Tuesday, December 20, 2011

More painting!

So since time is short with the holidays, I'm thinking about doing some painting posts to keep things interesting.
Here we are today with about half of the base-coated Goblins painted with their "first draft" of colors. The remaining Goblins will have one unified tunic color, bringing the total in the army to four colors. Still need to decide which color to do (thinking about black or blue). And for the record, the bottom-right Goblin is not blue...just the lighting...
Here's another picture of the Goblins, up-close in their first form. You can see on the Goblin archer at the top-left and the spearman at the center of the photo that I've done some dry-brushing on these units. This is also an up-close look at one of the Goblins leaping into the combat...really excited about how he's coming along.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Paints...

So right now the battle reports for the Fellowship and Goblins are being put on hold, as a puzzle takes up my usual playing station...and my wife and I are merrily expecting our first child, to be born near the end of June 2012...

This means that there is hardly a viable place in our small dwelling for a 48" square board with lots of pieces and a consuming amount of time to put it together/tear it down. So what's there to do in the hobby when there isn't enough space to play a game?

PAINTING and CONVERSIONS!!!

Here we are batch-painting Goblins. I usually watch the Lord of the Rings movies while I batch-paint, as it really puts you in the mood (and for me, reminds me what I'm going for in my models and what I can do to make things interesting).
You'll notice here that I haven't finished painting this Goblin, as I'm planning on borrowing his hand for a different unit and replacing it with an axe-bearing hand from one of my Dwarves later. This is because there is a Goblin in the movies who wields an axe (he happens to cut through the door and show his axe before taking an Elven arrow to the neck or something)

Anyway, a few pictures to leave you with until the next game...and the jumping Goblins in the picture below are inspired by other hobbyists who have done greater and grander things than I.

All of the Goblins on rocky ground...
...hiding behind rocks...
...and on cliffs!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Fellowship vs. Goblins Teaser

Ok, so this past weekend was busy with several Christmas parties in a row, but I got to play-test some new Goblin scenery which will be surfacing in the upcoming Fellowship games (maybe get a game in this coming Tuesday/Wednesday with Gaius after my grad school classes are over). Here's a few pictures of part of a scenario we played...turns out we're not going to be using the time limit rule, as it takes us too long to get through turns and would therefore slant victory towards the Goblins much to easily.

The Fellowship and Goblins in the depths of Moria.
Gimli and Aragorn charge a line of Goblins.
Aragorn kills a Goblin as the rest of the Fellowship assault team attacks Goblins.
A clean look a the terrain...zoom in for more details.
The Troll eats the dust after being immobilized by Gandalf.
While the other four heroes are charging, Legolas defends the hobbits in a defensive structure.
I have a special affinity for throwing weapons...and Gimli brings a few to the table.
Be prepared for upcoming reports between the Goblins and the Fellowship soon!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Meeting Engagement: The Fellowship vs. The Uruk-Hai

Today we have the second game between the Fellowship and the Uruk-Hai of Isengard. Today's mission is going to be...different. We're still playing to the bitter end, but today we're only going to play until the destruction of 3/4 of an army. After a heavy beating the other day, the Fellowship is out for vengeance against the minions of Saruman. Here are the forces for today's game...

Fellowship of the Ring: 500 points

Aragorn/Strider with bow - 180 points
Boromir of Gondor with Elven cloak - 115 points
Legolas, Prince of Mirkwood with armor - 95 points
Gimli, Son of Gloin - 90 points
Meriadoc Brandybuck - 10 points
Peregrin Took - 10 points

6 units, 2 bows + 1 thrown weapon, 6 heroes

The Fist of Isengard: 501 points

Uruk-Hai Captain with heavy armor and shield - 60 points
Vrasku - 60 points (ally: Isengard Raiders)
18 Uruk-Hai Warriors with shields - 180 points
14 Uruk-Hai Warriors with pikes - 140 points
2 Uruk-Hai Warriors with crossbows - 22 points
1 Uruk-Hai Warrior with banner - 39 points

37 units, 2 crossbows + Vrasku, 2 heroes

The scenario we will be playing is a "Meeting Engagement" game on a board that is 48" x 48". Each army places their troops within 18" of their corner and will fight until one side is reduced to 25% of its starting size. The side that reduces the enemy to 1/4 strength wins a major victory if at least 1 hero is still alive, while a minor victory is won if no hero is alive. None of the terrain has been placed within 12" of the center of the board.

