NOTE: If you’re wondering where Scenario 12 is (The arrival of The Witch King) is, well we did play it. It’s a weird little dice and card game that lasts about 30 minutes, is heavily random, doesn’t make much sense in places, and clearly hasn’t been playtested by its’ authors. It could have been fun if they’d spent a bit more time developing it. Sai won. That’s about all the time we’re going to devote to it. And so onwards to Scenario 13:
This week we have a straight out proper battle out on the field of the Pelennor! Finally.
Theoden and co are charging at Gothmog and his cronies in a glorious headlong rush (in the movie. Sai does it more cautiously).
For this game the forces are: Sai has Theoden, and pretty much the full cast of Rohan heroes, all on horses – plus 24 Riders of Rohan on hosses.
I’ve got Gothmog, Gothmog’s Enforcer, 2 Morannon Orc Captains, and 36 Morannon rabble, all on foot. The field is blank wide open – I’m going to get squashed.
The mission is: Evil win if I kill Theoden and Eomer, or Good win if Sai manages to mow me down to 25% of my starting force.
My first thought this will be a walkover (gallop-over) for Sai, although, the scenario does allow me to force a draw if Gothmog leaves the board edge he started near. But he’s only allowed to do that once his force is down to 50%.
Turn 1, we shuffled around a bit. Sai did not come barreling in but sauntered forward in order to get some bow shots off. So much for the berserk charge!
Now there was another rule in play in this scenario which I forgot until this point in the game. Any of Sai’s models who can charge, MUST do so. It’s the theme innit?! So, I tried some sinister manouvering to draw out some of his forces little by little. This worked – for about 5 minutes
Sai duly charged a few in where he had to. Fisticuffs ensued. As far as I remember my chumps did ok in these small battles.
However, Sai saw that the time had come and came blazing in with all his heroes. Meanwhile Gothmog was counting the Orc death toll so he would know exactly when to scarper off the board edge (which he was sitting very close to).
Fights raged across the field, I was losing most of them at this point. That was kind of ok for me. I WANTED the Orcs to get dead so Gothmog could leave.
However – the losses were such that gaps in the line (that I’d partly left there myself, oops) allowed Theoden, and this fancy dude (whose name I forget) to come crashing in and catch Gothmog in combat:
It became a furious struggle to get Gothmog out of combat and off the board. Gothy fought his way clear – and Sai was about one Orc away from reducing me below 25%. And so it came down to the priority of Heroic Moves. If Sai got in first, he would charge and pin Gothmog, and slaughter more than enough Orcs elsewhere to win. If I got it, Gothmog would be off the board, =Draw.
Sai rolled… and couldn’t bear to look…