DeAgostini The Lord of the Rings Campaign – The Two Towers – Scenario 4: The Wrath of Rohan

Friday 19 July 2019 – Éomer and his Riders of Rohan stumble upon a camp of Orcs and Uruk-hai. What they don’t know is that the Orcs carry a Hobbit captive, Peregrin Took (Merry has previously been rescued by Aragorn and Gimli in the scenario ‘Ambush at Amon Hen). This scenario is found in DeAgostini BGiME magazine #18.

Éomer and 12 Riders of Rohan attack a group of 8 Uruk-hai Scouts with shield (led by Uglúk, who took over from the now deceased Lurtz) and 8 Orc warriors, who are led by Grishnákh. Uglúk has taken hold of Pippin and tries to drag him to Fangorn. This means he has to half his movement every turn. The Rohirrim don’t know that the Orcs have a captive, so I’m playing this scenario in such a manner that they are only interested in slaying all enemies (including making sure no one escapes). Evil wins if Pippin is abducted to Fangorn or all Good models are slain, Good wins if Pippin is freed and reaches Fangorn on his own or if all Evil models are slain. Pippin cannot be attacked, only captured. Good will receive 5 bonus victory points if they win, Evil will score 3 bonus victory points if they win.

The Rohirrim decide to hold their positions and let the enemies come to them. That way, they can take advantage of their cavalry charge bonuses and can shoot their bows from a relaxed distance. Not wanting to be sitting ducks, the Orcs and Uruk-hai move up, though they do this carefully to stay out of charging range the next turn. Meanwhile, Uglúk moves his prisoner away towards Fangorn.

The Rohirrim take down 2 Orcs by bowfire. The next turn, another Orc spearmen is slain by the Rohan bows. This time, the Orcs do move into potential cavalry charge range. Bad news for Good: Evil gets priority. Having played this scenario prior, not having the cavalry advantages is catastrophic for Rohan, so Éomer decides to call a Heroic Move. Grishnákh reacts to this by doing the same thing however and wins the roll-off. The orcs hurry to swarm the Rohan riders.

As mentioned before, the Rohan Riders really need their cavalry advantages in this scenario. Four Rohan Riders are slain in the Fight phase, whereas Evil only loses 1 Uruk and 1 Orc. The next turn, Good thankfully manages to retake Priority. However, Grishnákh can’t let that happen and calls a Heroic Move. Éomer responds by doing the same and wins the roll-off this time.

Nevertheless, another 2 Riders of Rohan are slain, while the men of Rohan only kill one Orc. Éomer successfully kills an Uruk and Grishnákh. He now sees that an Uruk (Uglúk) is trying to escape to the forest and hurries towards him. Another Rohan Rider also sees the escaping Uruk and also commences a chase.

There is still some fighting at the edges of the board, but the only thing that matters for the scenario is whether Pippin is abducted or freed. Uglúk only needs one more turn worth of movement to successfully take the poor Hobbit to Fangorn. Evil wins Priority. Éomer expends his final point of Might to call a Heroic Move, which would be enough to charge Uglúk. However, Uglúk responds by also calling a Heroic Move and winning the roll-off, thus taking Pippin to Fangorn.

The Rohirrim were too late to save Pippin…

Aftermath

Evil wins the scenario and gains 3 + 3 bonus victory points, now totalling 14 victory points. Good gets 2 points for killing Grishnákh, which means they now have 5 victory points. Because Evil has more victory points, they will get 100 bonus points worth of troops in the next scenario. Grishnákh is now dead in the campaign, while Éomer and Uglúk are still alive.

Post-game thoughts

The above report is actually the third time I played this scenario today. The first time I hadn’t properly taken into account the movements with regards to cavalry charge bonuses at the start of the game and unintentionally let all the Orcs and Uruks swamp the Rohan Riders. This was catastrophic for Good and resulted in a very clear victory for Evil, even killing Éomer. That would have resulted in 8 victory points for Evil and 0 for Good! I do want to play this campaign in a fair way so I was planning on just writing up that report and simply going with it. However, then I realised that the whole thing was clearly a mistake on my part. I made bad tactical decisions because of my inexperience with playing cavalry. Because those decisions had such a huge impact on the game, I decided to replay it.

