Saturday, February 15, 2014

The Hunt Begins! - LOTR/Hobbit AAR

Ah ha! My cunning plan has worked..., a plan so cunning you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel ;-) ... after many years of enjoying the visual feast of the Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, and now also the first two Hobbit movies, my son, at age 10, has become engrossed in reading the Lord of the Rings novel. Starting with, of course, the first book of the Fellowship of the Ring.


At his age, back way back when, I was still reading the Hobbit... I didn't get into the The Lord of the Rings, until I was teenager...

I once heard somebody say, that reading The Lord of the Rings for the first time is a bit of slog and difficult to get into, but once you get past the first 100 pages or so, it grabs you and there's no putting it down... I told Chris this, and so he steadfastly worked his way into the book, though of course, knowing the movies off by heart has made his introduction to the story, far easier than it was for me all those years ago...

The fun part for him has been to see how the book differs from the movie, and as that old saying invariably goes, the book is better than the movie... though I rather think in this case, they compliment each other very well...

And as I predicted, with starting to read the book, Chris now wants to play through the Journey Book scenarios, starting at the beginning, with "The Hunt Begins" from the Fellowship of the Ring Journey book.

So here we begin out LOTR adventure, in another direction, lets see if we can stay on course this time!



The following pictures are clickable so you can have a read - it saves me typing it all out for you...



A simple set up, and a simple plan...

The Dunedain guard the boundaries of the Shire, and the Wraiths are trying to sneak past or break through... Their Master has learned of two words; 'Baggins' and 'Shire', and has sent his most fell servants to secure his greatest desire, The One Ring.

However at this great distance from his influence, their powers are weak...

For the Forces of evil to win, they must get 2 out of their 3 wraiths, off the opposite board edge. They lose if they fail to achieve this.

The Dunedain occupy a wooded hill top, giving them a great view over the surrounding lands. The Wraiths hope to sneak past, and avoid direct conflict, in their weakened and out numbered state...




But the Dunedain see shadows moving in the gloom, and sense an evil presence... and advance to investigate...



The Wraiths, try to deter the Dunedain, with attempts to drain their courage, making it more likely they would fail their terror test, to charge the wraiths; the harbingers of an ancient evil.

However, these Dunedain are stouthearted folk, and shrug off their evil influences... and press on regardless...


The Dunedain, first try to deal with the threat at range and unleash a volley of arrows, but the shafts pass harmlessly through the wraith ethereal forms...

With nothing for it, bolstering their courage against the darkness, they meet their dire foes head on...


The wraiths find themselves overwhelmed by this brave assault, with one falling, to their initial charge...

The counters keep track of who is who , as all the Dunedain have Might, Will and Fate.

The Witch King tries to press on, and force his way past... his Masters burning will driving him on, even though, at this distance, his influence is tenuous...


...but he too succumbs to blades and might of the exultant Dunedain, their brave ancestry shining through...


... his ethereal form disappearing with an anguished, hissing wail, on the breeze...


And that was that! A tough game for the wraiths to win, their powers are weak, they are outnumbered 3 to 1, and these Dunedain are serious foes, each with a point of Might, Will and Fate.

I had thought to try and send one wraith by itself, to the northern flank, whilst the two tried the southern approach. However Chris simply overwhelmed my group of two , whilst just trailing the third with a lone Dunedain.

He rolled well for his courage checks to charge, and the outnumbered the wraiths were relatively easily dispatched. Str 4 Dunedain needing a 6 to kill against Def 8, but each with a Might point, making their chance to kill on a 5. The Wraiths have no Fate in this mission, and only 1 Wound anyway...

One thing I forgot to use was 'Cry of the Nazgul' - this could have 'frozen' the Dunedain for a turn, letting me possibly slip past and get ahead in the race for the table edge...

OK, we'll see how the wraiths fare in the next mission, when their numbers begin to grow... it will be 9 vs 9! Mwa ha ha...


20 comments:

  1. It is very cool to read the reports of you playing games pretty regularly with Chris. I'm hoping I can convince Cassie she's like to play at some point.

