Mars Miniatures

Mars Miniatures

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Battle Of Balin's Tomb Part 2

Yeah, this is supposed to be a Warhammer Classic 1st edition blog, but I dont think those rules translate well for skirmishes in dense terrain.  So for this battle at least, I used LOTR SBG.  Its simple and provides dependable enough results.  At some point in the future, I want to create my own mishmash of SBG LOTR & Warhammer (and any of the other dozen or so rules sets on my shelf); taking the best bits I like about them and hammering it out.  Anyway, my philosophy is that complexity should be in the scenarios, not in the rules.  With that in mind...

This is a defensive scenario, where the defenders must protect an objective (Pickles the Dwarf) for an unknown number of turns, I used playing cards to determine when Pickles finds the map and the Dwarves may then exit the area via the eastern board edge.  The Joker card was that marker and I shuffled it in among 11 other cards.  Then I took another 6 cards and placed that on top of the 12, which meant that the Joker would show up sometime on turns 7 to 18. 

Victory conditions for the opposing sides are:
1) Decisive Dwarf victory = Defeat all Orcs
2) Dwarf victory = Pickles finds map and exits eastern edge
3) Orc victory = Pickles is slain without finding map (or map never leaves the board, Pickles may pass the map to another Dwarf)
4) Decisive Orc victory = Defeat all Dwarves

To add some more spice, I also ruled that certain Face cards meant a special random event had taken place, of which I made 3:
King of Hearts = Young Green Dragon with Orc handler arrives on random board edge
Ace of Hearts = Dark Elf scouting party arrives on Western edge, these are Orc "allies".
King of Diamonds = Hodor and his Dwarf mercenaries arrive on Eastern board edge

So there's the basics of the thing, lets see how it played out...

Grombrindal's scouting force in the northwest is assaulted by a wall of greenskins!
Those Reaper Orcs look massive in relation to Dwarves.  Which suits me fine, I want my Dwarves facing insurmountable odds.
Is that Porkins at the very front?  Fall back you brave little pork!

Henchman 1: What we gonna do now, Tony?
Tony Montana: We gonna war, thats what we gonna do. Come on, Sosa, you wanna go to war, we take you to war, okay?

They fall back to the Northern doors, where King Gorrin and 3 other Dwarf Lords form a defensive line!  Lets hope it holds, because now a Wraith has joined the Orcish host.  The Wraith is "sapping will" from the heroes and "draining courage". 
King Gorrin raises his sword in defiance of Orcish threats!
King Gorrin:  Stop! See this royal magical sword, it means I am a King and I order you to stop your Orcish aggression!
Dennis: Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony. 

Meanwhile in the southwest, Gloin sees a second front of Orcs surging towards his position.  At first, Gloin decides to keep his heavily armored Dwarves on the highground to buy time for the defenders.

But the enemy have archers and superior numbers!

Run away! Run away! Run as fast as your little fat feet will carry you!
To the Chamber lil stunties!
Sir Robin: Would it help to confuse it if we run away more?

The Dwarves position themselves in the doorway and as the Orcs pop up from the stairs they get greeted by axes to the face!  Oh, now the best part, Nindalf the wizard gets some sorcerous blasts as well to smash them back down.
Those Orcs will find a hard time of it, crossing that archway!
Bridgekeeper:  Stop. Who would cross the Bridge of Death must answer me these questions three, ere the other side he see.
Sir Robin: Ask me the questions, bridgekeeper. I'm not afraid.

As the battle rages all around, Pickles keeps searching for the map.  Grumpy keeps close watch.

And a King of Hearts is drawn!  A Green Dragon appears...  where?
(By the way, its an Oldhammer dragon. 1987 Citadel Young Green Dragon)

That Dragon ends up right in the worst darn place.. north east corridor!  Guess Grombrindal and King Gorrin wont be able to hold this place while being surrounded by both Wraith spells, and now Dragons teeth.  Into the room, Dwarven lords!  All Dwarves are now in the Chamber itself.

Gimli takes a suitably dramatic position to cheer up his companions with a rousing speech.
Ahem, they may take our lives, but they wont take our freedom...  or some such...  For Narnia?!?  Boo!
Behind him, you can see Pickles and Grumpy, and behind them, the southern defense.  At least Nindalf and Gloin have successfully stalemated the Orcs there.  For now at any rate...

Over the shoulder Gimli cam.
Thats alot of hurt coming our way, boys!

We're all in strung out shape, but stay frosty, and alert. We can't afford to let one of those bastards in here.

Whats this?  A horn sounds in the deep.  Its a King of Diamonds for an event!  Which means Hodor and his hoarders arrive... right on the south eastern corridor catching those pesky orcs in the flank.
They're attacking from behind us!
Turn about!  Look to the rear!  You dogs, move!
There are too many!  We cant hold them!

And as Hodor sweeps the lower corridor, Gloin and Nindalf burst out to take the upper platform.
Orcs are caught on the stairs and surrender, while the rest flee for their lives! Back into the chamber, everyone!  The whole southern defense force rushes back to fight with Gimli, Grombrindal, and King Gorrin.

Overview of the action.
On the left, Gloin and Nindalf find themselves face to face with Murkillor the Wraith!
In the center, Gimli and the Dwarf Lords manage to hold the line.
And on the right, Hodor smashes through the greenskins and are about to flank the orcs below
Hodor has turned out to be a beastly Orc killer and a hero to boot!

Closeup of the center, Gimli's throwing axes find their mark on the dragon, while the dwarves below him hack at the beast dropping its wounds to 1!  Also, Kimril the Slayer and Lastro face off against a big Orc brute!

The moment of truth has arrived.  The Wraith strikes Gloin with his Morgul Blade attack and... instant death?!  But wait, Gloin can still make a Fate roll to save... and he does!
Nindalf strikes back with a lucky sorcerous blast and the Wraith dissipates into nothingness with a terrifying wail!  Of course, what is dead may never really die, but it wont cause any more trouble, at least in this game!

With their main leader defeated, the Orcs lose heart and their force begins to crumble.  The Dragon also has had enough and tramples some Orcs in his haste to find a cool and slimy pool to dip its wounded aching tootsies in.

The last of the Orcish assault is driven from the Chamber Of Mazarbul!

Finally, at the very end... Pickles finds the map.
Grumpy harumphs...
Alls well that ends well, Grumpy!
Its a Decisive Dwarven Victory.  Scenario probably needed more orcs, or less Dwarf heroes.
(Oh let them have some happiness for a day or two!  Dwarves will find sorrow and woe eventually in the deep dark of Moria!)

So, what was it all for?
We have a map to find Balin and whatever is left of his colony.
Oh what about Baron Hawk and the Dwarves that left to secure the crossroads?
They have successfully done so, but more Orcs are on the way, and Dark Elves have also been sighted.  They are closing in on our own colony at the East Gate of Moria.  The Dwarves decide they must put off finding Balin for another day and return to warn their comrades of the gathering storm.  They must begin bolstering their defenses for the impending attack.

So theres my first proper battle report.  Hope you readers enjoyed that.  I think the pics turned out pretty good, considering I didnt put too much effort into it.  Oh and I forgot to mention, the Chamber of Mazarbul terrain piece is Ziterdes all the way from Germany!  Took a little time for it to arrive, but they kept in contact with me and let me know.  When it did show up it was so well packaged and had no damage from its long trip.  Bravo Ziterdes, thumbs up from me.

So, whats coming up next?  Im not slowing down the pace one bit.
Well, a nice big terrain piece is!   And some warmachines to defend it!  Ah, now Ive said too much...

Until next post, keep on "keeping on",