View Full Version : [WotR] 2000 Mordor Orc Horde - Discussion welcome!

10-04-2009, 12:43
Like many others I've started with WotR, due to a mixture of rule love (WHFB/40k Player here) and film/books love. Ebay luck brought me quite a lot of Orcs a long with some other goodies and I've started t think about a proper, balanced, Horde. I give you the list, and write the questions in the end:

Common Formations
- 9 Companies Mordor Orcs, 2-handed weapons, Captain, Banner, Drummer, Taskmaster (335)
- 8 Companies Mordor Orcs, Shields, Captain, Banner, Drummer, Taskmaster (285)
- 3 Companies Mordor Orcs, Bows (60)
- 4 Companies Warg Riders, Shields, Captain, Banner (185)
- 4 Companies Warg Riders, Shields, Captain, Banner (185)

Rare Formations
- 1 Mordor Troll (100)
- 1 Mordor Troll (100)
- 2 Companies War Catapult Battery (100)

Epic Heroes
- Witchking(200)

Legendary Formations
- Winged Nazgūl, Shadow Lord (250)

1800 points, with 1050 points in Common Formations.
9 independently acting formations

Thoughts & Questions
- I wanted quite a lot of basic orcs. the only advantage I see in comparison with Morannon orcs ist the size of the formation. Yet I'm still undecided if I shouldn't skip the Orcs with shields for Morannons (with shields)? I think this isn't a list specific question but a question for all Mordor players!

- Command options. They cost so many points - are they really worth it? I took banners to get the charge of with every formation possible. I took all those captains for the the "double move" to get into position. The drummers, by far the cheapest command are for the same purpose and of double use when I can move twice. The taskmasters are there to ensure the morale check for marching and fo lost combat are passed. With captains they give a courage of 4. So every option seems to have a clear purpose. but full command costs 125 points, thats another Nazgūl! Any advice?

- 4 companies of warg riders - are there too many per formation?

- Shadow Lord on Fellbeast or another of the 9?

- Anything except ambushers missing for a balanced force (see c) and d) under the remaining points question?

- Any major weaknesses?

- 200 points left. My thoughts so far:
a) Troll captain. I love trolls and instead of two trolls guarding my flank I would have a spearhead in the middle.
b) Uruk-Hai/Black Guard of Barad Dur. Shagrat's tower guard seems to be worthless!? I already have 13, so with a blister of the new ones, I'd have 2 companies. Since I don't want to go with big metal formations (too costy) I've thought to take 2 companies of Black Guard. With full command, another 200 points. Worth it? Worth taking without command for only 100 points?
c) Skip 1 company of warg riders from each formation. Add in Shelob. ambusher and the 4th monster. Don't think it will look good in the army, though.
d) 2 companies of Grishnįkh's Trackers. Ambushers S4 and Prowlers and Take Aim! but I'd have 95 points remaining and no Idea for them.
e) Kārdush/ The Mouth of Sauron/ Ringwraith. Another caster. Needed?
f) Allies. Would prefer to stay without them for starters. But I love the models of those Morhul Knights.

Feel free to discuss other Mordor related things (like unit sizes, worthless units, must-haves, etc.) in this thread, too!

PS: When I talk about full command, I left out the shamans, their point costs aren't right in comparison to all the other casters in the list.

Edit: Title changed since I consider to change to the Angmar list right now

10-04-2009, 14:05
Few things:

