Saturday, May 28, 2016

SBG Dunland vs. Free Peoples-Who is the real Istari?

Four brave souls gathered at Huzzah Hobbies last night to play the Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game (new name).  We decided to do a 1000 point battle using a NoVA Open scenario.  The goal of the game was to bring a "jewel-bearer" to a forge and "cast it into the fire" for three VPs.  Other goals included killing the enemy general, occupying ""diversion" points, and breaking the enemy force.  

The Forces of Good consisted of Saruman the Wise and Elendil of Numenor leading an alliance of Men and Dwarves.  Arrayed against them was an evil version of Saruman, Saruman of Many Colors (or the White if you are going by the movies) and his horde of Dunlendings and Uruk-Hai, aided by a Troll!  

Incidentally the battle was fought on the Trollshaws terrain made by John McConnell of DCHL and will be featured at the NoVA Open.  Excellent work, John!

Evil deployment

Good deployment


Evil takes priority and advances.

Good responds with a tight formation.

Evil sends a strong force up the middle with harassing forces to the sides.  The left flank has a stronger complement of fighting Dunlendings.

Good deploys a wall of archers on the left, Dwarves hold the center while Elendil and his Numenoreans come right.   

Saruman the Wise uses his long-range Sorcerous Blast spell to down a Dunlending.

 Numenorean volleys thin the Dunlending ranks.

Battle is joined!  Evil charges across the line!

Even more evil models are slaughtered by remarkably effective bow-fire!

The troll, immobilized by Saruman the White and fighting 5 dwarves, manages to win the fight!

Dunlendings backed by Uruk pikes fair poorly in the center.  Reinforcements head their way, conceding the left to Good.  

Thrydan Wolfsbane charges Elendil along with his forces.  He has a shot at killing the Numenorean forces.  

Side view of the action

Good archery has driven evil off of the left flank entirely.

Thrydan fluffs his attack and Elendil stands tall.

An overview of the action.

Once again, evil charges forward.

 Dunlendings flood the center..can they break the dwarven line?

Thrydan and his warriors go for Elendil again, only to have Saruman the Wise (good) knock down the combatants with a Sorcerous Blast and save the hero from combat.  Saruman the White (evil) stands by impotently.

Battle rages at the broken farmstead!

The troll makes short work of several dwarves, but can't quite break their line.

The Dunlendings manage to thin our the dwarven center a bit, but sustain heavy casualties.
The thin blue and black line holds.  Dwarves backed by Numenorean spears are tough!

Thrydan gets one last chance to kill Elendil as the king of Numenor struggles to his feet...but flubs the roll!  

With the Evil troops broken due to heavy casualties, and no chance to kill Elendil any longer, the forces of Evil quit the field!

Saruman the Wise and the forces of Good disperse the evil rabble, who leave bloodied but not destroyed!  And who is this imposter Istari?

Conclusion:  This game was probably won by good at the deployment stage.  They had troops in every section set up to counter evil.  Evil had the chance to deploy second but did not effectively allocate their resources.  Good dictated the pace of the engagement throughout.  Evil did have a few chances to turn the tide of battle by slaying Elendil, but canny use of Saruman the Wise and some rather bad luck on the combat dice ended that faint hope.  In the end, evil had lost over half their models, and good had lost perhaps a quarter of theirs.

Once again, SBG proves capable of handling a battle involving around 100 models total in quick and exciting fashion.  The game took about two hours all told.  Thanks to Devin and Jacob of DCHL for teaching us the finer points of the rules and strategy. If you are in the DC area, check out DCHL to get in on the action!

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