Sunday, 17 February 2013

Great Battle with Voitek 15/02/2013

Note: In case you've never been on blogger before, clicking on a photograph will open a high-resolution slide show. 

Battle of London Fields


Like any good tale in Middle Earth, this one begins with a hobbit. This time not just one hobbit however... 5 hobbits! Their names are unknown, as their fate was short lived and their end cruel. Once upon a time the hobbits came upon a magical item of immense power and as you may have expected in the darkness of the world there are those who above all desire power. The magic of the item was so strong, that when they ventured back to the Shire from the far East they suddenly found themselves surrounded by two grand armies, with their generals the greediest and most powerful warlords in the land - Black Mist and Voitek. As for the generals, such was their desire to hold the magical item that they gathered their mighty armies and followed the force that the item heralded across the wastelands. It was on that unfortunate afternoon on 15th February of the year 2013 of the 4th Age that they saw the hobbits, as well as a man chasing them who clearly had been robbed earlier. The day was even more unfortunate because the generals saw each other...


Place the 5 hobbits, 1 man and 1 random piece of jewelry (or just 7 objectives. The piece of jewelry is just something the hobbits dropped during their escape, it could be the magic item, but it might not be!) in 7 places on the board, no closer than 12" to each other and no closer than 12" from any starting table edge (they can be placed near side edges). To control each objective you must have more models with 3" than your opponent (any part of the base). At the end of a turn when one force has been reduced below 25% (to clarify we will count 25% at the end of a given turn and then roll, without playing the next turn like it was done in scenarios such as Domination in the past) of the starting numbers roll a dice, on 1 game ends, on 2+ it continues. Keep rolling every turn until the game ends and each time add 1 to the ending point, so in turn 2 it will be 1-2 ends, 3+ continues, then 1-3, etc.

Once the game has ended, divide the hobbits into who controls them and roll dice for each of them. The hobbit who rolled the highest is the one who has the magical item and the owner of it wins (there is only 1 magical item!). If two or more hobbits have rolled the same highest score, roll again for these ones. If the situation repeats (ie. two hobbits roll 6 each and then again roll the same) then whoever had the item lost it somewhere during the battle and nobody found it. The warlords aren't gonna be happy and the game ends as a draw! Note that if you were to control 7 hobbits, then it is still possible that you don't win the game as the item might be lost as described above.


The General is Dead!: If a General dies, all friendly models on the battlefield must take a courage test as if the army was broken at the end of the turn the General died. After combat and before rolling Priority. In addition, if a General has been killed, put him on the ground instead. He counts as deadly wounded (Transfix Channeled), cannot stand up and you will automatically lose the game if he spends 1 turn in base contact with the enemy General as the opponent cuts him down. Only the magical item has the power to save him. You now have 6 turns to find the Item before you automatically lose the game. If both Generals have been killed then play until the end of the 6th turn after the death of the latter.

This One Is Mine!: If the general starts his move within charging distance of the enemy general you must take a courage test. If this is failed you must charge (similar rules to Twins when one of them dies). In addition, when two Generals are in combat you may not under any circumstances charge any other models into that combat. If other models have already been charged in and a General charges another General, you must disengage other models. Simply make a gap to show that they are not in combat.

The Power of the ...: The magical item present on the battlefield thrives with an unimaginable force. Whenever the roll for priority is drawn, the player who gains priority randomly selects a Hero. The Hero is hit by lightning and suffers a S10 hit, is knocked to the ground and (if survived) he counts as immobilised with channelled effect. If the hero is mounted, his mount also suffers a S10 hit.

Original deployment was 6" on playing on a 6' x 4' board, however due to no such board available at the time we played on a 4' x 4' with 6" deployment. 


Dragon with Fire and Fly
1 Stone Giant - Counts as Treebeard and is the General of the army
1 Stone Giant - Counts as an Ent
2 Wild Warg Chieftains
1 Spider Queen
1 Burhdur
1 Goblin Captain with a bow
14 Wild Wargs
8 Gundabad Blackshields
24 Goblins with Shields
32 Goblins with Spears
24 Goblins with Bows

Total 110 models and approximately 1750-1800 points.

