Lord of the Rings Battle Reports!

While in Crete, myself (Kipper) and Leonidas started to play through the first Journey Book in the Lord of the Rings saga – The Fellowship of the Ring.

The games were really fast paced, simple and fun.  The skirmish rules really focussed on individuals, which was a little hard to get our heads round after all the focus on units in the other games, but easy to get to grips with.

Battle 1

The first battle was the hardest, as it was the very first time either of us had used the rules at all!  3 Nazgul had to sneak past 9 Dunedain.  Sounds like an easy win when you think of the Nazgul against mere men … but these were no mere men but the descendants of the Numenoreans, each counting as a minor hero in their own right.

The battle didn’t go well for the Nazgul.  Though they seemed almost unkillable by the feeble men, the magic system came as a bit of a shock.  Using Will for the Nazgul eventually kills them, and I actually annihilated 2 of the 3 Nazgul by overusing magic, giving victory to the enemy!  Tricksy scenario to win – I think the fact you can break the defenders means that you need to keep the nazgul together and actually kill Rangers rather than try to sneak by.  Worth playing to get a grip on the rules – Alan did a much better job on focussing on the objectives, which helped him trap my men, while I was experimenting too much.

Definitely win for the forces of good here though!

Battle 2

This was more of a standup fight!  9 Nazgul against 9 Rangers!  6 rangers started on the field, and nazgul arrived 1-3 at a time.  The Rangers set up a defensive line half way across the board, and fell back slowly firing bows, till entering a final line.  The nazgul hid behind a rock till all nine had arrived, and charged in bulk, using much less magic!

Things were very different here – though the nine proved very resilient to the Rangers, the Rangers abilities as heros with fate and will points to resist magic kept them in the fight, keeping the Nazgul hordes back.  Minor mistakes were made – might points allow you to modify dice rolls, and weren’t really used to full advantage.

At the very crux of the battle, the line of Rangers was broken by a couple of sneaky spells, compelling two of them to break away from the main line and letting the Nazgul dash through.

Battle 2a

We replayed the second battle, swapping sides, and it was a totally different experience.  Alan charged Nazgul forward as they arrived from different locations all over the board, and I moved forward very aggressively to hit them as hard as possible before they could build their numbers.

I had it a bit easier than Leonidas – I was reminded about Might points, and managed to wipe out several Nazgul by bow fire before overwhelming enough stragglers to meet the victory conditions!

The Nazgul sneaking across the north of the board were destroyed, before all nine rangers massed like a wolfpack in the centre to crush into the remaining black robed wraiths in close combat.  It was harder for the nazgul, every ranger they killed formed a new line to block them at the edge of the table, while the rangers just needed to jump two of the remaining 6 Nazgul to win.

Interesting battle both ways, and very fun!  Both went right to the wire!

Battle 3

This mission wasn’t as fun (though would be a great one to try single player!).  All of the Nazgul are acting as sentries, so they either stand still (roll of a 1), move depending on which side has priority (2-5, also the number of inches moved), or move normally (6).  If they end a turn within 4 inches of a good character, or get attacked or hit by bow fire, they then move normally.  The hobbits need to pass a courage test or fall under the control of the evil player.

Alan played this very smart, and kept the hobbits well away from the Nazgul.  As it turned out, the hobbits and elves just walked down the centre of the board and walked off!  The Nazgul never got close enough to really start the scenario playing normally!

Accurate to the books, and I think it’d have been fun if we weren’t so pressed to get in some decent games – felt like a bit of a waste of time the way it panned out!

Battle 4 – the Buckleberry Ferry

We didn’t want to spend the time on the setup for this, as we didn’t have an adequate ferry setup easily to hand, so we skipped to battle 5 – the Barrow Wights!

Battle 5 – The Barrows

This was played out on the morning of our departure, and wasn’t finished!

The hobbits have to sneak through the barrows and escape the other side.  If they fail a courage test, they are moved by the evil wights.  If the wights are near barrows, they cast spells for free, and have to paralyse and sacrifice 2 hobbits to win (or get frodo).  Once the hobbits have seen a barrow wight, they can call tom bombadil for help.

Poor Sam kept failing courage rolls, but the plucky hobbit managed to hold off two barrow wights long enough to call Tom Bombadil for help.  However, the other hobbits who were running to leave the barrows ran into the other two Barrow Wights, while Sam’s opponents put everything they had into delaying Tom.

Merry was sacrificed, while Pippin was being dragged to another barrow!  Unfortunately we ran out of time at that point – immoral victory to evil for sacrificing the most annoying hobbit, but Tom would probably have saved Pippin and seen the others to safety, so a probably tactical win for Good.

Definitely the most enjoyable game, which felt it could have gone either way at any point!

Summary

LotR was brilliant fun to play, moving quick and letting us get 5 games in the same time we’d spent on a single 2000pt game of Warhammer 40k, and needing less space.  Definitely one to keep trying!

