Friday, October 24, 2014

Hold Ground - LOTR/Hobbit Battle report.

Once again Ste journeyed up from Wellington for an arranged game; Rohan vs Isengard. Ste has been steadily building an Isengard force, and was keen to try it out, and I have a slowly expanding Rohan force I was interested to see how it would do against its 'traditional' foe...

I arrived at club first and set up a themed battle field, depicting a Rohan village, to one side with a more open area to the other side.

We played 550pts forces. Rather than pick a mission we rolled off on the chart and got Hold Ground. This is a bit of a bugger of a mission as whatever plan you had for deployment, just went out the window, with the very random deployment of troops in the mission - your typical 'Maelstrom of Battle', with your forces coming on from the sides, where you may or may not want them, depending on the roll of die...

The game then becomes a race to get to and hold the centre ground, shown by an objective marker.... with a victory point for each model within 6" of it at the end of the game.

Ste won initial Priority and started rolling for and putting down his forces... Mine then turned up next... I think to be fair I got the sh*t end of the stick in deployment, but them's the breaks and we played on...

See below for deployments...


Ste basically had the jump on me with respect to getting to the objective first... I either had his troops in front of me, or a greater amount of terrain in the way... this was going to be tough...

Below Ste's Uruk enter the village ... my Warriors have to cross the fence, then wade through the cornfield (difficult ground - half pace we decided)...

The game simply devolved into Ste's march towards the objective, and my attempts to harass and shoot him up with bows and spears on his way there.

The orcs and warg riders were the obvious choice as they had the lowest Defence so would make for the easier kills... The game progressed for several turns this way with orcs and wargs steadily dropping from the spears and arrows of Rohan. Theodred dispatched an orc early on whose warg had been shot from under him... and a couple of orc bowmen who stood their ground to shoot were riden down...

With game time running low, I had not suffered a single casualty, and many orcs and wargs lay slain about the field... but the telling issue of the objective eluded me...

Finally the orc captain on warg turned at bay and put up a fight with a small group of orcs. Since time was running out and although the harassing archery was working, it was all happening too slowly for Rohan... so it became a what-the-heck situation, and Theodred charged in... As his stat line suggests, fate is not with him and it certainly wasn't in my dice throwing either! Despite being previously wounded, the orc captain won the fight and struck Theodred from his horse, after two rounds of fighting!

Theodred vs the Orc captain - sorry for blurry pic

By now the Uruks were at the village boundry objective in numbers and were dug in like a tick behind the hedge... My horsemen approached to at least get some numbers near the objective, so Lurtz decided to lead what was left of his orcs out against them, in another what-the- heck, lets try and kill some stuff move...

This move played out well for the orcs who managed to charge the seemingly somewhat stunned riders, and hacked a few from their saddles. The Riders recovered from this shock and charged down most of the orcs but Lurtz stubbornly refused to go down easily...

With time expired we surveyed the scene, and the orcs were still several models from breaking. Rohan was no where near break point, but the issue of the objective marker became all important... the massed uruks behind the hedge clearly held sway, with just over 20 models within 6" of the object and only 3 Riders near it... it was a clear victory to Isengard! Roughly 21-3 to Isengard.

I had just got my Warriors led by Hama coming up behind the uruks, via the cornfield and into spear range but it was too little too late.

Had the game played on indefinitely I could have kept my distance and kept sniping the orcs and uruks until they broke, but time was indeed a factor and I couldn't kill them fast enough...

The end positions below...

It was an enjoyable game none the less and it really showed the contrast in these forces... The brute solidity of Isengard against the harassing forces of Rohan...

I had hoped to trial some mounted Royal Guard in this game but I still only have them half done. Once they, and Eomer are done I wouldnt mind another go at Ste's Isengard forces...


  1. Hard game but great report. I think the Isengard Orcs are my favs. The battle of Helms Deep sequence in the film......just amazing.

    1. Oddly enough the Isengard / Rohan conflict is not an aspect of the WOTR that really floats my boat, though I do like the theme of the force of Rohan... but like you, my son loved that scene too... so its became the must do drive to get those forces painted and terrain made... I have lost track of the number of times we have since played the Assault on the Deeping Wall scenario - his favorite... and if I had a dollar for each time an uruk died from falling off a ladder - I'd be a rich man by now!

  2. Nice! Can you tell us a bit about how you made the ploughed fields?

    1. Its made from single sided corrugated cardboard, cut to shape then flocked with brown paint 505/50 with PVA and tealeaves. A little regular static grass round the edges and some dotted clumps along the ridges too as desired.

  3. Good game, Scott's completely right, I pulled off a win due largely to the scenario and his bad luck. A longer game and I'd have been up the creak without a paddle, good job it was an evening game rather than a lazy Sunday!

    1. Lazy sunday - we'll have to arrange one of those! ;-)

    2. Oh yes, when the wind dies down a bit, we can try fielding everything we've got!

    3. I've got a lot, would definitely be an all-day-er! ;-)

  4. Great batrep and some very nice looking scenery and minis. Isengard are hard indeed. Godd stuff :-)

  5. Great report Scott! Lovely photos too!

  6. Great AAR Scott and very nice looking table btw!


  7. Nice report Scott. I almost always played Rohan. I'm glad to see you not only fielding a force, but writing about it as well. They rarely receive much love. Thanks!

    1. Thanks Scott. I think Rohan are considered one of the least competetive, or 'forgiving' forces in the game... they are tricky to play right and emerge victorious.. I am just really beginning to get to grip with them as a tabletop force, other than when defending Helms Deep! .. I have 6 Rohan Royal Guard on the go at the moment and want then to start filling out the various characters and more horsemen...

      I like their shoot and scoot tactics... it reminds of the Ralph Bakshi cartoon sequence where the Riders run down Ugluk and his Uruks as they try and get back to Isengard. It felt rather like that in the above game... but heavy uruks with pikes - sitting behind a hedge - thats a different story! ;-)

  8. Sorry Scott, I nearly missed this! Great report and lovely to see the table set up, very inspiring.


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