Harad with Allies:
Mumak with Rocks and Repelling Lines
Haradrim Trebuchet with an Engineer Captain (counts as a Gondor Trebuchet)
Witch King on Fell Beast with 3/20/3 (General)
Betrayer on Fell Beast
15 Haradrim Spearmen
23 Haradrim Bowmen
12 Corsair Reavers
4 Haradrim Raiders with Lances
1 Haradrim Hornblower

Sellswords of the Golden King:
Golden King
1 Traitor Captain of Dol Amroth on an armoured horse (Counts as CoDA mounted)
5 Traitor Knights of Dol Amroth (Counts as KoDA mounted)
12Traitor Elites of Gondor (Counts as Guards of the Fountain Court) 

Scouts from Mordor:
16 Morannon Orcs with Shields

Total: 97 models and approximately 1750 - 1800 points


BlackMist - Comments in Red
Voitek - Comments in Blue

It was a calm afternoon somewhere in the barren wasteland to the east of Mordor. The sun was shining and the trees and flowers were beginning to bloom on this day, one of the first of this year's spring. Suddenly voices were heard from between the trees, they sounded like children's voices, only with the exception of the one old grumpy tone spitting foul language carried on a Friday afternoon breeze. The man was just a farmer who happened to posses an item of unimaginable power as well as a number of other artefacts he managed to find on his farm over the years. Now, whether the hobbits stole the magical item or whether the man carried it with him doesn't matter, as he was still furious at the little thieves and was willing to pursue them. However, soon voices even fouler were brought by the wind from two directions. The Will of those evil creatures was brought forth to this place by the power of the item and the two mightiest of them led armies more terrible than ever seen in these parts of Middle Earth. A battle was about to commence that would shake the very foundations of the world...

Voitek - We rolled-off for the armies and, unsurprisingly, Lord Voitek turned out to be a large, brainless Stone Giant, while Sir BlackMist revealed his true identity as a devious, cunning sorcerer, riding into battle astride a might Fell Beast. All in all, then, both reflected the players’ qualities quite well!

It’s never taken me so long to set up my force before, not because of any tactical stratagems that I
was going to use in the deployment phase, but purely because of the number of the models and the
difficulty in physically fitting them into the 6” zone. I simply formed 3 ranks deep, with Monsters at
regular intervals and hoped for the best. Even now I wasn’t sure what would happen once I reach
the two largish woods on the flanks. I could foresee some rather bad ‘traffic jams’ forming around
those areas.

BlackMist - In case someone is not aware, Voitek is about 7' tall, so thematically it was fitting that he plays Moria!

When it comes to deployment, instead of deploying I spent a while taking pictures and once Voitek was done I received a truly evil look from him because it just took him 20 minutes to put his toys on the board and now he'll have to wait the same time for me. It was a tactically deceptive decision on my behalf however, as an angry opponent is a one easier to defeat!


So it begins... Turns 1-3

...The hobbits and the man looked upon legions so vast that their hearts went to their throats and they could not help but to stand there completely paralysed and unable to move. It was their doom and there was nothing that could save them now. The sounds of the approaching hordes was deafening and the clash of titans was about to commence...

Voitek: I would be lying if I said that this was a tactical game. With so little space available there was no room for manoeuvres, just pushing forward (a suitable Goblin tactic, to be sure!). I did try to move
my monsters into positions to exploit potential gaps in the battle lines, but it was all speculative at

BlackMist: I've got to say that the whole idea I had behind this game was to see how quickly we can kill everything off and how much damage can the monsters make. 

Voitek: BlackMist initially intended not to shoot his Traitor Trebuchet at my Stone Giant on the
right flank, not wanting him to die without joining combat. I had to use all my powers of persuasion
to make him shoot. You’re asking why? Because I needed there to be a gap somewhere, otherwise
I could get 75% of my models into combat. Typically, the Trebuchet missed wildly. In the next turn,
however, it hit a group of Goblins dead on. As a result 14 out of 15 get squashed! Yes, I also thought
that 1/3 survival rate is more usual, but hey, there finally was a gap! Pity it was on the rightmost
flank, where I had no Monsters available to exploit it. Sir BlackMist knew what he was doing…

BlackMist: The persuasive powers of Voitek did not make stop from firing at his Giant in the first turn, even though it would be a far wiser tactically decision to shoot a mass of Goblins. I wanted to be different this time, so I shot, rolled a 1 to hit and decided that it must be a sing punishing me for bad decision making. It was only the next turn that I went back to my usual 'Don't waste your time on unimaginable odds' and fired into the horde, only to kill almost as many as could fit under a blast template (this template is a 5" diameter, hence a base + 2" radius around).