1) You'd be silly not to use Gothmog. He may be the single best epic hero in the game. He's also the truest army general in the game. Unless you have some fluff/personal reason not to use him, he should be the first epic hero in your list.
2) The witch king doesn't do much good on the battleline. His ability functions behind your line or behind your opponent's line. Hence I'd put him on the felbeast and have him move up behind you line, then later move behind theirs through the swoop attack option. I'd then move the other nazgul down into your line and exchange him either for Khamul the Easterling (in the great weapon guys) for his awesome ability (he either discounts 33% of the hits the unit takes or pushes those hits onto your opponent's units) or the Dark Marshal (his abilities help to buff your army as a whole).
3) The advantage of the morannon orcs are twofold: 1) they have an extra point of strength and 2) they have the defense of 5 naturally. Either you can have an orc base with shields for 20 points or a morannon base without shields for the same 20 points. The monannon base has +1 str and can't lose it's defense bonus to flank/rear attacks or the spell shatter shields for free. If you have the models there is no reason to use orcs with shields over morannon orcs without them, ever.
4) I really like Kardush. The reason is the ruin list and the fact that he can cast 2 spells. Run him in your great weapon unit. As the armies close he can blast away, but when combat starts don't overlook shatter shields and the reroll missed hits ability. Both of those can really turn the tide of the fight for the formation. Cast the shatter shields automatically, then the reroll hits ability is easily cast on a 2+. The mouth of sauron is almost never needed. For 25 extra points you can take a nazgul with a good ability, a better epic ability, and the potential for an extra spell.
5) I haven't been bringing the hornblowers or taskmasters myself. The extra move for the hornblowers only matters for the normal movement and the on the double movement. It doesn't affect your charge rate at all. Hence it only comes into play a few times and only adds 1-2" a turn. The taskmasters can be rendered rather useless by 1) having nazgul/gothmog in the essential units (with their courage of 5), 2) by having the witch king behind the army (makes you auto-pass on the double and terror tests) or 3) having the dark marshal in the center of your army (to pass the courage of 5 to everyone within 12" of him). The extra points lets you add extra things in the army.
6) I think I prefer the bolt throwers over the catapults. They help bring down the larger monsters like mumaks or balrogs a little easier or at least get those first few critical wound counters on them so you don't waste hits on them.

10-04-2009, 14:18
Here's the army I plan on using at 2,000 points. I'm still tinkering with it but it's the current version:

Gothmog (with large morannon orcs)
Khamul the Easterling (with great weapon orcs)
Kardush the Firecaller (with great weapon orcs)
Winged Nazgul (either betrayer for fighting or tainted for his ability)
6 morannon orc companies with shields
3 morannon orc companies with shields
6 mordor orc companies with great weapons, banner, captain
3 mordor orc companies with bows
3 warg rider companies
mordor troll chieftan
mordor troll
mordor troll
siege bow battery
4 morgul knight companies with banner, knight commander
3 black numenorean companies with marshal
2000 points exactly

The morgul knights and black numenoreans are holdovers from my minas morgul army. I'm also considering of downgrading the mordor troll chieftan to a regular mordor troll and bumping the warg riders up to 6 companies with a captain. I'll also have to drop the shields on the 3 company morannon orc unit.

11-04-2009, 16:57
In terms of style I prefer the ringwraiths over Gothmog. Modelwise, too. He's good but I don't think he's mandatory.

I did some calculation for the questione shield orcs vs morannons with shield, and sadly 6 Morannons seem to be the way to go, instead of the 8 orcs with shield in my list. But the box comes with 8 of them, so I somehow want to use them. Without command they are really cheap, so what do you think of small, 3 company formations to protect my flanks? Or, depending on the enemy to line up infront of my important troops. At 60 pts one can easily sacrifice them

And I haven't heard any opinion about other options in the Mordor list yet, like Uruk-hai,trackers or Black guard. Has anyone already used them?

12-04-2009, 03:26
gothmog is a BEAST. with 4 might, he can wreck just about anybody in a duel (1 for epic strike, 1 for the duel). it still leaves him 2 points to do heroic advances. and the whole 'anything you can do, i can do better' bit is just gravy...all for a measly 110 points! ******* crazy.

morannon orcs are really awesome...D7 is just silly good. theyre not a no brainer though, cuz mob rule is equally awesome for the mordor orcs.

i also agree that the witch king needs to be on the fell beast to fully take advantage of all his rules.

re: trolls....i think if youre going to run any, you oughta go all out and get 1 chieftain and 2 regular ones. use them as a heroic charging spearhead. if you get the heroic charge off you should use the chieftains second point of might to call a heroic fight, cuz lets face it...how many units are going to win one fight against 3 trolls, let alone two fights? :D

and i think wargs need to be run big...like 6 companies big. giving them the tormented steeds is hella good. wounding a lof of infantry on 4's is great. if youre facing elves, putting the knight of umbar with them will go a long way to keeping them alive since their fight is soooooo bad.

12-04-2009, 06:51
I will concur that Gothmog are really very good, but I think that you should use whatever characters you feel suits you or appeal to you.

Regarding Orcs with shields you also need to count their mob rule into the calculation as well. A formation of nine Orcs with shield could be very effective since more of them will survive against missile fire and they get an extra support dice in combat as well as the shields extra bonus, so make them a big unit. I prefer Orcs with two handed weapons though, screened by Moranon Orcs with shields in big games.
Regarding Mordor Orcs either use them in formations of nine companies or field Moranon Orcs, and I field Moranon Orcs in formations of four companies with shields.

