View Full Version : attempt at a fluffy (yet effective) easterling army

Lord Asuryan
08-05-2009, 16:32
OK, this is not pure easterlings, but I like the models a LOT, and thought it would be cool to do an army mostly made of easterlings.

1500 points.

Epic Heroes
Ringwraith (the Betrayer)(1)
Ringwraith (the knight of umbar) (2) (I know that khamul the EASTERLING would fit better, but one of my friends plays mordor and uses him regularly, and I'd like to avoid the issue of khamul vs. khamul.
Lord of the Easterlings (Gothmog, seems the best fit rules-wise) (3)

Common Formations
4xeasterlings (3)(2)
4xpike easterlings: dragon knight(1)
4xKataphrakta: captain
3xeasterling archers

Rare Formations
3xEasterling Arbalesters (Archers with crossbows rather than bows-the heavy armour can represent the extra defense from pavises. I only include these guys cause i think my army could use some ranged hitting power)
2xHalf trolls: 2 handed weapons (driven into battle, chained, by easterling handlers, is really the only way I can see them going into battle in a disciplined manner)
Stone Giant-basically, an ancient troll that was turned to stone, and reanimated by dark magics. makes sense, as it gain strength, necomes easier to damage (stone is brittle!) but harder to kill (no vital organs) It was a choice between this, Mumak and Cave Drake-The Mumak isn't fluffy in an easterling force (and I don't like the model) but the cave drake still has appeal as a hero-annihilator.

totalp: 1500 points

any thoughts?

Nu Fenix
08-05-2009, 17:30
I personally prefer both Ringwraiths you have chosen over Khamul, as I like their utility nature and destructive potential over keeping my own troops alive. If I cared about the welfare of my own men, I would play a Good army.
However, seeing Gothmog as a representive of the 'Lord of the Easterlings' over Amdur feels disheartening. This is due to my feelings of Amdur being a great character for Easterlings, as he has strong abilities, and has Fight 7, equal to a Dragon Knight.

I would only put one Epic in your Easterling Cohort formation, with the other going in the Half Trolls. The reason is they need the Courage boost, the ability to make AtD rolls, and also benefit from one of the Ringwraith's abilities. Using The Betrayer to make them Fight 4 when attacking, and re-rolling your To-Hit rolls means you can kill more of the enemy. It also means you can burn that Might to avoid a 1 or change a 5 to a 6 on the Berserk chart. You can also get them to the enemy quickly with spells such as Wings of Terror, to potentially move 24" and charge 10-14". Alternatively, The Betrayer could join the Arbalesters to be more likely to kill when shooting.

My biggest concern when looking at the army is the number of combat formations, and their size. With only four company strong formations, I can see them getting thinned down by shooting and magic, until you have only two companies in combat.

Adding a Stone Giant would indeed be different, and is a beast in combat. It doesn't feel thematic to me however, even with the back story you gave. Either normal Trolls, or a Khanish chariot with an Easterling riding instead, perhaps?

Lord Asuryan
08-05-2009, 17:53
the reason I chose gothmog was because his 'master of battle'/overlord gives a more tactically-directed feel to the character, as opposed to amdur's epic rampage which makes him more of a front-liner. really, I see it as the difference between konrad and vlad von carstein-sure, konrad might kill more, but vlad's going to make the most difference to the battle. (this is, of course, ignoring the several hundred point gap) it's more of a stylistic device, for me. I'd rather have my easterlings be regimented, perfectly coordinated, than rushing into battle following a madman who only wants to test his blade against as many enemies as possible.

of course, if I did take amdur, cave drake/dragon becomes a bit more fluffy-who's to say that the easterlings, led by DRAGON knights, wouldn't be accompanied by an actual dragon or drake?

I get what you're saying about spreading the might around. I'm a bit leery about leaving ringwraiths on their own though, as past experience with my gondor shows that, except for khamul, the ringwraiths go down very quickly in duels, esp. against good characters, which tend to be quite good at duelling.

Nu Fenix
08-05-2009, 18:09
Well, if they have a hero without Epic Strike, then you Black Breath them and get them down to Fight 1 and duel them big time. If they have got ES, then no matter where you put your Ringwraith they will try to hunt them down and kill you.

You can always try to out duel them by hitting them with Dragon Knights, making the most of your Fight 7 and chopping them to pieces, saving the 1 Might on the Ringwraiths for anything critical.

I think a Drake might fit both an Easterling army and a Haradrim army, as they also have the Serpent theme going for them. The problem with the Drake is, it only causes a Heroic Duel on a 4+ and has to win, which as you mentioned can be hard against Good armies.

