Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Umbar Rises

With the Usurper (freshly named for Castamir, father of the Corsairs of Umbar) en route to being seaworthy, I thought it was about time that it started to get a crew. With the Gripping Beast Arabs due out as Salute in a few weeks, my main force is still theoretical, but I have been mulling over a few options for more specialist units.

One of these is Umbar Marines.

And here is where I apologise to all fans of Tolkien's books, Peter Jackson's films (and even Ralph Bakshi's animation) – this is my interpretation of the Umbar forces, and is only very loosely grounded in any source other than what I want to build and field.

"The marines that are stationed aboard many Corsair vessels are some of the most seasoned soldiers the city can boast, and are typically recruited from amongst the many mercenaries and sell-swords that call it home. While not as effective at sea as the majority of Corsairs, the marines' discipline and experience are invaluable to a crew when raiding ashore, and their shield-wall can provide a well-armed and -armoured anchor for a Corsair battle line."

With most of the Corsairs looking set to be lightly armed and negligibly armoured mariners (as they should be!), I thought that the force would need something a little tougher – for tactical variety as well as for kitbashing entertainment. Marines were an obvious choice, and offered a bit of uniformity in what was looking set to be a pretty irregular crew. With it looking likely that the rules of choice for LOTR games will be Dan Mersey's forthcoming Lion Rampant, I'm grouping everything as per those rules... more or less. The game generally advocates units of 12 or 6, depending on how elite a unit is, but as I prefer the skirmish look, I'm going to be running everything at half-size (i.e. elites have 3 men, regular units 6). While units don't have a leader each, I just prefer to model things that way – the chap with the jaunty plume will count as just another foot soldier in the game.

So, yet again these models are a laundry list of different kits, most of which should not be overly surprising to anyone who has read a previous blog of mine! The legs and shields are Fireforge Steppe Warriors, the torsos are GW Dark Elf spearmen (not the most recent incarnation, mind you) with the ridiculously spiky shoulder pads filed down to something a little more manageable. The arms are Fireforge Foot Sergeants and the heads are all Perry Wars of the Roses 'European Mercenaries'.

The photos above unfortunately make the models look a lot more squat than they really are, but this obligatory group shot is a bit better:

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