Monday, 4 April 2011

"There Will Be No Dawn For Men"

Saruman - "If the wall is breached, Helm's Deep will fall"

Grima - "Even if it is breached, it would take a number beyond reckoning, thousands, to storm the keep!"

Saruman - "Tens of Thousands!"

Grima - "But my Lord, there is no such force"

"There will be no dawn for men"

Ok, it's not tens of thousands, but here is the Horde of Isengard, at least the painted Horde, I have about the same amount of figures unpainted. And to be honest I've only painted about a third of what you see here, the rest of the figures coming from a fortuitous find on the Bring 'N' Buy stall on Targe (the Kirriemuir Wargames Club's annual show) a couple of years back.

Orcs are the archtypical baddies of the Lord of the Rings, the servants of Sauron, countless in their numbers but for me the Uruk Hai of Saruman are the real bad guys. In the films they are brutal, vicious warriors who do not fear the sun and can march all day and fight a seige at the end of that march.

Okay, they lost the Battle of Helm's Deep but that was only due to the meddling of that goody two shoes, Gandalf the White. I mean if somebody shone a bright light into your eyes, you would drop your pike too, wouldn't you???

The Uruk Hai are mean warriors in both the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle (SBG) and the War of the Ring (WotR). Heavily armoured and strong they are more than a match, one on one with any warrior of Rohan. The pike armed warriors can fight in 3 ranks in SBG thus helping to counter the dreaded cavalry charge, where a cavalryman received 2 attacks on the charge instead of the normal 1 attack and in WotR, a pike armed company will negate the charge bonus of any company that charges it (so yaboo sucks to your +6 dice bonus there Mr Rohan Cavalryman).

Of course, all this martial prowess comes at a price, and at a base cost of 9 points per warrior in SBG and at 35 points per company in WotR, it usually means the Isengard player will have to dilute his force, with lowly Orcs.

Call me biased, but I have never quite understood why SBG and WotR are not more widely played. Okay, it may be due to the strength of the Warhammer community out there but I have always found the 2 systems relatively easy to play (okay there have been some issues with some of the rules in WotR but I think the latest WotR FAQ helps address these).

I have to say my biggest issue with WotR is the the basing. Yes, it is a lot easier to move a couple of hundred figures each turn if the company bases recommended by GW are used but at £2.55 for 3 bases, it would cost me another £20 just to base the guys you see in the photo and somehow, that just slightly irks me, so I have gone for a cheaper option:-

The cork tile option

I can get 8 infantry bases and 3 cavalry bases from each 30.5 sq cm cork floor tile and with 9 tiles in the pack which I buy from Focus DIY at £9.29 per pack well you can work out the maths for yourself. The only problem with the cork tiles is that they are increasingly difficult to get hold of - that link shows them as being out of stock in the online store.

In both options, however, it means more basing and you will recall, Dear Reader, how much I loathe basing...

Anyway here are some close up's of some of the Isengard worthies

Saruman the not so White

Lurtz (still with head intact)

Ugluk (no he's not holding Lurtz's head)


Command Group


Sharku's mates

Sharku and his fellow Warg Riders were not available for the group shot at the top of this post as they were out raiding at the time the picture was taken so here they are after another successful night's pillaging

Yes, okay, I admit, I forgot to set them out when I was taking the group picture. Sorry Sharku, at least you got a close up......


  1. That´s some...well I would say lovely looking army but are Uruks lovely???
    They look great..a very impressive army.

  2. I use the LOTR rules for samurai and pirate gaming, very adaptable and that's a damn good horde.