The Viking Legal Team in Action

The Viking Legal Team in Action
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Sunday, March 6, 2016

NT Skirmish: RAW, Lord of the Rings re-fight w'stat charts

This re-fight was needed as I messed up some of the rules. I'm concerned that the 1pt Goblins have two wounds - twice as hard to kill as one wound, yet they are very cheap. LotR SBG has a very similar combat mechanism, yet they've 1 wound and cost 4 points or so. Numbers can make a big difference, and this skirmish set is presented as mainly a shooting game of Queen Vic's Little Wars, so more attention was paid to shooting than melee, I think. Basic mechanisms are not only very solid but quite intuitive.

Below the long road ahead.  A village with some hedged fields, then some hills, ruins and wild country after. The Fellowship works to keep Frodo moving closer to Mordor - but what dangers and obstacles lie ahead in the wilds of Middle Earth...???   

Foam dark age village painted by me, unknown make.  Hedges, trees and walls are Christmas village items.  Ruins are aquarium pieces [Greek ruins], road is from Usborne paper castle, felt woods, brush is Spanish moss, cloth is a reddish brown canvas, hills were bought - styrofoam.

Below is a closeup of the Fellowship's starting area. Their goal is to move Frodo off the end of the road while taking minimal casualties. 67 point force.

Below is the evil end of the table.  Wild ruins and woods.

Below is Goblin blocking force: King Durburz, 8 archers, spearmen, sword/shield.  The cunning plan? Hold the Fellowship front while rear attack catches up and surrounds them.


Below the rear chasing force, except for the troll. A captain, 4 archers, 5 sword/shield, 9 spearmen.  The Troll enters with the blocking force. 77pt force altogether.


Below the archers set up behind the hill, hoping to get LoS on targets in the center. The 16 speargobs and swordgobs are behind the woods with King Durburz.


Below the Fellowship starts off. Formation is Gimli and Boromir [melee types with armor] lead, flanked by Legolas and Aragorn [fighting archers], four Hobbits [weak melee troops] and Gandalf in the rear [fighting heavy shooter]. Boromir is played in this scenario by William Marshall, famous feudal era knight, Essex casting I believe.


Below is the long road ahead. Goblin archers lurk behind hill to front left, rest on hill past woods to right. Can the Fellowship punch through the front???


Below Turn 1. Full moves down the road - Hobbits 4", Dwarf 5" [and goblins], humans 6" and Elf 7" moves. Points were adjusted for the speeds using the Afghan precedent. The Goblin archers move onto the hill, while the rest move through/around the woods to right.


Below turn 2. The Fellowship move again down the road, using the hedges as cover, aware that the Goblin archers will begin shooting soon.  They only have a 16" range, but it is enough.

Turn 2 Fellowship shooting. Legolas and Aragorn miss 2/3 shots needing a 2+ [frustrating!], Legolas gets one wound [red bead on Goblin archer]. 

Below, Goblin shooting: need 5+ to hit Boromir, get two [6s]. Two cover saves from hedge needing 4+ both miss. One hit rolls a '1' for no wounds, the other a '4' for one wound, which Boromir saves thanks to his heavy armor [4+ save].


Below Turn 3. Fellowship pushes Hobbits forwards, Boromir and Gimli hop the hedge [1/2 move] to head towards archers. Plan is to massacre archers and advance through the ruins, using the ruins as cover against the goblin horde. Aragorn and Legolas take down two archers. Goblins get two hits, one hits hedge. Other causes a wound [5] that is saved with '5' [needs 4+ for heavy armor]. King with 16 goblins continues to advance against Hobbit spearhead, off-camera to the right!


Below turn 4-5. Goblins intercepting the Fellowship, who hop over hedge as defense while Aragorn and Legolas continue to kill Goblin archers. Four dead [2 wounds+] and one wounded [1 wound, figs fight normal with wounds].


Turn 5-6, Legolas hops wall and takes one shot [repeaters can move and take one shot, or shoot twice] at Goblin chasing force, missing...again. They've four archers at the house - they miss often over the next several turns, getting few hits.  Illustrated is one that wounds Legolas. A '6' to Hit, the '3' a missed Cover save for his wall [needs 4+], the '4' a Wound followed by a '3' for a missed Armor save [needs 5+ for medium armor]. 


Below Turn 6-7. Cave troll spoils plan [rolled 50-50 chance for North or South side, and he entered North by the archers bottom of Turn 6] to punch through weakly-held archer flank. Attacks by Boromir and Gimli net two wounds but they have to fall back and try to hold him at the gate. Troll attacks gate held by Gimli and wins melee, giving him two wounds. one annoying thing is that with no zoc or support rules, it is pretty easy to pick on one figure when you are initiating melee - it's like your comrades stand around and do nothing. 

Goblins rush the hedge held by...Hobbits. Yes, Hobbits. A mistake in planning as the two melee rocks hold gate redundantly while weak figures fight at hedge - hoping that the cover save will help them out, but the numbers are a problem.

Below, Turn 8. Troll smashes gate and enters field. Takes a wound from Boromir and Gimli who win but roll poorly to wound. Sam and Pippin take wounds despite cover saves.


Below, Turn 9. Bad turn for Fellowship. Lose Pip and Sam, Frodo takes wound [!] while Aragorn rushes across field to help. He misses [again!] shot against Troll. Melee against troll ends up a push.


Below, Turns 8-9 on West End. Legolas holds back the horde, solo. He manages to kill a gobbo, I think he hit twice but missed one wound roll. Doesn't look good...


