Sourcebook Review – A Shadow in the East
When I was into the hobby a decade ago I was pretty good at collecting the supplements as they came out. A Shadow in the East was one I missed. At the time I wasn’t particularly attracted to the Easterlings or assorted forces. But times change…
The book is the standard form of 48 pages but it’s packed with content. It introduces a few new heroes for the forces of good; Madril, Cirion, Murin and Drar, but primarily this tome fleshes out those Eastern Kingdoms glimpsed in the films.
Aside from the fluff and profiles, what I love most about this book is the scenarios. The first two in particular feel like really fun games. In particular ‘The Fall of Amon Barad’ is one I want to play right away.
It’s a clever design, with forces almost straight out of the box it means players can play right away. What’s not to like about a scenario in which Khamul stalks his way through a tower killing, until finally arriving!
I’m a big fan of smaller skirmishes, and with a recommended points of 200 this feels like a game you could play again and again, or adapt to fit in with your own collections or campaigns.
A brilliant use of these older sourcebooks is the amount of space dedicated to terrain building. Rather than try and sell you premade GW terrain this sourcebook details easy step by step guides on building a Temple, Watchtower and full encampment.
The book also establishes some fringe characters and gives them some scenario spotlights. Dain, Treebeard and Eorl all feature at points, giving all players something to think about.
My main interest in the book lies in the fact that my main opponent plays Dwarves, and whilst devouring all the old content I’ve slowly been putting together some of my own…
I love the idea of a campaign detailing the last days of Dain Ironfoot, and the Easterling assualt on Erebor. This book gives me more inspiration to start my own force and create a narrative around that.
When collecting White Dwarf years ago, my absolute favourite articles were those by Paul Sawyer as he collected his Warhammer Fantasy Chaos army in ‘The Lure of the Gods’. He set himself a budget and went about trying to collect a force under those limitations, detailing his painting and gaming as he went.
I’ll try something similar. I’ve never collected Easterlings before, which is fantastic. My initial aim is get around the 500 point mark. Some warriors, some kataphrakts and of course Khamul should take me most of the way.
For this project I’ll aim to spend about £30 a month. A relatively small amount but enough that I can get other stuff if I need.
For this month, if we include the sourcebook (£10 – Ebay), I’ve just purchased the troop box from GW (Support your hobbit hobby!) with a couple paints.
It’s obviously a great place to start and as soon as they’re finished I plan on starting a small battle companies campaign as I learn to use them. Hopefully they will occupy my Bank Holiday monday next week.
I’m lucky enough to have a few of the older metal Easterlings hidden away, and so have painted one up in a slightly different scheme.
I can’t take the credit for this scheme at all, and I have taken it from the GBHL’s recent series of ‘Middle Earth’s Deadliest Warbands’ Check out the first episode here
I’ll be rolling this out over my new models as soon as they’re here!
Hopefully this has been an insight into the supplement and also a promise of things to come!
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