Tuesday, March 3, 2009

War of the Ring- Playtest!

I finally got my War of the Ring playtest in. It took awhile to set up but I got two actual full games in not just running thru the store demo armies today using my own Mordor Force, Couple things up front, the game is great fun, a couple of the rules are a little wacky to me (I'll go into that in a bit), but overall I think its great. It not a replacement for Warhammer, it is much more macro of a game than Warhammer and while very strategic based on the missions and overall dymanics, its still about throwing dice and lots of them. I played 2- 1000 point games today..I think the standard once the game is out and running will be 2K- but 2K in this game is ALOT of models, 150-200 models. War of the Ring is game a with Hordes of troops where monsters and heroes rule the day, just like in the movies. It much different than the strategy battle game in most respects even thou it uses the same models, which might take some getting used to.
I played the same list in both games, I didn't have my Camera as the majority of the models were unpainted.

My List- Mordor

Epic Heroes

Gothmog/Warg (with Warg Riders)

Ringwraith on Fellbeast

Shagrat and his Tower Guard (1 company, Legendary Formation)

Infantry Formations-

Mordor Orcs, 3 companies, Hand Weapon and Shield
Captain, Banner, Drummer

Mordor Orcs, 3 companies, Hand Weapon and Shield
Captain, Banner, Taskmaster

Mordor Orcs, 1 Company- Bows

Cavarly Formations-

Warg Riders, 3 Companies, Hand Weapon and Shield

1000 points/ 72 models.

Game- 1 Vs Gondor w/ Rohan Allies (Anthony)

Epic Heroes

Aragorn (with Warrior of MT)

Theoden (with Riders of Rohan)

The King of the Dead

Infantry formations-

Warriors of Minas Tirith, 3 Companies- Hand Weapon & Shield

Warriors of Minas Tirith, 2 Companies - Bows

Army of the Dead, 3 Companies- Hand Weapon & Shield

Cavalry Formations-

Riders of Rohan, 3 Companies, Hand Weapon & Shield, Throwing Weapons

1000 points/ 73 models

We rolled for a mission and came up with High Ground, we nominated on hill on the battlefield as the victory area, the then rolled for deployment and we rolled Maelstrom. Which means No models start on the table and you roll a D6 for each unit. Table edges are numbered, 3,4,5,6
you roll a D6 for each unit on 1,2 it stays off the table 3+ comes in from the corresponding table edge. You need to be careful because it real easy to get rear or flank charged when you opponent can come in from the same edge as you.

In this game our models came in over the first 3 turns on a pretty even level. The Army of the Dead came on from the edge 6 (my left table edge) early on and the majority of my models did as well. I had Shagrat and his Guard and Orc Infantry coming on the #4 table edge where the majority of the good forces where. My Infantry made into the near by woods by Shagrat and company just caught in the open and on the next turn 2 Companies of Gondor Bowmen show up behind him on the hill and let loose. 16 shots wounding on 5's, on which he rolls 5 hits. In WotR hits are kills. The one rule I think is a bit odd, is IF you only have one company (8 units ) and its reduced to less than 50%, its automatically destroyed. Even if its a Legendary Formation with 125 point Hero in it. So just like that they are killed- dead by 30 points of cheap infantry. Seems like the should get some kind of save or something or be able to flee to another unit. The answer is of course to have more companies in your formation, I could have had 3 companies with Shagrat if I did, those 5 kills from archers would have meant nothing until I was reduced to just the core company. Annoying my favorite hero is dead but I carry on.

