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LOTR Army-building


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#1 Falconer

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 03:01 AM

I was uninterested in Army-building until I saw the LOTR Minifig Video. At one point in the video, the designer lines up an army of 40 Uruk-hai, and points out that they are all unique — that is, they each have a unique configuration of accessories. That piqued my interest. But first (at around 4:48 in the video) he shows a smaller army of 10 Uruk-hai. I thought I would analyze their accessories in detail:

Posted Image

halberd, breastplate, helmet
sword, hand shield, breastplate, hand helmet
sword, shield, hair
halberd, helmet
sword, hand shield, breastplate, helmet
sword, shield, hair
halberd, breastplate, hand helmet
sword, shield, helmet
sword, hand helmet
sword, shield, hand helmet

Here is a closeup of some of them from another still (4:57):

Posted Image

In order to acquire all the necessary components, you will need 1 x Uruk-hai Army, 1 x The Battle of Helm’s Deep, 2 x The Orc Forge, and 1 x Uruk-hai with ballista.

(The Battle of Helm’s Deep can be replaced with other sets, but I assume you want one!)

Now let’s look at the full army (5:31):

Posted Image

I haven’t scrutinized this as thoroughly, but I think you could achieve this total mix most easily with 3 x Uruk-hai Army, 1 x Helm’s Deep, 6 x The Orc Forge, and 19 x Uruk-hai with ballista.

The White Hand Shield and White Hand Helmet are the rarest accessories — not to mention, in my opinion, the coolest — being found in only The Orc Forge. The easiest way to swell your army is obviously with Uruk-hai with ballista. The combination of these two sets make Uruk-hai Army less of an attractive set, except for the fact that you’re also going to need a Rohan army.

Showing my work a little more… I hope I got these right!

Uruk-hai Army
uruk x 4
sword x 2
halberd x 2
shield x 2
breastplate x 2
helmet x 3
hair x 1

The Battle of Helm’s Deep
uruk x 3
sword x 3
halberd x 1
shield x 2
breastplate x 2
helmet x 3

The Orc Forge
uruk x 1
sword x 2
hand shield x 2
breastplate x 2
hand helmet x 2
hair x 1

Uruk-hai with ballista
uruk x 1
halberd x 1
breastplate x 1
helmet x 1

Edited by Falconer, 07 July 2012 - 05:09 PM.


#2 SheepEater

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 03:22 AM

View PostFalconer, on 07 July 2012 - 03:01 AM, said:

The Battle of Helm’s Deep
sword x 2

My helm's deep came with 3 Orc swords. How about you?

I gave my extra one to my Berserker Uruk-Hai.

#3 Missing Brick

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 04:23 AM

Nice analysis. Thanks for sharing. I make it a total of 72 possible combinations:

3 helmet options ( helmet, hand, hair) x 2 weapon ( sword or halberd) x 3 shield options (plain, hand or none) x 2 breast plate options ( on or off) x 2 face options = 72 combinations x berserker & Lurtz.

#4 Ferrik

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 04:42 AM

That's interesting to see. :wink:
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#5 Falconer

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 04:45 AM

View PostMissing Brick, on 07 July 2012 - 04:23 AM, said:

Nice analysis. Thanks for sharing. I make it a total of 72 possible combinations:

3 helmet options ( helmet, hand, hair) x 2 weapon ( sword or halberd) x 3 shield options (plain, hand or none) x 2 breast plate options ( on or off) x 2 face options = 72 combinations + berserker & Lurtz.
Hmm… That sounds right…

However, I *think* the hair is incompatible with the breastplate. Which puts us down to 60 combinations.

I know in the video he was counting the two face options, but personally I think the two face options only really matter with the hair. So I would say there are really only 36 combinations.

#6 Deathleech

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 05:57 AM

View PostFalconer, on 07 July 2012 - 04:45 AM, said:

However, I *think* the hair is incompatible with the breastplate. Which puts us down to 60 combinations.
Right, the hair does not allow you to use the breastplate as it comes down too long and close in the back.

