Saturday, February 4, 2012

Trapped in the Misty Mountains: The Fellowship vs. Goblins

This game is the second game between the Fellowship and my Goblin army. As in the last game, this is not going to be an even points match. Here are our forces:

Fellowship of the Ring: 785 points

Aragorn/Strider with bow- 180 points
Gandalf the Grey - 170 points
Boromir of Gondor - 105 points
Legolas, Prince of Mirkwood - 90 points
Gimli, Son of Gloin - 90 points
Frodo Baggins with Sting and mithril mail - 100 points
Samwise Gamgee - 30 points
Meriadoc Brandybuck - 10 points
Peregrin Took - 10 points

9 units, 2 bows + 1 thrown weapon, 9 heroes

The Denizens of Moria: 175 points

13 Goblin Warriors with shields - 65 points
12 Goblin Warriors with spears - 60 points
10 Goblin Warrior with Orc bows- 50 points

35 units, 10 Orc bows, 0 heroes

The scenario we will be playing the "Trapped in the Misty Mountains" scenario on a board that is 48" x 48". The terrain is set up to be no more than 12" in width between two walls/impassable terrain. The Goblins have been allowed to move along the impassible terrain, but the Fellowship cannot. The Fellowship begins in base contact with the southern board edge and win if five (which must include Frodo) can escape off the northern board edge. The Goblins begin anywhere on the board but not within 12" of the Fellowship and win the game if they can kill half of the Fellowship (or at least Frodo). The Good force can also win if they can completely defeat the Goblin force (killed or routed). For the sake of fairness, Frodo is too afraid of Sauron to put on the One Ring.

Down the center of the map is the ravine for the Fellowship to travel on. You can see the Fellowship deployed on the southern board edge and the Goblins scattered across the board. A major victory will be awarded to the Fellowship if they can get half of the Fellowship across the board before they suffer any casualties (and a minor victory will be awarded if they lose no more than 4). The Goblins win a major victory if they can kill five members of the Fellowship (and a minor victory if they kill Frodo but not four other heroes). No draw is possible in this game.

Turn 1: Journey In The Dark (Priority - Fellowship)
The Fellowship advances and Legolas and Aragorn advance slowly as they prepare arrows for the forces of the Goblins. Gandalf sets his staff alight (Cast Blinding Light, 0/6 Will) to shield them from direct archery fire when they get closer. The Goblins begin to close in from all sides and the Fellowship prepares for a fight soon.
In the Shoot phase, Legolas nails a Goblin with shield, while the Goblin volley fire clatters harmlessly around the Fellowship.
Kill count: Fellowship 1/35, Goblins 0/9.

Turn 2: Surprise By Foes (P - Goblins)

The Goblins begin to draw the Fellowship into their trap. Gandalf casts "Terrifying Aura" (0/6 Will) and the rest of the company prepares to make their stand, charging as fast as possible towards the daybreak (except for Aragorn and Legolas, who still prepare to fire their arrows).
In the Shoot phase, the Goblin volley team fires at Pippen, but their only hit lands on Gimli. To the surprise of both myself and Gaius, the Goblins not only roll the needed 6 to land the first half of the hit, but also roll the needed 5 to cause a wound! Gimli used 1 Fate point (and a Might point) to block the wound...ouch. Legolas responded by slaying another Goblin with shield, but two kills is not going to be enough to stave off the attack against the Fellowship...
Kill count: Fellowship 2/35, Goblins 0/9.

Turn 3: Unleashing A Storm (P - Goblins)

Aragorn called a Heroic Move with his free Might point and Gandalf immediately went to work to even the odds against the Goblins. He speaks a chant in Elvish and blasts a Goblin (1/6 W used) down the battle line into his comrades. The Goblin hit the ground hard, but rose to fight again. Two of his comrades would have rose, had not Boromir charged them while on the ground, and two fell to the blast (2/3 M used). A Goblin spearman tried to charge Gandalf, but failed. Thankfully, he wielded a spear and was glad to back up one of his other greenskin friends in a fight against Gimli. Other neared the great wizard, but didn't dare charge him. In the Shoot phase, the Goblins did nothing, though they have now spread almost in a line to cut off an advance across the field. Legolas paid a Might point (1/3) to kill another Goblin with shield, but by now he's a bit frustrated in that he can't seem to kill quite as many Goblins as he usually does.
In the Fight phase, Aragorn kills his opponent easily (notice the Goblin Legolas shot in the Shoot phase on the far left). Boromir won his fight and paid a Might point (1/6) to kill both of his foes. Gimli was a flurry of axes and managed to kill one of his foes.
Kill count: Fellowship 9/35, Goblins 0/9.