When I did however, I didn’t take into account that the Orcs also wouldn’t just be cannon fodder for the cavalry. This time Good just completely swamped the Evil models, which would likely have resulted in a major victory for Good. So then I decided to replay it one final time, now taking into account proper tactical decisions and manoeuvres for both sides, the result of which I described in this battle report. As you can read, Priority plays a very important role in this scenario. This is somewhat mitigated by both sides having at least 3 Might to call Heroic Moves, but even then the resulting roll-offs have a huge impact on the game. The above play I think is reasonably representative of the average of the two previous plays, slightly favouring Evil with Priority. In the end, the game came down to a 50/50 roll-off between Uglúk successfully escaping and Éomer and 2 Riders successfully charging Uglúk before he got away. Of course I had hoped the latter would happen, but alas, the dice gods decided otherwise.

Despite the heavy reliance on luck and dice rolls in this scenario, I did enjoy playing it. While any side can very quickly be decimated very fast, the scenario itself is fun and fast. I also really enjoyed the setting / terrain. The camp props such as tents and campfire are some of the first pieces of terrain I built for this campaign, I guess about 7 years ago. I also really like the Citadel Woods trees for representing Fangorn forest (saves me from having to make those trees myself, which I tried but wasn’t a success for me). Officially the participants mention 6 Riders of Rohan + 12 Warriors of Rohan, but the magazine itself encourages to use 12 Riders of Rohan and no Warriors instead. I agree with their recommendation, it makes for very fast gameplay and is more thematic. I would definitely recommend this scenario for standalone play because it is very fun, though I would put a disclaimer saying it’s very luck dependent.

In the next scenario, the Three Hunters and Merry witness first hand the destruction of Rohan villages caused by Saruman’s forces. They’ll have to send word to Théoden in Edoras. Will they be able to deliver the message?

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DeAgostini The Lord of the Rings Campaign – The Two Towers – Scenario 3: The Fords of Isen

Sunday 14 July 2019 – Saruman has sent Orcs and Uruk-hai towards Théoden’s son, Théodred, hoping to slay him, further weakening Rohan’s strength. Théodred and a handful of his warriors (8 on Foot, 1 Rohan Royal Guard banner bearer Mounted) will defend a key crossing in the river Isen. They are ambushed by Saruman’s forces and their only hope is for reinforcements (Éomer and 6 Riders of Rohan) to arrive. This scenario can be found in DeAgostini BGiME magazine #65.

An Uruk-hai Captain, 4 Uruk bowmen, an Orc Captain, 4 Warg Riders and 12 Orc warriors are what the men of Rohan have to face. The odds are against the Good player, though reinforcements could arrive as early as the start of turn 2. Starting at turn 2, a D6 is rolled. On a 6 all reinforcements arrive. Every turn after that, the number of eyes on the dice needed for the reinforcements to arrive decreases by 1, to a minimum of 2+ starting from turn 6. The men of Rohan are determined to defend their position and therefore automatically pass all courage tests. Like in the film, there is heavy raining, meaning the range of all missile weapons is halved, the river is overflowing and requires strict swimming test and all movement is reduced by 1 inch.

Evil wins if Théodred is slain, the Good side wins if Théodred and Éomer are both alive after all Evil models have been removed from the board, otherwise the game is a draw. In the first turn Evil moves up. One Warg Rider charges a Rohan warrior. None of the shooting of either side hits anything, but the Warg Rider slays the Rohan man.

Despite losing the first model, Good is incredibly lucky as at the start of turn 2, a 6 is rolled and Éomer and his Riders arrive.

It will take one more turn before the Riders of Éomer can actually charge, but they move up. The forces of Saruman decide to thin out the river defenders first and deal with Éomer later, so they try to fight as much as possible. On the right side of the river, things look good for Good, Théodred calls a Heroic combat and slays three orcs. On the left side of the river, the enemies overwhelm the Rohirrim stationed there, led by the Uruk-hai captain who calls a Heroic move and later a Heroic combat.

