Tuesday, August 19, 2014

First Battle of the Fords of Isen Battle Report

This scenario was run at Historicon 2014 held in Fredericksburg, Virginia in the US.  We had six players, three on each side.  Isengard was led by Vrashku's Talons with one player commanding the Isengard orcs, one player controlling the Dunland allies, and one player commanding the Uruk-Hai scouts flanking force led by Sharku's Hunters.  Rohan was led by Theodred's Knights with one player Theodred and the East Bank force, one player commanding the West Bank Force led by Grimbold's Helmlingas, and one player commanding the relief force led by Elfhelm's riders.
The scenario is not balanced and Isengard has twice the points value in their forces than the Rohan players.  The victory conditions for Isengard to be in control of all three fords by the end of any turn with no enemy within three inches of the ford.  Rohan's victory conditions are to destroy two thirds of the Isengard army by the end of any turn.  If neither of these conditions are met, the game is a draw, unless Theodred is killed.


The Rohan side begins with initiative and they decided to move all their forces to the East Bank and take the Isengard army head on.  A bold move, but they gave up the river’s natural defenses.  Any formation touching one of the fords and loses a fight suffers an addition 1D6 casualties.  Rohan did move Theodred’s Knights into the eyot, but could have also pulled Grimbold’s Helmlingas back to the West Bank.
On Turn 2, when the Isengard flanking force arrived on Turn 2, they easily made their way into Rohan’s rear, cutting off any chance of retreat. 
Back on the East Bank, Isengard used At the Double moves and several Heroic moves when Rohan had initiative to move into charge distance range.  The seizing the initiative they were able to use the open terrain to their advantage and double up on the Rohan formations.  If they remained on the East Bank, they could have channeled Isengard in the fords and taken them on one on one and if Isengard lost a fight they would have suffered the additional D6 hits.
On Turn 3 when Grimbold’s riders arrived, they charge a formation of Uruk Hai Scouts.  Sharku’s Hunters saw their chance and used all three points of Sharku’s Might to add to the die roll of their charge move to reach the flank of Grimbold’s formation.  Sharku was killed in a Heroic duel and Grimbold’s riders survived and regrouped, and decided to back away and fire arrows at the Uruks from distance.

The Rohan attack on the East Bank quickly disintegrated and Isengard was able to take two of the fords.  The only objective remaining was to take the final ford, but Theodred’s Knights were prepared to make a stand at the eyot. 
After a failed charge, Isengard decided to pull back and pummel the eyot with arrows.  The eyot gave the Knights a total of Defense 9, so the orc archers had to roll 6’s then 5’s to cause casualties.  It came down to Turn 8, but the sheer numbers of arrows were enough to kill Theodred and his remaining knights.
And so lies Theodred, Heir to Kingdom of Rohan, killed defending the last remaining ford, and leaving the Westfold open to the treachery of the forces of Isengard.


Monday, August 18, 2014

War of the Ring Blog

This blog will record my attempt to fight the battles of the Second and Third Age of Middle Earth.  I  collect Games Workshop Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit miniatures and use the both the Strategy Battle Game and War of the Ring systems.  This blog will concentrate mostly on the War of the Ring mass battles system as Games Workshop no longer supports the system and I am attempting to keep the game alive underground.

For those who are just coming upon this blog, The Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit Strategy Battle Game or SBG is a skirmish level game initially intended to re-create the journey of the Fellowship of the Ring and the attempt to destroy The One Ring.  SBG was re-branded when Games Workshop renewed the license to produce miniatures for The Hobbit movie trilogy which follows Thorin and Company in their quest to retake Erebor.  The Hobbit SBG is compatible with the profiles from Lord of the Rings (LOTR) SBG and has gained popularity for points match and tournament style play that came about with the army books released in 2012.

War of the Ring was designed to fight the large scale battles of Middle Earth.  Gamers became frustrated using a skirmish game to fight battles with large armies such as The Battle of Dagorlad or Pelennor Fields, so Games Workshop finally released a mass battles system in 2009.  War of the Ring or WoTR modified the profiles from SBG with simple mechanics for the larger amount of models.  Infantry companies were based on special movement trays with eight infantry models to a tray and two cavalry models.

But only three years after its release and the rising cost of metal, Games Workshop decided to take their product in a new direction with the introduction of finecast resin to replace metal blister packs.  The plastic models were repackaged from 24 or 20 model infantry boxes to 12 or 10 model boxes to coincide with the SBG warband rules.  Two years later, Games Workshop decided to drop support for War of the Ring and no longer carries the core rules or infantry movement trays.

For many of us, it took a few years to collect armies large enough to play War of the Ring.  Now that we have the models and are comfortable with the rules system, it is up to us to continue the game through the online community.  I will be documenting my collecting, building, painting, as well as providing battle reports.

For me, the near term for WoTR will be to fight a map campaign with several other gamers of Isengard's invasion of Rohan in the opening campaign of the War of the Ring.  Once the Rohan campaign is over, the next goal will be to continue with Mordor's invasion of Gondor.  There are future goals such as fighting the Second Age Wars of the Elves and Sauron and the early Third Age War of the Dwarves and Orcs.

For now, join me as Saruman is building an army worthy of Mordor and Theodred, son of King Theoden has heard of an evil taking hold at the ancient fortress of Isengard

- Warlord