The Men of Rohan Part 1: Infantry
Another article? What is this, Mod of the Year? No, it's not. That's only in December, please pay attention. We just have some things to share! In this article we'll be taking a good look at Rohan's unit roster, which you'll be able to experience for yourself pretty soon, because Rohan and Rivendell will both be coming in the next version.
Though a largely equestrian culture, the Rohirrim, unlike the Dothraki, knew when to hang up their saddles and sally forth on foot. And so, while their focus in AotR is most definitely on cavalry, Rohan will be able to field a variety of infantry units.
Yes, the iconic BFME1 unit is back, and yes, you'll be able to spam them, though not with complete impunity. Peasants can be recruited from both of Rohan's resource structures through a toggle: to recruit peasants, you'll need to switch your structure to Peasantry of the Mark, which greatly diminishes its resource output (being that the peasants aren't working the fields anymore, but marching off to the war you started). When you've finished your peasant spam, you can toggle your structures back, and their resource production goes back to normal. This way, spamming peasants becomes a powerful high risk/high reward strategy. Make sure to go all-in and pick the Draft spellbook power to arm your peasants with gear straight from the armories of Edoras and save up for Éowyn and her peasant-focused leadership ability.
When the call to war comes, Rohirric landowners gather their arms and armor. Those too poor to own a horse get levied into infantry spearmen battalions, to hold the defensive line or perform special manoeuvres as the Éored's charge into battle. It is not unusual for the Men living in Rohan's frontier regions to be placed in archery divisions due to their superior skill and experience at hunting. The Yeoman Spearmen and Archers are basic units, specialized and stronger than Peasants - a worthy investment for any Horse Lord looking to diversify his roster.
The Westfolders were a highly disciplined army under the command of the Marshal of the West-mark, a title newly created by King Éomer after the War of the Ring and first given to Erkenbrand, the fierce warrior who led the Westfolders to lift Saruman's siege of Helm's Deep. The Westfolders wear strong armor and carry seax-swords and enormous shields painted bright red, which they can lock together in a fearsome Shield Wall. They can charge the enemy through their Forth Eorlingas! special power, through which they gain a damage and speed boost. They are unlocked through the first sounding of the Horn of the Westfold, a tier 2 spellbook power.
The Firienholt was a hallowed forest covering the slopes of the Halifirien, the Beacon-hill, where Cirion of Gondor and Eorl of the Young formalized their alliance, and the Gondorian land of Calenardhon was granted to the Éothéod, who would come to call it Rohan, home of the Horse Lords. Cirion and Eorl agreed that the forest and hill should be guarded by men from both Gondor and Rohan, and indeed the wardens sent there answered to both realms. In AotR, the Firienholt Sentinels are an elite ranger battalion, similar to the Ithilien Rangers, able to move with speed and stealth to ambush the enemy using their Longshot ability, as well as scare off enemy units through their Halifirien Guards power.
We encounter these stalwart royal guards when Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and Gandalf attempt to enter the Golden Hall to see its sickly King. In AotR, they carry swords and large shields and grant a bonus to nearby heroes and structures through their Kingsguard ability. They are powerful all-around elites - look out for their mounted counterparts in part two of this article series.