Carnage ensues on the right-hand side of the river, Théodred is in full form and Éomer and his Riders really even the numbers. The Orc captain is quickly disposed of, without having performed anything noteworthy.

Once the right-hand side of the river is (almost) clear of enemies, Théodred and Éomer cross the river and deal with the final invaders. The Uruk-hai captain still puts up somewhat of a fight and forces Théodred to use a Heroic Strike, but he is no match for the combined forces of Théodred and Éomer and ultimately perishes. The rest of the Orcs have either been slain or fled in cowardice (it seems a sensible thing to do, though).

Aftermath

Evil still has 8 victory points, Good went from 0 to 3 by winning this scenario. Théodred is alive and well, meaning he can participate later in the campaign. If Good had more victory points than the Evil player, he could have already joined forces with Éomer and rescue the captives in the next scenario. Théodred slayed 5 enemies, Éomer killed 2.

Post-game thoughts

Initially Good seemed a bit outnumbered. However, since I’m playing with the new profiles, both Théodred and Éomer have been significantly buffed compared to their original profile (Théodred went from 2 to 3 Attack, gained 3 Will and 1 Fate; Éomer went from 2 Attack and 2 Wounds to 3 Attack and 3 Wounds and also has an additional Will and Fate point). It seemed the moment of Éomer’s arrival would be quite vital for this scenario.

Fortunately for Good, reinforcements came quick. So much so that any sense of tension was quickly lost after rolling this 6. It’s nice to have Good win a scenario for once in the Two Towers campaign, though I do wish there would’ve been a bit more excitement and sense of danger here.

I don’t think I’ve ever made it this far into the DeAgostini campaign in my life. So while the scenario itself was a bit of a let down, I am very happy to have made it to this point. I am also quite pleased with my painting of the Rohirrim, particularly the Royal guards and the named heroes. I believe I have definitely progressed a bit since I started preparing for the campaign, though it is of course (and will be) a far cry from the skills of other people. The photos don’t really do them justice, probably because I am a bad (miniature) photographer.

In the next scenario, Éomer and his Riders will stumble on a camp of Orcs and Uruks. What he doesn’t know is that this gang of Orcs actually hold a valuable captive…

DeAgostini The Lord of the Rings Campaign – The Two Towers – Scenario 2: The Forbidden Pool

Sunday 05 May 2019 – Orcs have attacked the camp where Frodo, Sam and Gollum are being held, at the secret base of the Rangers, the Forbidden Pool. This scenario is described in DeAgostini BGiME magazine #63. 12 Rangers of Gondor and Faramir protect their base against 3 Orc captains and 24 Mordor Orcs. Because Evil won last scenario, an additional 12 Orcs and a banner bearer are added to the forces of Evil. Faramir, Captain of the Rangers, knows the importance of Frodo’s quest and decides to aid their escape and protect them from the attackers.

The objective of the Good side is to move Frodo and Sam off one of the board edges where the Orcs deploy, to let them continue their journey towards Mordor. The Evil side wins if either Frodo is killed or if all the rangers (including Faramir) are slain. The game is a draw if Frodo makes it off the board but Sam is killed. The scenario takes place at night, meaning prior to a Shooting or Charging action, a D6 is rolled. Only on a 4+ can the action be performed, otherwise the model may no move no more that turn. Gollum can see in the dark just fine so he is the only one who doesn’t have to take this extra test.

Following Gollum as their guide, the hobbits cross the river, because that path seems safer. The orcs are moving up, but the ranger’s bow fire is very ineffective because of the lighting conditions.

