Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Hounds of Sauron - LOTR / Hobbit Battle report

The Fellowship of the Ring Campaign, Scenario 10, The Hounds of Sauron...

 Our brave little hobbits have finally reached Rivendell, where a great many events occur...

 Their arrival could not be a moment too soon, with Frodo succumbing to the effects of the wound from the Morgul blade... Master Elrond having sufficient healing skill to save him from a fate worse than death; falling into the shadow world and becoming a wraith...

Frodo finds time to heal and recover from his ordeal thus far and is reunited with his fellow hobbits and Aragorn, and indeed Gandalf, finally, too.

And then the great event, the Council of Elrond will determine what the Free Peoples must do. Their final conclusion to destroy the One Ring, by sending it back to the only place it can be unmade, the very fires whence it came; Mount Doom, deep within the land of Mordor...

[Queue; endless Boromir memes; One does not simply walk into Mordor! etc etc... ;-) ]

Finally the members of the Fellowship are determined, and the Quest of Mount Doom is begun...

The Fellowship try to cross the mountains but are beaten back by arduous conditions and terrible weather. Unable to cross the mountains they decide to head for the Mines of Moria, yet en-route, their troubles are still far from over as they are tracked and hunted by a pack wolves and worse - Wargs!

This scenarios is based on events in the book and not the movie...



Forces:
We have the whole Fellowship against a Wild Warg Chieftain and 18 Wargs.

Since we are playing by the events of the book, I have given Aragron, Anduril at this point, though it is not explicit in the Fellowships equipment list.

Deployment:
The Fellowship must all be placed within 3" of the centre of the board.
6 Wargs must be placed touching each of the North, South and West board edges. The Wild Warg Chieftain (WWC), may be placed on any of these edges.


The Fellowship deploy in the centre... surrounding and hopefully protecting the hobbits...


Fell howls fill the air as the wargs close in from three sides...


...their red eyes glowing in the dark of night...


Victory conditions
The Evil players win if 5 or more members of the Fellowship are killed or if Frodo is killed. The Good players wins if the Game ends before this happens.

Special rules.
The Wargs are driven on in this scenarios headless of loss and fear, and automatically pass all Courage tests.
Warg casualties recycle back on at the end of the evil players next movement phase, coming on from a board edge chosen by the player with priority that turn. Except the WWC, who once slain, is removed from play.
The game will end on any turn from turn eleven onward where the Priority roll is a draw!
As always, the Good side has Priority for the first turn...


Game on!

The Fellowship chose to stand their ground as the Wargs close in, and Legolas and Aragorn loose their bows killing two Wargs immediately... the rest close in undeterred...


The Wargs get closer still, ready to charge all at once en-masse...


And suddenly with a howl and a cry the Wargs come tearing in at the Fellowship, fangs gleaming in the moonlight, claws reaching forth...


... but Gandalf has managed to Command away their vile chieftain, who is forced away by the strength of Gandalfs Will...

...but here sadly, the pretty narrative fails; it was carnage and chaos...


The protecting pocket of the Fellowship broke down, over the course of the game. A series of rolling individual fights occurred, turn after turn, with the main combat heroes; Aragorn, Gimli and Boromir, trying to slay as many wargs each turn as they could. Their actions attempting to minimise the numbers getting to the weaker Fellowship members, calling Heroic moves and Heroic Fights, slaughtering endless wargs... Eventually though, numbers began to tell, getting through, and luck played its fickle game. The Fellowship members started to fall... Pippin was the first, falling at Turn 5...


Two turns later, Turn 7, Merry fell...



Turn 8 saw Aragron surrounded, and take a severe mauling...


losing all 3 fate points...


Gandalf and Boromir were left trying to hold as many wargs as possible, off Sam and Frodo...


Elsewhere, Aragorn, Giml and Legolas, were each isolated and surrounded, with Legolas eventually falling on Turn 9...

Aragorn got his revenge on the WWC on the following turn, Turn 10, slaying the foul creature...


Turn 11, came and went, with the Fellowship just trying to hold on, and hoping for that tied priority roll to come to end their misery... allowing them to get away or the morale of these fell creatures to finally break...




...but no! Turn 13 came, and Sam fell...


With less Fellowship members left in the fight, keeping the pressure off Frodo was nigh on impossible, but the Fellowship made valiant attempts to do so, still calling heroic Moves and Fights and still slaying countless Wargs...


Frodo finally was forced to break free and try and make a run for it...


But he was quickly surrounded by Wargs... their speed easily outpacing him...


The remaining Fellowship members still coming to his aid to the best of their abilities... drawing wargs off him, leaving him fighting one, not three...


But eventually the inevitable happened...


... and Frodo fell on Turn 17, also being the fifth Fellowship member to fall....


