“Defend the Gate!” A Battle Report

On their current path in their journey North the Elves would need to pass through an old fortification. Anticipating this Arnakhor manages to cut the Elves off, blocking their path. However the gate he finds is old and broken. As dusk approaches, so to does an evening mist that obscures the Lothlórien Elves within.

Stealthily advancing through the forest Fingaerion leads his party of Elves towards the waiting minions of Evil. He is determined to get through that gate and continue on to the Blue Mountains undeterred by the weather or the Taken of Minas Morgul.

Breaking from the cover of the woods but still obscured by the fog, the Elves continue to advance. The Taken grimly hold their ground, Arnakhor hissing, “Shields up!”

There is an exchange of arrows, either missing their target completely or ending up in the shields of the Taken. Arnakhor hisses, “Wait for it….”

More arrows are exchanged as the parties shuffle around for the most advantageous position. Cailon’s arrow finds its mark in the body of the Orc Maubag. Again, “…wait for it…”

With the loss of Maubag, Arnakhor changes his plan and seizing the initiative he orders, “Charge!”

A melee ensues, pushing back and forth, a violent dance that sees Gazbag wound the Wood Elf sergeant Randil. Fate and might see the Elf survive the wound and stay on his feet.

The fighting continues. Shagduf the Orc archer jabs an arrow into Orcondil. Faeril cuts down Lagbug. Arnakhor cuts down Anduniel. With the sun finally setting the melee settles into a series of one versus one duels where blows are exchanged but no one is wounded. The fight drags on much longer than either party suspects possible.

Finally Nagduf drops Randil. Gazbag cuts down Anwion. Fingaerion bests Azgarzir, wounding him but by fate alone the Black Numenorean stays on his feet. The Elves are broken but not defeated. Their courage holds firm, as it has done several times charging the Black Numenoreans that often cause others to pause.

Shagduf uses his now bloody arrow yet again and wounds Cailon but fails to drop the mighty hero. Nagduf drops Faeril. Fingaerion cuts down the ill fated Gazbag.

Exhaustion slowing their blows the warriors fight on. The morale of the Elves flagging but not yet failing. Cailon cuts down Nagduf, but Arnakhor wounds Fingaerion, fate preventing him further injury. With that the three surviving Taken move to secure the gate and the two remaining Elves withdraw.

A hard fought victory for the Taken after 14 rounds! The game ended just as our son was waking up so we did not immediately do the post game results. Lots of experience to calculate but also the fear of injuries… or death!

I found the game enjoyable but a roller coaster of highs and lows based mostly on dice. Tactics seemed to play very little in the game. A lot seemed to depend on the armor of the Taken versus the lack of armor on the Wood Elves.

I did start the game with a 19 point disadvantage so I received one reroll in the game and one additional influence point. It proved to be a useful reroll in the big melee.

My wife enjoyed the game but felt like it was dragged out after about turn 10. I did not feel that so much but that could be because I was surprised every turn I survived.

As the heroes advance in level and grow in power I wonder how the feel of the game will change because right now it feels pretty easy for a warrior to get some lucky dice and drop a hero.

Addendum: The post-Game phase where we see the results of the battle.

The Taken of Minas Morgul won with a point value disadvantage so received 5 influence, bringing their current total to 10 influence.

Arnakhor gained enough XP to level, selecting Path of the General then rolling for +1 Defense.

Gazbag the Orc sergeant gained enough XP to level and chose Path of the Warrior, rolling +1 Wounds.

Nagduf and Shagduf both leveled but failed in their rolls for recognition. And Lagbug the spear armed Orc warrior died.

The Elves of Lothlórien were defeated, therefore gaining 2 influence and bringing their current total to 3.

The Wood Elf spear armed warrior Faeril gained enough XP to level and won recognition to become a hero, taking the Path of the Warrior and rolling +1 Might!

Fingaerion leveled, choosing Path of the General and rolling +1 courage, giving him the maximum courage at 6 now.

The two Elven sergeants leveled.

Randil taking Path of the Ranger and rolling Steady Aim (no -1 to shoot when moving).

Cailon also taking Path of the Ranger and rolling Pinpoint Shot (reroll 1’s to wound when shooting).

And tragically Anwion the Galadhrim warrior died.

Both parties decided to not spend any influence points at this stage, instead hoarding them for later.



  1. Enjoying the journey! If the elves at won, but at what cost? I think that is the hardest part of Battle Companies, having where each side has a chance at winning. I’m having that trouble doing a solitaire journey, glad you and your wife is enjoying it.

    (In case you don’t get it from the email, I’m Mapper from the one-ring)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I certainly felt like the Taken were doomed from the start. We decided to roll random time and weather to help balance the Elven archery. The mist helped reduce the range and I got lucky with the few shots the Elves took. In the melee it felt like it could go either way…. but the two turns where different minis won but did not wound their enemies caused my wife to feel like the game was dragging. I did not mind that because the push back game mechanic lent a sense of movement in my mind, where getting pushed away from the gate could influence the final result.

    Unfortunately my wife got to the point that she wished her Elves had failed their courage near the end of the game and felt a sense of relief as our son woke up. My sense of relief was from rolling to end the game (1-2 on a d6) at the same time my son woke up so we did not have to leave things hanging until the evening.

    We did get to the post-Battle phase in the evening. It did not go as we expected and I will add the details to this blog post soon.

    I am sorry to hear you are having a hard time with a solitaire journey. My gratitude for having a wife that enjoys gaming is endless!

    Thanks for taking the time to read the blog and post your thoughts mate! I continue to enjoy your input on The One Ring.


  3. Good to see Bret commenting on here (he knows more about Battle Companies than I do) and I enjoyed reading another report, grumpy! I haven’t played a lot of points matches or indeed games with higher model counts in MESGB but my impression is that “scrums” like you had in your game do happen a fair amount in this game. There is definitely a sense of, wanting the dice to be conclusive so you can see which way the game is going to go. I think it can also feel like the “fate” of the dice rolls can be a bit cruel at that point depending on the results.

    The most important thing is that your wife found the game fun. You are very lucky to have an enthusiastic gaming partner. I’m like Bret in that it is solo or nothing for me 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Cruel or epic it would seem, depending on perspective. We had another game today… I have just been slow to write it up. The dice certainly created a very epic narrative in the end, which you will see in the next blog entry!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s