Its an overpriced game and many like myself are resentful that it takes up not only shelf space but they fill up WD space instead of putting real articles about important games. I have played I dont know which version of this a few years ago. I was the bad guys versus the good guys. I surrounded a mounted hero at one point with an entire horde of orcs and a couple trolls, at least 30 models within a foot, the mounted hero still won. Elves were unstoppable, I literally did not manage to kill a single one. My named heros were useless and I think if I remember i had Sauron and even he want that effective. Meanwhile little no named named heros were wiping the floor with my troops.
I wasnt really aware people even play this game anymore, I am used to seeing it in the discount bin.
This is really a load of tosh...
First of all the game is by far cheaper to get into than 40K... The main rule book has a far greater proportion of rules that you will ever need. This is the case for either LotR or WotR.
Then there is the issue of the models being soooo much cheaper. You can easily get a full set of 20-24 men for £25-27. That is rarely matched in 40K or Warhammer.
Finally due to the nature of LotR components easily building up to WotR you can rapidly play with what you have as LotR works really well with small games that will go fast but be great fun.
As for Balance, I can assue you that you were not playing your game very well at all. As someone who is possibly experienced in one of the other systems you should be familiar with the concept of avoiding, evasion and misdirection. Furthermore even the super killy heroes like Boromir and Aragon can be matched by the lowest version of a ringwraith and a humble troll... Tansfix will eventually break through and the troll will smash the said hero to pieces. Or you can feed them 3-4 orcs/ goblins a turn. Slightly more than they can possibly kill and thus restrict their movement. While the rest of your forces kills them off. Not saying they can't be a huge thorn in an evil players side but LotR is far more balanced than 40K or Warhammer ever will be.
WotR is slightly less balanced and has some really abusable combinations in it to be entirely fair. However it could be worse and as the 1st edition of the game things will get better I am sure.
Then there is certain other things that make the games shine... Not least the move/move, shoot/shoot, ONE COMBAT per game turn. It is a MUCH more sensible way to do things and allows a player with good movement, skirmishing and shooting abilities to punnish players who just pick the biggest assault options they can and run forwards. (Happens a lot in 40K and Warhammer).
Then there is priority, it really adds strategic and tactical depth to the game in a way that is so pleasant.
Finally there is the fact that the equivalent of WS is not so messed up beyond belief. Unlike warhammer a high fight is well worth it's points value in LotR or WotR. Elves don't need special rules to be made to represent their speed and grace. Instead of ASF you get a high Fight skill that if you use your forces correctly will really allow you to overcome the outnumber factor you face.
Unlike 40K and Warhammer with the worlds most retarded WS table... So I have a weapon skill of 8 and an Initiative of 8.... Yet mr space marine still hits me on a 4+ and I him on a 3+ despite paying a premium for this.
Meanwhile your Strength and toughness creatures seem to pay no more for their respect increases to those characteristics but a S8 T8 creature has much more going for it than a WS8 I8 creature.
Finally I want to point out that the LotR/WotR articles in white dwarf are fantastic. You still get good painting articles, tactics articles. You get new rules for different models that are relatively balanced and often come to the front with the next major release. You get to see modeling projects.
As oppossed to Warhammer or 40K which has devolved into predictable layout in the magazine of "YOU MUST BUY THE NEW MODELS/ARMY THIS MONTH... ALL ELSE SHALL BE IGNORED."
So yes, I just posted in a thread 30 days old. I will possibly get a warning but I really needed to have a rant there.