And so a terrible end to the Quest of Mount Doom... And yet we can only say that, for our Quest to continue in a meaningful way, we must assume the force that drove these crazed creatures on, relented once the Ringbearer fell... Thus allowing the other members of the Fellowship, to come to the aid of their fallen comrades, who hopefully have not suffered fatal injuries, and can continue the Quest!

-----o0o-----

Phew what a slog! Once I read the scenario and saw the recycling Wargs, I knew this game was just going to come down to a matter of time... The Heroes are incredibly powerful, but as they run out of Might, and Fate, they start to become fatigued and thus can eventually be overwhelmed and that is what finally occurred...

Chris had been confident at the start thinking he could win this, and he certainly made light of the opening turns, but slowly and inexorably the tide began to turn...

On average the Fellowship killed 5 wargs per turn, over 17 turns, that's about 85 Wargs! Which works out at about 680 points, plus the WWC at 75 points, making over 750 points of enemy troops killed, for the loss of half the party, and only the weakest members too...

Out of curiosity, we continued rolling our priority dice to see just when the rolls would tie and the game would have ended... it didn't end till turn 33!

I have a feeling this mission is perhaps to allow the Fellowship player just to get a feel for using all the Fellowship Heroes and get used to all their special rules and abilities... consider it on the job training!

Chris did remarkable well with this, and already seems to know the heroes abilities and stats off by heart, a most impressive demonstration of memory and recall.

Lets hope the Fellowship have time to recover from this ordeal, in time for the next challenge, and the Watcher in the Water, outside the Doors of Durin!

-----o0o-----

Further thoughts...

Having written this report I realise we forgot to make use of Sting and the Mithril shirt for Frodo. I don't think either would have made a critical difference here, probably just delaying the end by a couple of turns...

What I think would have made a difference, is if the Fellowship, rather than making a defensive circle where they stood, had actually moved to put their backs to the large rock, near their position. If the hobbits had stood by the rock, the main fighters of the Fellowship could then have a made a crescent defence around them. Sure they would count as trapped if they lost any fights, but the larger bases of the wargs would mean less wargs getting at each individual hero each turn, and thus the heroes could probably hold their ground endlessly over many turns. Legolas could perhaps climb upon the rock and use it as a firing position... I don't think the wargs could climb upon the rock to reach him either?

So we will give this a try, and comment upon the final result...


Tuesday, April 22, 2014

The Watcher in the Water - Finished

 "There are fouler things than orcs in the deep places of the world!"... A wonderful line from Gandalf, that alluded to all manner of possibilities for creatures in the realm of  Middle-Earth...

I had always assumed in hindsight that it was Gandalf's hint at the threat of the Balrog, but I think it also covers the Watcher rather aptly, as there's no knowing where this thing came from...

This creature is GWs creation, and is based no doubt on the movie beastie, especially in the last moments of its scene where it appears to try and crawl out of the water to pull down the Doors of Durin.

So we have this huge beastie with eight tentacles and six legs and assorted other appendages...




I have painted it up as per the boxed image, but did a little more work on the base, as per prior post...



A couple of shots trying to show the face, its a tricky beastie to photograph, and get everything in focus...



The base, complete with Woodand Scenics Realistic Water for rock pools...


And yes I painted the underside! This was the most time consuming part, what felt like 'thousands' of fine flesh coloured lines...


I just have to varnish it, and then attach it to the base... though I am two minds to leave it off... it could be fun that way for photo work when it attacks the Fellowship!

Just some thoughts on the model. Its a big model and I am actually happy in retrospect, that it was cast in "Finecast". Although lengthy to trim ( and almost costing me my thumb!), and the other prep work, once done, it was fairly straight forward to paint...
It was relatively light weight, making handling easy - I recall doing the Balrog, Dragon and Fellbeast (all metal models) some time ago, yet recall how tired my hand would become holding up the weight of the models while painting them.
Also the tentacles were slightly flexible which at times allowed me to get the paintbrush between them more easily!
I must still say though, I wonder if I were to have to do it again, I might leave the tentacles off, and paint everything then attach the tentacles, but admittedly then concealing the joints would be the tricky part...

But not to worry, my Easter Weekend gave me some time to finish off this beastie!

-----o0o-----

In game terms its quite a fearsome beastie with S6 and 6 attacks, and will no doubt benefit from the new Monster brutal power attacks. It also has a rather interesting method of entering play- it is not deployed at start of game, but rather bursts up from underneath enemy models scattering their formation... that's perhaps a little bit gamey (and reminds me of the use of it in the video game, Battle for Middle Earth, where it is actually a 'special effect' in the game ), it would work OK where water features are present in the game, but in their absence it would seem a little odd...

Still it will be interesting to try it out and see how it plays...

-----o0o-----

I have since varnished up the model, giving it a coat of polyurethane gloss varnish, as I tend to do with all my models to protect the paintwork. I would then normally varnish over in matt... but I am inclined to leave this model glossy ... as its supposed to have just got out of the water... so should look wet!