Regarding the Wargs I find them a little weak compared to other lists cavalry so I usually field them in units of three and either shields or bows and a captain and use them as harassment in force. Then I usually have a few with no upgrades and only two companies. These run at the back of my line as reaction forces when I need them, functions very well.

I will use Morgul knights as the heavy cavalry hitters in an at least four companies strong formation. Don't have them yet, but I will get them... cool models. Together with the Marshal of course, just because he should lead them. :)

Witch King on a Felbeast is awesome, and suits his style very well as well. If you can afford the model I would include it.

Sarah S
12-04-2009, 07:05
I will use Morgul knights as the heavy cavalry hitters in an at least four companies strong formation.

Hopefully not more than 4 companies strong either!

12-04-2009, 07:06
Oh... and about the models in the unit, don't sweat it... I only have a total of 12 Orc companies and I field a formation of nine using either Shields, 2-h weapons or no upgrades at all. I simply make sure to base them in each company so that the front rank carries the correct weapons. And in case they don't get any upgrades I simply have no unity in the first rank. This is perfectly legal within the game rules as well.

12-04-2009, 07:08
Hopefully not more than 4 companies strong either!

So, you can only have four in a unit, don't think that I noticed that... good to know... :)

16-04-2009, 11:19
The Orcs vs Morannon question still bucks me, right now, I'm considering changing into an Angmar list, with some Warg riders and trolls as allies. I want 2-3 ringwraiths, at least 2 big blocks of orcs, some wargriders and 1-2 trolls. Thats it, for the rest I'm quite open to ideas. Any opinion about orc heavy Angmar?
And I'm still hoping for some opinion about Mordor Uruks and their rare and legendary equivalents!

18-04-2009, 15:24
It would be great if someone found the time to answer some of my questions over the weekend!

Avatar of the Eldar
18-04-2009, 16:26
Well, you need to get clear about Mordor or Angmar (to start with) if you want useful counsel. Otherwise it's a moving target you're asking us to hit.

Personally, I like the track you're on with your Modor list and second most of the advice from Emissary.

Consider adding a block of Morannon orcs at at 6 strong.

Lord Asuryan
18-04-2009, 17:54
personally, for the fell beast, I favor the shaodw lord, nazgul get shot down fairly easily. IMO, you'd be stupid to use the betrayer on a winged nazgul, as while it turns him into an uber-machine of DEATH, it also plants a huge target on his chest. whereas in a unit of morranons, he can make them do some truly horrific damage.

18-04-2009, 18:00
while i agree that fellbeasts can be gunned down easily, its fairly easy to hide them from archer units. just park it behind a brick of orcs so that only non-archer units have him in their AOS. theres no large target rule for fell beasts...they look massive, but ruleswise they can hide pretty easily.

gotta disagree with the shadow lord on fellbeast, the archers youre really scared of have long bows, and if hes not within 18 of the enemy he might as well be on foot. my mounted choices would be
the witch king (duh)
khamul (though again, he oughta be in a big unit of orcs)
or the tainted (who should zip behind units, black dart/breath characters to easier let your other characters duel away; or combined with other nazgul do lots of sunder spirit/visions of woe with no leader courage bonus)

18-04-2009, 18:21
Avatar of the Eldar, you're right.
Thought about it and I will stick with Mordor and add in Angmar allies, if I find the points.

I rewrote the list, including only the things I already own (beside of the the Winged Nazgūl and the 2nd Mordor Trol, which I absolutly want to use modellwise):

Common formations
- 9x Mordor Orcs, 2-handed weapons, captain (230 pts)
- 8x Mordor Orcs, shields, captain (210 pts)
- 3x Mordor Orcs, Bows (60 pts)
- 5x Wargriders, Shields, Banner, Captain (210 pts)

Epic Heroes
Witchking (200 pts)

Legendary formations
Winged Nazgūl (250 pts)

Rare Formations
- Mordor Troll (100 pts)
- Mordor Troll (100 pts)

Total: 1460 pts

This is the base, which is quite fixed for me modellwise. Options for me within the list above:
- Take the Wichtking as a proxie for another Ringwraith (the weathertop one is simple, but I love it so much, that I absolutly want to have it on the field). I will buy the winged version, too, sine I prefer the pose of his fellbeast over the generic one.
- More/less command models
- exclude the orcs with bows, since I'm not too keen on them modell wise.

