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Author Topic: Warhammer Ancient Battles for Lord of the Rings Massed Battle Anyone?  (Read 1534 times)

Offline Atheling

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Hi,

Has anyone used Warhammer Ancient Battles with any requisite amendments for fighting Lord of the Rings massed battles?

If so, what changes did you make?

I would try to put something together myself but I'm rubbish at tinkering with rules  :'(
« Last Edit: December 07, 2021, 07:03:35 PM by Atheling »

Offline guitarheroandy

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Re: Warhammer Ancient Battles for Lod of the Rings Massed Battle Anyone?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2021, 04:27:56 PM »
I've not seen anything but that's not to say nothing's out here. Writing army lists would be a helluva lot of work (I know how hard it is having written some Arthurian/Late Roman lists for Rob Broom's War & Conquest rules)  - I mean, you could proxy from Shieldwall or from AoA WAB 2.0, but there'd always be something not right and how would you cater for monsters such as Winged Beasts or Trolls, etc? I suppose you could transplant those from Fantasy in which case you'd probably be better with WFB version 5, but you'd still need to create and test army lists as WFB Orcs are not in any way suitable for LoTR and none of the other WFB races are really suitable for Tolkien's world either.

Offline Atheling

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Re: Warhammer Ancient Battles for Lod of the Rings Massed Battle Anyone?
« Reply #2 on: December 07, 2021, 05:51:42 PM »
I've not seen anything but that's not to say nothing's out here.

Damn, it's something that I would have thought someone might have turned their hand to.....

Writing army lists would be a helluva lot of work (I know how hard it is having written some Arthurian/Late Roman lists for Rob Broom's War & Conquest rules)  - I mean, you could proxy from Shieldwall or from AoA WAB 2.0, but there'd always be something not right and how would you cater for monsters such as Winged Beasts or Trolls, etc?

Yep, there were some articles in White Dwarf, long before GW got their grubby mitts in the mag which had a few large scenarios for WHFB V.1 which was closer to WAB than WHFB turned out to be, but buying them would be a very expensive business nowadays.

 
suppose you could transplant those from Fantasy in which case you'd probably be better with WFB version 5, but you'd still need to create and test army lists as WFB Orcs are not in any way suitable for LoTR and none of the other WFB races are really suitable for Tolkien's world either.

Nah, I want to avoid WHFB like the plague for Middle Earth. There would be way, way too much stuff to cut out and I'm not familiar with any of the army books anymore. It's well over two decades since I played the game.

Offline robh

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Re: Warhammer Ancient Battles for Lod of the Rings Massed Battle Anyone?
« Reply #3 on: December 07, 2021, 06:21:13 PM »
Has anyone used Warhammer Ancient Battles with any requisite amendments for fighting Lord of the Rings massed battles?

Not WAB, but I am in the process of doing so with Archon from the Piquet stable and did so in the past for Impetus, for WAB the process would be very similar.  Combat etc stays the same, troop types and creatures are pretty simple to proxy from existing profiles; a single figure Troll would equate to your choice of hard hitting, well armoured, high morale foot unit.
Don't try and re-invent anything as that risks breaking the existing/tested balance.

The difficult bit is the magic, what it does and how it does it needs some thought.

You could take a look at the GW War of the Ring system, OOP but still readily available on the 2nd hand market. The rules are different to Warhammer and it is a complete 1 book covers everything deal. Not perfect by a long stretch (too much magic and too much non canon stuff) but is fun.

Offline DivisMal

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Re: Warhammer Ancient Battles for Lod of the Rings Massed Battle Anyone?
« Reply #4 on: December 07, 2021, 06:24:28 PM »
I did it when they released that great Battle of Five Armies set and it played fine.
Of course, you should not expect nor aim for power gaming/competitive tournament level of balancing the forces, but rather at what would you expect certain forces to be like.

Good starting point is the army overview of 4th/5th Edition warhammer. That was the Edition WAB was based on and will be helpful for dwarf and elves. Do not use orc stats for orcs; Tolkien‘s orcs have not much in common with GW‘s charming hooligan brutes….especially their Toughness of 4 is a gamebreaker.

The armies themselves, I did not base on fantasy, but historical lists as given in Armies of Antiquity:

Gondor: either Late Roman or Byzantine
Dwarfs:Anglo-Saxon
Orcs: any Barbarian army will do, for istance Gauls or Ancient Germans. Treat Wolfriders as Light Cavalry and/or use the Giant Wolf profile for the mounts as given in Warhammer Armies.
Rohan: Iirc I used a combination of Cavalry profiles from the WAB Shieldwall supplement (Norman Knights, Breton Riders, Frankish Riders iirc)
Southrons: WAB Arabs plus Elephant profile for Mumakil as in the books, the ones from the film you will have to boost greatly, but they may then be overpowering anything else.
Uruk hai as in the film: Ancient Romans, maybe with +1 S and the Phalanx rules from the Greek/Macedonian lists.