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Watcher - Basing and painting... WIP

More progress with The Watcher over the last few weeks...

The base piece for the Watcher comes with a small rocky outcrop, with the skeletal remains of 3 dwarves  lying up on it. But the rest of the base would be flat with no further detail. So I wanted to build it up a bit, and used a bit of cork tile, some DAS clay, a little Greenstuff and some model railway ballast to jazz it up a bit. I cut two holes in the cork tile, these will be filled with Woodlands Scenics - Realistic Water to effect two murky pools as befits the Watchers watery realm...


The completed Watcher was spray undercoated black then base coated in Foundry 28A Phlegm Green... The base was also black undercoated...


The tentacles also received the same treatment. These have been mounted on 3mm MDF 40mm discs.


I have subsequently washed the Watcher and tentacles in Vallejo Back wash, and then dry brushed up the base in shades of gray and made a start painting the skeletal dwarves.

The green areas were then drybrushed back up with 28A, then 28B...

For those not 'in the know', Foundry do a great range of paints with each colour available in three shades; dark being A, mid tone B, and highlight C. So you always know which pot of paint to grab! Easy! And they can now be purchased as individual paints, rather than only as sets of 3, as you always use more of the darker and mid tone shades than the highlights... You also get 18mls of paint per pot, compared to 12ml in GW paints...

The under sides were then painted up in Foundry Flesh 5A..., washed with a GW Ogryn Flesh wash, and highlight lined with Foundry 5B Flesh.... this was the laborious part...

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Blogging scene

After all the negativity that is sometimes attributed to social media, I am frequently pleased to find what a wholesome, vibrant and supportive community we hobbyists are...

Recent events of good fortune that have come my way, pretty much purely via blogging, and comments therein, which have lead to greater contact, despite often being 1000's of miles apart.... include...

Receiving a free of charge Golfimbul (Foot and Mounted) from Panagiotis with his great blog Dramatickatastases  ...all the way from Greece. Thanks again Panagiotis!

At the end of last year, I was the luckily selected recipient off a freebie handout from Leif, who hosts Figurfanatikern, of some PSC 15mm German half-tracks and pack of 15mm German infantry... these coming to me all the way from Iceland! Perfect for me to make some more Stummels with the conversion kits I had left over... Cheers Lief!

Earlier this year, on the back of a post about the 40th Anniversary of D&D, Millsy of the wonderful blog; Canister and Grape blog, got in touch and offered me his collection of old supplements for MERP (Middle-Earth Roleplay), for free! Millsy was sending from Australia to NZ, so I offered to pay the shipping costs via Paypal, and a wonderfully nostalgic pile of Middle-Earth RPG reading material arrived at my door shortly after! Many thanks Millsy!

Another fortunate event occured when I sought a model I needed for my LOTR Fellowship of the Ring campaign. This time success was made thanks to the Facebook Wargamers Buy Swap and Sell Group. A request here for the now discontinued mounted model of the WitchKing of Angmar, had a fine chap called Justin Whitney, come through with the goods, and a deal was arranged :-) Result! Cheers Justin!

The most recent event, was thanks to Tim Kulinski, author of The Legends of the High Seas, and purveyor of the fine blog, Cursed Treasures. Tim had spotted my LOTR wants list in my blog side bar and got in touch to offer up Gandalf the Grey on horse, a now discontinued model that thus has some rarity value. Some emailing back and forth followed, and in the end Tim sent me a parcel containing a load of cool LOTR goodies, as he's decided to take a break from the game. These included:

Gandalf the Grey on horse
4 plastic Wood Elves
Cirion and Madril
Arwen Mounted with Frodo
Galadriel, Mirror and Celeborn
The Death of the WitchKing set
Then some 'cool' stuff - a T-shirt from the 'Gathering in the Desert', a special limited edition hobbit farmer and some Bilbo's-Birthday-bash dice!

Wow, what a treasure trove of LOTR goodness! Admittedly some of the sets I already had, but now I have spares for diorama work, or to trade on... but I really loved the cool stuff, and Gandalf of course!

Thanks a million Tim!

In return I offered to paint up some figures for Tim. Tim said surprise me, so I had a rummage through my leadpile and looked back through Tim's blog posts, hoping to find something to match his interests...

Tim is a fan of the Pulp Genre, and I happened to have a Reaper Flesh Golum and Plague Zombie spare that I hoped would fit the bill. These I painted up and sent over to him, with a pile of left over Flames of War goodies, as that's a game I am pretty much getting out of now...




Reaper Flesh Golum


I figured the flesh golum would be very Frankenstein-ish, so should fit the bill quite well, and you can never have enough zombies right?


