Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Dwarves Vs Haradrim: Domination! Battle Report

On the spur of the moment, we both realised we were free today so, not having had a game last week, we decided to have a whack at it, both having 982 point armies now =)

We went for Domination! Four objectives to hold...

The ruins with the Harad encampment in the North East, a well in the South East, ruins with a Dwarf encampment in the South West and supply crates slightly to the North West of center.

The Harad army...

A mighty War Mumak with gnarled hide, a bad attitude, rappelling lines and a good supply of large stones. There are six Watchers of Karna, a good supply of bowmen, spearmen, a couple of raiders, Suladan on horseback, The Betrayer on horseback and an evil Hasharin. 30 models in all.

The plan...

Not a lot to say for this one, my strategy is pretty simple: infantry try to hold an objective, cavalry try to hold an objective, watchers hold another, and the Mumak holds the last one. My plan is to defend with everyone except the Mumak, who will stomp around the board squashing my enemies!

The Dwarven army...

All of my guys. 24 warriors, 24 rangers, 6 Iron Guard, 6 Khazad Guard, Etako Ironfist, Brynmor Deepminer, 5 Vault Wardens and another banner bearer. 73 all together.

My plan was to split into two groups, leave some defenders in my base and sweep forward, letting my numbers win the scenario rules. The archers would concentrate on the Mumak crew. Simple huh =)

Turn 1. Marching forward. Etako leads the rangers and most Vault Wardens towards the well. Brynmor leads the warriors towards the crates.

The Mumak looks as though it is heading towards the well. Etako tells his men to advance towards the well, they grumble, but the bigger they are, the harder they fall.

Turn 2. Priority Haradrim.

The Mumak lines itself up and charges forward between the lava pools.

To put itself in firing range of the stoic dwarves... The evil men's bows twang and arrows arc out, some splashing with a sizzling hiss into the lava, but one bringing the first casualty of the battle in the form of a lightly armoured (for a dwarf) ranger.

The dwarves, incensed by the unjust archery take aim themselves and fire back, arrowtips glowing in the red light. Although the targets are hard to see among the swaying howdah, one arrow flies true, skimming past the others that lodge harmlessly in the wood and cloth to find flesh...

And in the last bit of excitement for the turn, the dwarven warrior archers let fly at an exposed Betrayer, some incredible rolling, but only the horse (we think it's name was Binky - thank you Terry Pratchett) suffers, a lucky escape for the Nazgul.

Turn 3. Priority Dwarf.

The evil ringwraith focuses on an archer dwarf who hears hissing voices enticing him forward. Not hearing his mates yelling at him, he stumbles forward in a daze all by himself. Suladan then spurs his horse forward and charges right at the hapless archer! The dwarf's head clears just in time for him to see the ruler of the Haradrim bearing down on him, just in time to attempt a defence... just in time to die to Suladan's flashing blades.

Meanwhile another ranger falls to Mumak firing platform archery and, retaliating for their comrade, seven dwarf warrior archers kill another horse.

Etako leads his men up the hill towards the well, they desire revenge, but he keeps them on task, the mission is more important than individuals. Brynmor leads his group towards his objective. The Hasharin leaves the safety of his base camp and heads towards battle and glory.

Turn 4 - Priority Haradrim.

The Betrayer continues his evil magics, Brynmor is surrounded by loyal guardsmen, who are not afraid of anything. The Nazgul focuses his dark powers into a dart of pure, black evil and sends it flying, spearing a heavily armoured Khazad Guard through the heart. All the nearby dwarves hear a sibilant hissing "fear me now, dwarvessss".

Suladan leads his remaining horsemen on a charge into the archers and leading dwarves. Mercilessly he slays three of the archers himself! One horseman is brought down by a horde of dwarves.

Rangers take fly with arrows and throwing axes, but the thick hide of the Mumak absorbs the axes without even noticing them and the howdah intercepts all of the arrows. In return, massive rocks are thrown from above, crushing two rangers, an archer and an axeman. The beast is bearing down towards the dwarf-held ruins.

At the end of the turn it is pretty clear who is going where...

Shortly after the photo was taken, the Hasharin realised he hadn't moved so made a quick sprint forward, not wanting to miss any of the action!

Turn 5 - Priority Haradrim.

Yikes, what a turn for the Haradrim to get priority! We decide that the lava can be walked between by the Mumak, so long as the majority of the body is on solid ground, only a tiny part of the base was really over the lava pit. Unfortunately for me, that means it's trample time!