Voitek: The Mumak advanced cautiously, wary of Lord Voitek and the Dragon in the centre. The
Haradrim Warriors atop the howdah, shot their arrows at my general, causing a lucky wound. In a
fashion that was to prepare me for the rest of the Battle, Lord Voitek rolled 2,1,1 for Fate, that losing a
Wound and being left in a real danger should the Mumak’s Trample hit home.

We only gave Breathe Fire to the Dragon for fun and I was determined to use, even
against my better judgement. I lost 2 Will to Sir BlackMist, but finally got into a position to incinerate
a dozen or so Haradrim spearmen. Obviously, I rolled a 1 to hit with my last remaining Will point,
which meant I had to spend 2 Might to even hit, as I had already moved in that Turn. Imagine my
disappointment and BlackMist's glee, when only a paltry 2 (two) enemies died, the rest gloating in
their asbestos armour….

BlackMist: In the turn when Voitek moved his Dragon into range of shooting the Mumak I decided that if I take the hit and lose 5 wounds I'm likely to stampede and subsequently lose about 15 men and half of my entire right flank, hence I decided to move the Mumak back out of range and luckily for me Voitek decided to use his last point of Will (the first two Sapped) at a mass of warriors. After the battle I found out that Voitek had a plan far more cunning that shooting the poor Mumak - he planned to destroy the Howdah, hence forcing the Mumak to test every turn or stampede, something far more deadly than a single stampede after suffering wounds, especially given the presence of Dragon's Harbringer of Evil!

Trebuchet gets a 6 on scatter chart and kills around 10 goblins! (At this point Voitek was relieved that he can "move his models forward at last")

Gaps in the Haradrim visible after a Dragon shot a fireball that killed several warriors. It was the only fireball however, as the other two points of Will were sapped by the Ringwraiths.

Turns 4-6

... Minions of both forces were given orders not to shoot, strike or try to harm the little Hobbits, as to not risk losing the magical item. As the armies clashed all one could hear was the sound of swords and shields and the battlefield turned into the colour of blood. Swiftly the great Mumakil run straight into Lord Voitek and Sir BlackMist engaged into combat with a mighty Dragon. There was a spark, then there was another, as one of the Nazgul ceased to exist through an unexplained phenomena...

Voitek: During all this time, the two Winged Nazgul were obviously busy Compelling, Sapping Will and Black Darting left and right. In a decisive move, Sir BlackMist charged the Betrayer into the Goblins in the centre, while the enemy general himself attacked the fallen Stone Giant on my right (he was knocked Prone as a result of being within the radius of yet another devastating Trebuchet shot –
why did I never get the infernal machine to hit the target?). I was able to counter with Buhrur and
the Dragon though. Buhrur used Heroic Combat to increase his FV to 10, same as the Witch King and I won the fight. See the photos below to see the results of Rending attacks (Dragon+Buhrdur) [BM Note: Er... I forgot about Rend and when you rolled I thought you're striking normally against D8... oops! WK should have died there!]

This wasn’t going to be my worst roll of the game, but I already started to have a feeling that things
won’t go my way…

BlackMist: To make the encounter more 'Epic' I decided to throw my Witch King at the Giant who was lying on the ground, knowing that I can get countercharged by a Dragon and Burhdur. If I win the fight I'm likely to cause no damage at all and if I lose I'm pretty certain to lose my General. Or at least that's what you'd think. However, at this point you don't know something and neither did Voitek at the time...

In the following round I charged Sir BlackMist again with Buhrur, Dragon and Stone
Giant, and The Betrayer was pinned down by the Spider Queen (who’s been sitting inside the tower
completely forgotten by both of us). Mumak’s Haradrim Archers desperately shot into combat
aiming their shots at the Dragon. Somehow they scored a wound, but why should I worry with
Courage 4 and a spare Might Point (and a spare Fate point!)… Well, you might have guessed what happened… The first wound and he fled!!!

