Friday 25 June 2021

My First Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game game and I actually get to roll some dice


How very exciting, I actually got to meet up with a friend Otty on Tuesday, and play Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game (SBG) and I got to roll some dice   Otty invited round to his house so he could show me his amazing board, figures and teach me the rules......Finally.

So the Mission was Fords of Isen part 1, I was to be the evil side "Mwa-ha-ha-haaaa"!

I have to Kill Theodred and get 12 figures across the ford to win, Otty had to stop me and he had reinforcements on the way just had to hold on.

Ok first of all I've never played before and Otty has only played with his son, admittedly about a billion times and mistakes where made :)

Set up complete and the good go first, I set up with a couple of guys with in charge range of Theodred because he has to charge, and I could lure him into a trap - Erm that's not how it turned out.

The Trap was set he charged in and then I counter charged in and encircled him so he could not retreat, I even charged in with my General.

Shooting was ineffectual from the Rohan peasants and my Uruk scouts and Vrasku only manage to kill two archers.

Combat and disaster for me.  

 I lost the initiative and the combat, we all got pushed back and Theodred mortally wounded my general I have to use Might and Fate to keep him alive, 

The next few turns I forgot to take photos, but I'll just say this Theodred is suppose to die or be mortally wounded in this scenery, but the Way Otty was rolling that was never going to happen.  Three turns of combat saw him kill my general and countless Uruks and Dunmen.  So I changed tactics I finally won the initiative and got to move first.  I couldn't kill Theodred in combat I'll shoot him to death, we did it to Boromir.  I moved one Dunman into combat with Theodred and moved everybody else to form a defensive line to stop his troops reaching him.   My plan was shoot into combat and kill Theodred, I could because I was Evil "Mwa-ha-ha-haaaa"!

I sent my Wargs in to slow down the Rohan advance. 

Otty's rolling and aim was formidable, a spear killed my Warg and the archer peasant killed the Uruk.  How the peasants had stayed alive for so long was a complete mystery, all shooting up until this point was useless, then all came good for Otty, as he systematically whittled me down

Back to the Main event, as I said my plan was to put one lonely man in combat with Theodred and shoot him with everything I had.  I did manage to kill his horse and get him to spend all his Might and Fate points.  The two turns where I actually had the initiative I managed keep him in combat with one guy, who I would obviously shoot and kill by accident and just when I thought I had him I lost the initiative and he charged into the main fray and was lost. I lost my chance.... 

Things where not going well for me else where in the battle, after successfully crossing the first part of the river a freak wave hit with white horses on the tops came crashing down on my other Uruk scouts and killed all but 2 ( I rolled 4 1's... oh come on)

I also had a Warg that lost his rider which also perished in the water depths of Gandalf's magic

The sun was setting on the battlefield Otty's reinforcements hadn't turned up, but it was clear he would not need them.  I alone had killed 9 of my own men, three to shooting into combat and the 12 swim tests I had to make, I rolled six ones.  luck was not on my side.

To summarise, the game was great we had a great time with some excellent forging of the narratives and mini battles that went on in the Game.   

My only bit of luck was I had two Wargs who would not die no matter who they faced.  Grimbald and his Rohan cronies charged and killed one Warg and he did it with a heroic charge which means if he wins the combat he and his cronies could charge and fight again, so he did and charged the second Warg that wouldn't die no matter how many people he faced and this time he was trapped, that was to be the last act of Grimbald as my heroic Warg the only one who actually was killing anyone won the combat again knocked them all back (as he charged a lonely Helmingas) and faced Grimbald and killed him.

Would should have I done differently?  
1. not let Otty roll any dice, he won 90% of all roll offs which was mightily painful.   
2. my tactics of shooting the hell out of Theodred did work I just needed a little luck and don't get my general involved in that fight or anybody else for that matter, Theodred is a monster in combat. 
3. afterwards we learned that the Wargs can swim and don't need to take a swimming test. as long as they still have their riders (bugger I wish I knew that)
4. kill all peasants - because after turn 4 they magically turn into wood elves start dancing around and never miss and kill everything in sight
5. Uruks with bows cannot hit a barn door, even if the arrow was half stuck in the aforementioned barn door, so just charge them into combat.

To check out more of Otty's handy work on Youtube please follow this link and this link

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