Reaper Plague Zombie


With the Plague Zombie I got to try out some of the new GW technical paints and had a play with the rust, blood and rot effects... quite nifty I thought! Though I did find the blood and rot, work better applied after the matt varnish...

So I guess I just wanted to thank all my fellow bloggers and hobbyists for making the hobby social networks a great place to be. Long may it continue!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Market goods, and some mold making.

A couple of parcels arrived at Easter, so I guess they are Easter prezzies to me! First up was a set of Supplies and Groceries from TabletopWorld.


These are wonderfully generic enough to suit many settings including LOTR (Hobbiton), and both Empire of the Dead and Pirates gaming for a town square market area. I just need to build some market stalls out of balsa and drape over the top some striped awnings...

The next up was some InstantMold ordered from "CoolMini-or-not"...


I watched a how to on Google plus showing the instant mold in use and thought it would be great to try to copy 'single surface' pieces...

 Put the above two pictures together and I guess you can see where I am going with this...?

I also hope to do some more shields for my various LOTR troops... the uses are endless, as is the mold material; being re-usable!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Shagrat and the Wild Warg Chieftain - revisited

We enjoyed a relatively short notice game of LOTR at the weekend; a doubles game, Father and Son vs Father and Son, taking place on Sunday...

Brett and his son Rhys, coming down for some LOTR fun against me and Chris...

Brett has a collection of mostly good LOTR troops, and wanted a refresher in the rules of the game, especially now with the new rules from the Hobbit book in action... He brought with him some Gondorians lead by Faramir and allied in some Galadhrim with Haldir and Legolas.

We played a 600 points basic 'To The Death' game just to go through the ropes of the game.

I normally like to play only with troops I have painted, but this game I fancied trying a few different things out, that were unpainted or just black undercoated, so I didn't take any pictures of the game.

And I wanted to try out Shagrat as my Evil force leader, who I had but still in blister pack, and decided he would be quick to paint up as he is mostly just dark armour... so out came the brushes...

He led a force of Morannon Orcs assisted by Kardush, and also the Mouth of Sauron leading some Morgul knights...


Shagrat the War leader of Cirith Ungol


Equipped with Shield of Cirith Ungol

The game went well for all of us, with mayhem and brutality on both sides, but with an early finish needed, the game was called a One-All draw, as we both scored points for a having banner.

Main thing was Brett and Rhys enjoyed it and got more acquainted with the rules and subtleties of the new army list creation using warbands.

Shagrat didn't do too bad either killing a couple of Gondorians himself thanks to his shield bash knock down rule, and then holding off a late charge by Faramir and Haldir! For once I didn't have a model die, succumbing to the newly painted model syndrome! ;-)

I'll definitely be using Shagrat again - I now need to paint up some Mordor Uruks for him to lead!

The Morannon Orcs were certainly an improvement, with their tough armour, over the Mordor Orcs, which seem to die like flies to the elven archery... Kardush also had some fun too; Channelling Fury early on, but then all 7 orcs that died near him , all failed their 5+ save, curses! He then made use of his abilities to recharge his Will, at the expense of the life of a nearby orc, life is cruel in the evil ranks! He then targeted the Gondorian Banner bearer with a Fireball but then fluffed the casting the roll on a 2! Still I guess it did demonstrate his potential... The Mouth of Sauron did OK, at one point transfixing Legolas just to keep him from shooting for a turn, and the Morgul knights did OK, though I got too close with my first move and then suffered an elven charge to start, though thankfully their armour saved them and they then started cutting down the Galadhrim infantry...

Brett had anchored the other end of his line well in a ruin and this demonstrated the bonus of holding a defended position. Shagrat did managed to break through the centre of the good battle line, but then was confronted by Faramir and Haldir, though withstood their attentions. And this pretty much ended our game as Brett had to get away...

Very enjoyable fun!
-----o0o-----

Also over the weekend I revisited my Wild Warg Chieftain, I gave him another coat of matt varnish then had some fun with UHU glue; adding saliva to his gaping jaws!




A neat trick I learned from The Dead Marsh Spectre - thanks for that! :-)


Now I just need to get him into action in our continuing Fellowship of the Ring campaign... The Hounds of Sauron, is next up, as our Fellowship sets out on the Quest for Mount Doom!

More work on the Watcher also went well over the weekend, which I'll update you with in another blog post soon....

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Dwarven Gold!

Dwarven gold, recovered from Eebor, from under the very claws of Smaug!

My son recently started 'big school' and made a new friend there. When it came up in conversation we were big LOTR / Hobbit fans, it turned out his father had some 'connections'... and guess what he brought in for us...

Yep they made real metal coins for the movie, goodness knows how many!


One side had a dwarven face... the other what looks like a ship with a row of shields along the side, much like a viking longboat... at least that's how it appears to my eyes...


Another object that will take pride of place in my display cabinet :-)

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...