What a great Labor Day weekend: Texas Hold'em with the men of my sheparding group from church and two miniature wargames in the world of Middle Earth. Yeah . . . real man stuff.
For the miniature wargaming part of the weekend holiday, I designed a scenario for Games Workshops's Lord of The Rings Strategy Battle Game. (I know I'm beating a dead horse, but it's not really a strategy game - but it is a fun skirmish game). Since I was going to be introducing the game to my friend Michael Fox (creator of the great game Dogfight: Starship Edition) I thought it might be a good idea to play test the scenario.
The scenario is based on one of the nameless fights mentioned in The Two Towers involving bands of Saruman's orcs and Uruk-hai being granted "free passage" through Rohan by Grima Wormtongue. Eomer, being a manly kind of man, does not take kindly to these incursions and is attempting to destroy one of the raiding parties.
Eomer and Banner Bearer.
The Forces of Evil (BWAH HA HA!) enter from the southeast corner and must get 1/3 of their forces off the board near the farmstead in the northwest corner.
The southern part of the game area. The Forces of Evil (BWAH HA HA!) start in the right hand corner with the small hill as their deployment limit. The river can only be crossed by infantry at the ford (hard to see in this photo but just north between the two hills in the south) and at the bridge. Cavalry and Trolls can cross the river anywhere and for game purposes it is treated as rough terrain.
The northern end of the gaming area. The Forces of Evil (BWAH HA HA!) exit point is to the right of the cottage.
The river, bridge and hills come from Battlefront's Battlefield in a Box range designed by one of their subsidiary companies, Gale Force Nine. The river box set comes with two bridges; one a stone bridge and one built of timber. I have used both bridges in 15mm and 25mm games ranging from the Late Roman period all the way through World War II. The stone walls are from Games Workshop as is the statue and ruins near the bridge. The house is a card stock model that came with an earlier edition of the Warhammer game box.
The Forces of Evil (BWAH HA HA!) were to be all Uruk-hai with one Mordor Troll: Lurtz (Uruk-hai captain), 1 Uruk-hai with banner, 8 Uruk-hai warriors, 6 Uruk-hai archers, 6 Uruk-hai crossbowmen and one Mordor Troll.
Uruk-hai with crossbows. They can't move and shoot; but when they hit, they hit hard!
The brave defenders of Rohan will have Eomer, 1 Rider of Rohan with Banner, 9 Riders of Rohan on horse, Beregond (Citadel Guard hero with longbow), 1 Citadel Guard with banner and 6 Citadel Guard with longbows.
Beregund of the Citadel Guard and his Banner bearer.
It became evident during the first game, that the Citadel Guard needed to go back to the archery range and practice.
The Forces of Evil (BWAH HA HA!) were under the command of Honorable Son #5 and his friend Charlton. The Rohirim were led by Charlton's dad and his brother Lawrence.
Lurtz and his boys in their stylish Bad boy black on black uniforms.
And I was the umpire.
The umpire looking very chic in his helmet and superhero jammies. Yep, no questioning his rulings during the game!
During the game the Riders of Rohan depended heavily on their mounted archers which did little to slow down the Uruks. They did get one effective mounted charge in but were soon surrounded and put in a world of hurt by the Uruks.
Eomer never did really get into the fight; heroes are important in this game especially if you are the Forces of Good and are outnumbered. The Citadel Guard needed to go back to the archery range for practice. And frankly Tom the Troll was . . . well, Tom the Troll. Dang he's tough. And he can throw rocks. Big rocks. Good guys go splat under the rocks. Honorable Son #5 did a good job with his missile troops, both archers and crossbows, but it was the hand to hand combat capability of the heavily armored Uruks that made the difference.
You know how this combat is going to end . . . and it won't be pretty.
An overwhelming victory for the Forces of Evil (BWAH HA HA!). Hmmmm . . . maybe a bit too overwhelming as the good guys really got stomped quickly (Like a hot knife through butter). Time to modify and play balance the scenario before Michael plays . . .
Where were the Three Musketeers when we needed them?