View Full Version : Getting started with Isengard

04-10-2009, 12:51
I really didn't think I'd ever say this, but I'm starting LOTR.

It all came about from my involvement in the York Garrison Wargaming Club (http://yorkgarrison.co.uk), where I was often asked, as a member of the club management, whether we played LOTR. I would always reply that anyone could play any game they liked as long as it was a tabletop wargame, but was forced to admit that, no, at the moment, we had no one playing LOTR on a regular basis.

At about the same time, a friend of mine who was divesting himself of a vast amount of wargaming stuff - not getting out the hobby, but taking a temporary hiatus until he had himself a job and a home and suchlike - contacted me and offered me a quite obscene quantity of mixed LOTR miniatures and books.

The time, I figured, had come.

So, anyway, here I am with a mixed pile of minis. I've just about started to work out what's what thanks to regular reference to the GW website. Although I read all the Tolkein books as a youngling, I've never seen the films but I've been impressed with the imaginative expansion of the canon coming out of the GW Studio.

Last week I managed to arrange a short experimental game with a youngling and discovered that Uruk-Hai are hard as nails and, as I have a good number of Uruk-Hai warriors and scouts, plus a good number of orcs and goblins, I decided to settle on Isengard for my first SBG force.

I plan to move on with Gondor, Moria Goblin and Rohan forces, too, in due course. But I thought I should tap into the collective wisdom of Warseer's experienced generals to see what I should be adding to my force (aiming for about 500 points, with surplus for flexibility), especially in terms of heros, and what sort of tactics I should pursue.

I'll stick up some pics of my finished Uruk-Hai in the P&M forums in due course.


04-10-2009, 15:30
1st thing is that i highly suggest watching the films or reading the books(or both) as that gives you great ideas.

Isengard have many things to there advantage. The main is the uruk-hai. Having a higher fight, Strength, Courage and defence than almost all orcs and even most men. However they are expensive points wise and will almost always be outnumbered.

You can take Scouts or Warriors. The only real diffrence is there equipment.
Warriors have a higher defence and can be equiped with pikes and Crossbows while Scouts can have Orc bows and are a little cheaper.
These will be your main troops however Isengard can also get orcs. They are rather weak but very cheap and they also have acsess to two-handed weapons which tho harder to win with will kill easier.

Your eilte choises(And thats saying something for Uruk-hai!) are beserkers or feral uruk-hai. Both are very powerful with 2 attacks. Te only diffrence is that a Beserker has 2(!) extra courge and 1 extra defence(Dispite wearing less armour:wtf:) for an extra 3 points. Also the beserkers wield Two-handed swords so it will often come down to defence and weapon setting the 2 apart.
Isengard also have Warg riders which are just Orcs atop wargs but cavalry are really powerful and Wargs are even better than horses(Unarmoured) as they have a strength of 4 which helps alot when trying to open the tin caned Dwarves. Also never forget about the Troll. Isengard trolls have a higher defence than normal morodor trolls and can be given spears but have a lower strength but concidering that you will be smashing Gondorians and rohan pesants most of the time that won't be a problem.

You are spoilt for heros tho. Saruman is the big hiiter and the only magic user for Isengard. Also there is Grim Wormtounge who forces all enemy heros within 12"(I think) to use doble the might points however tho cheap he's a poor fighter(the same stats a unarmoured Rohan warrior) and can only be used if you have Saruman too. Lurtz is a fantastic captain with 3 might points instead of 2 of normal captains and a great buy. The others are Ugluk(Great in the later stages of the game), Varsku(The best archer aviable to the evil forces) and Sharku who is a better orc captain on warg.
There are also rumors about Isengard/Rohan getting new modals next reaseas(See rumors section for details).

Please ask me if they is anything you would like. I hope i can ansuer your questions.:D

06-10-2009, 16:19
Here's a link to my work so far:



09-10-2009, 14:01
What you havn't seen the movies yet? That was shocking to read lol, I thought everyone seen the movies at least once.

I suggest renting at least, but recomoned buying the extended edtions of the movies and watch them. Also nice looking mini's.

Sorry that I can't give you any tips since I just collect and paint, not really played. But what I can suggest is what books did you get? I just want to make shure you got the updated books.

BTW, do you know where they are taking the Hobbits?

09-10-2009, 15:53
BTW, do you know where they are taking the Hobbits?

To my house (A.K.A. Isengard as thats what the house name is. LOL)

Isnegard are fantastic tho and problally the most elite troops evil can get.

11-10-2009, 19:11
Oh, I got really out-of-date books. I got The Fields of Pellinor and the Siege of Gondor, because I got them from the "everything must go" table at Games Day. At the end of the day, they were selling any five items for 1. So I got an issue of WD I'd missed, the old Eldar and Dwarf Collectors' guides and those two books.

It's mostly a case of reading myself into the game. I missed club night this week, and I'm playing Dark Heresy next week, so who knows when I'll get another game of SBG. Hopefully, I'll actually have the rulebook soon...


17-10-2009, 06:28
Hey man,

Glad to see another person getting into SBG. Definately the place to start in terms of LOTR.

If you haven't got it already, I would suggest picking up a copy of Legions of Middle Earth. Doesn't matter whether it brand-new or second hand, there have been no new editions released for a while and is pretty much the place to go to when you want to play a random friendly game.

Isengard is a very good choice, one of the rather forgiving beginner armies, filled with rock solid combat monsters.

In terms of a 500 point list, these are the things which you should consider first.


Saruman. He takes a hefty chunk of points, but is a pretty good investment in these size games. He can run around blasting tight formations (which are seen in pretty much all armies) and making a general mess from range. Fight the urge to run him into close combat, he can take the pain but he's more useful casting magic or compelling/transfixing heroes for your warriors to gank.

Lurtz. A solid choice for theme, especially if you run with Scout allies. The extra point of might is always good, and you can attach him to groups of scouts with bows since he has one included in his cost.

Uruk/Orc Captains. Overall pretty good, they will make a mess of most other heroes, especially in 500 points since there aren't any of the high-tier heavy hitters logically available to use. Strength 5, backed up with pikes gives you a scary four S5 attacks when your charging.

Uruk-hai w. Swords/Pikes. Definately a must. In a 500 point force, always good to have about 1-2 phalanxes of them. The pike support gives those much needed attacks, and you can spread your frontage if really needed since you have 3 rows of troops.

Crossbows. Haven't used these guys, but they're pretty simple in theory. Run them to a good place to shoot, and lay waste to lightly armoured opponents. The only problem is that they are pretty vulnerable on their own, and as they cant shoot when they've moved you need to get them into position as soon as possible.

Beserkers. My favourite :) I have about 6 of them in my 500 point army, and they scare everyone. Good to use as hero/troop killers, or just as complete distractions as the enemy may attempt to pour fire into all of them just so they can get rid of them.

Scouts. Good for extra points, and the bowmen are pretty useful too, as they are just as accurate as humans. The ability to move and shoot shouldn't be sniffed at as well. Make sure you keep them protected though, their low defence can make them see an untimely end, especially with bowfire.

Ah, you may also want to check out www.one-ring.co.uk for extra advice or to show your wips :) it is a forum solely devoted to SBG and WOTR.

Hope that helps!