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"The Battle of Pellenor Gate (AAR)" Topic


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411 hits since 16 May 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
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Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP16 May 2017 6:43 a.m. PST

The Wheaton Light Brigade meet on Mondays and we were wondering what game would be next. One of our intrepid GMs was setting up a WW1 game but would not be ready. So I offered to run a fast and furious game of Lord of the Rings.I have a scenario that is fast, fun, and requires very little set up. I ran it once with a class of middle schoolers who had never seen a miniature before and it went down to the last turn. So I dusted off my figures and battle was joined. Rules were use straight from GW's "The Two Towers" rule book.

The Situation: The men have attempted to hold off the forces of Sauron at the river in order to buy time for Minas Tirith. But the orcs have broken through faster than hoped. A breaching party is racing for the gate in the walls surrounding Pellenor. Riders of Rohan are racing ti intercept. But until they arrive there is the briefest of windows where the orcs may be able to force the gate. They have a powerful new magic, one that opened the walls at Helm's Deep….meanwhile a scratch force of men are falling back. A few Riders of Rohan inside the walls are mustering. Meanwhile a small unit of green clad Rangers lurks…..

The Battlefield: The battle is played the "long" way on an 8x6 table, divided in to fourths. The left most quarter is the deployment zone for Sauron. The next quarter in line is "no man's land." The third quarter is the deployment area for Gondor. The final quarter is Pellenor, behind the walls. In addition to the wall, the men of Gondor have three sets of hasty works made of barrels, sand bags, and the like.

The Forces: The breaching party consists of 48 Orc warrirors, 8 archers, 30 Uruk-Hai and a troll. In addition there is a small team of 3 orcs who carry the breaching magic. Only these three orcs may do so (kill them and good wins). The men can field 18 archers, 24 warriors and a unit of rangers (8 men plus a captain). Beginning on Turn 6 the men may call forth the Riders from the City. The longer they delay the call the more men have mustered and will answer. They may see between 6 and 12 riders.

Victory: The game lasts 10 turns. If the breaching magic has been placed at the gate, at the end of that turn it detonates and the gate is destroyed. The orcs pour through and the first defense of Minas Tirith falls before it can even be counted. Any other result is a victory for men. This means the Orcs must cover 24" in 10 turns (movement is 5 or 6" per turn).

Special: Once per game, the small team of three carrying the breaching magic may move 12".

Deployment: The men deployed one unit behind each barricade, with a unit of archers there as well.. A second unit of archers linked the barricades on the right, while one unit of archers was required to be inside the wall. Sauron deployed the Uruk Hai on his left, Orcs to the right, with the troll and the breaching party in the middle. They were going to aim for the gap between the barricades to their left. Men deployed forst, followed by Sauron. But, the rangers deployed after Sauron and could deploy even in no man's land or enter a table edge on turn one. Playing the forces of good, I opted to flank Sauron's left, hoping I might catch the breaching party from behind.

In the opening turns the Orcs charged and took heavy losses from the archers on my left. My archers on the right were mostly ineffectual. The Rangers advanced but their bow fire was very poor – hits were hard to come by, kills rare as hen's teeth. The evil wave surged to the barricades for the most part unmolested.

Bypassing my troops on the left, I left cover and flanked the orcs there. Meanwhile the Troll and main orc body reached the barricades. The frighting was fierce and the barricades held briefly. But the troll dropped our captain and the orcs flowed around the ends. We attempted to withdraw, but too late. We lost priority and were surrounded, desperately hoping for reinforcements. The noose tightened and the center barricade fell by turn 6. Things looked grim. On turn 7 Rohan appeared, but few, too few. Only 6 riders had armed them selves. They charged and made a bridgehead around the gate. The rest of the men fled to join them, with orcs pressing hot on their heels. the Uruk Hai did terrible damage. At one point my entire unit of 8 rangers fired at a lone orc – and put not a scratch on him. I really thought it was not going to be our day!

On turn 9 Sauron put the spurs to his breaching party, and they took their double move to move within 6" of the gate. If they could just fight their way through, victory was theirs! A heroic, if costly, stand by the warriors of Rohan held just long enough. All but one were slain, but at the end of turn 10 the breaching party – now done to just one carrier – were held up 3" shy of the gate!

Overall it was a very fun game that came down to the last few die rolls on the last turn.

All figures are GW except for Rohan: I forgot to pack a box so we pressed some Normans in to service. The walls are a modified job from Chris at Sally 4th (thanks Chris!). The low hills that break up the field are from Battlefield Terrain Concepts.

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dragon616 May 2017 7:53 a.m. PST

Great report. The photos are excellent. A tense fun game

Landorl16 May 2017 11:39 a.m. PST

I love close fought battles. Great report!

goragrad16 May 2017 12:36 p.m. PST

Nice!!

JMcCarroll16 May 2017 3:18 p.m. PST

Bows are weak in GW's LotR. Crossbows are not.

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