Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Mordor Orcs

The host of Mordor

A few days ago I played a game with this force and thought it was high time I photographed them. It's something I had painted a few years back but have seldom had the opportunity to use on the field of battle. It could be used, of course, in Lord of the Rings strategy battle, or War of the Ring, or even Saga, but for the most recent game we played Dragon Rampant. Units are allocated to one of about a dozen profiles, some can be given upgrades or fantastic traits.

Morannon Orcs - offensive heavy foot

The backbone of the army was two units of Morannon orcs, which I fielded as heavy foot. These are not the best infantry in the game, but are pretty competent. Foot troops tend to be statted in a defensive way in the ruleset, so I gave these units the offensive upgrade, which makes them effective on the charge. I gave each unit a banner to further differentiate them from the common rabble - this is purely a visual thing and has no effect in the game rules. One of the units contained the force leader, Dagalur, seen on the left in the photo below.

Leader's unit

There was also a couple of units of lowly orcs, which I designated as light foot. These troops are reasonable enough, especially if they "form ranks you maggots", or form a shield wall in Dragon Rampant terminology. This makes them a static but very effective defensive unit.

Orc rabble - light foot

"Form ranks, you maggots"

The cheapest unit on the battlefield were these scouts. Useless in combat, they are quite mobile and can be very annoying if they can get themselves into terrain from which they can shower the enemy with arrows. Fun Fact - if you give them the cowardly downgrade, they become zero points!

"stick em with arrers lads"

There's nothing small or cowardly about the Mordor Troll. I fielded him as a greater warbeast with a fear upgrade, though this turned out to be quite poor in truth. For some reason I cannot fathom, greater warbeasts are absolutely rubbish at defending themselves. In future games I would probably go for heavy horse with some upgrades to make him scary and perhaps more effective in combat.

Hammer time

Finally, for some fast moving action I added a unit of warg riders, which I fielded as heavy horse. Again, not the best mounted troops in the game, but not the worst either, which seems about right to me. 

Warg riders - heavy "horse"

Dragon Rampant is a nice, fast game with easy to learn rules and ideal for a relaxed gaming session. The profiles for the most part make sense, with one or two oddities (hello greater warbeast). I reckon it wouldn't take too much effort to conjure up some traits for each race to further differentiate them on the battlefield and add a little more flavour. All in all though, it's a decent little game.


MichaƂ Kucharski said...

Awesonme greenskins!

Steven Williams said...

They look brilliant! I really like the muted tones, particularly on the troll. I've been collecting lots of LotR orcs to use in D&D - it may have got a it out of hand. I've got Dragon Rampant kicking around somewhere, I'll have to give a try sometime.

AKI said...

In DR, greater warbeasts are more your mythological monsters, Dragons Balrogs, Manticores and whatnot, and are as per classic mythology envisaged as having an innate weakness - a soft underbelly, fear of light or similar - and thus far weaker in defence than attack. For a humanoid monster that seems as tough as a great monster I would recommend you field the troll as a reduced figure count unit instead. For example as a single model 'Elite Infantry' unit...

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