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Publications/Battle Games In Middle Earth/Issue1/Shnar Grus Battle Report

Edit this page (last edited September 5, 2013)

Category Articles

Shnar Gru's Battle Report

I'm using BGi ME to teach my five year old son how to play Lot R, so this is a report on our first real game together.

  • Shnar Gru's Battle Report
  • Scenario: Goblin Ambush
  • Tactics and Force Selection - Forces of Good
  • Tactics and Force Selection - Forces of Evil
  • Turn 1: Deployment
  • Turn 2: Melee!
  • Turn 3: Run Away!
  • Turn 4: Fire At Will
  • Turn 5: A Last Breath
  • Turn 6: Conclusion
  • Results
  • Conclusions - The Forces of Evil
  • Conclusions - The Forces of Good
  • Comments
  • Scenario: Goblin Ambush

    The Issue 1 scenario is a simplistic battle between Aragorn and the supplied 12 Moria Goblins. The primary objectives are to eliminate the enemy. A secondary objective is for Aragorn to exit the opposite side of the map, and for the Goblins to wound Aragorn (if they cannot succeed in slaying him).

    Author's Note: Normally for a battle report I'll use painted miniatures and decked out scenery, but since this is a report on the BGi ME game that I did with my son, I'm leaving the images as-is, to show the overall progress of BGi ME with a young boy.

    Setup For the gameboard, we used a 2' x 2' flat board I had lying around (I use them for basing terrain pieces). The miniatures were the 12 Goblins supplied in the issue, not yet painted (that's next week), and Aragorn was from a Fellowship box set that'd been primed, but not yet painted.

    Tactics and Force Selection - Forces of Good

    Bryce K. Nielsen, a.k.a. Shnar Gru
    For this scenario, my son immediately jumped on the change to play as orcs. What is it about the pull of evil? At any rate, the magazine does not provide a miniature for Aragorn, so you are supposed to use the paper cutout. However, rather than going through all that effort, I simply grabbed my Aragorn from The Fellowship box set.

    My strategy, charge the nearest set of orcs and hope to clear out a bunch with my 3 attacks. Then just book it to the exit and pray I get Priority a lot. If he's able to gang up on and I lose a fight, he could kill me in one round only needed a 5 or 6 to wound. So I'm going to try to not let that happen.

    Tactics and Force Selection - Forces of Evil

    Jershon L. Nielsen, my son
    Being only five years old, he cannot spell very well yet so I will be speaking for him. Maybe it was the numbers, maybe just being Orcs was exciting enough, either way Jershon jumped at the chance to be the orcs. Being his first game, his strategy was to try out the orc bows and then charge. Leave a few orcs near the exits to tie up Aragorn if he tries to make a run for it.

    Turn 1: Deployment

    The good side deployed first, in the center of one edge of the table. The evil side was to create four even groups and deploy them on the remaining three edges. With an inexperienced commander at the helm, the groups were randomly selected and deployed.

    Aragorn readying himself to march through a troupe of orcs.

    With Aragorn moving first, he turned to his left and charged headlong into the four closest Goblins. This did not daunt the foul creatures and they moved as far as they could straight for Aragorn. The group on the eastern edge headed straight across the battle field, but the northern group stayed where it was, waiting to see Aragorn's next move before deciding.

    Arrows flew, Aragorn taking down one orc spearman, and three of the four goblins were in range to hit Aragorn. Only one connected but did not pierce with leather armor. No one was in range yet for melee, the distances still too great.

    Turn 2: Melee!

    The Good side retained priority and Aragorn advanced as quickly as he could, engaging the enemy. This also kept the other orcs from firing at our hero. The group of orcs on the eastern edge raced towards the battle but were too far to help their comrades. The northern group decided it was time to move and so inched over, but still kept towards the edge, to keep Aragorn from sprinting away.

    With swords and scimitars drawn, first blood was taken by the heir of Isildur. Winning the fight, two of the three blows connected and killed the goblins! The goblin body count was mounting, giving hope to Aragorn for survival.

    My strategy was working, try to take on the orcs as few at a time as possible. Winning fights of course helps, but keeping the numbers low would ensure that if the goblins won a fight, Aragorn would have a much better chance of surviving.

    >> Measuring the distance for moving, we'd used a 5" piece of paper for Jershon so we wouldn't have to always measure.

    Turn 3: Run Away!

    Aragorn was able to stay one step ahead of the orcs, especially by keeping the initiative yet again. He ran for it! The exit was near and with his greater speed, he was able to avoid combat for this turn. That did not keep the orcs from trying to piece his armor with their arrows. Aragorn fired first, killing one of the few Goblin archers remaining. With only two archers left, the Goblins were not able to wound the mighty hero.