Wizards, heroes, ringwraith: make them Warhammer fantasy heroes and watch your opponent cry; for „normal“ captains etc. rather use the WAB profiles for chieftains, centurions etc.


Have fun! WAB is a cool system?

Florian

Offline Hobgoblin

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Re: Warhammer Ancient Battles for Lod of the Rings Massed Battle Anyone?
« Reply #5 on: December 07, 2021, 07:21:32 PM »
One thing that might be worth considering is that almost all Orcs seem to have been armed with bows. And the Uruks (who I'd argue made up the bulk of the armies of Saruman and Sauron rather than forming an elite cadre, as most gamers have tended to assume) are fast-moving.

The Uruks, essentially, seem to be fast-moving, bow-armed and undersized heavy infantry. So a WHFB Skaven profile would be a better starting point for the Uruk-hai than a WHFB Orc one.

The smaller Orcs don't seem to have done that much fighting for Saruman and Sauron in the War of the Ring: see the tracker's grumbling to his Uruk companion about "you fighters" messing things up and the way that the small Orcs that Sam and Frodo join seem to be the dregs thrown into the final battle.

But of course there are lots of them in the Misty Mountains, and IIRC, they do fight against the Ents as Treebeard relates - and of course against Elves and Rohirrim earlier. WHFB goblin stats should do fine for them, and the gulf between those and Skaven stats seems - roughly - right for the difference between a cowardly, Hobbit-sized creature and a better-motivated, possibly Dwarf-sized, creature.

And - if I remember my stat-lines correctly, Skaven have a better psychological profile than goblins in WHFB, though they're not as good as humans, which again seems about right. Even the Isengard Uruks seem to rely on good officers to keep their discipline - Ugluk has to stop his troops wasting their arrows and restrain them from charging at a disadvantageous point.

Another thing to mention is that Orcs struggle against shieldwalls because of their height - whereas the Man-sized half-orcs don't. They're described as "ferocious, mail-clad, armed with axes", so WAB/Shieldwall stats for Viking huscarls would seem a good fit. These seem to be the real elite of Saruman's army. And you could impose an additional to-hit or to-wound penalty against Orcs when they have to deal with shieldwalls.

You probably know it, but Unfinished Tales is a great source for wargaming Middle Earth - specifically 'The Disaster of the Gladden Fields' and 'The Battle of the Fords of the Isen'.

If you're importing WHFB stats, I reckon ogre profiles would be better for Middle Earth trolls than the troll stats. It would certainly make them a lot more likely to do something useful!






Offline DivisMal

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Re: Warhammer Ancient Battles for Lord of the Rings Massed Battle Anyone?
« Reply #6 on: December 07, 2021, 07:59:54 PM »
Adding to hobgoblin‘s most excellent post: the WAB shieldwall book is very good in conveying the „feel“ of Tolkien‘s battles.
If you go by the books in every case take Hobgoblin‘s ideas, but maybe insted of skaven use the profiles and special rules for Welsh or Irish!

Offline Gibby

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Re: Warhammer Ancient Battles for Lord of the Rings Massed Battle Anyone?
« Reply #7 on: December 07, 2021, 10:45:41 PM »
Great thoughts there. I think WAB-ing Middle Earth would be fairly doable with that sort of cherry picking. If you are a right minded sort of wargamer who puts story, atmosphere and fun before such base instincts as competitive WAAC play, then it's even easier to make things workable by nabbing stats from units in WAB and WFB that seem to "behave correctly" for the chosen Middle Earth unit. As for point considerations... well, who is really that bothered? Just plonk em on the table I reckon! No one was adding up points at Helm's Deep (though the fort itself was worth a fair few I bet).
« Last Edit: December 07, 2021, 10:49:33 PM by Gibby »

Offline Major_Gilbear

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Re: Warhammer Ancient Battles for Lord of the Rings Massed Battle Anyone?
« Reply #8 on: December 08, 2021, 01:01:45 PM »
As others have mentioned, I would use Warhammer Ancients and the various army supplements as your starting point, and then overlay units you want onto suitable units already in the game. The only "work" on your part would be to:

1) Decide which Tolkein units should be in each faction.
2) Decide what units you've chosen best correspond to from those chosen amongst the WAB armies.
3) Write a brief army selection list for each faction, along with any limits you may wish (e.g., Maximum of Xnr of units of a specific type per 1000pts or whatever for example).

That way, all the points and weapon options are done for you, as are the rules, etc.

