Monday 12 August 2019 – The Three Hunters and Merry find a Rohan fort with a Rohirrim resistance force. They will make a stand against a heavily armed Uruk-hai patrol sent by Saruman. Will they successfully fend off the attackers or perish in the process? This scenario is found in DeAgostini BGiME magazine #27.
Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli and Merry stand together with 14 Warriors of Rohan and 4 Riders of Rohan against 3 Uruk-hai captains, 10 Uruk-hai with Shield, 10 Uruk-hai with Pike, 9 Uruk-hai with Crossbow, 3 Uruk-hai Berserkers and 3 Uruk-hai with no extra equipment. So 22 vs 39 models, both sides being worth 600 points. The game ends if half the Uruk-hai force has been decimated (so after 20 kills). Evil wins if both Aragorn and half of the Rohirrim (9 models) are slain before that time. The game is a draw if only one of those objectives is completed before the game ends. Good wins if neither objectives are completed before the game ends.
The Uruk-hai advance. The crossbowmen march towards the hill, hoping to get a better shot at the obscured Rohirrim. Meanwhile, the Rohirrim hold their ground and shoot their bows against the Uruk-hai. In the first turn, already 4 Uruks are slain by the bowfire! Aragorn had to use a free point of Might for his kill and Legolas also spend a point of Might (taking down 2 Uruks). A good start for Good. The second turn was not as lucky, only 1 Uruk-hai was shot and killed. But then in turn 3 Legolas spends his final point of Might (he only had 2 since he was still exhausted from last scenario) to kill 3 Uruks! Another 2 Uruks are killed by Aragorn and other Rohirrim. This means the game is already halfway, 10 of the required 20 Uruk-hai have already been slain. The Uruk-hai crossbow return fire is not nearly as successful, the Rohirrim are well guarded by the wooden fort and no casualties are made.
In turn 4 most of the Uruk-hai have made it into close quarter combat range. With Priority they get to pick their fights and manage to almost completely cover the entire front row of the fort. Pike-bearers are used amply. Still, the Good side feels confident, after already having killed 10 of their ambushers. The four Rohan riders sneak out through the backdoor, hoping to sweep off the attackers at the front in a couple of turns.
The excitement and sense of an early victory quickly turns to dread after no less than 5 Rohan warriors are slain in combat, whereas only 1 Uruk-hai is killed. Furthermore, Legolas nearly dies, taking 3 Wounds. With 2 successful Fate points he is now reduced to no Fate, no Might and just a single Wound. 9 more Uruks need to be slain, whereas if only 4 more Rohirrim die, Good will no longer have a chance of winning the scenario. The remaining Rohirrim retreat towards the back, while Gimli joins the fight at the front. Merry has sneaked behind the warning beacon, hoping to survive the onslaught.
With Priority, the Uruk-hai gang up on the badly wounded Legolas. Aragorn calls a (free) Heroic Move hoping to prevent this, but it is countered by an Uruk captain. In the Fight phase, Aragorn tries again to save his elven friend by calling a Heroic Combat. This time he gets it (despite again being countered by the Uruk captain). He has to spend his final Might point to win the duel against a trapped single Uruk-hai Captain but does manage to slay him and take some heat (a pike-bearer and a Captain) off Legolas. He wins the second fight as well, but doesn’t land a wound. Legolas loses the fight, but isn’t wounded (good move from Aragorn!). Tragedy strikes when Gimli loses the first Duel he’s in and actually dies at the hands of an Uruk-hai and captain. Those Uruks sure are strong, having little trouble piercing through Gimli’s heavy dwarf armour.
The next turn Good gets priority and is able to manoeuvrer to their advantage. In total 1 Rohan rider and 4 Uruk-hai die (one of which a Berserker that Legolas managed to slay, despite being in a near-death state).
The following turn is going to be decisive. By now, 15 Uruks have been slain (only needing 5 more), versus 6 Rohirrim (only needing 3 more). Good gets priority. Legolas moves to the side of the fort where he can shoot the marching Uruk-hai crossbowmen. Every kill counts. Unfortunately he doesn’t kill a single one. Meanwhile, the Uruk-hai crossbowmen also don’t manage to kill Legolas, due to the cover provided by the fort. Good is very lucky to have Priority this turn, because it means they choose the order of the combats. An Uruk and captain die, meaning both sides can take only 3 more casualties. Then 2 Rohirrim are slain, somewhat unexpectedly, meaning Good can only take one more casualty. An Uruk dies and then two more, meaning Good wins the game by the smallest possible margin. This is thanks to the flanking Rohan cavalry and their bonuses.
Good wins the scenario and gains 3 victory points, now totalling 8 victory points. Evil scores 2 victory points for killing Gimli, which means they now have 21 victory points. Gimli rolls a 4 on the ‘Death of a Hero’-table and is therefore not permanently dead, but does lose all his Fate points for the next game.
This was an extremely close and tense scenario. Good finally had some good dice rolling again. After the great first turn (for Good), I thought Good was going to have an easy time. But then the combats started and despite the cover granted by the fort, the Rohirrim were quickly cut down. Legolas nearly died and Gimli died in his first Duel, without having performed anything noteworthy. Legolas and Aragorn were very good (as they should be) this scenario. Legolas had 7 kills and Aragorn definitely did his share. It was fun and a relief to finally see Good doing their thing again, though it was also extremely stressful when things became so close again in terms of winning the scenario. Because of Gimli’s death the net difference is just +1 victory points for Good. Still, I think it’ll prove to be quite important for the rest of the campaign and certainly for the morale.
This is the first time I used the actual Uruk-hai warriors this campaign and they’re really strong when paired against the Rohirrim. Their higher Fight, Strength and Defense values really make a difference. In this sense the Rohirrim seemed to disappoint a bit, seemingly being cut down like butter. It was a good call to have them fall back after the disastrous first turn of combat.
Finally I am really quite proud on how the fort terrain turned out. I believe I’ve already built it about half a year ago, but I only finished (painting) it this morning. It is now my latest finished terrain and compared to the tents, blankets and warning beacon I placed inside the fort (which was all some of the first terrain I built for this campaign, more than 6 years ago), it seems I have come a long way. 🙂 Here is a bonus photo for the finished fort, including the barrels with throwing spears and wooden pellets with (throwing) stones on them,
In the next scenario, the Three Hunters and Merry will meet Gandalf, now returned as Gandalf the White. Together they’ll ride to Edoras and try to free king Théoden of Saruman’s dominion over him…