READER HEALTH WARNING!!! - Although I did paint some of the ickle models that you will see in this post I cannot take any credit for the big ones!!
I have been a Tolkien fanboy for a long, long time and I was so pleased with the way the Peter Jackson films turned out, although it's quite scary to think it's now more than 10 years since "The Fellowship of the Ring" was released.
I have also been a fan of the range of models that Games Workshop have released over the years and their rule sets - "The Lord of the Rings - The Strategy Battle Game" ("SBG") and "The War of the Ring" ("WotR").
In the film, "The Return of the King" there is that fantastic moment when during the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, the Haradrim forces of Sauron, arrive on the battlefield and launch themselves into the attack against Theoden's Rohirrim.
The Trolls are mean, the Nazgul are scary, the Balrog makes you want to run for your life but for my money they all get eclipsed by
The Mighty Mumak!
For quite sometime, the Mumak was the biggest plastic kit that GW produced. I'm not sure if that still applies given the recent big monster releases they have been putting out for Warhammer but still the Mumak is one cracking model.
As you would expect, in both rules sets the Mumak is an incredibly tough beastie. In SBG, he starts off with a basic cost of 275 points but if you kit the Mumak with all his optional extras he weighs in at a massive 445 points. As most SBG games use a force total of about 750 points you can't afford too many Mumakil in your army.
He causes terror (not surprisingly) to all it's enemies, is immune to most types of control spells, can trample it's foes into a pulp and pretty well ignores morale tests. Okay, it has the downside of possibly causing a stampede if it suffers a wound and trample through everything and everyone in it's path if it does goes wild but the Servants of Sauron are plentiful so hey ho The Lidless Eye can afford to lose a few hundred or so every time.
In the original, but now out of print source book - "The Return of the King" for SBG, there is a scenario called "The Charge of the Mumakil". Fortunately GW had the sense to include the scenario in the recently released "The Fallen Realms" source book. That scenario, however, calls for the Evil player to have 2 Mumakil. So.....
DaveT of the "Wee Men Under the Bed" blog and I played this scenario at Kirriemuir Wargames Club many, many moons ago, using the old sourcebook.
I didn't tell Dave in advance which scenario was playing, only that he had a shed load of Rohirrim Cavalry to deploy at the start of the scenario to which I deployed in response a thin line of Mordor Orcs. I told him, that I was entitled to have reinforcements turn up if I still had models in play after 3 turns, so like the true impetuous warrior he is Dave rushed the Rohan nags across the table killing the feeble Orcs, but not enough in time to prevent the reinforcements arriving.
Dave's face was a picture when I produced not one, but two of the beasties and proceeded to trample the horse warriors into oblivion. Final score Mumakil 42 - Rohan 0.
In WotR, the Mumak weighs in at 250 points and when it suffers a wound it uses the aptly named "Ridiculously Hard to Kill" Table. Again, it has the fun ability of trampling everything in it's way and some but also if it can't quite reach a body of troops with it's trample move, it will use it's "Stamp and Gore" attack.
And of course all the while the Mumak is doing it's thing, the ickle crew in the Howdah strapped to the beastie's back can fire away at the enemy below too.
WotR is designed to played with hordes of figures, it's the Lord of the Rings version of 40k's "Apocalypse". The Battle of Pelennor Fields scenario in the WotR rulebook is massive, the Evil Player having the option of fielding up to 10,000 points of models. One of the pictures in the rulebook of the scenario in play has 9! Mumakil on the table. 9 is pretty excessive even for the most committed Lord of the Rings fanboy, I can only manage
A third of the way there
One day, he shall arise from his box and crush all before him!
My mate, Alan, has also just bought himself a Mumak off EBay and I know of at least 1 other Kirriemuir club member who has another completed model So if there is anybody out there in the Angus and Dundee area of Scotland that has a few Mumakil to spare and fancies playing a Pelennor Fields re fight then let me know!!!