Friday, August 22, 2014

The Battle of Pelennoo...

Having recently finished a few companies of Gondorians, it got me thinking again about the germ of an idea I had some time ago...

What do you get if you cross Pelennor and Waterloo, you get "Pelennoo"! ;-)



I have long wanted to put on a grand titanic battle between the forces of Good and Evil, Gondor and Mordor...

Rather than focus on the Siege of Minas Tirith, or the defence of the ruins of Osgiliath, though they are no doubt interesting too... I have always had an interest in the defence of the Rammas Echor and the subsequent withdrawal across the Pelennor...

I think the Battle of, or for, the Pelennor, is ripe for a little elaboration...

Several years ago I also rather enjoyed playing the PC game "Battle for Middle Earth". What struck me were the images of the walled farms for the Gondorians... for some reason this immediately put me in mind of the defensive features at the Battle of Waterloo; Hougemont,  La Haye Saint and Papelotte...

Gondorians Farms from the Battle for Middle Earth by EA Games

And thus the idea germinated of running a Lord of the Rings themed "Battle of Waterloo"... I doubt the idea is original, but its been floating about in my gray matter for many years now...

The Pelennor, or Pelennor Fields, as it is also known, is described thus on the Tolkien Gateway:

"The Pelennor Fields lay just outside the city of Minas Tirith, on the west bank of the river Anduin. The land ran down toward the river in slopes and terraces. The City of Minas Tirith was located on the southwestern corner of the fields, at the foot of Mount Mindolluin.
A road ran northeast across the Pelennor Fields to the Causeway Forts on the river bank; a distance of 12 miles. The North-way led from the City through the fields to the Forannest, or north-gate, before turning westward to become the Great West Road to Rohan. The South Road came from the southern provinces of Gondor and passed through the Pelennor Fields on the way to Minas Tirith. A number of other paths also criss-crossed the fields.
The Pelennor Fields were home to farmers and herdsmen who had barns, pens, livestock, granaries, and kilns for drying hops and malt which were located on the Pelennor. The fields were fertile farmland, with tilled fields, orchards, and small brooks flowing down to the Anduin."
Unlike the movie depiction of a vast endless grassy plain, from this we can get an idea that the Pelennor was indeed quite a large area, some 12 miles across, and yet is dotted with assorted farms and orchards, woods and streams etc etc...

So to recreate this idea, all I need to do is build three Gondorian style walled farms...


La Haye Sainte - Grey slate roof and white walls - cant get much more Gondorian than that!

... something like this:

Picture courtesy of Blood, Fire and Death blog
... but perhaps made more 1:1 scale with the model figures, for the skirmish nature of the game... and obviously more Gondorian in theme with arches etc etc...

And then make up the Battlefield with assorted woods and streams, hedges, fences, fields of corn and other crops, and other buildings dotted about, and paths and roadways linking them up...etc etc...

In the game, the strong points can be garrisoned by a mixture of Warriors of Minas Tirith, Osgiliath Veterans, Ithilien Rangers and various Fiefdom troops. The other Gondor forces deployed as if rushing to relieve the beleaguered garrisons...

Mordor's force would of course include all manner of orcs and trolls, and other elements of the forces of evil, Easterlings, Haradrim, Khandish troops... all ready for a titanic clash...

The arrival of the Prussians could be replicated by the arrival of the Rohirrim on the flank... the possibilities are endless, depending on how much you wish to stick to or vary from the written course of the story...

How you choose to play out the game, may vary depending on your end goal. Is this a what-if? To see if the Gondorians could hold out here and push Mordor back, a la Waterloo.. or should we more follow Tolkien Canon, and theme the overall battle as a fighting withdrawal to the relative safety of the walls of Minas Tirith?

Either way it would be an epic game of Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game... and something for me to aim towards in my collecting and painting...








14 comments:

  1. I think this is a fantastic idea. I would love to see a huge clash of titanic forces, the different civilizations of Middle Earth forming as one to hold out against the undefeatable War Machine of Mordor. Very interested, no matter whether it goes the Waterloo or the Tolkein way, it would no doubt be very thrilling indeed!

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    1. Must admit its the varied nature of the different troops type at the Pelennor which captivates my interest!

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  2. I like this idea. Gives a slightly different perspective on the battle on Pelennor Fields. Even before the films I had in my minds eye always imagined it being a very open landscape, clearly I had not fully adsorbed the description given by Tolkien.

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    1. Many thanks Mark... no worries, I always find I pick up various details with each re-reading of his works...

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  3. A great idea. " Now Scott, now's your time".

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  4. That is quite clever and should work out great.

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  5. Scott, sounds brilliant! I have dreams along the same lines. An idea might be to shift scale a bit for the really big actions. There is lots of good ME stuff in 10mm both from GW and others. I am thinking about using Sword & Spear and the author of the rules seems to agree.
    http://www.thewargameswebsite.com/forums/topic/sword-spear-for-middle-earth/#post-5772

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    1. I hear you... though I am rather focused on the GW figures, as I don't enjoy painting the smaller scales as much as I do the '28s'... Thanks for the link.

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  6. Wow! Looks like a upgraded version of "The Scouring of the Westfold" in the old Two Towers Rule Book. I have run that a couple of times. A lot of fun but a larger version of it makes it easier to have more players. Me, I would go for a more "Tolkien" and have it a fall-back to Minas Tirith, maybe to get some of the forces & wounded to the city. Here are links to when I ran "The Scouring of the Westfold" as Haleath's Steading:

    http://s207.photobucket.com/user/juggernought57/library/Strategicon%20Game%20Convention%202012/Gamex%20May%202012/Haleths%20Steading%20LOTR%20Game%20Saturday

    http://s207.photobucket.com/user/juggernought57/library/Strategicon%20Game%20Convention%202012/Gamex%20May%202012/Haleths%20Steading%20LOTR%20Game%20Sunday

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    1. Thanks very much for your input, I'll have to check out that scenario again and see how it can be 'Pelennor-ed'... Great pics by the way :)

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