BlackMist: At the same time as the Witch King was fighting with Dragon and Burdhur, my Mumak charged straight into Voitek's other Stone Giant - General. Five of the men from the Howdah threw rocks, but 6 others fired at the Dragon into combat. One of them was indeed Bard the bowman. He caused a wound, Dragon failed his 3rd Fate point and with remaining 1 Might rolled for courage. The result was 5, giving him a pass after using the remaining Might point, but due to Witch King's Harbringer of Evil it turned out to be a fail on a score of 9. 
You might think I was lucky and I didn't plan it... well well well... HAHAHA (evil laughter)... you're right, I didn't...

Voitek: There was another skirmish going on in the woods on my far left, with a Traitor Captain
charging the ranks of Gundabad Blackshields. He Heroic combated a couple of times, killing scores
of my minions, and later on held his ground with the support from the Knights, Reavers and some
Traitor Guard (sounds like W40k, hehe). That freed The Golden King and his retinue to deal with Wild
Wargs and supporting Goblins.

Voitek: I lost the roll-off for Heroic Move with my general and was left on a single Wound after a Mumak charge. Could/should be worse really. I won the fight (there were about 5 Goblins in addition to Lord Voitek) and wounded the beast several times, causing it to Stampede straight into the Golden
King, who had to use up his Fate and take a couple of wounds. Obviously, as he was standing behind
several ranks of my Goblins, I had to sacrifices a few… not more that half a dozen, I think… for some
reason it was of my most enjoyable moments (evil laughter)… 

BlackMist: You may wonder if we forgot to use the 'Power of the...' special rule, but we didn't. In the meantime, the first time I won priority my Traitor Captain was struck by lightning, knocked off his horse, survived, but was later surrounded by goblins and slaughtered.

Voitek: The Betrayer beat my Spider Queen and Wounded her, only to be banished the very next
turn by the power of the artefact laying somewhere on the field. Similar fate awaited the Traitor
Captain who thwarted me so long on the far left. Naturally, the moment that window of opportunity
opened to me, I lost a Heroic Move against the Mumak and lost a quarter of my remaining forces in
the area. The Warg Cheftain, who has so far been hiding in the woods with his pack, charged the few
remaining Knights and… got cut to pieces despite numerical advantage in almost every fight! I wasn’t
even sorry for the brainless beast.

BlackMist: In the same turn as Lord Voitek was killed I won priority on a drawn roll. Somebody was going to be hit and this time it was Betrayer who suffered a S10 hit, unsaved by last remaining point of Fate (the first one used after a combat against a Spider Queen) and the Fell Beast was removed.

That led to the Spider Queen charging my general and conveniently winning fight and killing him too (*hate mode on* We should ban all SQ, another proof right here! *hate mode off*). Druzhag in the picture managed to cast only 1 Enrage Beast before the remains of his Will were Sapped.

[extended edition part of the story, written by Voitek]...Lord Voitek’s heroic day came to an end when the charging Mumak inflicted the last required Wound off the mighty Stone Giant Cheftain. His pride wounded as much as his broken body, he fell in dust awaiting assistance from his minions. I wonder how many Moria Goblins it will take to care him back to his lair in the hills…

Voitek: Buhrdur, a Wild Warg and the victorious Spider Queen (ok, she didn’t technically beat the
Betrayer, but he did get banished whilst duelling with her, so she must take some credit) defiantly
charged the evil general, Sir BlackMist. All his sorceries came to nothing as the Spider Queen’s
venomous bite tore through his armour and flesh like they were paper. His last look was at Lord
Voitek, and the two shared a rare moment of understanding as they reflected on the frailty of life
and the passing of….Blah! He’s down, that’s the point!

 The aforementioned Wild Ward Cheftain won the Heroic Combat and killed his opponents,
so that he was free to charge the rear flank of the Haradrim army. Only after the move did I realise
that I’d just forfeited a chance to claim one of the objectives. What objectives?! Exactly. Until now
I completely forgot about them and so did Mik I believe. Moria was down to 25%, however, so not
much could be done about it!

