LOTR: Another Bitter Winter – 25JAN2014

The recent chilly weather put my Wargs in the mood for hobbit….
Inn of the Lost Moon - Greenedge, The Shire

Inn of the Lost Moon – Greenedge, The Shire

As our story opens, dawn rises on the small Hamlet of Greenedge, a quiet settlement on the northern frontier of the Shire with humans living on the west Side of Tumbledown Brook and hobbits to the east.  Winter has been cold, cruel and long freezing fast the creeks and rivers.  Spring is coming, but probably not before evil skates out of its northern fastness into the ripe settlements of the south.  Gandalf has heard that Golfimbul, an Orc Chieftain, is planning to raid as far south as the Shire and even more disturbing rumors that he has allied with foul Wargs and maybe even a troll. Gandalf has hurried through the night to reach the Inn of the Lost Moon and  his meeting with the elves and rangers that keep watch over the unknowing Shire.  He raced down the eastern side of the Tumbledown and is crossing the Greenedge bridge just as he sees the Mayor, Derby Shuffletoes.  Gandalf has no sooner told Derby that he must stop blathering about last night’s Mushroom Pie and the up-coming Quince Jam contest than the mournful howls of Warg packs splits the air.

Hobbits on hoof

Wargs howling through the Hobbit Holes

From the east, three large packs of Wargs break into the open with the rising sun streaming behind them.  They gallop at lightening speed towards the sleepy village as if the whips of Morgoth were driving them.  In answer, the hunting horns of Gildor Inglorion and his Noldorian elves ring out from the west and are soon joined by the ox-horn signals from Arathorn, Chieftain of the Dunadain, and the Gray Company.  Gandalf shouts “to the Inn”, draws his sword, and flies from the bridge to take a stand in a frozen turnip field.  His worst fears are fulfilled as his sees the form of a Hill Troll chieftain come crashing through the brush on the east side of the stream accompanied by a pack of Wargs and Warg-riders led by a foul Orc shaman.

Troll charge

Troll Charges from towards the wizard!

Further to the east, two warg packs converge on the hobbit dwellings and catch the Hobbits flat-footed.  Four stout hobbits make a stand to provide the others time to flee.  A furious melee ensues with the Hobbits holding the Wargs back with their farming tools and the occasional thrown stone or a bright shiney apple.  However, a handful of hobbits cannot stop the onslaught and gradually each is thrown down and devoured by the hungry Wargs.

Meat is back on the menu Boys

Tenacious Hobbits slow the Wargs!

Rangers leap the brook and race to action, but the Wargs are faster.  On the southern flank, the Wargs win priority  over and over and thwart the Dunedain’s heroic actions charging their maws into the melee.  All seems lost, but the ranger Captain holds on.  Thrice he is completely surrounded and wins the battle hurling wolf carcasses away.  Alas, as the last howls are silenced he stands on the southern flank with all of his companions dead and the villagers digested.  The bitterness of his victory is too grim and he retreats from the field.

Fruitless orchard

Rangers stand their ground in the orchard.

Meanwhile, Gandalf uses magic to cast a fell light as he reveals his powers and all evil must ground their courage to close to battle.  But that is the only magic Gandalf summons that day as he fails in his attempt to blast the troll and then fails again to immobilize him.  The shaman chants a song of demonic fury and races towards Gandalf.  With a burst of brute speed the Troll Chieftain and one Warg rider close the gap to the ill-fated wizard.  The troll rolls a high of 5, but Gandalf only manages a 3.  He realizes that even if he expends his might he cannot defeat the troll.  The troll lands 6 hammering blows, Gandalf fails his fate rolls, and soon lies dead.

Death of Gandalf

Death of Gandalf

The troll’s ire now turns to Gildor who he also dispatches with a fury of axe work.  By then the remaining Rangers and townsmen have formed a skirmish and beat back the Wargs.  Both sides slip below fifty percent casualties and must take courage tests.  Alas, the victorious Troll and Shaman flee the field along with Arathorn.  Soon the swords and gray-quilled arrows take the measure of evil and it is held back for another day.  The price is too high with most of the hamlet dead and the gray company winnowed below sustainability.  To gain such a victory another day will cost them the war.  Alas for the lost Rangers of the North – oh where is our long awaited king?

Ranger onslaught

Rangers rally!

Order of Battle


Gandalf the Gray
Gildor Inglorion
12 Noldorian Exiles (elves)
Arathorn, Dunadain Chieftain
2 Captains of Arnor
24 Rangers
6 Dunadain
20 Villagers


Golfimbul, Orc Chieftain
Orc Shaman
2 Orc Captains
14 Wargs
36 Warg Riders
Hill Troll Chieftain

Final Note:

This is the second time I ran this scenario – last time was an Elvin shooting fest. Troll killing Gandalf was the key!

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3 Responses to LOTR: Another Bitter Winter – 25JAN2014

  1. Barks says:

    Great report with a tragic victory! Thanks for sharing!

    • lostpictold says:

      Thanks, it was a rollicking affair. I played the rangers on the hobbit side of the river and a friend took the town side. In retrospect, I should have suggested that Gandalf be better supported, but did not think the Troll would slay him in one go. That really shifted the momentum. Oh well, he is headed back to Valinor to get a new set of threads and come back to meet Bilbo in a few centuries! ;-) Thanks for reading. Jimmy


  2. Scott Bowman says:

    Great stuff. Just found your blog. Following!

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