Well its been a while since I blogged here... I've been putting a lot of work into the KapitiFowGamers blog recently which has taken up some of my time from here...
I have also been very busy with more Wehrmacht forces, which many of which are on the cusp of finishing, either just awaiting decals, final varnish or basing... so there will be a splurge here shortly of recent output...
Some new acquisitions were made during the recent Maelstromgames discount sale, and arrived safe and sound, not only Flames of War goodies but some characters for my Empire of the Dead gaming. Again these are near finished too.
Sadly it does appear I have been stung now by Maelstrom, as being unable to resist, I went back and ordered more, only to have this latest round of purchases just sit 'processing' on their website... Whether these will be honoured or not I cannot tell but with the recent rumour and gossip flying round the web, I am beginning to doubt it very much.
I have been in touch with my bank and credit card, and have a form to lodge my claim for unreceived goods/services. I have to make the claim within 30 days of items appearing on my statement, so if nothing happens over the weekend from Maelstrom, then I will lodge my claim.
Shame really as I have had good service from Maelstrom over the years and to be fair I have probably quite literally saved $100s, if not $1000s on goods purchased from them, compared to what I would have paid for same goods here in NZ...
But if the rumour proves true, then the "King is Dead... Long live the King"... there are other online suppliers who will no doubt be happy for the increased trade they will be receiving....
Before Maelstrom went tits up, I did manage to place an order for the new Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Books. Although the evil empire (Games Workshop, not Sauron et al) had put the block on them sending their products to overseas customers, I was able to find a loophole by ordering via my father in the UK... even with him shipping the goods to me, it still worked out cheaper than buying them here...
So with the new books I was just waiting to give them a try out. Its been a long time since I played LOTR SBG, my most recent LOTR gaming was with the now apparently defunct War of the Ring game.... this game, whilst it had potential, had several issues that knackered it in my mind. It probably just needed a v1.1 rewrite but I doubt that will happen... plus with the evil empires pricing policy I can't see any new players having the funds to buy enough LOTR models to make a decent size WOTR army now anyway...
But with The Hobbit's immanent movie release, my Middle-Earth juices are starting to flow... so I thought it was time to give the new SBG rules, involving Warband army composition and new missions, a whirl.
I had heard rumblings that a little bit of LOTR gaming had been going on at the local club (KWC), so I made contact through their Facebook page and organised a game.
Sorry no pictures from game - I didn't want camera action to interfere with a game with a player I was meeting for the first time.
[The Hobbit - I can't wait! We'll hopefully being going to the parade of stars in Wellington and then seeing the opening night viewing!]
The game was 750pts per side.
I took a Dol Guldur list. I love the idea of this place... dark brooding menace full of orcs, spooks and other nasty beasties!... Allows for a fair variety in your army list.
The Mouth of Sauron, leading 6 Morgul Knights, one with banner and one with Warhorn.
Kardush the FireCaller, leading 11 orcs; 5 shields, 5 spears and one banner.
An Orc Captain leading 8 orcs; 4 shields, 4 spears.
SpiderQueen leading 6 giant spiders and 3 spectres.
Sol, a pleasant young chap I met for the first time, took a Gondor force:
Aragorn the King, leading Knights of Minas Tirith
A Gondor Captain leading some foot Warriors of Minas Tirith, a mix of sword-and-shield and spear-and-shield.
The King of the Dead leading some Warriors of the Dead and a Gondor Ballista and crew.
I set the terrain up depicting a ruined mixed countryside, of woods, hedges, scrub, marsh, rocks and ruins...
We rolled off a mission and got "Hold Ground!" - This mission starts with all forces off the table and they come onto board from various edges. The objective is to hold the centre point of the battlefield.
Sol got the roll off to start. He managed to get both Aragron's cavalry and his foot WoMT on his long edge of the board, but the ghosties and ballista failed to show...
In my turn, I got my two blocks of orcs on my long edge of board, but Morgul knights and spiders failed to show.
In next turn Sol advanced his troops towards centre of board, and managed to get his ghosts and ballista on. Now at this point he made a gamble, and deployed these to my flank, angling to get flank shots at my orcs with the ballista, itself protected by his ghosts.
However in my subsequent move, both Morgul knights and Spiders arrived, and I quickly deployed them surrounding this flank group, knights behind and spiders in front. I also used the spectres special ability to draw his ballista crew away from the machine, rendering it inoperable and exposing the crew...
Over the next couple of combat phases, the Morgul knights and Spiders slaughtered the crew and ghosts, the King of the Dead the last to succumb, surrounded on all sides ...
Meanwhile in centre of board, Sol continued his advance on the objective, as I advanced my orcs to meet him forming them together in a large mass to withstand Aragorns inevitable cavalry charge.
Again this central scrap lasted a couple of turns, and my orcs held against the knights charge, whilst my own knights and spiders raced to get into the action from the flank quarter.
My orcs were steadily beaten down but they were taking a heavy toll of the Knights of MT too. Finally my own knights and spiders got into the action from the flank, with the spectres again doing their spooky thing, drawing supporting spear armed troops to their doom under Morgul knight lances and spider fangs...
But the battle had to come to an end early, Sol had a long drive home so we called the game at 9.15pm. At this point Sols forces were shattered, with only Aragorn left of his cavalry, and 4 foot warriors of MT, 3 of which were crucially standing on the objective.
I had lost a couple of Knights, half dozen orcs or so and had 2 wounded spiders.
When we counted up the VPs, Sol scored 3 for 3 models on the objective, and I scored 3 for breaking Sols force and being unbroken myself. So the game ended a draw.
Had the game continued for one more turn, I think it likely the forces of Gondor would have gone under completely, possibly with Aragorn hanging on for a couple of turns more till he ran out of Might and Fate, being utterly surrounded at the last...
A great game and thoroughly enjoyable and a nice format to meet a new player.
It was good to get back to the game again, remember the rules, and we each learned a few things that we had played differently in the past.
Of course I'll probably get all fired up to paint my massive outstanding LOTR figure haul that I have, I've probably got enough to open a small store! And make some more LOTR terrain...
But I have just placed an order for some Tigers for my FoW forces, and a whole pile of 'backstory' civilians for Empire of the Dead... and I still have to make a Victorian city!
It never rains but it pours... so please excuse me if my blogging is somewhat erratic... I am likely to be very busy in months to come!
As always thanks for reading.