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Bingo the Fun Monkey
11-08-2006, 11:12
Well, after hating this game's very existence for a long time, I took a look at the rules and really began to appreciate the potential joys of using this system. Much as I love WFB this game presents something completely new (I'm not too ready to make the leap to Iron Kingdoms). I'm not saying it's better, but it's certainly not inferior either. The Legions of Middle Earth was the final straw to make me actually want to get a force together.

Now, I'm naturally attracted to the forces of Evil and Disorder and so I am torn between using an Easterling, Mordor or Isengardian force. Sadly, this is a "help me choose my force" thread, but as a total newbie to this system I could really use some veteran advice.

I like the Easterlings a lot mainly because of their mystique, corrupted humanity, and their formidable defensive qualities. However, I'm not that big of a fan of painting faces behind heavy helmets (because I'm a lazy OCD painter). Having reliable troops is a novelty to me (playing orcs and goblins), so that aspect also intrigues me. However, I am not that big of a fan of a force that is not exactly a fantasy stereotype. Also, most of the models are too uniform. I do have a really bad-ass colour scheme that I know I'd enjoy painting for them in mind.

Mordor would seem to be my natural choice. As I play orcs and goblins I can take orcs (and morannon and uruk hai) with some nasty trolls (with gorgeous models), etc. However, I fear that their playing style would not be too different from my WFB army. I know they're completely different game systems, but I know that I'd have the same outlook as I do as a greenskin general.

Sauruman and Isengard, historically, are my favourite aspect of 3rd age lore. The inherrent tragedy that this force represents really appeals to me. However, unlike even mordor orcs, I cannot, in my mind, get away with painting their skin green. A force of elite orcs really appeals to me, however, and the models are pretty bad-ass. Sauruman, Lurtz and Grima are all fun characters from what I can see, as well.

A couple of other things:
1) does anybody create their own characters? Is tolkeinish fluff flexible enough for this?
2) does anybody regularly play at over 500 points? I'd like to play at 1000 points.
3) as far as LotR goes, what is, in your opinion, the best aspect of the game? For WFB I love that I can basically create any history I want, however vague it may be, and the gameplay is pretty fun. For 40k, in my view it's generally a good ole slaughterfest. Where WFB is still a game of wits, 40k is a nice easy game of carnage. Where does LotR fall in this spectrum? Or is it completely something else?

Thanks in advance for the help :) .

11-08-2006, 12:02
I've just bought about 1000 points of Gondor, and plan on doing a tower of Ecthelion list. No, I am doing an tower of ecthelion list. But if I wasn't, I'd be doing isengard. The main reason is the pike. it just makes shield walls so much more effective. Get a shield bearing Uruk in the front (defense 6 fight 4), a spear armed orc behind, then a pike armed uruk behind that. 3 attacks. Take that charging cavaly.

They are also about to release a fairly kick ass Isengard troll (go here (http://uk.games-workshop.com/storefront/store.uk?do=Individual&code=99111466025&orignav=16)).

11-08-2006, 13:12
a) What do you mean create your own characters? Rules and fluff? I do not do it but no one will stop you from doing it unless you are entering an official tournament. You could convert models and use existing character stats, those you would be allowed at most tournaments. The LOTR universe is as flexible as the 40k or WFB universe. It is fantasy and you can really get your imagination to work. If you are limited by the films, read the books, if you are limited by the books, do some background research on the net and if that is not enough, use your imagination!
b) I regularly play at 300-500 points. I play Goblins and after that point I get too many models on the table and it gets annoying. However, I do sometimes play BIG games, over 500 and up to 1000. In these cases I include powerfull characters such as The Balrog or/and Saruman. I prefer the smaller games, they work super well and are a lot of fun. Especially because the focus is more on troops.
c) I love the models. They are, in my opinion of course, far better then WFB models because they are more realistic (to scale). Rules wise I love the fact the rules don't get in the way of gameplay. Everyone that plays knows the rules because they are easy to learn. The rules are so clear there is never an argument on how anything works. It is a clean game each time. If you want to be good at LOTR you gotta know how to play and use each model to their full potential.

Bingo the Fun Monkey
11-08-2006, 20:57
a) just fluff, I dunno. I've only read the trilogy, lost tales and the hobbit (couldn't get through similarion) so I felt that everything, background wise, was pretty dogmatic. I'll try to dig a bit deeper.

b) wait...bigger games place less emphasis on the troops? I was hoping to play large games so I could field LOTS of troops.

c) the models are more realistic, as you say, and I can appreciate that. however, I feel that the 40k and WFB models derive their charm from their cartoonish aspects. Maybe it's just the 4th ed sentimentality lingering in me.

I've decided I wouldn't do Isengard as I much prefer the mordor range (trolls, orcs, mordor uruk hai, etc) a lot more than the forces of the white hand. Still, the easterlings are *really* attractive. Maybe I'll just do 500 of both lol.

12-08-2006, 04:47
If you like using lots of troops, then Mordor might be the way to go. Their basic orcs aren't too bad, and you can back them up with Mordor trolls which are very formidable.

On the other hand, Easterlings are certainly an 'orderly' force compared with you WHFB greenskin army, so that might make a nice change. The Easterling force is currently small in terms of units and characters, but there are a couple of extra troop types and an Easterling king coming (someday).

If you do decide on Easterlings, if would recommend the Eastern Raiders army box as a great buy. I recently bought Easterlings, and bought everything in that box separately about 3 weeks before it was released (d'oh!).

Once you have the army box, a single evil character to lead the army is all you need.

Edit: to answer your game size question, my first LotR game was 1000 points, Isengard versus Rohan. It was great.

12-08-2006, 11:34
A good way to create a character would be to use the battle company conversion rules given on GW War of the Ring campaign website. Yeah they may be overpriced but hey their official except for tournies. And who could say no to a rock hard Orc Shaman.

Mad Makz
14-08-2006, 07:04
About the background. In any great War there are many great unknown heroes - captains and soldiers who fought and died heroically and never received any acknowledgement or glory other than the remembrance of their family and the words of a few politicians/kings. There were many heroes and villians during the 3rd age as such who would not have been named by Tolkien but all would have had an important part to play in the world, so naming your captains and creating their background is perfectly viable (plus there are whole tracts of middle earth more or less left unexplored by the events in the books.)

Personally, I prefer 500 point games because they are quicker/easier to set up, although I could see anything up to 1000 points being a fun game. Much over 1000 points and the game would probably be getting a bit too cumbersome for my liking moving all those models around.

17-08-2006, 16:21
The only real problem I've found with larger games is that the time required per turn seems to increase exponentially with the size of the game. Where you would roll a handfull of dice three times (and your opponent once) per combat in WHFB, you can get bogged down making sixty or more rolls in larger games of LotR. 1,000 points is as large as I would want to go. Anything more, IMHO, takes too long to enjoy.

There is certainly as much background to expand on in LotR as there is in Fantasy. Most of the significant characters (lord equivalents for WHFB) have been named, and have rules. The lesser, but still important characters, can be represented as Captains, the equivalent of a WHFB Hero.

Having said that, there always exists the opportunity to take the rules for a named character, and change the name.