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Made in us
Fixture of Dakka






Falls Church, VA

Hello everyone!
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.

SO!

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!

Some people say they know no fear. What they mean is that they have encountered and conquered it. I, on the other hand, truly know no fear. It is as alien to me as doubt, rage, or mercy.

2nd Concordian Independent Super Heavy Tank Armoured Regiment - 12,376 points
Order of the Luminous Beacon - 2087 points
Nevian Conclave of the Ordo Hereticus - 2002 points 
   
Made in us
Haughty Harad Serpent Rider





Richmond, VA

I agree 100% about Saruman. My license plate is SARUMAN, so I might be a fan-boy.

I'd go with 2 fairly ok ballista, personally. While the Might may help you turn a miss into a hit, I much prefer the volume of dice rolling.

Personally I barely ever worry about pike phalanxes trapping the front models. You're usually getting 3 attacks anyway, enough to beat back cavalry charges. And, often, your third rank peels away to fill holes or guard flanks.

Don't get caught up in the Allies matrix. Re-read the allies rules. Any GOOD can ally with any GOOD period. The Matrix just gives you extra lilttle bonuses. You can have Saruman and Galdriel and Gwaihir and Bandobras Took and Isildur all on one army if you so choose.

I'll let someone else talk about Lothlorien as I have little experience. But I think mainly it's that Elf armies are hard because they're so expensive/elite Armies of men are much easier to work with.

"...and special thanks to Judgedoug!" - Alessio Cavatore "Now you've gone too far Doug! ... Too far... " - Rick Priestley "I've decided that I'd rather not have you as a member of TMP." - Editor, The Miniatures Page "I'd rather put my testicles through a mangle than spend any time gaming with you." - Richard, TooFatLardies "We need a Doug Craig in every store." - Warlord Games "Thank you for being here, Judge Doug!" - Adam Troke 
   
Made in us
Fixture of Dakka






Falls Church, VA

 judgedoug wrote:
I agree 100% about Saruman. My license plate is SARUMAN, so I might be a fan-boy.

I'd go with 2 fairly ok ballista, personally. While the Might may help you turn a miss into a hit, I much prefer the volume of dice rolling.

Personally I barely ever worry about pike phalanxes trapping the front models. You're usually getting 3 attacks anyway, enough to beat back cavalry charges. And, often, your third rank peels away to fill holes or guard flanks.

Don't get caught up in the Allies matrix. Re-read the allies rules. Any GOOD can ally with any GOOD period. The Matrix just gives you extra lilttle bonuses. You can have Saruman and Galdriel and Gwaihir and Bandobras Took and Isildur all on one army if you so choose.

I'll let someone else talk about Lothlorien as I have little experience. But I think mainly it's that Elf armies are hard because they're so expensive/elite Armies of men are much easier to work with.


Awesome, thanks for the input. 2 ballistae seem like a nice compromise, but you can get 1 might just from the basic Siege Veteran upgrade. The real reason to upgrade to Captain is to have a crossbow on one of your ballista crewmen for giggles. Still better than 3 Engines, though?

And I think you lose your army bonus if you mix and match like that - though, to be fair, the army bonus for the White Council is a bit naff. Others are good.

Some people say they know no fear. What they mean is that they have encountered and conquered it. I, on the other hand, truly know no fear. It is as alien to me as doubt, rage, or mercy.

2nd Concordian Independent Super Heavy Tank Armoured Regiment - 12,376 points
Order of the Luminous Beacon - 2087 points
Nevian Conclave of the Ordo Hereticus - 2002 points 
   
Made in us
Dakka Veteran




 judgedoug wrote:
I agree 100% about Saruman. My license plate is SARUMAN, so I might be a fan-boy.

I'd go with 2 fairly ok ballista, personally. While the Might may help you turn a miss into a hit, I much prefer the volume of dice rolling.

Personally I barely ever worry about pike phalanxes trapping the front models. You're usually getting 3 attacks anyway, enough to beat back cavalry charges. And, often, your third rank peels away to fill holes or guard flanks.

Don't get caught up in the Allies matrix. Re-read the allies rules. Any GOOD can ally with any GOOD period. The Matrix just gives you extra lilttle bonuses. You can have Saruman and Galdriel and Gwaihir and Bandobras Took and Isildur all on one army if you so choose.

I'll let someone else talk about Lothlorien as I have little experience. But I think mainly it's that Elf armies are hard because they're so expensive/elite Armies of men are much easier to work with.


Uruk hai are also a more expensive point wise army. And I run black dragon Easterlings, so my men cost as much as an elf

For galadhrim I think Celeborn is extremely solid, but him and Galadriel together are a lot of points

   
 
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