The remaining 6 dwarven ranger archers are trampled beneath the huge feet of the Mumak, trunk and tusks swinging bloodily through their wrecked bodies. To add insult to injury, rocks are thrown to the side, killing some of the rangers that dared to throw axes the turn before. To add injury to injury, massive rocks are thrown from on high and due to three sixes being rolled, the Vault Warden is crushed beneath his own shield! The only ray of sunshine here is that his funeral cairn is already in place.

7 throwing axes crash into the Mumak's thick skin, and two manage to find sensitive locations. In the tendon's of the thick legs. The chieftain atop the great beast manages to keep it under control, stopping it from stampeding.

Suladan and his horsemen charge into more dwarves, knocking them to the ground and causing further casualties. One horseman is brought down, but more dwarves are killed too, even worse, it's archers. Too late I realise that I've gone against my original plan, my archers are needed to kill the guys on top of the Mumak and instead I've let them be trampled to death by Suladan's horse and the Mumak itself! Oops!

Turn 6 - Priority Dwarves.

4 Watchers of Karna rappel down to the ground near the dwarven ruins. One of the black-clad men falls to a throwing axe from one of the defending rangers. Rocks from above smash into the ruined walls, knocking bricks free, but missing the defending dwarves.

The warrior archers, seeing their colleagues crushed, hearing their screams ringing in their ears, take aim and fire high, high into the air, the chieftain far atop the Mumak screams in pain and surprise as an arrow lodges in his shoulderblade. Not a fatal wound, but enough for him to call curses down upon the few remaining archers. He urges the mighty beast around and heads towards Brynmor's beleaguered army and the last remaining archers.

Suladan calls a Heroic Fight and darts across the battlefield, slaying two more dwarves. The Hasharin finally enters the fray and slides up next to a 2-handed dwarf, dodging the massive swing by a hair's breadth and slitting his throat. (Quite dramatic actually, we tied on the first roll, both re-rolled for our banners, tied on the second roll too! Hasharin's better fighting skill won out in the end!)

One more horseman falls to dwarven steel and skill, but at great cost. Laughing at the pitiful, shorties, the Nazgul concentrates again, hisses, and slays another dwarf with an evil dart of pure blackness.

As you can see, a ray of sunshine broke through the cloudy skies and lit up... well... the empty part of the board, but it was still dramatic. Etako's band heads towards the lightly defended Haradrim ruins, leaving some Vault Wardens behind to guard the well.

Turn 7 - Priority Haradrim.

The unexpected sunlight kinda ruined some of the photos on a busy turn!

The raiding watchers of Karna are brought down by a combination of throwing axes and clever spearwork. The dwarves are avenged against the rock-throwers!

Another watcher meets his fate near the lava pits, two rangers combining attacks, camouflage cloaks helping them confuse the evil man.

The Betrayer again uses a Black Dart to slay a dwarf, Suladan calls another Heroic Fight, uses his last might and kills an archer then spurs on towards the dwarven banner bearer, slaying him mercilessly!

The Hasharin sets his eyes on the leader of the dwarves and leaps at Brynmor! Only to be met with a loud *clang* as a shovel meets him flat in the face, stunning him. The evil, black clad, black hearted man sees cute little yellow birdies before his eyes - a fate worse than death! Except that he's wrong. Seconds later he finds out that death is worse after all.

Turn 8 - Priority Dwarves.

The Harad Chieftain manages to urge the Mumak through a narrow gap between ruined walls and lava to trample the last surviving archer. Throwing axes bounce off the tough hide of the beast. Rocks are thrown to kill another ranger. Suladan, worried a little by the proximity of the great beast, holds his own against two dwarves. The Betrayer is assaulted by three dwarves (three others failed their terror rolls and stood cowering, with hissing voices in their heads) and is hit twice by axes, but fate is with him and he lives. If you can call his black existence living.

Turn 9 - Priority Haradrim.

Suladan reigns in his terrified horse and charges at the rangers that had killed the Watcher near the lava. His horse barrels into them and knocks them into the lava. Suladan laughs lustily at the screams of the dying dwarves as they sink and burn, pleading for his help at the last.

The Mumak tramples forward! 3 dwarves with shields, 2 Khazad Guard and Brynmor are beneath it's feet. The hero holds his ground, taking a nasty gash from each tusk, but fate is on his side and neither prove fatal. His brave stand halts the Mumak in its massive, gore filled, dwarf stomped tracks.

