Saturday, October 15, 2011
Understanding the Game: Creating the World of Middle-Earth
So, it would be so easy to simply play on a flat plane (say a kitchen table) with no rocks, hills, trees, or buildings. For some armies, this has definite advantages, but in reality, the world isn't like that. The same goes for Middle-Earth - its flavor is simply lost if you don't have hills, buildings, woods, and rivers in it. So, today we're going to learn some of the rules for terrain in the Lord of the Rings world, since that does shape the way units are used. We're going to focus in particular on the Wood Elves, since their life and death tends to rely on the presence of terrain.
1) Obstructing terrain
2-5: The unit manages to clamber up/over: place the unit on the object where he tried to climb up or on the other side of the object he sought to jump. No more movement is possible.
6: The unit exhibits great dexterity and leaps up/over the obstacle without difficult. Continue moving normally up to your maximum move distance.
2-5: Unit may move as though in difficult terrain
6: Unit may move his full distance.
If the unit reaches the other side of the bank, he takes a "climbing test," as described above. If he rolls a 1 on the climbing test, he cannot climb out of the water and then will take a swim test on the following turn. A unit who is swimming cannot shoot, but he can fight if he comes in base contact with another unit who is also swimming.
There are also modifiers to the swim test chart, particularly based on the equipment that a unit bears (since a unit without armor is less likely to sink than a unit who is weighted down with heavy mail). To simulate this, we have the following bonuses or penalties based on equipment choices:
No armor: +1 to dice roll
Mithril armor: +1 to dice roll
Heavy armor: -1 to dice roll
Dwarf Heavy armor: -1 to dice roll
Shield: -1 to dice roll
In summary, terrain is helpful for some units and greatly aids in keeping light units alive. They also tend to be devastatingly painful to armies that lack archery or that rely too much on cavalry. For armies like the Wood Elves of Mirkwood, such terrain is their forte and gives them a fighting chance against their foes. Other pieces of terrain can help armies of Goblins, Dwarves, and Uruk-Hai, as it can prevent the devastating archers of the Elves from making short work of their front lines (or vulnerable units).