For the purposes of this game, Merry and Pippen will not count as heroes. The rules of the game are a double-edge sword against the Fellowship: with only 6 units, the loss of 5 units will end the game (which could come quickly, as the last game showed), whereas if the Fellowship wins the game with more than just Merry and Pippen, they win a major victory. The only reason why this would matter is for the points scored next to each army record on the right sidebar.

The map is set up as follows (again, following the terrain of the Fellowship of the Ring Amon Hen sequence): there is the Amon Hen structure, three woods, a rocky outcrop (difficult terrain), a river with a ford, and three hills. The Fellowship won the roll off and have chosen to select their corner (the southwest corner), ceding priority to the Uruk-Hai for the first turn. After the last game, I need to be more careful with my army, but thankfully my army starts together this game, so I can come up with a strategy before I am attacked (and Merry and Pippen can duck out of the fight from the get-go).


Turn 1: Undaunted Will (Priority - Uruk-Hai)

The Uruks advance towards the Fellowship at top-speed. Legolas, Aragorn, and Gimli casually advance into range of the on-coming Uruk army. Both Legolas and Aragorn prepare their bows to fire at the enemy, while Boromir heads over to join them. The hobbits remembered the last game and keep their heads down, hiding behind a rock.
In the Shoot phase, Legolas fires three arrows at the Uruk-Hai Captain, two of which hit their mark. After paying 1 Might point, Legolas wounded the Captain. The Captain snapped the shaft, let out a great howl, and all the Uruks around him prepared to surge forward (Fate save).
Kill count: Fellowship 0/37, Uruks 0/6.



Turn 2: Fly True (P - tied, Fellowship)

The Fellowship begins its retreat but prepares to fire again. The Uruks continue their slow advance, with the Phalanx on one end and the crossbow team on the other. I'm a bit concerned, to tell the truth - and look at that advancing Phalanx!
In the Shoot phase, Legolas paid another Might point (2/3 M) to wound the Captain yet again, bringing him one wound from death. Aragorn fumbled with his bow a bit this round, but otherwise nothing happened.
Kill count: Fellowship 0/37, Uruks 0/6.



Turn 3: To The River! (P - Fellowship)

Both armies continue to dance with the Fellowship baiting the Uruk-Hai and taking pot-shots as they retreat. The Uruk Captain has moved to the back rank of his formation, so it will be interesting to see what role he plays today. Minor objective of taking the enemy melee hero out of commission complete. No kills in the Shoot phase.
Kill count: Fellowship 0/37, Uruks 0/6. No kills so far in the game...this might be an all-time low.



Turn 4: The Dunedain Strikes True (P - tied, Uruk-Hai)

The Uruks have now forced my Fellowship to the river (which is exactly where I wanted them in the first place). My formation is set at the ford, with the hobbits ready to cover one flank if needed. The Uruks continue to press and their pike-banner combination is likely to make a real difference should my luck be the same as last game.
In the Shoot phase, Aragorn uses his free Might point to kill an Uruk-Hai with shield, making the banner-carrying Uruk a fair target for Legolas. Unfortunately, Legolas is unable to wound the banner-carrier, even though he loosed all three arrows against him. Tough nut to crack...
Kill count: Fellowship 1/37, Uruks 0/6.



Turn 5: The Volleys Are Answered (P - Uruks)

The armies continue to avoid each other, though Gimli has brought the Uruks into throwing-axe range. The crossbows prepare to fire for the first turn this round, so we'll see if they do much damage.
In the Shoot phase, Aragorn takes 1 wound from Vrasku (no Fate used), while the other crossbows fail to wound their targets (Aragorn and Gimli). Legolas shoots past the Uruk front line and nails an Uruk with pike in the second rank. Aragorn used his free Might point to hit an Uruk with shield, but failed to wound. Gimli fumbled for his axe and could not hit his target this round.
Kill count: Fellowship 2/37, Uruks 0/6.



