Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Grand Siege: Moria & Isengard vs Arnor & Minas Tirith

An army of Evil stands before the gates of Fornost. A horde of Goblins from the mountains led by a huge dragon (cave drake) and a band of large uruks from the south foreshadow death and destruction. The enemy had assembled a pair of siege towers and had constructed several ladders and a battering ram. In addition, the uruks carried two strange blasting devices to wreak ruin on the walls.

Turn 1 - Good
Krazgar calls on the Dark Lord and casts Fury, while Ashrak attempts the same, but fails. Elsewhere the forces of darkness begin their advance on the walls. The defenders remain in place, peering out at the oncoming horde from behind their walls.

Turn 2 - Evil
Ashrak makes up for lost time and the nearby goblins are invigorated by dark energy. The Arnorians begin readying weapons as the enemy force approaches nearly to bow range.

Turn 3 - Good
With the first ranks of the enemy now in range, arrows begin to shower from the walls. Three goblins fall to the ground, pierced by arrows fired by a Ranger and two hobbits, while a fourth goblin deflects a ranger's arrow with his shield. Alagaith brings his Avenger into action, the crewman working the controls as the giant bow cranks out six shots at the nearest siege tower. Unfortunately of the two shots which hit, no damage is caused.

Turn 4 - Evil (tie)

Again missiles fly from the walls as the enemy continued their advance. A goblin sank to the earth, a hobbit arrow deep in his chest.

Again Alagaith and his Avenger crank out six more shots, this time hitting the nearest siege tower four times. Despite their size and speed, the bolts merely embed themselves in the wooden frame, causing no structural damage.

Turn 5 - Evil

Seeing the dragon leaving his post pushing one of the siege towers and glaring menacingly in their direction, one of Arvedui's guardsman shouts for the King to take cover in the nearby tower. Moments later, the Dragon breathes fire at the warriors on the wall near where Arvedui had been standing, but the flames miss, instead blackening the stones just below the battlements.
Adunfaroth calmly drew back and loosed an arrow, striking a goblin in the chest, but dark rage sustains the foul creature (Fury save passed). A nearby goblin is not so lucky, being struck through the eye by a hobbit arrow and falling to the ground with a screech.

Turn 6 - Good

The Dragon calls a Heroic Shoot, and flame jets from his jaws, enveloping Alagaith, his crewman and a nearby ranger in a torrent fire. Alagaith and his companion are quickly reduced to ashy piles, and their bolt thrower to charred wood, but miraculously the ranger survives unharmed, albeit singed.

Quickly popping up from behind the tower battlements, one of the hobbit archers looses an arrow that strikes down a goblin helping to carry one of the ladders. A second goblin is also hit, but in his enraged state does not even notice.

Turn 7 - Evil
Taking to the air, the great dragon flies above the walls and lands with a thud near the ash piles that had once been the Gondorian bolt thrower and crew. Elsewhere, the goblin siege towers creak up to the walls, though their ramps remain closed.

Formegil leads his men on the wall in a desperate attempt to fend off the giant reptile, and despite the beasts snapping jaws and flailing talons, they manage to defeat it, though their weapons are unable to pierce its hide.

Turn 8 - Good
Emerging from their shelter within the southern siege tower, the uruks hurriedly haul their charges to the gate. Mauhur himself and some of the goblins begin to ascend the belfries, and await the moment that the ramps would open and they could storm the walls.

The Arnorians on the wall rush to engage the dragon again, though this time Formegil is unable to muster the courage to join them, possibly suffering from shock after seeing Alagaith immolated. On the opposite side of the gate, a goblin who had peeked around the corner of the siege tower he was pushing had no time to regret it, as a ranger's arrow slew him.

The raging dragon is again unable to overcome the men swarming about him, perhaps unable to focus on a single target, but again his iron hard scales deflect their puny blows.

Turn 9 - Good
Roaring with rage, the dragon leaps into the sky and flies down to attack Malbeth (Heroic Move). The nearby warriors rush to the aid of the aged Seer, despite the fearsome creature that opposed them (surprisingly many of them passed their courage checks). Elsewhere, Arvedui gives orders to the soldiers of Arnor on the walls to prepare for the goblins to come spilling out of the siege towers. Seeing the uruks place and retreat from their charges, both Adunfaroth and Mongo quickly duck into the towers on either side of the gate.

More arrows leap from the bows of the defenders, but only a single goblin falls with a feathered hobbit arrow embedded deep in his chest.

With a thunderous roar and an extreme dose of overkill, both demolition charges disappear in a great gout of flame and smoke, and the gate into the city collapses into a pile of rubble.

