Tag Archives: Gondor

Middle Earth – The Battle of Good and Evil


Over recent weeks the 6 Inch Move team have become ever more enamoured with our sojourn into Tolkien’s fantasy realm. Servitob even went out and bought the movies! I believe that I’ve now played and seen enough games to start to really understand the flow and mechanics of the game and also the more noticeable differences between the two sides. While each faction within an alignment is distinct with a theme of their own the alignments themselves offer a different set of playstyles and challenges. What I have to commend the Sherriff for in this regard is the characterisation of the alignments. If someone gave you an edited list of some of the models I reckon that most people would be able to tell you if a model was good or evil just by looking at the numbers.

So, let’s have a look at what a War of the Ring profile means. There are 8 stats for each model profile, as well as a Type that defines whether a model is Infantry, Cavalry or a Monster. These are Movement, Fight, Strength, Defence, Attacks, Resilience, Courage and Might. Movement is quite self-explanatory, this number is how far in inches a company can move during the move phase. Fight is a numerical representation of a company’s combat prowess while Strength is a measure of how easy it is to cause a wound on an opponent. Defence represents things like armour and shields as well as the general toughness of something, you compare Strength against Defence to work out what you need to roll on a D6 to cause a hit. Attacks has two purposes in War of the Ring, firstly it represents the number of dice rolled for a shooting or close combat attack, secondly it is also a handy indicator of the number of wounds a company can take. Resilience is important because it defines how many hits a company can take before it takes a casualty, for infantry this is normally 1 and for Cavalry it is usually 2. Courage represents if a unit is likely to stand and fight or turn tail and run when faced with certain effects. Might is used to Heroes and is one of the defining aspects of the game, appropriate and timely use of Might can drastically change the game.

Not only are the units of differing sides of the Good/Evil divide different in their stat weightings but so are the Heroes. GW have done a really good job here of taking the stories that Tolkien wrote and translating them into a table top game. At first glance the main difference is that the Good side is filled with far more Epic Heroes and Legendary formations, after all, these are the good guys, the ones who will selflessly sacrifice themselves for the good of others. On the flip side the Evil alignment is supported by a veritable cornucopia of Monsters, from Trolls to Dragons, the forces of Sauron have the biggest and gribbliest beasties with which to bolster their lines.

All of this fits well within the mythos and gives armies themes, you will also find that the Good armies are often painted in bright primary colours, blues and reds and whites (OK, I know white isn’t technically a colour), even Gondor with their silver and black regalia have colour thrown in with the Knights of Dol Amroth. The evil sides are filled with dirty browns and greens, the only real difference here is the Fallen Realms list that has the golden armoured Easterlings, but then the balance here is that the reds are dark and black features heavily (again not a colour I know). We’re all still working on getting a fully painted army, other than Gribblin who is just about done with his 1000pts. I’m looking forward to the day when we roll out fully painted armies as it is going to transform the aesthetic of the games we play.

With the forces of Good being bolstered by so many Heroes it is no surprise then that your typical good army has access to a lot of Might. Might allows you to perform actions outside of the normal Priority that is rolled for at the start of each turn, also, Epic Heroes have Epic actions that they are allowed to call, there are a lot of different Epic actions and each Epic Hero has a list of the Epic actions they are allowed to call. Most of the Epic Heroes in the forces of Good have a Might of 3 or more, even some of the cheaper Heroes (sub 100pts) have a good store of Might. Many of the Heroes have special rules and abilities as well.

On the Evil side of things there are differences. Might is a lot harder to come by, to get comparable stores of it you would need to invest much more points in an Epic Hero. I can provide an example from my own Faction, the Fallen Realms, if I want an Epic Hero from my own faction with three points of Might I have to pay 165pts to get Amdur, yes he is a combat monster but Evil is generally bereft of the cheap utility heroes. This is countered through the threat that Monsters provide. The Nazgul also have very low Might but their special rules and the options for their use make them very effective, you have to think hard about using that single Might point with them. There is a temptation to take more Captains and increase the Might available to an evil army but this then restricts the number of troops you can take as they eat heavily into your budget.

One other factor that has played out rather obviously now is the lack of Courage for an evil force. With my Fallen Realms I have a couple of formations that cause Terror. So far no-one has failed a Terror test against anything of mine, Rohan, Elves and Gondor all have access to high Courage values with Inspiring Leaders. Faramir can also allow one formation per turn to automatically pass a Courage test. The Elves cause Terror and have high Courage themselves, this proved pretty conclusive against Servitob’s Uruk-Hai! Using Galadriel to debuff them by a single point or more neutered the charges of the Uruk-hai on numerous occasions. OK, Servitob’s dice had taken this game as an opportunity to go on vacation didn’t help the cause but all those tests with low Courage really came over decisively.

It really is interesting to see how the two alignments are characterised. The prevalence of Epic Heroes for the forces of Good bolsters the men and keeps them going when you’d expect them to fail, while the Evil forces will turn tail and flee when things don’t go their way, all very cinematic I am sure you’ll agree. Planning contingency for these kinds of events is one of the features of army building for this game as it is for many others, seeking to overcome your weaknesses while capitalising on strengths. I still have to face the Elves and a rematch against Carabus’ Gondor, there may even be a clash of evil sometime too to see how I fare against the Uruk-Hai. Will my courage hold against those Elves? I hope so, but I fear (pun intended) for my lowly Courage 3 Haradrim against all those Terror-causing hairdressers!

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6 Inch Move Plays War of the Ring


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?