Big miniatures news from GW, WotC; crazy WizKids rumors

Games Workshop announced they’ll be doing a Lord of the Rings pre-painted, hex-based collectible game this Christmas. “Combat-Hex” is intriguing, and suggests that maybe GW will be weaseling their way around the WizKids combat dial patent and doing something similar. Wizards has also all but announced a new plastic, pre-painted D&D miniatures game, although whether the game will be collectible is unclear. No official news release on that one yet from what I can see.

Also, rumors continue to fly about the two major new games that WizKids will soon announce. A source says that one of the games will, in fact, likely be a Star Trek license. The other is being spoken of by those in the industry as an impressive new play to bring new people into the industry. How it can do that and still be a miniatures game, I don’t know. When I think of hobby game companies trying to open the hobby up, I tend to think of that holy grail, sports games. Now, many sports games have tried and died, but Blood Bowl has already shown us that interesting things are possible when you merge sports and minis. I think combat dials and, say, basketball could be even more powerful. That one is just speculation on my part, though. Any other theories?