But that still leaves 500 pts and more to make an army of model love into an army of effectiness. Considerations gathered from this thread and others:
- Modor, to stay within the list:
- 6x Moranon Orcs, shields, captain (200 pts) - boosting my horde theme, but giving me another 48 models to paint...
- another Ringwraith - love their models, fluff, rules
- I still have 2 formations of Mordor Uruks lying around....
- More Wargriders to split them into 2 formations
- Ghostly allies from the Angmar list, which make a great contrast to the dark looks of my horde:
- Shade - Should be quite good in combination in combination with the 2hw orcs
- Ghostly Legion - Helps with moving a horde on a terrain heavy board. helps with high defence units, too
- Fallen Realms Allies
- Mumak - I like the view of big monsters surrounded by infantry, fear them rulewise and have no good idea on how to deal with them. So why not include one myself (cold war thinking...)
- Harad Raiders/Warbands - for the theme when I take the Mumak
- Morgul Knights and the Dark Marshal

Things I don't want to include:
- Gothmog, I hate that model
- Any kind of metal infantry units except Mordor Uruk-Hai. simply too costy
- Shelob, since I hate to glue each single leg. I already have enough problems with my WHFB Tomb Scorpions.

30-04-2009, 15:50
*push*for the final list:

Epic Hero
- Gothmog
- Khamūl
- The Knight of Umbar

- Witchking on Fellbeat

- 8x Mordor Orcs, Shields, Captains
- 9x Mordor Orcs, 2-handed weapons, Captain
- 3x Mordor Orcs, Bows
- 6x Morannon Orcs, Shields, Captain
- 5x Wargrider, Shields, Captain, Banner

- Mordor Troll
- Mordor Troll
- 2x Siege Bow Battery

1995 Pts

so my questions are:
- Too many models?
- Exchange the Knight of Umbar for any other Ringwraith?
- Is there something other than siege bows against big monsters, i.e. are they necessary?
- Should I change the Orcs with bows against Trackers, so that I have less units within my deployment zone?
- Any other advise?

30-04-2009, 16:01
Overall, the list looks good. Right now I really like the Tainted and the Betrayer. I really think the Tainted may be the best of all 9 ringwraiths and by a large margin as the lists get bigger. Last night he was causing a ton of headaches for my dwarf opponent, especially with the terror causers we had plus the other 2 ringwraiths and their spells in addition to the "there will be no dawn" fate.

I will say that I like the orc trackers. That's just up to you.

Another option for the monster hunting is the black guard of bara'dur. They have a S5 base and can get up to S7-9 through their beserk ability. I've thought about converting some up myself.

01-05-2009, 09:53
- The Betrayer should come in handy when I have droubles dealing with high defence. I'm not sure if I have enough terror causers for the Tainted?!
- Then I switch to 2 companies of orc trackers shooting in the back instead of 3 companies of archers. Interchangeable, pointswise.
- Black Guard, as already mentioned somewhere in this thread, is an option for me, modelwise. But how many companies should I take? I have 2, so maybe 3 but 4 is definatly too costy in terms of cash. And this would mean another infantry block in my deployment zone. 3 companies and a captain cost 200 pts, so I'd need to find another 100pts beside the siege bows. The Morannons?

01-05-2009, 11:41
The black guard max out at 3 companies so you've already got enough. The 6 strong unit of morannon orcs could be taken out for it. They're pretty interchangable. Since you already own both sets of models you can try it out really without too much issue.

The thing about the tainted is that every unit a ringwraith joins gets the terror effect (even though the formation itself does not cause terror). Between that and the fact that you have 3 wraiths to cast the dismay spells is where I find the tainted really comes in handy. Plus he works well for their at the double and the panic check courage tests.

Avatar of the Eldar
01-05-2009, 15:04
I like your list. There's no such thing as a "right" list - you just end up using them differently depending on the combo of units you've chosen.

Like the general configuration.
Second the suggestion of trying out Black Guard as a possible alternate to the Morannon orcs (less for utility and more for theme - i.e. having a crack unit among your mob)

Would rather see the Troll captain instead of siege bows, but acknowledge that the bows give you versitility.

Those archers could proxy for trackers, which might be a way to get more utility out of their abilities.

To my tastes, your list is top-heavy, even for 2000 pts. 3 Nazgul and Gothmog? If the group you game with is Epic Hero crazy maybe that's what you just need to do. I prefer more troops.

I would drop one of them and get more cavalry for your flanks. Unless you deploy those blocks in wide formations, you've got a fairly compact force which Rohirrim could get behind, and that will hurt.

Again, there's no perfect list. It seems to me the game mechanics will allow a variety of builds to be successful. It's just figuring out how to use them. Maybe that's my hope.