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    1. Its been fun, especially as he's 'buzzing' with it now... keen as mustard, as they say... and his luck has turned the corner too... 6's everywhere, I don't stand a chance, whimper! ;-)

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  2. The Hobbit is easier to read at that age I didn't read LOTR until high school.

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    1. The more I try and remember, I think I ordered the The Hobbit from the school book club when I was 11 or 12, I liked the look of the dragon on the cover... The Lord of the Rings came later, probably 13-14 yrs old, ... actually I do remember reading some of it during a powercut when main power line to our street had been hit by lightening, and all we had were candles, rather atmospheric as I recall...

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  3. Another great batrep! Thank you for this one mr Scott, always a pleasure to read.

    When it comes to the books, I second that the movies and books complement each other - but better still: After watching the movies, I had a lot of fan-boy critique against them, but have now, naturally, taken a maturer view on things, and not only do I appreciate the fantastic work done on the movies, but I see it as actually a good thing that the movies omitted, for example, Tom Bombadill, thus keeping the books *new*, if you will, for the first-time reader. Which is a good thing - especially considering it is a 10 year old lad, whom might get bored if it "just the same as the movies" but no "moving pictures" or roaring orcs.

    Come to think of it, I am quiet impressed with that laddy of yours, reading LotR when he's 10... I've had a few pupils myself, inbetween the current work, and the youngest ones were in fact 9-10 years old, and they'd hardly even touched a book... but that's the New Sweden, for us, I suppose... I digress, once again...

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    1. Thanks Llama, I enjoy writing them up too, so it good to get your feedback...

      Yes, a rather mature view, that I agree with... as much as I love the character of Bombadil in the books, I don't think he would really have 'worked' in the movies...

      Thank you for the compliment, he's read your remarks and is rather thrilled by it!

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  4. Brilliant! There is nothing better than quality Dad and Lad gaming time!
    I'm delighted for you!

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    1. Thanks Paul, you've hit the nail on the head!

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  5. Nice game report. I love the both the books and the movies. Glad your son is enjoying it.

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  6. Brill battle report. Can't wait for the next. Glad your son is enjoying the books and is getting into the game.

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  7. Playing all the scenarios from the Journey books has been one of the things I've been wanting to do for ages - but never got around to it , I will follow your progress with interest , Tony

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    1. Thanks Tony, hope to keep you interested.

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  8. Good work, and a sense of relief setting your son on the road to wargaming madness. I was delighted when my oldest started on LOTR , but now he keeps correcting me if I paint a shield the wrong colour or misname Durin's grandmother etc. Good game too. I must have a bash at some of those scenarios.

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    1. Its certainly allowing us some great time together, and he's full of questions and discussion on 'MiddleEarth matters'... my 'off the top of my head' knowledge is being sorely tested! ;-)

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  9. What a brilliant thing to look forward to - playing through all the scenarios! Sadly,my son is too old for wargaming now. By the time he gets back to it in his thirties of forties I'll be dead!

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    1. Theres definitely a narrow window of opportunity for this kind of father son gaming - when he's too young, its not at a level I could deal with enjoyably, or you worry about mis-landed figures getting busted etc... then we have the current period which is great, but how long will it last? ... I know girlfriends will come along, exam study will be too important at times, and then flying the coop to Uni and beyond... I'll just enjoy it while it lasts...

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  10. Commendable work, Scott. Anytime motivating a youth to read nowadays is an impressive feat! I gave up on my two sons years ago - blasted Xbox! Warm regards to you and your wonderful family. Dean

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    1. Thanks Dean... I must admit there's is still a bit of a battle against time on the PC, but I think as he's maturing, and just started 'big school' where they actively encourage free reading time during a couple of periods a week, its changed his outlook and he's rationing his own PC time... as I said to him, once you get into the book, its hard to put down...

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  11. Recently tried this scenario a couple of times at the start of our own journey book campaign. Both times the Ringwraiths lost! Our first game was almost exactly the same as yours (even with me remembering to use the nazgul cry). The second time they lost in the first turn thanks to flukey shooting rolls! I don't see how Evil are supposed to win this one really.

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