DeAgostini The Lord of the Rings Campaign – The Fellowship of the Ring – Scenario 4: The Watcher in the Water

Monday 04 February 2019 – The Fellowship has travelled far from Rivendell and are now stuck at the gates of Moria in the fourth scenario in the DeAgostini campaign, which can be found in issue #19. The Watcher in the Water latched out with one of his tentacles, ensnaring Frodo. And so it begins …

Frodo lost his fight against the tentacle and became abducted. Fortunately for him, his friends came to his aid, killing the tentacle before it could take the Ringbearer to one of the board edges. Legolas stayed behind in order to shoot as much tentacles as possible, while Gandalf the Grey sorcerous blasted some of the tentacles with his free expendable Will point every turn. Combat heavy weights Boromir, Gimli and Aragorn all rushed to fight and kill as many tentacles as possible. The tentacles kept coming however, at one point ensnaring Gandalf and taking him away. Aragorn used Heroic actions to make it to the tentacle holding Gandalf captive, saving the old wizard.

With nearly 20 tentacles killed (the maximum number, after which the Watcher would retreat), Frodo made it safely through the gates of Moria. The rest of the Fellowship followed, causing them to enter Moria without too much hassle.

Post-game thoughts

I really liked this scenario. It was quick and fun. I thought the board was beautiful and unusual, as it’s mostly covered in water. The tentacles were an interesting enemy. I felt Good had the advantage in this scenario, though things could have gone very differently if the tentacles managed to successfully abduct and devour some members of the Fellowship.

Fortunately, luck was on the side of the Fellowship. With this victory the path through Moria is quite clear. The next danger lies in Balin’s Tomb, which will be described in the next scenario …

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DeAgostini The Lord of the Rings Campaign – The Fellowship of the Ring – Scenario 3: Attack at Weathertop

Monday 21 January 2019 – In the third scenario in the DeAgostini campaign, the hobbits get ambushed by the Nazgûl led by the fearsome Witch-King. Strider is scouting the area nearby which means the hobbits are undefended for a while.

That while didn’t last long, as Strider already makes his appearance on turn 1. The Ringwraiths draw closer and closer. Eventually some of the hobbits get charged. Pippin almost dies but just makes it out alive in his duel with a Ringwraith. Overwhelmed by the Nazgûl and their sorcery, the hobbits decide to leave the Watchtower while Strider tries to fend off the pesky Ringwraiths. A risky tactic, seeing he now has to face 5 Nazgûl on his own. His combat prowess saves him on multiple occasions and using torches he is able to temporarily scare some Nazgûl into fleeing the watch tower. This allows him not to become too overwhelmed, but the magic of the Nine reduces his ability to fight well quite dramatically. Slaying the Nazgûl in combat seems unlikely as a result and his only hope now is for the Ringwraiths to become depleted in their Willpower. A true test of endurance.

The tactic works and the Will of the Ringwraiths depletes faster than expected. With just one more Nazgûl to deal with, the hobbits rejoin Aragorn and help him destroy the last Nazgûl.

Post-game thoughts

This scenario felt a bit fiddly and I didn’t really enjoy it. It might have to do with the small space within the watchtower of Amon Sûl, quickly becoming quite crowded. It also might have to do with the large amount of magic, courage tests and bookkeeping involved. The cowardly move by the hobbits to let Aragorn do all the fighting was perhaps a good decision (it is likely the Nazgûl would have killed at least one hobbit otherwise. Especially considering the Witch-King is packing a Morgul blade in this scenario, letting the hobbits fight the Nazgûl is quite frightening.), however it’s not a very fun one. Ideally, I’d use a larger model for the watchtower of Amon Sûl and place it atop a mountain / hill so that this tactic is actually impossible, adding to the tension and sense of dread. However, I didn’t feel like making my own custom watchtower of Amon Sûl and I do very much like the model for it by Ziterdes that I had bought. It’s a bit smaller than the official Forge World one, but also cheaper by a factor of about 10. It’s pre-painted and doesn’t require assembly, perfect for economical wargamers such as myself.

