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Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Somewhere in Rohan: The Long Defense

Honorable Son #5 and myself dusted off GW's Lord of the Rings rules and have had a great time gaming over the last few days. We decided to play the "Long Night" scenario from the Return of the King version of the rules with some slight adjustment to the forces. One pleasant surprise for us was the way the Gripping Beast plastic and metal Vikings make for great proxies for Rohan to defend against the Forces of Evil (BWAH HAH HAH!) that are ravaging their land.

Gripping Beast Vikings.  Yes, the figure in the second rank has the +2 Gaze of Intimidation.

The scenario consists of the warriors of a village, reinforced by a Dwarf contingent, defending the village from a relentless assault of Uruk-hai.  In fact, that is one of the special rules for the scenario: Relentless Reinforcements.  If the Uruk-hai have a figure killed, they will return next turn at the table edge as a reinforcement with no more than 2 per entry point; north, south, east and west. In order for the defenders to win they must have at least 4 figures left in the village after 20 turns. The Forces of Evil (BWAH HAH HAH!) win if they eliminate all of the defenders.  Any other result is a draw.

The Forces of Evil (BWAH HAH HAH!), led by Honorable Son #5 were all Uruk-hai and consisted of a captain, banner bearer, 5 archers and 10 warriors (but remember the Relentless Reinforcement rule!) They would enter with at least 4 figures simultaneously from the north, east, south and west.

 Uruk-hai captain in the front with raised sword and banner bearer behind him.

The defenders, led by your humble blogger, consisted of 2 captains, 1 banner, 4 warriors, 4 warriors with spears and 4 warriors with throwing spears.

 The 2 captains and banner bearer.  Plastic vikings from Gripping Beast.

The Dwarf contingent had a mighty captain, a banner, 2 Khazad Guard and 9 dwarf warriors.  Since we don't have any "regular" dwarf warriors, the Khazad Guard figures will be proxies for the dwarf warriors and my dwarfs with capes will be the Khazad Guard for easy recognition.

Dwarf captain and banner bearer.

The first few turns of the game went well for the defenders as the Uruk-hai attempted to cross barricades and defenses only to be cut down by the heroic warriors and dwarfs.

The defenders in position.

 The village gate.

One of the Uruk-hai provided slapstick comedy as he slipped and fell 3 times crossing a wall.  Honorable Son #5 christened him "Stumpy."  Even though there were many acts of valor that will be remembered in song or in one of the appendices of the Lord of the Rings, the Relentless Reinforcements started to take their toll as the forces of good were not able to replace anyone they lost.

The Uruk-hai captain is the first to the wall and met by the combined forces of men and dwarfs.

A small force, led by the old captain, repositions to relieve some pressure from the attack on the east flank.  The captain was heard to mutter as the men got in position, "You call these Uruk-hai?  Back in the day, they were much bigger and smelled worse!"

 Pressure on the south flank and the Uruk-hai start to gain a foothold in the inner defenses.

All of the buildings are cardboard stock from different GW Warhammer boxes that I have collected over the years.
A counterattack led by the other captain and the dwarf captain would contain the penetration but at a heavy cost to the men and some dwarfs.

Defending the gate in the north.

Just when the breakthrough in the south was dealt with, the Uruk-hai collapsed the defense at the gate and in the east. Bellowing with a loud "Roll Tide!" the old forked beard captain leaped the wall and single-handedly slayed 5 Uruk-hai warriors before he succumbed to his battle wounds.  The old codger would be missed, but he bought valuable time for the defenders to reposition and fall back.

 Come on you gutter scum!  Come experience my bad breath!

The Uruk's fall to the mighty sword of the old codger.

Desperate defense against the Uruk-hai captain and retinue.

The defenders get smaller in number but take out some of the attackers in order to reform their line.

"For the White Hand!" A lone dwarf is overwhelmed by the Uruk-hai.

Dwarf and man fight back to back emboldened by the example of their captains!


The last desperate turn.  The defenders hold just long enough to force a draw. The only defenders left are the Dwarf captain, 1 warrior of Rohan and their banner.  The villagers escape to another village but the marauding Uruk-hai raze their buildings.