    Turn 4: Fire At Will

    Amazingly, Good side was able to keep priority for one last turn and Aragorn raced to his freedom. He wasn't able to reach it though, just barely out of range. The Goblins on the other hand tried for a surprise move, rather than engaging in combat, they tried with their last two archers to take Aragorn down with arrows. Interesting plan, and the gamble paid off! Aragorn of course fired first but failed to even connect in his panic. The Goblins though connected with both archers and wounded with both arrows! Things looked grim for the mighty Aragorn.

    (Speaking for my son) There were only maybe two orcs that could reach Aragorn to engage him in hand-to-hand combat, so I advanced everyone as far as I could without touching him, then hoped that my arrows would wound him, saving my orcs for the next round of combat and overwhelming him with my numbers. And it worked!!! Two shots hit Aragorn. I've at least scored a minor victory, and in melee combat next round, I'll be able to finish him off.

    >> The two red dice show the fatal wounds on Aragorn.

    Note: Hrm, it looks like I'd miscalculated. Goblins need a 6 to wound Aragorn with a bow, there should have only been one wound here! Fortunately, it wouldn't have mattered as you will see in turn 6.

    Turn 5: A Last Breath

    Ah how the Good side desparately needs priority! But it was not to be the case. Evil finally wrenched it from the Good side and the Goblins surrounded the doomed ranger, closing in for the kill. Melee commenced, and luckily enough Aragorn rolled a 6, ensuring victory. He slew three of the six surrounding Goblins, giving him hope of making his escape, if he could only be lucky enough to win back priority.

    Turn 6: Conclusion

    Escape was not to be his fate though. Evil kept priority and that was all they needed. The remaining 5 Goblins surrounded Aragorn and bested him in hand-to-hand combat. Three of the five orcs pierced his armor, ensuring the mortal's death.

    The six beats Aragorn's five, and the five, five, six rolled afterwards kills the hero.
    Note: See, even with the improper arrow wound, Aragorn still would have died here.


    Even with a very simple scenario, using extremely simplified rules, you can see how important Priority is to strategies. A quick, balanced game and Aragorn had almost broke free. But due to the unrelentless press of the numerous Goblins, their ambush was a success.

    -Shnar Gru

    Conclusions - The Forces of Evil

    Jershon L. Nielsen (speaking for my son)
    Aragorn was mine! No way he was going to escape all my Goblins. I was a little worried seeing how strong he was, but I just had so many Goblins I knew I'd eventually take him down. And with my archers taking him out, his last chance for escape disappeared! swish, swish, stab (Jershon likes to pantomime actions he sees in the movies and GameCube? games).

    Conclusions - The Forces of Good

    Bryce K. Nielsen, a.k.a. Ugly old man who is way too obsessed with Lord of the Rings
    I started so well! I should have stuck to the strategy of taking out the Goblins piece-meal, and then I probably would have survived. It was a gamble to run for it, and it seemed like it was going to work except for losing priority. Even at the end, Aragorn put up a good fight, but laws of probability were against me and sooner or later Jershon was going to win a fight, and when he did, boom Aragorn was flattened.


    List your comments here, just dbl-click to edit.
    Highly entertaining. I too use BGi ME to allow my daughter (six last December) to learn the game. jehelly
    Nice pics and excellent report on overall. I use BGi ME to teach the game to my friends and itīs working! In three weeks of playing they are making army lists with the aid of the profiles on the book and we are thinking about a competion next month!

    -Mighty Mushroom
    Thanks. Yeah, so far it's doing a good job at introducing the younger players. I'm wondering how it works with teenager+ age group. Some of the later issues have some really cool scenarios. While some are in the rulebooks (like Balin's tomb), they're different, laid out differently with different objectives, etc, so they're really fun to play. I also like in issues #19-#22 that has all the Moria scenarios linked together, I can't wait to get to that one with my boy. Oh, and issue #25 has got my all-time favorite scenario, the Sewers of Osgiliath! I love how the board is random.

    -Shnar Gru

    And me stuck on issue 10 ...just painted the uruk captain -Mighty Mushroom

    Hi..great review...well done.

    My son is 6 and we are up to number 15 in playing the scenarios, although he does know how to play a proper game with all the rules.

    Best of all its a great excuss for all the models, painting, time and money spent...honestly wife I'm only buying them for our son!