Turn 6: The Deep Breath Before... (P - Uruk-Hai)

Boromir calls a heroic move to get Gimli and himself back towards the ford. The Uruks have closed the gap between the armies but still leave room for their crossbows to shoot this round. There will be melee blood next round...
In the Shoot phase, the Uruks leveled four shots at Aragorn. Two hit their target, but none wounded him. Silent Hallelujah right there. Though every unit except Boromir fired this round, only Legolas killed a unit and even he took down only one pikeman.
Kill count: Fellowship 3/37, Uruks 0/6.



Turn 7: A Clash of Arms (P - Uruk-Hai)

The Uruks have charged me, but I have met them at the ford. Swimming works as follows: the first time a model enters a river or lake, they move as if it were difficult terrain (half of movement for infantry). After that, a dice is rolled in each Move phase to see if the unit continues to treat it as difficult terrain, if it is treated as open ground, or to see if the unit drowns under the weight of his gear. A penalty of -1 is suffered if the unit wears heavy armor or Dwarf heavy armor (Uruk-Hai and Gimli have that standard) or if the unit bears a shield. This does not need to be rolled if the unit is at the ford. Uruks with shields drown on the roll of a 1-3, all others drown on the roll of a 1-2, as does Boromir and Gimli. Legolas has armor and so will drown on the roll of a 1, and Aragorn/Merry/Pippen cannot drown because they are unarmored.
In the Shoot phase, Legolas paid his last Might point to kill a pikeman supporting one of Boromir's attackers. Boromir now faces 4 attack dice instead of 6...yaye.
In the Fight phase, Aragorn called a heroic combat with his free Might point. He pays 1 Might to win the fight (1/3 M) and subsequently killed the Uruk he was fighting. He then advanced to engage one of the Uruks with shields fighting Gimli and an Uruk pikemen supporting his newly-conquered foe.
The rest of the fights went as expected: one of the Uruks fighting Boromir failed his courage test and Boromir went on to smote both of their heads from their shoulders (with one of the Uruks being trapped). Gimli handily won his fight with his two hand axes and promptly leveled the Uruk he was fighting. Aragorn won his fight easily enough, but failed to come remotely close to killing either of his opponents. Merry and Pippen, though valiant in their attempt to save Aragorn (and they really did free him up) promptly were shoved away by the Uruks and died (failing their Fate saves).
Kill count: Fellowship 8/37, Uruks 2/6.



Turn 8: Flurry of Blades and Futile Flailing (P - tied, Fellowship)

The Fellowship charges in a flurry of motion. Gimli seizes one of his throwing axes and with the aid of a Might point (1/3 M), slays the Uruk with shield he intended to charge. The Uruk who killed Merry and Pippen last turn and his first supporting pikemen both needed to take swimming tests, unfortunately, and each rolled a roll sufficient to drown (the end result on their dice would have been exactly 0 for each, so that's a shame but quite a feat). In the Shoot phase, Legolas let an arrow rip at a pikeman that Aragorn was fighting and unfortunately didn't roll high enough to wound him. With the crossbows moved this round, there was nothing else in the Shoot phase.
In the fights that ensued, Boromir paid a Might point (2/6) to win his fight after the Uruks successfully contested him in close-combat and slew one of his attackers. I could have killed another, but I would have had to pay 2 Might to do that and after last game, I need my Might to stay alive. Gimli wins his fight easily and promptly levels both of his foes. Aragorn pays his free Might point and one of his others (2/3 M) to win the fight and slays two of his foes. All told, the epic heroes this round killed 5 units...that's what I'm talking about!
Kill count: Fellowship 16/37, Uruks 2/6. The Uruks are 3 units away from breaking and 12 away from defeat. The Fellowship is 1 away from breaking and 3 away from defeat. On paper, it's still anyone's game...



Turn 9: The River Runs Red (P - Fellowship)