The Betrayer turns and attempts to transfix the mighty hero, focussing his black gaze... Brynmor meets the gaze with his impregnable mask and stares the Ringwraith down! Returning his attention to the Mumak, Brynmor swings Lemya, the mithril imbued hammer smashes hard into the legs of the massive beast, causing it further wounds. The wounded chieftain again manages to calm the beast, keeping it under control.

The Betrayer, in his anger at being thwarted by Brynmor turns his sword towards an Iron Guard and dwarf with a shield and the furious, black anger is too much for the doughty dwarves, the Iron Guard falling beneath the fell blade.

At the top of the battle, Etako's force is almost at the walls of the Haradrim ruins, but the trampling of so many dwarves has broken the force. From now on a 1 or 2 at the end of the turn will be the end of the game.

The die is rolled... if it's a 1 or 2 the dwarves get a minor victory, holding three of the objectives! The die comes up with a 5. The battle continues!

Turn 10 - Priority Haradrim.

The Betrayer moves out of the Mumak's way, turns, then launches a black dart at Brynmor, who stiffens in pain, grievously wounded. Shortly thereafter, while twisted in pain, the Mumak crushes him and a fellow two dwarves beneath it. The death of Brynmor causes four dwarves to flee the battle, the hissing voice of The Betrayer echoing in their ears.

There are now more Haradrim at the objective than dwarves!

Suladan charges the dwarven ruins and kills the ranger guarding the entrance. The remaining few defenders wonder if they will be able to stop the seemingly unstoppable Serpent King.

Etako's dwarves are finally at the ruins, another turn will see them swamp the defenders and take another objective!

End of turn... a 2 is rolled. The game is over... models are counted. It's a draw!

What a battle!

Here are my brother's closing remarks...

That was a fun match! Lots of squashing beneath giant Mumak feet! I think I would have moved the Mumak around a bit differently if I had thought through the start of the game, I headed him ‘left’ from where he started, with the idea that his tough shield defenders could be squashed by the Mumak – as my regular guys would have little hope of doing so. Then I realised my Mumak was surrounded by lava! One stampede, and my enemy could simply march the giant elephant into the lava pits and destroy it! It also made it hard to navigate the Mumak, as you turn it then march it forwards in a straight line, so avoiding the pits was difficult.

My second change of plan would possibly be that instead of dropping off the Watchers at the opposing base area, I should have just stomped through the walls and squashed his defenders, and then dropped off the watchers to hold the area. I keep forgetting that against his axe throwers, my watchers tend to drop very quickly – if he gets priority, as they have quite low defence.

My third mistake was that I put all my heroes at the front of my cavalry formation and charged off across the map, without thinking that my Betrayer is best behind others, casting spells from a distance. In the first volley against him, his horse went down, and I was simply lucky that the one-wound Betrayer wasn’t slain as well! Next time he’ll be behind rather than out the front :)

I’ve got to say though, I really enjoyed stomping on all those dwarves! Once the Mumak gets going, it’s hard to stop!

And me?

Wow, what a great game! I thought I was going to win for sure, then the Mumak started trampling people. Then I thought "I've still got more than enough dwarves to hold the objectives." Then I was broken. Then Etako STILL wasn't at the top objective yet. Wow, back and forth like crazy!

I was kicking myself afterwards for being less than tactically sound with my archers. Even though I *knew* that I should make sure they were reserved for Mumak-riding killing duty, I kept on getting distracted by other targets.

I love battles with the Mumak, every time I wounded it (not often), I was ready to make it stampede into a lava pit or off the board, but the Chieftain was holding a tight leash today! Instead it just squashed my already short dwarves into even shorter dwarves! Terrifying but still fun =)

Some people say that the 12cm (we use metric) walking distance of the dwarves doesn't mean that much compared to the longer human strides. Well, Etako would beg to differ, his entire force took the whole game to march from one corner to the other and just couldn't get there in time!

If I'd run from the Mumak a little more instead of standing to fight I wouldn't have broken so early and Etako would have made it, but that's not how dwarves work!

Great fun with a big army. Relatively quick too, 10 turns! I like scenarios with victory conditions that aren't just "fight to the last man" sometimes.

The Mumak might not always pay off, but when it does - great fun!

