Tuesday, April 26, 2016

TMAT 2016 Preview: The Army of the Dead

Hey Reader!

Also been a long time since I last posted - between working full-time (with growing responsibilities as I train a mostly green team, including my boss), starting up a small business, and blogging for the aforementioned small business - on top of normal life - it's been a whirlwind of excitement around the How, :)  But the Forge has been busy with a brand new army for the upcoming TMAT GT, and I'm super excited about it!

In retrospect, I don't think anyone (except maybe Tiberius - I was chatting with him about it when I was adding the wash) that I even owned models for the army, so when I posted on the blog I got a few responses of, "Wow: you own Army of the Dead models?"  And I was like, "...oh yeah: I haven't show you guys these."

So I decided to do a post (much in the same style as the post Tiberius put up, which you can find here), highlighting my army for the tournament.  So with no further ado, my Fiefdoms army...

1.  High Concept: The Fiefdoms of Gondor

I've seen a few people in our gaming group play Fiefdoms, but to date it has been exclusively 1) Dol Amroth men-at-arms, knights, and men-at-arms (which, for the record, are good units for what they are designed to do), and 2) as an ancillary squadron to a Gondor army.

Honestly, I've always liked the Fiefdoms list - Clansmen of Lamedon are among the cheapest F4 S4 2-hander troops you can purchase (only 8 pts/model, yo!), and with a ranger-style archer option and a mix of heavy infantry and heavy cav, they've got their bases covered.

What's more, their heroes have some flesh and color to them: they all offer something useful to the list.  Now we won't do the breakdown here (I'll save that for a post series someday), but for now just know that the Fiefdoms army can do well more than just a heavy infantry block supported by cavalry, which is what we have seen to date from them.

My army is an attempt to showcase some of that versatility.  It uses a small troop of rangers (still not sold on them being better than Rangers of Arnor, but they'll do in a pinch), a small detachment of Clansmen of Lamedon (because I try not to go anywhere without a 2Her nowadays - good for cracking a D6 wall, especially if it's a S4 2Her), and 19 (yes, 19) Warriors of the Dead.

The army is still very one-dimensional (it's designed to run up into your face and wreck your lines), but it does it in uncommon ways.  Let's take a look at how it does this.

2.  Unit Choices: Heroes and Warriors

Leading the army is Angbor the Fearless, the old guy in front of the other five Clansmen, who not only lends a 2-hander to the army, but also allows Clansmen within 6" of him to treat him as a banner (because you know me: I don't go anywhere without a banner re-roll).  The Clansmen are not only F4 (like Angbor), but they also boast Courage 5, allowing them to be reliable charging units against models that cause Terror.

Next to them you see a small detachment of Warriors of the Dead with shields, which add two essential traits to the force.  Since these bad boys start at D7 as their base profile, adding the shields brings them to D8, so that S4 models wound them on 6s (effective neutralizing of a lot of Forces of Good power heroes), S3 models wound on 6/4+ (so elven archery gets dicey against their ranks, as do basic infantry), and S2 models (i.e., most archers) are wound on 6/5+ against these boys.  With them comprising over half the army, it also means you have to kill at least a few of them in order to break the army, and with them outnumbering the softer Clansmen almost 3:1, we should have ample protection from non-volley archery.

But these boys aren't just tanks - they're powerful killers.  Because they wound targets on Courage Value instead of Defense, most models - even if elves are in the mix - will be wounded on 5s or better.  This means that we should be looking at high damage output, even against heavily armored opponents, with minimal casualties.

We also have a small troop of Blackroot Vale Archers.  I've had these Dunedain models for a long time, and I've just never used them because frankly I love the poses for the Rangers of Middle Earth better, :P  So as I was painting up a spare Aragorn model as Duinhir (who almost made the cut for my army), I was like, "Eh, I might as well try these guys out."  So I grabbed these models, changed up the color scheme to a brown coat + blue jerkin (to look more like Gondorians), and have added them to my force.

