A few days after the passing of Fingaerion’s Spear and the Taken of Minas Morgul, the Dwarves of The Golden Boar and Old Ozzy’s Outlaws come upon the outskirts of the Ruins of Annuminas. Angmar Orcs drawn into the service of various Barrow Wights haunting the ruins go about their nefarious tasks.
Deciding to camp for the night not that far from each other both are confronted with different Orcs and Barrow Wights…. with differing results!
Rori and his Dwarves are ready for a fight and feeling confident… at least in killing Orcs. Wights however be another matter! The plan is, kill the Orcs then find and destroy the Barrow Wight that they feel is in one of the nearby ruins… and all before the sunsets!
The Raven, Oren, takes flight from Brimir’s arm. Arrows are exchanged but all fail to find their mark. Bili fights two Orcs and kills one.
The Dwarves continue with their initiative and press home their attacks. Rori throws an axe and kills an Orc. Bili goes after the Orc Tracker on the rocks nearby, easily climbing the stone ruins but missing his axe throw. An Orc archer looses and its arrow wounds Brimir, despite his new Dwarven armor. Only fate keeps the wound from being sever enough to incapacitate the Dwarf sergeant. Bili kills the Orc Tracker with a swift blow with his axe.
The Orcs seize the initiative but it does them little good. Hanar manages to win his fight thanks to the inspiration from Oren the Raven and kills an Orc. Brimir kills an Orc with his staff. Onar loses his fight but the Orc is unable to penetrate his Dwarven armor. Bili kills another Orc.
The Dwarves seize the initiative back, Rori and Hanar both throw axes and kill an Orc each. An Orc Archer looses and hits Bili but again Dwarven steel saves the day as the arrow narrowly misses a chink in his heavy Dwarven armor. (My wife rolled 6 to hit, six to wound, figured Bili was out but did not count on the 7 defense, so needed to roll another d6 and get 4+… she rolled a 3!) The Orcs are Broken and the Dwarves are glad they decided to get better armor rather than buy Dwarven Ale!
The Orcs have the initiative but their morale falters. Four Orcs lose their courage and flee. Two fall back towards the North West. Onar and Brimir loose arrows but miss. The Dwarves pursue the two Orcs.
Despite having the initiative still, this is all too much for the two Orcs as their withdrawal turns into a rout. They leave a lone Orc Tracker remaining in the North East ruins.
The Dwarves move towards the North East ruins but before they can get there the sun sets and the last Orc flees as well. All that is left now is to search the five sets of ruins in order to locate the Barrow Wight.
Each time Rori takes the time to surround each set of ruins, with his archers in excellent vantage positions before he personally approaches.
First…. the center one. Nothing.
Then the second. Nothing.
Then the third. Nothing.
Then the fourth. Nothing.
Finally… the fifth…
The Wight appears and uses magic to Paralyze Rori! The Wight then rushes down to attack Rori in melee before any of the Dwarves can loose arrows or throw axes. Fear grips the Dwarves, causing some to lose their nerve. However, Brimir and Hanar find the courage to charge the Wight and try to save Rori.
Hanar wants to throw an axe as he rushes in but decides he can not for fear of hitting Rori by accident. Given their numerous skilled attacks they are confident they can best the undead creature… but were it not for inspiration from Oren they would have failed! Yet again the Raven has proven his worth to the Dwarves. Brimir wounds the Wight twice, slaying the foul creature. Victory to the Dwarves!
Disappointingly though, a search of the ruins turns up just some trinkets rather than any great treasure (1 Influence point, with yet another roll of a 1 on the Ruins of Annuminas loot chart! Argh!).
An interesting game. It did not go as either my wife or I expected. Yet again the sense of randomness was strong, with appearing to shrug off most things then a lucky roll resulting in near tragedy more than once. Heavy Dwarven armor and the Raven really saved the day.
Both my wife and I are confused about the rules on using throwing weapons when joining multicombatant melee. Does anyone have a clear ruling on that? We went with a fluff based decision for this game but we would like a more rules based decision in the future.
Edit: I forgot to mention what happened to the Outlaws… we did not play their game out, just rolled for random results. They lost, the heroes got the bulk of the experience and influence was used to recruit some new troops. We adjusted the recruitment list to have the result of a single Ruffian with no special equipment to be two such poorly equipped villains. Edgar and Fancy Jack became heroes in the making, with Edgar on the Path of the Adventurer (+1 Attack) and Fancy Jack on the Path of the Ranger (+1 Might) Oswald is on the Path of the Sorcerer with a Staff of Power. Dolf is on the Path of the Scout and got some throwing daggers from that. Victor is on the Path of the General and got +1 Attack. They also recruited a number of new Outlaws after their last fight with the Dwarves, but before going into the Ruins of Annuminas. The Ruffians Einar “Lightfingers” and Filibur “Firebug” and the Hillman Feodor “Wolfkiller”. They gave Wolfkiller a bow so they would be at their max of 5 bows with a company 15 strong to take against the Dwarves in their next fight.
I don’t know if I just root for the good side more than the bad but I kind of like it when the evil side panics and ends up breaking. I guess I think of that as being a pretty thematic result. It is usually devastating for whoever breaks first but in this case, it led to a pretty cool narrative moment with the dwarves finding and slaying the wight.
In terms of your rules question, I wonder if the Good side can throw an axe into combat or not. I know they can’t do that when they shoot with bows for example. I would be tempted to apply that restriction to using a throwing weapon but I don’t think it would be a huge advantage either way. I don’t know if that is much help but I figured I might as well weigh in!
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Yeah, narratively it makes sense when Evil breaks and runs… less so when elite troops of Good do. But managing Courage is another dimension to the game that helps give some depth.
The answer I most often got is that only the first one charging can throw, then melee starts and any other Good models can not throw but Evil can if they want to risk hitting their friend.
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That rules answer makes thematic and logical sense to me. I don’t know how you’d figure it out on your own as it is a fairly obscure situation but I do think it sounds like a fair way to handle it at the same time.
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