Khamul the Easterling

Khamul the Easterling

Lieutenant of Sauron, Shadow of the East, Commander of the forces of Dol Guldur

 

 

Khamul is probably my favorite of all the Nazgul.  Except for the Witch King of Angmar, he was the only one given a name and significant background by Tolkien.  He was also the one that took charge of the dark fortress of Dol Guldur when Sauron fled from there back to Mordor and he eventually lead the forces from that stronghold against the Elves of Lothlorien and Mirkwood during the War of the Ring, returning on his Fell Beast to assist with the siege of Gondor.  The cursed stronghold at Dol Guldur, it's influence on Mirkwood and the ongoing struggle of the Wood Elves living there and their eventual break out attacks against the Free Peoples near the end, has been one of my favorite side-stories in Middle Earth once I was old enough to start putting all the pieces together.

 

In the Strategy Battle Game, Khamul was a little more combat focused than the unnamed Ringwraiths in the game, which really served as supporting spell casters for the most part.  If mounted on a horse, or even better on a Fell Beast, he was able to dish out damage and leech the essence from his foes to remain strong (in SBG the Nazgul need to spend a point of Will every turn they are in combat and Khamul could regain Will from foes he slew).

 

 

In War of the Ring, GW went a bit overboard with the special abilities of the Nazgul, combined with the over-powered Magic and cheap points, turning them into something fearful but a bit cheezy.  Khamul is probably the worse of all of these.  He has a special ability which allows him to bounce hits off of his Formation and direct them elsewhere.  If it was limited to his Company then this would have been enough, but covering his whole Formation turned him into perhaps the most over played and under-priced powerhouse in the game.  As a result, when I field my Dol Guldur army I now feel very cheezy having it led by Khamul, though he is the most appropriate of all the Nine to do so.  Hopefully GW will reign some of this back in with a future update to the game system.

 

 

The Khamul model is attractive.  It retains most of the look of the Nine as they are portrayed as nameless, terrifying servants of Sauron, almost indistinct from each other.  Beneath his flowing robes you can see his helm and remnants of his ancient garb.  His pose is dynamic but not over the top.  His appearance helps him stand out as unique without casting aside the full appearance of the Nine from the stories and films (some of the later named Nazgul really depart too dramatically in my opinion).