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 Post subject: Scenario 4 – Bucklebury Ferry (SBG) – part 2
PostPosted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:28 pm 
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Turn 8 – evil priority. While the Betrayer continues to stand watch further afield, the Knight of Umbar and Dwimmerlaik hear a clank near the ferry. The wraiths quickly turn their steeds around and rush to investigate. As the frightened hobbits rush to the jetty, the Knight of Umbar spots them and raises an alarm. The hobbits’ luck has run out…

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Turn 9 – evil priority. The Knight of Umbar casts a black dart towards the rear-guarding Pippin, who fails to resist the evil spell. To the utter horror of the other hobbits, fate is not smiling to Pip today, and his lifeless body falls down on the jetty. As the other Nazgûl close in, the Knight of Umbar charges Merry. Frodo retreats onto the ferry, dragging Pippin’s limp body with him. Sam pulls up his courage and charges the Knight of Umbar in an attempt to help Merry.

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The two small hobbits are no match to the mounted Ringwraith, and both are knocked prone on the jetty. The Knight slashes twice with his blade – Merry manages to dodge but Sam is wounded.

Turn 10 – evil priority. Shouting “with me”, Sam coaxes Merry up before the Knight of Umbar has time to charge the hobbits as they are lying down. The two hobbits hastily retreat towards the ferry, as the Knight of Umbar charges Sam again. This time, the hobbit is prepared, however, and he attempts to strike the black steed with his frying pan (to no avail, unfortunately).

Turn 11 – good priority. All the hobbits are now on the ferry, which nudges away from the jetty. The Nazgûl shriek in disappointment, and hastily cast black darts at the escaping hobbits. The Knight of Umbar targets Sam, who manages to resist the dark spell. Dwimmerlaik also targets the brave Samwise, but his spell fails.

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Turn 12 – good priority. The ferry continues to inch away from the jetty at a painfully slow pace. Sam stoops for the lantern of the ferry and throws it like a stone at the Knight of Umbar, but his attack has no effect. The night air is thick with dark spells as the Ringwraiths cast black darts. Dwimmerlaik aims at Frodo, but his spell fails. The Knight of Umbar fails to harm Merry. The Betrayer is now at range, too, but his spell aimed at Sam fails.

Turn 13 – good priority. The ferry picks up speed and is very near the opposite jetty. The Betrayer coaxes his steed to the end of the western jetty, and aims a black dart against Merry – but the spell fails. The Knight of Umbar casts a black dart towards Sam but misses.

Turns 14 & 15 & 16 – evil priority. The Nazgûl continue with their deadly spells, steadfast to not let their prey escape alive. A black dart from the Betrayer targeted at Sam fails, but the dart cast by the Knight of Umbar against Merry hits its mark. Fate smiles on the hobbit, however, and he avoids being wounded by the evil spell. The ferry finally docks, and Frodo shouts “with me” as the hobbits scramble off board the ferry.

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The Betrayer casts a successful black dart that would, if not for the smiling fate, have mortally wounded Sam. The final black dart from the western shore vanishes into the night harmlessly, as the exhausted hobbits disappear into the forest, safely beyond the range of the evil spells. Merry assures Frodo that the Ringwraiths must circle via the distant Brandywine Bridge in order to reach Buckland and the eastern shore. Only then, the shaken hobbits finally dare to rest and lay their fallen comrade down. Tears of sadness turn to tears of joy as Pippin’s voice quietly whispers “are we there yet?”…

Thus, the game ends in good victory, but the hobbits had it really tough for a while. Pippin, while alive, thanks to a successful recovery roll of his wound, is definitely weakened by the black dart, as he continues with zero fate. Sam managed to recover from the wound, and he also got a point of might and a point of fate back. Merry, too, recovered the used fate point, but Frodo failed in his attempt to recover the spent might point, unfortunately. Hopefully the hobbits are fit enough to withstand the horrors of the Barrow-downs in our next game. Stay tuned…
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 Post subject: Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy) (update 1
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 3:58 am 
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What a fantastic report. Brilliant pictures and it looked like it was a really on - edge game!
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 Post subject: Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy) (update 1
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:15 am 
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That's really awesome with those lights! This really looks great!

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 Post subject: Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy) (update 1
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:37 am 
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Brilliant! This is really good, and I like the way you add that they had to carry Pippin when he died in order to potentially get him back in the next battle.

