This weekend my friend Gabriel and I got together for some LotR action. He had never played a miniatures wargame before, so I decided I´ll do the intro with this fine game.
I made up two forces roughly balanced and went for an all or nothing scenario. Last figure standing wins. One warband was comprised of 4 elves with swords, and 4 elves with bows. The other one had 5 uruk-hai with sword and shield and 5 uruk-hai with pikes. It did seem balanced, specially by the lack of firepower on the Isengard side, but the uruks wearing such heavy armor just slipped my mind. The elves were better at everything, except at actually hurting the bastards.
I gave him a tour on some wargaming basics. For example, one of us placed the terrain, the other decided where to deploy, and stuff like that. After that we started the first game. He used the elves so I could teach him about movement, shooting and combat. The uruks won the game, but after that he got a fairly good idea of how a wargame works.
Second game we switched sides. I had the elves and went for a very defensive tactic. However he was smart enough to keep his pikemen behind the sword uruks all the way and if I recall correctly I did not do even one casualty with bow fire (even though I fired almost twice what he did the game before). The climatic finish over the hill was amazing, and the poor elves bit the dust.
It was a really fun afternoon, and he liked the game very much. For next time we´ll go with the first scenario from the TT rulebook. It includes cavalry and some civilians for the “scenario with fun objectives” feel I really like in LotR. After that it´s characters and open war!
I´m convinced that this system is by far and wide the finest fantasy wargame I have ever played. It is fun, elegant, fast, and let´s you play with the coolest figures ever made by GW.