Sunday, April 14, 2013

Isengard vs The Fellowship

I've got my 2nd big game of SBG in yesterday. I just painted a box of 24 Uruk-Hai. Remember when they were 24 to a box? So I wanted to take them out for a test drive. The other thing I wanted to do was see how heroes worked against numbers. Our first battle was lots of troops and not so many heroes (Battle Report Here). So this time we did the full Fellowship vs Isengard.

The Fellowship clocks in at 750 points, wow. The only options I took were armor and bow for Aragorn. I'm gonna have to scrape the bottom of my small but growing force to come up with 750 points for Isengard.

Here's what I came up with:
7 Uruk Bow, 1 Uruk Capt
8 Uruk Scouts, Lurtz
8 Uruk Scouts, Uruk Capt
6 Warg w/shield and 1 Warg Capt*
1 Troll *
4 Ruffians with Dunlending Chief*
Witch-King on Horse*
*all flea market acquisitions, not painted by me, yet.

As we are still learning the rules, we just went with a straight up fight no special weapon attacks or Heroic Actions. I really need to sit down and read thru that section of the rules. This time we are using magic though. This time it's me and Dowvoovoo vs Dr MM. The Fellowship on one side, and the mass of Uruks on the other. I just don't see how the Fellowship can survive.

 Isengard lines up for battle
 The fellowship arrays itself to protect the Ringbearer
 The fellowship decides this hill is as good as any to die on.
 The Witchking orders the advance. Stompy the troll complies
 The archers on the left flank
 Wargs and Ruffians move up the right flank
 The ruins in the center start to funnel the Uruks together.
 The wargs slipping around the woods to hit the good guys in the side.
 Closer
 Gimli has been tasked with holding off the wargs. This didn't work out well for me. The Wargs going single file meant that they hit Gimli one at a time. It also didn't help that Legolas gave Gimli some cover fire.
 Legolas shifts to the side to be able to fire off either side of the hill.
Boromir and Aragorn decide that the best defense is a good offense and move forward to meet the hoard. This was and was not a good move. The good part, it bottle up or attack, the bad part, only 2 heroes to stem the tide.
 Legolas shifts again. The Hobbits are now armed with stones. Legolas killing wargs off camera.
 Boromir and Aragorn surrounded! But wait, Boromir wins his fight and kills 3 Uruks. Nice rolling. The Fellowship player had a very hot hand.
 Aragorn fighting 3 Uruks and a troll. He wins and gets a wound on the troll. By this time, the Witchking has tried Your Staff is Broken, and Transfix twice. He is spending will for nothing.
 All the Wargs are gone, but one Warg rider sans warg fighting Legolas, he would join his warg shortly after this pic. The only thing left on the flank was Ruffians and a Chieftain.
 Boromir kills off another Uruk, and Aragorn charges the Troll but does not wound the beast. Both Boromir and Aragorn are burning through Might, but they are stopping the hoard from reaching the Ringbearer.


 Aragorn surrounded, but I think he lives one more turn. Boromir takes 2 arrows, so I switch out the model for the model from Ambush at Amon Hen.
 Here come the ruffians
 Ruffians charge Gimli
 And Gimli beats them back
 One Ruffian has a go at Legolas, that didn't end well for him.
 With Aragorn tied up, Uruks slip pass.
Wounds are starting to mount on the hill. Even Mithrandir takes a wound. One of the hobbits kills an Uruk with a stone. How embarrassing.
 At last Aragorn and Boromir fall. I think the Witch King finally landed Transfix on Aragorn.
Merry joins Gimli against the Ruffians. Gandalf kills the Troll with Sorcerous Blast. By now the casualties are too much for the Uruk-Hai to bear. With half their numbers dead. They flee back to Isengard.


I know I made some mistakes. At first, I really really thought this would be a slam dunk for the Uruk-Hai. We outnumbered them almost 4 to 1. So to be honest, I took it easy, I didn't push forward as hard as I could, and that came back to bite me in the ass. Heroes are...well heroic.

It did not help that my friend playing The Fellowship, had a hot hand with the dice. Not much you can do about that.

Another mistake, I think I left some Wargs off the table. Looking at the army list and the pictures, I was missing 2 Wargs and the Capt. He still could have beaten off my flank attack as it came in piece meal, but he would have had to  commit some of the Hobbits that way.

My last big mistake was not getting any mileage out of the Witch King. Well I got some, all the heroes had to use some Will to fight off my spells, and I think he helped bring down Aragorn in the end, but everything else was resisted. So magic takes a little time to master it looks like.

Good time was had by all. The other Uruk player took a morale victory from killing Aragorn and Boromir. Frodo lived to get the Ring to Mt Doom, but it can be argued, that he might not get there, with Aragorn dead, or even if he did, Gondor and Rohan would have been destroyed. With Gondor and Rohan out of the way, Saruman or Sauron would be free to roam about Middle-Earth unchecked.

I can see this game has some depth to it. And I can see the system to be used for more than just Middle-Earth.  More battles to come.

Ciao for now, Xin



1 comment:

Mark E. Horan said...

It is a common "belief" that games must be even in miniatures when, in real life, no battle is even. Don't feel obligated to "match points" - in fact, the best remembered games are like the most remembered battles in real life - uneven.

Uneven battles are easily balanced by uneven victory conditions or simply comparing the result based on the uneven scenario.

In 1971 I played in a tractics [WWII armour rules, 1-1 scale] tournament in a scenario set on the drive from Gazala to Alamaein (sp?) that pitted an sizable combined arms force of Afrika Korps versus a British "rear guard".

The German force had 20 panzers, a battery of artillery, a battery of A/T guns, mortars, and an understrength motorized rifle company.

The orders to the German commander stressed that they were to cut the coast road to cut off a retreating British brigade. However, as the panzers on hand represented 1/2 of the operational tanks in the entire Afrika Korps, they were to do so avoiding losses of tanks at all costs.

The table was 16 to 20 feet long and at least 10 feet wide.

The defending British force consisted of three Bren gun carriers, a 2" mortar, a Boys A/T rifle, a .303 Vickers MMG, two Bren guns, and 10 men.

I was one of the three players on the British side. I remember being flabbergasted at the forces allocated to us - I figured it had to be a joke given the knowledge we had that we were facing a combined arms force of tanks, infantry, and artillery.

The German attack was cautious and remained well in hand to avoid losses. We separated into teams that unloaded and took the Germans under fire while the carriers made copious amounts of dust everywhere while the mortar dropped rounds on the German infantry and the Boys A/T rifle fired at long range on the tanks.

When the scenario was over the Germans had barely made it 1/2 way across the table while wiping out my MMG team with an artillery barrage. They lost about ten times as many casualties. The retreating Australian Infantry Brigade made it down the coast road with time to spare.

I still know 3 of the 8 players in that game and we still remember it as one of the best we ever played because it was NOT fair and opened all our eyes to how much fun an unbalanced game can be!

Just a thought for future play ...