View Full Version : Getting started with an army in LotR

03-05-2010, 18:32
Hello all! I am brand new to LotR and am wanting to get started on building an army. What would you recommend to a new player that has purchased the Mines of Moria starter? Should I choose one of those sides to build upon or should I start from scratch? How did you guys get your start?

- V -
03-05-2010, 19:59
SBG or WoTR?

03-05-2010, 20:10
If you like small scale skirmish games then starting with the Strategy Battle Game (SBG) and working up to the big armies of War of the Ring (WotR) is a good plan, since the two games use basically the same miniatures.

Which army depends on what you like to play. 24 goblins and a cave troll is a good start on an army if playing goblins and monsters appeals to you, but if it doesn't then I would start an army from scratch (maybe leave the goblins as an introductory force you can teach people to play with)

I have no idea how effective the fellowship would be as the basis of a force for SBG but in WotR it isn't really the core of an army, it is an addition you buy for any of the good armies at higher point levels.

Whitwort Stormbringer
03-05-2010, 22:34
In SBG, most armies are pretty well balanced (some are better than others, and people have different opinions on just how well balanced, but just generally speaking here) so really I would say pick the faction that appeals to you most. On top of that, I've found for SBG that, since it can be played at such a small scale, you can easily get away with collecting small armies from several different factions if you want to. This will afford you a lot of variety in your gaming, since you won't always feel like you're running the same team.

There also aren't really hard and fast rules for what makes a legal army (there's the Legions of Middle Earth book, but it's not always enforced), so you could in theory have a hodge-podge army if you wanted to.

So in terms of getting started, I would say pick your army, pick up a boxed set of your basic infantry (and maybe a second plastic set if your faction has them, i.e. plastic cavalry or rangers), and then grab a named character that appeals to you. From there, you can add various metal figures like elites, cavalry, and captains at your whim.

Exactly what or who you should get for your starting army depends on which faction you're going to play, and how competitive you want to be.

In SBG, the Fellowship isn't really the basis for an army, rather they are an army. You could feasibly add some things to them, but it's kind of hard to imagine what would make a strong addition to them other than more characters. They're too expensive to really act as the characters for a normal army, unless you plan on making that army absolutely huge. You could, however, pick a good faction and use one or some of them as the leaders. For instance, Legolas could be a good leader for a Mirkwood force, or Boromir for Gondor.

The Marshel
04-05-2010, 03:18
really does depend on which system you want to play. how you collect an army will drastically differ depending on if you want to play either exclusively or both.

for exclusive sbg. mines o moria is a pretty decent starter kit. Its a great way to learn the rules and gives you a mini goblin force as well as the fellowship, amongst which are heroes you can use to lead many forces.

Sbg doesn't require that great of an investment for 500 point armies. its actually quite possible to have half a dozen smaller forces of many factions without really breaking the bank. depending on what army you're building a 300 - 500 point force wont cost too much more then $150 aus. you can always focus on one or two forces, bringing them to the 80 or 1000 point mark while still having multiple smaller forces to muck around with too. this means you can have many varied gaming experience through a combination of allies and simply playing different forces. you'll also have armies to loan out to friends who are up for a game but dont collect themselves.

a pure wotr player would want to pick a force and stick with it for a fair while. to start up a wotr I'd pick a point level (maybe 750) and write up a rough army list. doesn't have to be the most awesome unbeatable list full of fancy elites and what not. just something to guide you. then go out and buy the sets you'll need.

for example, if playing gondor, you'll probably be wanting 2 warriors of minas tirith sets, a rangers set, a knights of minas tirith set, a command blister and an epic hero, lets say faramir. that'll get you:
4 companies of warriors of minas tirith with captain and banner bearer
2 companies of Minas tirith archers
3 companies of rangers
3 companies of Knights
that about 510 points. you'd want to progressively fill in captains and banners and what not but i think that would be a better start then mines of moria. if you're gonna do a goblin army for wotr i'd still not get mines of moria. for the same cost as the version with paints, you can get twice as many goblins and the troll. for the same cost as the non paint version you can get the same number of goblins, troll and an epic hero. mines of Moria isn't worth it from a wotr perspective.

For a mixed player. what you need is a well thought out wotr army list that incorporates allies (or is a fallen realms list) simply put, you wont ever really use all the miniatures from a pure mordor wotr army in sbg. how ever, a mordor army with allied haradrim or easterlings could provide you wiht a nice little sbg army to go with your orcs.

in our gondor example, you would just exchange the knights of minas tirith for riders of rohan. as you expand on th wotr army expand a little on the rohan force too. down the track you should have about 500 or so points of rohan that you can use in sbg as well as your men of gondor.

we can all give you much better advice once we know what armies you like and what systems your looking to play.

04-05-2010, 04:09
depending on what army you're building a 300 - 500 [SBG] point force wont cost too much more then $150 aus.

Doing some quick math and checking my currency converter, I would expect a basic 500 point WotR army to cost about the same amount.

I don't know what the prices in Oz are like, but based on US prices your sample gondor army should only run about $130 US, which converts to about $150 aus

You'd want different things, of course, depending on which game, but WotR is a surprisingly inexpensive game given the number of models in an army. (for now, I'm sure GW will fix that eventually.)

