Friday, May 10, 2013

Angmar Army Update

On the Painting Table


In an earlier post I wrote about delving back into GW's Lord of the Ring range, and on fielding on the dread host of Angmar. Since then I have been off to a decent start with this army, finishing Sambrog, the Wight Lord of Othrongroth and his sinister posse of Spectres from the fall of Fornost. I also finished the Witch King of Angmar Himself, and it was the first time I had attempted a big monster like the Fell Beast.

The Witch-King of Angmar

The Wight-Lord of Othrongroth and the Spectres of Fornost - bases are WIP



As an aside - having read about recent experiences with GW and customer service, I just wanted to add my own voice on this topic. I initially lost the clear plastic flight stand that came with the Fell Beast, and when I looked online at the flight stands I could buy, I wasn't sure if they would fit. The stand on its own would have been well under the minimum purchase value for free shipping and so would have been an expensive error if I got it wrong. I phoned the service number for advice on what size stand to buy, and was told they would instead send out a replacement free of charge.

Now if this was a once-off thing I probably wouldn't mention it, but over the last few years I have had three similar issues (once to replace a mis-cast metal warrior priest and once for a box of State Troops without bases), and they have always been extremely generous and prompt. I don't think enough of the good stories get out there, so there is one at least.

Back to the hobby - a few days after completing the bases, I read a great article on snow-covered bases, and discovered that I really wanted to do this. In a fit of inspiration I bought the Northern Wasteland basing kit. Angmar, as you will know, is in the far north of Middle Earth and is often described as a frozen waste.

Some other projects took my fancy in the meantime, but I got as far as carefully removing the old bases in preparation for the snow and slate rocks. I have not yet figured out how I am going to use the icicles, but they are too impressive not to use.





On the Battlefield


In the games I have had with Angmar so far, I have been hugely impressed. My regular opponents are Arnor and Gondor (so appropriate). It soon became apparent that he forces of the Witch King are full of sneaky tricks.  Here are how some of the nastier combos work;

Witch King reduces everyone's Courage within a 12" bubble, and also has a spell which reduces Courage further. Each turn, the Spectres have an ability called A Fell Light Is In Them which hypnotises the enemy if they fail a Courage test, allowing me to move them in any way I want (except off a cliff), even if they have already moved that turn.

Take a moment to let that sink in. It utterly ruins battle plans. I can move enemy banners away so they do not benefit their troops. When the enemy objective is to break through my lines, I can keep them at bay. I can isolate enemy leaders so that I can swarm them with Orc. And much more. Having six Spectres means I can do this six times each turn, almost guaranteeing mayhem on some magnitude.

The Barrow-Wight's one-and-only spell, Paralyse, is the hero-killer. After using Spectres to isolate the mighty hero, either by making his friends move away or even just by drawing him out of his formation, I can swarm him with my minions, drain his Will, and then Paralyse him - knocking him prone, taking away all his attack dice (effectively auto-losing combat), and he cannot recover but on a dice throw of a '6' which he or a friend can attempt each turn. Nasty.

There is much more  of course - and even more still that can go wrong for the Angmar commander, despite the potency of these tactics. But I will save that for a later article, where I might also expand on some of them in more detail. Suffice it to say, Angmar have some extremely sinister tricks at their disposal, well worthy of the Lord of the Nazg├╗l.


An Angmar scouting party clashes with Arnor Border Patrol