Thursday, 28 September 2017

Song Of Blades And Heroes Report: Gondor Verses Isengard

LURTZ AND HIS URUK-HAI RAIDING PARTY
This game was played using the basic rules of “Song Of Blades And Heroes” by “Ganesha Games”, and is the first in a series of adventures involving the second son of Denethor as he attempts to thwart an invasion of Osgiliath by the Forces of Mordor. The scenario was used as a basic introduction to Andrea Sfiligoi's "fast play fantasy skirmish rules", and resultantly comprised of a small band of five Uruk-Hai confronting a similar sized group of Minas Tirith warriors over a 36" x 27" tabletop populated with some "Battlefield In A Box" Gothic terrain by “Gale Force Nine”.

“The story so far… At the bidding of Sauron, the Lord of Isengard has sent forth Lurtz and some of his Uruk-Hai to scout out the human defences at Osgiliath. The "large black orcs of great strength" have penetrated deep into the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Gondor undetected and reached the Crumbling Remnants (of Anárion's Hall). However, ever mindful of Saruman's machinations, Faramir is unknowingly leading his patrol straight towards their location, almost as if he can smell the foul creatures on the air..."
THE TABLETOP - OSGILIATH
Positioned in the northwest, Lurtz beckoned his small raiding force to him and pointed out past the Fallen Angel in the direction of the Crumbling Remnants. That was where the White Wizard wanted them to scout up to and so far they hadn't seen any sign of the puny humans. The large orcs' "first leader" knew his mission well... kill anything living which they encountered.

Saruman's "second-in-command" was treated as an Orc Champion, equipped with a hand-weapon and shield. He was awarded the Savage and Hero traits, which meant he could inflict a gruesome kill just by doubling his opponent's score [as opposed to needing to treble it], and would always roll one automatic success, regardless of his Quality. Because his accompanying Uruk-Hai were all wearing armour and carried a sword/shield, they were classed as Orc Heavy Infantry, and were therefore also given the Savage skill. In addition, because of their heavy armour, the four Uruk-Hai could only move a short distance (75mm) per action.
FARAMIR AND HIS PROTECTORS OF OSGILIATH
Faramir's command were grouped together as if emerging from the southeast. The two bowmen were treated as Archers, and thus given a Shooter (Long - 180mm) skill, whilst the two swordsmen were used as Heavy Infantry, and subsequently reduced to moving just a short distance (75mm) per action. Denethor's second son was made a Leader, and therefore increased the Quality rolls of any friendly model within Long distance (180mm) by one. In addition, Faramir would force all friendly models to make a Morale roll if he died. 

The Warriors Of Minas Tirith won the Initiative and immediately started to move northeast. One archer and a swordsman moved west along the southern edge of the Blasted Terrace, whilst the younger brother of Boromir led his remaining two men north.

Smelling man-flesh, two of the Uruk-Hai rushed south past the Fallen Angel, heading towards the Buried Monument. The other pair of "Orc-folk" ran east, and with a roar urged on their white-faced leader, who had clambered atop the huge statue's remains with a huge bound.
LURTZ LEADS HIS URUK-HAI OVER THE FALLEN ANGEL
The Gondorian archer and swordsman at the south end of the dilapidated fortress continued to move west past the Blasted Terrace in order to obtain a good view of the Crumbling Remnants. Faramir meanwhile approached the centrally-based ruins, leaving his accompanying forces straggling behind him to the east.

With a bellow, Lurtz pitched his mighty frame across the Fallen Angel and raced south-east towards the Crumbling Remnants (of Anárion's Hall). He could now see at least one of his hated foes coming towards him and was eager to sink his teeth into the human's flesh. Rounding the western end of the broken statue behind him, and equally as enraged with bloodlust, came two of his Uruk-Hai. Whilst  another tried to emulate his leader's feat of agility by climbing up and onto the "dense terrain".
THE TWO FORCES RACE TOWARDS THE CRUMBLING REMNANTS
Faramir ran into the circle of the Crumbling Remnants and realising his party was about to be attacked by the oncoming savage orcs, ordered his archers to prepare their bows. Looking behind him however, the Lord of Emyn Arnen was astonished to see his men already faltering at the sight of the ferociously crazed enemy.

