View Full Version : Lurtz: Intimidating as a Wet Noodle

09-04-2007, 23:35
I've recently joined the thinning ranks of LoTR gamers, and have started on a small Isengard scouting party. It is inspired by Lurtz's band of Uruk-hai sent to hunt down the fellowship.

Unfortunately, I will not be including Lurtz. I really really wanted to, his miniature including in the Grishnakh package is one of my favorite miniatures in the game, and he's my favorite evil hero.

But, game-play wise, he's about as intimidating as a wet noodle.

I'm sure everyone has heard this rant before, but there's more to it than just complaining. So skip the recap if you need, but otherwise, here it is:

(comparison begin)

When compared to a standard unnamed Uruk captain, you pay 10 points and get a shield and a bow, plus an extra point of might. So the only advantage over a similarily equipped non-named is the point of might. Not quite a bad deal at face value, right? Well, not really, in my opinion.

We all know you could get a nasty defense 7 Uruk for the same point cost, but lets toss that argument on the base that it doesn't fit in with the rest of the host's theme.

Paying 60 points for his statline (with an unimpressive 5 defense), is really a waste of points. He's flavorful, sure, but 1 extra 4+ str 2 orc bow shot isn't going to change the course of the battle, and certainly won't be killing any Boromirs (don't let the movies fool you). He's not exactly the deadly warrior powerhouse he should be. I'd rather have him drop the bow and get the +1 defense from that shield he's carrying.

Now, lets compare him to Vrasku, who seems to have been added to LoTR to make up for the fact that Lurtz is such a lamer.

For the same 60 points, he has a better shoot value (3+), and can fire 2 str 4 crossbow bolts per turn. And, minus the inability to defend in combat like Lurtz, functions exactly the same in every other way.

Clearly there is no contest. Lurtz is a poorly equipped generic Uruk captain with an extra point of might, and Vrasku is a ballista with legs.

(comparison end)

So, this thread isn't here to whine. I've already painted up a cheap 55 point generic Uruk captain with a shield. Boring yes, but he'll get the job done. I'm not as excited about him as I would be about a 'fixed' Lurtz, so here are some ideas on how to make him a bit better.

I'd like to hear your opinions on the following:

a) Give him a shoot value of 3+, like Vasku (from 4+)
b) Give him an orcish longbow with str 3 (from str 2)
c) Allow him to shoot twice per turn (from once)

I could argue that giving him all three of the above would still be balanced, but I'd prefer to hear your ideas on any combination of the above, or any suggestions of your own.

Thanks for reading,

edit: Oh, btw, I don't have my book on me with the Vrasku statline in it, so if I'm recalling some of his details incorrectly (I don't think I am, but there's a chance), then just inform me and I'll edit the argument accordingly.

10-04-2007, 00:36
Pretty much the first things I did when learning to play LotR, was to replace Lurtz with a standard captain. So yeah, I agree fully. It's that stupid bow of his, he'd be tons better if it was optional. Or, if you could just put it on the ground first thing you did.

(Which you can't, I've checked.)

10-04-2007, 08:11
Mak's on the money there.

If Lurtz had the option of using his shield as a shield, then that would be A-OK. Or using it as an additional attack.

10-04-2007, 14:32
I use him for theme reasons. He's not as good as Vrashku but given my army is purely Isenguard raiders, in large games I'd end up fielding Lurtz, Ugluk, Vrasku and Sharku. From my games with him so far he's proved useful in waiting with my archers, hanging back til his might is spent on heroic actions, then getting stuck in against the warriors. I've not used Vrasku yet but he's clearly a better option. I still think lurtz is better value than a generic captain though.

Uruk-Hai should have man bows. It stats in the book they have 'strong bows made from yew' (rough quote) maybe not as potent as man bows but they should be stronger than orc bows.

If we're comparing Vrasku to Lurtz I'd say that balancing the two should happen by upping Lurtz and reducing Vrasku's prowess. Get rid of Vrasku's expert shot and give it to Lurtz. That way both become quite proficent at range and Lurtz's ability to move and fire gives him a different role from Vrasku's sit and shoot.
Just my thoughts.

10-04-2007, 19:34
I think everyone has said what needs to be said - however I would point out that it purly depend on how much you want it to be a theamed force or a competative army. Personally I aways go for the theamed side; I just think it is funner.

This case in point though, a theamed list would depended on whether you are using the books or the film as your referance as Lurtz is not in the books and neither is Varsku

10-04-2007, 20:11
Depends in my book, if you want a 3-1-1 or a 2-1-1.

Mad Makz
10-04-2007, 22:18
I would tend to disagree and the reason is this - Getting access to a hero with 3 might and a bow is actually quite powerful, bow fire combined with might being particularly good at taking out characters who are out of fate but have both remaining might and will points left.

I'll agree that he may not be the best point for point choice in the game - but he fills a good role in this regard to Uruks, as someone who can wrap up that last wound off someone without having to risk getting into combat.