Welcome to August! This month, I'm hoping to finish up a number of painting projects (and two more seasons of White Collar), including, as I hinted at in my last post, a number of civs and models I've never used on this space before, so stay tuned for further discussion on those models! In this post, I want to highlight models that are, in my humble opinion, the most underrated models in the game, and a set of warriors that I am hoping to bring to the TMAT Grand Tournament in March, primarily for kicks and giggles, if not for style and class. Per the title of this post, the army featured below is a bit more...refined...than the armies I traditionally run in that tournament. :) For your delectation and delight, I present to you, the beginning of an army and a number of terrain projects that I'll be working on in August:
Yes indeed! I've seen some guys online attempt to use this civ, and everyone has always razzed it for its lack of firepower, defensive abilities, movement, and strength, but I intend to use the next few weeks to highlight some of the amazing things you can do with a straight-up Shire list from LOME, or with a Warbands scheme (primarily as an addendum to another list, though you can run it as the core of an army).
I'll discuss the advantages, disadvantages, and tactics of the list in future posts, but for now I want to highlight where my army is at, and what I hope to add to it in the coming months as I prepare for March. So, to begin our tour... [cues "Track 2: Concerning Hobbits" on Youtube]
Farmer Maggot and Grip, Fang, and Wolf
You can see the old farmer and his dogs here; I attempted to remain as close to the books as possible (though, I openly admit, I take some literary license, like most painters). I have always really liked these models, and as a major fan of two-handed weapons, I was more than happy to invest in the only model in the Shire list that sports one. I am currently negotiating purchasing Merry and Pippin from Zorro, so I hope to add them to the list as well in the future (though I've also heavily considered buying the armored versions on eBay, as they look amazing). I'm still up in the air regarding Frodo; he counts as a banner for hobbits (and if you follow this site at all, you know how much I love banners), though he cannot attack and is a lot of points for a hero that will provide no firepower whatsoever in a list that already has problems with firepower, so the jury is still out on him. More thoughts in a future post regarding those purchases.
I've mentioned these guys in a previous post on the Grey Company, and for good reason: I love hobbit archers. Not only are they the cheapest archers in the game, but they sport a better set of equipment and options than the other archers in their class (Orc trackers and Goblin archers). What is more, Pippin allows you to upgrade hobbit archers into Tookish Archers, boosting them from F2 to F3 for 1 point (5 points total). This is especially helpful if you intend to use them as an addendum to a force through a Warbands scheme, as you can get a very cheap volley line for the forces of Good (which is usually not an option for them).
I mentioned some of the weaknesses and strengths of these units in the Grey Company post above, but I'll be expanding on my thoughts on them in a Shire list-specific post in the future. They work more or less the same, though the presence of Pippin helps a bit in their durability in close combat.
Modeled after the constables in England, Tolkien describes the Bounders in multiple places in his works. I toyed around with converting some of the cudgels into axes (and I may still do that), but the more I think about it, the more my Tolkien purist strain comes out, and I forego the conversion. I'm hoping to boost their numbers for the tournament, as they will form the backbone of my infantry line (which, I know: everyone's laughing at the weak backbone of this force, but wait until my future posts, okay? ;) ). I'm also hoping to pair them up with hobbit militia, which I do not own yet, as Merry allows you to upgrade hobbit militia to Battling Brandybucks, which are S3 instead of the typical hobbit S2. I'm still deciding, though, if a 4 point F1 S3 D3 unit is worth the investment (especially as they are impossible to find outside of GW or a private vendor), so we'll see.
Now, I know what everyone is saying: "Centaur, your army is going to get wasted at the tournament!" A few thoughts on that:
1) I came in 6th with an Isengard force before - losing a tournament is not new to me. That's okay: I'm building this force primarily to have fun, and it will be a lot of fun to use.
2) The list has its moments. Think about it: if nothing else, can you imagine a force that has every model (except Grip, Fang, and Wolf) equipped with throwing weapons that is also magic resistant? Granted, the throwing weapons are S1 and fire like a crossbow, but watch out mages: this army will not be your typical cup of afternoon tea!
3) It's a gag team: everyone knows that. If I take this team to a tournament, I don't expect to win every match. That being said, if I end up doing well...there's no doubt that there was some skill in the victory, and it shows the dedication, time, and commitment to the hobby that an artisan like me prizes. Plus, you never know if some tall men with gray eyes and fell appearances - who just so happen to be part of the Shire list - may perchance show up, :)
In terms of terrain projects, I have thoughts and sketches in the works for three more hobbit smials, a marketplace, and the Brandywine Bridge in case we have a water feature on the map, so we'll see how those go. The idea is that we'd be able to actually have a battle in a hobbit town when we're done, which I think would be incredible! So, until my next update, may your hobbying move ever forward!
Watching the stars,
"Lie back on the floor," said Firenze in a calm voice, "and observe the heavens. Here is written, for those who can see, the fortune of our races." ~ Firenze, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix