Sunday, September 21, 2014

The White Council: Allies Revisited

Good morning gamers,

Nearly two years ago, I wrote a post on how you can use the White Council as an ally for a different list, focusing on Gondor lists that could be augmented by the various skills of the White Council. In today's post (and as yet another build-up write-up to the THRO 2014), we're going to pair up all twelve members of the White Council and ally them with six lists that you could reasonably expect to have found in Middle-Earth. Conveniently, you can find all of these lists in the Free Peoples sourcebook.

The Magic of the Wood - Celeborn and Galadriel

Warband 1: The White Council

Celeborn with heavy armor, shield, and Elven blade - 150 pts
Galadriel, Lady of the Galadhrim - 125 pts

Warband 2: Lothlorien & Mirkwood

Galadhrim Stormcaller - 60 pts
2 Galadhrim Warriors with shields - 18 pts
1 Galadhrim Warrior with spear - 9 pts
8 Galadhrim Warriors with Elf bows - 80 pts

Warband 3: Lothlorien & Mirkwood

Galadhrim Stormcaller - 60 pts
6 Galadhrim Warriors with shields - 54 pts
5 Galadhrim Warriors with spears - 45 pts

601 points, 26 units, 8 Elf bows, 8 Might

This list features the Lord and Lady of the Galadhrim at the forefront of their host. They are supported by two other casters who can cast Nature's Wrath if you're facing a unit-heavy list, but can also do excellent anti-captain casting via Call Winds, which on average will set your opponent back an entire turn of moving - perfect for keeping him from doing any damage and allowing your two power heroes from the White Council to focus on clearing out grunt troops. When your opponent does fall against your ranks, he'll find nearly two full warbands of high Fight value warriors to oppose him.

Assault on Dul Guldor - Legolas and Saruman

Warband 1: The White Council

Saruman the White - 150 pts
*Legolas with armor - 95 pts

Warband 2: Durin's Folk

Balin, Son of Fundin - 75 pts
3 Khazad Guards - 33 pts
5 Dwarf Warriors with shields - 45 pts
4 Dwarf Warriors with Dwarf bows - 36 pts

Warband 3: 
Durin's Folk

Dwarf Shield-Bearer - 60 pts
8 Dwarf Warriors with shields - 72 pts
4 Dwarf Warriors with Dwarf bows - 36 pts

603 points, 28 units, 8 Dwarf bows + 1* Elf bow + 1 throwing axe, 10 Might

So Saruman doesn't really go with anyone thematically. Maybe Elrond, maybe Gandalf, but that's it. So today, we're sticking him with Legolas and a bunch of Dwarves because 1) they probably fight together against the armies of the Necromancer in the upcoming movie and 2) because there's no better protection for a big wizard than a bunch of high defense Dwarves, two combat-heavy heroes, and an excellent Elf archer. Legolas will assist the Dwarf bows in weakening the foes from a distance and Saruman can ensure that their lines are a mess - that's critical for Dwarves, since they get no spear support (at least not in this list).

The Terror of the Woods - Radagast and Thranduil

Warband 1: The White Council

Radagast the Brown - 150 pts
Thranduil - 90 pts

Warband 2: Lothlorien & Mirkwood

Wood Elf Captain with Elf bow - 70 pts
4 Wood Elf Warriors with Wood Elf spears - 32 pts
8 Mirkwood Guard with Elf bows - 88 pts

Warband 3: Lothlorien & Mirkwood

Wood Elf Captain with Elven cloak - 70 pts
5 Wood Elf Warriors with Wood Elf spears - 40 pts
7 Wood Elf Warriors with throwing daggers - 63 pts

603 points, 28 units, 10 Elf bows + 7 throwing daggers, 10 Might

This is a lightly defended list, but you get a lot of archery in it (nearly three-quarters of the army can shoot). One of your captains wields an Elven cloak to make sure that he isn't pegged by archery early in the game (these cloaks are the cheapest heroes can get them for), while the other adds an Elf bow to your mix, allowing you to volley if you so choose. Though you could give these guys both Elf bows and Elven cloaks, the points are currently being spent upgrading your Wood Elves with bows to Mirkwood Guards, who hit their targets on 2s instead of 3s. While there is only a marginal return on this, the fact that nearly all of your shots each round will hit their targets is incredible - do not underestimate this. Once your opponent gets close, you have two means of casting Aura of Dismay, which means the units surrounding these heroes will be causing terror. This is great for making sure you don't lose many units.

