Friday, November 22, 2013

Fall In Battle Report, The Westfold is Burning, Part 2

Here's is the 2nd part of the battle I ran at Fall In, The Westfold is Burning. Uruk-hai raiding into Rohan. First part can be found here.

As we left it, The Uruks were assaulting the walls, while the Warg riders slipped into the village across unguarded walls. Ents are arriving to kill Uruk's as payback for all the trees killed. Leading 18 Riders of Rohan, Theoden, Eomer, and Erkenbrand appear on the table edge. The Uruk players know that something important is in this village, but not sure what and the Rohan players aren't telling.

 The Uruk assault on the Warriors hiding with the cows continues. Even the presence of 2 walking trees does not deter them. That one berserker attacking the Ent is about to die.

 Uruks are going under the tower and slipping into the village. The Riders maneuver for shooting. At some point, the Uruk Archers manage to kill one of the Rohirrim in the tower, but they continue to rain arrows down on anyone passing near the tower.

 On the right side(facing the village) The Warg riders are not messing with the Pig Pen, other than some shooting as they go by.

 The Wargs Riders and Uruks are in the village. The warriors in the field with the cows move to protect their rear. Some missile fire is exchanged with the fence getting in the way of most shots.

 The troll has finally ambled over to take on an Ent, joined by several Uruk-Hai, This might be more than the Ent can handle. The Warg Riders take the fence line and defend it. Now if the Rohirrim want to attack them, the Warg Riders are defending! Casualties amoung the Rohirrim are starting to mount.

 Ignoring the Pig Pen, Warg Riders just run passed. Thrown spears from the Rohirrim have little effect.

 This was the funniest moment for me in the battle. The Uruk-Hai man the barricade against the Riders! Now The Riders have to assault the defenses of their own village. Well played sir, well played.

 Ganging up on the Ent will be more than the Ent can handle. Also around this time, Uruk-Hai try to assault the tower, but are thrown back. One Uruk survived the fight on the ladder, but plunges to his death.

 The Warg Riders are content  to trap the Rohirrim in the field, while other Warg Riders move about the village. One Warg Rider gets near the Great House and detects more Rohirrim inside. More Wargs are sent to investigate.

The next turn, out comes Éowyn and 6 Royal Bodyguard! The Uruk and Warg players now focus on killing Éowyn. But she is not some helpless farm girl that the Uruks have been killing. She will not go down easily.... The Royal Bodyguards attack!

 The Rohirrim archers have had enough of shooting and charge the fence. Lurtz is there urging his Fighting Uruk-Hai forward.

 Out in front of the village, Erkenbrand and 6 riders run down the Uruk archers. But not without cost. Funny thing here, is they kill all but 1 and start to move on to other targets, but that one Uruk fights off the Rider left to kill him for the rest of the battle.

 One down, one to go. On the left side, almost all the Rohirrim are dead. I see 2 left.

 The Ent enraged at the death of his brother Tree Herder, goes on a killing spree. 2 shots on the Troll, and Uruk-hai are being crushed.

 It's now a mad rush for Éowyn. Uruk and Warg Riders want to kill her. The Rohirrim that were protecting the Pig Pen now charge out. The Royal Bodyguards hold off the Wargs.

 Éomer leads an assault on the barricade. Théoden leads his Bodyguard around to try to break into the village.

 The Bodyguard are not going quietly but they are small in numbers. Éowyn pulls back behind the Great House.

 Back on the left side of the village, Erkenbrand helps relieve some of the pressure on the Ent. The Troll was killed sometime in here.

 You can see the Warrior of Rohan, coming to attack the Wargs from the rear who were fighting the Royal Bodyguard.

 Théoden now comes around the back of the barricade. This was a messy fight. The Uruk-Hai are tough.

 Will they arrive in time?

 One Warg Rider chases Éowyn around the back of Great House. But she can't go too far, as there are Wargs on the other side. Nowhere left to go, she will make a stand here. Somewhere in here, The Rohirrim broke(50% casualties). The Rohan players started taking break tests, but it helped to have Erkenbrand on the table(+2 to roll). They lost some Riders and Warriors , but they did have the Royal  Bodyguard on the table who would not break.

 Uruk-hai, make it to the fight at the Great House, they start moving around the other side of the building to cut Éowyn off. The next turn the Uruk-Hai broke. With the Evil's side low morale things got ugly very fast for them. Lots of Uruks and Warg Riders fled the table.

The Evil players got 2 maybe 3 more attacks on Éowyn. The first was the Warg Rider. The Bodyguard and Éowyn manged to kill it. Then the Uruk-Hai came around the side of building. On the last turn they had one final attack on Éowyn. She had to use the last of her Might, but she won the fight and killed the Uruk-Hai.

A very climatic ending. This battle could not have gone better. We had friendly easy going players, and that really makes a differenc in convention games. As a Game Master running the game, you want the players to have a good time, and each side have a fair shot at victory.

I felt the balance of the game swing back and forth multiple times which means it was pretty balanced and dramatic. I knew the Evil players would get into the village, just too much wall, and not enough defenders. But I never saw them, then manning the walls to keep out the relief force. That was hilarious. And to have Éowyn chased around to the back of the village and be trapped was awesome. I could not have hoped for a better ending. Well played on both sides.

I highly recommend the LOTR Strategy Battle Game from Games Workshop. It is a lot of fun, and very versatile. It's a rule set that can go almost anything you want in small or large skirmish gaming, from tournament play to scenarios and campaigns. Also the figures made by GW incredible. Of course buying direct from GW can be expensive, but if you buy slowly on Ebay, you can find great deals.

Hope you enjoyed the battle report, Xin

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Fall In Battle Report, The Westfold is Burning, Part 1

Here is a battle report of the second game I ran at the wargame convention,  Fall In 2013. The first was Fords of Isen. That Battle report can be found here.

