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Weekly Set Review: Hemlock Stronghold

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Weekly Set Review: Hemlock Stronghold

Postby architect » Sat Dec 18, 2004 3:52 pm

Join the weekly Classic Castle set review discussion. Please post your opinions on the set play ability, piece selection, design, etc. Which sets stand up to our catapult of critique and which ones crumble in shame!

This week’s set is 6046 Hemlock Stronghold.

Hemlock Stronghold was released in 1996 for the Dark Forest. This rock and tree fortress has a well, two catapults, a treasure cart, and a jail holding a skeleton. Two Royal Knight soldiers, two forestmen, and various accessories are included. This set had a limited release in Europe and was not pictured in many catalogs.

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Postby Formendacil » Sat Dec 18, 2004 4:09 pm

A great set, in my opinion. Certainly, a highly playable one with figs from two factions, two catapults, a treasure cart, vines, and (although it really has nothing to do with playability) a neat fountain/pool/well.

The design is somewhat lacking. There is pretty much no point to part of the rock base opening up when the front and back are already open. The catapult atop the rock is pretty much useless in its fixed direction (and isn't this supposed to be in a forest?) The land-based catapult is somewhat more practical, but to my mind at least, it looks rather improbable.

Parts: 6/10
Playability: 8.5/10
Figs/Accessories: 8.5/10
Design (then): 6.5/10
Design (now): 7.5/10
Nostalgia: 8.5/10

Overall Score: 7.58/10

EDITED for new criteria.
Last edited by Formendacil on Mon Dec 19, 2005 11:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Weekly Set Review: Hemlock Stronghold

Postby Norro » Sat Dec 18, 2004 4:24 pm

The one that got away, sigh. It looked so improbable at the time and didn't seem to fit with the rest of dark forest or the older forestmen line. So, still ignorant of KK2, I left it on the shelf...

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Postby Lord Mikal » Sat Dec 18, 2004 4:34 pm

This is a seriously nifty little set, and i'm proud to say I own one... in pieces... somewhere.

I personally think that the best part of the whole thing is the catapult. Formendacil is right in saying that it probably would never have existed, but I think it works better than any of the other catapults TLC has created. The upper fixed catapult is just silly.

The rock face opening on the side is actually very useful, because it's very hard to get fingers inside a six-stud opening. The swinging rock face is very convineint in my (not very) humble opinion.

The last (but in no way least) neat thing is that you get all different minifigs. The Dark Forestman in the studded leather is one of my favorite torsos, unfortunately I only have one. The extra weapons are also pretty nice, as is that Dark Forest shield.
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Postby ottoatm » Sat Dec 18, 2004 4:44 pm

This does look like a pretty cool set, and someday I do still hope to get it ~ because I've never seen it up close, it's hard to say much other than it looks like a typical set for older generation-style lego. A fair supply of neat minifigs, and a decent amount of bricks for a decent basic design. I wonder how easy/hard it would be to make the fixed catapult on top spin?
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Postby Teh Stud » Sat Dec 18, 2004 5:37 pm

I never liked this set much. The two forest minifigs are great, of course, but the overall set stinks in my opinion. I always hated the new cartoon lion emblems to start with. Also, the "tree" is made out of BURPs, a ladder and a preformed rampart? Not exactly pieces in short supply in my collection. (On a side note, what does everyone do with all those ladders and ramparts).

The well is cool, but hardly worth buying the set over. So, I never did! :)
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Postby Jojo » Sat Dec 18, 2004 6:38 pm

Hello!


The most exciting thing about this set was: to get it. Because - like Ben already said in this set's description - it was not a regular in Germany. Before I discovered it on BrickSet.com I never knew it existed. So this was enough to make me spend over DM130 on a MISB one when I finally found a MISB copy on eBay.

The model is not too great. A tree on a parted rock? A catapult right next to it for the enemy to fight the Forestmen? Well. Well, the well is good. And all three Dark Forest sets together probably make a nice forest fortress.

The figs are great, at least the Forestmen. And the white Royal Knight is quite rare. There are only four figs in three sets of which one is a limited release.


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Postby Formendacil » Sat Dec 18, 2004 6:44 pm

Jojo wrote:The figs are great, at least the Forestmen. And the white Royal Knight is quite rare. There are only four figs in three sets of which one is a limited release.


The Royal Knight fig is rare?

Four figs sounds like a fair number to me. After all, both of the Forestmen in this set only come in TWO sets, this being one of them.

If FOUR is a rare number, then THREE is even more rare. Thus, the Royal Knight king is quite rare, with only three being available. And them not identical either.

I'm not saying that the white Royal Knight is common, but rare doesn't seem like the right term to use.
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Re: Weekly Set Review: Hemlock Stronghold

Postby JoshWedin » Sat Dec 18, 2004 6:48 pm

This is the only forestmen/dark forest set that I am missing. I was never real motivated to get it. The figs are cool. The other pieces are not hard to find and the design is mediocre. It doesn't really fit with the other two dark forest sets very well either. The Dark Forest Fortress (6079) and Bandit's Ambush (6024) are designed better, don't know what happened here.

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Postby Webrain » Sat Dec 18, 2004 7:19 pm

I bought this set back in 1996. I didn't expect much at first but I have to admit this set really captured me. Of course it's not 6066, but it is a good set none the less. The minifigs are of course pretty cool. As for what Formendacil wrote, I think Jojo meant thtat this figs is not only available in 4 sets, 6046 is the smallest/cheapest set you can get it from (1 in 6078 and the other 2 in 6090). The Big catapult I admit is pretty useless. But the playabilty in this set is quite nice, the overall model very impressive in my opinion and you got enough parts to make something decent alternate from this set.

I'm giving it 10/10 only for sentimental reasons.
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Postby Jojo » Sat Dec 18, 2004 7:23 pm

Hello!


Formendacil wrote:The Royal Knight fig is rare?

Four figs sounds like a fair number to me. After all, both of the Forestmen in this set only come in TWO sets, this being one of them.

If FOUR is a rare number, then THREE is even more rare. Thus, the Royal Knight king is quite rare, with only three being available. And them not identical either.

Well, the rarity of the Dark Forest figs is beyond question.

The Royal Knight king is exactly as rare as the white RK knights, setwise, because they also come in three sets. If one of these sets is a large and expensive Royal Knight's Castle 6090 (two figs) and one is a limited release set 6046 (one fig) I call a fig "quite rare".


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Postby Umgarla » Sat Dec 18, 2004 7:40 pm

Well I didn't know dark forest sets existed until a year or two ago, because it was never in the danish lego catalouge. Anyways, that's why I never bought it, and when looking back I would only purchase this set for the sake of the minifigs, the rest of the set just seems... well, useless...

But hey, at that time it was probably a nice set. So I'll give it a 7/10.
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Postby Robin Hood » Sat Dec 18, 2004 8:01 pm

Sigh, what a great set, and I actually own it!

When I saw Dark Forest for the first time I was soooo happy. I had jsut missed Foresters. I had really wanted some but I was born a little too late. When the Dark Forest showed up I was so happy. This was the first one I bought. I have the other two.

I must say that this is a good set. The only thing against it is it's rock design. But I never noticed. With four awesome dudes, and two BURPS (if you care about those), a nice baseplate, and a good amount of pieces, I would have to give it 9.99999.

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Postby Joel Hart » Sat Dec 18, 2004 8:37 pm

I picked this set up at Brickfest from the Brick bazaar. I am a Ninja collecter trying to pick up some more castle sets. With the exception of the KK1 sets and Legends, this is the only one of two older castle sets I have. It is ok for the figures and the well, but not much for playability.
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Postby TwoTonic Knight » Sat Dec 18, 2004 9:24 pm

This is the Dark Forest set that I missed. The Bandit Ambushes popped back up at KB Outlet and I snagged an armful for $2 each, and the Dark Forest Fortress I was able to get because one (and only one) WalMart in SoCal had 23 of them stacked up for over a year without moving a single one two years after Dark Forest had disappeared from the shelves of every store in the area.

Honestly, it's the one I would have chosen to miss if I had to. The set is merely okay - there's a large number of Forestmen sets that I think are better. It does have two extremely rare figs, though. The guy with the studded brigandine torso is perhaps my favorite in all of the Castle sets - it is a pity that such a useful generic fig is so rare. 6/10.
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