Friday, October 10, 2014

"Vengeance of Mordor"

Andrew and I got to play a variation on the scenario; 'Vengeance of the Nazgul' from the old Mordor book.

 That scenario revolves around the 'behind the scenes' events where a Dark Emissary is sent to the Dwarven King Dain, whereupon he issued demands that Dain reveal any information concerning the whereabouts of the One Ring, or of any information about Hobbits...

Although Dain dismissed the Emissary, sensing his evil nature,  he left leaving dire threats ringing in Dains ears...

In this scenario, the Emissary makes good on those threats... The scenario would find Dain and his Bodyguard ambushed on the road by the Nazgul... with reinforcements rushing to his aid. Can Dain Survive the ambush!?

Now we took this idea, and tweaked the setting and forces...

In our setting, instead of Dain, the Dark Emissary had visited The Prince of Dol Amroth... and so for our game it is the Prince who finds himself and his bodyguard of knights ambushed on the road... Rather than an all Nazgul force, we used a Mordor force that could not include cavalry and I chose not to include monsters either, my thinking being its hard to be a sneaking ambushing force with a large beastie that's hard to hide behind a tree!

The forces were roughly 600 points each, plus each being led by the named heroes, in this case the Prince of Dol Amroth, and the WitchKing wearing the Crown of Morgul. (Although not explicit in the scenario description, we assumed the WitchKing would be at full power for Might, Will and Fate)

So we took our forces long to the KWC for a game on club night.

Deployment

The Princes vanguard is deployed on the board; The Prince and his Bodyguard deploy on the road within 3" of centre of the board, and a patrol of rangers lead the way and also cover his rear on the road.

Mordor then sets up its whole force anywhere on board, further than 12" from any good model.

The balance of the good forces, would arrive as reinforcements as the game progresses.

Now the scenario suggested that these reinforcements would arrive on any turn that the priority roll is tied... This to our minds was a little too random... and there is a fair chance they'd never show up... I have worked with this mechanism before in a FotR scenario; the Hounds of Sauron, where the Fellowship must hold out in the game until a tied a priority roll is met... In our game back then the Fellowship died long before that roll eventuated - we kept rolling to see just when it might have occurred... 33 rolls later! Not good!

So in this scenario we borrowed the reinforcements arrival rule from Flames of War... from turn 3 onward, roll a dice, on a 5+ reinforcements arrive. Each subsequent turn roll a further dice. Each 5+ bringing on a warband that turn.


Game on!
And in this scenario Evil automatically gets first turn Priority. That makes a nice change!


The Prince is ambushed!
Can the Prince of Dol Amroth survive? He's a pretty tough cookie! Also, a scenario stipulation - The Prince must be humiliated by being killed in melee. He may not be targeted by a Black Dart spell either!

The Prince of Dol Amroth on the road  (custom made by Andrew) with his BodyGuard

As its the school holidays, my son Chris had his mate Jacob round for a play-date for the day. They had played LOTR together all day, and still had a huge game going on set up in the games room when I got home from work. Typical over enthusiastic kids - get just about every model they can on the board! ;-) They wanted to come down to the club with me too, so I reined in their excesses a little and gave them each a 350point force to have a quick Gondor vs Mordor skirmish at the club, before being picked up by mum in time to get Jacob back home before he turned into a pumpkin! ;-)

Jacob and Chris enjoy a skirmish at the club too
They had great fun, and drew attention from some of the younger club members. Gondor emerged the victor!

On another table, Ste had come up again from Wellington. With his shipping container now having arrived from the UK, and been unpacked, he could find his hobby goodies. He brought along terrain and figures to run the BuckleBerry ferry scenario. David at the club, joined in the fun with Ste.

Ste sets up the FotR scenario; The Buckleberry Ferry 

Back to the Prince, and the evil forces close in...

The Prince might not be able to be targetted by a Black Dart, but that didn't stop other fell sorceries targetting him...The Mouth the Sauron (The Dark Emissary?) striking the Prince with a Sap Will. The WitchKing also tried but failed his casting roll with snake eyes... The Prince resisted but it drained him of 2 Will to do so...

Other malign influences filled the air, as Spectres started luring some of the Princes BodyGuard towards them, where they could be surrounded and struck down...


Spectres lure brave knights to their doom!


David and Ste continue their fun on the Brandywine...

David gives Ste's Ringwraiths their dancing orders!

