This is a tale of two battles. I set up two forces for a club game, but didn’t have enough time to adapt a proper scenario. So, 500 points forces using Legions of Middle-earth with the only objective of crushing the opposition.

Faramir lead a Gondorian force aided by Damrod, a Minas Tirith captain, and composed by a standard-bearer, 8 Citadel Guards with spear and 6 with long bows, 8 warriors of Minas Tirith with sword and 8 with spears, and 6 rangers with bows.

Lurtz’s horde had Ugluk, an uruk captain, an orc standard-bearer, 8 uruks with sword and shield, 10 with pikes, 7 uruk scouts, and 9 orc archers.

I played two games with these forces. First one solo at home in an “urban” setting, the other at the club in a more regular battlescape.

For the first battle I deployed all the wonderful cardboard buildings I’ve got built so far and some low walls. Deployed the armies and using my Isildur’s Bane rules hack had a go at it.

Armies maneuvered a bit, Gondorians gaining the first walls (which would be helpful against the uruk tide) and held there. Bowfire did nothing. I played about 5 or 6 turns but had to leave when the fighting was getting heavy. Having a cat in the house means I cannot leave the table laid and return to it, sadly, so I packed it all for Sunday (except the scenery). Here are some pics of that unfinished battle.

Next battle was at the club, La Última Fortaleza, where I can say I’m a regular now (wow, that’s a first). I played the Gondorians, and the other player had never played LotR. I taught him and I’m convinced he liked it enough to give it a serious try (meaning probably getting a plastics box and building a small force). Doesn’t get better than that, never mind the outcome of the battle.

The club’s scenery was just perfect for the kind of pitched battle we were going for. I deployed rangers on the left with Faramir, big block of swords and spears in the center with the standard-bearer and captain, and the Citadel archers on the right with Damrod. He had the uruk scouts on the right with the captain, another big block of swords and pikes in the center, and orc archers on the left.

I taught the rules fast, he got them in a minute, but left Heroic Actions out of the game for simplicity’s sake. However he saw how important initiative was once figures are in charge range and I explained that those special actions mess up with the initiative, creating a new layer of gameplay and planning.

I also assured him ranged combat in LotR isn’t useful at all, while at the same time my archers were doing heavy damage. I mean, they were being complete snipers, something I’ve never seen happen in the game! Rangers took good care of the uruk scouts, ultimately avoiding their destruction once the guys catch up with them. The other archers decimated the poor orc archers who, as usually, did no harm.

The center, however, was another story. Men tend to smash against uruks like waves on the rocks. And that’s what happened. My only advantage was that the sniping casualties would get him making Courage checks once the army got broken, but having 2 characters in there meant he didn’t have to check much. When my force broke, it was another thing entirely. After several rounds of combat where it was really not clear who would win (specially because every figure checks courage every turn, so you get unexpected casualties). In the end the uruks were outnumbering the Gondorians and it was easy to kill them.

Yeah, I lose, again! Thank god I’m a decent painter. Pics of the game below.

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