Malbeth and his warriors throw themselves at the raging dragon, and by some miracle they are not only able to defeat it, but Malbeth dodges the slashing talons and lands a blow from his staff right onto the dragon's snout, causing a wound. In an even more amazing turn of events, the dragon, apparently disturbed by his lackluster performance and the smarting of his nose, takes to wing and quits the field!

Turn 10 - Evil
With the departure of the dragon, the spirits of the battered Arnorians are lifted, and they give out a great cheer. However, they are quickly brought back to matters at hand when with a rattle and a bang, the ramps of the siege towers come crashing down. Mauhur and goblin warriors come spilling out to attack the waiting Arnorians, as they brace to fight for their lives.

Turning about to face the shattered gateway, Malbeth's soldiers charge with renewed hope into the gaping portal, providing a wall of shields and sharp spears to deny the enemy entrance.

As the clash of steel rings out over the walls, the armies of good and evil strive against each other. Mauhur defeats a pair of Warriors of Arnor, but their thick armor and shields save them from harm. The rest of the evil army fares poorly this turn, with two goblins being beaten back, while another goblin is carried to the ground by Arnorian spears.

Turn 11 - Evil
The two sides crash back together with renewed violence. Leaping from the top of their siege tower, two goblins jump the gap to the southern tower to attack the hobbit archers.

In the gateway, more soldiers of Arnor arrive to bolster the defence as the goblins and uruk berserkers rush back in. King Arvedui himself rushes to join them bringing a few more reinforcements.

At the siege towers, Mauhur jumps down onto the wall itself and throws himself at a Warrior of Arnor.

Having emerged onto the top of the northern gate tower, Adunfaroth lets fly an arrow that slays one of the goblins massing at the gate, the vile creature slowly toppling to the ground.

One of the Guards of Annuminas defending against the goblin onslaught from the northern siege tower is killed, but two others beat back the chittering goblins, though none are slain.

The goblins who had leapt with evil glee to attack the hobbits on the tower are chagrined when the two diminutive halflings beat them off soundly with whacks from their bows, though they fall short of killing the goblins. Mauhur smashes aside the Warrior of Arnor who stood before him, his heavy blade crunching through the man's armor.

A goblin who had climbed a ladder in hopes of catching the men on the wall unaware was disapointed as a spear nearly skewered his head. In his haste to back away, the goblin fell from the ladder, knocking two of his companions down with him. All hit the ground with sickening thuds, never to rise again.

At the ruin of the gate, the forces of Arnor hold their own, driving back the berserkers and goblins, though they are unable to kill any of them.

Turn 12 - Good
Hearing the clamor of combat above him, Mongo ascends to the top of the southern tower, while King Arvedui arrives to reinforce the defenders at the gate. Formegil shouts a challenge and charges to engage Mauhur on the walls.

Formegil and Mauhur, both evenly skilled combatants, nearly draw in their battle until Formegil manages to force back his opponent (he won the tie), but is unable to land a telling blow. Elsewhere, the battles are more lethal. Beside Formegil, a goblin is killed by a spear thrust from a warrior and collapses with a gurgle.

Atop the tower, the goblins rally and again attack the hobbits. One is again defeated, though not slain, but his companion overpowers the Shire archer and cuts him down in a spray of blood. On the north side of gate, a goblin and Warrior of Arnor are each slain.

In the gateway itself, the two sides clash in a nearly even exchange. Two pairs of Warriors of Arnor each kill a goblin warrior, while one of the berserkers brings his enormous sword down on the head of a Warrior of Arnor, crushing his helmet. The other berserker nearly killed a second warrior, but the man was saved by the Foresight of Malbeth.

Turn 13 - Evil
Climbing to the top of the siege tower, Krazgar attempted transfix Mongo, but his spell did not take hold. Seeing this, several arrows fly through the air at the goblin shaman, one finding it's mark in the goblin's flesh. Fate deserted Krazgar, and he suffered a wound. Two goblins waitign their turns to leap onto the walls from the ramp of the north siege tower slain by arrows fired by a ranger and a hobbit.

Clashing again, Mauhur is decisively beaten by Formegil, suffering a deep gash from the northern dunedan's sword. He suffered two wounds, though Fate spared him from death. Two Warriors of Arnor are defeated by goblins, but are unharmed. Atop the tower, a goblin defeats a hobbit archer, but cannot finish him off. Mongo nearly kills his opponent, but Fury keeps him in the fight. Down in the gateway, goblins drive back a pair of warriors, but their armor protects them. Arvedui works his way to the forefront defeats a berserker, but is unable to finish him off.

Turn 14 - Good

Ashrak and the Krazgar both shout for their followers and call Heroic Moves. Ashrak charges across the ramp of the siege tower and attacks a Guard of Annuminas while his followers crowd the edge of the ramp.