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 Post subject: Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy) (update 1
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 6:40 pm 
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Love the atmospheric photos, the first on is awesome with the Ringwraith on it’s horse...
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 Post subject: Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy) (update 1
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:30 pm 
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Your boards are fantastic! (as I expected from your WIP)
Just love the diorama-like look of it!

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 Post subject: Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy) (update 1
PostPosted: Tue Apr 02, 2013 8:23 pm 
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Thanks for the great comments, much appreciated! I've updated the WIP / Behind the scenes thread to show how the ferry, jetty & the cottage were made, and how the night photos were shot (or more appropriately, how the terrain was illuminated for the photographs).
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 Post subject: Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy) (update 1
PostPosted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 3:17 am 
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Unfortunately i haven't managed to post on this amazing thread but hey ho, all the battle reports that are on here are wonderfully detailed with your taste for recanting battles improving with each one, the pictures are also improving greatly. I especially love the last battle report with the addition of the lighting to create an extremely atmospheric game! Can't wait to read some more soon, keep up the good work :)

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 Post subject: Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy) (update 1
PostPosted: Sun Apr 07, 2013 8:41 pm 
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Wow... This sir, is the definition of epic and awesome combined. The boards are great, the models are great, and the campaign idea is just AMAZING. Seriously can't wait to see how this pans out!

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 Post subject: Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy) (update 1
PostPosted: Mon Apr 08, 2013 7:13 am 
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Amazing work, well done keep going 8)

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 Post subject: Scenario 5 – Wizards’ Duel
PostPosted: Sun Apr 14, 2013 9:37 pm 
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Rather than face the cold foggy Barrow-downs, we were actually eager to see whether Gandalf would be imprisoned atop Orthanc, so we decided to play the scenario Wizards’ Duel first. If we disappointed you, our apologies – rest assured, the hobbits’ adventure will continue in two weeks or so.

Wizards’ Duel has, apparently, been originally presented in White Dwarf – we only have it in the “best of” collection with the Two Towers theme. The playing area is hexagonal honey-comb, and the rules are much simplified from SBG – the wizards roll for priority, and the winning wizard is allowed to move to any adjacent hex. Both have identical spell cards, with four offensive spells dealing either horizontal or vertical blasts (“push” and “crush”), and defensive spells countering some of the damage dealt by the attacks. Both wizards choose, in secret, an attack and a defense, and reveal these simultaneously (with a suitable shout). The damage is dealt, and wizards unable to defend against “push” are moved backwards or slammed against wall. A wizard touching the Palantír gains some precognition regarding the attacking spell of the opponent, so it is an advantage to stand next to its pedestal. The wizard who first gets 16 wounds is rendered unconscious. The rules do not allow a draw – either Saruman manages to win (and imprison) Gandalf, or he loses, and Gandalf flees Isengard to a meeting in the Prancing Pony in Bree. Here is an overview of the game board; the wizards start at designated hexes at the opposite edges of the playing area:

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Turn 1 starts with Saruman stepping forward and directing a horizontal blast against Gandalf, who is slammed to the chamber wall, giving him two wounds. Gandalf’s retaliation pushes Saruman back, but does not wound the evil wizard.

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Turn 2 gives the initiative to Gandalf, whose push slams Saruman up against the wall. However, the White Wizard deals a crushing blow, adding three wounds to Gandalf.

Turn 3 – Gandalf moves towards the Palantír stand, and he manages to slam Saruman against the wall yet again. This time, he is also able to completely block a horizontal blast from Saruman.

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Turn 4 has Gandalf move triumphantly into contact with the Palantír pedestal. However, the brief glimpse into it avails him little… Bang! A crushing spell from Saruman deals him two wounds. Luckily, he manages to deal a full three wounds’ worth of crush back…

Turn 5 – Saruman tries to move towards the centre of the chamber, while Gandalf maintains his position at the pedestal. Spells fly, and Gandalf is dealt two wounds from a crushing blow – in retaliation, he sends Saruman flying against the chamber wall once again; three wounds for the evil wizard.

Turn 6 – Despite Gandalf’s priority, Saruman manages to cast a horizontal blast pushing the Grey Pilgrim away from the Palantír. A small relief, as Gandalf slams his opponent yet again against the black obsidian wall dealing one wound.

Turn 7 – Saruman is now determined to get to his seeing stone, and he deals three crush wounds to Gandalf (and receives one in return).

Turn 8 - In the following turn, Gandalf briefly gets his last touch of the Palantír before being pushed two steps back. Smash! His vertical blast deals two crush wounds to Saruman.