Turning his attention back to his own solitary predicament, Boromir's younger brother whitened visibly as Lurtz barrelled into him, and viciously chopped at the Gondorian's bearded head. With a clash of steel the warriors engaged in a closely fought contest which incredibly resulted in the huge Uruk-Hai being momentarily knocked to the ground at Faramir's feet. An outcome which literally stopped the rest of Saruman's forces dead in their tracks.
FARAMIR SPOTS HIS PREY, AND THE CLASH OF HEROES BEGINS
Sensing a glorious victory was at hand; one which would surely ingratiate him with his "sombre, cold, and detached" father, the Prince of Ithilien moved in for the finish. Lurtz was truly at the mercy of his enemy, and due to being "a fallen model" was not only "attacked at +2", but would be killed if he lost the combat "even by one point".

Amazingly though, the Uruk-Hai summoned up all his great strength to parry Faramir's murderous blow, and rising to his feet, spent two actions performing "a powerful attack" upon his foe. Denethor's second son could do little about such a tremendous assault and died quite horribly as a result.
LURTZ DEFEATS FARAMIR AND THE WARRIORS OF MINAS TIRITH RETREAT
Such a horrific sight was too much for many of Faramir's followers to witness, and the subsequent Morale Test saw only a single swordsman remain within the confines of Osgiliath. The Uruk-Hai had been successful in their scouting mission for the Lord of Isengard, and dealt Gondor a heart-wrenching blow with just a couple of sword strokes...

24 comments:

  1. Sitting here with my morning coffee I was pleasantly distracted from my studies by this far more entertaining read. Excellent stuff!

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    1. Thanks Phil. It all ended a bit quicker than was anticipated, but still proved rather entertaining - and hopefully demonstrated that you can get a good-sized "SoB&H" campaign played during an evening.

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  2. Uruks for the win. You bet'cha!
    Uruks being my second most-favourite Mid'Earth faction. The Eagles soaring over-head in first place. I wonder if its possible to do an Eagles forces?

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    1. Cheers Roy. I don't see any reason why you could field a 'flock' of eagles. I don't have any "LoTR" eagles painted myself, but "SoB&H" is perfectly capable of doing an eagle force justice imho. I quite fancy doing a large-scale battle in the future, so a band of our feathered friends is definitely an option :-)

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  3. nteresting coincidence, I found out my beloved and treasured 40mm range of TMG (Sabertooth Games) Middle Earth minis the other day, and nostalgia swept through my mind like a wave, as I remembered all the fab games I used to have with these before... somehow, they all got carefully boxed away and forgotten about for years. So I was thinking how nice it might be to pull them out for a fresh airing, and bingo! I spot a cool new LotR AAR from none other than Simon. Woohooo!!! coffee sips at dawn and a game to read about: the world can`t get any better {Not dawn when I reply, as I had to walk the hounds first, because the tide was just right for walking down and along the beach from the cliffs}.

    Love the Osgiliath premise, and Faramier always was a favourite brother of mine, along with his cool elite Gondorian Rangers. Lurtz (even though a Peter Jackson invention) is another cool Uruk-Hai personality, and I find any game involving him tends to work out well for the Orcs... and rather excitingly so.

    I did find it hard to follow, as the photos were sooooo close up.. and I had to rely on the narrative to understand what was going on as the photos didn't help me at all. Nice pics, nice models, but story wise... I was lost if trying to follow the photos alone, but the narrative more than made up for it, as it was clear, concise and nicely written. I find myself just wishing I could see more of the action is all... but as we discussed on the phone, YOU like doing it the way you do, and I said at the time on the phone (and as we both agreed) we all of us should do what pleases up most when it comes to how we chose to present our posts.

    Great AAR, nicely presented. love the modelling... WISH I could see more of the terrain being used, yet a fabulous change of pace, and a batrep set within a fantasy world close to my heart.

    excellent.

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    1. Many thanks indeed Steve, and a very happy coincidence clearly. I was actually hoping for a lengthier first game, and at least get some shooting in, but in the end I thought it made for a hot tea-length morning read :-)

      I too would be utterly 'lost if I was trying to follow the photos alone', and indeed in past BatReps I have actually taken photos post-game and re-positioned minis simply to provide a better/more dramatic picture. I haven't done that with this BatRep, but as we've discussed, I like to use the pics simply to show-off the minis, scenery and highlight some ‘special’ moments, rather than document an accurate blow-by-blow methodology as to where each model was at a given time.