In probably the last fight of the day, but the first for the constantly Transfixed Stone Giant
on the right, I finally got to use the Hurl special attack and killed a couple of Haradrim Warriors.
Thought you should know:P

... when the dust fell and the wounded were counted and the dead buried the men of Harad looked for their treasure. Their general was dead, but with the finding of the magical item at the hands of one of the Hobbits suddenly his senses came back. As for the beast that was the Giant Lord Voitek, he succumbed to his cave whence he came from. Darkness fell on the lands, as the foul voices whispered of a vengeance greater than any in this or any other Middle Earth. What would come not even the Valar knew.

BlackMist: The game ended with me controlling 4 objectives, Voitek 1 and 2 being uncontested (because we are such pros that we literally forgot to leave models at the two objectives closest to each of us, so it should have been 5-2).
We rolled to see where the objective is and 2 of my rolls as well as one uncontested rolled a 5. On the second roll if the top doubles or if the highest is uncontested we draw. But it didn't and the highest roll went alone to a hobbit who normally represents Frodo and was under my control (the item was all the time on my side of the very left side it seems and yet the General who was so strongly drawn to it missed it all along).

Post Battle Comments:


It was an absolutely brilliant game in terms of enjoyment. The sheer hilarity of some of the crucial
moments was just fantastic. There’s no escaping the fact that a lot of powerful, large models and
dozens upon dozens of foot soldiers at their feet look great on the battlefield and make it a pleasure
to play.

The table has to be at least 6’ by 4’ for a game like this. As it was, there was literally no room to do
anything. I know that’s great news for the Trebuchet crew, but for the rest there was basically no
tactics involved. We only tried to keep our big hitters reasonably positioned as for all the rank and
file there was only one direction: forward (perhaps not such a bad thing when you’re playing hordes
of Moria against the Haradrim host).

We completely forgot to use half of the rules. I’m sure we didn’t have a single re-roll in a fight for a
Monster within 6”, despite that being on of the scenario-specific rules. I didn’t use Rend on several
occasions where I could have killed with it and perhaps swing the balance of the battle.

Finally, we completely forgot about the scenario objectives! Bloodlust took over and our frenzied
forces paid no heed to the poor Hobbits, seeking to kill their old enemies.

It ended with BlackMist’s victory, much as anticipated, although it naturally was only decided on
literally the last roll of the dice.

All in all a great game, my first game for more than 3 years and one that has certainly made me miss
the hobby more than ever. Perhaps I will be able to squeeze a game here and there and we’ll see
what happens.

I know it was a sort of LotR Apocalypse game. I never thought I would enjoy such a battle, but if
you’ve got an opponent whom you can trust to make it an enjoyable experience, then I thoroughly
recommend it. Here my thanks to Mikolaj for organizing everything and inviting me to play.


At times this was a hilarious battle and probably one of the most fun I ever played. I didn't expect to take out the Dragon so easily and I didn't expect to have my Ringwraith removed by a lighting either. If it had been a competitive game I guess Voitek would have a million complaints about my luck and I would feel bad for rolling so well at times, but since it isn't I still have a friend!

The table was definitely too small, 6' x 4' or even 8' x 4' is what I would recommend for next time, unfortunately there wasn't much we could do about it because we ended up playing in GW Chiswick (many thanks to Billy, the manager who let us play there with just a few hours notice!)

You may notice that there are a few Special Rules that were posted in the TLA armybuilding thread and got omitted here. This is because we... forgot about them (just like we forgot about Rend against Witch King and another dozen or so rules). We didn't use the special equipment rules because there was no time for selection, we started the battle at 3.40 and we had to be out of the GW shop by 6. Eventually the last turn finished at 5.50 and surprisingly we managed to play a battle of this scale in just over 2 hours. 

Voitek has always been a great guy to play with and this time was also the case, hopefully this will motivate him to come back to LotR/Hobbit, as the hobby seems to be losing players all the time, so having a few old veterans back would be a great boost for us all. Many thanks go to Voitek for an excellent atmosphere and a will to collaborate in this report.

More of these coming in the future, planning to make a series of Great Battles. Next perhaps 4x 2000 points in doubles against 2 other TLAers? We shall see...

1 comment:

  1. So much fun to read and look at all the pics =)
    A really great idea to just say "what the heck" and go for pure fun and enjoyment!
    Would LOVE more =)