...And it isn't good. Goblins win melee easily, getting several hits some are saved by the wall but three get through and aren't saved by his Medium Armor = dead prince.


Below, Turn 10 - disaster. Troll dies, Merry dies, Frodo takes another wound, Gandalf dies, Aragorn dies [lucky rolls there]. Goblins cross hedge and push on despite many dead.


Below, Gimli and Boromir fight on for spite. Maybe one of them can seize the ring before the goblins take it to The One Fiery Eye?? The Goblin blocking force goes over 50% and many take to their dirty heels and run, but the chasing force is still solid.


Below, Turn 11. Gimli dies, taking 6 wounds and getting no saves - not a single 4+! No cavern job for him. Boromir fights on, driven perhaps by desire to possess Isildur's Bane??


Boromir faces off against the Goblin chieftan. He's outnumbered, but the chasing force has taken enough casualties to begin rolling break tests. Pippin guards the rear.


Below, Turn 13 or so. Boromir fights the last of the Goblins. Pippin dies. Many goblins have run. But even if Boromir can kill the chief and three goblins, it is a loss - Frodo is dead, and Boromir will take the ring, go mad and begin buying Games Workshop stock like crazy!


Whew! What a mess. Well, I can't say I played the Fellowship just right. Goblins are too tough for the points, and despite having three characters ended up with 44 goblins which is a tad too many. Splitting the force was a good idea, but I need to delay the chasers one turn and push harder with the Fellowship for them to have a chance.

Several rules are needed. Getting support from figures next to you, a Zone of Control to prevent people racing around you, a bonus for rear attacks / being trapped, running, allocating wounds, etc. I will probably crib some from LOTRSBG but it isn't hard.

I believe the platform is very solid, with good simple mechanics and clean handling of the turn, movement, etc. Combat is a bit long, with a roll to hit, a roll for cover, a roll to wound, then armor saves. Four dice in sequence is a bit much. I'll probably get rid of the Deep Cover rule to substitute more rules on melee weapons.

Below are the charts I created for the figures. Note that a 1-point upgrade in a value is usually compensated for in a 1-point downgrade, which is the example from the army lists with the Afghan hill soldiers, so I call it "the Afghan precedent". I've multiplied the values by ten from the original rules but nothing else. Easy to note that there are 5 attributes, so 2 points an attribute for an upgrade makes sense.

CHARACTER
Move
Shooting
Melee Dice
Wounds
Morale
Point Cost
Aragorn
Ranger Bow [rifle], sword [melee weapon], medium armor
     Hero
6”
2+
4
5
2+
110
Legolas
Elf Bow [repeater], double daggers [melee weapons], medium armor
     Hero
7”
2+
4
4
2+
110
Boromir
Sword [melee weapon], chainmail & shield [heavy armor]
     Hero
6”
2+
4
5
2+
100
Gimli
2H Axe [melee weapon], throwing axes [pistol], dwarf armor [heavy armor]
     Hero
5”
2+
4
6
2+
100
Gandalf
Glamdring [melee weapon], Staff [Jingall], venerable [medium armor]
     Hero
6”
2+
3
6
2+
110
Frodo
Sting [melee weapon], mithril coat [heavy armor], the RING [?!?]
     Soldier
4”
4+
2
3
2+
60
Sam
Sword [melee weapon], rocks [pistol], fearful dodging [light armor]
     Soldier
4”
3+
2
3
2+
40
Merry
Sword [melee weapon], rocks [pistol], fearful dodging [light armor]
     Levy
4”
4+
1
2
4+
20
Pippin
Sword [melee weapon], rocks [pistol], fearful dodging [light armor]
     Levy
4”
4+
1
2
4+
20
TOTAL                                                                                                                                                        670


CHARACTER
Move
Shooting
Melee Dice
Wounds
Morale
Point Cost
Cave Troll
Huge Hammer [melee weapon], chain [pistol], thick hide [medium armor]
     Hero
6”
3+
5
6
3+
90
Goblin King
Bladed stave [melee weapon, spear], heavy armor
     Veteran
5”
3+
4
5
3+
80
Goblin Chief
Bladed stave [melee weapon, spear], medium armor
     Soldier
5”
4+
3
4
4+
50
Goblin Cutter
Sword [melee weapon], shield [light armor]
     Levy
5”
5+
1
2
5+
20
Goblin Stabber
Short spear [melee weapon], rusty armor [nothing!]
     Levy
5”
5+
1
2
5+
10
Goblin Spitter
bow

5”
5+
1
2
5+
10
Total with 13 cutters, 17 stabbers, 12 spitters is 770 pts.

Based upon the above charts, I think these will be relatively easy rules to use with most armies, certainly historical ones. While there's a greater challenge with a fantasy list, it's still pretty manageable, altho I'm tempted to lower all four categories one in wounds so that the hordes of rabble don't last long. Perhaps a cultural bias against goblins??

Conclusion: highly recommend using these rules, and grabbing a copy of Introduction to Wargaming. There's plenty of useful rules and ideas, and the WWII rules also have a lot of potential. I think this system would handle several different types of turn sequence well, including cards or PIPs, including roll-offs. I'll look forward to adapting them to several periods, but right now am thrilled at how well they work for Lord of the Rings!

3 comments:

  1. Nice! I like the flavor text: "Boromir fights on, driven perhaps by desire to possess Isildur's Bane??" Great stuff!

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  2. Those who strive to possess the ring...are likely to be possessed by it themselves!

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  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

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