Also I don't think the poly with the Uruk-hai and ballista is the most effective way of building an army with maximum different combinations.  You only get a single Uruk-hai with helmet and chest armor and a halberd.  That's only 1x helmet option, 1x weapon, 2x face, and 2x chest for a total of 4 possible outcomes.  With the Uruk-hai Army set you get 2x helm, 2x head, 2x chest, and 4x weapon (axe, axe + shield, sword, sword + shield) for a total of 24 possibilities.  Not to mention the Uruk-hai Army set just seems like a way better deal overall.

Edited by Deathleech, 07 July 2012 - 05:59 AM.


#7 Hawkman

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 06:07 AM

It's great to see all of the different options, but personally, I don't really mind if they don't have that many different options with the Uruks. Really, if I can make just those ten in the first pic, then I could just replicate those ten and then arrange them differently to achieve a varied look.
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#8 Falconer

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 07:03 AM

View PostDeathleech, on 07 July 2012 - 05:57 AM, said:

Also I don't think the poly with the Uruk-hai and ballista is the most effective way of building an army with maximum different combinations.  You only get a single Uruk-hai with helmet and chest armor and a halberd.  That's only 1x helmet option, 1x weapon, 2x face, and 2x chest for a total of 4 possible outcomes.  With the Uruk-hai Army set you get 2x helm, 2x head, 2x chest, and 4x weapon (axe, axe + shield, sword, sword + shield) for a total of 24 possibilities.  Not to mention the Uruk-hai Army set just seems like a way better deal overall.
Well, I guess we’ll have to wait to see how much the polybag costs. Yes, I know it doesn’t have many accessories. But The Orc Forge comes with a bunch of extra accessories. So the combo of The Orc Forge plus a handful of polybags might be pretty sweet.

#9 tvih

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 10:00 AM

As for the number of combinations... like myself, the designer doesn't seem to give shields to soldiers/uruk-hai with the halberd. I mean really, how would the dude swing that with just one hand? Obviously LEGO or even LotR is not about the realism, but I still never use shields with two-hand halberds. I do currently use the smaller "two-hand" axes on my Green Dragon soldiers together with a shield, but the halberd is at least twice the size of that one Posted Image

#10 General Magma

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 11:30 AM

It's great to see a large amount of Uruk-hai together with different variations.
All of the Uruk-hai that I'll be using for Helm's Deep (so excluding those possible ones for Amon-hen and such, and those with hair) will receive breastplates,
only variations for me will be the first-hand weapon, reversible heads, the two different shields (one White Hand design) and the two different helmets (White Hand design), besides the use of hair on one or just a few. I didn't want to use the halberds they included in the sets (when did they ever use those?) so I decided to go with my own design of the pikes which they used during The Battle of Helm's Deep in the movies...

Posted Image

If only those technic pins were available in brown... :sceptic:

#11 tvih

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 12:36 PM

The good thing about your plan is that the breastplates are so easy to get for Uruk-hai, as compared to say, the Kingdoms factions. You're pretty much left with BrickLinking them if you want to get a lot of those.

Also, interesting idea with the pike!

A more general note on the Uruk-hai soldiers... I really don't like their faces. The helmets are very nice, however.

Edited by tvih, 07 July 2012 - 12:44 PM.


#12 General Magma

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 01:09 PM

View Posttvih, on 07 July 2012 - 12:36 PM, said:

The good thing about your plan is that the breastplates are so easy to get for Uruk-hai, as compared to say, the Kingdoms factions. You're pretty much left with BrickLinking them if you want to get a lot of those.

Also, interesting idea with the pike!

A more general note on the Uruk-hai soldiers... I really don't like their faces. The helmets are very nice, however.

Yep - I had enough of those breastplates to equip every Uruk-hai I had with one.
If you were to get every set once, you'd need 2 separate breastplates of your own and the one from The Orc Forge. (Where you would replace the unequipped Uruk-hai's hair (Uruk-hai Army) with a White Hand helmet and give him one of the breastplates - that way there are 2 remaining Uruks without breastplates that you can equip to the fullest.

