Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Defence of the Westfold

Rohan, land of the Horse Lords.

This land was once known as Calenardhon, and was the northern border land of the realm of Gondor. It was given to the Eorlings under Eorl, as a reward from Cirion the lord of Gondor, for Eorl leading his Eorlings to aid the plight of Cirion and his Gondor forces, locked in battle with forces from the East. The only stipulation being that it would be maintained loyal to Gondor, and that the two leaders would swear to aid each other in future need. Thus a great alliance was forged.

The Eorlings are a brave and fierce people, and masters of horses, which they use in great numbers to form huge cavalry formations called Eoreds. The vast plains of Rohan are perfect for raising the horses needed for these forces.

At the time of the War of the Ring, the traitor, Saruman has taken Isengard for own and has built an army of fierce uruks, orcs and wild dunlending men. He threatens the land of Rohan from the North West, and his forces probe across the fords of the River Isen.

The king of Rohan, Theoden, is under the sway of Saruman, in part due to the leechcraft of Grima Wormtongue. It is not until Gandalf arrives in Edoras, with Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli, that this control over Theoden is removed, and the King finally rises to meet the challenges of the battles to come.

The Oathsworn militia form the core infantry of its forces, fighting with light armour, round shields often adorned with horse-head imagery and wielding a variety of swords, axes and spears. Here, two companies are led by Hama, a captain of the Kings Guard.

A company of oathsworn bowmen, lend the infantry, missile support.

The core of Rohans armies; the Riders of Rohan. Expert Horsemen, able to fight from horseback with swords, spears and bows. This expert ability is reflected in the War of the Ring game by the fact that these troops are able to move, shoot their bows and charge all in the one turn sequence. Here three companies are arrayed for battle.

A close up of one of the riders, here spurring his horse into the charge.

Here is Hama to lead my forces. Hama was the Doorward of King Theoden, and captain of the Kings Guard. In the movie, Hama is slain in the warg attack scene as the refugees head to the safety of Helms Deep. In the book, this scene does not happen as shown in the movie, and Hama is finally slain during the battle of Helms Deep while defending the Gate at the Hornburg.

Here he makes a great captain to lead my forces.

I have a great deal more figures to expand this force, including banner bearer both foot and mounted, a great deal more Riders and Heroes including Theoden, Theodred, Eomer, Gamling and Eowyn. Also Merry to in Rohan garb!

I must admit, the forces of Rohan had not been my first choice as a force to paint and assemble, but a set of 6 riders came my way, and whilst a few of the horses were broken, I managed to fix them with green stuff and wire pining. The horse poses are very dynamic, but the plastic nature of the casts, means they could break if handled roughly. So don't give them you your kids to play with!

The Rohan foot soldiers again came second hand, in bits and peices from ebay and trademe. Many had broken weaponry, which again was fixed with various wire pins and putty. After stripping over-thick black undercoats, using neat SimpleGreen, they painted up quite quickly, obviously using shades of brown , grey and green. Characteristic blonde hair was done throughout the soldiery. The Dunlendings call the Eorlings, "Forgoil" in their tongue, which means "strawheads", a derogotary reference to their horse association.

This force of foot soldiery was painted up as part of the troop requirements for my forth coming presentation of the Battle for Helms Deep scenarios from the Two Towers journey book.

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