In their hour of great need, the Uruk Captain rallied his troops for a heroic move. The Fellowship heroes, knowing that Might is precious, decide to let the Uruks have their fun and cede the first move to them. The Uruks charged thusly. Boromir is trapped with the Captain in the same fight, while Gimli is ganged up on by six Uruk attack dice and no trapped units and Aragorn is stunted with 3 Uruk attack dice and only one killable unit. Oh, and the crossbows are cranking up for the Fight phase...and none of my units can move, since an Uruk with shield passed his swim test and the subsequent climbing test and engaged Legolas...great.
In the Shoot phase, the crossbows are the only units to act and Vrasku lands a wound on the embattled Legolas (1/3 Might used). Legolas saved it with a Fate point (1/3). The two guards of Vrasku with crossbows leveled their weapons to follow their captain's example. Both hit their targets (Aragorn and Legolas), but then needed to roll for in-the-way for their companions. The bolt intended for Aragorn hit him, but passed through his cloak harmlessly (failed to wound). The bolt leveled against Legolas went straight for his head, except at the last moment, the Uruk fighting Legolas moved into the path of the bolt and promptly crumpled to the ground. Besides the fact that this guy died, the only pity to it is that the Fellowship Shoot phase is over and Legolas can't fire this round now that he's freed up...grrr.
In the Fight phase, Boromir pays a Might point (3/6) to win his fight and fails to wound his opponents. Gimli also pays 1 Might to win his fight and fails to take down any of them too. Aragorn wins his fight easily and kills his opponent without using his free Might point. Perhaps a heroic combat would have been good right about now...oh well...
Kill count: Fellowship 18/37, Uruks 2/6. The Uruks are 1 unit away from breaking. Aragorn has 5 kills, Gimli has 4 kills, and Legolas and Boromir have 3 kills. 3 Uruks have been killed by the river or friendly fire. The only scoring unit on the other team is a single Uruk-Hai Warrior who drowned after shoving the hobbits underwater with his broad sword.



Turn 10: Broken (P - Fellowship)

The Fellowship heroes have scattered the ranks of the Uruk phalanx and are now taking apart the last of their forward strength. Legolas is free from melee fights for this turn, but he cannot escape the vision of the Uruk crossbows while still being able to fire this round (or risk being charged by Uruks across the ford).
In the Shoot phase, Legolas nails a pikeman who had trapped Boromir. He then turned to see Vrasku and his cronies fire their bolts at him. Two hit and wounded the great hero whose last 2 Might points both failed. Though the Uruks are broken now, the Fellowship lost its great archer and is also broken.
In the fights that subsequently raged, Aragorn killed two pikemen and Boromir killed the Captain. Gimli won his fight but failed to wound anyone. Still, he is alive and well and the world is looking good for the forces of Good as Turn 10 comes to a close...though neither side has won yet.
Kill count: Fellowship 22/37, Uruks 3/6. With both sides broken, we need to test and see how many units stay. It all depends on who gets priority now...

Here's what the battle looked like at the beginning of Turn 11 after an Uruk-Hai priority round: four Uruks fled the field and if each of the heroes kills one unit this round, the Uruks will lose the game. Due to the lateness of the hour, the fact that each hero at at least 1 Might point left, and the general discomfort of Gaius with how the melee fights were set, we called it a game as a major victory for the Fellowship.



Conclusion:

Assessment by Gaius:

Well, we tried. The first terrain pieces placed were the river and forests and I placed terrain places I didn't want the battle to go to (really out of the way). I was banking on getting to choose my location first, but that didn't happen. Oh well. I tried crossing the river and it worked for one Uruk (not so good with the trapping units who fought Aragorn and ran into two angry hobbits though. Next fight we'll do better...though the next set is Goblin games, so we'll see how that goes.

Assessment by Tiberius:

Ah, when the heroes work, they're amazing. Case settled. No fights lost in close-combat means no getting pummeled to death mercilessly like we did last game. Makes the game so much more enjoyable. Though I love playing with all these heroes, the fact that they need to share kills really hurts their performance. Seven kills for Aragorn is still really good, but 4 for all the other heroes? That's an under-performance, especially for a game that fights on until 25% of one force is left. Still, an enjoyable game and one of the few to actually incorporate combat with water!

Stellar unit for the Fellowship: Aragorn/Strider with bow

Gimli and Legolas both scored 4 kills, culminating in 40 points each. Boromir technically had the highest amount of points scored because of the Captain (who Legolas wounded twice), scoring a grand total of 90 points, which would be less if we gave 40 of the Captain's 60 points to Legolas because of the wounds he dealt. Aragorn, however, came out with 7 kills (most on the team) and single-handedly took warriors from the other player's plates and endured two showers of crossbow bolts (until Legolas was a likely candidate). It's so much fun to play with Aragorn, as his free Might point never ceases to do wonders for his survive-ability. Though all four heroes are amazing in their own right, I need to give this laurel to Aragorn.