The orcs are ready to charge some rangers and an Evil priority win causes some orcs to ambush the hobbits. Not wanting that to happen, Frodo spends a point of Might to Heroic Move. Not wanting to let anyone escape, the orc captain also performs a Heroic Move. Evil wins the roll-off and the hobbits are attacked. A ranger comes to the rescue of Frodo and Gollum, but Sam has no luck: he is paired with two orcs and an orc captain. Wanting to aid his buddy Sam, Frodo calls a Heroic combat. They slay the orc and manage to take some heat off Sam by charging into one orc in his combat, though they fail to wound him. Sam’s situation is dire as he loses the fight and receives 3 wounds. He barely makes it, with one Wound left, having spend all his Might and Fate points to survive.

The rangers are outnumbered, their shooting hindered greatly by the darkness. The hobbits have a bit more luck these turns now that most orcs are unable to find the hobbits in the dark, thus not being able to charge. Not wanting any harm to come to his master, Gollum fights in a rage and kills two orcs. Realizing Sam is so close to his death, Frodo shouts to run for it and Sam does so. He jumps to the top of the hill, though falls flat on his face after jumping down. Slowly things are looking better for the Fellowship.

But not for the rangers. Some of the rangers are bravely buying time for our heroes, so that the Ringbearer can escape. But they pay the price with their death. Below the river, only Faramir is left alive from Good and he is surrounded by many orcs, with no hope of escape.

By spending his final two points of Might, Faramir wins the fight, but is unable to wound any orc. A turn later, Faramir too dies and the orcs focus their attention towards the few rangers atop the waterfall.

Leaderless, broken and faced with a horde of orcs coming for them at night, two of the four rangers atop the waterfall flee. Our Ringbearer heroes are now free to travel further towards Mordor, but if the orcs manage to kill the rest of the rangers (or if they flee from their ‘Broken’ courage tests), Evil will still win the scenario.

A single courageous ranger remains standing on the battlefield and he tries to buy our heroes some time. Unfortunately, his fright has gotten the better of him the next turn, meaning the Ringbearer and companions haven’t made it in time towards the board edge, netting Evil another victory.

Aftermath

Having slain a named hero and having won the scenario, Evil gains another 5 victory points, placing them at a total of 8 victory points where Good still has 0. That means the next scenario to be played will be The Fords of Isen. Faramir rolled a ‘3’ on the ‘Death of a Hero’ roll, meaning he isn’t permanently dead, though he does have to do without his Fate points in the next scenario he will participate. The orcs have overrun the secret ranger base and all rangers have either fled or been slain. This was very much a military victory for the forces of Evil, though Frodo, Sam and Gollum did manage to sneak away and continue their quest. All hope is not lost yet, though things are looking dark for the Good side.

Post-game thoughts

From the start I was worried for the Good side. With the cover of darkness, the ranger’s greatest strength (archery) would be muted. They were vastly outnumbered by the orcs and had to deal with 3 orc captains (and a banner bearer). There was no way they could just defeat the orcs and then allow the Ringbearers to move away. I played the scenario thematically, meaning I didn’t send every orc on the hunt for the ring. After all, they would have no idea that the ring is there. Still, I did play like the orcs wouldn’t want anyone escaping, so the Ringbearers were definitely hunted.

There was definitely some poor dice rolling for Good. I think maybe a total of four or six orcs were killed by bowfire the entire scenario, even though there were at least 4 rangers continuously shooting every turn. Had Evil not had the extra troops, had Good had some more luck with dice rolling, had it not been night, had the rangers still had access to volley fire (I play these scenarios with the current edition of the rules, so no volley fire), maybe Good would have actually won the scenario by letting Frodo and Sam escape from the board edge. That’s a big maybe. I definitely feel like this scenario is favourable for the Evil player. I think it is for this reason I didn’t like this scenario too much… Frodo, Sam and Gollum are so vulnerable, having to travel in the direction of the orcs. And the rangers are so incredibly outnumbered, especially considering their shooting in this scenario is statistically as efficient as regular orc bow fire.

