Saturday 1 February 2020 – After learning of Saruman’s betrayal, the Ents are roused by the two Hobbits that made it to Fangorn. An Entmoot is called and Treebeard leads his friends into battle, to take revenge on Saruman. This scenario is found in DeAgostini BGiME magazine #32 and is played exactly as described, except I’m using the new 2018 profiles.
On the Good side we have Treebeard (carrying both Merry and Pippin) and an Ent. The Hobbits can throw stones without penalty and cannot be targeted by enemy fire. The Evil side consists of an Uruk-hai Captain with shield and 5 Uruk-hai that start on the wall, 12 Mordor orcs (usual distribution) that start on the Dam and then another 2 Uruk-hai Captain with Shield, 2 Uruk-hai Berserker with torches, 1 Uruk-hai Berserker, 5 Uruk-hai warriors with shield and 10 Uruk-hai warrior with pike in reserve. Every model in reserve enters at the start of a turn on a roll of 4+. The two Orc archers have burning arrows, which means that if they manage to hit an Ent (doesn’t need to wound), it is set on fire. Ents on fire suffer a wound at the start of every turn on the roll of a 5 or 6. They can extinguish the flames by entering the river stream that runs through the board.
The Good side wins if the Dam breaks and the Hobbits are alive. It’s a draw if the Dam breaks but not all Hobbits are alive. Evil wins if the Dam doesn’t break. The Dam, like the stone wall in front, has 12 hit points. It can only be damaged by Ents throwing a Rock against it, or by Ents making an attack against it. If an Ent makes an attack against the stone wall or the Dam, 6 D6 are rolled. 1 hit is scored for every 5 rolled, 4 hits are scored for every 6 rolled.
The Ents march to the wall, while the Uruk-hai atop the wall run for their lives. In the meantime, 5 Uruk-hai enter the board and the Orcs atop the Dam (except for the two archers) all rush down.
Treebeard makes strikes against the stone wall and smashes it down! The three Uruks that hadn’t yet made it to the stairs are all killed by falling damage. The other Ents manages to wound, but not destroy the right part of the wall.
Eleven Uruk-hai enter the board and march towards the Dam. The Orcs atop the Dam are still climbing down and this turn Treebeard and the Ent smash the right part of the wall as well.
Treebeard charges the Uruk-hai captain and Uruk-hai warrior, while the other Ent marches on. The Uruks in reserve advance and the lower Orc archer manages to not just light the Ent on fire, but also scores a wound on him! (by throwing three successive 6’s, though a 5+/6+/5+ would have been sufficient). That’s some bad luck for Good!
Treebeard slays his foes and the Ents press on. Unfortunately, Treebeard is now also lit on fire and the other Ent suffers a wound because he is still on fire. He now only has 1 Wound left and is charged by Orcs.
The Ent slays an Orc and Treebeard kills a few as well. But a whole host of Uruk-hai is marching over the bridge and the Ent doesn’t have long to live. In a subsequent turn, the Ent dies because of the fire, meaning Treebeard is now the only hope Good has left to break the Dam.
It is at one of these turns that I realized that both Ents actually cause Terror. I also realize I had spend some of Treebeard’s Might points too easily and should have saved them for exactly these moments when he is surrounded by so many foes. Not wanting to replay the whole scenario, I decide to balance it out by keeping the other Ent dead (he might’ve lived if he could have made it to the river without being charged by cowardly Orcs, who very likely wouldn’t have passed their Terror checks), but giving Treebeard 2 of his Might points back that he too loosely used earlier.
Even though Treebeard is still on fire, so far he has managed to not be wounded by it. A number of turns pass where Treebeard fights a number of enemies. In one he loses and being surrounded, suffers 2 Wounds. Fortunately, he successfully used 2 Fate points to negate these Wounds. In other turns he uses ‘Bludgeon’ to great success, killing 5 enemies in a single turn (twice!). Merry and Pippin occasionally kill an Orc or Uruk pike-bearer as well, using little stones they find on Treebeard.
Inevitably, Treebeard now does suffer a Wound because of being on fire. His Fate fails him, meaning he only has two Wounds left. It is now a quick race to either breaking the Dam or Treebeard being felled. Treebeard hurls an Uruk away and knocks some Uruks prone. He later slays some more Uruks of Saruman.
Winning Priority, Treebeard heads into the water and extinguishes his flames.
A single Uruk charges Treebeard, though he soon regrets that decision as he is then used as a bowling ball that is hurled against every other Uruk in sight, killing him in the process.
Treebeard has now made it to the Dam, but the same Orc archer that caused the other Ent to die now has another successful hit, not just igniting Treebeard once again, but also wounding him, leaving him with just 1 Wound left. Despite his 6 attacks against the Dam, the Dam stays intact and only suffers 3 wounds (needs 12). Realizing the danger of the fire, Treebeard rushes towards the water and stays there to keep cool.
Treebeard desperately wants to break the Dam, but he is charged by the remaining two Uruks, of which 1 is a Captain with full Might, Fate and Wounds left. Fortunately, the river sweeps him away leaving only the other Uruk behind.
Treebeard wins the fight and manages to break the Dam and release the river. The river sweeps away the remaining Uruk-hai and Orcs atop the Dam. That gives Treebeard a total kill count of 31! (which does include indirect kills caused by him).
Good wins the scenario, meaning they now get +3 + 2 (for the named Heroes surviving) = 30 victory points. Evil still has 33 victory points. There is no effect for the next scenario.
What a fun scenario! And what a powerhouse Treebeard is under the new profile! This is my favourite scenario so far in the Two Towers campaign. It’s really fun to use the Ents. They are so much fun to use thanks to the new Brutal power attacks, ‘Bludgeon’ especially. Might is a really valuable commodity though for them, so I think the newer version of this scenario that uses Treebeard, Quickbeam, Beechbone and 2 regular Ents would be very fun as well. I really hope we’ll see models for the two new named Heroes, the Ents were really fun to paint and look awesome!
I really liked the board as well. Having a small river run through the board was nice as it is the only really natural part of the board and pairs well with the Ents. I also liked the fact that it could be used for cooling down and extinguishing the fire, very much like in the film.
The Hobbits initially didn’t do much, but towards the end they did make some stone throwing kills. They both got a Might point in this scenario for drinking from the Entwash, which was a nice touch.
I did make some gameplay mistakes, as I described before. I forgot that the Ents cast Terror and it was very stupid to use the Might points from Treebeard early on. In the end I think it all balanced out, so had I played correctly from the start, I think it could have ended very similarly.
I strongly recommend this scenario! Though I can imagine with a bit more bad luck Good could have lost quite severely and if ‘Bludgeon’ stops too early, it’s not fun at all. So perhaps I was just lucky to have such a good play of this scenario. At any rate, I look forward to playing the new version from War in Rohan some time.
In the next and final scenario in the Two Towers campaign, Frodo and Sam are let go by Faramir and his rangers. They’ll escape Osgiliath through the sewers and then hope to make it to Mordor with Gollum as their guide. But the sewers aren’t empty, meaning they’ll have to fight their way through..