A pair of goblins, possibly inspired by their comrades on the other tower, make the leap from the top of the northern siege tower to attack Adunfaroth and the hobbits.

At the southern tower, Krazgar and another goblin leap to join their fellow still fighting on the tower.

Ashrak ends his charge at the point of an Arnorian spear, though he manages to avoid serious injury. One of his fellow goblins is not so lucky, being fatally pierced by a guardsman's spear, he falls from the ramp to land on the man.

On the northern tower, Adunfaroth knocks a goblin to the ground before pinning him there with his spear.

At the southern tower, Mongo again defeats his opponent, but snarling goblin is saved by Fury. Krazgar clubs the remaining hobbit archer with his spear shaft before stabbing the stunned halfling in the chest with his shortsword. Below them on the wall, Mauhur recovers from his previous defeat and bashes aside Formegil's defences to cut deeply into the man's shoulder. (It seemed slightly ironic to have the same die rolls and results this turn as the previous, just in reverse. Formegil suffered two wounds, but saved one with Fate). Nearby, a goblin leaps under a rangers defences and slices open the archer's abdomen and kicked him to the ground.

Down below at in the gateway, Arvedui leads his men in repelling the evil assault.

Arvedui himself cuts down a towering berserker, his blade ending the uruk's fanatical rage. A goblin is also slain while the surviving berserker defeats his opponents but is unable to kill them.

With the end of the turn, the Evil army is now Broken. With that, the battle was called, and the remaining forces of evil retreated as best they could, leaving the men of Arnor battered, but triumphant. Malbeth was also left to ponder whether "Malbeth the Dragon Frightener" was more impressive than "Malbeth the Seer".

Final Casualty Totals:
Alagaith (engineer captain)
Gondor Siege crewman
Avenger Bolt Thrower
2x Hobbit Archers
1x Ranger of Arnor
4x Warriors of Arnor

4x Uruks /w Flaming Brands
1x Berserker
9x Goblin Warriors /w Spears
12x Goblin Warriors /w Shields

Post Battle Thoughts:
Definately a lifting of spirits with the departure of the dragon. That thing had me seriously concerned, and I think I would nominate Malbeth my MVP of the battle for that alone. The bolt thrower was probably my biggest disappointment of the battle. It got off an impressive number of shots, then proceeded to do absolutely nothing with them :( Prior to the battle I had visions of that thing scything down the enemy warriors, but that was sadly not to be. Still, a fun battle though, and the siege towers made things much more interesting than a simple ladder assault. Hope you have enjoyed the report :)


  1. Epic looking game. Siege games are always tough on the attacker (as they should be)... I have played the Assault on the Deeping wall a few times, and I tend to lose most of troops from falling off the ladders during ladder assault! Plus if you get a breach in gate/wall... its very tough to actually break through the gap against determined resistance. I look forward to trying the new Brutal Monster attacker 'Barge', to break through these breaches now...

    Interestingly, I cant see rules for Siege Towers in the new The Hobbit rulebook...

    BTW I thought the bad guys would manage it, until the dragon buggered off!

  2. I really thought they would do it to, the dragon had me sweating. I think it's a bit of a shame that siege towers, and destroying walls/towers are no longer in the updated rules. I think they were going for simplifying things, which I can appreciate, but I think those things added more depth to sieges, and gave the attacker a few more options.

  3. awesome game. it really is too bad that the dragon fled so soon - having never seen one in action I was hoping to see how much carnage it can cause ;)

    your seige posts inspired my gaming group to try a christmas eve seige as well - only we had Buhrdur and a bunch of cave trolls w orcs and gobos assaulting Gondorians and rangers. Maybe I'll be able to get a post up sometime soon...

  4. It would indeed have been fun to see what kind of destruction the dragon could have caused, though I am happy for my Arnorian's sake that it took off when it did ;)

    That sounds like a fun battle to, would love to hear about it :)

  5. As the poor bugger whose dragon couldn't manage to roll a six in...what...twelve rolls, then fled the scene when someone managed to break one of his nails, I, too, would have loved to see the carnage he could have caused. :( The Goblins were totally NOT going to manage it solo. I was planning to save the last breathe fire for the pile up at the gates.

  6. This is the type of battle report I like. A lot of pictures, good retelling of the battle with creative imagination, and just a great battle in general. Just started following you as I found an image that drew me to the blog on google, then my mind was made up after skimming some more recent posts. Working my way up from here though now.

    Nathan's Fiction Sphere

    1. Thanks for the kind comments, they are appreciated and I hope you enjoy what you find here :)