After the abysmal failure of the Orcs of Mordor to run amok in the lands of Rivendell, Saruman decides to unleash his army of Uruk-Hai, unbridled hate made flesh, against the Elves of Elrond.
To that end, scouting parties have been dispatched to cause trouble in the surrounding lands, but the Elves are prepared to stand fast and repel the invaders no matter the cost.
This week's game is actually one of the older Battle in Middle earth magazine ones, tracing all the way back to issue 4. It features the High Elves, who at all costs must defend from the Uruk-hai breaking through. And it will also be the scenario and forces I will use when teaching new players the base mechanics of the game in the coming weeks.
The table is a 3` by 3` area, through which a road runs in the center and the Uruk-Hai must cross the table and exit on the opposing side. The Uruk-Hai deploy on their edge, and the Elves must remain at least 18" from them initially. In order to win, the evil side must exit at least 5 models from the opposite edge, while the Elves must slay 6 of them to win.
The only special rule in play with the scenario, is that the Elves will fight to the last man, and as such do not have to take Broken tests should this occur.
So Noshi took command of her golden clad warriors, 4 each of warriors with Elven Blades and Elven Bows.
Opposing them are the elite troops of the evil side (or better said, the best they can field of basic troop types) in the form of the Uruk-Hai, 6 equipped with a Shield and 4 with a Pike.
The first turn is rather uneventfull, as the forces of Evil advance while the Elves take some pot shots at them. But as soon as they came into the bottleneck, the first Uruk-hai is felled by an elven arrow.
The forces of Evil charge in, but perhaps more even then the Defence, the high Fight of the Elves comes into play. Who cares how much one needs to wound, if one doesn`t get a chance to strike in the first place.
The Elven swordsmen fight as hell unleashed, but as another Uruk-hai falls to Elven archery, two of the pride of Elrond are mowed down.
With one flank broken, 5 of the Uruk-hai rush towards the goal in order to secure victory, as the other ones engage the remaining warriors. But alas for my target, the Elves shoot down one of the running warriors, preventing the victory for now as only 4 will be able to secure victory.
With another Elven swordsman cut down, two more break off from the combat and decide to make a run for it, because with the 5+ and 6+ to wounds needed, they stand a fair chance to pass by the 4 Elven archers, while the last warrior ties up the last Elf in combat.
Enter Noshi's "crunch time dice rolling", as in one volley, both the Uruk-hai are felled barely inches from the edge. It all comes down now to the last warrior, and as the Elven swordsman keeps falling back to close the gap and hopefully create an open field of fire, the fierce Uruk-hai keeps locking into combat to help him from shooting every time he gets priority. And edging dangerously close now to the edge.
Only to be struck down by the Elven Swordsman... and winning the game for Noshi.
Well, that didn`t went as planned. I had hoped to "box in" my troops and steamroller through the table, but soon the high Fight value of the elves broke this up and isolated groups decided to run for safety. With their relative high Defence, this was a viable option, and 4 did get off, but four of the remainder where literally put down one move from the boardedge.
I do not know to which of the ancient gods Noshi prays, but during crunchtime her dice seem to go into "auto 6" modus...
That being said, this is a good scenario indeed to teach people the game, as it plays rather smoothly, doesn`t take in to much special rules and such, and uses only basic troops. The game lasts about an hour as well, so with explaining rules and the likes, I guess I can convert people to the real wargame at about 2 games per clubevening...
Let`s see how much this game can take over the club tables...
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