Monday, 7 May 2012

LOTR: Battle Report - SBG Mordor v Gondor

"...though thereafter we may walk in the shadows, I will not go forth as a thief in the night " 
                                            Boromir, Captain of the White Tower, The Fellowship of the Ring


Lord of the Rings battle report - Mordor v Gondor

LOTR - 4 x 4 Battle Field
Well this was my first official Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game - Mordor and the Witch King v Gondor with Boromir.  Being an avid War of the Rings fan I was clearly up for extending my gaming with both mass pitch battles and smaller skirmish games.

Craig used to play LotR SBG years ago and broadly remembered the rules - I am a complete novice having only flicked through the rule book on my shelf.

I supplied the forces as Craig still needs to paint his Gondor Army.  We set up a 4 x 4 battle field with several ruins including the ruins of Osgiliath and a hill for good measure.

LOTR - Witch King
Neither of us had the new rule books, but I had ordered them so I fielded a War Band type army while Craig decided to continue with the Legions of Middle Earth set up (not that it really mattered as we both had 500 points.

Craig was Gondor, I used my Mordor Orcs and stayed loyal to my originally painted army of Mordor, having never played Lord Of The Rings Strategy Battle Game - I had no idea how they would perform.

The forces of Middle Earth:

MORDOR - The Witch King of Angmar

LOTR - Warband 1

(Using Warbands)

Mordor Warband 1

Witch King with Flail as well as extra Might, Fate etc.

4 x Mordor Orcs with Bows
4 x Mordor Orcs with Shields
4 x Mordor Orcs with Spears

LOTR - Warband 2 Orcs

MordorWarband 2

Mordor Captain with Shield
4 x Mordor Orcs with Bows
4 x Mordor Orcs with Shields
4 x Mordor Orcs with Spears

LOTR - Warband 3 Wargs

Mordor Warband 3

Mordor Captain with Warg
3 x Mordor Orcs Warg Rider with Bows
3 x Mordor Orcs Warg Rider with Shields
3 x Mordor Orcs Warg Rider with Spears
1 x Mordor Orc with Banner

Gondor - Boromirs chosen Men of Minas Tirith

LOTR - Warriors of Minas Tirith
(Using Legions of Middle Earth)

Boromir with The Horn of Gondor
1 x Warrior of Minas Tirith with Banner
10 x Warriors of Minas Tirith with shields
10 x Warriors of Minas Tirith with Bows
10 x Warriors of Minas Tirith with Spears

LOTR - Gondor starts Deployment
We rolled for the scenario and deployment and set up each side of the board.  I wanted to test the rules and wanted to see how cavalry worked.  My plan was to draw Boromir into the middle of the battle field, flank him with archers and try to kill him with bows. Then set my Wargs to one side of the field and a contingent with the Witch King to the other and try to punch around his flank and attack from the rear (a common tactic I use in WotR to great success)!

LOTR - Warg Deployment
LOTR - Warg up close

LOTR - Orc Warband
LOTR - Mordor Orcs

Craig place Boromir in the centre with a small contingent of Warriors of Minas Tirith, his bows ended up in front of my warg, with  half the remainder in the middle of the field - the rest on the flank with the Witch King.

Ready to play, both sides were set and deployed - hills on one side and ruins in the middle the forces of good and evil were poised to fight.
LOTR - Witch king enters Ruins
LOTR - Mordor Orcs Advance
Desperate to give my Mordor army with the Witch King the advantage of the Ruins of Osgilaith we both rolled the dice - both wanting priority - my forces won, now I want the ruins of Osgiliath.

I immediately moved the Witch King of Angmar into the ruins of Osgiliath - in War of the Rings the buildings and ruins add a good bonus to the units defense, this as I discovered was not the case in LotR SBG and the advantage of the ruins didn't give the bonus I expected.

LOTR - Boromir Advances

Craig Moved his warriors forward and Boromir came running through the centre ruins - towards the centre of the battle field.

My Orcs shot at the Boromir, but I shouldn't have bothered as they had no effect what so ever! Craig shot at my orcs, but failed to hit any.
With no armies close enough to fight - we moved to the next round. 


Craig's turn for Priority

LOTR - Gondor Archers

LOTR - Boromir Charges Forward

Craig continued to advance and moved his warriors forward, Boromir took the centre with a couple of warriors and the banner bearer, and moved towards my Mordor Orcs and Captain.
LOTR - Witch King holds Ruins

LOTR - Gondor on the move

I advanced the Witch King of Angmar through the Osgiliath ruins so that I was at the far end and ready to engage the Warriors of Minas Tirith when they got to the ruins. 