The farthest I have gotten in this DeAgostini campaign in my life is right here, after this scenario. I think I just forgot about it after that, which was probably something like 10 years ago. I do remember not being terribly fond of this scenario back then either. Thematically I definitely dig it, but I think Good needs some form of extra benefit. I doubt volley fire alone will be enough. Not taking Broken tests may have also helped and I know you are not supposed to take them during Narrative Play. But not doing so didn’t feel right to me. After all, their leader and more than half of their comrades had fallen in combat, they were surrounded by a seemingly endless stream of orcs and their secret base was discovered. These rangers are mostly just regular men, having a Courage value of just 3. I definitely understand why some of the rangers fled.

In the next scenario, our eyes turn towards Rohan. There Théodred is outnumbered and ambushed by orcs, who are sent by Saruman to take out King Théoden’s son.

DeAgostini The Lord of the Rings Campaign – The Two Towers – Scenario 1: Ambush in Ithilien

Wednesday 01 May 2019 – Welcome back, dear reader. This is the start of The Two Towers campaign, as described in the DeAgostini magazines. The first scenario is Ambush in Ithilien, which can be found in DeAgostini BGiME magazine #26. It pits 6 Rangers of Gondor against 12 Mordor Orcs. In turn 4, Faramir and 6 other Rangers will arrive as reinforcements. However, 1 Mordor Orc Captain and 24 more Mordor Orcs will arrive in the same turn. The objective of Good is to kill 20 enemy models, while Evil only has to kill 6 enemy models.

This scenario represents an ambush performed by the Rangers of Gondor, as they spot a battalion of Orcs marching in the direction of the secret base of the Rangers in the Forbidden Pool. If they fail to stop the orcs, the next scenario will have an additional 12 Mordor Orcs and 1 Banner bearer. So it is paramount the Rangers stop the Orc threat…

You might notice a gap in the Orc horde in the final picture. Because it’s an ambush by the Rangers, before the first turn, all six Rangers get a free Shooting action. They managed to kill 2 Orcs this way. Playing it smart, the Orcs all gather to rush towards the same side. That way they can stay together and more easily slay the Ranger models. After all, only 6 kills are needed…

The rangers have the high ground, which means it takes the Orcs a little while to reach them.

Turn 4 arrives, which also heralds the coming of the rest of the Orcs and rangers. The three rangers opposite of the orcs know they are now screwed and are trying to regroup with Faramir.

Fighting ensues and the best option the rangers have to seem to all group together on the large hill, holding strong until 20 orcs have been killed. So far, things have been going rather well with Good. Many rangers managed to win their fights, even when outnumbered. Though actually killing the orcs seems hard. Then at a crucial point, Evil regains Priority and the three lone rangers are doomed…

Things are tense when 15 orcs have been slain and 3 Rangers… But the successive Priority rolls of Evil and the advances of the Orc captain make an end to the Rangers successes. There are too many rangers surrounded, the Good side’s only hope now is to have a very successful round of shooting. But it is not meant to bad, in the end 17 orcs have died, while 7 rangers have met their end, granting a win for Evil.

Post-game thoughts
In all my plays of this scenario over the years, things have always been challenging for Good, having never won in this scenario. This has probably been the most successful play of this scenario for the Good player in my history of playing this game. Good had some lucky dice rolls, where Rangers won fights they probably shouldn’t have. At the same time, this wasn’t too outrageous and the Rangers weren’t so lucky with their To Wound rolls. Evil winning Priority in the final two turns and bad shooting by Good really put the final nail in the coffin for Good. I think Good does have a chance of winning this scenario, but they’d have to be quite lucky. Had Evil not won Priority those final two turns, Good might have actually scored a narrow victory here. At the same time, Good had had Priority for most turns before that so it seems reasonable that Evil would eventually get it.

It was certainly a fun scenario and really close in the end. Sympathising with Good, the whole scenario felt tense from the start. For a more balanced play of this scenario I think the victory conditions would need to be slightly altered – for example Good requiring 18 Evil kills, and/or Evil requiring 7 or 8 Good kills. That way it probably would have been closer. Nevertheless the scenario was fun, so that is the most important part, at least for me.

The campaign continues in the next scenario, where a party of orcs raid the secret ranger base, The Forbidden Pool, in the night. Because of the Evil victory in this scenario, the Evil player will have an additional 12 orc warriors and a banner bearer at his disposal.

