Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Angmar Rising - Getting Back into LotR

Well, it has indeed been a very long time since my last post. And it has not been from lack of activity, I can tell you. An increasingly busy life has meant a focus on other things, and I believe my updates will still be infrequent going forward. But I would like to keep posting up anything particularly interesting that I happen to be doing in the hobby.

For starters, here is my completed Realm of Battle table.






I have not had many Warhammer games recently – in fact I had to bail on a few tournaments I was really looking forward to attending (sorry guys!). The one in Tauranga was no comp, and allowed special characters. I was even going to take one from the Tamurkhan Nuln list! One day, Cpt. Falk. One day.

The Tron boys bid farewell to Dan on his big ETC trip in August, and since his return he has promised to regale us with tales from he big league.  Well done on the effort Team NZ!

Hobby-wise I have been experimenting with water-slide transfers. I found a neat way to scan/photoshop/print and then apply some Nuln banner designs to transfers, which I can then apply to banners or even shields to very cool effect, given one with almost zero free-hand painting talents. In a future post I will do a ‘how to’ type of guide, but only once I’ve finished.

In the meantime, the new hotness with us is Games Workshop’s Lord of the Rings game.



Well, it’s not exactly a ‘new’ hotness, as we played the shit out of when it was first released, for about three years (holy crap, about 10 years ago!). I think I even alluded to our epic Helm’s Deep fortress we made in one of my previous posts. Picking the game back up now is wonderful, because there are so many new options, like the different armies and the War of the Ring rule-set.

It often surprised me how much bad press this game gets on the internet, for a rule-set far more fast-paced, elegant and balanced than WFRP will ever be, as cool a game as that is. I can only suggest to someone tempted of ‘knocking it before trying it’ to stop and have a look next time you come across someone having a game at your local club or tournament. You might be surprised at how tactical and flexible the rule-set is (imagine being able to pick up your opponents weapons after killing him!).

I have also been reading Tolkien for over 20 years and own all his major publications (and most of his obscure ones), including some copies worth over $2k. I do enjoy my Tolkien. When GW announced this game I was of course ecstatic – a combination of two great IPs.

The 'Top Shelf'
So my first challenge was to pick an army. This was far more difficult than I thought, as they all have some really awesome units; Gondor has the celebrities and a bit of everything; the Fallen Realms have chariots and oliphaunts; Moria goblins are led by Balrogs, Dragons and worse; Rohan cover the table in horses... it goes on, and you will see what I mean if you flick through the army lists in the War of the Ring book.

My decision was partly informed by my existing collection. First though, I will need to buy them back from my mate, to whom I sold most of my models to when I moved to the UK! I have lots of Riders of Rohan and ghosts and goblins. I will definitely do Rohan one day, but my friends all seem to have armies of the Free Peoples, so I felt I should really put my hand up and throw-in with Sauron.   

Choosing a force with a cool background was also a priority, and while not a big part of the actual LotR story arc, I always thought the destruction of Arnorwas pretty damn epic... so I ended up going with Angmar – the ruined northern Realm of the Witch-King. As a lifetime subscriber of Lord of the Rings Online, I guess I have a particular soft-spot for the land and history of that dread realm.

The other good thing about Angmar in the game is that there are quite a few cross-over units with some of the other evil armies, so it will be easy for me to diversify later.

And so starts the painting. I plan on taking advantage of smaller skirmish games as I build my force, and then move into large scale War of the Ring games once I have some decent numbers behind me.

I look forward to being able to report back on some of my battles, and of my first completed formation of wights.