Anyway, hope you enjoyed reading as much as we enjoyed playing, sorry for the briefer than usual write-up too, but pretty whacked tired today.

End of game shot:

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Dwarf Army

My 982 Point army is finished!
Sure, it's a few short of the magic 1000, but I'm all modelled out at the moment (have to wait for more work for more money).

Have five vault warden teams and re-jiggered a banner bearer (the one that came with the captain that I converted into Brynmor) so that it has a vault warden shield and spear on it.

I'm hoping that with some flank support from Iron and Khazad Guard that five vault warden teams with a banner will be able to hold just about any position!

So there they are in all their fighting glory.

I'm mostly happy with all of them. I'm really pleased with how Etako and Brynmor came out. The Vault Wardens also came out pretty well. Some of them worked better than others, but you'll have to wait for a battle report for a close up as I have no good camera here!

Three of the shields have sort of Celtic shapes, an ourobouros sort and a three and four sided endless loop also. The one in the middle has a stylised fist (it's the Ironfist Clan's second oldest Vault shield). The one on the right has no symbol, but it does have battle damage, you can sort of see it in this shot, but it's more obvious in real life. This one is the oldest of the Vault shields. 

The banner behind them is greenstuff with a greenstuff spear head in similar style to the Vault Warden spears. Obviously it's not as good 'cos it was me making it. With more practice I think I'll be better one day, maybe I need some tools too. I just sort of use my modelling knife at the moment.

On this side you can see the 24 rangers, Brynmor and his 3 Iron Guard and 3 Khazad Guard. I use the Guards with the silver helmets as his bodyguards.

And here's the 24 warriors, Etako and his Iron and Khazad Guard.

My brother and I have been putting together our armies slowly, bit by bit, and I think his Harad army is getting close to 1000 points too. Eventually we may expand them enough to play War of the Ring too.

My goblins are plenty big enough, my dwarves almost are, his harad nearly is and his Minas Tirith/Rohan is rapidly growing too. That will give us one good and one evil army each. Even now if we combined forces we'd have a big enough army.

Anyhow, that's probably all the painting I'll be doing for a while until I get a bit more play money! Feel free to post on the forums if you have suggestions for how to round off the army. I was thinking Mardin to join in with my strong Vault Warden contingent. He'd be great for spear support on a flank as any silly raider thinking to charge around the back to take on the weaker spearmen would be in for a shock.

Unfortunately Mardin has an eyepatch, and two one-eyed dwarves in the same army (almost sounds like the start of a joke) might be a bit much. Also, he'd be mostly wasted points as he can't use his abilities or extra attacks in a support role.

So maybe I'll get one more Vault Warden team, or another blister of Khazad or Iron Guards.

Is two sub-100 point heroes enough in a 1000 point army? This and other deep, philosophical questions have been going around my head for a while now...

Anyway, that's enough of my incessant blathering. As soon as I think up another scenario, we'll be battling it out this week, so stay tuned!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Goblin Infestation Battle Report

Welcome to another Battle Report!

Well, last time I got to pick the scenario, then my brother got to choose the points. We reversed it this time. He chose a scenario from the list of variations at the back of The One Rulebook. The idea was a coastal raid. There would be five buildings, the attacker would have to try and burn them down.

Basically the attacker arrives from ships, has to disembark (On a D6 a 1 puts the warrior in the water, a further swim test is required, then a climb test to get out of the water - you would drown if you rolled a 1 while swimming, otherwise you'd be okay.)

We also used our special Commander Might points, earned from the previous game. I had 2 due to my minor victory, he had 1. These can be used to influence ANY die roll during the game.

I'll let you read his pre-match write-up for the burning down details and his strategy...

Paul’s Comments (tsmpaul)


Today I’m pitting my Gondor forces, with extra figures borrowed from those painted by my brother, against either a goblin infestation, or dwarven warriors. My objective: to sail into a coastal settlement and raze it to the ground!

The enemy will defend the settlement to the last man/monster on this one, and doesn’t have to roll for courage, which means the Horn of Gondor won’t be useable in this match – and I’m the only player who has to watch out for having my army broken and people fleeing the battle.

However, I can set buildings alight on a 5 or 6 if one of my guys is next to them, and isn’t in combat, and the enemy can only put flames out on a 6. So, my plan is to spread out, rush around the map, and carelessly throw figures in his way to initiate combats and stop them from catching my other figures, who will spread out to try and start fires.

