I set up a small 30 ratings game using my Lord of the Rings miniatures, featuring Gandalf and some friends helping defend a village in Rohan from a raiding party led by a Ringwraith. This will have happened some years before the War of the Ring.
- Gandalf (Grand Magus, Star)
- Treebeard (Treant, Extra)
- Royal Guard (Sergeant-at-Arms, Extra)
- 4 Rohirrim (Soldier-at-Arms, Extra)
The heroes would also get an 'unexpected ally' showing up in Act 2 thanks to the rules of the Grand Magus:
The villains intent on raiding Rohan were:
Ringwraith (Dark One, Star)
Uruk Champion (Orc Chieftain, Extra)
6 Uruk-Hai (Orc Warrior, Extra)
3 Dunlendings (Ruffian, Extra)
I decided not to bother with Stealing the Scene, Objectives, Macguffins or Encounters as I was after a refresher of the core rules and it's quite hard to tactically outsmart yourself.
The defenders of Rohan take the initiative and surge into village, taking care to stay out of sight of the Nazgul and his venomous black darts.
The servants of Mordor charge in, intent on destruction. The Uruk Champion looses an arrow which some how manages to injure the looming form of Treebeard.
The Dunlending Wildmen spot an apparently easy target and head for the old man leaning on his staff...
The old man suddenly reveals himself to be Gandalf Greyhame, and with a rousing, "None shall pass!" stuns one of the Wildmen, before finishing him off with Glamdring.
The other Wildmen are suddenly confronted by the towering shape of Treebeard emerging from the woods.
Gandalf then demonstrates that it's not just rock bridges that he can sunder, and opens a yawning chasm infront of the approaching Uruks, sending them reeling backwards.
However, the sudden appearance of the chasm simply caused the entire warband of Uruks to find a different route into the village.
In case you were wondering, a Trilogy Card had prevented the heroic extras doing anything but move if they activated, and so the Rohirrim had stayed still.
The lead Uruk surges into the village and cuts down the first man of Rohan he encounters.
The gap is exploited by more Uruks, who rush to engage the Rohirrim.
Meanwhile, the only Wildman still on his feet bravely charges Treebeard, to no avail, and in the following turn is knocked into oblivion by the Ent's thrashing branches.
Gandalf rushes to bring magical assistance to the men of Rohan, and his blinding light helps them to turn the tide on the servants of Sauron; but not before he manages to distract himself whilst spellcasting.
Having dispensed with the Wildmen (one was dead and one had been kicked into a field), Treebeard heads towards the accursed sound of the burarum.
Despite Gandalf's meddling, the forces of evil surge forwards once again; the Ringwraith dominating the will of the Royal Guard and the Uruk Champion bringing down another man with his bow.
Meat was definitely back on the menu.
The Nazgul shrieks calling for reinforcements from his army of darkness, but the lone Uruk that answered the call was intercepted from above as the great wings of Gwahir darken the sky before lifting the creature up to drop it to its death.
Reinforcements are the order of the day as another man of Rohan appeares from nowhere to bring down the Uruk on the hill.
The Uruk Champion was stunned by an arcane bolt from Gandalf.
The Champion got himself up and braces himself for further attack. The Nazgul fells the newly arrived man with a black dart in his back and once more overwhelms the loyalties of another of the Rohirrim.
The heroes are unable to make any further headway, and Gandalf manages to distract himself again whilst failing to cast a spell...
"Have I left the iron on?" He pondered.
Two more men of Rohan fall to black darts and a fearsome uphill charge from an Uruk. The Uruk Champion is unable to join in the fray as he suddenly suffers malfunctions with all of his weapons at once.
Just when things were darkest, Gandalf strikes the telling blow.
Another rousing cry of, "None shall pass!" sees the Uruk Champion stunned, enabling the Royal Guard to finish him off.
Meanwhile, the wizard lights a fae fire between himself and the Nazgul, keeping the evil creature at bay.
One of the few remaining Uruks is suddenly flattened by a boulder seemingly falling from the sky, hurled by Treebeard who had spent all of Act Two not being hasty.
Whilst fending off the Ringwraith, Gandalf has left himself exposed to a rear attack from the last Uruk, and is almost brought low, narrowly escaping being finished off by a black dart that pinged off the Uruk's shield and ruining Professor Tolkein's story before it starts.
Somehow, the Dunlending catches the Windlord by surprise, and momentarily has the great eagle at his mercy, but seconds later the majestic Lord of the Eagles grabs the Wildman in his talons, sweep up into the sky and drops the unfortunate man to his death.
With the forces of evil on the verge of being overwhelmed, the attackers slip back into the night. Gandalf steps back behind a house to catch his breath. That had been a close one.
However, he was still standing and there was much to do. It would take more than an Orc blade to finish Gandalf the Grey.
Ultimately the game was a draw, with the only victory point being scored by the heroes for axing the villainous cast. Either a failed spirit test for the villains or another wound on Gandalf would have delivered a minor victory to one of the forces.
It was definitely worth boning up on the rules ready for Friday, and I enjoyed messing with the final version of things like magic, which is much improved on and dominates the game less than the initial draft we tested, whilst still being meaningful and fun. It was nice to see that a cast without a spellcaster wasn't overwhelmed one of the best spellcasters in the game.
The only slight negative to come from the game was the realisation that I need to paint some riderless horses in order to use my Riders of Rohan in 7TV: Fantasy.
I hate horses!