Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Battle of Five Armies, Battle Report

Last week my friend Lou was coming over to play LOTR Strategy Battle Game. We didn't have a plan other than we would play SBG. I had the day off so I was puttering around my basement working on too many projects at once. I was toying with the idea of doing a BOFA scenario. Just sort of a representative battle using figures I had. We would be constrained by time so we would have to keep it simple. About 30 minutes before Lou arrived, I decided to do it.

I have tons of pink insulation lying around so I cut some up and laid out the 2 spurs of the mountain. I added a 2nd level of foam for the gate. then taped it down to the table. I have some battle mats that we use at conventions, draped that across the table and we were almost good to go.

For the entrance to Erebor I had this gate I made years ago to play a D&D. So I pulled that out and it looked great. Next we added a latex River Running, and scratter terrain, rocks and bushes and things. I also added the Dwarven Statues that came with the Special Edition DvD/Blu-Ray Desolation of Smaug disk set.

Lou mentions that we needed a backdrop for the mountain, and maybe I had a sheet lying around. I told him to take 2 sheets of foam insulation and quickly paint them grey while I whipped up the army lists. What he did in 20 minutes was astounding. He painted mountains!

The army lists were pretty simple:
12 Galadhrim spears and shields with Tharnduil
12 Galadrhrim archers with Capt
12 Wood Elf archers with Legolas
12 Laketown Militia(Rohan) with Capt
12 Laketown archers(Rohan) with Bard(Rohan profile)
12 Dwarf Warriors with Dain
12 Dwarf Warrios with Capt
12 Gundabad Orcs with Bolg(proxy Mordor Orcs)
12 Orc Archers with Capt
12 Orc Archers with Capt
12 Warg Riders with Capt
12 Warg Riders with Capt
12 Orc Warriors with spear and shield
12 Orc Warriors with spear and shield
12 Orc Warriors with spear and shield

That's roughly the list. Not exactly street legal, but it was just us 2, and what figures I had available. The other thing we did was lower the Defence by 1 across the board. So fights with resolve faster.

Deployed, Elves on the left, Dwarves on the right, Men in the center.

That's a lot of bows.

 Evil advances.

I want to block off the ford, so I come off the hill. Lou the Orc player was going to ignore the Elves but my move to the ford made him come across. Archers showering anything in range with arrows. Not many hits early on.

This was Lou's one mistake. At the ford he tried to slip around my spears. And I got to charge him. This seemly small mistake would lead to lots of casualties. As we fought over the ford.

On the far right, Wargs slam into my dwarves, but being dwarves they hang tough.

Here I caught him trying to sneak past me.

I actually didn't do very well in the fights, but it stopped him and drew in more orcs. All the while I was killing off orcs with arrows.

 My line of Laketown Militia came off the hill to charge the wargs as they were going for my Militia archers. Anyone not in combat got hailed with arrows. A good number of Orcs got "unmounted"

The fight continues to rage on the hill and in the valley. Bolg and his body guard moving up in formation.

So what happened at the ford? Thranduil happened. I was tightly packed, and got charged by orcs everywhere. Almost surrounded. So Thranduil drops Natures Wrath. I could not have planned it better. I knocked over about a dozen models. Then my spearmen went on a killing spree.

 At this point it was late and the Orc general had enough. We both had casualties, but far worse were the orcs.

Last shot of the battle. My charge off the hill and about a billion arrows stopped any Wargs from getting to my Militia archers. The line of Dwarves held on the mountain spur so the orcs could not break into my lines.

Conclusions, it was a fun battle even if a little one sided. It was an equal points battle, so maybe if we do it again, we give the Evil a few hundred more points. Honestly I think we had more fun setting up, and the back drop the Lou painted in 20 minutes was stunning. For work of about an hour, I think the table looked great.

Thanks for reading, Xin


  1. Natures wrath my arse! More like a suitcase nuke!! I had NO chance, knocked down dazed and confused! Slaughter it was!! Orcs really need more forces in this battle. But even having lost it was fun!!

  2. Great looking setup you've got there!

  3. good battle report !
    the figures seem to be amazing and the background is impressive !

  4. Xin,

    Looking great. I like the idea of lowering the Defense values by one. I prefer my SBG to be deadlier. For bigger games, I only let heroes "shield" and we treat the Banners as just spiffy looking minis (i.e. same cost as regular troops and no banner rule).

    I am also planning to do my version of BOFA now that PJ's movie is out.