Just finished Simon MacDowall's Catalaunian Fields AD 451.
This has me rummaging in my lead pile. It seems I have a lot of 15mm Goths etc.
But his reconstruction of the battle and the plate showing Thorismund, Prince of the Visigoths, launching his attack into Attila's left wing to avenge his father and save the day makes me think of Theoden's speech before the charge of the Rohirrim at the Pelennor Fields.
The parallels between Middle Earth of the Third Age and Europe in the 5th century always resonate with me. I've always thought Goths would make very suitable Riders of Rohan and the Gondorim best portrayed by late Romans or Byzantines with sophisticated combined arms tactics featuring maneuver and fire power. I never liked PJ's depiction of the Gondorim armies. Archers in full plate? Really? I know, it's visual shorthand to impress upon the audience that Gondor is technically more advanced than Rohan and also to make identification easier. But for my tabletop I want better.
Besides, an army built around bow and spear armed mailed cavalry and infantry seems kind of cool.
The other races are of course always an issue. One keeps running into goofy cartoon orcs and dwarves with excessive spikes and horns.
This thread on Orcs and the Gamification of Tolkien http://www.lead-adventure.de/index.php?topic=86688.0 speaks to many of my issues with trying game in Middle Earth, even though I love it so.
I am always in dread of my well meaning and overly enthusiastic friends bringing D&D or Warhammer Fantasy tropes back to Middle Earth. I want dark skinned uruks (big fighting orcs or hobgoblins) and snagas (little Orcs or goblins), not bilious green skinned "boyz", " big'unz " and "Nobz".
This fellow's gorgeous photos of his 15mm Lord of the Rings project has also gotten me thinking http://www.lead-adventure.de/index.php?topic=83555.0 and made me aware of the not bad Eureka Miniatures 15mm fantasy figures.
Lion Rampant sized contingents of elves and dwarves would be reasonable. Use historical figures for the armies of human kingdoms. One would probably need to build a Lion Rampant contingent of orcs for each contingent of goodly folk.
Hmmmm.... Things to think about.