The Marshel
04-05-2010, 06:41
hehe, aussie prices are horrible mate. by ordering from overseas through an online discounter you effectively get half price.

the sample army i listed up there for example, $130 us, compared to about $200 here.

coincidently, most wotr units cost less then the miniatures would in sbg point wise. cavalry are the common exception, but 8 waarriors of minas tirith are 25 points in wotr, compared to 64 in sbg, or 72 with spear. makes playing both pretty easy i reckon

edit: sorry, make that about $225 Aus, forgot the captain and banner blister pack

04-05-2010, 18:03
Wow, thank you all for your detailed replies. I didn't expect so much information for my first post!

I am interested in starting with SBG and, eventually, including WotR if there are enough players in my area. I have been a Rings fan for over 25 years now and enjoy all aspects of each faction/character... but have always been drawn to the Ringwraiths. Is that a reasonable move for a first time player? Or should I try a more skirmish based (dwarves, Gondor, goblins) band to start?

Also, I had just assumed that you were limited to building within your own faction when you put together your army. Is it true that you can mix and match (Gondor + Rohan) and the only limitation is good vs. evil?

Thanks again for the info!

Whitwort Stormbringer
04-05-2010, 19:03
SBG is about as limited as you want it to be. There is Legions of Middle-Earth which gives various force lists for the factions, but it's not required. In the big book (the "One Rulebook"), profiles are organized thematically pretty much the same as they are in the online store, but really the restriction is what you're willing to field together.

The Nazgul, like the Fellowship, are more of an army in their own right. You would need a truly massive army if you wanted to field all 9 just as the leaders. You'll probably also find that they're a tad underwhelming, combat-wise, and are really there to play the role of support spellcasters for the combat troops. Monetarily they'll be very expensive if you're trying to collect all of the named versions, but if you're OK with "generic" wraiths then they're not too bad

04-05-2010, 20:30
In WotR you can take up to 25% of your army from an Allied faction (ie other good or evil armies)

The Marshel
05-05-2010, 09:42
you'll find that the alliance opportunities set down by legions, as well as the contents of each list is really set by common sense, and with a bit of lot knowledges its not too difficult to make a legions legal list without referring to legions ever. the ally system in particular mainly removes time conflicting allies. so you cant have eomer leading rohirim alongside elendi and his numenoreans if you're playing a legions legal sbg list

06-05-2010, 19:29
I will certainly try and stick to factions/bands/scenarios that do not break fiction, I just wanted to make sure I wasn't unknowingly breaking any building rules.

As for the Nazgul army, I don't need to have a named Nazgul (especially in the lower point games) to be happy. I just saw that Nazgul tactics article over at GW and it seemed like a great idea to get started. It was only using two "generic" Nazgul in the builds too (The Undying and The Tainted). It was a total of 700 points though which seemed a bit uneven to me (I was expecting 100, 300, 500, 1000).

07-05-2010, 02:24
Dude the War of the ring is way better and is easy to get into just like SBG. I never found SBG to be that fun, WOTR is a lot better. I recommend elves cause they're very strong, and are easy to use. Although they cost a lot of point you will be outnumbered on the field but they are a great army for and type of player.

07-05-2010, 13:05
I do plan on ramping up for War of the Ring if I can establish a few local players.

07-05-2010, 15:06
I've been playing SBG for a few years and really love it. Warhammer Fantasy and 40k can sometimes bring the worst out in gamers with all the imbalances and constant releases. SBG is a real gem to my group... I'd argue that some of it's success as a well-made and well-balanced game is precisely becuase GW didn't give it enough attention to kill it (I think of Lenny in Of Mice and Men).

Whenever my group wants to have a fun and balanced game with tons of great theming, we play SBG. It's that classic "easy to pick up, difficult to master," type of ruleset that I really enjoy.

WotR is also great fun when you have a good group of folks. It always makes me happy to see big swaths of troops from Middle Earth on the table top. The rules are more open to abuse, so you have to be mindful of that when playing and building lists, but it's definitely a good time and would be a good game to build to as you grow your collection.

As others have suggested, if you're looking for more direction in terms of list building, Legions of Middle Earth is nice to have (I happen to have an extra copy if you would like). All of the sourcebooks and journey books have worthwhile material in them and give you some fun scenarios and ideas.

Again - as others have suggested, I always find it's best to start collecting based on the models you like, regardless of any statlines. That will keep your interest high in seeing them through the long painting process and onto the tabletop. Most factions now have plenty of plastic kits and they are the most economical way to get started.

If you don't want to immediately expand the small Moria force that comes in MoM, you can use it to play against whatever other force you begin collecting. I've used that gang of goblins and cave troll to introduce the game to lots of people (it always helps to have them all painted when showing off the game to new people too! ;)) Prices through GW have really gone up over the last few years, but you might find some folks who could help you get started for less on the trading forum here.

Post again with what you choose!

07-05-2010, 15:24
i think it is easier to start with SBG. less models, and the turn system is the same as wotr (which requires a whole lot more models and much less cinematographic)