A pile of riches so large no one could count it all in a lifetime. Gold piled high and gems mixed with it strewn across the halls of an ancient dwarven city, long abandoned. The very definition of a treasure trove buried in a mountain thought impenetrable, and the only thing that had once stood between you and taking it is now gone. The opportunity of a lifetime stands before you and all you need do is get to it before anyone else can take it from you…
…Somehow those other armies don’t seem quite as intimidating as the dragon did.
The death of Smaug was easily the most climactic scene in the Hobbit; it signaled the ending of an age, but the fight over his hoard; that is a battle whose size and power ranks in the history of Middle Earth alongside the battle of Helm’s Deep, or the Siege of Minas Tirith. One could even argue it is one of the single greatest conflicts in the history of Middle Earth.
To even try to recreate a battle of such scale seems like a fool’s errand. The sheer volume of troops alone would pale the face of even prolific painters. The crafting of terrain to fit all of those miniatures on, while maintaining the quality and feel of the encounter, would turn away even seasoned veterans. All of that, without even stopping to consider how one might apply rules and moderate such a colossal conflict. The whole idea is madness from the word go.
So naturally, it was only a matter of time before someone did it.
At Gen Con ’94, a determined group of gamers from the PAW gaming group with sponsorship from TSR took on the epic challenge of staging this tremendous conflict in 15mm scale and the results were nothing short of phenomenal.
At its widest point, the battlefield is almost 20 feet long, while the center stands over 10 feet deep leaving a playable surface of hundreds of square feet to place the armies upon. In the center, the peak of the Lonely Mountain looms at a height of over a foot above the battlefield, giving the players a clear perspective of just how tiny the individual fighters were, and just how massive the battle was.
While the individual figures may be small, there is nothing tiny about what they bring to this scenario. Over 2500 fifteen millimeter miniatures are included representing the dwarves, goblins, humans, and elves that clashed in this monumental conflict. The figures are all skillfully painted, individually based, and look gorgeous when placed on the terrain. Most of the figures used for this endeavor were furnished by TSR and come from their Battlesystem line, but others were acquired from other sources to suit the need.
Sadly, not all of the figures from the original game were kept with the display. Individual fighters from the various armies were misplaced and some have deteriorated with time. Most notably, the named characters such as Thorin Oakenshield and company, as well as Bilbo, Gandalf, Beorn, and the Giant Eagles were separated from the rest, and given to TSR employees as mementos. To this end, we have included professionally painted substitutes to preserve the integrity of the display. These figures are shown in the included pictures and are clearly separated from the original figures. Due to the haphazard nature of the records, we cannot ensure that what we are able to offer replicates the scenario exactly as it was played, however it does keep the visual impact of the item when displayed up to the awe-inspiring level it deserves to be.
Fortunately, another integral part of this epic event that would have been totally irreplaceable has been preserved, and that is the original unit statistics, terrain diagrams, and GenCon registration paperwork that verify that this was the actual equipment as used at the world-renowned game fair in 1994. Among these documents are also a copy of the judge’s information packet from 1994 and some unused prize vouchers. Additionally, a small amount of paperwork for another event run by the same gaming club is included.
The game was structured so that multiple people could participate in the scenario on the side of each faction at the same time. Based upon these records, the event was run 6 times over the course of the convention’s 4 day span with the largest version of the scenario including 18 people. Twelve sheets of unit statistics remain, though the exact way they were deployed or utilized in the scenario is unknown. Based upon the information available, it appears that the battle was fought using TSR’s Battlesystem ruleset, though the individual unit statistics were clearly home-designed.Complete Contents of this breathtaking display include:
- 1200+ Skillfully Painted Orc & Goblin Infantry
- 90+ Skillfully Painted Orc & Goblin Cavalry
- 700+ Skillfully Painted Dwarf Infantry
- 250+ Skillfully Painted Human Infantry
- 90+ Skillfully Painted Human Cavalry
- 140+ Skillfully Painted Elven Infantry
- 30+ Skillfully Painted Elven Cavalry
- 6 Custom-Painted Giant Eagles
- 17 Additional Custom-Painted Figures to Represent Named Characters
- Over 250 Pieces of Painted Foam & Latex Terrain, Some Custom Molded
- 17 pages of GenCon Registration Paperwork
- 14 GenCon Prize Vouchers
- 6 Pre-Addressed GenCon Correspondence Envelopes
- 19 Pages of Handwritten Scenario Notes
Many more pictures of this phenomenal display are available upon request.
There is no risk of overstatement in saying that this item is a truly unique piece that will be available once and only once. Others might attempt to capture the grandeur and scale of this conflict, but none can truly be a successor to this moment in gaming history. Whether it serves as a way to see the climax of a beloved book, or a window back into a historical moment in gaming matters not. What does matter is that you are faced with an opportunity to make this incomparable item your own, and that once you do, you will be unrivaled in the splendor of your collection.
If you'd like to see more then you can also check out a video we posted showcasing this splendid piece up on Facebook.Check Out Our Panorama Video