Fellowship of the Ring statistics

Here are some statistics for the Fellowship of the Ring DeAgostini campaign:

Total number of scenarios: 8

Number of Good victories: 7

Number of Draws: 1

Number of Evil victories: 0

Total number of kills performed by named Heroes: 126 for Good, 1 for Evil

Total number of unique miniatures used (excluding different Hero poses): 16 for Good, 62 for Evil
Total number of miniature participants used (excluding respawns and continuation characters): 16 for Good, 132 for Evil

Frodo: Kills: 1 | Deaths: 0 | Scenarios participated: 7 | Avg # Kills / scenario: 0.14
Sam: Kills: 2 | Deaths: 0 | Scenarios participated: 7 | Avg # Kills / scenario: 0.29
Merry: Kills: 0 | Deaths: 1 | Scenarios participated: 8 | Avg # Kills/ scenario: 0.00
Pippin: Kills: 5 | Deaths: 1 | Scenarios participated: 8 | Avg # Kills/ scenario: 0.63
Aragorn: Kills: 35 | Deaths: 0 | Scenarios participated: 7 | Avg # Kills/ scenario: 5.00
Legolas: Kills: 25 | Deaths: 0 | Scenarios participated: 5 | Avg # Kills/ scenario: 5.00
Gimli: Kills: 18 | Deaths: 0 | Scenarios participated: 5 | Avg # Kills/ scenario: 3.60
Gandalf the Grey: Kills: 17 | Deaths: 1 | Scenarios participated: 3 | Avg # Kills/ scenario: 5.67
Boromir: Kills: 18 | Deaths: 1 | Scenarios participated: 5 | Avg # Kills/ scenario: 3.60
Haldir: Kills: 4 | Deaths: 0 | Scenarios participated: 1 | Avg # Kills/ scenario: 4.00
Galadriel: Kills: 1 | Deaths: 0 | Scenarios participated: 1 | Avg # Kills/ scenario: 1.00

Lurtz: Kills: 1 | Deaths: 1 | Scenarios participated: 1 | Avg # Kills/ scenario: 1.00
Balrog: Kills: 0 | Deaths: 1 | Scenarios participated: 1 | Avg # Kills/ scenario: 0.00

Most kills: Aragorn (35)
Most deaths: Merry, Pippin, Boromir, Gandalf the Grey, Lurtz, Balrog (1)
Highest Avg # Kills /scenario: Gandalf the Grey (5.67)


DeAgostini The Lord of the Rings Campaign – The Fellowship of the Ring – Scenario 8: Ambush at Amon Hen

Monday 22 April 2019 – The Fellowship has rested and received gifts from the elves at Lothlórien. All members are now equipped with an Elven cloak and Legolas has received the Bow of the Galadhrim (which is Strength 4 and allows for one re-roll of a To Hit roll every turn). Boromir succumbs to the evil of the Ring and confronts Frodo when he is wandering alone in the woods. Frodo flees and Boromir comes to his senses. Lurtz and his band of Uruk-hai are searching for halflings, so Boromir protects Merry and Pippin. Meanwhile, Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli rush to Boromir, Merry and Pippin, but are delayed by a swarm of Uruk-hai. This scenario consists of two scenarios, which are found in DeAgostini magazine #11.

In the first scenario, the Three Hunters are ambushed by Uruk-hai as they try to make their way to the halflings. The strategy of the Uruk-hai captain and his warriors is to delay the Three Hunters for as long as possible, giving Lurtz and the other Uruks more time to search for the Ringbearer.

The six Uruks surrounding Aragorn all narrow in on him, while Gimli and Legolas sprint towards the opposing board edge. Being the mighty fighter he is, Aragorn has no trouble winning the fight against the six Uruk-hai, slaying three of them in one turn. The Evil side changes strategy and the Uruk captain tactically commands single Uruk fighters to delay the warriors of the Fellowship, one at a time. This way it will take the Fellowship longest to make it to the board edge.

