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"Great Battles of History: The Battle of Five Armies" Topic

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Dining Room Battles02 Feb 2021 9:11 a.m. PST


(What do you mean it's fictional? Shame on you!)

Over the Christmas break Honorable Son #5 (The Skirmisher) and myself played an oldie but goodie: Games Workshops' The Battle of Five Armies. The Battle of Five Armies using the Warmaster rules concept, one of the more innovative sets of rules developed. We see its influence, combat and activation system in many subsequent rules that have been written. Sadly, it is out of production.


Korvessa02 Feb 2021 11:13 a.m. PST

Miniature games with your kids – nothing beats it

torokchar Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2021 11:58 a.m. PST

Too bad the movie did not follow the book – it could have been a very good battle.

Personal logo javelin98 Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2021 12:57 p.m. PST

That boxed set was one of the best values GW produced in 20 years! I'm sad that I sold mine.

Perris070702 Feb 2021 1:05 p.m. PST

The mere mention of the movie battle gets me riled up. One of the worst atrocities ever committed to film.

TBeyer02 Feb 2021 2:50 p.m. PST

Which were the 5 armies? I get 4 of them (dwarves, elves, men, goblins), were the eagles an army? Or the wargs and bats? Did the orcs/goblins being from both the Misty and Grey mountains count as 2 separate armies? Was Gandalf an army of one? Or Beorn? That always confused me.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2021 5:57 p.m. PST

My favorite battle from my favorite novel, using my favorite rules!
I'm with you on this one— and I was able to score two of the sets, which makes for an awesome amount of forces on the field.

I've sense expanded my own collection to hold a few of the metal extra units that GW did, as well as adding units from Copplestone Casting and Eureka. Now I have Elven Cavalry, Trolls, Giants, Ents, Dwarf Archers (1 unit, almost impossible to find), Bats (I used Splintered Light's 15mm for these), Riders of Rohan, Warriors of Rohan, Dunédain Rangers, and Smaug! (He survived!)
Working on some Uruk-hai, and have Nazgul, Mirkwood spiders, Saruman, Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, Boromir, Theoden, Eomer, Eowyn and more cavalry in the pile.

Bandolier02 Feb 2021 6:55 p.m. PST

Very nice!
A few years ago I picked up two sets and bits from other sets, second-hand. Just before the prices went crazy.

Like Parzival, I have supplemented with Copplestone, Eureka and Kallistra to fill out the various Middle Earth armies.

Bob Hume02 Feb 2021 7:30 p.m. PST

I have a set but have no idea where the rules went. They just disappeared. I assume the rules were a light version of Warmaster?

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP02 Feb 2021 9:15 p.m. PST

Not that light, save in the more limited army lists, and no reference to siege warfare.
Otherwise, they're essentially the same, if slightly more tightly written, while including the improvements that Warmaster had to cover with errata. I use Bo5A as my general rules reference when playing Warmaster as well..

The army lists are unique, as are the magic items and spells. The lists do include the various additional units one could buy.

Check around— you may be able to find the rulebook at a reasonable price.

Dining Room Battles03 Feb 2021 7:39 p.m. PST

Parzival – Ditto! And as mentioned there are cheaper alternatives to the forces than trying to find the GW. My favorites lately have been the Copplestone and Eureka.

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP04 Feb 2021 9:42 a.m. PST

Oh, as to what the 5th army was, I believe it's the Eagles.

Dining Room Battles04 Feb 2021 9:46 a.m. PST


Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP04 Feb 2021 11:06 a.m. PST

Found a set of rules for the BoFA, on the Internet, in the late 90's. Spoke with some friends about doing it with our collective fantasy armies, in 28mm. Needed 60 Wolf figures for it: I had several Prince August molds, including the Goblin Wolf Riders mold… I cast up 60 Wolves. I painted, and based, every single one, for just that one game…

It was a blast. The game ended when the Giant Eagles arrived, I think in Turn 7, so there was little point in acquiring miniatures for them. I made up some 2D cards depicting Eagles, and we mounted those on sticks, to bases. It was a very fun game to play out.

Afterwards, I sold off a number of the Wolves, on e-Bay. I bought bunches of 1/72 scale Caesar Goblins, years later, and I cut many off their bases, mounting them atop a number of the remaining Wolf castings. I use them as Light Goblin Wolf Cavalry; I have Red Box Dark Alliance Orc Warg Riders, which I use as Medium Goblin Warg Cavalry (the riders are about the same size as the Caesar Goblins, and painted the same, they work). I like having Light and Medium Goblin Cavalry for my Goblin Horde. The Horde still sucks, in combat, dying poorly, but they gained some Style Points, which is all that really matters. LOL! Cheers!

Personal logo Parzival Supporting Member of TMP04 Feb 2021 2:17 p.m. PST

I'm working towards doing Helm's Deep, and eventually the Pelennor.
I have some Viking/Celtic/Gaulish horde types (I think) from Old Glory (or some similar company) for my Dunlenders.
Still trying to find a suitable substitute for the Southrons/Haradrim as well as Gondor's limited cavalry (and Dol Amroth). I don't want to use recognizable Middle Eastern forces (nothing Islamic; just doesn't look or feel right to me), or cavalry that looks like Rohan or Normans/Crusaders (again, wrong look).
I'm thinking maybe Sassanids Persians/Parthians or even Scythians for the Southrons/Haradrim and Byzantine Cataphracts for Gondor's Cavalry/Knights of Dol Amroth.

GreenOaksteve02 Apr 2021 3:54 p.m. PST

I always took the goblins and wolves as being two seperate armies tbh.

Currently restarting with GW's BoFA, had lost track of my rulebook and a lot of the minis but got another set now and slowly starting to get the forces together again. No other minis game has really scratched that Tolkien style battle itch for me.

Dining Room Battles05 Apr 2021 5:22 p.m. PST

It is definitely a classic and a nail biter.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP06 Apr 2021 11:07 a.m. PST

For BoFA, the Wolves were a separate army. After we played out the BoFA, I re-purposed my Wolf Army for my 2e BattleSystem mass fantasy games, as well as for my RPG games.

2e BS is based on 2e AD&D RPG: Goblins ride mostly Wargs, but I put them on Wolves as well, for diversity, and fun. I kept around 8-10 Wolves as just Wolves, for my fantasy RPG games. Having cast, based, and painted 60 of them, I had plenty to play around with. Cheers!

Dining Room Battles06 Apr 2021 3:48 p.m. PST

SGT Slag,
That's a great idea!

GreenOaksteve05 May 2021 10:42 p.m. PST

Re Expanding BoFA to further Middle Earth gaming

I remember army lists to use the BoFA rules for other battles in Middle Earth but can't find the lists anywhere.

I have found some lists that were put together for use in Warmaster but it wasn't those.

Does anyone know where I can find them?

rob polymathsw06 May 2021 3:10 a.m. PST

Fantastic work, inspiring!

Baranovich14 Aug 2021 8:57 p.m. PST

This is just very, very cool!!

Pauls Bods15 Aug 2021 2:22 a.m. PST

"The Battle of Five Armies was an important battle waged in T.A. 2941.[5] The five warring parties were the Goblins and the Wargs against Men, Elves and Dwarves on and near the Lonely Mountain."


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