Should you want to buff your heroes a bit, or give them some magic items, look at Warhammer Fantasy 4th/5th edition for ideas. You don't need much of a boost or very powerful items in order to get a considerably heroic advantage!

For units like Trolls that don't have a direct real-world equivalent, you could try thinking of them as 1 monster model = 4 human-sized models, and just "wrap up" their stats and costs accordingly. So for example:

A single troll might the same as four barbarian warriors. They would have the same statline, but with 4A and 4W each, and they would occupy 4x the base size (so 40mm x 40mm bases each). They would cost 4x as many points as the barbarian, and so would all the weapon/upgrade options. Wounds to the unit are assigned to one model at a time until it's dead, and then carried over to the next model, and so on (just like in the Fantasy version).

And that's it really - you don't need to do much more than that, unless you're planning something with loads of heroes and fantastical creatures (which I doubt you are, as Middle Earth is generally quite low-fantasy).

Offline Atheling

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Re: Warhammer Ancient Battles for Lord of the Rings Massed Battle Anyone?
« Reply #9 on: December 09, 2021, 06:29:43 AM »
Thanks for all the informative answers.

I'm going to stick to Warhammer Ancient Battles as the magic system of extremely overpowered in WHFB except for V.1 and V.2. I used to own copies of both but gave them to a chap who promised to use them but then sold them for a minor fortune on eBay. It was the last time I spoke to him... cross me once and all that  >:(

I reckon for Uruk Orcs I'm going to use the Viking stats out of Shieldwall supplement (T4), though it might be possible to use the Shieldwall rules from WAB V.2.

In the absence of an ad lib supplement being written (I'm sure there was one linked on the ye olde WAB Forum) I clearly have a lot of thinking about.

Oh, and I'm not a WAAC player- the whole point in me doing a fantasy project is a i/ a nod to the past and ii/ a fun project that and a bit of a laugh  ;) :)

« Last Edit: December 09, 2021, 08:50:58 AM by Atheling »

Offline DivisMal

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Re: Warhammer Ancient Battles for Lord of the Rings Massed Battle Anyone?
« Reply #10 on: December 09, 2021, 07:33:23 AM »
Then you‘ll be fine!

Iirc the various WAB rules had many suggestions for „otherworldly“ help that might come in handy as magic….otherwise just leave it out: most Tolkien battles involve little to no magic.

My suggestion for WFB 4/5 was mostly to get ideas for more exotic profiles (wolfriders, trolls), but there habe been posted other siggestions here.

Offline Atheling

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Re: Warhammer Ancient Battles for Lord of the Rings Massed Battle Anyone?
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2021, 07:45:21 AM »
Then you‘ll be fine!

Iirc the various WAB rules had many suggestions for „otherworldly“ help that might come in handy as magic….otherwise just leave it out: most Tolkien battles involve little to no magic.

My suggestion for WFB 4/5 was mostly to get ideas for more exotic profiles (wolfriders, trolls), but there habe been posted other siggestions here.

It's for a potential participation game so I need to get things balanced. And kit bash all the miniatures. I'm thinking First Age at the moment though that could be subject to change.

Offline Major_Gilbear

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Re: Warhammer Ancient Battles for Lord of the Rings Massed Battle Anyone?
« Reply #12 on: December 09, 2021, 07:56:33 AM »
In the absence of an ad lib supplement being written (I'm sure there was one linked on the ye olde WAB Forum) I clearly have as lot of thinking about.

There was, and I happen to have it! Doh! I have no idea how, but I'd forgotten all about it. :(

I'll send you a PM this evening to sort out how we can send it to you. ;)

Offline Atheling

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Re: Warhammer Ancient Battles for Lord of the Rings Massed Battle Anyone?
« Reply #13 on: December 09, 2021, 08:50:12 AM »
There was, and I happen to have it! Doh! I have no idea how, but I'd forgotten all about it. :(

I'll send you a PM this evening to sort out how we can send it to you. ;)

Brilliant! Many thanks  8)

Offline DivisMal

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Re: Warhammer Ancient Battles for Lord of the Rings Massed Battle Anyone?
« Reply #14 on: December 09, 2021, 03:09:03 PM »
It's for a potential participation game so I need to get things balanced. And kit bash all the miniatures. I'm thinking First Age at the moment though that could be subject to change.

In that case think about the portent rules from the Ancient Greek list as a Palantir, the Bishop or Shaman entries might be useful to represent lesser magic.

The only thing that‘s not quite easy is ringwraith and wizard magic. The former imo could be represented by just giving them the terrifying special rule.
Gandalf might actually just be a LD 10 general with good combat stats and you could argue that both is due to his magic.

 

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