Honorable Son #5

Truely a great game that went back and forth as the momentum shifted. Honorable Son #5 and the Forces of Evil (BWAH HAH HAH!) probably would have won except for 2 turns of exceedingly bad die rolls near the end of the game. We have never seen so many "1's" in our lives!. The only thing that kept me in the game was the prudent use of my captains; not exposing them early but using them for counterattacks and when that extra "umph" was needed.  I should, however, have used my dwarf captain earlier.  He was near unstoppable with his high defense and I used his might points to modify the dice rolls to deliver devastating death blows with his two-handed axe.  Another point, which I mentioned earlier, was how good the Gripping Beast figures looked with the fantasy figures.

Now for the heroes of the game:

Honorable Son #5 choose the above Uruk-hai archer as he peppered a total of 5 enemy figures which unhinged the defense in the east. Plus he has a good dental plan. The old codger, captain of men is my hero for the game when he single-handedly took down a Uruk-hai force.  It's what heroes do, though my dog was not impressed.

They did not drop enough nacho chips while they played.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

150 Followers? How did that happen?

I was getting ready to do an update on my English Civil War project and I noticed that I have 150 followers!

In celebration I thought I would upload some oldies by sentimental goodies.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I painting and gaming with them.

Wargames Foundry Early Imperial Romans.  This was a fun army to paint and looked great on the battlefield mounted for Warhammer Ancients. I think the centurion is actually a fantasy figure that was available from Games Workshop.  I sold this army when I decided to concentrate on the Late Roman period . . . but with those hard plastic figures from Warlord Games I may have to revisit this period.

A great Wild West shoot out after El Dorado Jo stole the gold from McNamara's mine using Play Mobile figures!


If you are going to play Warhammer Fantasy, how can you not have lots of greenskins and trolls?  Just point them in the right direction and yell "Charge!"  I really love the troll figures from GW.

My favorite Warhammer army is that of Bretonnia.  Here is a picture of the mounted yeoman.  The Bretonnian army can double for the 100 Years period if you are not a nit pick for historical detail and just love to game.

I became fascinated with the War of Spanish Succession during my first tour in Europe. Just a colorful as the Napoleonic period but with less "decorative attachments" to paint.

Figures are about 98% Dixon in 15 mm with the odd Hallmark figure thrown in.

My armies for the War of Spanish Succession are my largest with approximately 50 Infantry Regiments, 25 cavalry regiments and a bunch of artillery.

A few pictures from my American army for the American Revolution that was also sold to finance other projects.  Figures are Wargames Foundry, Perry Miniatures, Old Glory and Dixon.  Yep, the Perry Range and new hard plastic are calling my name . . .

Love the Late Roman Period and Dark Ages.

The very first period I gamed was the Napoleonic wars with 20 mm Airfix soldiers.  Above are 28 mm from Wargames Foundry and Front Rank Miniatures.

Perry Miniatures hard plastic 28 mm French Infantry painted as the 4th Swiss Regiment of Foot.

British Army for the Peninsular War.  Figures are Wargames Foundry and Front Rank in 28 mm mounted for Volley and Bayonet.

The Black Brunswickers from Perry Miniatures.  The mounted British officer is from Front Rank.

World War II is always a good period to game.  Since I am a military historian, and I know tanks are cool, the majority of my armies do consist of infantry.

German paratroopers.  Painting camouflage in 15 mm is an interesting challenge.  Fortunately Battle Honours has some excellent painting guides.

If an army has highlanders or bagpipers, I'm going to paint them.

The barbwire was actually easy to make with hanging wire and toothpicks.

Currently we have armies for the German Afrika Korps, British 8th Army and Australians in the desert, British in Europe 1944 - 1945, Germans in Europe 1943 - 1945 and Soviets 1942 - 1945.

In one of our games, this was the lone surviving British anti-tank gun that stopped my attack in its tracks.

For people starting out painting figures, I recommend the American Civil War.  Uniforms are easy to paint and most everyone knows something about the conflict.  The figures are 15 mm from various manufacturers.

Okay . . . Zouaves are a little bit harder to paint.

Last but not least, I have to thank my lovely bride of 28 years who allows a grown man to play with toy soldiers . . . I mean historical miniature figures! Thanks sweetie!