I didn’t give the Ringwraiths the Black Dart spell because I thought that would be too destructive in this scenario. In the DeAgostini magazine the Ringwraiths only receive this spell during the Return of the King, a rule I will follow for this campaign. If the hobbits didn’t escape the watchtower, I think it is likely at least one of the good models would have died. I didn’t want to take the risk of then rolling a ‘1’ for the ‘death of a hero’ roll since the campaign is barely underway. For a future playthrough it would be interesting to confine all the Good models to the watchtower.

With the attack of the Nazgûl successfully fended off, Strider takes the hobbits to the safety of Rivendell, where the Council of Elrond will be held. Frodo will receive Sting and mithril armour from Bilbo and the Fellowship will be formed. In the DeAgostini you are allowed to craft your own fellowship (for example taking Elrond instead of Gandalf as your guide, or taking Haldir and/or Faramir as companions), however I will be following the films / books by choosing the Fellowship we all know.

The Fellowship sets off on their quest to take the One Ring to Mount Doom.

In the next scenario the Fellowship tries to enter Moria. They will found out it’s better not to disturb the water …

White Dwarf Complete LotR / Hobbit / Middle-earth SBG Overview

Here you’ll find a link to an Excel spreadsheet detailing the contents of all Hobbit / Middle-earth / Lord of the Rings SBG related content in the White Dwarf Magazine. Because it is a Dropbox link synchronized to my computer, the file will automatically be updated if I make any changes in the document.

If you like you can download the file from this link:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/jjm5pm6myvzqg … .xlsx?dl=0

Big thanks to Phil ‘marder’ on The Last Alliance forum. He has compiled a very complete list in this thread:
http://www.thelastalliance.com/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=8189
Unfortunately the last update was in 2015, so I expanded from there.

I’ve ordered the content in the categories ‘Rules’, ‘Scenarios’, ‘Terrain’, ‘Battle Reports’, ‘Painting’ and ‘Other’. Advertisements and new releases are often not included in my file as they are not very useful to me. If I spot them I’ve added them to ‘Other’. The ‘Rules’ category may also not be the most accurate, since they are often outdated by now and I mostly wanted to list Rules that could still be relevant today (such as ‘Fighting in Lake-town’) and Scenarios.

In principle I’ve added all White Dwarfs since the inception of LotR SBG, but during the period where WD became weekly, I’ve only included those issues that contained at least some image from LotR/Hobbit SBG. If all cells are empty for an issue there could still be LotR/Hobbit content, but it’s likely very minor or just images of (at that time) new releases or army showcases. If all cells have a ‘-‘, then there are (in principle) no Middle-earth related articles in that specific issue.

Please note on the numbering
White Dwarf is different for different regions. I’ve used the UK version in this overview, I belief the US version is one behind on some or all issues. Also, the content in WD may differ for different regions.

Hope you enjoy! If you believe there are mistakes or you have comments or suggestions, feel free to reply!

8)

Battle Companies Resource List (Dec 2017 – Feb 2019)

Here you’ll find a list referencing all the official supplements to the 2017 reboot of Games Workshop’s Battle Companies, for Middle-earth Strategy Battle Game.

BREAKING: With the launch of the new 128-page Battle Companies Edition, this list is now probably obsolete.

Main Rulebook:

Middle-earth Battle Companies (released December 2017)

https://www.games-workshop.com/en-NL/Middle-earth-Battle-Companies-2017english

Additional (House) Rules:

Customizing your campaign [White Dwarf June 2018 page 124-126]

Additional Battle Companies:

Erebor and Dale [White Dwarf November 2017 page 109]
Gundabad [White Dwarf November 2017 page 110]
The Last Alliance [White Dwarf April 2018 page 120]
Denizens of Mirkwood [White Dwarf April 2018 page 121]
Osgiliath [White Dwarf August 2018 page 120]
Rangers of the North [White Dwarf August 2018 page 121]
Cirith Ungol [White Dwarf August 2018 page 122]
Khand [White Dwarf August 2018 page 123]

