I'm new to the Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game as of its recent re-release/edition change.
I've already assembled some models and armies and played a few games, but I'm a bit out of whack with regards to some of the things I want to run. Saruman is my favorite character in the series. For me he represents the danger of hoarding knowledge and power, even in the service of good, as well as a force of industrialization and technological progress in Middle Earth that no other character seems to embrace. The fact that this force is evil is even more compelling, in my opinion.
I wanted to run Saruman. Isengard it is, fair enough. I like the industrial, machine-ish theme of Isengard, so ballistae too with pike phalanxes. This is simple, I think, though my question is: is it better to run 1 super-buffed ballista (engineer captain, extra crew, upgrades, the works), 2 fairly ok ballistae (maybe just engineer captains), or 3 regular ballistae (no upgrades)? And the pike phalanxes trap my front models - I know this, and that's part of the appeal! Just to give you an idea of my playstyle. We're not as cool as Easterlings, but we do get lots of pikes still.
That's easy, aside from the siege engine question.
However, for my good guys:
Galadriel is my favorite hero. I can go into why, but she's my favorite archetype. You can also run her alongside Saruman as part of the White Council army list, which is super nifty... but this is where my hangup is.
The White Council is from the Hobbit, and has no Alliance Matrix entry (even though some of the hobbit stuff does like Erebor or the Halls of Thranduil). Does that mean that Saruman the White (when he is good) and Galadriel can't have any friends? (aside from the other members of the white council of course).
Also, setting aside the white council:
Galadhrim, just to run Galadriel in a regular army. I like Galadriel and her Mirror, but they need a real hero to support. Is Celeborn worth it? Is there an easy-to-get model of him that's not unarmed? What about other options? Every time I make a list I feel like I have ~20 models or something to cover a 6x4 board. And are their cavalry worth it? They're even more expensive; for a few points more I could get Elrond and a bunch of Rivendell Knights who don't count for the bow limit...
Isengard was so easy. Why are my Good armies so hard!