    We go to the local store most weekends to play...and get the usually questions from staff about how old he is ...and he should really be 11.....but he plays nicely and we dont disturb anyone else.

    Anyway good luck in teaching your son...hope it contines.

    Richard UK

    Thanks. I hope to get to number 15 by the time my boy's 6 (his birthday is in April), but I doubt it. It's hard enough to find time to paint my miniatures, let alone time for both of us to play. And yes, the wife nags about bit about this hobby, and at first seemed hesitant that I was dragging our son into this "timewaster" (my 6 year old daughter too, though she's more interested in the painting side than the playing side). So, as long as their homework and piano practices are done, we can paint our mini's.

    Incidentally, I'm going to use this site as a sort of journal, for both the games and the painting/terrain guides. The next article I'll throw up will be me and my kids trying to paint the orcs with the four supplied paints from the first issue. Come back in a week and it should be here.

    -Shnar Gru

    Ouch! A couple heroic moves would have saved him. Not to mention some lucky fate roles. Oh well still entertaining.
    Wise Wanderer.
    Yeah, but we were playing with the Issue #1 rules, where they've simplified a lot of the rules, such as no "in-the-way" arrow shots, and which don't have any optional "heroic" rules. That pretty much evened the playing field for this battle. Aragorn could have won if either A) had gotten priority a couple times or B) focused on killing the earlier orcs while they were only a few, rather than making a break for it.

    -Shnar Gru

    Interesting. I've got to say your son must be pretty smart. The game is for people twice his age.

    Wise Wanderer

    Yeah its kind of annoying when that happens and im trying to explain to my little sister about might and she says if i make up new rules she will go and cry and tell mum...:(

    --Lurtzie Hai

    Ha-ha U lost! Soz, didnt mean to be mean, but it just came out. Funi thing, i tried this scenario and aragorn butchered 'em. Maybe ur sons a prodigy. Lol. My advice, the best way to get rid of archers is to charge/fire aroows at them, more effective if done at the same time. Then, if u dont want to risk combat, just run. Or u can try n take the goblins on in small groups, but that can be hard to do, considering there r 8 of em, and u cant use the full rules, dagnabbit. If u r gunna try and take out non-archers in combat, 2 things - Praise God that the scenario doesnt allow u to attack form behind or throw with spears - Try and run/fire arrows to wittle their numbers down first. Beta luk next time, Shnar Gru.

    Neix J

    If there's one way to see how much knowledge you have gain tactically, its to play a , five year - old son for example, and see how much you win....... Oh......wait.

    LOL UGLUK1000
    You'd be surprised at how... different it is to play with a young player. As an older, experienced player you're used to trying to outthink your opponent, and thus you tailor your strategy to how you think your opponent will act. You can't do that with a younger player. Their play is so random at times that it throws any well conceived plan into the dump. But it's always immensely fun

    -Shnar Gru
    Good Point - Some times lil kids can suprise you with the obvious solutions that they point out, or the risks that they take. Its good fun to play little kids, I plan to get my 2 nephews started on Lotr, but they are only 2 and 1 now, so Im plaining to wiat till 7/8 age.

    Neix J
    You probably don't need to wait that long. I had my 5 and 6 year old children playing and it's quite fun

    -Shnar Gru
    Yeah, but you don't know my nephews. BTW, are you going to do anymore battle reports? This one was great to read, but I cant find any others

    Neix J

    Playing against my 16 year old brother seems to have the same affect.

    Wise Wanderer
    Yeah will there be any more reports like this? That one was great to read! I dont know how long ago this article was made... I play lotr with my 10 year old cousin alot and usually he gets a little immature ie. throws dice at me when I ask to use his, it is hard to believe that a 5yr old played the whole game (and won!! lol) without getting bothered that aragorn can kill most of his goblins on a 4+! Please try to send more battle reports like this!!

    Thanks. The goal was to do a game like this one week, paint mini's next week, then do the next issue's game the next week etc. But, RL has butted it's way into my life and finding time to play has been hard :(. Last time I played with my son (he's six now) we did a couple Battle Companies game. That was rather fun...

    -Shnar Gru
    Battle Report?

    Neix J
    Don't have one for that game, didn't take any pictures and the mini's weren't painted, etc. Maybe next time...

    -Shnar Gru
    Drats <_<

    Neix J
    Hi i collect BGi ME myslf and i'm 12 nearly 13 and thats a pretty good battle report especially when playing with a 5 year old.I'm the only one in this house who actually really touches them iv'e done a battle with dad though from issue 9.

    sorry bout the changes there are just new


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