One other advantage that Amdur has is Inspiring Leader: Men, which can help boost the Courage of any formation which is in range and doesn't have an Epic leading them.

If you didn't take the Giant [as you don't have the ally allowance otherwise], what about adding someone like Thrydan Wolfsbane to the Half Trolls? Consider him their chief handler, and makes them Courage 4, whilst also having ES and special rules if you fight against any Rohan formations/heroes. A possible alternative to having them joined by a Ringwraith if you are concerned about their safety in such a unit.

The Marshel
09-05-2009, 13:12
fluffy...you've got two named ringwraiths that dont really exist in tolkins writings, half trolls and arbelesters fighting with your easterlings and khumal is no where to be seen. this my friend, is not fluffy at all. Pehaps you mean fluffy by gw standards, but lotr fluff is not really judged by what gw writes, because gw did not write lotr.

A real fluffy army would have easterlings, orcs and haradriam lead by gothmog and the witchking without the named wraiths (asides from khumal who tolkin did make). the wraith thing may be imposible with wotr, but this army would represent the forces of mordor that attacked minas tirith, which i'm sure you all know was a battle in return of the king, so a force representing this is indeed, fluffy.

I'm not a big fan of wotr, so i can't do much there, but if ya want a fluffy army, lose the wraiths in place of khumal, dump non easterling stuff, making up for the loss with either haradriam or mordor, no giants or drakes or "the betrayer". Simply put though, if you want a truly fluffy lotr army, read tolkin, not the gw junk gw has written

11-05-2009, 07:29
I agree somewhat with The Marshal here. The Easterlings comes from the East and the only allies they would have should be Orcs and Khandish troops. No half trolls or haradrim. The only wraith should be Khamul. If you don't like his rules and want some other ability I would not stop you from picking any of the eight Ringwraiths abilities for him. Likewise if you want to use Amdurs model and Gothmogs stats and rules. Why not...
The arbalesters would need some converting too look convincing as an Easterling component, but I don't see any reason for not using them. All Easterling models in the game are very loose in it's interpretation from the books and as far as I know they are not that detailed in the books anyway.

From a tactical (and thematic) perspective I would drop one Ringwraith and add more command and troops.

I you want more magic I would take Kardush (use an Orc Shaman model) together with a large orc formation.

Lord Asuryan
11-05-2009, 15:17
do you know what battles kardush was actually supposed to have fought in?
I'm definitely thinking of tweaking this list.
the changes I'm considering are:
drop stone giant
drop half-trolls
possibly drop one wraith

add aome black guard, along with a mob or two of orcs, with two-handed weapon or bows. possibly a khandish chariot. this any better?

11-05-2009, 17:56
As far as I know Kardush is made up by GW, so I would use him more as a generic character. Though, someone more knowledgeable than me have to comment on that. I simply mentioned him because he is a more obscure character.

It's your army, so you really should add what models you like. But theme wise Khandish and Easterling troops where close allies in the third age and waged several wars against Gondor and the West. Look them up on Wikipedia. I think that Khandish troops was called Wainriders... if memory serves me right that is

I also think that any Orc tribes except perhaps Morannon Orcs could have joined them in their crusades against Gondor settlements. Sauron didn't control every Orc tribe in all of Middle Earth, so some could fight for an Easterling Warlord, or Khamul could bring them with him from Mordor.

I thin adding any troops are nice, all of the option that you mentioned would be viable in my opinion.

Lord Asuryan
12-05-2009, 22:02
OK, so new list:

Epic Heroes
Ringwraithx2 (betrayer and knight of umbar)
Gothmog, castellan of minas morgul (easterling battlemaster)

4xeasterlings: [gothmog]
5xeasterlings: pikes, dragon knight
5xKataphrakta: captain
2x3xeasterling archers

Khandish king in chariot
3xblack guard: captain
khandish chariot

any better?

15-05-2009, 18:38
How does it play?

Lord Asuryan
15-05-2009, 22:10
haven't tried it yet.

18-05-2009, 05:56
From a theme points of view this list looks very good. From a tactical perspective I really think that it should work pretty well.

Please tell us when you tested it in battle. :)

19-05-2009, 00:00
you can mount easterling models in the chariots to keep the look unified

19-05-2009, 05:24
you can mount easterling models in the chariots to keep the look unified

I wouldn't do that. Easterling and Khandish troops were very close allies and fought in the same wars most of the time. They work very well as a theme.

Lord Asuryan
20-05-2009, 03:22
yeah, I like the khandish king model anyways.
should have a game soon, I'll let you know how it goes.