Three of us got together for a Friday evening game at Bryan's, for a try out of the new The Hobbit SBG rules. Bryan took 500pts of Elves, and Robert took 500pts of Dwarves in an alliance against my Dol Guldur force of 1000pts.
Elladan & Elrohir both Armoured and mounted, with 11 High Elves (1 banner, 4 bow, 3 spear & shield, 3 spear)
StormCaller with 12 High Elves (4 bow, 4 spear, 4 spear & shield)
King Dain plus assorted Dwarves including Kazad Guard, Iron Guard, and warriors with short bow, and a banner.
Balin plus assorted Dwarves including Kazad Guard, Iron Guard, and warriors with short bow.
The Necromancer, plus 8 Dol Guldur Orcs (1 banner, 2 shield, 2 2hw, 2 spear, 1 bow) 2 Giant Spiders
Troll Chieftan, plus 7 Dol Guldur Orcs ( 2 shield, 2 2hw, 2 spear, 1 bow) 2 Giant Spiders
Orc Taskmaster plus 7 Dol Guldur Orcs ( 2 shield, 2 2hw, 2 spear, 1 bow) 2 Giant Spiders
Black Numenorean Marshal armoured warhorse , shield and lance, plus 5 Morgul Knights (inc banner & horn.)
We rolled off 'To the Death', which made the game straight forward, as we simply wanted a try out of the rules, and we hadn't played properly together for a while...
The Dwarven Commander started deploying first and chose to sit behind a central wood. The Necromancer deployed in the wood ready for a fight. The Elves deployed in a covering supporting position, and the last dwarven warband deployed adjacent the first. My trolls warband was in right of woods with the troll just out of the wood. The Taskmaster was behind Necromancer, hugging the wood for cover from the elves shooting. The Knights were exposed on the right of the woods, looking to swing the flank, hopefully with a little help from the troll.
With deployment finished the game commenced.The battle in the woods was going to be pretty, but annoying with models getting caught up in the trees and the trees constantly getting knocked over. So we replaced the trees with mdf disks to mark their position. Not as pretty to look at but far easier to play!
The tactics were fairly straight forward , the dwarves and orcs made a battleline against each other in the wood, whilst the knights and troll came round the flank. The good guys tried to unhorse as many knights as possible with shooting, and succeeded in unhorsing 4.
Once the flank battle line joined in turn 2, things got interesting as the troll chieftan romped in the fight, and we tried out the new Hurl Brutal power attack. The troll won his fight picked up a dwarven archer and flung him down the flank battle line killing him and knocking prone several dwarves and elves facing the Morgul knights. This then allowed the knights to start putting some hurt on the prone battleline, but they proved difficult to actually kill as they were all D6...
The Necromancer had not been terribly effective with spells, as he fluffed his first go at sap will on Balin, then passed it on the second turn only to have Balin resist it. I had been trying to get Balin into a position where I could compel him forward then surround and trap him in the ensuing fight, but the trees were foiling my plans blocking my surrounding moves.
The third turn proved to be more of the same, the good guys were trying to stop the flanking move of the knights, and hold up the central orcs. Again the troll chieftan won his fight and this time flung an iron guard down the battleline, knocking 9 good guys over. The iron guard survived this but killed two of his comrades as he knocked them aside, and wounded one of the twins having knocked him from his horse.
We resolved the ensuing fight phase and called it, as we had reached 11pm with only 3 turns played... we hadn't reached any victory points but evil was declared the winner as they had inflicited 11 casualties, against 7 received.
[EDIT: actually both sides scored 2VP's for having 2 banners each, still alive at end of game]
An enjoyable game, and interesting to see what the new Monster attacks can achieve. It made the good guys decide they probably need to consider taking a better wizard now to deal with the troll / 'monster threats'.
The Necromancer didn't achieve a lot though got a couple of kills. He did allow the upgrage to Dol Guldur Orcs, which gave them better fight skill, matching the dwarves, so no more auto losing drawn duel rolls. That came as a nasty shock to the good guys.
The one thing I didnt realise was the power of the Chill spell. I had glanced at the Necromancers list of spells and just assumed the 5+ spell would be Black Dart. Which I could have used if I had thought about it, on killing the good sides banner bearers. It wasn't till I got home and looked at Chill and realised how more effective it is, as it doesnt need to roll to wound....
I could have killed the banner bearers with ease and started giving a real fright to the stronger heroes including the Stormcaller, relatively easily with the right amount of will and an odd might point thrown in too.
The Taskmaster proved quite useful for a 60 point hero, calling a few heroic moves, and even getting one for free thanks to 'whip of the masters'.
So I certainly liked this list for 1000pt game and learned what its capable of achieving.
There was a little good natured grumbling from the good alliance about the the trolls Hurl ability, but I think Monsters have for a long time been too easily 'nerfed' and often not taken as they rarely proved worth their points. So if these new rules means we'll see more of them on the table, so much the better.
The individual weapon rules were interesting but no 'biggy', and were largely ignored, other than the new way supporting spears work.
Neither side felt the need to Channel a spell...
So an enjoyable game, and we are looking forward to more.