Shooting was much like the last round and saw a Gondor archer kill a Warg, leaving me to roll for the rider, he survived and was able to continue to run towards the archers of Minas Tirith.

LOTR - Mordor Archers View

LOTR - Boromir the Target
of Mordor Orc Bows

I shot at the at the warriors with Boromir to wittle down the warriors with him... I managed to kill 2.
We were both still out of range and so were unable to fight...

LOTR - Witch King Braced for Combat


LOTR - Mordor Orc War band Braced for attack

Two rounds completed and still no combat, archery isn't as effective as I thought it might be, but still lets hope my warg fair bet ter when they charge the Warriors of Minas Tirith.

My priority again and time for me to start getting my plan into place - draw him into the middle and attack the flanks 


LOTR - The Witch King and his Mordor Orcs

My Mordor Orc war band with the Orc Captain move into their position in the middle of the battle field, the shields to the front, spears in support behind with archers either side, Boromir is mine!

I moved the Witch King of Angmar forward to the edge of the ruins and wanted to try him in battle - just need the Gondor troops to get a little closer...

My warg, edging closer to Gondor archers get ready to fight and their captain leads the pack to the fight.

LOTR - Gondor charge the Witch King

Gondor (well Craig) takes the bait - The warriors charge the Witch King in the ruins of Osgiliath and the Witch King prepares to finally fight.

Boromir and his dwindling warriors charge the centre of the field tunnel with walls on both sides... perfect targets for my archers!


LOTR - Mordor Orc Captain calls to Boromir

LOTR - Boromir answers the call to battle

LOTR - Mordor Orc Bows Target Gondor Warriors

There is another exchange of arrows between Gondor and Mordor, with both taking a few casualties, however with me rolling a few good dice rolls I come out on top and kill more of the Gondor warriors.
My Mordor Orc bows still target Boromirs warriors in an effort to reduce their numbers - as you can see in the image to the right.

LOTR - Warg Riders Split
COME ON!!! I want a fight!
It seems to be taking a long time for the forces to engage and I am desperate to try the battle system out on Lord of the Ring Strategy Battle Game. 

However, I am using the distance to my advantage to try to shoot the Gondor force before they get to my force, so that my numbers will really make a difference so I guess I can't complain too much.

LOTR - The Battle between Gondor and Mordor so far...

TURN 4 and 5

I decided that I would cover both rounds here and just use the photos to tell the rest of the story.

LOTR - Warg Captain starts the charge

LOTR - Boromir out numbered
LOTR - Warg Riders Charge Gondor

LOTR - Gondor and Mordor Warg Riders Battle

LOTR - Gondor warriors killed - Boromir still advances

LOTR - Warg Riders kill Warriors of Minas Tirith

LOTR - Gondor Fight Back, but can they do enough?
LOTR - Witch King and Gondor Fight
(Osgiliath Ruins Removed)

LOTR - Gondor and Mordor Orcs Battle

LOTR - Gondor view (a little shaky!)

LOTR - Gondor Break Through the Ruins of Osgiliath
- Mordor Banner comes in to Help

LOTR - Warg Riders take upper hand against
The Warriors of Minas Tirith
LOTR - Warg Riders Charge Gondor again and kill more

LOTR -  Gondor Archers kill a Warg Rider, but the Warg still Charges

LOTR - Gondor warriors dead, Boromir attacks and is surrounded

LOTR - Boromir blows his Horn of Gondor and wins combat

LOTR - Witch King is ready to fight as Gondor breaks through

LOTR - Mordor Orc and Captain surround Boromir again - 9-1!

LOTR - Warg Riders finish off the Gondor Warriors

LOTR - Warg Riders Charge last of the Gondor Archers

LOTR - SBG the Battle is almost over, Gondor is 'BROKEN'

LOTR - Warg Riders continue to kill the last of the Gondor warriors
LOTR - Mordor Warg Captain and Riders kill
Minas Tirith Warriors with ease

LOTR - Gondor Archers start to panic

LOTR - Gondor are pushed back from the Ruins of Osgiliath
by the Witch King and his Mordor Orcs

LOTR - Boromir, still un-daunted by the orcs, prepares his horn of Gondor

LOTR - Mordor Orc Archers start to target the remaining
Gondor Warriors

LOTR - Boromir lands a hit on the Captain of Mordor

LOTR - Warg Rider Captain finishes the very last of Gondor on the flank

LOTR - Boromir cries "FOR GONDOR!" and continue to kill more Mordor Orcs

LOTR - The Witch King, tasting victory charges Gondor

LOTR - The battle is over and Gondor are defeated

Final hour
About three quarters of the way through the battle, Gondors flank fell and the warg riders wiped out the last few of them.  Boromir was the only warrior form Minas Tirith holding the centre and when Gondor was broken the Gondorian troops fighting the Witch King started to fall like a hot knife through butter, they struggled to pass the courage test. The final stage of the battle saw Mordor completely overwhelm Gondor.  My first LOTR SBG ended with a victory to me, (Craig still is yet to beat me in a battle!) it seemed to be easy for Mordor to over power and over run the Gondor troops. My tactic worked, out flank and mop up.