Thanks - since TLG used halberds instead of a new pike, I decided to figure out an accurate and working design by myself.
Wanted to make it taller at first, but I think this is just fine, although my attempts at a minifig-scaled Helm's Deep could change that within months.

Not sure about the face problem - I think both sides of the Uruk heads are great, can't see a way they could've done it differently.

#13 tvih

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 02:07 PM

View PostGeneral Magma, on 07 July 2012 - 01:09 PM, said:

Not sure about the face problem - I think both sides of the Uruk heads are great, can't see a way they could've done it differently.

Well, I'm not sure if they could've done it any better, but I still don't like 'em. But of course ugly faces just makes the more... killable Posted Image

#14 Fives

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 04:30 PM

It's really cool to see the combinations laid out like this. I do love that there is so much variation, but I've always seen the Uruk-hai to be a very uniformed, organized army, where all of them look the same. The white hand adds a little variety and the double faces add as well, but I really hope that when we have the ability to amass huge Mordor Orc armies, this kind of variation will be possible. Mordor orcs have always seemed to have a lot more differentiation between soldiers than the Uruks.
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#15 Falconer

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Posted 07 July 2012 - 05:41 PM

View Posttvih, on 07 July 2012 - 10:00 AM, said:

As for the number of combinations... like myself, the designer doesn't seem to give shields to soldiers/uruk-hai with the halberd. I mean really, how would the dude swing that with just one hand? Obviously LEGO or even LotR is not about the realism, but I still never use shields with two-hand halberds.
Hmm, I do spot at least one in the video that has a halberd + shield. However, I do think you’re right that they shouldn’t be combined. So here are what I now have as the possible combinations:

HANDS COMBOS: 4

sword
sword + shield
sword + hand shield
halberd

BODY COMBOS: 6

breastplate + helmet
breastplate + hand helmet
helmet
hand helmet
hair + face 1
hair + face 2

For a total of 24 unique combinations. Here are the components you’d need:

uruk x 24
sword x 18
halberd x 6
shield x 6
hand shield x 6
breastplate x 8
helmet x 8
hand helmet x 8
hair x 8

However, at this point, as some of you have remarked, it’s probably not the most desirable option to collect all the possible combinations just to make all the Uruks unique. If you did, you would find yourself buying several extra sets just to get the exact number of hair and swords.

I’m thinking of going this route:

2 x Uruk-hai Army, 1 x The Battle of Helm’s Deep, 3 x The Orc Forge

uruk x 14
sword x 12
halberd x 5
shield x 6
hand shield x 6
breastplate x 12
helmet x 9
hand helmet x 6
hair x 4

(Lurtz uses up one additional sword and hair.)

I don’t think I’d ever need more Uruks than that, but if I did, I wouldn’t worry about making them that unique (i.e., not using breastplates).

#16 TheDarkness

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 10:22 AM

Thanks for these combos. I get back from holidays tomorrow and I have 4 large boxes of Lego to open. Battle pack mania :)
Cannot wait to start building a Uruk army to invade Helm's Deep!

#17 Stiel

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 11:06 AM

In the movie, the Uruk-hai were also using crossbows, so why not give a few of them crossbows as well? At least it offers a bit more variety (3 different weapons instead of 2 :tongue:).

#18 tvih

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 02:46 PM

View PostStiel, on 08 July 2012 - 11:06 AM, said:

In the movie, the Uruk-hai were also using crossbows, so why not give a few of them crossbows as well? At least it offers a bit more variety (3 different weapons instead of 2 :tongue:).

At least it'd be easy enough to get the actual crossbows yourself from Pick a Brick, but it annoys me that there are no arrow pouch thingies there, and ordering from BL is a pain due to both item cost as well as shipping costs.

#19 SirBlake

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 03:30 PM

This is a fun conversation. I too am having fun building my Uruk army. So far I've got one of each set that has them, and I'm planning to further fill the ranks with poly bags. Might have to get at least one more Uruk-hai army set though.

Also, I agree that the halberds that they come with are a little underwhelming. I haven't come up with a suitable replacement out of the spare parts I have but...