Turn 4: A Great Shout (P - Goblins)

Due to the Goblins AGAIN getting priority, Boromir calls a Heroic Move (1/6 M used) and charges two Goblins approaching to the east. Gandalf repositions himself, but can't quite gain the power necessary to blast a bunch of Goblins over. He satisfies himself with charging one of them. The other Fellowship heroes do the best they can to hold back the Goblins, but a sneaky spearman gets to Pippen unprotected. We'll see what happens. Nothing interesting happens in the Shoot phase. 
In the Fight phase, Aragorn and Gimli both killed their opponents (quite easily, no surprise - in fact, each wounded his opponent twice). Gandalf, Pippen, and Legolas all lost their fights (shame shame shame), but none suffered any injuries (no Fate points used either). Boromir won his fight automatically since his opponents were shaking in their boots, but he only managed to wound one of them.
Kill count: Fellowship 12/35, Goblins 0/9. The Goblins are 6 units from breaking...this could be really, really easy...

Turn 5: Cutting Through The Ranks (P - Fellowship)

The Fellowship know what they need to do to put this game away: Gimli and Aragorn both engage the remaining fighters in the north, while Gandalf focuses extra hard (4/6 W used) to make sure his Sorcerous Blast works: he blasts the target away (5") and the impact of the blast kills two Goblins who were standing nearby. The victim of the blast manages to survive (again). Sam gathers up his courage and charges one of the Goblins on the ground. The other (the victim of the blast) is sore getting up and can't quite reach Sam's fight to assist his fallen comrade. The other fights are predictable. In the Shoot phase, the Goblins fire at Merry and score 2 hits: one turns into a wound and Merry manages to shrug off the injury, calling it a flesh wound (Fate save). Legolas shot this round and failed to wound anyone...bummer.
In the Fight phase, Sam pays a Might point to try to kill his foe, but cannot seem to deal the needed blow (the guy with the dice near him isn't dead). Gimli uses the two-handed axe he fought the last Goblin with and cuts down both of his spear-bearing foes with ease. Aragorn, on the other hand, pays his free Might point and another one to win his fight, and digs deep for another Might point to kill both of his foes (2/3 M used). Boromir is contested this time to win the fight and kills both of his opponents (3/6 M used). Frodo uses Sting to kill the Goblin he is fighting and scores the first kill for a hobbit in this game. Gandalf uses the great sword Glamdring to slay his foe as well, bringing the count of dead Goblins above the needed level to cause the Goblins to begin their rout.
Kill count: Fellowship 22/35, Goblins 0/9. Boromir and Gandalf each have 5 kills, while Aragorn and Gimli are close behind them with 4 each. Legolas has only 3, but the upcoming archery kills could make that higher. Frodo comes in sixth with one kill, and the other hobbits are scoreless (though only Merry hasn't fought in a fight). With only five Goblins passing their courage tests, we called the game here...major victory for the Fellowship.


Assessment by Gaius:

Four of the six rounds played, the Goblins got priority. It's a bit of a bummer that one of those rounds was the one that I needed to test courage on. Oh well...having lots of Goblins against a small number of heroes could have worked a lot better if I had started closer, perhaps, but it's okay the way it ended (no real surprise, at any rate).

Assessment by Tiberius:

On the whole, we figured the game would end this way: when the Fellowship was able to side-step the Goblin advance and unleash magic into their ranks, it's not hard to defeat them. We probably should have played that the army didn't break (even though it was in the rules), but having 13 Goblins against 9 heroes isn't going to end well anyway. At the end of the day, it was fun and we hadn't played the scenario before.

Stellar unit for the Fellowship: Gandalf the Grey

Gandalf did wonders for his team this game not only by killing Goblins with magic, but also by shielding his friends from unwanted enemy fire. I didn't document it above, but there were seven archery shots that were avoided because of Cast Blinding Light and Boromir killed two Goblins who were knocked down thanks to Gandalf's magic. With Boromir being the only contestant who had as many kills as Gandalf this game, I see it only fair to give the credit to the superb wizard who has helped so many Elves, heroes, and hobbits stay alive. My pointy hat off to you, Gandalf the Grey Pilgrim.

Stellar unit for the Goblins: What can I say...Goblin Warrior with Orc Bow

Saying that there is a "stellar" unit in this game is a bit of a misnomer, as not much was done by the Goblins. I could say that the shield-bearing Goblins took the brunt of Legolas' archery and Gandalf's magic, but at the end of the day, none of the melee units could convert their victories in combat (when they seldom occurred) into wounds - not even against foes with D5 or less. As such, the only real damage done in this game was by the archers: once during a volley fire piercing Gimli's armor and causing him to lose a Fate point AND a Might point, and later knocking off the Fate point of Merry. All told, this is the best the Goblins had to offer and it was...well, Goblin-ish.

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