Here's the setup: The Uruk-Hai are raiding across Western Rohan after taking the Fords of Isen. King Théoden has ordered all the villages evacuated and everyone to retreat to Helm's Deep. So the Uruk-hai take notice when one village, nestled in the shadow of Fanghorn Forest, is being defended. They are not sure why it's being defended, but they wanted to burn it down anyway, so they surround it and attack. Before being surrounded messengers escape from the village. Presumably to summon help.

 The village while the defenders are being deployed

Same shot, different angle.

 Rohan Guard Tower with Archers

 Village center, well made by Architechs of War.

My scratch built Rohan Great House.

 Uruk-hai and Wargs surround the village, oh and one troll

 Rohirrim you better hurry and set up.

Start fighting already.

 The village has too much wall to cover for the amount of defenders so they choose to make a few strong points. The pig pen on one side. I guess the chickens don't rate defending.

And the cows on the other side. Other than 4 archers in the tower, the village is wide open. It was a tough decision.

 One group of Wargs goes straight for the undefended barricade. The other skirts along the wall.

The fighting Uruk-Hai go straight in. One group of scouts with bows trys to kill the archers in the towers, no luck.

 On Rohan's turn, 2 Ent's come out of the tree line. They don't care about the Rohan Village, they are here to step on Uruk-hai. I had the Ent's in the tree line and didn't tell the Evil players, but they were too clever, and saw them anyway.

The Uruk player closest to the Ents decides not to mess with them and races for the wall defended by the Rohirrim. The other Uruk player is racing underneath the tower. The tower archers take a toll for passing by.

The Wargs attempt to cross the barricade, and the other group is moving along the village wall to pass the Warriors in the Pig Pen.

 A large body of Riders take the field. Led by Théoden, Éomer, and Erkenbrand. This is a pretty important village after all.

 The Uruk's slam into the Warriors defending the wall. This fight will go on for awhile. The Uruk's are better fighters, but the wall keeps casualties low.

 The Ent's close on the Uruks, and the Troll and 2 Berserkers head for the Ents.

 The Pig Redoubt is well protected, so the Wargs run right past for some unguarded fence. They are not dummies.

The Riders move as fast as they can but will not prevent the Wargs or Uruks from getting into the village.

This will later come back to haunt the Rohirrim as they have to assault their own village, to protect what's inside.

Part Two is here

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Fall In Battle Report, Fords of Isen

Last weekend was the wargame convention Fall In, where I ran 2 games of LOTR:SBG. Here's the first battle report of that game.

The Setup based on the story from Unfinished Tales by Christopher Tolkien. The King's son, Théodred was not fooled by Saruman's treachery and was guarding the Fords of Isen against attack from Isengard. Théodred learned of the pending attack and struck first. Leading the Rohirrim across the Fords, he attacked Saruman's forces. Initially successfully, he was eventrually thrown back after striking the main body of Uruk-hai. His companion Grimbold fights a rear guard action while Théodred makes an escape.  He retreated to the Fords, only to find Uruk-hai on the other side of the River Isen trapping him. between 2 forces. He seizes a small Island in the middle of the Fords to make a defensive stand. This is where we start the action.

Théodred trapped on the islet. Grimbold and the rearguard racing for the ford chased by Wargs. Uruk-hai on the West bank, Wargs and Dunlendings on the East bank. Elfhelm bringing reinforcements from the top of the table.

Close up of Théodred position on the island, protected by 18 Warriors and 6 Royal Guards.

 Grimbold and Royal Guard race for the ford. Sharku and Wargs not far behind.

 Wargs and Dunlending Warriors assault from the east.

 Elfhelm's followed the Wargs to the battle now they are needed to save Théodred.

The Uruk-Hai split into 3 groups. One turns to cut off Grimbold, one assaults the island and the 3rd group of archers moves around for better shots.

 The Rohirrim didn't wait for the Wargs to attack, they charged into the water. One slips past. Some Dunlendings turn towards Elfhelm.

 Rough going for Grimbold. He gets in trouble very early and never recovers. Wargs will be attacking the rear of the column in a turn or 2.

 Good fight in the water. Going back and forth.

 The Hammer arrives

 Uruk-Hai swarming around Grim and his men.

Elfhelm(using Erkenbrand model and stats) enters the fray.

 Uruk-Hai scouts move to the southern tip of the islet. Assaults on Théodred's hill has been ongoing for the entire battle. The Royal Bodyguard has made several sorties from the hill to help the warriors when they were in trouble, but always moving back up the hill to stay near Théodred.

 The Dunlendings are having a rough day, but holding on.

 Grimbold's command is gone. And those Uruk-hai are heading back towards the Ford.

 Most of the Dunlendings are gone and now the fight has moved to the Island.

Théodred is hard pressed. 2nd to the last turn, The Rohan side broke(50% Casualties), but this had almost no effect. All the cavalry were bodyguard and 6 of the foot were bodyguard, and are immune to breaking. All the normal Warriors were dead. So again, no effect.

On the last turn, the Uruk-hai broke. We didn't go thru the rolls, but they were about to lose easy, 40-50% more of the remaining models. This was a narrow Rohan victory. The Rohirrim were slaughtered, but Théodred was alive and they held the Ford.

It was a fun but complicated battle with all the forces scattered around the board. It was equal in points, but unbalanced in sections. Honestly at first I thought the Uruk-hai side was going to run away with this battle. In the first 3 or 4 rounds, the death toll was about 4 to 1 in favor of Isengard. Once Elfhelm got into the fight and the Royal Guard came down off the hill, it started to even out. It could have gone either way. I think everyone had a good time. Next my other battle, The Westfold is Burning.