DeAgostini The Lord of the Rings Campaign – The Two Towers – Scenario 9: The Deeping Wall

Wednesday 18 December 2019 – After barely escaping Sharku and his Warg riders, our Heroes find themselves reinforced by Haldir and a host of Galadhrim. There is no time for rest however, as a host of Uruk-hai has marched all the way from Isengard to lay waste to the fortress of Helm’s Deep. This scenario is found in DeAgostini BGiME magazine #29, with a minor alteration as discussed below.

Both sides consists of an army worth 600 points. The game lasts 12 turns. If after 12 turns 20 or more Evil models have crossed the Helm’s Deep board side, Evil wins. Otherwise, Good wins. Since the Uruk-hai are so numerous, the ‘Endless Horde’ rule is place, meaning any Evil model that leaves the board returns at the start of the next turn and can immediately make a Move.

The Uruk-hai march on, while the alliance of Elves and Men concentrate their bowfire and throwing weapons on the torch-carrying berserkers. Both berserkers are taken down, one by Haldir (costing him 1 Might point) and one by Legolas.

But there’s no stopping the endless stream of Uruk-hai and new berserkers rush towards the bombs that have now been placed in the culvert. One berserker gets taken down by Haldir (again requiring 1 Might point), meaning the other one could make contact next turn. That is not all of Good’s problems though, as Uruks have started raising siege ladders and are trying to get atop the walls.

A number of fights ensue. The defenders on the walls have the advantage, making full use of their cover and superior fighting position. The surviving Uruk berserker now gets into contact with a bomb, fortunately Haldir manages to shoot him down, spending his final Might point in the process.

In turn 4 the guardians on the wall are generally too occupied defending their position to have time for taking down the new berserkers. A new berserker has made it to the bombs. Luck is on the side of Good as a Rohan spear-thrower manages to kill this new berserker, even though everyone else failed to do so.

In turn 5, luck has run out and a new berserker has made it to the bombs. He survives the shots fired at him (by rolling a 6 as part of being Oblivious To Pain, one of the new special rules for the berserkers in the 2018 edition), passes his Courage test and ignites one of the bombs. The entire wall comes crashing down and many Uruk-hai die in the process. However, so do Haldir, two elves and the heroic Rohan spear-thrower.

There is now a huge gap in the wall, allowing the Uruks to roam free and rush through to the other side. This is exactly what happens and the defenders on the walls retreat to ground level. A couple of Uruks rush on the ladders to try and take them out before they can aid their allies on the ground.

Legolas stays atop the walls, trying to shoot down any Uruk that tries to make it to the board edge. But the valiant man of Rohan protecting him dies and he soon has to stop his shooting and defend himself with his knives. He wins the fight but fails to wound. It is at this point that I decide that not having any of our Heroes restore any spend points from the previous scenario is perhaps a bit harsh. They have already missed their opportunity to recover all their spend points and the ability to equip some armour (in the case of Aragorn and Legolas) due to Good losing the last scenario. It is quite unfair for all three Heroes to start this game with 0 Might, despite having paid a hefty price for those non-existing Might points in terms of points, since this is a points match. So I now roll to recover the spend points (on a 4+) and all Heroes recover 2 Might points in this way. That is enough for Legolas to slay the Uruk and continue his shooting in the following turns, giving Good at least a fighting chance in winning the scenario.

The stakes now become high as it is turn 11, the penultimate turn, and so far only 4 Uruks have escaped the Helm’s Deep board edge. That number can increase quickly though, as more and more defenders of Helm’s Deep die and the Uruk-hai have really broken through the walls.

Turn 12 and now exactly 19 Uruks have left the board. This means Good will win the scenario, albeit with the smallest possible margin. Aragorn and Gimli survive the turn, meaning they can continue their heroism in the next scenario. By the end of the game the results of the friendly killing competition between Legolas and Gimli also is a close call. Legolas wins with 10 kills, while Gimli had 9.

Aftermath

Good wins the scenario, meaning Good now has 19 victory points. Evil did manage to kill a named hero, meaning they now have 26 victory points. The outcome of this scenario doesn’t affect future scenarios. Since Haldir died, he is considered to be permanently dead since this was the ‘historical’ place for him to die.

Post-game thoughts

I think this is quite a cool scenario, however I never really like the ‘Endless Horde’ special rule where models are continuously reinforced. I like it more when kills are more definitive. In one turn I forgot that Good could push off the ladders when no Uruks were on top of the ladder, that might have helped them a little bit more. On the other hand, I also could have played Evil a bit more competitively by completing ignoring the defenders and just rushing all possible Uruks towards the board edge. All in all I think I played both sides quite balanced. Nevertheless I think the Good side has an uphill battle here (despite them standing on top of high walls). It was really close and if Legolas didn’t have the Galadhrim bow Evil would likely have won.

