Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Hobbit SBG - Black Guard v Gondor

The Hobbit SBG Logo

"Then he saw it: Barad-dûr, Fortress of Sauron. All hope left him."          
Frodo seeing from Amon Hen, The Fellowship of the Ring, The Lord of the Rings

The Hobbit SBG Rule Book
The Hobbit Strategy Battle Game Rule Book
So I have finally caught up with bits I needed to do and so have updated the outstanding battle reports. 

This week saw a battle between Craig (Gondor) and I (Mordor).  We had arranged a circa 1000 point battle and so I knew Craig would be taking Boromir, fountain guard and a tonne of Warriors of Minas Tirith.  

I decided to take The Knight of Umbar (to go head-to-head with Boromir), Gothmog, ½ my Black Guard army from Barad-dur and a couple of warbands of Morannon orcs.


Gondor Army of Minas Tirith
When I arrived, Craig had forgotten several of his warriors and so we discussed dropping to 750 points or he could take more heroes and split some of the warriors - he chose the latter and added Denethor and Pipin and some more citadel guard.

We wanted to get into the fighting quick so played on a 4x4 table with ruins on the west and woods on east sides of the table.  Craig won priority and opted for the ruins; it was clear from his deployment that he would fill the ruins with his rangers and then use his warriors of Minas Tirith to hold off the attack.

I smiled as I saw the opportunity for an early win, with 1/3 of his army (the bows) hiding in the ruins and a few troops to support them I was left to use 4 warbands of Mordor against Craig’s 2 warbands of Gondor who he had positioned in the gap of the ruins and on the board centre! Excellent, he didn’t even try for a round of shooting before I got there… “Divide and conquer”!

As you will see from the photos - I deployed my line as close to the centre of the field as I could and then prepared to charge - my Black Guard Uruk Hai were up for a fight.

Craigs Gondorian Army led by Boromir with banner

The Hobbit SBG battle field, with ruins and trees -
Craig won deployment and opted for the ruins

Once Craig had deployed his archers in the ruins and his Fountain guard on the entrance
 I deployed ready to surround his troops.

Close up of my Black Guard engaging his Fountain Guard, The shade helps tip the odds 

Gothmog calls the advance and my Morannon flank prepare to storm the ruins,
"THE AGE OF MAN...etc!"

Craig forms a circle to try to stem the number of Mordor troops descending on him,
Boromir takes the lead and charges forward

First round Gondor 4 vs 10 Mordor...

The fighting continues as Mordor surround the Gondor elite
and Craig's archers struggle to find a target

Gothmog and Cirian get locked into combat - I know he is usually a tough nut to crack,
 so my plan is to surround and kill (no change there then!)

The Knight of Umber's abilities allow him to copy some of Boromir's stats.
Craig doesn't use any might to boost up and with added support, the Wraith is looking strong...

Meanwhile the shade is helping the Black Guard push through the Gondor Fountain Guard
and Faramir is trying to push them back

Craig's bows are struggling to find targets to hit with all the combat going on

Gothmog slays Cirion with a little help from his friends

Next up Boromir vs The Knight of Umbar... and a few orcs who,
 using the Wraiths courage test and prevent Boromir using his horn of Gondor

Boromir - being matched by the Knight of Umbar and not using any might
received too many wounds to survive and was removed from battle, what a scalp for Mordor!
This time Boromir will NOT win man of the Match!

The Black Guard hunt down small pockets of Gondor Warriors

Faramir senses the battle being lost and sees an opening to take out the shade!

Round 2 - Gondor 4 vs 11 Mordor

With the numbers now heavily in Mordors favour Craig sends in his rangers
Madril might be too little, too late...

Denethor, would surprisingly is still on the battlefield
engages Gothmog to stop him moving forward

Despite calling herioc actions (expecting to win and fight some more)
Gothmog loses to Denethor and is pushed back

"FOR GONDOR!" Craig has a moment of rage following his disbelief
at Boromirs (not so) heroic death and plunges a lonely Warrior of Minas Tirith
into the Wraith to stop his advance

Farimir gets to the shade, but the Gondor line is looking very thin

Gothmog and Denethor continue their "Strictly come dueling" and engage again

Faramir wins, but fails to slay the shade, now he looks vulnerable

Black Guard Captain raises his sword shouting
"ANOTHER GONDOR SCUM HERE!" as my army descends on Faramir

A good round for Craig, he managed to hold of a lot of attacks and
with my poor rolling he wins
Gondor 5 vs 2 Mordor

The rangers and Morannon are stuck in a stale mate
as neither can kill the other!

Here we go again - Go on Gothmog - he's mad you can have him!

Faramir rages forward to have another attempt to kill the shade

Meanwhile the Gondor line is again swamped with Black Guard Uruk Hai

Faramir, brave, but stupidly dies surrounded by the shade,
Knight of Umbar, Black Knight Captain and a few orcs :¬D

Gondor start to collapse and near breaking point

Another round over and Gondor are really looking thin

Gondor 4 vs 12 Mordor, another clear round for Mordor

Mordor swamp the Gondor few and force them to form square!

Spot Gondor... the Black Guard Captain charges forward and Orcs are full in support

Gothmog... wanting another kill orders all to surround Denethor,
The old man WILL die

Still a stale mate with the rangers, who are holding up pretty well
against the morannon orcs

The black horde advance

Yeah... Morannon start to win!

Mordor in a frenzy set upon every Gondorian they can find, 

No he won't! Denethor wins again.. what are the odds,
Gothmog is going to have to up the game and use some more might

Craig's lonely bugler sounds the retreat,
Gondor are broken and end up loosing most of their troops in the next round.
Final score:
Gondor 20 vs 46 Mordor

Final thoughts - to be honest I tailored my army to take on Craig’s Gondor army, I knew the heroes and the soldiers and my two main concerns were Boromir and a host of archers/rangers to pick me off… but I had a plan. Black guard shields front centre - they are tough and can withstand the bow fire of Gondor, with Morannon on the flanks to wrap around and reduce the spear support.  This worked perfectly and saw me cutting through the Gondor line, whilst minimising the casualties from the bows, Craig saw this error too late and ran the rangers into the battle, but it really was too little, too late.

The final score was Mordor 46 - 20 Gondor, which seems more like an American Football score than a Hobbit SBG score.  Surprisingly, Denethor managed to hold off Gothmog for numerous turns and kept winning the battle against him despite my best attempts to outnumber and use of might… a bad dice roll is a bad dice roll…

Man of the Match: The Knight of Umbar
Man of the match - for once it wasn’t Boromir, for me it was the Knight of Umbar (Ring wraith) who’s special ability was able to use Boromir’s stats to attack him back and with the support of the other Mordor troops and shade easily won the fight, The Mordor attack was able to hit him so many times he simply did not have enough fate to survive and was removed from the field without using any might… huge win for Mordor! I really didn’t use the Knight of Umbar as well as I could, my main focus was on the special abilities and the occasional black dart, next time I will dish out more spells.

At East Grinstead War Gamers we often play Hobbit/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 The Hobbit SBG, 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/Hobbit SBG figures and LOTR scenery from the Mines of Moria to the siege of Helms Deep, snow fields to desert boards ready and waiting.  

Why not join our watch list for updates and look out for Easters weekend battle event... two days of fighting in the ruins of Osgiliath, Helms Deep and Far Harad, you cannot afford to miss it.
Feel free to email us to come along or arrange a game.

East Grinstead War Gaming club 

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