Stellar unit for the Uruk-Hai: Vrasku

I try not to give it to heroes, but since we gave it to Aragorn above, we should go completely off merit. Merit works as follows: one Uruk killed Merry and Pippen. Another Uruk wounded Legolas and burned two of his Fate points. Vrasku wounded Aragorn and killed Legolas. Hmmm...hard choice. Vrasku also handily passed his Courage test to keep the other units in the game and always scored a hit each round. Sometimes the core units are disappointing...and when that happens, we may just have to pick a hero to give the award to.

Monday, November 28, 2011

To the Death: The Fellowship vs. The Uruk-Hai

With the grand tournament done, I'm going to experiment with the Fellowship a little against various evil forces. I went back through the battle reports I've put up, and figured out how many points each army has gained while playing their 11+ games. These numbers are visible in the brackets to the right of the army's record. 5 points are gained for a major victory, 4 for a minor victory, 3 for a draw, and 1-2 for a major/minor loss respectively. In these upcoming Fellowship games, I'll be sure to highlight what a major/minor victory entails. Two of these games are going to be against my army of Uruk-Hai (who are desperate for a better game than the "Clash of Piquets" last time), and two are going to be against the Goblins in two Moria scenarios.

Fellowship of the Ring: 500 points

Aragorn/Strider with bow - 180 points
Boromir of Gondor with Elven cloak - 115 points
Legolas, Prince of Mirkwood with armor - 95 points
Gimli, Son of Gloin - 90 points
Meriadoc Brandybuck - 10 points
Peregrin Took - 10 points

6 units, 2 bows + 1 thrown weapon, 6 heroes

The Fist of Isengard: 501 points

Uruk-Hai Captain with heavy armor and shield - 60 points
18 Uruk-Hai Warriors with shields - 180 points
14 Uruk-Hai Warriors with pikes - 140 points
2 Uruk-Hai Warriors with crossbows - 22 points
1 Uruk-Hai Warrior with banner - 39 points

Ally: Vrasku - 60 points

37 units, 2 crossbows + Vrasku, 2 heroes

The scenario we will be playing is a "To the Death" game on a board that is 48" x 48". Unlike the last game, the ability to consolidate a starting force is difficult in this game, as both groups could be spread pretty thin. In this case, only three units will be in each group, so hopefully (for me), the Fellowship heroes will start in the same region, so I can form a solid defense. I know already I need to keep Merry and Pippen out of the fighting if I can, but primarily just to make sure that Boromir and Aragorn don't get clobbered by the Uruk-Hai when the charging comes.

The map is set up as follows: there is the Amon Hen structure, three woods, a river, a rock cluster, and three hills. The Uruks won the roll off and have chosen to select their board edge (the eastern edge), ceding priority to the Fellowship for the first turn. In this game, it will be interesting to see if the superior heroic capabilities of the Fellowship can defeat the strength of numbers of the Uruk-Hai (who Gaius has gotten some practice with in the recent tournament games). As detailed above, each side is split into two groups. We rolled to see where each will be placed, and you can see what each of the components is below:
Isengard, Group 1: (0-3" OR 18-24")
Vrasku - 60 points
9 Uruk-Hai Warriors with shields - 180 points
6 Uruk-Hai Warriors with pikes - 160 points
2 Uruk-Hai Warriors with crossbows - 22 points
NOTE: the crossbow units are going to be substituted during this game with two Uruks with pikes leveled for a charge.
Isengard, Group 2: (0-3" OR 18-24")
Uruk-Hai Captain with heavy armor and shield - 60 points
9 Uruk-Hai Warriors with shields - 180 points
8 Uruk-Hai Warriors with pikes - 160 points

Here's the Fellowship groups:



Fellowship, Group 1: (0-3" OR 18-24")

Boromir of Gondor with Elven cloak - 115 points
Meriadoc Brandybuck - 10 points
Peregrin Took - 10 points

Fellowship, Group 2: (0-3" OR 18-24")


Aragorn/Strider with bow - 180 points
Legolas, Prince of Mirkwood with armor - 95 points
Gimli, Son of Gloin - 90 points


The scenario lends itself to my choice of how to group my soldiers - this Fellowship is the same one that fights at Amon Hen! Boromir and the hobbits need saving, so Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli will be meeting up with them. It's also nice that the measure for splitting up soldiers is based on number of units instead of points (as one side dwarfs the other by far). Unfortunately, also like in Amon Hen, the three Hunters will need to reach Merry, Pippen, and Boromir before they are overwhelmed.



