Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Rangers of Middle-Earth

The Rangers are, as you would imagine, soldiers trained to function in the rural environment, frequently far from base camps, and making the best use of cover and concealment, to attack their foes with surprise.
If a small size enemy force can be destroyed without too much difficulty, this will be achieved. Larger enemy forces are probably engaged with hit and run guerrilla style tactics. Inflict what casualties you can and then melt away into the terrain.

The rangers are typically formed from the ranks of men, from the twin kingdoms of Arnor and Gondor.

Arnors forces are hugely weakened from earlier days and their main duties lie in defense of areas like the Shire and Bree, whose inhabitants pay them scant regard. But they do it non the less. Frequently working from Rivendell, Aragorn, like his father before him; Arathorn, have fought the malice of Angmar and the wilds of the Trollshaws and Ettenmoors, keeping the lands as safe as they can in these troubled times.

In Gondor, the rangers patrol Ithilien and constantly attack and harry the movements of the forces of Mordor and those who would march to his banner in alliance.
Here, the young Captain Faramir leads his brave men against the orcs and Haradrim who would take this land from Gondor. Working from the hide-away of Henneth Anun, he keeps Ithilien a debatable land, neither under the full control of Mordor or Gondor.

I was fortunate enough to pick up a box of rangers second hand. Only one figure missing, and a couple of broken weapons were readily fixed. The missing man did not prove a problem, as at 23 strong, it neatly allows the addition of a Captain to lead them. For Arnor, Aragorn nicely fits the role in the picture above. For Gondor, Faramir completes the battalion, as below.

Whilst GW has varied the painted colour schemes in its examples of the two groups of rangers, I see no need to do this as I feel the camouflage colors would be universal in the effect. From my understanding, Tolkien likens the terrain in and around the Shire as to northern Europe, whilst Gondor, appears to have a more Mediterranean feel. Either way I think the colours I have painted them will work nicely for either deployment.

Some close ups:

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