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).
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.
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…