For every figure (not fighting) who is in base contact with a building, I can roll an extra die to try and light up the building. Once it is on fire, a flame counter is placed on the building, and at the start of every priority phase, another is added. When priority is rolled, if the winning priority roll is less than the number of counters on a building, the building is destroyed!

So once the fires are set, they’ll pretty much take care of the buildings, unless he gets his figures and rolls to remove fire counters from the buildings. As long as I can keep his figures engaged, or block their movement to the buildings, they won’t have a chance to put out the flames!

Three buildings down is my partial victory, all buildings for full victory. If he plays with goblins, there will probably be so many of them that keeping them busy will be quite hard. In that case, I may mass figures on the three closest buildings, and aim for a quick partial victory. If he plays with his dwarves, we should be on more even terms for number of figures, so I might try for a complete victory, if I can match up my soldiers against his well, and keep them fighting and blocked from defending the buildings.


Well, the title sort of said it already, I decided to go with 600 points of Goblins. Why? Well, although my dwarves are itching to get into combat, they won the last game, so it was time to let the Goblins have another turn =)

My best chance of winning will be to just stop him from being able to burn buildings down. Since that's a pure numbers game, my 600 points lets me field close to the maximum of 75 models, with 72. My hordes of goblins will just swarm over each building, maximizing my chance to put out fires. I've also included the Cave Troll, a Goblin Captain, the Wild Warg Chieftain and three Giant Spiders. Their job will be to kill his troops (staying away from Boromir/Suladan/Hasharin/Betrayer) until he starts to have to run away.

The WWC and Spiders will give me a great fast moving punch, as he won't have any cavalry this time due to the boats. I'm estimating that he'll only have 30-40 troops. (Mainly because that's about how many models he has painted.) My 70+ should keep him from burning things down, as long as I avoid combat with them!

If I used the dwarves he'd be able to tie them up in combat with enough left over to go burn buildings. 

So, without any further waffle...


I had my goblins, he had his Gondor troops. 43 Men vs 72 evil horde.

Turn 1: So far away from each other we didn't bother with priority.

I rolled on the random starting table and got Scattered Defenders. This meant that half my force got to start on the board, the other half would have to roll to get on the board, rolling a D6 for each troop, on a number less than the current turn they'd get on near the coast, otherwise they'd have to wait another turn.

Well, off to a beautiful start, Boromir thrusts his sword into the sky and rouses the troops: "Foul greenskin goblins have infested the town. We have driven them out again and again, to no avail. We must destroy the houses to drive them back to the caves. Only then can we rebuild bigger, stronger, better! Are you with me!" With a great cheer behind him he leaps for the shore, tripping at the last second and plunging into the icy-cold water. Rolling another 1 Boromir nearly drowns, fortunately he is a mighty hero and emerges from the surf cold, ego bruised, but alive.

Using a point of might before anything even happens is quite the embarrassment! Well he has might to spare. Most of the rest of the troops manage to disembark without incident, though three end up in the water. 

The goblin archers unleash a volley of arrows, out of the 12 arrows one hits a dripping wet soldier, but slides harmlessly from the armour.

Turn 2: Priority Men.

The first wave of men moves forward to clear room for the next. Two of the swimmers clamber up onto shore, one slips from the bank back into the water. His friends joke about him needing the extra cleaning anyway. 

The goblins surge forward, archers hanging back to volley again, 12 arrows fly up high into the air and come whistling down on the men. One hits the Rohan Captain! The fates are against him as the arrow manages to find a chink in between his helmet and shoulder pauldrons, wounding him right in the socket of his arm. It's going to be harder for him to fight effectively now!

(What a total fluke! Hitting only on a 6, then wounding only on a 6, then failing his fate roll!)

8 Goblins appear on the western side, hearing the shouts of their brethren and the roaring of the cave troll. 

Turn 3 - Priority Men.

The Gondor troops fan out to approach the two closest buildings. Unfortunately two of the brave men are tangled in their armour and drown - the men nearby have the jokes wiped from their faces and they set themselves to face the goblin threat with renewed vigour. All of the remaining troops are on the shore now.

The goblin archers volley again, but no arrows come close to causing injury, just two glance easily from the raised shields of the men. 

The Wild Warg Chieftain and spiders race forward to engage the first men from the water. The massive warg beast opens his slavering jaws and crunches the head of the brave soldier, powerful teeth snapping the armoured helmet as though it were an eggshell. 