We'll see if I use them again - I have my reservations on these guys (C2 is hard to overcome), but it's archery, and I need that to support the main body, :P  Not to mention they get to re-roll to-wound rolls against monsters, which could be useful in a pinch.


All in all, the more I look at this list the more I think of it like a large club: it's very one-dimensional, very predictable, but the one thing it does it's pretty good at, :)  I look forward to seeing how these guys work at the tournament!  Should be a lot of fun, win or lose!  Until next time, you know where to find me,

Watching the stars,


"Firenze!  What are you doing?  You have a human on your back!  Have you no shame?  Are you a common mule?" ~ Bane, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone


  1. so much ouch. that's all I can say...

  2. Hi! I'm a new player interested in starting a Grey Company (Ranger of Arnor force).I'm just curious as to how to construct the list though. As the Grey Company rules are that for every Ranger of the North/Dunedain, you get to take 4 RoAs, can you make a list exclusively out of RoN and RoAs? How does that interact with how the RoN/Dunedain are independent heroes and can't take followers? Thanks :)

  3. First off, welcome to TMAT! In response to your question, here's basically how it works out - though Glenstorm/Centaur is our resident Arnor/GC guy:
    -purchase 2-3 heroes who can lead warbands (for cheap cost, I'd recommend Malbeth, Arathorn, Halbarad, though Captains of Arnor and the twins are great too).
    -2-3 heroes allows you to get 24-36 RoA, which you can field if you run 6-9 RoN/Dunedain

    A typical list that runs heavy bow count would look like this (and yes, it's not fun to fight until you reach them in melee):

    Malbeth the Seer
    12 Rangers of Arnor with spears

    12 Rangers of Arnor

    6 Rangers of the North (all indep. warbands)

    This gives you 32 units for a little more than 500pts (don't know what your point limit is). You can then buy a Captain of Arnor (leaving you with ~50pts left, which can buy you 4 Warriors of Arnor and 2 Rangers of Arnor. That list will give you 27 bows and 39 models...

    Like I said, I'll leave Glenstorm to bring in some additional insight, but check out the Arnor pages on our blog if you haven't already!

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  4. Grey Company (and Rohan). 35 models

    W1: Halbarad (Spear)
    8x Rangers of Arnor
    4x Rangers of Arnor (Spears)

    W2: Malbeth the Seer
    12x Rangers of Arnor

    8x Rangers of the North (Spears)

    King’s Huntsman

    Thanks! This is the list I'm thinking of building. Malbarath for the 5+ save and Halbarad (the spear is just b/c I like spears). Would welcome some critique! Also in the Hobbit Rules, do the FV and Strength of the wielder of the spear (if supporting) also come into play? Last thing, if I move and shoot, does my shoot value go down (as I plan to fan out and just shoot a lot while declaring heroic marches with the RoNs to avoid sustained combat).

    Having trouble filling out the last 100 points or so after the Halbarad and Malbarath warbands so put in 2 RoNs and an independent Kings Huntsman hero. Probably will model the King's Huntsman as some super-sniper Ranger.

    Edit: Deleted old comments as accidentally posted wrong lists.

    1. The list looks good - I'll let Centaur comment on other thoughts, but to answer your question, according to the HSB rules, the wielder of the spear gets his attacks and FV (which means trolls with spears are actually a good bargain now). We don't play with all these rules, so I'd look at the HSB core rulebook as far as moving and shooting goes, but I believe that's correct.

      Personally, I'd drop the King's Huntsman and one of hte RoN in order to get Arathorn - the army currently lacks any heroes who can do serious damage when you eventually get caught except for Halbarad. With only 2 Attacks and 3 Might (assuming he has any left after shooting for 6 rounds), a swarm will kill him. Arathorn, by contrast, costs only 10pts more and gets that bonus attack, which ups his survivability quite a bit. Plus, he comes with a bow, so you're only losing one bow for cost. This also allows you to drop the other RoN that you purchased to get 2 WoA and 1 RoA (no drop in bow tally) to flesh out your army a bit...