Monday, May 30, 2016

Battle of Five Armies, LotR SBG style

We met at my brother's place to test his Bo5A scenario for the LotR SBG system, a game we have been playing of late, using our old Ral Partha figs from the mid 70's. Chris devised the scenario with the idea of ultimately putting it online for general use. It's intended for multi-players, 3 per side and it centers on one of the old forts on the spur of the mountain. The scenario starts with a small dwarf force holding the fort and everyone else entering from off board in waves. There were 6 contingents in all: 3 goblin/warg and 1 each dwarf, elf and men from Laketown. Each contingent had a hero leading it, only Fili for the dwarves being named from the story. 8 turns. Victory points were awarded thusly: 1  point for a member of each faction inside the fort at games end. (Starting dwarves and exception to this.) 2 points for each hero inside the fort. 1 point for each hero killed. Points were awarded per *side* not faction. (We also discussed prolly 1 point each for each of the opponents faction to fail their Courage check.)
That all being said, we loaded up on fat and sugar, and started with gusto.

I can't even begin to describe what this group means to me.

The set-up. Each faction enters on a different edge. For purposes of discussion, the left of this picture is north. The dwarves enter from due north, the elves from the northwest corner, the Laketown men, the northeast. Goblins and wargs enter everywhere else. It should be noted the Good side has less models, as would be expected. The Evil side had about 30 more points per faction and 10 more models or so.

The dwarves with crossbows man the fort as the clouds of war gather.

Fili leads the dwarven reinforcements onto the board. Dwarves with weapon and shield are harder to crack than Brazil nuts with your bare hands.

The forest king's contingent, led by their hero who's scrotum hung lower than his penis.

The men of Laketown want their share of the booty too.

Goblins swarm the board. This is a good shot as it shows my biggest mistake of the game and what probably cost us the most. That's mostly my contingent to the east, left of the stream. I entered there for two main reasons: first, I thought I could head off the elves and prohibit them easy ingress to the fort area, but secondly and more importantly: this side of the table was closest to where I was already standing and closest to where the snacks were. I was too fucking lazy to move around to the other side of the table.

No Legolas.

My wargs had a taste for elf flesh. Ultimately this went bad for us even though we outnumbered them. I eventually lost three to his two and my two remaining wargs fled to hunt elsewhere. They sucked there too.

Goblin archers prepare to shoot the shit out of the wall of the fort.

My stupidity revealed: my goblins moved 5, his elves moved 6. Plus Elves aren't slowed by difficult terrain (the stream and based woodlands.) I had no chance of catching the elves as I had planned. They flitted by, thumbing their noses at us as they skipped towards the fort. Note also, if I had used my wargs properly, I could have blocked, or at least slowed, their progress, but I was too bent on murdering them. It cost us.

The men of Laketown blot out the sun with their arrows.

Fili's boys firmly hold the fort while the goblins begin their futile efforts to dislodge them.

Goblins, as is their wont, swarm around the fort, looking for easy access. There was none to be found.

The humans run into a buzzsaw. The goblins turn their flank and start rolling up their line.

The rest of the pics are all on the final turn, showing different aspects, as it was an exciting one. In this shot you can see in the upper left, a warg trying to savage the elven hero. The hero has an escort who saved his life! At the bottom left are my reinforcing orcs with 2 handed weapons. As I have already discussed my stupidity, here's a look at the result. They never crossed the stream or got within 12 inches of an enemy model. Well played Steve! Fucking douche bag.

This also helps illustrate my incompetence. The goblin in the bottom right, you know, the one that is a base width away from being in the fort; the same one who schlepped through difficult terrain of the woods and the stream the entire game: anyway, he's from my contingent and was an inch or less away from entering the fort, thus denying the Evil side a Victory Point. Once again: well played! Not.

The final positions. The men of Laketown are all but chewed up. Literally, I suppose. I did kill a slew of elves with decent shooting but not quite enough to force a courage test. I took a total of 21 shots on the last turn against the elven hero, including using both my Might points from my own hero. We managed to kill the warg attacking him and the elf next to him and actually did 1 wound (but he had 2). I missed with the other 18 shots. I also lost the last two guys of another faction in the fort. All I had to do was win one roll off for a VP. Lost them both. BUT... all I had to do was survive the wound die rolls of 5 or better. Lost them both. So, lost another VP there. Good managed to get two elves and one human into the fort also on the last turn for 2 VP their way and won 5-3. One die roll our way or one less act of stupidity and it is almost certainly at least a tie. The elves and humans were dangerously close to taking a Courage test but alas, it was not to be so. But Good won out. All the dice rolls and stupidity still count in this rules set.

What a blast! Thanks to my brother Chris for hosting and for a well thought out and executed scenario that really made the rules set shine. The 8 turn length was probably perfect. One more turn and Evil would have overwhelmed the fort. I know there are definitely things I would do different. I'd love to give it a try.

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