The chittering spiders swarm around their targets, with so many legs in motion before him, a soldier is mesmerised and almost doesn't notice the final poisonous bite that ends his life.

Other goblins are swarming towards the buildings, but staying well behind them, at the furthest points from the approaching army as possible. It's not cowardice, it's tactics. Honest!

Turn 4 - Priority Men.

The troops spread out to screen off the impending troll as best they could. The soldiers set themselves bravely with the slavering monster bearing down on them and swallowed nervously. The companion of the man decapitated by the warg overcomes his terror with a wave of rage and attacks.

The goblin archers volley again, this time an arrow takes a human archer in the eye, felling him instantly, but not deterring the men's companions, who just set their shoulders firmly and continue marching forward.

Still more goblins swarmed onto the western shore.

The troll charges and bowls over a Gondor soldier, smashing him dead to the ground. The green spider similarly swarms right up on top of its opponent, weight bearing the hapless man to the ground as he is injected with poison and buffeted to death by the many blows from the many legged beast.

The orange backed spider is beaten back by a horrified man who is covered in the blood splattered from his unfortunate companion whose armour is being cracked open as the brown spider burrows into the soft flesh. 

The mighty warg chieftain is wounded twice by the irate men that are taking revenge for their fallen comrade. Fate is on his side as one potentially fatal wound grinds against bone. Very painful, but not as deadly as it would have been just an inch to the side.

Meanwhile men at the southwest building manage to get a fire started, but the horde of goblins nearby manage to put it straight out!

Turn 5 - Priority Men (again!)

The men continue their advance, the monsters continue their rampage!

The goblin archers volley again, this time bringing down two of the human archers. The remaining archers don't slow for a second and draw their bows to rain death on the advancing goblins, slaying two of the green-skinned town-stealers.

The combat is fast and furious on the east side of town. One man leaps at a goblin, easily parrying the shorter humanoid's blade before sweeping his own sword through the neck of the evil being. The spiders are less successful this turn, the men have caught onto the alien rhythm of the multiple legs and only one fails his parrying. Unfortunately that's all it takes for the spider to bear him to the ground, chittering happily as it snacks on human flesh.

The mighty Warg, spurred on in pain to even greater rage, slays the man that dared harm him, rending him limb from limb in a gory blood fest. 

The men succeed this turn in lighting the south west building on fire!

Turn 6 - Priority Goblins (at last!)

The goblins continue to press up against the buildings. The monsters continue to attack wherever possible. The humans try to attack some goblins, particularly the ones around the burning building, while keeping others free to set fires as much as they can.

The men swallow their fear and assault the troll (I kinda forgot to make them roll for terror again - one rule I almost always forget). 

The archery is a big hunk of nothing this round, with arrows hitting the ground, glancing from boulders, landing on rooftops - everywhere except for the combatants!

Eowyn, sensing the Wargs impending carnage, steps up and puts herself directly in harms way.

Finally all of the goblins are now on the table, including the captain. He firmly believes that he was needed to supervise all the other goblins, you know, to make sure they joined the fight before he, himself, was required. 

The troll, with five men around him, lifts two of them up and smashes them together before flailing their lifeless corpses as a gory club into a third man, dashing his brains out against the corner of a large crate. It took both of my commander might points, but killing three men in one turn was worth it! (Especially since the dwarves won the points, I'm sure they'd just *love* to see the points used by a goblin army hehe.)

The green spider faces off against a spearman, who keeps the evil arachnid at bay with quick, precise spearthrusts. A brave man of rohan is defenceless against the press of four goblins, unable to fend off their numerous strikes.

The brown spider backs a spearman up against a crate and uses the moment of hesitation from the impact against his back to launch an attack, swarming over him and biting at his unprotected face, killing the man amongst his muffled screams.

Eowyn notes that no man can kill the Warg Chieftain and incorrectly uses her literary skills to infer that this means that a woman can. For all we know she could be correct in her analysis. It's, unfortunately, not the same as implying that Eowyn would be that woman. 

She holds her ground bravely, sword flashing in the red reflected glow of the flames across the battlefield. In the end though, the terrible rage of the wounded creature overcomes her, oh, also the massive claws and huge fangs. The Warg does cough after mauling her lifeless body, choking slightly on her long hair, but that's the only real ill effect.

The only ray of hope on the eastern side of the battlefield is one noble soldier's wounding of the orange spider, using his shield to slam it bodily onto its back before stabbing at it's soft underbelly and drawing a stream of steaming green ichor onto his blade.

