Looking at the new Eastern Kingdoms

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Looking at the new Eastern Kingdoms

Postby BaronDeSade » Sat Feb 04, 2012 1:11 pm

Hello All!

Ah, my favorite army, the Easterlings, have so many new and wonderful choices now! It is truly a happy day! What to do with all of these new choices, though?

The biggest change to the list is, of course, having all of the Khandish troops mashed into it. I like this, as Khand was never really fully developed enough to be its own army, and the Easterlings definitely benefit from having more troop choices.

So, let's take a look at our new army and brainstorm some ideas about how we might put together an effective army of the Eastern Kingdoms.

Although heroes are more important in the new army builds, there will likely still be many more troops than heroes on the field, and we'll get the best benefit by creating what synergies we can between troops and heroes.

Our primary trooper is the Easterling Warrior, and he has more choices now than he did before. Aside from his equipment list, he can now be a better fighting, more courageous Black Dragon.

The choice of the Black Dragon upgrade is a difficult one for me. It is quite expensive, IMO, and the end result is not really comparable to what other armies can field. A Black Dragon warrior costs as much as an Isengard Uruk-Hai, but is still not as strong, I think.

In order to synergize with heroes, Black Dragon warriors would be best near Amdur, so that they could take advantage of his banner effect, and also close to a War Priest, so that they can be a little bit better protected or perhaps use their fighting skill with the Blade-Wrath spell.

I would not make a Black Dragon Pikeman, or a Black Dragon Banner Bearer, as these are models which I do not plan to have on the front lines. A Black Dragon archer is an interesting idea, though. He wishes the enemy to come to him, and with pike support, he would be a good fighter.

The utility of the Black Dragon upgrade is further undermined by the inclusion in the list of the Khandish troops, who have a naturally higher Fight value than the Easterlings. If I want higher Fight in my army, I already have it, so is it then worth it to upgrade my Easterlings?

Khandish warriors are now more expensive, though, and I am skeptical of the utility of lightly-armored troops with two-handed weapons. Synergistically, these models would be best closest to a Khandish King for his banner effect, and an Easterling War-Priest for his Fury protection. A Khandish archer costs more than an Easterling archer, is a better fighter, but has less armor. Does that make the Khandish archer worth the extra point?

On the other hand, Khandish horsemen seem extremely useful to me. Being able to move far and shoot is a wonderful ability, and having a high Fight value on a mounted model is very good on the assault as well. These models can be well paired with Easterling Kataphrakts, as the Kataphrakts can shield the Khandish horsemen from enemy archers, and then they can benefit from the higher Fight value of the Khandish horsemen if they fight in the same combats. Having a Khandish King in this unit would make them even better fighters, and an Easterling War Priest could give them some protection. An Easterling Kataphrakt with a War Drum could allow them to move even farther before they shoot, so that is an upgrade worth thinking about.

Sadly, Khandish Charioteers remain as vulnerable as they ever were. The Chariots still make excellent mounts for Khandish heroes, however.

Easterling Kataphrakts remain as expensive as they ever were. The upgrade to Black Dragons raises their already high cost, and I am skeptical of the benefit of it. An Easterling War Drum is an excellent upgrade, though, especially as the new scenarios have the individual warbands coming onto the table separately. A Kataphrakt with a War Drum can quickly travel to one place and drum up the troops there in order to move them.

Regarding the heroes, Khamul remains as overpriced as he ever was. I question his utility in any army, save for theme. The armored horse options of the War Priest and Amdur increase the distance of their inspiring effects, and so are good choices, I think. The armored horse for the Dragon Knight makes him a much more powerful fighter, especially as it is hard to de-horse him with storm spells, trebuchet shots, sorcerous blast, and so on. The Khandish King seems very expensive, but potentially powerful.

It will be interesting to see how the mix-and-match of Khandish and Easterling troops in warbands will play out!


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Postby Gartl » Sat Feb 04, 2012 9:26 pm

I'm glad you like the new Easterlings. It sounds like you have been thinking through how to make an effective army.
It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing. - Boromir FOTR
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Postby Smeagol » Sun Feb 05, 2012 2:18 pm

Khandish troops are a good addition to the Easterlings. I'm comfortable using them a their own force so I can't see how they would be anything but a boon to the Easterlings. I would dump the expensive heroes. I also noticed that Easterling heroes are five points cheaper.
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