aragorn has two separate entries, each restricting him from wargear options (Page 88 & 126)
Stats for Wild Wargs and Wild Warg Chieftain also included (under White Warg) (Page 91)The Elven Havens
Elrond same stats, special rules added, more expensive (Page 94)
Gil-Galad improved, special rules added, same price (Page 95)
Aeglos rules modified (Page 95)
Elven Captain (Elven Havens) improved, special rules added, more expensive (heaps), horse available (Page 96)
Elf Warrior (Elven Havens) decreased stats, special rules added, decreased points, more customisable (Page 96)Moria
Balrog decreased stats, special rules added & lost, decreased points (Page 100 )
Lash rules modified (Page 100 )
Cave Troll same stats, special rule added, more expensive (Page 102)
Troll Chain rule modified (Page 102)The Woodland Realms
Galadriel same stats, special rules added, same price (Page 106)
Celeborn improved and decreased in stats, more expensive (Page 106)
Legolas improved, special rule modified, more expensive (Page 107)
Deadly shot rules modified (Page 107)
Haldir improved, more expensive (heaps) (Page 107)
Elf Captain (Woodland Realms) improved, no shield & heavy armour options, more expensive (heaps) (Page 107)
Gwaihir improved, special rule added & lost, more expensive (very) (Page 108 )
Treebeard same stats, more expensive (Page 109)
Great Eagles profile added (Page 109)
Elf Warrior (Woodland Realms) decreased stats, decreased points, no shield option (Page 109)Rohan
Theoden more customisable, armoured horse available (Page 112)
Eomer same stats, bow available (Page 112)
Eowyn improved, same price, horse cheaper (look at that fight value!) (Page 113)
Captain of Rohan profile added (Page 114)
Throwing spears more expensive (Page 115)
Rohan Royal Guard same stats, more expensive (Page 115)Isengard
Saruman less effective, more expensive, horse available (Page 118 )
Palantir rules modified (Page 118 )
Lurtz improved and decreased stats (check out the strength of Lurtz & the Uruk-Hai Captains!) (Page 118 )
Grima, huge change in rules, less effective, same price, horse available (Page 119)
Wargs improved (Page 50 )
Two-Handed Weapons more expensive for some models (Page 120, 121, etc.)
Uruk-Hai Captain (Isengard) improved, heavy armour available, two-handed weapon available, same price (Page 120 )
Wild Men Chieftain, Two Handed Weapon more expensive (Page 120 )
Uruk-hai Scout profile added (Page 121)
Berserker decreased (stats and wargear), same price (Page 121)
Orc Warrior two-handed more expensive, same price (Page 121)
Wild Men of Dunland two-handed more expensive, same price (Page 122)
Warg Riders improved and decreased, special rule added, more expensive (Page 122)Gondor
Aragorn, King Elessar profile added, armoured horse available (Page 126)
Denethor same stats, more expensive (Page 127)
Faramir same stats, more customisable, decreased points (loss of bow) (Page 127)
Gandalf the White improved, Elven cloak available, more expensive (Page 128 )
Captain of Minas Tirith profile added (Page 129)
Damrod decreased stats, decreased point (Page 129)
King of Men same stats, same price, armoured horse available (Page 129)
Captain of Dol Amroth profile added (Page 129)
Rangers of Gondor same stats, more expensive (Page 130 )Men of Númenor
Elendil same stats, horse and shield available (Page 134)
Isildur same stats, horse and shield available (Page 134)
Captain of Númenor profile added (Page 134)
Warrior of Númenor (name change) improved, more expensive (Page 135) Mordor
Sauron decreased, will limited, the One Ring cheaper, added special rule (Page 138 )
Mouth of Sauron armoured horse available (Page 139)
Witch King more customisable, Morgul Blade changed, Magical Power added, Flail available, Special Rule added, Fell Beast cheaper (Page 140 )
Morgul Blade rule modified (Page 140 )
Ringwraith more customisable, added special rule, Fell Beast cheaper (Page 141)
Shelob same stats, special rule modified (Page 142)
Venom rule modified (Page 142)
Mordor Uruk-hai Captain profile added (Page 143)
Gollum movement decreased (Page 14)
Mordor Uruk-Hai profile added (Page 146)
Mordor Troll same stats, more special rules, more expensive (Page 146)The Dwarf Holds
Gimli same stats, special rule added, more expensive (Page 150 )
Dain Ironfoot same stats, special rules changed, same points (Page 150 )A Shadow in the East
Easterling Captains same stats, decreased points, shield, horse and armoured horse available (Page 153)Harad
Haradrim King profile added (Page 156)
Haradrim (Warriors and Raiders) same stats, increased wargear, same price (Page 159)Terrain, Painting, and Modelling
Although this huge Hobby Section comprises almost half of the book, I also found it the most disappointing. The guides are good, and the results are excellent, but weâ€™ve seen it all before. Most of these guides are just recycled; either from the White Dwarf magazine or from other rulebooks and supplements.
Guides and tips for assembling and painting miniatures. Battle scenarios, conversions and terrain galore. Has a lot of the Return of the King parts with added pictures and tips, but no longer has the Citadel Paint lists. Paintings Hobbits , Painting Dwarves and Making Terrains (ROTK, SOTS) are also included again. Battle scenarioâ€“ Guidelines for gaming and four basic scenarios: Relief Force, Take and Hold, Cornered! And Pitched Battle.
Painting guides for Warriors of Minas Tirith, Rangers of Gondor, Ranger of Gondor Captain conversion, Knight of Minas Tirith, Knight of Minas Tirith Captain conversion, Rohan (Theoden, Eomer, Merry, Eowyn and Warriors), Forces of Mordor (Orcs, Uruk-Hai, Mordor trolls, Orc Captain conversion, Mumak assembling and painting), most of these have been featured in various White Dwarf magazine and been done in less depth in the rule book.Well, nothing's perfect....
Unfortunately, there are some quite obvious mistakes in this book. Assuming they only had 6 months to do it, it isn't really that suprising, but they're mistakes none the less.
These are usually just proofreading errors, but some entire stats have been left out of the rulebook, including the Army of the Dead and Golfimbul.
Fortunately for us, Games Workshop has taken action to put peoples minds at rest about this situation. Here is a link to the Army of the Dead rules on the GW Site. LINK
Also, if you have any problems or other questions, Steve, or Khamul of the NIne as some of you kow him, has posted a new section in the FAQ thread to get rid of other problems that have come up. HERE
is a link to the forum, then all you have to do is click on the sticky thread that says FAQ, and it should be under the first entry.Conclusion
Well, I find that this was a huge advancement for the game, bringing life back into peoples mind about its future. The design teams have done a wonderful job with most of the book, with just a couple of slip-ups here and there.
Although, after such a great job with the rest of the book, the Hobby Section really lets it down. They could have put a lot more time and thought into it, instead of just copying material. But, when it comes to it, they did put a lot of effort into this and deserve a clap on the back.
I believe this deserves an 8.5/10 for good quality stuff!!
I think that just for a basic necessity, people should buy this rulebook. It is very good for any gamer and is a 'must have' if you need the latest version of the rules.
On the negative side however, you are paying a lot for information that you may not want.
But, all things considered, I would say to go and buy this!Special Thanks
Special thanks goes to Khazad Guard on http://www.thelastalliance.com
, for helping me put together this article.