      I’ve a few of these “LoTR” BatReps planned, as I’ve rather like to go through all the scenarios in the “Song of Blades & Heroes” rule-book, so hopefully they’ll be plenty more opportunity to show off the “Battlefield In A Box” terrain, and “Games Workshop” miniatures – it might even encourage me to paint a few more minis; albeit I already have quite the collection of Gondor/Isengard painted models already.

      I have a “Gotham” campaign coming soon which will require some city-wide maps depicting the various crime syndicates zones of control, as well as those areas protected by the Gotham City Police Department (G.C.P.D.). So that should be something of a step away from how I ordinarily do my BatReps, and as the ‘fights’ will occur across rooftops, there should be plenty of ‘long-shots’ showing where the various gang members are in relation to one another and ‘deadly drops’… ;-)

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    2. WOW THAT sounds very very very VeRY exciting. be assured I`ll be camping at the front door waiting to take a best row seat with this first show billing - the big screen 1 in full 3D :-)

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    3. The day just keeps getting better. Still more LotR to come, mmmm that alone is super news; but then you bring out the cherry cakes.... GOTHAM. This (as you know) is a subject very close to our hearts. You have me quite excited now, in anticipation of the rich goodness still to look forward to from you.

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    4. Thanks Hils, that's very encouraging to hear. Hopefully the postings won't disappoint.

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    5. Cheers Steve, glad you approve. It's taken a while to get the minis I need painted up. But now I've decided to go with "Battle Systems" rooftops rather than resin "Ainsty Castings" stuff its all systems go on Gotham.

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  4. anything Lord of the Rings is a winner to me, and those Galeforce Nine "Battlefield In A Box" sets are pretty stunning (but dearly wand to see mooooore of it in the photos... sorry :(

    Loved the story, enjoyed the narrative, and a sad conclusion for the second hair of Denethor and the house of stewards. I`s love to see you do more of these Simon, and once again I think you prove the many and diverse Ganesha Games rule sets tend to be more than up to the challenge of meeting our gaming needs, in just about any situation advisable.

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    1. Very kind of you to say, Hils, and more "Battlefield in A Box" scenery will be on show in the next instalment 'Ambush' I assure you ;-)

      "SoB&H" is a corking system for "LoTR" imho, and plays really well imho; even if Faramir's forces did bolt rather unexpectedly just because their leader lost his head - literally :-)

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  5. **divisible** she means <-- she told me to say that LOL

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    1. LOL :-) They'll certainly be at least two more "LoTR" BatReps coming, Steve, as I've already played them and just need to write them up. So expect a Middle Earth" vibe to continue through the blog for the next few weeks at least.

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  6. Great BatRep Simon even it was short and not so sweet for the Gondorians. The other BatReps sound cool and look forward to reading them

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    1. Cheers Dave. It was a bit shorter than anticipated, as the Gondorians didn't even get to pepper an orc with an arrow in anger, but there you go! Hopefully Gotham won't disappoint.

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  7. Good report, bummer for Faramir. I liked all the figures you've put out this month, especially the Nurgle stuff.

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    1. Thanks very much indeed Sean, still a bit more Nurgle stuff to come with the finished Beast of Nurgle and Great Unclean One.

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  8. Great AAR Simon - I'm a fan of the "Song Of" rules family, and this has been a great inspiration to dust off my copies :-)

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    1. Cheers Wargame Addict, much appreciated. "Inspiration" is what this blog is all about - that, and tempting you to spend your money on lots of minis you wouldn't have bought otherwise ;-)

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  9. O dear, poor Faramir.

    Yeah, I'm a poet.

    I have this rulebook on my kindle but have yet to play. My inital scan of the rules revealed a bit of a fiddly effort?

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    1. Thanks Dai. "Song of Blades & Heroes" isn't fiddly at all imho. But its layout is a bit hit'n'miss tbh. Best to just start with the basics and then add some of the additional rules to suit your taste.

      This particular BatRep was done just using the basics, and worked out a treat imho; albeit it ended a bit quicker than planned.

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    1. Cheers DavyJones. Fingers crossed you enjoy the next one :-)

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