Wednesday, June 2, 2021

War of the Ring - Modified Rules

I've done a number of modifications to the War of the Ring rules in order to modernize them a bit and make them generally a better set of rules.  I actually very much enjoy the rules and they are still mostly very good.

The "issues" with the rules primarily revolve - IMO - around army lists and army creation.  Since I only play massed battles and don't play the skirmish version of LOTR, I don't care about the movement trays and individual basing.  I wanted large groups of massed troops that look and feel the part - the trays are to large and spaced out.

Below you'll find the links to the modified rules reference and what I've completed so far for the army lists (just Rohan and Isengard at the moment, and not the full lists for those - just what I needed for the Fords of Isen scenario).

Jays Modified War of the Ring Rules Reference:

Jays Modified War of the Ring Army Lists:

NOTE: The army list is very limited at the moment.  I've only added the units I needed for the Fords of Isen game I ran.  I am adding much more to the lists, but you should be able to see the general idea.  Command becomes a "fixed" element of the formation, and I determine the per model cost of the original entry and multiply it by the number of attacks (9 for inf and 3 for cav).  I always round up to the nearest 5 or 10 (e.g. 46.3 becomes 50), which offsets of the cost of command which I don't include otherwise in the calculation.

I'll summarize the key changes below:

  • Cavalry is 3 figures per base (3 wide).  Base size is 75mm wide by 60mm deep.
  • Cavalry attacks are increased to 3.
  • Cavalry companies can take 3 casualties (resilience is 2).
  • Infantry are 6 figures per base (3 wide, 2 ranks).  Base size is 60mm wide by 50mm deep.
  • Infantry attacks are increased to 9.
  • Infantry companies can take 9 casualties (resilience is 1).
  • Cavalry charge bonus is increased to +3 against cavalry/monsters and +9 against infantry.
  • Drummers/Hornblowers allow a formation to reroll the result of a Courage test.
  • Added a Bows (Mixed) entry for army profiles.  For some formations where having a separate "bow" unit doesn't make a lot of sense (e.g. Dunlending Warriors) this allows you to have a single formation using all the models available. Much like thrown weapons, this just means that those companies use 1/2 their attack dice when shooting (rounded up).  This represents that the whole unit isn't bow armed and that bow armed troops are simply mixed into the formation.
  • Command is built into the army list profiles.
  • Models are not removed from the companies, just use wound markers to track the depleted companies.
  • Heroes are fixed with their units.  Epic Heroes can move.  For Epic Heroes, you can either put them on a smaller base (foot/mounted) that can just be "attached" to a formation, or you can create a couple of different stands/options for them.  Most I'm adding "fixed" army list entries where they are only allowed to join a small number of formation types.  For example, I have an infantry stand for Éomer for just Oathsworn Militia and another for Riders of Rohan - those are the only two units he'll join.  But, I do have the version of Éomer as king of Rohan, which I have a mounted base with Royal Guard.  I took this route mostly because I have a lot of different versions of the same characters.  I could just have easily mounted them on a minimal width base that is the same "depth" as the formation they would join (infantry/cavalry).

That's it off the top of my head.  The play and experience of the game is much improved IMO.  Stay tuned as I work to add more to the army lists.

Essentially, moving to a "groups/multiples" of 3 system is good - since for the most part, Games Workshop sells models in multiples of 3.

You can see a preview of the rules reference below.

You can see a preview of the current army list pages below.


  1. Thanks for sharing, if I were to do this period, this is how I would want to do it as well. Now I am off to buy a lottery ticket so I can win some money and hire your painters away from you😉


    1. Lol, lots of good painters out there ... lots of bad ones as well :-) Win that COVID lottery ... my fingers are crossed :-)

  2. This looks interesting! I've always been wanting to play wargames in Middle Earth. Been collecting lots of miniatures (from different manufacturers), but never found that "perfect" set of rules. Now I only need to find a copy of the GW rulebook.

    1. Hey there! Excellent. The WotR rules are available as a download from a few different places. For example:

  3. Another brilliant J White modification 😀
    Those reference sheets... amazing production value!! There should be an award for contributions to the community with you name on it.

    1. Lol! Thanks brother! I still need to make some of those excellent DMH markers ... saw them again in your last post.

    2. I've already made you a set 👍
      I just need to put together a couple other things for the package and then mail them out, so hopefully in the next couple of weeks 😀

    3. Oooooo!! That is AWESOME!! THANKS MAN!!

  4. What a project - these look really interesting to play, Jay