View Full Version : First Isengard 500 pt Roster

11-08-2007, 22:22
I figure pretty much everyone's first roster probably isn't very good, but what the heck I thought I would go ahead and post my first draft to get some feedback on it.

500 Pt - Isengard Raiders Roster x/White Hand Allies

1 x Sharku: Hand Weapon; Armor; Shield, Warg; 60 pts
1 x Uruk-hai Shaman: Spear; 50 pts

4 x Warg Rider: Hand Weapon, Armor, Shield; 52 pts
6 x Uruk-hai Warrior [Isen]: Hand Weapon, Heavy Armor, Shield; 60 pts
8 x Uruk-hai Warrior [Isen]: Hand Weapon, Heavy Armor, Pike; 80 pts
1 x Ork Warrior [Isen]: Hand Weapon, Armor, Banner; 30 pts
10 x Ork Warrior: Hand Weapon, Bow, Armor; 60 pts

1 x Isengard Troll: Hand Weapon, Armor, Shield; 105 pts

Total Points: 497
Models: 32
Might: 4
Will: 4
Fate: 2

General idea would be troll in the center of the line flanked by Uruk-hai w/shields. Uruk-hai with pikes behind this with the shaman and banner centered behind the troll (one behind the other) to extend their bonuses to as much of the line as possible. Bows on one flank to volley fire (preferably in a position to avoid being easily engaged) and wargs w/sharku on the other flank.

Does this seem like a decent list and deployment or am I "hitting the pipe" and need to go back to the drawing board? One of the things I was debating was whether to go with the 10 Orc w/bows or to go with 6 Uruk-hai with crossbows...



Sniper Kelly
11-08-2007, 23:11
Hi there,

It looks like a fairly solid list, but I'd drop the shamen and get a captain for your Uruks instead. Also, I'd drop the standard and get more warg riders.

11-08-2007, 23:27
Ah no I love Shamans they're good in game and excellent models!! The list looks okay but a bit of a pick and mix which could still work well. Have you tried it at all yet?

12-08-2007, 05:55
fellas, thanks for the replies and feedback to my list.

I am actually very new with LOTR though I have a background in miniature games having played warhammer since 4th Ed and do play a number of other games as well. LOTR was something I just recently got interested in after seeing some games of it in action two weeks ago at Chicago. Prior to that I had never been in a place where there were people that played it- instead playing some of the larger followed games. After seeing it in action I got interested in it so order the rulebook and Legions of Middle Earth and started playing some "theory-hammer" with it before I start painting.

After doing some research and reading everything I coild find on the net I decided to start out with Isengard as they look pretty stable and solid with a good deal of flexibility available through allies in larger points games and this was the list I decided based on my reading looked pretty solid for a start to get painted up and get some initial games with for some experience.

With this being said I want to provide some explanations for why I took certain items so you can explain you view points to see and better enable me to understand some fo the apsects of the games and relationships between things that I have not yet seen only recently starting to learn the game.

On sniper kelly's comment the reason I went with the shaman was for "fury" which seemed like a really good spell (warhammer mindframe) as positioned in a sheltered position in my main formation it seemed like he would pretty luch make my stuff unbreakable therefore ensuring I would get to capitalize off the "power" of the uruk-hai and giant supported by the pikes and grind stuff down in hth without the chance of a bad round turning things south for me. Though more difficult to cast and something a lot more situational I also really liked immobilize as well as it could potentially provide me what I need to deal with any powerful characters by setting them up for the troll to beat on. However, I do see the value of another captain in terms of gaining more might providing me more flexibility and power as well. I just wasn't sure what was going to be more beneficial to me and was thinking that with the current set-up I would have a pretty hard center that could pin things down so the wargs and character would be able to captialize off of this on the flanks.

To answer maynard's quetion- I haven't actually played LOTR or this list at all yet; I am just reading and trying to learn as much as possible while I am in the early buying and building stage so I don't end up wasting a bunch of time on stuff that isn't any good.

To date my entire collection of models for LOTRs (including some stuff I am waiting to arrive from a trade) includes: 1 box of Fighting Uruk-Hai, 1 Evil of Isengard Box, 1 Two Towers Box, Sharku, Gothmog, Sauron (part of the trade), 1 Cave Troll, 1 Isengard Troll, 1 Ringwraith on Fellbeast, 2 castellans, 1 Mumak (part of trade- just cool model), and 2 boxes of khandish horse, 1 khandish king in chariot, 2 boxes of khandish warriors.

I picked up all the khandish stuff and the castellans at the really good close out sale because it was too good to pass up...based on what I have I can se a couple of directions to go but I figured what I posted above would be a good start to get some games and experience in and expose me to some different aspects and approaches and then I could branch out and start using some of the other stuff and adding more stuff to specialize in certain styles and tactics once I become more experienced with the game and exposed to more approaches.