The Uruks fail to make a dent into any member of the Fellowship and the Uruk-hai captain quickly meets his demise at the hands of Aragorn. Still, his tactics have worked as it takes the Fellowship ten turns before making it to the board edge. A single courageous Uruk-hai warrior keeps haunting Gimli, delaying him a further two turns before he can come to the aid of Boromir and Merry and Pippin.

Meanwhile, in the second scenario, Boromir faces a large force of Uruks. He has only 1 Might point left and no Fate, as he has fallen victim to the Shadow of the Ring ever since joining the Fellowship in Rivendell. The hobbits run as hard as they can, away from the Uruks. But with their short legs, it’s only a matter of time before they will be overtaken by the intimidating Uruk-hai scouts.

Boromir expends his final Might point by making a Heroic move, delaying the confrontation between Uruk and hobbit by one more turn.

Nevertheless, the confrontation is inevitable and the Three Hunters are taking their sweet time before arriving on the board. Boromir and the two hobbits are on their own. Initially, things are going well for the Fellowship. The Uruks fail to take in the hobbits and Boromir wins his fight, slaying one of his enemies. In the next turn, Pippin even manages to kill one of the Uruk-hai and Boromir is victorious once again.

But luck then leaves the Fellowship. Lurtz kills Boromir and the hobbits are taken captive. Lurtz and his Uruk scouts are successful in their quest and carry the hobbits to their starting board edge. A little late, but still in time, Aragorn and Legolas appear on this very board edge, hoping to free the halflings and avenge Boromir’s death.

However, it is a little late and with just two people the Two hunters are unable to block all of the Uruks. The Uruk-hai carrying Pippin escape, though Merry is rescued by Aragorn and eventually Gimli. Before this, Aragorn slays Lurtz.

Because one of the hobbits was taken captive, this scenario was a stalemate, meaning the Uruk-hai had enough time to make it to the Ringbearer Frodo. This resulted in Frodo having to roll on the ‘Death of a Hero’ table. Fortunately, he survived, though he did lose his Fate points.

Post-game thoughts

These were quick and tense scenarios. It felt like it took a long time before the Three Hunters finally managed to leave the board edge in the first part of the scenario. Had they made it sooner, they might have made it in time to prevent either of the hobbits to be taken captive. The Three Hunters did feel like a team of true killing machines, even the relatively strong Uruks didn’t stand a chance against them. Lurtz is quite a lot stronger in this edition than in previous editions, now having three Attack and three Wounds. But even wasn’t able to strike a single blow to Aragorn. Boromir in his weakened state was heavily outnumbered by the Uruk-hai. If he had his full store of Might, he probably would have been able to fend the Uruks off for a lot longer.

All in all the scenario felt very thematic and a true race against time. I think they are nice and short scenarios, though I did enjoy certain other scenarios in this campaign more. Maybe because the Fellowship feels so unbelievable strong and in my mind Uruk-hai should be dangerous, even for Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli. Still, I’d recommend this scenario on its own and it’s definitely a good fit for the campaign.

The Fellowship breaks – Boromir has fallen at the hands of Lurtz, who was then killed by Aragorn. Frodo and Sam are now venturing towards Mordor, while Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and Merry are chasing the Uruk-hai who took Pippin. The story continues in the next part of the campaign, the start of the Two Towers …

DeAgostini The Lord of the Rings Campaign – The Fellowship of the Ring – Scenario 7: Crossing the Silverlode

Saturday 09 March 2019 – Having lost Gandalf the Grey, the Fellowship hurries towards the safety of Lothlórien in issue #35 of the DeAgostini campaign. A huge swarm of goblins from Moria has followed them down to the Silverlode. Will the Fellowship reach the elves of Lothlórien in time?