Turn 1: The Fast Pursuit (Priority - Fellowship)

The Fellowship was able to advance first and safely moved out of range of the Uruk-Hai. Legolas loosed three arrows at Vrasku and landed one of them in his target's leg. Vrasku looked at the shaft, snapped it in half, and bellowed a roar (fate save successful).
Kill count: Fellowship 0/37, Uruks 0/6.



Turn 2: Answering The Horn (P - tied, Uruk-Hai)

Boromir called a heroic move and shifted himself between the advancing Uruk phalanx and the hobbits nearby.  The Uruks then charged all around and Aragorn emerged from the Amon Hen structure.
Legolas takes aim against the crossbowmen on the hill and lands two wounds: one on Vrasku and one on one of his bodyguards (1 Might used).
Aragorn used his free Might point and called a heroic combat. He won the fight easily but then rolled two 2s and a 3 to wound. The only fortunate parts to this sad event is that the Might Point was free and the Uruk-Hai rolled four 6s to win the fight (good thing one 6 by a Fight 6 unit beats those numbers).
In the Fights that ensued, Merry and Pippen met ill ends, with Merry taking one wound and failing his Fate save and Pippen taking two wounds and passing his Fate save but still dying. Boromir blew his horn, but the Uruks were courageous and contested him in the fight. They promptly lost the fight and Boromir lashed out and killed two of the Uruks he was facing (2/6 Might used).
Kill count: Fellowship 3/37, Uruks 2/6.



Turn 3: The Sound of Steel (P - Fellowship)

Crossbows ready to shoot on the hill and Uruk-Hai racing around the melee heroes spells bad news for the heroes here. I'm more than a bit concerned about how this fight is going to go.
Vrasku called a heroic Shoot but neither he nor his companion were able to score wounds on Legolas (Vrasku hit with one shot and rolled a 2, which he couldn't promote to a wound). Legolas then took aim and nailed Vrasku dead in the head.
Aragorn paid his free Might point and another Might point (1/3) to win his fight and killed one Uruk assailant. Boromir won his fight - which he was forced to fight because the Uruks were again courageous enough to contest him - at the cost of three Might points (5/6) and killed one Uruk as well. Gimli paid 1 Might point (1/3) to win his fight and promptly killed two of his foes. At this point, I'm paying Might points to win fights because my heroes can't roll 6s on their dice (and they've got about a 50% chance of getting a 6 on one of those dice).
Kill count: Fellowship 8/37, Uruks 2/6.



Turn 4: Noble Warriors (P - Fellowship)

By this time, I don't have many movement choices for Aragorn or Boromir (though I probably should have rushed Aragorn towards Gimli at this point. I was able to move Legolas off the hill which blocked him from view from the Uruks who were assaulting him, buying him one more archery turn. Gimli charged the other Uruk-Hai who were nearby and delayed a few others from rushing the archer too heavily.
Legolas was worth his salt this round and slew two Uruks with shields while paying NO Might points. I'm so happy...
And suddenly, I'm much less happy. Boromir's foes again were courageous enough to fight and this time Boromir rolled a 2 high. The 7 attack dice turned into 14 wounding dice and successfully landed 3 wounds to kill him (though only three wounds). Aragorn killed two of his assailants (free Might used), but this was not enough to make me happy about what happened a half-stone throw away. Gimli was a power house again and slew two of his opponents (no Might used). 
Kill count: Fellowship 14/37, Uruks 3/6. The Fellowship is broken, but with Courage 6 across the board and priority last turn, I'm not worried. The Uruks are 5 units away, so I'm not doing too bad here.



Turn 5: No Escape (P - Uruks)

With two Might left for each of my heroes (plus the free one for Aragorn), I'm not risking any heroic moves that could be countered by the Uruk Captain. As such, my units are all trapped right now and I'm not too happy about that. I need to role 6s (which no one has done in the last two turns).  There was no Shoot phase this turn.
As you can tell, things are not going well. Gimli lost his fight pitifully and was wounded four times, blocking only one in-coming wound with a Fate point. Being trapped by Uruks is a real pain. Aragorn killed two units but Legolas killed no one.
Kill count: Fellowship 16/37, Uruks 4/6.