Any further input would be appreciated.


12-08-2007, 08:52
Have you considered Uruk-Hai Crossbows? They're the most feared ranged attack in the game. Possibly consider giving your banner to an Uruk, seeing as they have higher defence and therefore more survivability.

As for the Shaman, I like them. Don't rely too much on fury to keep your models alive though. The main point of fury is the courage (not so much an issue with Isengard) and the fury save doesn't work that often. That being said, having it work a few times a game is usually well worth it due to the higher cost of the Uruks.

Don't know much about the troll, btu the other option is to replace with a captain and some more warriors...

12-08-2007, 11:51
Uruk banners also have the advantage of being a higher fight value than orks

12-08-2007, 15:37
thanks for th continued input; I do have a few more questions for you guys.

I have looked at the Uruk-Hai crossbows and did notice that they have 6" of greater range and 1 higher strength...though they aren't as mobile as the orcs wth bows. However, part of it is also the cost- for the same points as 5 Uruk-Hai with crossbow and shield I can get 10 orcs w/bows....now on the orcs I haven't bothered with the shields as they seem fairly cheap and expendable to me; but witht eh Uruk-Hai w/crossbows as they are almost double the cost it seems worth it to give them shields for the higher defense. Do you agree with this or do you field the crossbows w/o shields?

On the issue of the banner and shaman, the reason I went with an orc banner instead of an Uruk is I figured I would generally keep it hidden behind other models anyway so it was a way to save points while still getting the benefit. With the shaman I realize with fury the save is only 16% chance; I wasn't looking at that as much as I was looking at the "automatically pass any courage test".

Does anyone have any more input or experience with the troll; to me it seemed like a good thing to have one of in the army for tying down big heroes, being able to do some high str. attacks, and hold the center of the line, etc...however, for the cost of the troll I could get 10 more Uruk-Hai.

Do any of you use the trolls and if so what is going to be more beneficial to my list the troll or 10 more Uruks?



Sniper Kelly
12-08-2007, 17:16
Well, Trolls are fun to play and make a great centre-piece to an army, so I'd keep it in. I find that they are effective for the most part as long as you keep them away from powerful heroes and archers.

For missile troops It's a close call, but I'd go for the 10 Orcs as it lets you use volley fire, and the extra numbers will make your army that little bit harder to break.

13-08-2007, 02:49
how do you find they are most effective- in the front/center or sheltered behind the orcs till you close?

I agree on the missile troops; I went with the 10 orcs for volley fire. While I like the strength and range of the crossbows I just didn't see 6 of them having much of an impact. For that matter I am not that convinced that even 10 orc bows will have much of an effect either. It almost seems to me that unless you have enough models on the board to field 15-20 shooting models they aren't going to do much.

13-08-2007, 06:26
On your previous post

- Don't use trolls to tie up big heroes. Big Heroes are probably the best at taking them down. Throw them into standard warriors.

- Crossbows have 2 more strength than an orc bow, not 1

- Shields generally aren't worth it on missile troops because they don't get the extra defence bonus because of the bow. And the points would be better spent on another model than gaining the shielding rule which isn't used too much in a standard game.

13-08-2007, 06:59
Again: Drop the pikes, take orcs with spears instead.

And really do consider getting crossbows.

17-08-2007, 04:34

why do you favor the orcs with spears instead of the pikes? If anything I would figure a mixture might be better but it seems that the pikes give me the greatest flexibility for supporting combats...

I am seriously looking at the crossbow option; the main reasons I was looking at the orcs are the pts cost, the ability to volley fire, and the ability to move (half) and shoot. The crossbows obviously have more range, hit better, wound much better, and are tougher troops (albeit fewer for the points cost)however how much of a handicap is not being able to move and shoot with them? Granted it might not be much as their range probably makes up for the lack of manueverability.

One other question I was wondering; is the shaman (fury) worth it or am I better off getting another hero (captain/vaskru/ugluk) for the extra might...i.e. heroic actions in its place?


17-08-2007, 08:34
it all breaks down to two things.

An army will benefit if it has many figures. An uruk with a pike weighs in at 10 points. Sure, the uruk has a F4, S4, and D5. But if he is not directly involved in a combat, then the F4 or S4 is not being used, and since he isn't in combat, then the D5 isn't being used either, because he's in a supporting role.

An orc with a spear weighs in 6 points, with less F, S, and D. But as stated the spear will be in a supporting role. Thus, for less points, you get the same effect.

Working that out, your spear effect at 6 points, instead of 10 points sounds like a pretty good deal to me. Because it will save you points, and thus get you more figures. Something that in this game is not a bad thing at all.

But what of the pike's ability to strike in addition to a spear, I hear you say. Bring on the second point...

