Friday, January 17, 2014

In the Nick of time - finale!

Back again to Mirkwood and the last installment of our LOTR SBG report...
Parts One and Two, as a refresher.

 Things were getting real interesting quickly now, and it was time to take stock, with both sides bleeding casualties, and thus nearing their 'Broken' (50% strength) points..., so we had a quick count up of models dead and alive to see where we both stood...

 It was at this point that it was realised the Evil force had missed deploying 4 orcs!

Awwww, Refereeee???? And whilst my chivalrous opponent suggested bringing them on as reinforcements, I felt it not in the spirit of the scenario to have more orcs turn up behind either elf warband, so I left them off... my fault for miss counting anyway!

On with the show...

Turn 6 - Priority Evil - Elrond calls Heroic Move.

Never one to exercise caution, Elrond again rouses his High Elves to charge forth into the evil ranks... The elves surge forward into the orcs, and Elrond use his last Will point to once again cast Natures Wrath, needing a 4, and rolls a 3 so is forced to spend his last Might point to buff it up just enough... Khamul nursing 3 Will points decides not to resist it... he instead tries to Transfix Elrond needing a 4 but again fluffs the roll... The bats fly over to try and distract the elven archers and a warg moves up to try and get in the way of the elven shots at the orcs trying kill the wood elves further away... Elrond has the orc captain at his feet. A lone orc spearman tries to come to his captains aid, but seeing the enraged Elf with his true Lineage shining through, bottles his courage roll and stands quivering, leaving his captain to his fate...

Elsewhere, pressure continues to pile up against the wood elves, with beasts and orcs hitting from from all sides... sadly the last elven archer here, fails his courage roll and quits the field (or wood). As the elven heroes had already been charged they did not need to pass courage tests, so no hero standfast roll could benefit the faltering elf...

Blue cloaked elf archer runs after this pic!
The elven archers let fly and manage to kill the Bat swarm, approaching their position.

The fights start with Elrond and the orc captain, 3 attacks against 2... Elrond rolls and his highest dice is a 4... The orc sees his chance at the wayward elven thrust and lashes out rolling box cars! Ha! But Elrond has a banner re-roll and throws a six! Arghh curses... The jubilant elf wins the drawn combat on Fight Skill, and the orc counting trapped, takes double wounds rolls - four 6's rolled out of 6 dice and the orc captain is deftly diced!

Orc captain's box-cars, equalled and thus beaten by the Elven re-roll!
The rest of the Elven battle line follows Elronds example and butcher 2 more orcs at their feet, and give another a thick ear for his cheek!

Orc battle line collapses to elven fury
Back in the wood elves copse, Thranduil is fighting for his life, backs away losing the fight and is bitten by the spider, losing his last fate point... The elven sentinel manages to fend off the Bat swarm wounding it in the process... Legolas also finds himself fighting on two sides, and is beaten back and takes a wound from the spider which is saved at the cost of all 3 of his fate points! The orcs then whack him and Legolas succumbs to a wound, leaving him one last wound remaining...

Wood elf heroes under extreme pressure!
Turn 7 - Priority Evil (It seems Chris can't win a priority roll to save his life!)

The orcs need to do something, and quickly, but having won the priority roll, find themselves now at Break point, and must start making courage rolls. Khamul passes his roll, allowing his standfast to keep his force under control around him. To try and negate the enraged Elrond he casts transfix at him again and finally passes his roll. Elrond has no Will remaining to resist it and stands bemused momentarily as the melee swirls around him... Khamul now has one Will remaining, and backs off, trying to keep out of any subsequent charge range... The rest of the orcs and warg charge back in against the elven line, hoping to get some revenge for the loss of their captain, whilst Elrond stands counting the pretty flowers at his feet...

Elrond stands transfixed, as the orcs charge in...
Back in the wooded copse, there is no evil hero present to lend a standfast, and the bat swarm, a spider and an orc flee the battle. But enough evil warriors pass to continue to threaten the elves who are all at critical health levels...
Evil keeps the pressure up against the elves
Melee commences around Elrond, but the elves are not perturbed by the dazed appearance of their leader and hack down two of the orcs - Chris was now rolling sixes with aplomb, his little face radiant!