I did really enjoy the look of the board after the bomb went off. It really looks like a zoomed in part of the battle of Helm’s Deep with all the Uruks rushing through the exploded wall. I also really like the new profile for the Uruk-hai berserkers. They are much more of a threat now than they used to be, with cool new special rules.

All in all I would recommend this scenario as part of a Helm’s Deep campaign. As a standalone play it feels a bit unsatisfying because it feels like there should be a follow-up. Fortunately, I’m playing a campaign and this scenario will be followed-up! Comparing this scenario with the new version in War in Rohan, it seems this scenario has basically been split up in three separate scenarios. I’m looking forward to playing those as well at some point in the future.

In the next scenario, the siege of Helm’s Deep continues. The Uruks push through and the defenders of Rohan will have to retreat to the keep and hope for a miracle or reinforcements to arrive.

6 thoughts on “DeAgostini The Lord of the Rings Campaign – The Two Towers – Scenario 9: The Deeping Wall

  1. Another excellent report! Maybe it is just from playing Goblin Town scenarios a lot but I like the horde rules, especially when you’re dealing with stronger opposition (like heroes) as it tends to balance things out nicely. With that said, no Might points on the heroes is rough and I can totally understand why you decided to give them some back. Otherwise, the Good side can’t be heroic and they can’t win many scenarios which wouldn’t feel very satisfying. I’m glad to see that this game went down to the wire as that is how it should go in such an important battle.

    Unless I’m mistaken, the images are a bit smaller in this report than in previous ones but from what I can tell, the terrain looks fantastic and I agree that the blown out wall is seriously cool too. I can see why it took you a while to get ready to play this scenario but I think the effort was definitely worth it. This is one of my favorite reports that you’ve done yet and I look forward to seeing the next one! 🙂

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    1. Yeah, Heroes without Might are not very fun. I wish there would’ve been some benefit for the Good side for the next scenario since they managed to stall the Uruks succesfully. Only gaining victory points is not as exciting.

      Hmm, I agree that the images look smaller, though nothing has changed in my camera (cell phone) or handling of things. Perhaps it is because of the blocks of images just lining up evenly, which causes none of the images to be displayed in a larger format? I will try to change it when I get home. I do feel that the images don’t capture the scene as good as it looked in real life (though on other reports it sometimes is the other way around ;p). Hopefully my girlfriend is home next time I play so she can have a try at photographing the scene.

      Thanks for the compliments, they mean a lot! There’s not too much left to do for the remaining Two Towers scenarios, but obviously some time investment is still required and I will be away a lot in the following days. There is a lot to be done still before I can play the Return of the King scenarios, so I’m debating over whether I should spread the remaining Two Towers scenarios out more, giving me time to work on the RotK ones.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Definitely. I like how MESBG has incorporated the every game has an effect on the next one as I think it makes them more important and adds a bit of narrative too.

        I have been wondering about a couple of my images in recent posts looking compressed and I’d like for a way to make pictures even bigger than they display currently. One of these days I’ll dig into WordPress a bit more see what all can be done about that. I hope you’re able to figure it out as it seems like a potentially annoying situation.

        You’re very welcome. I’d be inclined to space the games out a bit so that you stay motivated to hobby. I wish I had the occasional game amidst all the hobbying I’ve had to do lately but that has not been in the cards. Perhaps as I build out some more terrain I’ll be able to keep games and hobbying better balanced. Either way, I will be looking forward to the remaining Two Towers and Return of the King scenarios!

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      2. On desktop it seems to me the way it always was. Though I agree that from the start on WordPress the images have been quite compressed. Especially, weirdly, when you click to zoom in on them.

        Yeah, that’s a great idea! The 2 month hiatus before this scenario left me feeling quite dissatisfied in terms of hobbying. I have a rough outline or roadmap for upcoming hobbying activities through the first half of 2020 and looking at it it seems achievable to play and write up one new scenario each month. So that will be my new goal. In that way there’s never too large a hiatus between games and I can progress nicely. If things go well I’m hoping to play the battle of the Pelennor Fields in August. That has been a dream for me from the start so it’s very exciting to come nearer and nearer to actually play that on the table. Though there’s still a horrendous amount of painting and building to be done before I get there. And still some work on Two Towers as well (particularly looking at you, Tower of Orthanc).

        Very much looking forward to reading your upcoming battle reports as well! I reckon that indeed, once you have some more terrain you can play multiple scenarios more quickly. Before I started the LotR campaign I had already spend a lot of time preparing it, which takes a long time but was very worth it.

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      3. I would like people who visit my site to be able to click on the images and see a larger version version but that option doesn’t seem to be available or I couldn’t figure out how to do it when I scrolled through the all of the options and settings. If I do figure any of this out, I’ll let you know!

        If you’re preparing Orthanc and Pelennor then you do have your hobbying work cut out for you! I’d love to play the full Hobbit or LOTR campaign but Helm’s Deep and beyond scare me because of the hobbying time it would take to get everything. I applaud you for being so ambitious and achieving your goals (many people sadly do not in this hobby).

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