Formation: When a figure is defeated in combat, he is forced back by the victor. If he can not make way, then the defeated figure counts as trapped.

In a classic pike formation, there is a front row with two rows behind it, either pike/pike, or spear/pike.

For a figure to be able to make way, a single friendly figure can make way as well that is not engaged in combat. But that's it. So if you have a pike-based formation, and you lose a combat, then your front line will not be able to get away, since the third man in the pike line will stop the second rank and then the first rank, from getting away. Thus, the first rank gets double hits.

Now, for the record, I'll clarify that I would not play a so-called "orc" sandwich myself. I would not put an orc behind a uruk, and an uruk behind the orc. Although points wise it would make sense.

I would, and regularly do, put an orc behind the uruk. I never play a pike block.

I don't play a pike block because I find it limits my options on the battle field too much. It rapidly leads to too many chances for flanking, and can rapidly give the opponent too much initiative. It also can quickly become a death trap when enemy heroes start to eat into the front rank.

And so to the issue of crossbows.

Cross bows are good. Crossbows are nice. Crossbows kill stuff. Quickly. Lest look at the two.

An uruk shoots on 4+, an orc of 5+.
A crossbow is S4, a bow is S2.
An Uruk is tougher in combat than a similarly equipped orc.
Bows can volley fire.
Orcs bowmen can move and shoot, crossbows can't.

These five points are ranked in how I would see how important they are. In other words, I would take crossbows over bows any day of the year. Even on Christmas.

I deploy crossbows scattered though my line, covering gaps in terrain. I also pair them up, or put them down even in threes. In this way, I get the coverage I need to start to shut down alleys. In that way, I can channel the opponent towards my unwashed mass of warriors.

But when I play with them, I'm not afraid to move them. Redeployment is essential, and can really surprise the opponent. Especially when you start to get lines to snipe his banners or heroes.

And lets get this straight right away. For the books, so to say. Heroes usually have more Defence, and with a better Strength of attack, you have a better chance of hurting and maiming. Obvious, I know, but well, WELL, worth remembering.

Shaman issue:
Shamans are good, but it all cracks down to personal preference really, and what you have in your army already. Personally, I run two combat heroes on foot with my warriors, and use them solely for combating and moving. In my army, the shaman becomes more of a "Luxury" choice. But then again, if you really want to have a pike block, then the shaman has a spear, and you can tuck him in nicely into the second rank. But then you risk being trapped again...

And I'm spent...

21-08-2007, 09:55
I know this reply is a bit late (I haven't been on in several days).

Anyhow I agree with the points Pertinax makes.

There's just one more thing I'd like to add. In regards to the Orcs w/ bow against Uruk Crossbows comparison, I thought I'd mention the Uruk Scout with Orc Bow. The Uruk Scout is basically a half-half mix, between the Orc bowmen and Uruk Crossbow but haven't seen it used much (although that might be changing with the plastics).
Its 2 points cheaper than a Uruk Crossbow but 3 points mroe than an Orc Bowman. It allows half movements (unlike the Crossbow), can fight well in combat, and has better courage than an Orc as well as the important shoot value and it can also volley. The downsides are the lower range and strength and they have 1 less defence (same as an Orc).
All in all though, they are IMO a viable alternative to the Crossbow and a good direction to head if you're not prepared to sacrifice the mobility.
In terms of Pertinax's list, it loses one of the important advantages, but gains all the rest. Not too bad.

Just thought I'd add that...

30-08-2007, 06:51
know I haven't said anything in a while but thought I would update. Over the last 7-10 days have had some opportunities to try out some 350 pt lists with decent success so thought I would update what is listed above:

Isengard 350 pt Roster:

Uruk-Hai Captain: Heavy Armor, Shield- 60 pts
Uruk-Hai Warrior x 12: Shields- 120 pts
Uruk-Hai Warrior x 4: Pikes- 40 pts
Uruk-Hai Warrior x 8: Crossbow- 88 pts
Uruk-Hai Warrior x 1: Banner- 39

Might: 2, Models: 26, Points: 347

This is the list I played a couple of games with last weekend. The crossbows were definitely worth their weight in gold and the shield to pike ratio above worked out a whole lot better than the original 50/50 I was looking at....granted I realize that for the same cost as the captain I could get Lurtz who is obviously better but we were playing WYSIWYG so I was using what I had.

I do see the point Pertinax was making above about the spears vs. pikes and on my future list of stuff to get is a box of Mordor Orcs to add some spears to the roster as I can get 4 of them for the cost of three pikes; I will probably do this at the larger points levels but at 350 I still like the pikes because when they are directly involved in the combats they are still Uruk-Hai and capable of dishing out damage.

Also settled on my "good" army and picked up the stuff for the core of a dwarf army; will post up in a separate post tomorrow my initial dwarf lists (350/500) for some feedback.