View PostStiel, on 08 July 2012 - 11:06 AM, said:

In the movie, the Uruk-hai were also using crossbows, so why not give a few of them crossbows as well? At least it offers a bit more variety (3 different weapons instead of 2 :tongue:).

This is a fantastic idea! Don't know why I didn't think of this sooner.

#20 Stiel

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 09:33 PM

View Posttvih, on 08 July 2012 - 02:46 PM, said:

At least it'd be easy enough to get the actual crossbows yourself from Pick a Brick, but it annoys me that there are no arrow pouch thingies there, and ordering from BL is a pain due to both item cost as well as shipping costs.

Indeed, pearl dark gray crossbows are available from PAB. I already set aside a few for the Uruks. *waits for release impatiently*

Quivers were also available from PAB at one point (at about two years ago, I don't recall precisely). I bought about 20, believing that will solve my quiver problems, like, forever. But then came the CM elf, and suddenly my elf army ate them up like there is no tomorrow. :classic: Anyway, back on topic: I think quivers are not necessary for Uruks. Crossbows take time to reload, which is not good when you are in the open, so I guess they could just use it as a one-shot weapon, then switch to sword. In the movie, I didn't see them reload either (unlike humans or elves, who did have quivers).

#21 Waylander

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 10:08 PM

Interesting to see. I think we'll see a lot more of these guys in the future, with various slight variations. This is my hope anyway.

#22 tvih

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 10:23 PM

View PostStiel, on 08 July 2012 - 09:33 PM, said:

Indeed, pearl dark gray crossbows are available from PAB. I already set aside a few for the Uruks. *waits for release impatiently*

Quivers were also available from PAB at one point (at about two years ago, I don't recall precisely). I bought about 20, believing that will solve my quiver problems, like, forever. But then came the CM elf, and suddenly my elf army ate them up like there is no tomorrow. :classic: Anyway, back on topic: I think quivers are not necessary for Uruks. Crossbows take time to reload, which is not good when you are in the open, so I guess they could just use it as a one-shot weapon, then switch to sword. In the movie, I didn't see them reload either (unlike humans or elves, who did have quivers).

True enough about the Uruks, I suppose... personally I'd need several brown crossbows and a large pile of quivers for my Kingdoms Lion army (already bought several PDG ones). I guess I'll have to BL them eventually. In general the Pick a Brick selection is disappointingly small Posted Image Often it seems to lack even a lot of basic brick, or at least the color you'd want.

#23 Falconer

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Posted 08 July 2012 - 10:57 PM

View PostWaylander, on 08 July 2012 - 10:08 PM, said:

Interesting to see. I think we'll see a lot more of these guys in the future, with various slight variations. This is my hope anyway.
Well, remember there are plenty of races and nations that have not even been touched upon yet. It’s nice that it’s possible to vary the Isengard Uruk-hai, but they’re the only ones so far with that option at all. I am ready to move on for now.

#24 Fives

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 12:06 AM

I'm currently at 32 Uruks, plus 1 Lurtz and 1 Berserker. 14 of my Uruks are equipped with helmets, breastplates and halberds, and make up my pikemen portion of my army. I then have six swordsmen with swords, shields, breastplates, and helmets, two have hand shields, and two have hand helmets. The rest of my army is made up of scouts, or Uruk swordsmen without breastplates. I have 12 of these, 6 with helmets, 6 with hair. I am going to expand my army by another 16 Uruks, which will split up to 8 pikemen and 8 scouts. The numerous ways these soldiers can vary is of very little use to me, due to the fact that I prefer my armies to be separated by soldier types, so having a pikemen without a breastplate just wouldn't make sense in my army.

I really hope when (or if) LEGO makes the Black Orcs that attacked Minas Tirith have a lot more variety, not only with accessories, but with skin colors and facial expressions. It is with Mordor that randomness will be allowed in my armies.
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#25 WhiteFang

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Posted 09 July 2012 - 08:08 AM

It is very interesting to read this topic discussion with the various proposed or completed configurations for the LOTR army, I will have to think of mine too and I am quite sure, mine won't be as big and huge as some of you here. It will be better if there are pictures to accompany with it. Definitely more encouraging than just listing mere numbers.  :wink:

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