A quick post to show a few 3D printed LoTR I tried. With many 'bread and butter' troops becoming Forg$world or simply out of stock, or at best a few stiff poses of 20-year-old design... why not?
Goblin Blackshields. 4 for $14AUD (3.50ea) vs $140 for 16 ($9ea). They fit well thematically (two normal gobbos to the right).
Verdict: Yes, I''ll buy more. Being 3-4x cheaper makes those command units and heroes finally 'reasonably' affordable. The price means even a rare unit or one you'll probably seldom use is worth picking up. It always felt crazy paying the same price for 2-3 minis as it did for a plastic 24-pack.
For Battle Companies being able to buy them in small quantities is a bonus (i.e. I may only need 3-4 Blackshield goblins rather than 16 - and if I need more, I can buy what I need).
The poses are better than the early-2000s GW stuff and the detail is better as well.
Here an original GW dwarf warrior is sandwiched between two 3D printed ones.
The downside: My 3D printed models were fragile. Obviously not all such printed minis are made from the same stuff, but of the ones I had, I broke several while painting them (OK, I did drop one, but plastic or metal would have been fine) and one came broken in transit despite being beautifully and carefully wrapped.
Verdict: Since my 7-year-old plays with me, I doubt I would use them for rank-and-file (and the cost saving vs bulk plastics isn't noticeable anyway). For heroes, small unique units or anything from Forg$World, they are definitely worth it. A dragon for $30? 3 trolls for $40? Yes please.
I'll be getting more as I've held off buying Easterling mages/knights/cultists and various corsairs until now (and I've seen some not-Black Numenoreans which incredibly are still unavailable by official means) but finally I can expand my forces without sacrificing a kidney.
This is a half-finished game with my son, where his men of Gondor are exploring ruins. A bit Space-Hulk-y, I roll each turn (and also whenever he explores a building) to see if orcs 'spawn in' on a random table edge out of LoS. He has explore - then dice roll - in each room find relics from the ruins of Osgiliath and escape before being swarmed.
We play in a very narrative and cinematic way, with rolls of '1' or '6' always having an accompanying comments: 'the orc narrowly missed shooting his own foot' and 'the axe knocked his head clean off and it rolled across the room.'
However, I do appreciate a 'points' system. It makes it simple to roughly balance forces so he he is likely to win but not too obviously - in a competitive sense, points systems are always broken at a fundamental level - but for an easy 'rule-of-thumb' balance of a homebrew scenario they are great.
Due to the first 4 random reinforcement dice rolls always coming up on one table edge, my son was swarmed from one direction... we'll see if he survives to claim his loot. Hopefully his Dol Amroth hero can swing the fight after some one-sided dice rolling saw his superior archers cut down by a bunch of orc bows rolling 6s...
For someone who is usually a major critic of GW rules, I must say I've always enjoyed LoTR - for me it hits a sweet spot of familiarity, simplicity, and common-sense with enough decisions to be interesting. Quick but somewhat engaging activation (A move-B move-A shoot-B shoot), some resource management (might-will-fate), allowing minis to move independently - but actually allowing/rewarding some formations; interesting heroes, having some decisions/tactics in melee, as well as catering to warbands of 10 to 50 or so. While ME:SBG has certainly complicated the old LOTR:SBG rules, it still has a reasonable balance of special rules vs stats and simple mechanics. I was impressed that my son correctly predicted, when jumping off a wall, that: a '1' would be bad (fall), 2-5 would be OK, and 6 would see him merrily sprint off - based on consistency with other, similar rules.
As a bonus, they have a solid background in 'the' OG fantasy book and the best-ever movie trilogy (no, Star Wars does not count).