Sunday, January 05, 2014

In the nick of time? LOTR SBG battle report

As previously mentioned my son and I have been enjoying some LOTR action - and have been following through the campaign series of scenarios from the Fall of the Necromancer supplement...

Here follows an AAR of action from our second game, the scenario called... "In the nick of time"...

The scenario is interesting in that it pits a split Elven force of Thranduil, Legolas and wood elves, with an allied contingent of high elves of Rivendel led by Elrond, against, what appears at first glance to be a surrounded evil force of orcs and other beasties led by Khamul the Easterling...

However the deployment quickly puts the pressure on the wood elves, and the battle rapidly becomes a classic 'divide and conquer' in favour of the evil forces, with Elrond's elves rushing to save the day, if they can, in the nick of time...

The setting: a 48" x 48" heavily wooded board...

Mirkwood, viewed from the east.

Deployment: The wood elves first set up within 12 inches of their northern board edge. The Evil forces then set up; they must deploy the orcs within a 6" wide strip across the centre of board. The rest of their force (bats, spiders, wargs and wraith) must set up further than 30" from the southern board edge - this means they are into the wood eves deployment zone from the start! Finally Elrond and his high elves deploy within 6" of the Southern board edge.

So, Chris chose to deploy the wood elves in a pocket with one side protected by a wood. Sword and bow armed elves take the front perimeter backed up by spears behind. Their banner is centrally positioned, and Thranduil is also within the pocket as he took a bit of a battering in Game1, and has not fully recovered... that's the nature of the linked campaign games...

I deployed the orcs in two groups; one led by a captain and banner, the other a smaller group as a surrounding force hoping to make a pincer of their advance. The evil beasts surrounded the wood elf pocket, taking cover in bushes and trees.

Elrond's high elves are following up behind the main orc warband, but have a long way to come...

Deployment, viewed from the north.

The elven pocket with beasts lurking nearby...

 The main orc force...

The flanking orc force...

Elrond's high elves - proxied by Galadhrim

Turn 1 - Priority auto to Good... Elrond's high elves move out beginning their long march across the board, whilst the wood elves grit their teeth and await the onslaught. Wood elf sentinels sing their songs, one becoming terrifying, one bolstering courage and the last trying to repel Khamul to no effect.

High elves advance

Orcs advance towards wood elves... does the flank orc force
By staying static the wood elves have lost the initiative,... Khamul compels an elf archer out the line which is surrounded by beasts. The rest of the beasts rush in, targeting exposed archers where possible to reduce their firing..., including Legolas who is blinded by a swirling bat swarm...

Wood elves surrounded early on
 A wood elf sentinel manages to shoot and kill a warg that failed to charge home, but this is evened when an orc shaft kills an elf swordsman in the line...

Combat is vicious, the surrounded elven archer is torn asunder...
Two more elves fall to the beasts, though a bat swarm is wounded...

Turn 2 - Priority goes to evil but Legolas calls a heroic move... allowing all the elves to charge home... but this now allows the evil force to react with their growing numbers. Seeing a chance to kill the elven standard bearer, Khamul strides forth and unleashes a Black Dart...(or at least that was the plan...), and throws 3 Will points to the roll, needing a 6, and with two Might points to help if needed... and I roll...

Khamul readies a Black Dart at the banner...

... three 1's... classic... wraith, pah? Who are ya??? ;-)

... and completely wiffs...

The battle rages but I need not have worried about the banner, as it was eaten by a spider...

The wood elves under pressure as orcs also start piling in

5 more elves fall including 2 sentinels, though at some cost to Khamul who gets caught up in the action and has to blow all his might to kill an elf...

 But it doesn't all go evils way as a warg and spider also die...

Turn 3 - priority Evil - but Thranduil calls a heroic move...

With the main orc battle line bearing down on him and beasts still among his formation, Thranduil mans up, or should that be elfs up (?) and lets rip with his Circlet of the Kings, casting Natures Wrath, which flattens 2/3rds of the evil force including Khamul... what remains of the elven force charge their downed foes... but many evil warriors still manage to get back to their feet and charge the onrushing elves...

Natures Wrath... though many evil warriors regain their feet

The high elves are now closing with the meager skirmish line of orc archers... they shoot down two of the evil archers.

High elves close with the orc skirmishers

As battle rages further north, a prone orc is killed, but a wood elf is poisoned by a spider. More spiders are wounded and a bat swarm is reduced to one wound remaining. Legolas also wounds the Wild Warg Chieftain in a duel.

The wood elves hold on for another turn but their numbers are dwindling... can they hold out?

Find out in part 2...


  1. Excellent battle report !!
    The figures look very good too ! (GW and/or other brands ?)
    What are the "Bat swarms"? could they be considered like Nazguls ?

    a good game to begin the year !
    I'm curious to see the part 2 .

    1. Thanks.
      Figures are all GW.
      The Bat Swarm or Giant Bats are a good tool for tying up enemy targets - can fly 12", 2 Attacks and 4 wounds... they are not very strong but can occupy a hero for a couple of turns while your troops attack his...

  2. Cliffhanger! I think LoTR:SBG is at its best with the scenarios. Looking forwards to the climax!

  3. nice battle report. looking forward to the next instalment :D

  4. Very dramatic that's LOTR at it's best here.

  5. The power of the scenario isn't it. We found the Hobbit scenarios similarly good. Maybe I should buy some of the new models...

    1. I think the scenarios lend that movie drama feel... not that they are all wonderfully balanced, but they make for interesting storied gaming...
      I know, I just got Azog!

  6. Great looking battle. FotN is a great supplement.

  7. gah! sucker punched with a cliffhanger. fun read as always Scott. Looking forward to seeing how it ends.

    1. LOL, sorry! I hope to finish the game with him this week sometime... he was going to throw the towel in, but I chatted with him about how he could still possibly rough it out... the wood elves will probably still go under... but if Elrond and his warband can stay out of trouble and keep backing off now and picking off orcs, they could still get the evil side to break point... its a long shot but possible... we'll see how it goes... Chris could have managed his force better, but forgot about some stuff he could have done (Thranduil's Circlet, Sentinel's songs etc.) in his excitement, and distraction... he keeps glancing through other LOTR supplements while we are playing... already thinking ahead to other games we can enjoy, instead of concentrating on the game in hand! Typical 10 yr old!

  8. Great report Scott. I am thrilled to see you posting LotR content again (not to mention playing). I'm looking forward not only to the conclusion of this battle but many more reports in the future! Aure Entuluva!!!!

  9. Mae Govannen Scott! , I thought I may catch your attention with this post! ;-)
    Only happy to please!

  10. Superb terrain and figures; how wonderful it must be to enjoy the hobby with your own flesh and blood. Warm regards, Dean

  11. This was a good one, Scott! Looking forward to part two, and hopefully the youngling will take his revenge on the evildoers ;)

    "Typical 10 year old", or typical 35 year old (my brother)!

    And lastly, that table is pretty sweet - and the setup is, naturally, perfect for a forest fight-scenario, a LOT of terrain but still open parts inbetween.

  12. Great battle report! I am in the process of collecting and painting all of the models for the FotN supplement as well, so that MY 10-year-old son and I can play the campaign. Too funny!

    1. Many thanks. Great to hear! I hope you enjoy your father son gaming time!


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