Something I like about HOTT is the complete lack of canon fluff and specific army lists.
Hero Clix models seem to be a hit and miss with some sets, and the Hobbit Set looks like an absolute miss. I say this because they had booster packs on sale in a dollar store, for a dollar. This is good news for me as whatever I got (even if out of scale a bit) can give me units for HOTT.
I picked up 8 packs hoping to get enough figs to start a new HOTT army. I got these fine fellows above plus a Gandalf and two Bilbo Baggins. While they may become a model later, for now I just kept with these orcses.
Ok, so they just started the army. I did make use of some Games Workshop Lord of the Rings orcs I had lying around. And the Melnibonian dragon who has never been painted, well he has a home now. He will still stay hidden from view until painted. And of course he can still go to war with his home nation if I ever want them to.
I have made the pikes as spear units, the orcs as hordes, and a few giant cheetahs have become a beast unit.
After getting side-tracked by my Romans (yes they are actually getting painted) the wife and I had a game of HOTT the other day.
She played her fantasy army, and I brought this army out.
To be fair, I was expecting this army to be junk. It consists of:
1x (anti-)hero (General), 1x shooter, 1x dragon, 1x beast, 4x spears, and 4x hordes = 24 points.
So not a lot with a whole bunch of hitting power. Or so I thought. In HOTT hordes are terrible. Unit stats are defined based on various opponents and included wet-paper bag so hordes have a comparable opponent. Ok, that might be a bit of an exaggeration. The hordes do survive better than many units and they do provide bonuses to adjacent combats so the weight of numbers comes to play. It is rare that a horde will kill many units.
The best fighter is the dragon, but he only comes rarely. As it requires sacrificing an entire turn of movement, I figured it would be a choice of bringing back hordes or bringing in the dragon when he showed up.
As the game played out it became a bit one sided. With the river slowing the advance, my beast was able to delay a crossing due to his zone of control and the two horde battalions flanked the woods. The big take-away is that even without the dragon this army packs A LOT of punch. The single shooter and beast can hold the flanks of the army or difficult ground and the hordes provide a wide solid formation that is tough to crack.
By the time the dragon arrived, the best place was on the other side of the river where he drew away the paladin (mmm, tasty unicorn) but was driven away by the white lion. The minor skirmishes resulted in a loss of one horde, my beasts, and the dragon (coward). In contrast, the fantasy army lost two cavalry, a paladin, and two warbands.
At the end of the day the evil orc hordes are a very tough infantry heavy army. A challenge for sure, but not invincible. I see the biggest weakness will be the loss of momentum as hordes start dying. The fact that the general is one of the few good units will mean he will be in the thick of fighting and very easily targeted.
All in all, a good night. Hopefully something inspired you today. Up next will very likely be Early Imperial Romans (GASP). As this roughly blocked out set of troops shows, the Romans are coming along nicely.