Turn 9 – Saruman advances towards the pedestal. Slam! The wizards exchange crush wounds, and both start to show exhaustion. Saruman has two wounds left – but the grey wizard is not much better off with three wounds remaining.

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Turn 10 – Whack! Saruman’s blast slams Gandalf against the wall and deals two wounds as the White Wizard reaches his ancient seeing stone. Gandalf’s feeble retaliation still manages to deal a crush wound, leaving both wizards one wound away from defeat (or victory).

Turn 11 – Gandalf gains the crucial priority, and with a shout of Bang! he pushes Saruman away from the Palantír. His defensive spell is successful, and neither wizard suffers further wounds this turn – both brace for one final exchange of spells…

Turn 12 – Whack! Gandalf sends a horizontal blast towards Saruman, who clearly expected a vertical crush. The Grey Pilgrim’s spell sends the White Wizard flying against the chamber wall, rendering him unconscious before he manages to retaliate.

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Exhausted, Gandalf flees Orthanc, mounts his horse and begins a long ride towards Bree, certain now that Frodo is in grave danger…

This was a fun scenario to play, and the duel was very even – either one could have snatched the victory in turn 11 or turn 12. The gameplay was akin to chess, and, indeed, we did have an urge to play a game of chess after this scenario (a game which ended in a draw – apparently we are equally good - or bad - players in both LotR and chess).

Our result in Wizards’ Duel managed to change the course of the canonized events, and, provided that Frodo is still alive after the Barrow-downs, Gandalf should meet up with him in Bree. Since Gandalf will not be having a solo encounter with the Ringwraiths, we will skip the scenario “Grey Pilgrim and the Black Riders”. In addition, Gandalf will now accompany the hobbits and Aragorn on their journey towards Rivendell. The Nazgûl must summon all their evil powers to gain the Ring at either Amon Sûl or at the Ford of Bruinen, given the two strong defenders the Ringbearer now has… stay tuned!
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 Post subject: Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy) (update 1
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:01 am 
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A very fun read. I like how you changed models to make the photos more dynamic.
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 Post subject: Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy) (update 1
PostPosted: Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:58 am 
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I love this.

From the scenarios, to the models and photography, to the scenery and your write ups... just everything is perfect about this campaign. :yay:

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 Post subject: Scenario 6 – Fog on the Barrow-downs (SBG) - part 1
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:05 pm 
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Cold, magical fog envelopes our brave hobbits after they leave the friendly house of Tom Bombadil behind on their way towards Bree. Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin are separated in the beginning of the sixth scenario of our campaign, taking place in the Barrow-downs. The western board edge features the trailing edge of the Old Forest, and near each board corner, there is a barrow – and a wight. The objective of the hobbits is to escape via the eastern board edge, while the wights on the evil side want to paralyze the hobbits, drag them into barrows, and kill them in a dark ritual ceremony. Over the course of the scenario, Tom Bombadil and Goldberry may appear. At that point, the mist covering the Barrow-downs (and limiting visibility) is lifted. Here is an overview of the board:

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Since our collection only contains two proper GW wight figures, we used two suitably painted Dead Marsh specters as additional wights.

Turn 1 starts with good priority, and the hobbits, starting off near the center of the board but well separated from one another, move eastward and get closer together.

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Unbeknownst to them, four barrow-wights emerge from their respective barrows and start moving towards the unsuspecting travelers.

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Turn 2 – good priority. The hobbits continue eastwards. Suddenly, the southernmost hobbit, Pippin, seems to stop on his tracks as if paralyzed, and he falls down. Out of the fog emerges a barrow-wight, which has successfully cast a paralyzing spell on the hapless hobbit.

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Turn 3 – good priority. Frodo sees the unexpected fall of Pippin, and rushes to him – and to his horror, a ghostly figure hovers nearby. In near panic, Frodo calls “Ho! Tom Bombadil!”. Merry, hearing the call, tries to run towards Frodo, but the fog distorts the sound and Merry heads in a completely wrong direction – back towards the Old Forest, and towards two other wights, closing in.

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Sam, on the other hand, makes a beeline towards Frodo and Pippin. He does not yet see anything out of the ordinary – the dense fog still hides the horrendous spirits approaching him. Meanwhile, Frodo’s strong will manages to resist the paralyzing spell of the wight in front of him. Frodo even manages to snap Pippin out of the paralysis.