Final Thoughts
I actually really liked the game.  I am a very avid War of the Rings gamer and love the game (and collecting the figures), but the Strategy Battle Games (for me) adds a bit of depth to our battles - now we can choose to fight a huge siege of Gondor or the battle for Helms Deep or a simple skirmish between two opposing forces, such as the Mines of Moria etc.  We are planning to go through the story and re-create the scenes using either LotR SBG or WotR depending on which is the most appropriate. Thumbs up from me!

Man of the Match
Without a doubt this has to go to Boromir - despite being shot at from all angles and being surrounded numerous times by orcs and a captain, he came out of the battle unscathed and lived another day to fight on against Mordor.  I tried to keep The Witch King away from him as I feared that he would be duelled and killed easily... may be next time I will pit my hero against his so that I can see how the duelling works - especially now Adrian and Alex are about to start playing.

Cant wait for next Time...

LOTR - Warg Riders with Captain

LOTR - Witch king Warband 
To see the full LotR / WotR Dwarf Army please visit this blog:

The LotR / WotR - Moria / Misty Mountains army please visit this blog:
We are about to start playing LOTR SBG - both skirmish battles and walk through the books/films each Monday night and WotR on club nights.

We welcome anyone interested in playing Lotr SBG, WotR or any warhammer/40K battle - why not let us know so that we can arrange some starter battles, like the one above, or if you/your club want to challenge us. We have all the LOTR SBG figures and LOTR scenery from the Mines of Moria to the siege of Helms Deep ready and waiting.  

Feel free to email us to come along or arrange a game.

East Grinstead War Gaming club


  1. Fun game. A couple immobilize spells from the Witch King would have gone a long way towards taking Boromir out of action though.

  2. Haha! Thanks - I still have to learn the magic side of the game, but all in good time. I know Craig and Adrian are quite up on LOTR SBG Magic and spells; I am sure they will teach me!

    Thanks fo rthe comments and look out for more SBG battle reports!

  3. Good report - I am just now getting back into LOTR SBG myself...

    Ways of dealing with Boromir - Use wraith to Sap Will, then he's open to transfix...
    After that, a Mordor Shaman casting Fury, will make your orcs automatically pass courage tests... negating the Horn of Gondor...

  4. A very late comment, but I wouldn't credit your strategies here so much, because your opponent was terrible. Just awful. Those photos boggle my mind. You split your Warg riders into a 4 group attacking 6 WoMT, 3 spears, and a 2 group attacking 10 archers. Somehow, those 2 were allowed to pick off archers in 2-dice-on-one-die fights instead of being swarmed by all 10 and trapped immediately. All told, you had six warg riders charge 17-18 guys and appeared to never be outnumbered in actual fights. Instead, the archers stood quietly by and plinked uselessly at.. orc trackers? How can someone fail to understand basic mechanics so badly?
    Next, instead of keeping Boromir where he could actually rally his guys, he charged him off by himself into enemy center mass. Not smart. Separating your heroes, instead of using them to kill guys in the main battle and help your regular men gain numerical advantages, is the dumbest SBG move around. But I'm not complementing you either, because you let half your army hang around in the middle of the "line" instead of engaging the main gondor contingent.

    Archers are useful for shooting things right up until melee breaks out. After that, witholding from combat is suicide.

  5. A bit harsh! Clearly this is a starter game, they are learning the rules!
    It's hard to judge your comments without a blog link....
    And look at the photos, there are 6 warg including a captain charging the WoMT, at least get your facts right before criticising!
    A good starter game and lovely figure, keep it up!

  6. Hi guys,

    Thanks for the comments... I think.

    Ill start by saying this was my first go at SBG and having played WotR previously, I was keen to try SBG. As our first battle it was lacking the planning and tactics that a seasoned or veteran player would have - I admit, but really if you read the post you would know that.

    Sorry you didn't get on with the photos - some people like them, and I guess some don't! I used to write full length reports, but they took too long and really, we just want the photos.

    Perhaps you could leave a link to you blog?

    Anyways, thank you for the 'constructive' feedback. Perhaps some of our more recent games will be more to your liking? If not, then hayho' I'm sure plenty of others enjoy them.

    Thanks to all for the feedback (both good and bad)!