Two more orcs fall, the rest are beaten off...
Returning to the wooded copse, Thranduil, sensing his doom is at hand, unleashes the last of his reserves and beats off the orcs and spider, killing one of the orcs. The sentinel beats off the orc spearman attacking him, and Legolas also raises his game, and kills an orc that was attacking him!

Wow, another brutal turn, and it couldn't have gone much worse for the forces of evil... The elves were on a roll this turn!

And with that, a quick check and we find the evil force merely needs to lose one more warrior and its all over...

Turn 8 - Priority ... but wait, its at this crucial juncture that it is realised the Wood Elf faction has dipped below its critical 25% strength and flees the battlefield! A special scenario rule has the two elven factions treated separately for 'Break point' (50%), and 'Rout point' (25%)... Not only that, but they were at that point at the start of play today! I think the confusion with the missing orcs, lead to this oversight!

Never mind, such is the confusion in a swirling battle - who knows who is left standing and who has fallen or fled... especially in dense woodland like this... so we will press on and call no foul!

...Priority - Good!

Wasting no time, Elrond marches his elves forward once more, whilst the archers back off forming a covering firing line.

With the front rank of the evil forces engaged, Khamul is left to pass a courage check which he does and moves back to the few remaining orcs behind him, to allow them to benefit from his standfast. They advance from the wood around their leader, in the vain hope they can still hold out now agaisnt the rampant High Elves... The spider scuttles forth, hoping to be in position to charge next turn

Elves charge again

Khamul drops back to rally his troops, as the spider scuttles forth
 Combat is swift and brutal, despite rolling decent dice for the evil forces, the elves roll better or equal and win on fight skill, their banner re-rolls helping again... doesnt matter if evil rolls a six, if the elves manage to too, they'll win!

The orc banner is hacked down by Elrond and another orc is beaten down, the warg and last orc repulsed.

Final positions

And with that the evil force is scattered from the field of battle. Khamul must retreat back to Dol Guldur and face the wrath of the Necromancer!

A great battle that swung back and forth. We cocked up a bit with deploying troops and watching those critical break points, but never the less, we thoroughly enjoyed playing it and hope you all enjoyed the read.

We hope we may have encouraged you to break out those old LOTR figures again...


  1. Oh Scott, the forces of evil were so close! Well done Chris!

  2. Fantastic report Scott!
    Very cinematic :-D

  3. Go Elves! You had me worried for a moment there.

  4. An enjoyable read, and not only because of the game system played. Here follows a small unstructured ramble on LotR:SBG.

    LotR: SBG is easy to learn but difficult to master, as the age old saying goes. I have problem with remembering all the specials for all the different leaders and heroes, though... I suppose all these specials are what gives the system its feeling and depth. Otherwise it'd be closer to an abstract chess-world rather than Middle-Earth, if it weren't for specials, terrain and painted figures! The nature of wargaming, I suppose.

    Still, I will insist on my next game (since forever) will be a slug-fest with basic troops and just one leader. A bit of a get-back-in-the-saddle handicap, for a slightly memory-impaired person as myself. Just need to get my regular opponent back from the other side of the pond and then another pond (the North Sea).

    1. Thanks, glad you enjoyed the report.

      You raise valid points - I think with lots of basic trooper the game can be a bit of a slugfest... I think its the Characters and their specials abilities etc that make the game, and give that dynamism and cinematic quality... the more recent warband lists return to that feel in the game as you need a hero to lead warbands of troops (max 12 models)...

      We'll be playing about with a lot more over the coming year... both sourcebook scenarios and basic missions...

      I've also started scouring the web for models to complete gaps in my collection...

      Hope you get your playing partner back soon!

      Oh, the North Sea, remember it well, though not with the fondest of memories - darn cold! My local beach as a kid growing up was Marsden, near Sunderland...

  5. Scott:

    As one who never read the books or saw the movies (at least in their entirety), your games and battle reports have really gotten me interested. Best, Dean


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