Second Southern Front LOTR AAR. Originally titled, “Scouring of the Shire”, a better title is “Scouring of the Ruffians”.
The story thus far….
Having heard of the glorious return of the four hobbit heroes to the Shire, Saruman (aka Sharkey) moves his forces south to the hamlet of Sackville. He sets up shop in Lobelia’s old place directly across from “Tallman’s Tavern”. Tallman’s caters to traveling dwarves, men, and even elves. Sharkey’s lads bring their fancy girls (not so fancy if you look at the minis), a pair of half-trolls, and four dozen ruffians to roust the place. Saruman rises early to hear hobbit hunting horns hallooing the halflings to hurry. Burn it! says he and his ruffians deploy North, South, East, and West with infernal devices to destroy the hobbit holes.
Order of Battle:
- Frodo of the Nine Fingers
- Samwise the Brave
- Meriadoc, Knight of the Mark
- Peregin, Guard of the Citadel
- 4 ponies
- Farmer Maggot
- 8 dogs
- Paladin Took
- Lobelia Sackville-Baggins
- Lotho Sackville-Baggins
- Fredegar Bolger
- High Sheriff
- 16 Sheriffs
- 16 Archers
- 1 Hornblower Archer
- 24 Militia
- Sharkey & Worm
- 5 Captains
- 9 Hand Weapons
- 8 Whipmen
- 21 Archers
- 4 Slingers (profile form Hobbit Dwarf slingshot)
- 2 Half Trolls (profiles from Harad)
The High Sheriff led his stalwart bounders into the fray along the west road, thoroughly thrashing the troublesome Ruffians
A set of Tookish hunters took position on the Sackville-Baggins hole using the turf top as a the Motte and the town as their bailey. A hail of arrows whittled the ruffians before they reached the bridge.
At the bridge, Farmer Maggot rallies the locals and drives his pack of dogs to vault a blockade. The Ruffians forgot dogs swim and bite. Soon the northern band had fallen to fang and claw with hardly a hobbit in the melee. A highlight of this side battle was Lotho running for his life, while Lobelia twice won her combat and beat the stuffings out of her ruffian opponents with her brolly. Both lived to spoil another day, that is the S-Bs survived.
The bulk of the battle swirled on the south road and slowly the hobbits beat their way to the cross-roads. Sam and Merry both took wounds and needed fate to avoid early death. The mighty half-trolls (at least to a Hobbit ) had yet not arrived and it looked like the hobbits would have a great victory.
True to his word, Pippin fell in defense of all things that matter. With a bash to his head, Pippins last thoughts were of Ale and Pipeweed. The troll salutes him with a slug of Ole Vineyard.
Finally, Saruman decided it was time to retreat. His forces had not reached 50% losses, all the holes and the inn were burning, and the hobbits held the bridge. On to Bywater! says he.
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).
- I made up a profile for the Sheriff and Lotho. I figured that the sheriff was a bit of a pudding gut unlike his road-weary bounders and gave him the same stats as Fatty, except for a point of Might instead of Fate and the ability to lead troops for 20 points. Lotho got the exact same stats as Fatty. Lacking Ruffian Captain profiles, I used the profiles from the Dunland chieftains with defense of 4. I also needed to figure out slings and daggers and went with the stats from Thorin’s company. Last, I thought Saruman needed some heavies and tricked him up two Harad Half-trolls that he had received in some sort of Mordor Lend-Lease deal.
- The game probably hinged on strategic placement of the Tookish hunters on the grassy knoll from which many shots were fired. The archers had incredibly good aim and feathered many a ruffian before he had his dander up. This disruptive attack ultimately prevented the Ruffians from forming some sort of defensive line and they never got their air game in play. The archers pretty much picked off every unengaged Ruffian from game start to game end.
- Although Saruman would call it a strategic withdrawal, one more turn would have resulted in defeat in detail. A very nice feature of LOTR SBG is its ability to produce decisive results by turn 5 or 6 and this was no exception.
Terrain – Half the hobbit holes were made by me using plaster hole fronts from Thomarillion. I also turfed over the excellent MBA hole for the S-Bs. My fellow conspirator brought the VERY NICE custom hobbit holes terrain piece on the south edge of town and the three commercial hobbit holes (Custom Kingdoms on e-bay). The very nice inn is from eM-4. The river from Gale Force 9 and the rest from my terrain collection.
Click Photolog for slideshow:
Miniatures – The big challenge for this game was scrounging up enough ruffians. I needed about 50 and could not afford that many identical minis from GW. A previous post discusses this in more detail, but I leveraged BTD Dark Age Saxons, OOP Ral Partha and Grenadier, Mega-Minis thieves, rangers, and bards, some Mithril minis, and bit more of this an that. Hobbits were easier with the very nice GW LOTR militia, hunters, and character models. I added to this some Mithril and Mega-Mini hobbits to round out the villagers and militia. I learned in the course of prepping these minis that Hobbits are in essence 15mm lads and too small for my tired eyes.
Stay tuned for one more AAR – the Battle for Isengard. Here is a taste!