I just got my LOTRO newsletter in e-mail a couple of days ago and FINALLY had some time to read it. It was the basic polished product that Turbine distributes. At the end though, they had a link to a really nice redux of the skirmish system written by Daniel Etherington of Eurogamer:
I found this paragraph particularly interesting:
On first entering a Skirmish, you summon an ally - your Soldier. The idea is that he's a volunteer from among the Free People, and, as explained by Turbine's Brian Alosio in his Developer Diaries, "they are not as well trained as the Captain's Herald or Lore-master's companions. In battle, they will act without your orders, engaging the enemy as they see fit... they are not well-disciplined enough to be managed as much as seasoned soldiers." So don't expect squad controls. Instead, you define your Soldier's behaviour through the options in the new Skirmish panel. There are four tabs: Attribute, Skill, Training and Personal. The latter is how the Soldier has a direct influence on you: a buff, in other words. The Attribute is what Role you want your Soldier to take - effectively its class. With each Role you also get a special bonus. So the high-damage, ranged-attack Archer gives you an increased critical rating, the heavily-armoured Bannerguard support role gives an Armour Aura, and so on.
Interesting that the soldiers are not as well-discipined as the herald or even the Lore-master's animals. Methinks I smell a way to make Captains and Loremasters still feel special, which of course they are.
*hands special cookie to Captain and Loremaster friends*
Merry Minstrelling y'all!