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Build Me An Army Worthy Of … Mordor Part One – The Battle host

Like many people I am a big fan of the Lord of The Rings films and I am super excited to play some more games of the Middle Earth strategy battle game, I have always loved the start collecting boxes for Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40k so when the Middle Earth finally got their turn in the form of the battle host boxes I knew it was the beginning of a new project for me.

This weekend sees the pre-order for four new battle host boxes for Middle Earth, we have Minas Tirith, Rohan, Isengard and the best for last MORDOR !!! as well as the new intro box – The Battle of Osgiliath, which you can preorder from Element Games now. If you preorder the Battle of Osgiliath box from the 10th-26th of September you are guaranteed to get a box in time for Christmas which is great.

Games Workshop were kind enough to send Sprues and Brews a copy of the Mordor and Minas Tirith Battle Host boxes to review for free.

Series Overview

These articles are going to be aimed at starting a new Middle Earth army with the aim of building it to 1,000 points so that I can take it to a Middle Earth event at Warhammer World, I’m aiming for 1,000 points but Middle Earth events tend to be 700 – 1,000 points so building to 1,000 gives me more options. Each update will be based on a different theme of expanding the army with the first being the battle host box which will give me the core of my army that I can expand with each update.

I am aiming to build a force that I can take to events and play casual games with so with that in mind I will be focusing on building my force from a casual perspective and not a competitive mindset.

So where to begin, well Games Workshop have released free rules for all of the four battle host boxes which contain the profiles for all of the models in the battle host box =

Free rules are always good for getting players playing games with these boxes and Games Workshop have also released the core rules for the game and tailored it specifically to the contents of the battle host boxes which you can find here. I will be using this guide a lot I feel especially to get me back into the game.

The Mordor Battle Host

The Mordor box was the stand out for me, I love the new plastic Witch King on both foot and mounted, I will always find an evil army to put Orc Warriors in and Warg Riders give me some much needed cavalry to the force. The models in the box are fantastic as you get a bit of everything you want in a starter force, a mighty hero to lead the force who can cast magic as well as being pretty good in a fight, a large group of infantry that have a good mix of weapons, shields, spears, two-handed weapons and bows and then throw cavalry into the mix and you really do have a great foundation to a force.

Breaking down the box.

The Witch King

The hero of the battle host and the hero who will be leading my Mordor force while I build up the army, I plan of giving him the maximum amount of might, will and fate points to get the most out of my hero, with only one wound he will need those might and fate points to keep him alive and the will points will keep him not only alive but casting magic especially on other heroes. I have taken the Crown of Morgul, an armoured horse and a Morgul Blade to really make him a force not to be taken lightly on the tabletop, all of these upgrades come in at 200 points which is a lot of points and a good chunk of my 1,000 point goal.

Mordor Orcs

The core of my force will consist of 24 Orc Warriors armed with what comes in the box as I am not trying to max out on shields, the box gives me eight with shields which will be at the front of my battle line supported by the eight Orcs with spears. The two handed weapons will come in handy when the battle lines clash as the +1 to wound enemies will be huge especially in the initial games based around battle hosts. I don’t expect the orcs with bows to really do that much in games but for the versatility they give me I will find a place in the list as they can sit on objectives and still take part in games. All of the Orcs come to a total of 144 points with the options provided in the box

Warg Riders

The Warg Riders provide me with a solid amount of cavalry models which can be extremely deadly to infantry models not to mention they are very fast which gives me some good options for threatening enemy archers,I plan on building them as they come in the box, two with throwing spears, two with bows and the final two with just swords. The box does have enough shields and bows to model onto all six but like I said earlier i’m not too fussed about optimising the force, the options I have chosen means that the six Warg Riders come in at 70 points.

The options I have chosen to go for means that the box comes in at 414 points which is a great start to the force and when I have it all painted I think that will be the hardest part of the series out of the way.

What’s Next

So the battle host box gives me a solid foundation to a Mordor force I will need to make it legal for matched play as soon as I can so my main aim for part two will be to get another hero or two painted so that I can have all the models from the battle host being used, as powerful as the Witch King is as a hero of valour he can only have 15 followers in his war band.

The Mordor Orc command box gives me three heroes in the form of the Captain, Taskmaster and Shaman but it also gives me an Orc with a banner which is always needed.

I am aiming to get the contents of the Mordor battle host box done in the next few weeks (time permitted) so stay tuned for part two of the build me an army worthy of Mordor series.

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