The Rulers of Rivendell - Elrond and Erestor

Warband 1: The White Council

Elrond - 170 pts
Erestor - 80 pts (12)

Warband 2: Rivendell & Eregion

High Elf Stormcaller - 60 pts
4 High Elf Warriors with Elf bows - 44 pts
5 High Elf Warriors with shields - 50 pts
2 High Elf Warriors - 18 pts

Warband 3: 
Rivendell & Eregion

High Elf Stormcaller - 60 pts
4 High Elf Warriors with Elf bows - 44 pts
5 High Elf Warriors with shields - 50 pts
3 High Elf Warriors - 27 pts

603 points, 27 units, 8 Elf bows, 6 Might

You could reduce the total number of units in this list by removing one of the "vanilla" High Elves and giving a bunch of guys spears, but this list might stand on its own merit (this coming from a Dwarf player who doesn't believe in spears). The stormcallers in this list have the Strengthen Will spell, which is great if 1) you're facing enemy casters and they're focusing on killing your White Council heroes and 2) if you want to get off Renew and Nature's Wrath with Elrond. If your opponent fields captains, target them with Call Winds as discussed in the Lothlorien list above. Your army fields a lot of F5 D6 units, which is great for keeping your lines intact while your archers and heroes do their dirty work.

The Guardians of Bruinen - Glorfindel and Arwen

Warband 1: The White Council

Glorfindel, Lord of the West with Armor of Gondolin and horse - 150 pts
Arwen Evenstar on Asfaloth - 70 pts

Warband 2: The Fellowship of the Ring

*Aragorn/Strider with horse, armor, and bow - 195 pts
Frodo Baggins with Sting and Mithril mail - 100 pts
Samwise Gamgee - 30 pts
Bill the Pony - 30 pts
Meriadoc Brandybuck - 10 pts
Peregrin Took - 10 pts

595 points, 8 units, 1 bow + 4 thrown stones, 10* Might

So this list isn't much larger than a normal White Council list, but you get some interesting play styles with it. Three of your units are mounted and the other five can huddle together if needs be. This list is themed off of the book and movie of the Fellowship of the Ring, sending the two riders who escort Frodo to Rivendell during his flight from the Ringwraiths. Frodo has been decked out to semi-competent combat capabilities (which he didn't have in the story at this time). You can make lots of improvements to the list if desired - you can trade the three horses and all of Frodo's equipment for Anduril or trade the hobbits and Bill for Legolas with armor and Gimli. Whatever you decide in the end, the Fellowship can provide either numbers (with combat power) or enhanced melee fighters. I will say that if you do field Legolas, the only reason you would field him in the Fellowship warband would be for thematic reasons - from a meta perspective, you want the bonus to spell resistance by placing him in the White Council list...

The Defense of the Shire - Gandalf and Cirdan

Warband 1: The White Council

Gandalf the Grey - 170 pts
Cirdan - 90 pts (2)

Warband 2: The Shire

Meriadoc, Captain of the Shire with shield - 35 pts
8 Battlin' Brandybucks - 32 pts
4 Tookish Hunters - 20 pts

Warband 3: 
The Shire

Peregrin, Captain of the Shire - 30 pts
12 Hobbit Shirriffs - 48 pts

Warband 4: The Shire

Paladin Took - 25 pts

12 Hobbit Shirriffs - 48 pts

Warband 5: The Shire

Bullroarer Took - 40 pts
12 Tookish Hunters - 60 pts

598 points, 54 units, 16 bows, 10 Might

This list features two great heroes who help conventional lists: both Gandalf and Cirdan can cast Blinding Light, which is perfect for this low-defense army. The most important reason that I wanted both of these guys in here (besides the fact that they live reasonably close to the Shire) is because Gandalf can allow Cirdan to get back his Will points. Normally, you'd cast Blinding Light and maybe Aura of Command with Cirdan, but that leaves you with 1 Will point (2 if you forego Aura of command) to cast Aura of Dismay, making all your little hobbits around Cirdan cause terror! Thanks to Gandalf, you can spend the early turns casting Strengthen Will on Cirdan after he gets off the two augment spells so that he can cast Aura of Dismay twice in a game. Gandalf also provides the ability to negate the combat capabilities of captains/major heroes and do some damage with Sorcerous Blast - all great ways to make sure your hobbits don't die. While the heroes of the Hobbits aren't that great (thematically, Bullroarer is probably Tom Cotton), they do have the requisite 2 Attacks and 2 Wounds or provide a solid Stand Fast!

As a close, there are other combos you can do too, but hopefully this opens your imaginations to what you can do with a White Council list. In two weeks, I'll be flying out to California and spending the week with my in-laws, but when I get back, I hope to begin working in earnest to get a few more tactica and battle reports up with regard to White Council armies. We'll see if I get anything up before I leave. Until you read this space again, happy hobbying!

1 comment:

  1. Fascinating write-up: and thanks for including a Shire list! I've been toying with modifying my army for GT 2015 to include Gandalf, but we'll see if that works out.

    I'm not as big a fan of the Galadhrim army (perhaps it's because I'm just not a major fan of the Galadhrim Warrior build - too much cost for not enough punch), but on the whole each of these lists has a lot to offer. Thanks for posting!