Aragorn calls a Heroic March with his free Might point, while Legolas only moves half his movement to be able to shoot with his Deadly Shot (three times). Unfortunately for him, he rolls three 1’s. It doesn’t take long for the Goblins to reach and surround the Fellowship…

Things aren’t looking good for the Fellowship …

Some fighting ensues. Some precious Might points are used and Legolas loses all his Fate points. At least the hobbits survive and actually make it to start crossing the river. Though not explicitly mentioned in this scenario, I treated the Silverlode as ‘Deep Water’, meaning a swim test has to be made while crossing it, drowning the swimmer on the roll of a 1. The river section with the stones doesn’t require swimming tests, but is treated as difficult terrain. This means it takes quite a while for the Hobbits to cross the river. Any dead Goblin returns as reinforcement the next turn. Knowing these reinforced Goblins might not catch up with the Fellowship on time, some of them decide to risk swimming across the river in order to cut off the Fellowship.

A few Goblins die trying to cross the water, but the majority makes it through. Meanwhile, the Fellowship is getting more tired every turn. Evil only has to slay a single member of the Fellowship to win this scenario, which would have devastating results. In that case, Lothlórien will not be reached and play immediately proceeds with the next scenario, the Ambush at Amon Hen. This means our heroes will miss out on the gifts of the elves (such as Elven cloaks and a Bow of the Galadhrim for Legolas). Even worse is the fact that the Fellowship will then start the next scenario without any rest, meaning depleted Might and Fate points for most members.

Frodo finally crosses the river. Unfortunately, this also means the reinforced Goblins can now start at any board edge, including the two across the Silverlode! These Goblins can cut off Frodo before he reaches the elves (winning condition for Good) and other goblins try to reach the tree tops to slay the vastly outnumbered elves.

It’s a tactic that works for Evil. A goblin captain has made it atop the tree platforms and slays some of the wood elf archers stationed there. Meanwhile other goblins hold up the fellowship while their leader is on an elven killing spree. Galadriel and Haldir are attacked as well, though they are able to fend off the lone goblins there. The Fellowship is having a hard time killing goblins, though they are able to win most fights. All elves on the left tree platform have been eradicated by the goblins and more and more climb up. About to assault the elves on the right platform, Frodo calls a Heroic Move and is able to climb up the tree and come into base contact with Galadriel. The Good side wins, though it was a very close call.

Post-game thoughts

This was a very close win for Good. Legolas, Pippin and Merry all nearly died at the hands of the goblins and just a single death would have resulted in Evil winning this scenario. Had Frodo taken just a turn longer, the goblin captain and his minions could have done some serious damage to the rest of the elves. It’s a good thing the Fellowship can rest now (and receive their gifts!). Legolas in particular will be very happy with his new bow of the Galadhrim, which has Strength 4(!) and allows one To Hit roll to be re-rolled every turn.

I liked the board of this scenario quite a bit. The forest is beautiful and the tree platforms are interesting. The elves weren’t allowed to leave the tree tops in this scenario. I am generally not a fan of the ‘endless horde’ rule where all dead models will return the next turn as reinforcements. Especially on this 3′ x 3′ (90 x 90 cm) board, the stream of goblins seemed just endless. While very thematic, it did cause some, in my opinion, plodding gameplay. The Fellowship barely advanced most turns, if at all. It was nice to finally play this scenario with the proper terrain and it’s a thematically successfully scenario that is quite unique. However the fun factor for me was not as high as in other scenarios such as the Bucklebury Ferry, Watcher in the Water and Balin’s Tomb scenario. Playing with an exhausted Fellowship, I feel the Evil victory condition is a bit too easy. That would have been fine if that didn’t have these damaging consequences I described earlier. On the other hand, it would’ve been interesting to see how different the campaign would have been if the Fellowship hadn’t made it. As a stand-alone scenario I feel these win conditions for both sides are pretty balanced. For campaign play, I think it would be better to allow Good to benefit from Lothlórien as a sanctuary even if a single member of the Fellowship dies in this scenario. As punishment for losing, the roll for the dead of the Hero roll could have a -1 modifier or something.

The Fellowship can now rest safely within the realm of Lothlórien, under protection from Galadriel and the other elves. After some time, they will have to move forward with their quest and will travel down the Anduin, where they’ll make camp at Amon Hen. But they are not alone …