Theoden and his Riders mix it up with some Orc Infantry and I lose combat and am disordered but regroup and am back in the fight..My Nazgul is flying around throwing the Enfeeble spell at Theoden and Co. and its seriously gimping him. Magic in WotR is another thing that seems odd, The first spell of the phase always go off..the effects can vary based on dice, and you need to roll to see if you can cast more spells..its bit odd, but as you will see in game two- magic is very powerful, we barely dipped our toe in it here as I had the only spellcaster (the Nazgul)

I got to see the results of great cavalry charge on the other side of the table..Gothmog and Warg Riders rear charge the Army of dead who are holding the high ground...I pass my Courage test and we storm in. Cavarly gets a base 2 attacks per company + 6 extra each company on the charge, plus I burn one of Gothmogs 4 points of might to try his Epic Strike ability giving him another 5 attacks, plus I have rear charge and am using Gothmogs fight skill giving me even more dice. I end up rolling over 30 attacks and do 19 kills leaving on 5 Army of the dead (one more and it would have been an Auto Wipe out given the above rule) the King and his cowards are disorders and do regroup moving away only to be killed by the Flying Ringwraith. Who also is still fighting with Theoden, throwing spells and is dominating that side of the table...his hard to kill ability and 8 defense makes him unstoppable you can swarm enough attacks on him to come up with enough rolls on the "Hard to kill" table to get him.

On the Gondor Side, Aragorn has the ability to make a pretty sneaky move. He can burn a point of might (In which he gets one "free" every turn) to invoke an Epic Journey...this immediately removes Aragorn and his formation from the table and allows them to be replaced anywhere on the table as a free move..they can't charge that turn (maybe shoot too, don't recal) but all of a sudden Aragorn is up my backside behind my Warg Riders and a Formation of Orc infantry who are now Holding the high ground. I also had my bowmen behind Aragorn (late late arrival via deployment) and the troll lumbering around and I was about to see what he could do.

On my turn I charged the Troll in and he busts up some Men of Gondor good..since he is a monster, he only fights the company he is touching which thanfully isn't Aragorn...so I kill a bunch of guys, win combat and Gondor falls back and reforms...This allows Gothmog and the Boys to come around in there move phase and eventually rear charging Aragorn. Aragorn calls out an Epic duel trying to kill Gothmog and fails and more Men of Gondor die. The next turn I get the Ringwraith into Combat as well, and that seals the Deal, Aragorn and Company are killed, but since its Simaltaneous combat here...He get's to see how many of my troops he can take down with him..He calls out another Epic Duel (using the 1 free might he has per turn, quite
handy!) This time he manages to kill Gothmog and my Warg Riders in the process. I killed Aragorn but its took, A Troll, Gothmog and 5 Warg Riders and a Ringwraith on a Fellbeast to do it...yes folks..Aragorn still is the man to beat in WotR...what you expect from the King of Gondor.

Theoden and a couple guys make a final attempt to storm the High Ground, but with 3 Companies of Infantry there..It dubious despite the King of Rohan's formidable stats. I bring the Ringwraith over in the move phase he's got distance to charge in the fight phase so Theoden Faces 3 companies of Orcs with a Ringwraith on his Flank and is scattered into the winds...MORDOR wins.

Anthonys "3 Kings" list was a good one, but splitting his forces proved to be fatal, I had enough infantry on the right side of the table that with the Nagul & Fellbeast, I kept Theoden out of the important part of the fight long enough to swarm Aragorn, an early rout of the Army of the Dead was key, but in the end the MVP for Mordor was the Nazgul, Watch how the Tide Changes in Game 2.

Game 2 VS Fallen Realms (Jeff)

Evil VS Evil is never a good thing, the Fallen Realms are the evil empires in WotR that are the Dark Lords auxillaries, with Mordor allies its an incredibly potent force, as I soon find out

Epic Heroes

Knight of Umbar (Nazgul)

Dalamyr, Master of Fleet
(Both with Corsairs)

The Dark Marshall (Nazgul)
(with Morgul Knights)