Additional Campaigns:

The Search For The Stone (TSFTS) [White Dwarf January 2018 page 81-86, White Dwarf February 2018 page 99-105

Additional Scenarios:

The Ruins of Dol Guldur (TSFTS #1) [White Dwarf January 2018 page 83-84]
A Chance Encounter (TSFTS #2) [White Dwarf January 2018 page 85-86]
Across the Dead Marshes (TSFTS #3) [White Dwarf February 2018 page 100-101]
Fury of the Woses (TSFTS #4) [White Dwarf February 2018 page 102-103]
Ransacking of Osgiliath (TSFTS #5) [White Dwarf February 2018 page 104-105]
The Wolves Attack [White Dwarf April 2018 page 119]
A Daring Rescue [White Dwarf June 2018 page 127]
The Baggage Train [White Dwarf August 2018 page 119]

Useful documents

Downloadable Battle Companies Roster:
https://whc-cdn.games-workshop.com/wp-c … Roster.pdf

Interactive Battle Companies Roster:
https://whc-cdn.games-workshop.com/wp-c … Update.pdf

FAQ
What do I need to have all available information for Battle Companies?
In order to have every officially available rule, scenario and battle company for Battle Companies, you’ll need:

  • The Middle-earth Battle Companies book (2017)
  • White Dwarf November 2017
  • White Dwarf January 2018
  • White Dwarf February 2018
  • White Dwarf April 2018
  • White Dwarf June 2018
  • White Dwarf August 2018
  • Furthermore you’ll need the main rulebook for the main game (Middle-earth SBG) and the profiles of your battle company, which can be found in the Armies of The Lord of the Rings or Armies of The Hobbit profile book.

What is The Search For The Stone?
It is a campaign that is like The Quest for Fornost in the Main Battle Companies Rulebook, with the difference being that it is written mainly for the Evil Player. Like the original quest, it can also be played by the other player, though this might make less sense thematically.

Special thanks to the people on The One Ring forum, as can be found here: http://one-ring.co.uk/viewtopic.php?f=102&t=33520

DeAgostini The Lord of the Rings Campaign – The Fellowship of the Ring – Scenario 2: Escape from Bree

Monday 21 January 2019 – The second scenario in the DeAgostini campaign was Escape from Bree, which can be found in issue #61. The four hobbits (Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin) have met Strider in the Prancing Pony. The Nazgûl have caught wind of the Ring’s whereabouts and sneakily invade the city of Bree. Four mounted Ringwraiths start searching for the Ring.

The building in the middle represents The Prancing Pony, where the hobbits and Strider start this scenario.

Even with a delay in movement (the hobbits and Strider used their first move to traverse the interior of the Prancing Pony), the Nazgûl were hopeless in finding their prey. The Good side had priority on literally every turn, meaning the Ringwraiths carefully searched the buildings in front of them while the fellowship to be managed to sneak off the board.

Post-game thoughts

This was a very uneventful play of this scenario. The Good side literally had nothing to worry about, winning Priority and thus controlling the Ringwraiths every turn. Only in the final turn did the Nazgûl manage to spot the hobbits, but by then they had already safely made it to the board edge. I think this scenario would be a lot more exciting if the board would be larger (now it was just 3′ x 3′ or 90 x 90 cm) or if the Good side had to leave via the board edge where the Nazgûl had started the game. In this play there was no interaction between the Ringrwaiths and the Good heroes. This made the whole scenario quite anticlimactic, especially considering the many hours I had spent painting the Bree houses prior to this. These Bree houses are houses purchased from a German company called Ziterdes. They make excellent terrain for Middle-earth Strategy Battle Game in my opinion, generally not too expensive. When I’m playing this campaign again I think I will just use a 4′ x 4′ (120 x 120 cm) board, to make the scenario (hopefully) more exciting.

