View Full Version : I need some help with themeing a mordor army.

15-05-2009, 22:36
I cracked open two boxes of moranon orks today, to begin a mordor army for WOTR.

I know I want ringwraiths in the mix. Beyond that I'm a little stumped. Theres a LOT of options available, and some of them feel like a bit of a bad fit to be honest. For example, wargh riders dont look like they'd fit into an army incredibly well, they look more like scouts.

So, simply put, the question is thus:

What stuff did mordor armies actually contain? Are there units that I should probably avoid? are there units that are a must? All so far as fluff would be concerned.

Avatar of the Eldar
15-05-2009, 23:22
Since you asked...

First off, I'd say that I really enjoy WotR when the armies and scenarios are strongly in keeping with Tolkien's works.

That said, I'd encourage your sentiments about the wargs. Unless I have a blind spot in my memory, there were no wargs mentioned in direct connection with Mordor (i.e the battles of the Pelannor Fields and the Black Gate). For that reason, I'm using Haradrim Raiders as my Mordor cav and flank protection. They're kinda flimsy and I'm not in love with those models, but that was Mordor's cavalry support. I think the scene at Minas Morgul justifies using Black Numenoreans as Modor heavy cav.

Beyond that, here's what I plan on using in my Mordor army - take it as food for thought and by no means the "right" way:

- maxed out blocks of orcs (this is really what Mordor is about for me)
- good troll support (at least 3 in a 2000 pt list, one of them a chieftain)
- evil men allies (I tend to cherry-pick based on what was described in RotK. e.g. Haradrim horse and Murmakil, half-trolls <gods I want these in plastic>, Khandish axe-men and chariots, Easterling infantry)
- Corsairs of Umbar are totally legit, and the arbalesters add some strong shooting, but they've never captured my imagination. So that's a personal choice. I rather have Easterling infantry/archers, Hardrim cavalry, Khandish chariots. Those units epitomize the forces described in RotK.
- Mahud warriors and camel cav are totally acceptable, just expensive models. If they came in plastic, I'd definitely build a formation or two.
- Command groups minus drummers (except maybe in Morannon and Uruk formations) and definitely minus shaman)
- No more than two Nazgul heroes (trying to avoid the default Khamul) I'll probably take the Witch King, not because he's ueber but because he's the "Black Captain". My preference is actually for a back-bencher Nazgul to save some points and to field something less obvious.
- Gothmog (I'm using the Mouth of Sauron model for Gothmog because I'm deranged on the point that Gothmog wasn't an orc and even so, not the albino crippled orc depicted in film. - No offense to any crippled, albino orcs out there! :))

Units I'm not keen to field, regardless of their utility in game terms:
- Shelob (No and hell no!)
- Castellans of Dol Goldur (puh-leez)
- Black Numenoreans on foot (if I'm going sell a kidney for that many metal infantry, it will be for a unit specifically mentioned in the story - i.e. those Half-trolls.)
- Any undead/spirit host allies
- Balrog ally
- Dragon ally

In sum, I'd recommend a thematically strong list based on:
a) big blocks of orcs - (with more snaga orc than Morannon orcs)
b) trolls
c) Haradrim cavalry allies - possibly Murmakil at higher point levels
d) reasonable amounts of epic heroes starting with one Nazgul and Gothmog. After that mounted Suledan or Amdur before adding another Nazgul.

As I said, just one guy's opinion. Thanks for giving me an outlet for skylarking from work on a boring Friday! :p

16-05-2009, 22:27
Hmmm...are we sure this is background?
Well, anyway i dont know about effectiveness, but surely i agree you should go for big detachements of orcs, supported by uruk hai (c'mon its in the book, the black uruks of mordor! In the fellowship, i believe) and morannon orcs.
I find it odd, indeed, that warg riders are (according to the wotr rulebook) more common in mordor than in isengardian forces, that actually employ them in the books.
I dont know about wraiths, in the sbg i love the undying, one of the very few evil heroes that are actually hard to kill (all others are pushovers in the "parent" game).
They work very different in wotr however, i'd say just dont take wraiths with wings as they are too fragile (should have probably been at least very hard to kill rather than just hard to kill).
Trolls...well they are worth it, its just that i hate the new line image of trolls.
I always imagined them to be rather human like giant brutes, while we are presented with bipedal, hornless rhinos.
Oh well, you cant win them all.
Still go for trolls, i'd pick at least one chieftain as its special ability allows you to better use other trolls.
Black numenoreans...well they were in the dark lord's retinue, said to be amongst its most trusted minions (i.e. the mouth).
You could employ them, both on foot and mounted, but they should be in rather small numbers compared to more common and cannon fodder orcs.
As the previous poster said easterling and haradrim allies are absolutely in theme, though i guess they'd better be taken in very large games only (4000+ i'd say), and only to represent late third age armies, as easterlings were seldom encountered before then and the men of the west were puzzled by their looks and costumes.
Siege engines are difficult to employ and not very cost effective unless you have lots of cover on the battlefield, but if you want to represent an army in march to minas tirith they are pretty in theme.
I think that's about all, hope it helps, cheers

16-05-2009, 23:40
Thanks for the advice both of you.

The reason I felt this was a background question, is that its not really about rules, nor tactics, its more about theme, and theme is background in my eyes.

Essentially its a question about the story, and how I can fit my game to it, more than anything else. :)

17-05-2009, 00:48
Well if it's Mornanon Orcs then why not the witch King and Gothmog, large blocks of orcs, and quite a few Mordor Trolls.

essentially i think Gothmog is is the better choice is you want to go fluffy (i haven't read the books so I'm going from the films)... oh and a try and include skully (marannon orc captain with the skull on his helm)... i know he isn't a specific charcater but would be great to include him in the force.

however if you don't want any orc heroes (gothmog) then go for Nazgul on a fellbeast.

But i don't think you can go wring with orcs and trolls, as well as including the lesser Mordor orcs.

17-05-2009, 20:43
About Gothmog, understand that if you go moviewise he is an orc, while in the books he is only mentioned and never actually described.
Bear in mind that, since most of the enemy's commanders were NOT orcs, its most likely this Gothmog, whoever or whatever he is, was not one either.
Consider this if you wanna really stick to the theme.

18-05-2009, 19:13
In regards to Wargs. As far as I remember they are not directly mentioned in the books but you could presume that they are used as skirmishers and harassing elements on the fields of battle. To keep them to this role I would employ them in small formations with no command, say three companies per formation.
They would be relatively fast cheap and dangerous when attacking in the flank or rear. If you loose them you would not care either. I would not give them any upgrades at all, just mix them to show no specific unity in equipment.