Poor Ste couldn't win a priority roll to save his life, so that left David moving the Ringwraiths, who were governed by the Sentries rules, round in circles to the bemusement of Ste, while Davids hobbits legged it, well as quickly as hobbits can leg it when they only move 4", towards the ferry.

By all accounts the hobbits made it safely except Merry who managed to fall in and drown, and being the hobbit who grew up on the banks of the river you'd think he'd have done better!

A few desultory spells were flung at the departing hobbits across the river but it was all too little too late for Ste!.

Lots of fun none the less...

Back once again to the Prince and having felt his mental faculties take a battering, seen some of his bodyguard depart in all directions, and sensing his doom at hand, discretion began to play the better part to valor! He ordered a Heroic March! This got his troops away from the closing jaws of the trap...

But the warband lead by Shagrat was still close enough to make its presence felt... and melee started, the knights keeping the orcs at bay for now...


Shagrat's warband engages the Princes knights

With the fighting beginning to get close, the Prince really needed to get away, but was then suddenly struck down by a stupor and then wandered off the road away from his knights ( A further Sap Will from The Mouth, and then a Compel from the WitchKing).

Sensing their chance was at hand, the forces of evil closed in around the Prince and it seemed his fate may well be sealed. His knights rushed to hold back the oncoming evil creatures and pull as many of the foul orcs from their Prince as they could...

The Prince is half surrounded...

Would he be able to hold out against this dreadful pressure...


Shagrat had crashed in against the Prince, his Shield of Cirith Ungol leading the way... The WitchKing also closed in looking to seal the deal.

The WitckKing called Heroic Fight, hoping to slay the knight he was fighting and move on closer to the Prince, but the knight resisted all attempts to kill him...thus keeping the WitchKing from advancing further this turn...

Eventually the fateful combat was enacted. The Prince, still in his torpor was not fighting at his best, and realising this, he opted to defend, just to try and stay alive. But the weight of attacks against him were simply too much to resist. Both sides having managed a 6, the Princes lowered F meant he lost the fight and was bowled over by the Shield of Shagrat, leaving him trapped prone on the floor...


The blows fell on the prone Prince, and despite a valiant resistance to their injurous effects, fate could not quite intervene. The Prince suffered 5 wounds. He had 3 on his profile and 3 fate points. Two out of the three fate points came up good, but that last failure meant three wounds got through, sealing the fate of the Prince...

Mordor has its vengeance this day!

Epilogue

Great fun, tense game.

It only lasted three turns and Dol Amroth's reinforcements didn't not show up in that time. In fact we only had made one roll for them... and they would have still been a move away to intervene had they arrived.

The Rangers shooting, I think, killed one or two orcs over the three turns. Perhaps they might have been better moving at quick time to get to the Prince, rather than stand back shooting?

I think this is a tough scenario for the Defender to win as they are surrounded and out numbered from the start.

But to return the favour, next time we'll play it with the good guys ambushing evil and see how that works out!

Good to see three tables of LOTR going on at the club :)

10 comments:

  1. I like those roads. They look, well, Middle-Earthy!

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  2. Some good looking games going on there Scott!

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  3. Nice to see the 'new' ruins on the tabletop. Like the roads too - very nice indeed. Great write-up too :-)

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  4. Yeah David managed to get priority in most turns and made my nazgul dance round a maypole for most of the game. Merry was a victim of his own adventurous nature (daft Hobbit). Good fun though!
    Yours and Andrews game looked hard, I'm not sure what Andrew could have done differently. Not getting his reserves really hurt him and with the spectres and spellcasters you were able to dictate where and how fights happened.
    Looked fun though

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  5. Beautiful terrain Scott. I am jealous of your Buckleberry Ferry landing - I don't have one! :(

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    1. Thanks Russ, the pictured Ferry is from Ste's terrain collection. I have one too. It's fairly easy to make though... a bit of balsa for the ferry and dock, and bit of poly sheet to build up the landing... the only thing I had trouble finding were suitable lanterns to add... give it a go :)

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  6. Good to see the next generation bursting with enthusiasm. I like your paved roads. They've got a Roman feel to them.

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    1. Yes which also works for the Gondor theme... I believe a lot of the Gondorian buildings in the movies were inspired by Roman / "olde worlde" Italian architecture...

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  7. Would you be interested in parting with any of those Dol Amroth Knights for a reasonable price?

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    1. They were not mine, they were Andrew's!

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