Strider and the hobbits will now traverse the wilderness and eventually make camp in the watchtower of Amon Sûl. But they are not released from the pursuit of the Ringwraiths just yet …

DeAgostini The Lord of the Rings Campaign – The Fellowship of the Ring – Scenario 1: Flight to the Bucklebury Ferry

Sunday 13 January 2019 – Welcome dear reader to the start of the DeAgostini campaign for The Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game. Having been a collector and player of this game since the release of the first DeAgostini magazine featuring this great game back in 2002, I’ve always wanted to recreate and replay the events of the legendary The Lord of the Rings films.

The DeAgostini campaign (starting in issue #59) seemed the perfect opportunity for me to make this dream come true. Of course it required quite a lot of miniatures and terrain, things I didn’t have. By that time I was not a good painter, nor a great terrain maker. Of course one doesn’t need this to play the game, in theory you could just play the campaign using pieces of cardboard and some dice. So undettered I started the campaign, multiple times over the years. The farthest I have gotten was the second scenario in the Two Towers campaign (The Forbidden Pool, issue #63). I had many different interests so the reason I stopped was probably because I just forgot about it. By that time I used unpainted as well as badly painted miniatures and used pieces of paper as terrain. Nevertheless I enjoyed the games.

Probably more than 10 years later, with a collection sufficient to play the entire DeAgostini Lord of the Rings campaign, with painting skills that I deem satisfactory and the dedication to make suitable terrain, but most importantly with the launch of the newest and most streamlined edition of this beautiful game (Middle-earth Strategy Battle Game) in 2018, I decided to undertake the grand project of playing the entire campaign the way it was meant to be played (e.g. using the correct miniatures and terrain). I am using the rules for the new edition, which may seem an odd choice since the scenarios were obviously play-tested using different rules and stats. Yet I think using the new rules and profiles are the most fun. Due to the lack of an opponent I will be playing these games solo, trying my best for both sides. My goal is not to write extensive battle reports. Rather I will focus on the photos and write down a summary of the play. So without further ado, here is the battle report for the first scenario in this campaign:


The first scenario, Flight to the Bucklebury Ferry can be found in issue #37. The four hobbits (Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin) have to make it to the ferry to escape to Bree. They are inside a forest and are being hunted by the Nazgûl. In this scenario there is one such Nazgûl, mounted, searching for the Ring. In this play the Good side had priority almost every turn initially, causing the Ringwraith to not make much progress.

The hobbits could therefore safely reach the forest edge without alerting the Ringwraith. However, due to the special scenario rules, once a hobbit left the forest, the Nazgûl would automatically be alerted. Being seated on his steed, it didn’t take long to come into contact with the hobbits. Multiple fights and some spellcasting ensued, the hobbits not wanting to leave their fellow hobbit behind. In the end Merry was mortally wounded and fell to the ground. In the next turn Pippin managed to kill the horse, meaning the Nazgûl could no longer profit from the Charge bonus. The wraith dissipated once his Will store was reduced to zero, allowing the hobbits to check on Merry and safely make it to Bree. Merry turned out to be fine and would participate in the next scenario as normal.

Post-game thoughts

Wow! Being the start of the campaign, and being the first SBG scenario I played under the new rules, with fully painted miniatures and terrain, I was blown away by how much fun I had. All those hours preparing, making, decorating and painting the required terrain and miniatures really paid off. I found this to be a hugely tense and fun scenario. From memory my previous plays of this scenario have also been very positive. It seems a deceivingly simple and perhaps boring scenario due to the low number of participants, but I thought it was really fun. I think the Good side has better chances of winning (in 3+ plays over the years the Good side has almost always won without too much of a sweat). That doesn’t mean the scenario isn’t tense, once the Nazgûl engages the hobbits anything is possible and there is a very large sense of threat. I think there is a good probability that at least one of the hobbits dies. In this play it was Merry. Fortunately he hasn’t truly died (after a hero dies in a scenario in the campaign, a D6 is rolled. On a 1, the hero is truly dead and cannot be used anymore in the campaign). I would highly recommend this scenario, especially as part of a campaign like this one.

Hope you stay tuned for the next scenario, where the hobbits meet Strider and try to escape Bree.