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Report RSS Balchoth Tribesman (view original)
Balchoth Tribesman
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BalkanLuka Author

The basic idea for this concept was inspired by the AOTR-mods excellent rendition of the Variags of Khand unit, as it inspired me to try my own attempt at designing a unit from the less known nations that inhabit the eastern parts of Middle-Earth. Although there was little information about the history and origins of the Balchoth i could find, 2 articles i used proved incredibly useful - and . The basic motif of the drawing is clearly Mongolian, as it is chosen to be opposed to the Japanise/Chinese inspired Easterlings, also the name Balchoth is based on the Westron words balc ("horrible") + Sindarin word hoth ("horde") which clearly gave the idea which real-life culture should be used as a template for this unit.(I wont go in detail about the history of the unit as everything about them can be read on the 2 upper mentioned links).

Concerning the equipment of this particular tribesman, here is the a following explanation: The tribal Balchoth warriors are mostly equipped with leather armor as they lead a semi-nomadic life on the steppes and planes of grass in the East, which allows for an abundant storage of animal hides, fur and leather, particularly of horses, the small amount of iron ore represents a rarity and is mostly used in smiting tools and weapons, thus metal armor on tribal warriors is quite uncommon and is considered a luxury only seen on banner bearers and chieftains leading the warriors. Most of the metalwork is imported via trade with the Easterlings and is used preferably for protecting the head, neck and shoulders as these areas are mostly vulnerable when engaging a mounted foe like Rohhirim Riders or rival Tribes like the Vainriders/Khandians etc. As for the weapons, due to the history of combat with enemies that have mounted superiority, the Balchoth have developed weapons that although crude, and wrapped in horse-hair, are quite effective against mounted foes. The particular weapon on my drawing is clearly a combination of a Naginata and a Billhook, which allows the user to strike with large swings for severing a horses head or legs using te elongated blade, or for pulling a rider from the saddle with the barbed part. The weapons medium reach also allows for safe attacking of sword equipped infantry aswell.

In-Game this unit should be an inn/mercenary unit with disposable uses, used to take on cavalry charges or to tar-pit better enemy infantry, taking losses instead of the elite Easterling troops. As for their effectiveness, they would naturally be very effective against cavalry, and medium effective against sword infantry. They should lack the armor upgrade option, and be very vulnerable to enemy ranged units, relying on the support of your own ranged units to suppress enemy archers.

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One of my more recent works, made as concept suggestion for a new mercenary/inn unit for the makers of the LOTR Battle for Middle earth 2 - Age of the ring Mod for either the Mordor faction or the announced Dol Guldur faction. A more in-depth description behind the idea of the drawing can be read below in the comment section.

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