This is the first of three LOTR SBG after action reports from this past weekend’s SPRING FEVER Convention.
First a word on SPRING FEVER. Fever is run by the North Carolina based Triangle Simulation Society as one of a pair of annual Cons (the other is SOUTHERN FRONT in the fall). Fever runs Friday afternoon through Sunday Noon. The mix of games is eclectic with a heavy emphasis on miniatures gaming, but some board and card games run in parallel (as pick up games). We have a few vendors for Fever (more for Southern Front) and pretty much fill up a 5500 square foot ball room with gaming tables. Lots of fun to be had – if you live in the mid-Atlantic region it is well worth the trip.
The Fell Winter game was set hundreds of years before the main events of the Hobbit and LOTR. A mini-ice age beset the north and froze the Shire to its core. The frozen rivers enabled the famine plagued orcs and wargs to roam far south into the former realm of Arnor. All that stood between obliteration for the halflings were stalwart rangers, a few elf exiles and Gandalf.
Order of Battle:
- Gandalf the Gray
- Gildor Inglorion and 4 Elven Noldor Exiles (with Elf Bows and Elven Swords) – these speedy elves are unfettered by terrain and sprightly skip over the snow compared to the wood-wise rangers
- Arathorn I Chieftain of the Dunedain (sword)
- 10 gray cloaked Dunedain Rangers (bow and Spear)
- 3 Ranger Captains (bow)
- 36 Rangers of Arnor (bow)
- Grashnar Shaman of Angmar
- Sharldu Warg-Rider Captain
- Gruklich Warg-Rider Captain
- 36 Warg-Riders with a mix of Throwing Spears, Bows, and Swords
- Warg Chieftain
- 12 Wild Wargs
- Hill Troll Chieftain
The battleground was 6′ x 5′ with a frozen stream diagonally cutting the board in half. A single bridge crossed the stream near the board center. To the north was a settlement of hobbit holes and to the south was a walled human farm. Being one of the first days of the thaw, the hobbits and humans were out enjoying a bit of sun after a long hard winter. Unfortunately, the good weather encouraged the orcs to raid further south and caught the hamlet unaware as the streamed onto the board across the entire northern and western edges. From the southwest corner, south board edge, and southeast corner the good forces entered the battle. Gildor and his doughty lads were close behind tailing a marauding Hill Troll Chieftain.
Gildor and the Noldor slew the Troll with fierce arrow fire. They then stood up a curving line of bowman and fletched almost every warg to cross the stream. To the west, the Rangers stood up to a mixed evil force that attempted to turn the flank. The rangers shot 5 wargs with their first volley. The wiley Warg Chieftain used two might points to call for a Heroic March to close the distance and a Heroic Charge to overcome the priority roll to charge the Rangers. Slathering jaws took some, but steel took more. Just as the Wargs were driven back, the Shaman called a second Heroic Charge to bring his Warg riders to the fray. Despite the charge bonuses, the Rangers hurled back the slathering Orcs and held the line. The Rangers slew both the Warg Chieftain and Angmar Shaman in quick order. Meanwhile a few Warg riders finally broke through the hail of arrows to close with the villagers and the rangers. Gandalf’s magic failed, but cold steel prevailed. The warg rider force was defeated in detail as its courage faltered and left the battlefield to the victorious rangers.
Notes on the game.
- We used the new Hobbit version of the rules in all respects except we ignored the new weapon effects, disallowed Shielding, and did not count banners as banners (nor paid the point costs).
- Lacking Ranger Captain profiles, we used Madril’s stats for the Ranger Captains. Also lacking Ranger Captain minis, we used the Black Root Vale command minis instead.
- The humps of snow in the open and between some trees are snow banks which slow movement to half speed.
- The stream was too wide for hobbits to jump and too cold to swim, humans and orcs could try jumping it, and the Wargs could freely clear it without a jump test.
- The elves were unhindered by any terrain.
- The game probably hinged on the early loss of the Troll to arrow fire; in retrospect he should have charged the elves immediately which would have disrupted the Ranger bow line and allowed more Wargs to close. Next time, the rangers will have to keep a weather out for evil reinforcements to their rear.
- Terrain – Hobbit holes made by me using Thomarillion fronts, the Walled Farm is eM-4,and the frozen stream is from Lemax.
Click Photolog for Slideshow: