The One Ring

Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy)(update 17/2)
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Author:  Celevue [ Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:20 pm ]
Post subject:  Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy)(update 17/2)

Hi all, and welcome to a campaign following the events of the Lord of the Rings and utilizing both the SBG and War of the Rings rules as appropriate. As the campaign progresses, we expect an increasing amount of deviation from the scenarios defined in the journey books and WotR rulebook - but in any case, it will be fun to see where the story goes and where we might be swept off to. Will the ringbearer (whoever it may in the end be) be able to cast the Ring into the fires of Mt Doom, or will Sauron himself, again in a corporeal form thanks to the power of the Ring, lead a final, deciding assault on Minas Tirith? But be warned – the journey is long and the final scenario is probably a few years in the future. There are many terrain projects and plenty of unpainted figures in between the inaugural battle report told below and the very last one, whose exact nature is not yet known – even the very wise cannot see all ends!

Author:  Celevue [ Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Battle Report: The Hunt Begins - part 1 (SBG)

The game board overview:

And so it begins: all nine Dúnedain have camped atop the large hill. Three Nazgûl are approaching from the east – the Dark Marshal through the small forest in the northeast, the Shadow Lord near the center of the eastern board edge, and the Knight of Umbar in another small forest in southeast.

Turn 1 – good priority. Rangers, noticing that something is wrong, divide into three groups – one remains at the edge of the hill cliff with their bows at ready, while others rush down the northern and the southern slope of the hill, attempting to cut off the black-clad intruders. The Ringwraiths carefully maneuver within the forest cover, aiming not to expose themselves to possible shooting attacks.

Turn 2 – good priority. While the two ranger detachments continue their dash towards the shadowy figures approaching, the Shadow Lord casts a black dart. A ranger, standing too exposed against the sky at the very edge of the cliff, falls dead in the ground.

South of the hill, the Knight of Umbar casts another black dart spell, but the will of the approaching ranger is strong enough to resist the deadly incantation. The Dark Marshal, however, fails in his casting attempt on the north side, and the third black dart splutters into the void. A ranger takes aim with his bow, but fails to hit the Dark Marshal – still hiding partially behind trees.

Turn 3 – good priority. The Dúnedain continue to advance towards the disturbers of the Shire peace, while the Shadow Lord and the Dark Marshal finally step out in the open. Again, the black dart of the Dark Marshal fails to materialize, and this time the Shadow Lord is also unsuccessful in his casting attempt. Over on the southern side, the Knight of Umbar shoots another black dart towards the exhausted ranger – and as his will is already down at zero, the black dart hits the mark. Fates are not kind to him, and he falls down dead. Three ranger arrows fly through the air in retaliation, hitting nothing.

Turn 4 – good priority. While the remaining two rangers in the southern part of the board continue their rush to stop the Knight of Umbar, the Ringwraith moves swiftly westward, unleashing another black dart. The targeted ranger must expend his only point of might to bolster his will to resist the evil magic.

Over on the other side of the hill two men are already within a charging distance of the Dark Marshal. Unfortunately, the younger of the two rangers freezes in terror – he can only look in horror as his comrade-in-arms charges the Ringwraith alone. In the ensuing fight, the Dark Marshal is victorious; his blade kills the brave ranger.

In the shadow of the hill cliff, a lone ranger is closing in on the Shadow Lord, who seems to have chosen to circle around the central hill via south. The Shadow Lord’s black dart hits him, but fate smiles on him, this time, and no wound is caused. Not unsurprisingly, given the Pall of Darkness surrounding him, the retaliating ranger arrow fails to find its mark.

To be concluded in the next post...

Author:  Celevue [ Mon Jan 28, 2013 3:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Battle Report: The Hunt Begins - part 2 (SBG)

Turn 5 – good priority. The ranger closest to the Knight of Umbar charges, and even wins the ensuing duel, but he fails to wound the well-armored Ringwraith. Over on the northern side, the young ranger tries to summon his courage in order to charge the Dark Marshal, but seeing his friend slain only a moment ago has left him even more terrified, and he remains like frozen on the spot. A third ranger has moved close, however, and together with his timid comrade-in-arms, they block the movement of the Dark Marshal. In order to advance westward, the frustrated Ringwraith has no choice but to charge the young ranger. In the ensuing duel, the Ringwraith is victorious, and strikes a terrifying blow. Yet, the fates smile – destiny must have something else in mind for the scared ranger than a death by a Ringwraith blade on that day.

In the center, the Shadow Lord unleashes another black dart, but this time it fails to wound his target. Angrily, the Ringwraith vanishes behind the trees before the ranger manages to shoot another arrow.

Turn 6 – evil priority. Seizing initiative, the Knight of Umbar rushes forward towards the western board edge. Over his shoulder he flinches a black dart, which finds its mark and kills the brave ranger who has already endured one resisted dart and a duel with the Knight. The remaining rangers nearby regroup and unleash arrows in a futile attempt to avenge their fallen comrade – the armor of the Sundered Land is harsh on ranger arrows.

Not far, the Shadow Lord is following in the footsteps of the Knight of Umbar, as he steps out of the wood again. The relentlessly pursuing ranger is safely out of range for deadly spells, and his arrow finds its mark but fails to wound the Ringwraith.

On the northern side, the Dark Marshal finally has a clear route in between the two rangers. Wanting to ensure the immobility of the scared young ranger, the Ringwraith attempts to cast a transfix spell, but the attempt fails. This finally shakes the ranger from his terror – summoning all courage, he and his comrade charge the Dark Marshal. Although the Ringwraith is victorious, he fails to wound the now-courageous young ranger, and as his will is now reduced to zero, the wraith is defeated and banished from the battlefield.

Turn 7 – evil priority. The Knight of Umbar rushes ever westward, almost certain of entering the Shire. Near the southern board edge but further due east, the Shadow Lord follows. Neither casts any spells as they try to conserve their depleted will points. Losing hope of stopping the Knight of Umbar, the surviving rangers now turn to intercept the Shadow Lord. Their shouts alert the surviving two rangers in the north, who also begin a mad dash towards southwest, hoping to provide a last line of defense – but even they couldn’t possibly reach the Knight of Umbar in time. However, the hue and cry of battle has finally alerted the neighboring warband of rangers, and a single reinforcement Dúnedain suddenly steps onto the southwestern area of the board, blocking the escape of the Knight of Umbar. The Ringwraith is mildly surprised and annoyed at this, planning to swiftly dispatch this new ranger in the next turn. The Knight can feel an arrow hit his back harmlessly – one of the pursuing rangers is still trying to stop him. His annoyance turns into an utter astonishment, as the newly-arrived ranger calmly draws his bow and unleashes a single, well-aimed arrow causing a deadly wound, and ending the game in good victory.

The rangers managed to wear the three Ringwraiths down for the subsequent scenarios – the Knight of Umbar and the Shadow Lord both are now down to three will points, while the Dark Marshal is down to zero. Recovery rolls will be done at the start of the next scenario, the Trust of Arnor. Stay tuned for the continuation of our campaign… mission… quest… thing.

Author:  Monotone_Matt [ Mon Jan 28, 2013 4:22 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy)

Wow! Interesting report and that game board is beautiful, great job :)

Author:  Gandalf The Grey [ Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:16 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy)

Amazing, the board was great :yay:
and the report was interesting and exciting. :D
Can't wait for next time.

Author:  Fëanor, the mighty elf [ Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy)

Very cool battle report!
Also, the table looks magnificent! Looking forward to see more. :)

Author:  Constantine [ Mon Jan 28, 2013 5:37 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy)

Okay where do I start from?

:shock: The gaming board is amazing!!! On what did you base the trees on?

Your commentary was captivating. I was actually enthralled by it. Consider me a follower to this journey of yours!!!

I am not exaggerating when I say that you just made my day :-D :-D :-D Please keep the updates frequent!

Author:  MorganT [ Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:21 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy)

I love the models....
I love the gaming area!......
I love the report.....
so to sum up, keep up with these amazing posts!!:D

Author:  LordElrond [ Mon Jan 28, 2013 6:44 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy)

I'm amazed.

A great battle report and miniatures and probably the most stunning board I've ever seen.

How did you do the rocks and hill?

Author:  Celevue [ Mon Jan 28, 2013 7:46 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy)

Hi, and thanks for the great comments!
@Constantine - there are two Citadel woods on the board, except without the molded plastic foliage. I used either Woodland Scenics clump foliage or their lacy foliage for all trees. The non-Citadel trunks are from Woodland Scenics, too. I've glued the base of the WS trees to a base of 3mm MDF. Some plaster was used to blend the tree bases in, followed by a earth-colored latex paint and Woodland Scenics fine & coarse turf in various colors. The tree armatures werer spray painted with greenish brown colors and drybrushed.

@LordElrond - the hill is carved from 3cm styrofoam, glued onto layers. The rocks are cast with Woodland Scenics hydrocal plaster using WS rock molds, and stained with WS pigments. The rocks were glued on styrofoam hillsides, and the entire hill was covered with plaster cloth (this helped blend in the cast rocks). Green base paint + green fine & coarse turf, plus some underbrush finished the terrain pieces.

Author:  LordElrond [ Sun Feb 10, 2013 6:42 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy)

What happened to the rest of the campaign?

Author:  Celevue [ Sun Feb 10, 2013 8:31 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy)

Now, don't be hasty, Master LordElrond, as Treebeard would say! We have played the second scenario yesterday, and a battle report will follow soon. A few more photos need to be taken, and before that, the Dark Marshal requires some emergency superglue surgery, as he lost his right hand in the heat of the battle!

At the moment we play every two weeks on average, so the campaign unfolds over a rather long period of time. Many figures still need to be painted before the end. Furthermore, while some terrains are finished, against some we have not yet been tested...

To give you some ideas what to expect, here's a short summary of the terrain / game board situation. At the moment, we have the Bucklebury ferry terrain almost ready (the same bit of river will also double as the Ford of Bruinen). Weathertop is ready, as are the Balin's tomb, Durin's causeway and the bridge of Khazad-dum boards. The construction of the Hollin Gate board is commencing soon, completing the Moria board set. Another river board is nearly done - this will be used together with the Bucklebury ferry piece to represent the fords of River Isen for the first War of the Ring rules battle. The foundations of Isengard have been drawn, but the Helm's Deep board is still nothing more than two flat pieces of light blue foam. We have plenty of Hirst art molds, and over the course of this year we should be able to cast enough blocks to build a decent set of ruined and semi-ruined buildings for Osgiliath and Pelargir boards. The ultimate challenge of building Minas Tirith will begin next year in earnest, but some plans exist already, and we may build a small 3D mock-up this year to help construct the real deal later. There might be no need for the Black Gate board, so that will be constructed only towards the end of the campaign as appropriate. The way we see the campaign is that Sauron getting the Ring early on does not automatically mean "game over". It means that there will be a new Last Alliance, fighting the final battle against Sauron in person on the Pelennor Fields instead of at the Black Gate.

Perhaps we should also start a work-in-progress thread elsewhere on this site - it might be good to show that something happens even between the gameplay sessions.

Author:  Celevue [ Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:17 pm ]
Post subject:  Scenario 2 – The Trust of Arnor (SBG) – part 1

Here is the battle report for the second scenario of our campaign, played as described in the Fellowship of the Ring journeybook. Our dice must have been loaded with small numbers last Saturday – the game was characterized by cowardice, missed arrows, failed black darts and swooshing sounds of swords hitting nothing but air. But we are getting ahead of ourselves – a more detailed summary follows. The game lasted for seventeen turns, so instead of a turn-by-turn description, we give you the broad outlines and key moments. The pic below shows the overall game board as seen from the east. Ringwraiths start from the edge closest to the observer, and attempt to reach the edge where the backdrop image is.


Turn 1 begins with the six Dúnedain initially placed as far from the western board edge as the scenario rules allow, with all moving eastward through the valley between the big hills in the north and south board edges. A group of three rangers aim for the small hill in the center of the board, planning to turn any passing Ringwraiths into pincushions. Three additional Dúnedain appear as reinforcements from the eastern board edge, and not far from them, the Shadow Lord and the Tainted appear. As you remember, the Shadow Lord ended the previous scenario with three will points left – now he has managed to recover one of the lost points. The evil side gets a strong start – a black dart from the Shadow Lord almost kills the nearby ranger; he is only saved by fate. The Tainted is quite nasty in close combat, so the two Dúnedain in range try to dispatch him in the shoot phase. Alas, the arrows hit only the tattered black cape, causing no wounds.

In turn 2, the Shadow Lord and the Tainted move swiftly westward, and behind them, Khamûl the Easterling and the Witch King enter the valley edge. A duel, seen in the pic below, between a ranger and Khamûl ends with the evil side drawing the first blood.


As the game progresses, two rangers are now well positioned on the central hill, hawk-eying black-clad targets to shoot. Another Dúnedain reinforcement arrives near Khamûl – but the rangers are starting to feel the pinch as two more Nazgûl, Dwimmerlaik and the Knight of Umbar, appear in the southeast and northeast board corner, respectively. The latter has also managed to recover all but one will point lost in the previous scenario. Amidst of many lost will points, failed black darts and missed arrows, our hawk-eyed ranger on the center hill manages to wound and banish the Tainted!


By turn four it begins to look like the Dúnedain have made a grave strategic miscalculation – all of them are in the valley between the north and south hills… and both hills show steep cliff faces towards the valley. The Nazgûl decide to take advantage of this, and attempt to cross the board via these two hills. The Witch King shows the way and climbs the slope of the southern hill, while the Knight of Umbar mirrors the move in the north. Rangers realize their error and begin a mad scramble to find better shooting positions, while some begin to circle back due west in order to intercept the Ringwraiths traversing the hills before they can escape into the Shire proper. None risk climbing the rock faces. In the northeastern corner, things get tougher as the Betrayer enters the game, and in the next turn, the final two Ringwraiths appear as well – the Undying in the north, and the Dark Marshal (with all the will points recovered) in the south.

Author:  Celevue [ Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:19 pm ]
Post subject:  Scenario 2 – The Trust of Arnor (SBG) – part 2

Midgame - there are five Nazgûl on the northern hill and three on the southern, arranged like targets on a shooting range, and moving briskly westward. The rangers attempt to let loose arrows whenever the line of sight allows, but to no avail. But wraiths fare no better - occasional black darts either fail to materialize or do not cause mortal wounds. A group of Dúnedain has now reached the western end of the south hill and begin to harass the Witch King, Dwimmerlaik and the Dark Marshal – but all of this invariably ends with the chargers frozen in terror, or the winners of the duels hitting nothing but thin air with their blades. Two pursuing rangers do a heroic march to circle around the wood atop the southern hill, and more skirmishes follow – futile, apart from depleting the will points of the wraiths. The pic below shows the action on the southern hill.


In the northeastern corner, another tight group of rangers pursues the five wraiths lead by the Knight of Umbar across the northern hill. They manage to slow down the Shadow Lord, but this comes with a heavy price tag, however, as the Nazgûl slays two rangers.
By turn 11, a group of rangers have managed to circle around the northern hill as well, and engage the Knight of Umbar, Undying, Khamûl and Betrayer, who have all begun to ascend the hill towards the western board edge.


Despite their best (and desperate) efforts, the Dúnedain must watch helplessly as Khamûl escapes the board (in turn 12), followed by the Betrayer (turn 13) and the Knight of Umbar (turn 14). The only small consolation is the banishing of the Shadow Lord, who runs out of will points in turn 15.


In the south, desperate duels continue to slow down the wraiths but the rangers cannot stop Dwimmerlaik from exiting the game area in turn 14. The game finally ends in evil victory during turn 17 as the Dark Marshal fulfills the winning conditions by being the fifth escaping wraith.

The terrain layout proved to be quite challenging for the rangers, and the plentiful foliage made shooting attacks difficult at best. Despite their defeat, the Dúnedain did manage to wear the Nazgûl down quite a lot. The Tainted still has six will points left (after all, he was wounded & banished quite early), the Knight of Umbar is down to five and Khamûl has four. The Betrayer and Dwimmerlaik have three, while the Witch King and the Undying have two. The Dark Marshal was only one point away from being banished, and, of course, the Shadow Lord ends with zero will left. But give the wraiths some time, and they will certainly recover most of the lost points – and we will pit three of them against the hobbits soon enough in our third scenario, “Short cuts make long delays”.

Author:  Monotone_Matt [ Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:23 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy)

Wow. I will continue to follow this with the greatest of interest - your boards are amazingly lush and detailed, the models look great and the narrative is gripping!


Author:  LordElrond [ Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy)

Love the board

Shame the rangers lost though

Author:  Sticky Fingersss [ Wed Feb 13, 2013 7:57 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy)

You have a really nice forest board.

Author:  andymeechan [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 10:11 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy)

Terrific scenery as mentioned previously. You are at the same spot we are in terms of scenarios (well, we just finished #3, but close enough - my 'poor man's' report here).

I'm having fun building Weathertop, but given the high standard on display here am now looking forward to your Scenario 6, too!

Congratulations - you are truely displaying what the game is for me.

Author:  whafrog [ Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy)

Great report and terrain! And thanks for your tips on making the hill...I do something similar but I'm going to try out yout system.

Author:  Celevue [ Tue Feb 26, 2013 7:12 pm ]
Post subject:  Scenario 3 – Short cuts make long delays (SBG) – part 1

The third scenario of our campaign is also directly from the Fellowship journeybook, with the exception of using mounted Ringwraiths (the book is actually not very clear on this, as discussed in andymeechan’s thread, but the picture in the book shows wraiths on foot). This is the first scenario with the hobbits in play; their objective (or at least Frodo’s) is to escape via the Eastern board edge, while the Nazgûl try their best to kill Frodo. Gildor is wandering towards the hobbits, ready to assist them. Here is an overview of the board layout:


The evil side has recovered many of the will points the wraiths lost in the previous scenario. The Witch King, the Betrayer, Khamûl and the Tainted have seven each, the Dark Marshal and the Knight of Umbar have six, and Dwimmerlaik is down to five. The Undying and the Shadow Lord are showing exhaustion – the former has four will points available, while the latter is down to three. For this scenario, three of the stronger ones are chosen – the Betrayer, Khamûl and the Tainted.

Turn 1 – good priority. The hobbits start their eastward journey by the hedge, moving quite purposefully towards the central board area without anyone wandering about. Over at the eastern edge, Gildor moves swiftly westward to meet Frodo, Sam and Pippin. The wraiths remain in sentry mode and do not move. Khamûl is quite near the hobbits, but is luckily completely unaware of them. On the northern edge, the Betrayer scans the Shire horizon, and in the south, the Tainted is doing the same.

Turn 2 – good priority. The hobbits still continue their unfaltering march due east, and Gildor approaches them – now almost within sight of the Ringbearer and his company. The Betrayer is still motionless, while Khamûl becomes suspicious and moves to a narrow gap in the hedge lining the road. Luckily, the hobbits are already long gone from that spot. Over on the southern edge, the Tainted hears something and moves into a nearby forest.


Turn 3 – good priority. The hobbits have a happy meeting with Gildor near the central part of the board. Khamûl continues on their trail and is now riding across the field adjacent to the road – and very nearly spots Pippin... but this time, the hobbits are still (relatively) safe.


The Tainted moves deeper into the woods, only to realize he had been chasing a rabbit, most likely. On the northern side, the Betrayer continues patrolling and moves due west.

Turn 4 – good priority. The hobbits, spurred by the meeting with Gildor, continue eastward and circle around a small, central hill. Gildor, spotting Khamûl (who is still unaware of the closeness of his prey), tries to cast immobilizing spell, but this has no effect on the wraith. In fact, Khamûl actually turns about and moves back towards the hedge and the road. The Tainted moves out of the woods after the false trail, while the Betrayer moves into a forest on his side of the board.


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