Turn 6: Hard Pressed And Hardly Beaten (P - Fellowship)

So at this point, I'm really pressed for what to do. I've got two trapped heroes fighting eight Uruks each. I really, really, really need to roll a 6 in each fight this round.
I was happy that my heroes survived this round, but that doesn't mean the round was good. Aragorn burned his free Might point and his two remaining Might points to win his fight and came away killing two of his assailants. Legolas won his fight (2/3 Might points) again but failed to wound anyone yet again.
Kill count: Fellowship 18/37, Uruks 4/6. The Uruks are one unit away from breaking. I am soooo close to seeing this army vanish in a tough fight.



Turn 7: All Turns Black (P - Uruk-Hai)

The Uruks are in end-game phase, with most of them within 6" and visibility of the Uruk Captain. If he can pass his Courage test (1 Will and 1 Might remaining with Courage 4), the army will stay together. I also need to win just one more fight and kill one more unit.
Alas, not to be...Aragorn lost his fight by rolling a 3 high and was promptly dealt 5 wounds. Theoretically, if all three Fate points were successful, he would have received two of his three wounds. Unfortunately, only 1 of these rolls was successful (the other two were 2s, which even with the Free Might point wouldn't have been good). Following Aragorn's noble death was Legolas, who also lost his fight, failed all three of his Fate saves, and was dealt 9 wounds. Not a pleasant end for the game at all, except for Gaius who celebrated a major victory. 
Kill count: Fellowship 18/37, Uruks 6/6.



Conclusion:

Assessment by Gaius:

Winning feels good. It does - especially when you have an army of Uruk-Hai and you best the Fellowship of the Ring. :) In all seriousness, the game moved quite smoothly. I don't handle crossbows very well, so it was tough playing against a skilled archer with a good bow shooting at my vulnerable hero and guardsmen. I like Vrasku's ability to shoot twice, but his Defense 5 is a real draw-back when fighting Strength 3 ranged weapons (as Tiberius' Free People armies all sport). Next time, Uruks with shields will be standing in front of them to provide some protection, but on the whole, they served as a good diversion, tying up a 95 point archer with 80 points of units and leading to his getting trapped before he could move towards his friends. It all worked in the end.

Assessment by Tiberius:

There's something about playing with the Fellowship that is both invigorating and disheartening. It's great to have all (or mostly) elite troops who win fights when they roll a 6 and smash through the enemy without a problem. What can be tough, though, is losing a hero before you're done using him. It's also a bit unnerving when Merry and Pippen die and you're one unit from breaking. It shouldn't be a problem against armies that don't sport the Golden King of Abrakhan, but it's a bit disheartening all the same. On the whole, it was a fairer game facing the full-force of the Uruk army this time, unlike the Clash of Piquets game we played a while back.

Stellar unit for the Fellowship: Aragorn with bow

Though the bow was no help in this game, Aragorn really did a good job (except at the end). I usually say that Aragorn can kill his weight in units (namely, score 180 points in a game). In this game, he only scored 70 points, but that's still really good for a short game. Legolas scored 90 points this game, but this consisted of the crossbow Captain Vrasku and 3 other units. For having more turns of archer, I expected more from him. On the whole, the heroes had a rough day, with no 6s in their Fights after Turn 2 (Gimli had a 6 in Turn 3, but nothing that high since that turn).

Stellar unit for the Uruk-Hai: Uruk-Hai Warrior with pikes

I very rarely give these guys the titles they deserve (same with Goblin spearmen). If it weren't for the overwhelming number of dice (and the all-but-guaranteed roll of a 6 with 8 attacking warriors), the Uruk-Hai would lose most (if not all of) their fights. The pikes are vulnerable to Strength 3 units (Legolas' bow and Gimli's throwing axe in this case), but against Strength 2 weapons (hobbits and Aragorn's bow) or Strength 4 heroes (everyone except the hobbits), these guys are solid troops (or at least, as solid as their shield-toting cousins). The ability to spell death for a hero in one turn of losing a fight like this game featured is invaluable. I am looking at converting two of my pikemen into crossbowmen to mimic this army with warg riders potentially coming in the future. In the mean time, keep an eye out for more hobby projects and games this coming week!