Infantry Formations

6 Companies of Corsairs of Umbar

3 Companies of Black Numenorians

2 Companies of Corsair Arbalesters

1 Company of Half Trolls

1 Company of Goblins

Cavarly Formations

4 Companies of Morgul Knights

1000 points/ 115 models

Jeff works for GW and has been going around promoting this game so he's been playing it for awhile at this point. When I saw all the extra companies at 1000 points..I knew I was in trouble we rolled "Clash of Swords" as the Mission (i.e he who racks up the most kills) and again Maelstrom Deployment. Jeff came out of the gate huge by getting everyone, but the Half Trolls on the table in Turn 1. I had Gothmog and his Wargs, the Trolls, my Bowmen and 1 Infantry formation sitting out. Again- Shagrat and his legendary formation turned out to be a waste without additional company support. He comes in on the #5 table edge..but so does most of Jeff's army..I do get a Charge off...but its not enough attacks against his big formations and the strike backs cut him down. Jeff obviously has figured out the Magic phase and he uses the spell "wings of terror" to give both his huge infantry formation of Corsairs and His Morgul Knights (both led by different Nazgul) movement as if they are Flyers. This is incredibly powerful as I find My Ringwraith on his Fellbeast Charged turn one by 48 Corsairs led by the Knight of Umbar and Dalamyr. Dalamyr has "Epic Poison" which lets Jeff reroll all misses that turn- that formation put out over 30 attacks on the Nazgul, so with rerolls he came up with 10 hits...which gives him 5 rolls on the hard to kill table...he easily kills my MVP from earlier in the afternoon and on the first turn!!...ouch two heroes dead turn 1, Its up to Gothmog.

Gothmog tries the Half trolls on for size..despite my huge amount of attacks...I cant close the deal. Half Trolls are "indomnitable" which is "unbreakable" if you play warhammer...meaning you got to kill every last one on of them and they dont run away. With two wounds each...I still had one left...after two rounds of combat.

My troll comes the far #4 table edge all by his lonesome, Again Jeff is using the magic ability of his Nazgul in each of his main formations to move each all over the map. Offensive Spells put wounds on the troll and he can't reach the Morgul knights on the Charge but they can easily reach him and he is killed...of the other side both my Infantry formations brace for impact against the Corsairs and Black Numenoreans..My Orc's bounce off the Numenorians...and the Sheer number of attacks from the Corsairs on the charge kill my other 3 orc companies easy...I disengage Gothmog from the Half Troll and get a charge on the Corairs...Gothmog burns his might to Challenge the Knight of Umbar to a Heroic Duel and kills him...yeah Gothmog!!!.
The celebration is shortlived because in the following fight my Wargs and the leader go down hard...I had some bowmen on the table and they got killed by a company of goblins!..Goblins..killing Orcs?? who heard of such a thing. Anyways I got TABLED in three turns, my previous game went the full 8 turns...Bad deployment and against someone who knew what they where doing and knew the value of large formations. Magic is very powerful- that is for sure, jeff's movement just killed me..I think there are magic counters for alot of these spells...but my one caster was dead before I could even cast a spell.

I learned alot today on how to play this game, despite some of the awkwardness of some of the rules (alot of which comes from my perspective as a Warhammer player) I do like this and think it will be a blast. I got the full-on experience today...I'm in and expect to play alot of this in the coming summer. If you have questions about some of the terms..I am sure they are confusing even to the Skirmish game Vet...ask away.


Mandarin said...

Awesome report!
I am getting really psyched about WOTR, haven't been this excited about a set of rules in a LONG time. Am building up a big force to be able to do most of the "historical" scenarios..

Anonymous said...

You lucky bugger. I haven't been able to play a game yet, but it does look good. I have some trays already though - good for the early moves in the skirmish game too.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for taking the time to post those reports. It really sounds great. I'm looking forward to getting my Rohirrim into a WotR game. Looks like I'll be building up my Helms Deep forces so I can ally in Gandalf the White!!

Theoden King said...

Archery hits do not equal wounds. You do have to roll to wound too for archery and do not argue, I have the book. Shagrat's Tower Guards are not defence 4, bows are strength 2 so it equals 6's to wound and 4's to hit. Also, they may be indomitable (immune to last company at half-strength meaning dead formation).

Good reports though, my goondorians and rohirrim will soon rule middle-earth.

Forth Eorlingas!

John@Plastic Legions said...

Good to know..I'm sure there were a ton of errors in that game..we definitely where NOT rolling to wound on archery...I have book too but have not dug into it yet..I definitely wasn't aware that had to roll to wound on archery versus only having to roll hits in close combat..I like it!.


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