Build me an army worthy of Mordor
Thus came the command. I am but a lieutenant in Saruman’s great army of Isengard; the middle finger of the white hand – at the vanguard, with the longest reach…
Unfortunately in these troubled times, making a big deal about the white hand, white fist, or white anything as it relates to legions of stoutly loyal, single-minded savages on a mission of world-ending destruction, begins to feel deeply uncomfortable. So I will stretch the metaphor no further.
My LOTR project grew out of a need to have some Evil forces to array against my small groups of Good-aligned Rangers, mainly Dwarves, with a small company of Faramir’s Gondor rangers to hang out with from time to time. This was an old, old project, started nearly ten years ago, and like so many it got shoved aside as my magpie instincts grabbed at every new shiny thing.
The current context for me restarting my Isengard project is in wanting to become more disciplined at speed-painting. My painting standard has increased a lot in recent years but being a predominantly Skirmish gamer I’ve had small projects and been able to agonise over everything and make each attempted mini be the absolute best standard I can achieve. This leads to: Long, tiny projects; Numerous unfinished ones as new things come along and distract me from my goal. Speedpainting and reasonable compromises in quality need to become parts of my skill set, and my old, aborted Isengard project seems perfectly suited to this. Here is the rough plan.
Me. A mid level manager in Saruman’s enterprise. The pay is bad and the hours are long, but I was bred in a pool of mud for this purpose alone.
Zarhûg. My lieutenant. Carries my company’s banner.
My personal retinue. A mixed bag of line troops and scouts, 12 in number.
(Unlike the 40k Goonhammer projects, I’m going to have fairly limited variety of troops available to work on. LOTR doesn’t have Force Organisation categories, so I’ll be picking appropriate groups of troops and heroes, with the occasional monster, to match the monthly themes as best I can.)
A dozen more line troops, including some shock-troop berserkers, and some pikes for the battle-line.
The rangers of my company, a complement of Scouts as yet indeterminate in number. They may or may not have a sergeant to lead them. They will be accompanied by some wretched Goblins of Moria, enslaved by my Master to lurk, watchful, in the crags and peaks of his domain.
More power to place on the front lines. A troll and a complement of warriors that he will spearhead. More berserkers, with a sergeant and a banner of his own.
Month 5 and onwards…
My master, Saruman, has taken a personal interest in the development of my company. He suggest he may name us his personal guard. The White Wizard and his shadow, Wormtongue, are to visit and grace us with their favour.
The vanguard of my company will be strengthened with the addition of some Warg riders. The battle line will be reinforced with an additional troll.
By this point we shall probably have run out of time and my master and comrades shall have been defeated by the miserly King of Rohan and his treacherous trees. Should this come to pass my company and I will strike out on our own for anachronistic adventures, spreading the good word of Saruman as far as we can before being slain with ease by heroes wearing plot armour.