Sunday 7 November 2021

A Knife in the Dark

After escaping Bree with very little difficulty, Aragorn and the Hobbits make haste through the wilds (skipping second breakfast) until they reach the ruined watchtower of Amon Sul.

Aragorn goes in search of signs of both their pursuers and Gandalf. However, the hungry Hobbits light a fire to cook a meal, unintentionally alerting the Nazgul and their leader, the Witch King of Angmar to their whereabouts.

The Quest of the Ringbearer has now reached Weathertop, where the Black Riders will finally get to attack properly, without any random movement hampering them. 

The scenario goals are very straightforward. The Ringwraiths must kill Frodo before they are driven off.

The Hobbits would begin in the centre of the ruins, with the 4 Nazgul and the Witch King beginning just outside the circle of stone.

Aragorn would rush to the Hobbits aid, but only on a roll of 3+ (thanks to the good guys winning the last scenario) from turn 2 onwards. The Hobbits would have to hold out until he arrived.

As the shadows deepened around Amon Sul, the Hobbits realised the were not alone and backed towards a defensible position. Sam, Merry and Pippin formed a screen between the Ringbearer and the enemy.

Sensing the One Ring was close, the Nazgul rushed forwards. Sam bravely stood his ground, but was driven back by his assailant as the net tightened.

Pippin cried, "Merry! Look out!" but could do nothing but watch as the dread Lord of the Nazgul  flung his friend to one side like a rag doll. Merry lay in a heap, unmoving.

Things looked bleak for the Hobbits and all of Middle Earth.

Suddenly, hope appeared in the form of Aragorn leaping through the darkness with a shout of, "Get behind me Frodo!"

Frodo took this advice and began to clamber up the broken and ruined staircase. He knew he could not outrun the Ringwraiths, but perhaps Aragorn would be able to hold them off.

Pippin moved to block the archway to the stairs, whilst Aragorn stepped in to confront the Nazgul. 

Sam, appalled by what had happened to Mr Merry, gave his traditional war cry of, "Back you Devils!" and charged into combat with the Witch King and another wraith.

Despite their bravery, Sam and Aragorn were outnumbered, and the Ranger of the North found himself attacked on all sides.

He felt a deepening terror creep into his soul, threatening to transfix him and leave him at the Riders' mercy, but he resisted the dark sorcery and raised his blade.

Aragorn's blade whirled and two of the Nazgul were driven off in defeat, whilst the third backed towards its lord.

Sam had little hope of defeating the Witch King, but somehow managed to avoid their terrible blades.

Despite his terror, Sam summoned his courage to charge again whilst Aragorn challenged the third of the Nazgul to come to him. The shrouded figure refused the challenge and instead tried and failed to say the Aragorn's will to continue the fight.

Sam's luck finally ran out. The Witch King delivered a blow with the hilt of its great blade that knocked the brave hobbit out cold.

Only two more mortals stood between them and their prize.

Unfortunately for the Nazgul, one of those mortals was Aragorn, son of Arathorn, who now charged in to avenge Sam. Whilst Pippin moved to prevent him being surrounded.

Neither the Witch King or its companion could resist the Ranger and were driven off, leaving a solitary Ringwraith to stand alone.

The last of the Black Riders tried and failed to spiteful bring down Pippin with one of its dreadful spells before it too was sent packing by the blade of Aragorn and the Ring was safe.

For now.

Well, that didn't turn out as expected. A combination of terrible spellcasting, surprising resilience from Sam and Aragorn being an absolute tank made that far more one-sided that I thought it would be.

Aragorn's high stats and extra point of Might each turn means that not only do the Nazgul not really stand a chance in combat, but they also cannot ever seize the initiative thanks because the good player can always call Heroic Moves.

The Nazgul really need their magic to work, and in this game, it didn't.

In terms of the campaign, Merry was once again 'Fool of a Took' simply due to consistently being taken out first. We decided that Sam should be bravest companion as he managed to charge and hold up the Witch King for two crucial rounds, allowing Aragorn the time to do what Aragorn does.

In terms of resources, Frodo has slightly diminished Will, as does Aragorn, who is also down a point of Might, but that's not really a problem. Merry is still Fateless.

The journey to the Ford of Bruinen is likely to take some time, as I still need another three Ringwraiths (both mounted and on foot) along with either Arwen and Frodo on Asfaloth, or just Frodo if I decide to use Glorfindel instead.


  1. Nice report Kieron, looking forward to the next tale!

    1. Might be a while. I need to get a bunch more Ringwraiths.

  2. its like a certain JRR wrote the lines himself. Nice report mate.