On the western side of the battle, charging towards the burning building, Boromir calls a heroic fight and attacks a goblin as it tries to put out the flames. It's really not his day today. Boromir trips on his own boot straps and stumbles toward the goblin, windmilling his arms around to regain balance, not wanting to end up in the burning building. (He rolls two ones and a two.)

The goblin bursts out laughing at the sight and rolls to the ground, unfortunately right where Boromir's sword just happens to come down - spitting the goblin, who (quite literally) dies laughing.

Boromir pulls himself together and charges at another two goblins. He manages to get their attention away from the building, but fumbles his mighty blade and the goblins manage to push him back.

Showing off before their leader, other warriors also attack, one warrior of Minas Tirith blocks his opponent's sword thrust and returns the favour more successfully, decapitating the goblin in one massive lop. A warrior of Rohan manages to distract a goblin enough to stop it from putting out the fire, but can't press the advantage enough to slay the foul creature.

On the other corner of the building one man of rohan loses his life, as does a goblin, but the damage is done, the majority of the goblins are too caught up fighting to try and put out the fire, which spreads through more of the building.

Turn 7 - priority roll from the Men... a 2. There are three flame markers on the building, if the Goblins roll a 1 or 2 then the building will burn down... The die is rolled, it ricochets off a boulder... spins three times, shows a 4, then settles over onto a 1! The first building is burned down!

Before the men get too rowdy thinking they're oh-so-good, it is pointed out that they are also only 3 off breaking...

The goblin archers are as accurate as ever. I start worrying that the arrows now sticking out of the buildings and ground are a fire hazard!

The men race towards other building, the goblins swarm over the walls, half heading to the rear of the buildings for fire control, the rest trying to tie up men while the monsters try to reduce their numbers. In their opinion the best way to stop the fires is to kill the arsonist before the flames are even lit.

Fights break out all over the place.

The cave troll continues its rampage, slaying two archers with ease, grabbing them in a massive bear hug and smothering them in hideous armpits of evil. The green and brown spiders also kill their opponents, poisoning them before wrapping them in silk, hunger long sated in this battle, but wanting to save them for later.

Three goblins clamber over an archer, two pinning his legs while the third runs around behind and stabs multiple times, puncturing internal organs and spraying blood over the other two goblins.

Many men fall, but some of them died while screening off others, allowing some to obtain a foothold against the middle building, but the fire just won't catch on this building.

Elsewhere in small, brutal skirmishes, two goblins fall but there are no other kills. 

A fire breaks out on the north-west building, but is quickly smothered by five goblins.

Turn 8 - Priority Goblins.

The goblins run behind as many buildings as possible and attack the firebug men. The monsters continue their unrelenting assault. Nobody has attacked Boromir or his men. Of course, this means that Boromir has to roll against his courage, now that his force has been broken. Fortunately he's a willfull character and using up some more points saves him from running.

There are 15 combats this round!
In the alleyway between the center and south-east building two men fall to the hordes of goblins there, totally surrounded and stabbed myriad times.

The goblin captain finally joins the combat and uses some might to leap from atop a burned wall onto the neck of a Minas Tirith soldier, tearing off the man's helmet and twisting his neck until it snaps loudly.

The two brown spiders kill one arsonist, the green one makes two men fight for their lives, taking their attention away from the building they're trying to burn down. A goblin throws himself on the spear of another man, dying to wrench the flaming torch from his hands.

Boromir calls another heroic fight and has to use three more might to kill two goblins. The powers that control the dice must believe that burning down buildings is not the solution to the goblin infestation after all, perhaps diplomacy should have been given a chance?

Four men manage to set the north western building alight, deciding that "Diplomacy is the art of saying 'nice goblin' until you can find a burning torch."

Turn 9 - Priority Goblins.

Goblins continue to horde all over the board. Trying to surround the at-risk buildings while setting the monsters on whoever they can find left alive.

In a mainly mopping up operation, any men left in the southern edge of town are removed... permanently... The cave troll and two goblins flank the Rohan Captain and all of his skill is not enough to save him from the pummeling he gets, the goblins stabbing him in the legs until the troll finally grabs an arm and swings the man with a sickening crunch into the smouldering ruined wall, splattering red blood over the blackened stones.

