Last Thursday in a rare display of total feminine compliance, the entirety of the 6 Inch Move blogging staff were given permission slips to congregate for our inaugural game of War of the Ring. The venue used for this event was le Maison de Carabus, a worthy addition to the normal wings of the floating citadel. We were a little worried about descending from our well protected aerial fortress but at the risk of scraping automobile undertrays along the road we reversed up to our destination in a very clandestine fashion, what with it being dark and all.
After we had unloaded the cars and stood around chatting for a while we came to the conclusion that it would be Carabus and myself fighting it out with our respective 1000pts forces. My Easterlings and Haradrim would be up against the forces of Gondor, it being our first game we were looking forwards to making all kinds of mistakes due to not knowing the rules properly, grave tactical errors and generally not knowing what the hell half of our stuff was capable of. Gribblin even flopped his Elves on the table (he had an Ent, many “I’ve got wood jokes could ensue”) and his 1000pts you could fit in a hanky!
We mutually set up terrain on the 8′ * 4′ board we were using, a little overkill perhaps but not without a sense of the dramatic. I took the following from the Fallen Realms list;
- Dark Marshal (Leader)
- 4 Companies of Haradrim with Chieftain and Taskmaster
- 3 Companies of Easterlings with Dragon Knight and Captain
- 2 Companies of Easterling Archers
- 3 Companies of Haradrim Raiders
- 1 War Mumak of Harad
- 1 Company Watchers of Karna (who I forgot about the whole game)!
The Gondor army facing me was as follows;
- Faramir, Captain of Gondor
- Prince Imrahil, Knightly Ponces of Gaydor
- 4 Companies of Poncy Swan Knights of Dol Amroth
- 4 Companies of indeterminate sexuality Knights of Minas Tirith
- 4 Companies of Warriors of Minas Tirith
- 4 more Companies of Warriors of Minas Titties
- 1 ROFLSTOMP Trebuchet
- 2 Avenger Bolt MLRS systems
From my portrayal of the units I reckon you can guess how this game went. I got tabled in turn three. We rolled for the Seize the Prize scenario with Shieldwalls for deployment. While I’m not going to make too many excuses for my performance (I learned a lot and with it being a first game someone had to win and someone lose) however my problems started with deployment. A lot of what I learned stemmed from the deployment. I won the roll off to go first and take Priority, this was probably my first mistake. I had a couple of prizes on turn one though and then proceeded to ignore that and go for the throat of my enemy, a noob mistake but I wanted to see combat and learn the game. My Mumak was on one flank completely away from everything else, it got spanked by the Trebuchet and stampeded, it was an unlucky dice roll on my part but these things happen in gaming. It ran into a building and died. My cavalry on my right flank got hit by the Bolt Throwers and were wiped out in one salvo.
As mentioned above I forgot to bring on my ambushing Watchers for the two turns I could have played them, I also put the Dark Marshal in with my Archer Cohorts, this was Warhammer mentality of protecting the wizard, this doesn’t work with Nazgul in War of the Ring, he needed to be in the middle of the fighting.
Combat in War of the Ring is a lot of fun, normal shooting is a bit rubbish but artillery can really smush stuff as my Mumak and Haradrim learnt first hand. Improperly extending my line left me with only my infantry by turn 2 and a cavalry charge into the flank of my Easterlings by the Swan Knights showed me what they are capable of doing, wiping the formation out in one round. I would have been better not moving them out of the defensible terrain they camped in on turn one. This left the Haradrim to get rear charged by the Minas Tirith knights who were unopposed on the flank after the loss of my Raiders. My Dragon Knight did spend his single might point on a Heroic Duel against Prince Imrahil but I rolled low, I lost a few Easterlings in return.
Even though I lost I got a feel for things, infantry Vs infantry is quite grindy as combats go, a cavalry charge can devastate infantry and artillery can be nasty if it has a target it can pick on. Luckily I was out of Bolt Thrower range after turn 1, although I did lose my cavalry to them. Magic can have an impact on combat but leaving the Ringwraith skulking at the back robbed him of a lot of the options he had for disrupting the enemy. I’ve since reviewed my army list in light of revelations from this battle and changed a few things. I haven’t dropped much really, just enough to swap some things around and make a couple of changes. While I had a lot of units I realised I didn’t have a lot of “threats”. The only thing people were generally afraid of was the Mumak and after rolling a 10 on 2D6 when I needed a 9 or less that threat was gone rather quickly.
I’m looking forward to getting a rematch at some point, no doubt Carabus will have made some tweaks too and I am still looking at a list I can use against any of our players with their varying armies. I’m not writing a list individually for each of them after all. While we did have a few stops and starts due to having to look up rules the game does play really well and I enjoyed playing. I look forward to this becoming one of the staple games of our little troupe. I may even review my other hobby spending in light of this, we shall see.
Sauron’s forces will not lie still, maybe next time we’ll see some Uruk-Hai getting to grips with someone?