Thursday, July 5, 2007

LOTR - Rohan Thunagar Bolt Thrower

OK, now its been a while since I've played Games Workshop's, well, anything. But the last time I did play any of their stuff on a regular, it was the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game. This thing really did drag me back into wargaming after several years chasing other distractions. Anyway, as I find some of these old things from left over games they will probably get added in with the more current stuff. And thus I give you the rules and details miniature for one of my Lord of the Rings miniatures....

Rohan Thunagar Bolt Thrower
65 Points

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Simple and elegant in its hand-crafted design, the Rohirrim use powerful Thunagar (Thunder Spear) Bolt Throwers to defend fixed positions. When war draws the Eored far from home on a protracted siege campaign, these siege bows may be hitched to horses and pulled into firing position.

Thunagar Bolt Thrower______9________ 10_________3____
Rohan Crewman_________3/4+__3___4___1___1____3___

Crew: A Thunagar Bolt Thrower consists of one (1) bolt thrower and two (2) Rohan crewmen armed with hand weapons and wearing armor. Extra crewmen may be added at additional cost:
Rohan Crewman 6 pts each
Horse 6 pts each


Piercing Shot: If shooting at a Battlefield Target, the missile can conceivable hit several enemies. The target model is struck one blow at Strength 9, is knocked to the ground, and is flung 2D6” directly away from the bolt thrower. Except as noted below, any other models that lie in the path of the victim suffer a single Strength 6 hit and are knocked to the ground if they have Strength 5 or less. If the propelled model hits an obstacle or Siege Target it immediately stops and inflicts a single Strength 6 hit upon it.

Accurate: These machines are much easier to aim than Catapults and other heavy siege engines. When firing a Thunagar Bolt Thrower at a Battlefield Target the shot will only scatter 3” rather than 6”.

Horse-Drawn Carriage: Up to two (2) horses may be lashed to the Thunagar Bolt Thrower to drag it into firing position. Both the horse and at least 1 crewman must spend a full movement phase in base to base contact with the Bolt Thrower to attach the weapon’s chassis to the horse or horses. When moving the Bolt Thrower in this way, each horse counts as two (2) models, such that a single horse pulling a bolt thrower will move at ½ rate and two horses will move at their full movement rate. No other models may help a single horse move the bolt thrower, and no movement over any kind of difficult terrain is possible. A single horse pulling a siege engine may not bear riders while doing so; a two-horse team pulling an engine may bear a single rider. If the horses do not move, any model that ends its move in base contact may unhitch the horses immediately, but neither the unhitching model nor the bolt thrower can do anything else that turn. The horse is now free to bear riders, but can do nothing further this turn. Once unhitched from its horses, the crew will spend the rest of that turn preparing the weapon for action. It may fire normally the following turn. Note that the Thunagar bolt thrower may not fire while lashed to a horse team.


Superior Construction 20 pts
Flaming Ammo 15 pts
Siege Veterans 15 pts
Rohan Siege Engineer Captain 75 pts

Modeling the Thunagar Bolt Thrower

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

When I set out to build one of these, I wanted to come up with something that would not stand out too much from what had come before it. That is, I didn’t want anything too “Warhammery,” even though I was adding a custom siege weapon to a skirmish game. These tips will get you a long way to converting your own.

GW’s conversions are constrained by contractual agreements – they can’t mix parts between LOTR and Warhammer, and they certainly wouldn’t ever mix in bits from another manufacturer. I myself am free of such constraints, as are most of you. I decided to base my conversion on a Warhammer Dwarven bolt thrower for a few reasons – It’s got a pretty conservative style, as far as warhammer goes, and has a basically “realistic” design. The generally small size of dwarven materials counter-acts the effects of mixing 28mm with 25mm – the smaller siege gear from the larger scale looks fairly heavy in the smaller scale.

1 Dwarven Bolt Thrower (Warhammer)
2 Horse heads (Risk)
1 Cavalry base (LOTR)
3 Warriors of Rohan (LOTR)
2 Horses (LOTR)


I wish I had pictures, but I don’t and we’ll all have to live with it. This conversion is very straight-forward.

  1. Basic Assembly – assemble the Dwarven bolt thrower more or less as it normally would be, but don’t include the big rectangle bit (you’ll know what I mean when you see it).
  2. Remove stupid details – The stock dwarven bolt thrower is covered in little faces – call them shields, badges, trim, whatever. Cut all that garbage off, and either carving into the metal or with a bit of putty carve a few lines over the area to hide your shaving and extend the wood grain over the “ugly spots.”
  3. Take two small plastic horses. There are may sources for these – look in hobby shops for little plastic horse charms or beads. I got two of the horse pieces from the LOTR Risk game and used those, but you won’t want to do that very often or you’ll trash the Risk set. Wherever you get some little horses (You want horses about ½ inch tall) cut their heads off, cutting as low on the neck down by the shoulders as you can.
  4. Glue these horse heads onto the front of the bolt thrower on either side of the loaded bolt.
  5. Mount and base to taste.
  6. Have two riderless horses handy to hitch the bolt thrower to. You may also like to have a loose rider figure to represent this as needed.

This conversion is not very involved, and basically means replacing dwarvish icons with horse heads. You could glue on some shields and stuff if you like, too.

1 comment:

Midloo said...

nice conversion! I really dig what you did to make this uniquely "rohan"