Turn 4 – evil priority. Sam’s move towards Frodo is cut short as a paralyzing spell drops him to the ground. Further due west, Merry is also targeted with a spell, but the incantation fails - after which the wight nearest to Merry immediately charges the hobbit. On the other side of the hill, the wight near Pippin charges, outraged, as his certain prey has suddenly been revived of paralysis. Frodo moves to Sam while he continues to call out to Tom. Both Merry and Pippin accompany him, as they duel with wights. Merry loses the fight, but the barrow-wight fails to deal damage to him. Pippin, in turn, wins, but his feeble attack makes no effect on the ghostly enemy. Frodo tries to revive Sam but to no avail.

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 Post subject: Scenario 6 – Fog on the Barrow-downs (SBG) - part 2
PostPosted: Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:07 pm 
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Turn 5 – good priority. Luckily, Tom Bombadil has finally heard the chorus of three terrified hobbits calling his name, and he emerges from the Old Forest.

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The hobbits, however, are still unaware of this. They barely notice the clearing of the fog, as they continue to battle the barrow-wights. Merry summons his courage and charges a wight. Further east, Frodo stays with still-paralyzed Sam, while Pippin moves eastward. All three conscious hobbits continue to call for Tom. The wights persist with their relentless attack – one tries to paralyze Pippin, but fails. Frodo manages to resist the spell of another wight, which also charges him. Frodo wins the ensuing duel, but fails to harm the spectral creature. Nearby, Pippin is also charged, and he loses the duel – but manages to dodge the wight’s strike. Merry loses his duel, too, and escapes also unscathed. Luckily, all the commotion wakes up Sam from his paralysis.

Turn 6 – evil priority. Each wight charges a hobbit. Frodo, Sam, Merry and Pippin still continue to shout “Ho! Tom!”, as the four duels commence. Sam uses his frying pan to good effect and wins the duel, but the wight merely utters a cold and terrible laughter at the pan-wielding hobbit. Merry and Frodo lose their fights, but emerge unscathed. Pippin, alas, loses and is paralyzed yet again. Meanwhile, Tom closes in on Merry…

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Turn 7 – good priority. Tom is now close enough so that his merry song strengthens Frodo’s badly depleted will. Frodo, Sam and Merry charge a wight each, while the fourth wight begins to drag paralyzed Pippin towards the nearest barrow. Frodo wins his duel, but fails to wound the enemy. Sam loses, but is not harmed – but Merry, unfortunately, goes down.

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Turn 8 – evil priority. As two wights charge Frodo and Sam, the two other spectral figures are busy dragging Pippin and Merry into the barrows to be sacrificed. Tom, however, does not take this kindly, and his song revives Pippin. Sam wins his duel again, while Frodo loses – but there are no effects on either side.

Turn 9 – good priority. Tom revives Merry, and engages a wight, as Frodo, Sam and Pippin start heading towards the east. The three other barrow-wights charge Frodo, Sam and Merry. Sam and his frying pan are victorious yet again, while Frodo and Merry lose their duels – and the latter is paralyzed once more, mere moments after being revived by Tom.

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Turn 10 – evil priority. While Merry is being dragged yet again towards a barrow, two other wights charge Sam, and the remaining one charges Frodo. For a moment, Pippin considers making a beeline towards safety, but he decides that he will not abandon his friends – thus he joins Frodo’s fight instead. Suddenly, Merry is woken from paralysis – Goldberry has arrived, and she is singing a refreshing song.

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Tom joins the fight to help Sam, and one of the two wights is now forced to focus on Tom, instead. Sam wins, again, but causes no harm to the evil spirit. Frodo and Pippin lose their fight, but Pippin manages to evade the wight’s strike.

Turn 11 – good priority. Goldberry and Merry move eastward towards Tom and the other hobbits. Sam charges a wight, while Tom ties another one into a hopeless duel (from the wight’s point of view, of course). A second wight engages Sam, as Frodo and Pippin flee eastward. Merry is also charged by a wight; he loses but is not harmed. Sam, however, is wounded by one of the wights.

Turn 12 – evil priority. The wights are now desperate – only by dividing the attention of the invincible Master Tom and his wife, the River-daughter Goldberry, can they possibly turn the tide of the battle. Spells fly through the now-clear Barrow-downs air, and Pippin, Frodo and Sam go down. Three evil spirits begin immediately to drag the paralyzed hobbits towards barrows, while the fourth one charges Merry, paralyzing him for the third time.

