Pelennor Fields: Turns 1-3
Initial positions were chosen by the moderator (me), and meant to capture the 2 large waves of the Witch King’s troops from the SPI board game Gondor, from which the rules were modified for miniatures. See the gameboard geek site http://www.boardgamegeek.com/ or Mike and David’s Tolkien Boardgame Collecting site http://www.freewebs.com/tolkienboardgamecollecting/waroftheringsspi.htm for more info on SPI’s "Gondor", which was included in later versions of SPI’s classic "War of the Ring" game, along with "Sauron," for which I also have a miniatures version with a few pictures in another photo album here. My brother and I played a version that came out in SPI’s gaming magazine "Strategy & Tactics", but that was back in the Second Age… Photos of the first 3 turns of Gondor are included as a separate photo album in this Windows Live site as well, but now to the action…
The strategy of the Witch King players was to attack with everything as soon as possible taking advantage of the night turns and numerical superiority. Turns 2-6 out of 16 total are night turns; orc’s are “fanatical” during the night turns and score automatic hits in melee combat. Unfortunately, the Orcs are pretty poor troops, and their hits usually amount to nothing, since Gondorians on the walls can ignore retreat results unless they take casualties.
Due to the superiority of the Gondor infantry, only 1 missile unit of Gondor was half eliminated in the fist 3 turns, while 6 Orc units were slain. Even during the first night turn, when Gandalf failed in his magical attempt to break Sauron’s darkness, the orcs charging up their ladders and attacking from siege towers to engage the Gondorian infantry were not only ineffective in causing any casualties, they were slaughtered themselves for the most part. Lots of the carnage was caused by vats of boiling oil that was spilled on the hapless orcs. For the Lord of the Nazgul, at least there are only 4 of those oil attacks left on the first wall. The fires and heads you may see in the photos are from shots fired by the Witch King’s catapults, too bad for him that none of the fires resulted in destruction of any Gondorian catapults or cauldrons of oil.
The quality of the second wave of troops is far superior to the first on average, and they are pulling Grond, which will arrive next turn and begin to bash in the main gate. The second wave includes Trolls, Easterlings and the the Army of Harad. But unbeknownst to the Witch King, the Army of Rohan is fast approaching (I guess you probably knew that bit)! They can arrive as soon as turn 5 with 1/3 probability. Can the Witch King make any progress on the assault before the Pony Men and their retched King arrive?
Thanks to the Wednesday Night at the Fights guys for play testing the rules (play testing is always a dangerous game). Also, thanks to my friend Rick especially for a significant help in the painting, or this game would have had to wait until spring! Stay tuned for the next segment in 2 weeks.