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 Post subject: Balanced Starter Armies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:53 pm 
Wayfarer
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Hi all.

Having been watching The Palantir videos on YouTube, I would like to get into gaming with LotR/Hobbit. I have a pile of models from SBGiME and various job lots from eBay but never really properly played.

I currently have no opponent(s) and no local gaming club. (I'm in Antrim, NI). I've just posted on the facebook page, so we'll see if anything comes of that.

What I was planning to do, was to put together two small starter forces to try and get my friends into the game. The forces are both 163 points, (since that's what Eomer and 12 Rohirrim cost)and are as follows:

Eomer
Rohirrim with shield (4)
Rohirrim with bow (4)
Rohirrim with throwing spear and shield (4)


Uruk Hai Captain with heavy armour and shield
Uruk Hai Warrior with shield (3)
Uruk Hai Warrior with pike (4)
Uruk Hai Warrior with crossbow (3)

Do people think these forces are balanced for a starter force? My gut feeling is that the uruk hai are stronger. I thought I'd keep things simple for now, but might add cavalry to one or both sides later to make things more complex.

As an aside, is the Eomer profile and points cost the same now as the one in the Return of the King book? I don't have any Good sourcebooks.

I am planning on playing on a 2x2 board with some trees and a building or two. Is a 2x2 a reasonable size for a game this size? Space is a bit of an issue for me, so a 4x4 is a bit awkward, and 3x3 isn't great when you've only got 2x2 tiles.

Do you have any advice? Specifically I'd be interested in how people got their friends into the game, but any relevant advice would be greatly appreciated.

Cheers.

Dallo
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 Post subject: Re: Balanced Starter Armies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 3:29 pm 
Elven Warrior
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Uruk-hai are likely a bit stronger, both in general and in this particular match-up: the higher Fight allows them to win more combats, while the S/D means they wound the Rohirrim on 5s (shields) or 4s (archers), compared to 6s (shields) and 5s (others). On the other hand, having a few more guys is a great benefit and the extra Might on Eomer will allow him to dictate the game a bit more, picking advantageous fights and throwing a few more spears. (Will be a few days before I can check on Éomer's profile, but I don't believe he has changed much over the various editions. You can check the curent profile in LonelyKnight's armybuilder viewtopic.php?f=42&t=22221).
Overall, these seem like decent starting forces: diverse weaponry and stats and a thematic confrontation to boot.

2x2 is fine for a dozen models a side, although for shooting to have an impact, the forces best start near the board edges. Make sure the board is nicely filled with scenery, it will look better (a major draw for new players) and hamper Isengard's shooting especially (since the crossbows can't move and fire), evening the odds a bit. Make sure both forces are painted (again, a good first impression really helps) and maybe create a small narrative for the game. For the very first game, it may be easier to leave the heroes out (focus on the profiles, line of sight: the basic rules), although things like heroic actions do greaty enhance the game. If all goes well, continue the story with e.g. cavalry reinforcements to teach those rules, or a confrontation with Gandalf or Treebeard when the evil forces flee into Fangorn (introducing magic and monsters, although the latter are only really different from the Hobbit rules onwards).
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 Post subject: Re: Balanced Starter Armies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:58 pm 
Wayfarer
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Thanks for the in depth reply. Some good points there.

Do you think it's a good idea to take a few less uruk hai to make it a fairer fight?
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 Post subject: Re: Balanced Starter Armies
PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:36 pm 
Craftsman
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I think it would be more of an even fight if you sent Rohan with a mounted hero and a few horsemen to act as their elites. While sending a few Orcs or Dunlandings to weaken the Isenguarders a bit. That way you can show off different armor vs strength ratings, cavalry, and a wider selection of models without overloading most people. You can always leave out special strikes, movement penalties for shooting, and heroics if you are dealing with novices.

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