Saturday, 13 February 2016

Hobbits Rampant

"Find the halflings!"
Let's play Lord of the Rings games using the Dragon Rampant ruleset. We decided to play a what-if scenario in which the Fellowship are waylaid by orcs on their way to Moria. All nine members of the Fellowship are still alive, pursued by Saruman's orcs. The objective was to get the hobbits from bottom right to the safety of an elven outpost (top left), with orcs arriving to hinder their progress. I jotted down profiles for the main characters - the hobbits were split into pairs and were scouts with invisibility, which meant they could not be shot. The other members of the Fellowship were all single models, mostly elite foot or heavy missile with various fantasy upgrades. I also gave each character a trait or two, to reinforce their heroic deeds. The orcs were mostly light foot, a couple of units of heavy foot and bellicose foot. Give or take a point, it was 50 points per side.

"....three, four, five..."
I was playing the orcs and started the game around turn 4 - I managed to move one unit before rolling three consecutive first turn fails - one of the main frustrations of the games for me. The Fellowship sprinted across to almost halfway while my orcs failed to pick up their scent! Legolas and Gimli started to count their victories, covering the rear.

"I'll not be outdone by some pointy-eared elf"
Elven arrows reduced a unit of heavy foot to a handful of models, while the madly swinging dwarf axe despatched and routed a complete unit. Dwarfs 12, Elves 9. However, all this fighting had tired out Gimli and when another unit of orcs turned up, they found him puffing and panting and.....

"Forget the dwarf, find the halflings"
A lucky blow to the head sent the dwarf reeling, the orcs rushing on to search for their hapless prey. By this time my activation rolls were behaving and the orcs were swarming through the woods, searching for hobbits. Unfortunately, I didn't get too many more photos. Boromir put in the best literary performance, manfully shielding the hobbits from harm, black fletched arrows bringing him to his knees, slowly ebbing his strength. He took the full impact of bow shot from two units before finally staggering to a convenient tree trunk to perform his dying scene. Gandalf blasted then hacked his way through a unit of berserkers, while Aragorn just hacked down his berserkers (but then embarassed himself by tripping on a tree root and falling into a bramble patch). Most of the orcs by now had fled, only the leader and a unit of heavy foot could stop the hobbits - and for a brief moment it looked like the Shire folk would be caught. But then a failed orc activation roll followed by a well aimed arrow from Legolas sent the orc captain reeling. Unable to stem the flow of blood he coughed his last orders to his lads, who promptly legged it in the opposite direction.

"Get the filthy little scum"
The game worked pretty well. It certainly looked the part, with dozens of orcs pursuing a handful of heroes through the wooded terrain. The profiles I chose for the Fellowship worked well, though Legolas was a problem as the game does not really cater for a shooty hero. A couple of tweaks here and there would make for a better game. It's something we will most likely try again. After being disappointed with previous attempts at Warhammer Rampant, this low fantasy setting worked far better. 


Gordon Richards said...

Great stuff!

PsychosisPC said...

Just got Dragon and Lion Rampant, been reading the rules. Look pretty interesting for virtually everything I have in models.

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