Chavana III

On the world of Chavana III, deep within the Vulpes Astra subsector, a monastary is used to hold psykers for the Black Ships of Terra. the Retinue of the Red Dawn have broken the Imperial defences. Unknown to them, the Dark Eldar seek the same rich prize, for the suffering of psykers goes so much furtyer in their dark pits. Both sides are advancing implacably, willing to take any cost for such a rich prize!

The Dark Eldar are facing Chaos Space Marines in an Implacable Advance scenario from the battle missions book. This post will be updated with photos and a battle report after the game, but you can see tweets through the game (fodgaming)

Turn 1

The beserkers and possessed streamed forward towards the center of the battlefield, hoping to gain the monastary early, after securing their first objective, the shrine of St Alun of Chavona. The havocs overestimated their lascannons, as the dark eldar cowered out of range!

Overcoming their xeno cowardice the dark eldar advanced towards the center. The Archon and his incubi dismounted, opening a webway portal for the rest of their dark kin.

Turn 2

The Chaos forces continued their advance, heading towards the centre of the table. Lascannons flared to no effect, and the night lords impaled themselves on the monestary walls. lesser daemons ripped apart incubi, and an obliterator blew a weapon off a ravager.

In return, wyches and mandrakes poured through the portal, and the reaver jetbikes hurtled through the chaos lines on their turbocharged machines. The mandrakes and archon butchered the last lesser daemons while a ravager and reaver annihilated the obliterator. The other ravager advanced towards the chaos reserves, opening up with its disintegrators, killing several.

Turn 3

The beserkers on the left flank charged the ravager that had killed three of their number, but both their plasma pistols misfired! Dark Eldar witchery at work!

The havocs were out of range of the strange curse, and the heavy bolters and lascannons blew the skimming tank out of the sky. The beserkers led by kharn opened fire in the jetbikes, but left one alive as prey for the possessed, who torn the poor eldar to a thousand pieces.

The other ravager charged forward, while the raider headed for cover down the left flank. Wyches headed for beserkers for an awesome conflict. The ravager and raider opened up on the decimated beserkers, but failed to hit even once.

Turn 4

Both units of terminators arrived, turning the tide of the battle, annihilating lilith hesperax and an entire unit of wyches, as well as forcing the Archon round the left flank of the monastary. Without reinforcements, the wyches facing kharn, beserkers and the possessed were whittled down faster and faster. Wihout lilith and the remaining cabal troops hanging back, it eas a punishing turn for he dark eldar.

Two more raiders arrived, opening up on the terminators for comparatively little effect, as mandrake charged the slaneeshi termibators, ony to be surprised by their snake like speed and simultaneous strikes. The mandrakes broke and were pulled down by the slaneeshi, bellowing in pleasure and pain.

Turn 5

The terminators took down the remaining raiders, and proceeded to start butchering the cabal soldiers who emerged gasping from he wreckage. Kharn charged forward with the possessed, while the remaining beserkers regrouped in cover.

The Archon massacred the remaining beserkers on the left flank, before taking cover behind the ruins of a raider. The cabal troops were massacred by kharn, but those facing tzeentchi terminators ran clear to regroup in the distance. the last raider arrived and the troops took the comms bastion.

Turn 6

Terminators proceeded to exchange fire with the remaining soldiers, and kharn closed in for more butchery. The archon was punished from afar by the havocs, but his shadowfield saw him rough he worst of it.

The archon sprinted into the shrine of st Alun, but as he wasnt a scoring unit, he couldnt rescure the objective.

Turn 7

With the battle largely over, the Archon stayed in cover within the Shrine of St Alun. The terminators continued to whittle down the last cabal, while the comms bastion continued to pour its information through the webway.

As the beserkers couldnt get close enough to the tower to take he monastary, the game counts as a tactical draw! the forces of chaos largely ruled he battlefield, but the archon arguably had the moral victory by lurking at the chaos starting objective while holding their own.

Thoughts and comments

The dark eldar are much more of a force to be reckoned with. Both armies played riskily, with large numbers of reserves and deep strikes. Luck turned for the chaos forces, arriving earlier in the battle, and with the exception of the raptors, appearing perfctly to tun the tide of the game. If Lilith had turned up a turn earlier, with the cabal raiders, the game would certainly have gone the other way! Great game, and lots of fun, with Kharn butchering his own side, plasma pistols blowing up on a regular basis, and sneaky sorcerers suffering the wrath of the warp!

LotR – Rangers

Hot off the paint-station 9 Rangers:-

Completed these last night and photographed them this morning so that I could get one of the bigger mountains in the background.

Next to start are the 4 Hobbits, Gandalf, Aragorn, 4 Barrow Wights, Tom Bombadil & GoldenBerry.

I’m also going to make a start on the ruined tower.

Also completed was another stand of elves for The Battle of 5 Armies and I have started the Space Hulk Librarian.

Very busy weekend comming up so might not make much progress 😀

A.