Battle Report: Battle of 5 Armies (First 2 Sessions of Play, Turns 1-9 out of 15)
My war gaming club play tested new home rules (loosely based on the SPI War of the Ring Game hex and counter games) & modified for miniatures. Scenario specific rules were added to make the battle play out as it did in The Hobbit – if everything worked out that way, that is. Some of these were modified from the Douglass Larson’s Miniatures Battles of Middle Earth web site. I also reread The Hobbit to make sure I was doing everything right and achieving the best blend of accuracy vs. player decision making and playability vs. “realism.”
Set up: The Goblins set up their mighty host with most of their archers on their right flank, hoping to take advantage of the dwarves lack of missile troops. The Wargs were on their left in order to beset the Elves should they advance against the Goblins left, with much Goblin infantry in support. Behind the mass of archers on the right, the Goblins had masses of elite goblins (if there is such a thing) should the Dwarves be foolish enough to come down from the spars of the Lonely Mountain and engage them, even though they would be heavily outnumbered. This was indeed their tricksy ploy, as they could either shoot up the Dwarves or taunt them into an attack, and cut them off and destroy them, circa first Gulf war, 1990.
Unfortunately the Goblin archers did not have the stomach to advance against the mighty Dwarves, even into firing range; so all that archery went to waste for the first 1/2 of the battle. Eventually, the Dwarves became bored (in a fey mood for battle, filled with blood lust!) and advanced 120 troops into their hated Goblin foes. The Goblin archer scum turned and ran, failing even to get off a shot before they broke and ran. Their commander, however, considered this a minor victory since the Goblin Archers did not lose any troops before running like Cowardly Scum.
On the Goblin left, the Wargs were much more inclined to advance. They charged into the Elves who came down off the western spur so that the Goblins would not have free reign to concentrate on the Dwarves and Men. This was a mistake at first as the Wargs were effective in causing casualties and disordering the Elves in the early part of the battle. In the middle stages, however, the Elves fought heroically, and when all seemed lost, they stiffened their attack and decimated most all of their hated Warg Riding foe.
About this time, both of the Goblin Mountain Commands were activated, and were actually brave enough to launch wave attacks against the elite Men and Elves guarding the passes down the mountain. They had little success against either side of the Lonely Mountain, but did not suffer that many casualties either, that is until the Eagle showed up!
To Be Continued…