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...


  1. another great match! I loved the write up of Boromir almost drowning just getting off the boat and also Eowyn (falling back on her skills as an English major rather than as a fighter). LOL

  2. i guess it just wasnt borimirs day... tsk tsk