Sunday, April 12, 2009

First LotR Test Battle

I like to play through a new game by myself for at least a few turns to get the hang of the rules. Now that I've finished painting my starting forces for Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game, I decided to go ahead and play through a scenario.

Since the forces are built using the Legions of Middle-Earth lists, I decided to use the scenario generator from that book to run my first test game. Using the random generator I came up with the Reconnoitre scenario. The goal of the scenario is to move more models off the opponent's table edge than they move off yours. I set up the forces with this goal in mind, but then promptly forgot about it as soon as I began playing.

I used the random terrain generator to help set up the board, and ended up with a river running down the middle. I decided the river itself was difficult terrain.

You can check out my Flickr photos to see a turn by turn progress of the first half of the game. The end result was a draw, because I didn't pay attention to the victory conditions until about halfway through, and by then it was too late for either side to achieve them. The forces of Good had better luck with the dice rolls, and achieved a moral victory by killing more than they lost, despite the Uruk Hai being better models man for man, and the Minas Tirith archers being near worthless against them (only one kill the entire game). The only thing those archers were good for was making a run for the edge of the table, and even then they were too little, too late.

I enjoyed the test game and am looking forward to possibly getting in another test, but even more so to playing the game against an actual opponent. I have someone in the area that wants to give it a try, but we have to manage to actually schedule a time to do it.

A few comments on the models. I'm pleased with the way they all turned out; however, I was surprised to find that I like the Minas Tirith force better on the tabletop in terms of appearance. Model for model I prefer the Uruk Hai, but when arrayed on the tabletop, the Warriors of Minas Tirith just gave a better overall impression. Partly because all the shades of brown on the Uruk Hai tend to blend together when looking down on them from a distance. I suspect they may look a bit better on a higher table. My table for gaming at home is relatively low for a miniatures table.

Using the different shades of static grass for the two sides did make it very easy to visually distinguish the two sides while still giving a nice overall appearance. I think it's just as effective as painting the edges of the bases different colors, but not as jarring visually. Of course, if I don't want my home games to be visually jarring, then I need to finish up some more terrain, but given that I expect to play most of my games using the FLGS's terrain, that's rather low on the priority list for now.

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