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The evil triumph is not long-lasting, however, as Tom engages the wight dragging Sam, while his jolly “Hey! Come merry dol!” wakes up Frodo. In addition, Pippin and Sam manage to break paralysis on their own.

Turn 13 & 14 – evil / good priority. The wights begin to realize that their prey is too difficult to catch. A wight charges Pippin (who loses but stays afoot), while another attempts to grab paralyzed Sam. Tom, however, revives Sam and engages the wight. Goldberry awakens Merry, and both continue eastwards, as does Frodo. In the last game turn, the evil forces yield as Tom sings “Get out, you old Wights! Vanish in the sunlight!”. The wights begin to flee towards their barrows as Goldberry and Tom safely escort the hobbits to the path towards Bree - after gifting them with small swords found inside one of the barrows.

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It is already dark as the tired hobbits enter the Prancing Pony inn, asking the innkeeper Barliman Butterbur “We’re friends of Gandalf the Grey, can you tell him we’ve arrived”. The innkeeper pauses for a moment… “Gandalf? Gandalf… Oh yes, I remember! Elderly chap, big gray beard, pointy hat. He’s sitting there at the back table with that Strider fellow.”

And so ends our sixth scenario – felt a bit scary at first, with no Tom in sight. Once Tom was on the board, the wights seemed to have little possibility to achieve victory conditions. As Goldberry joined in, the evil side simply had to give up – no matter how much the barrow-wights tried to paralyze the hobbits, there was always a merry song to undo their nefarious plans. Too bad Tom is adamant about not passing his borders – he’d be a valuable asset on any battlefield! Next, our travelers will face Ringwraiths again, this time within the ruined watchtower of Amon Sûl. The Nazgûl are in for a surprise, however, as Aragorn and the hobbits have a wizard along - one which is definitely not some conjuror of cheap tricks! Stay tuned…
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 Post subject: Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy) (update 2
PostPosted: Wed Apr 24, 2013 4:55 am 
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Ohmagerd this is just too amazing. I cannot wait for Weathertop!!! Once again, your boards are exquisite and your reports are fun and exciting!

I've always loved 'what if...' scenarios and this thread is just beautiful. Excellent job!

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 Post subject: Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy) (update 2
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:32 am 
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This is such fun to read. The photography is brilliant!
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 Post subject: Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy) (update 2
PostPosted: Fri Apr 26, 2013 2:09 pm 
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Wow, really incredible art and photography! Looking forward to more :yay:
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 Post subject: Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy) (update 2
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:37 am 
Your thread is really amazing! These shots are so atmospheric due to nicely painted miniatures, very cool terrain (oh my gosh this barrow downs board is just great! :yay: ) and good composition! I love the fog, it logs very realistic...cold and gloomy :(

Clickig through your thread is like reading the books again-thanks a lot for that man! 8)
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 Post subject: Re: Celevue's LotR campaign (SBG+WotR) (Pic Heavy) (update 2
PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 9:10 am 
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Thanks for the kind comments, folks - they make the writing of battle reports very rewarding!

We hope that the style of minimizing gameplay terminology in the reports is OK - we try to weave these in as unobtrusively as possible (e.g. "Aragorn running at the double" meaning that he expended his free might point to do heroic march, or "fate was smiling to him" meaining that the good player succeeded in her/his fate roll). As Gunslinger noted, we aim at telling a dramatic story rather than recounting every dice roll result, and are happy if the combination of figures, terrain, photos and reports evoke the feeling of the books & movies.

As mentioned in the WIP/Behind the scenes thread, the fog effect in the photos was done as a practical effect using a Cokin fog filter rather than image postprocessing. Especially for the Barrow-down scenario, this probably is a strong clue that the battle report photos are actually restaged after the game is over. We do take quick snapshots during the gameplay, but in some cases, a slight repositioning of a figure or a scenery piece is needed for a better composition, or the backdrop needs to be moved to another side of the game table. These would distract from the flow of the game, so we always shoot the final photos afterwards. This is particularly true for more challenging lighting conditions, such as with using the fog filter, or shooting night scenarios. However, apart from a very slight repositioning here and there, the photos do otherwise represent the actual gaming situations accurately.

@Matt, we played the Weathertop scenario on Saturday, and despite having Gandalf along, the good side did not have it easy (and that's all we will say about that for now). It will take a few days to write the report and shoot the night photos, so please bear with us. We should have the report up by the end of the week.
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