Ten goblins swarm all over a Minas Tirith soldier, bearing him to the ground by sheer numbers and stabbing him as though he were a Julius Caesar pinata (classically trained goblins, who'd have thought).

At the central building, all but one of the arsonists are dealt with, though one manages to slay a goblin, a spider and the warg take care of the two others.

Boromir again calls a heroic fight, and this time kills two goblins effortlessly with the help of a rohan compatriot. He suddenly senses victory, having slain all the goblins he can see!

Of course, he is mistaken, the goblins are swarming behind the buildings! An archer goblin is slain while stopping two men from moving, catching them out in the open.

Still, Boromir's shouts and the sounds of the goblins being slain discourage the others and even though there are eight of them, none of them manage to completely douse the flames on the building.

Turn 10 - Priority...

Finally Boromir's penchant for rolling ones comes to good use! The north western building burns down. A one in 36 chance!

With the building collapsed, suddenly Boromir sees just how many goblins there are and only just barely passes his courage test. Two of his men flee the battlefield, having seen one too many sickening sights. Well, way more that one, at least 30 really!

The horde starts swarming towards the last few men. 

Boromir slays a goblin (without even using any might!) One of his men takes on four goblins and slays one! I'm sure he used Boromir as an example, though, quite frankly, it might need to be the other way around in this game!

Turn 11 - Priority Men.

Boromir and his faithful companion are surrounded. Boromir by the three spiders and warg. The other man by the troll and some goblins.

Boromir suffers six wounds from the beasts and even his might, and fate can't protect him from that many wounds. He falls for the last time (the first time into the water, and then tripping over halfway through the game) and the horn is crushed beneath the mighty Warg's great claws.

Unsurprisingly the stalwart warrior of Rohan is also felled beneath the massive hammer of the troll.

The last two surviving men scatter for the woods and run, hoping to bring the fell news back to the shining city.

Minor victory Goblins!


Well, he chose the goblins, and that really changed my plans! It didn’t occur to me that though goblins are usually easy to get rid of, with a 600 point match, there’s TONS of them! A massive horde, that by the end of the game, was covering the board! For every three or four Gondorians I had ready to start a fire, there were ten or more goblins on the other side of the building, ready to put it out.

This was a hard match indeed. I suppose I owe it to the luck of the dice that two of the buildings collapsed, as we both miraculously rolled 2’s and 1’s on our priorities, causing them to fall down. That was so funny while playing, especially the second time :) I had to take photos of the dice :)

One thing that was interesting to note, was that if I won priority, I would light fires during the fight phase, then he had a chance to put them out – but if he won priority, he would get to put fires out, and then I would get to light fires – because of the order in which actions take place. This means I wanted him to get the priority, because if I light a fire, it had a chance to take hold.

Despite the loss, I really enjoyed playing this one. Goblins coming in from two directions, my own forces trickling off the boat in waves, it was hard to work out what the best strategy would be as the game progressed, and there was no way to hold up his forces by throwing a few soldiers at them.

Instead of a Man of the Match, I think my LOSER OF THE MATCH would be Boromir, who rolled extremely badly in this match, and even tried to run away when testing for courage, requiring me to spend all my might points and my Commander Might Point as well, to keep him in the match.

Perhaps a Troll of the Match award should also be offered as well, for the Troll seemed to do lots of squishing and slaying this match, and was very busy indeed!

Now if only my archers could be equipped with flaming arrows...

Woohoo! Goblins often get a bad rap in the press, what, with the poor hygiene and anti-social behaviour, but when you have a situation that requires numerical advantage they're just perfect. My strategy worked really well, even when the building collapses were due to extremely lucky die rolls.

It's gotta be said, though, that Boromir could've really hurt my strategy, if he hadn't spent the game rolling ones, that is. My monsters did a great job. I've been unsatisfied with the spiders in the past, but found that teaming up with them worked really well. Their ability to scamper over walls and other terrain so quickly meant that I could be anywhere, anytime with poisonous fangs =)

The troll was just in his element today, rampaging like crazy through the poor human troops. I have to give him my "being of the match" award today for almost single handedly breaking the opposing force while the goblins kept trying to put out all those fires.

And just how big a horde was there, even after all that combat? Take a look...

Another fun game, again I've gotta say I enjoy the randomness of it all. It's a good mix between having a plan and rolling ones =) Maybe I'd disagree if it was my "hero worth a third of my whole army" rolling all those ones.

Well, my turn to pick the scenario for next week so off to rummage through the books...