Posts Tagged ‘lotr sbg’
i was impressed by how the starter experience was laid out. Quite liked that you can turn the box into a board of just the right size for the scenarios – i see wot they did thar. It was nice that the scenarios followed the film version of events, and that they explained how the rules mechanics translated into real fighting. For instance, in melee, where the loser of a fight has to back away two centimetres, the booklet translates this as “representing the losing model backing off, desperately trying to escape the enemy”. Obviously it has to be aimed at the youngest end of the hobby market, so it does come off as a little simplistic and twee, but it’s not terrible. The way that the battles got bigger was good for teaching you the rules and making sure you’d grasped them firmly, before moving on to more rules. One or two of the scenarios seemed a little unbalanced – but then again, it’s difficult to balance the fact that some of the Fellowship are very impressive, stats-wise, vs. the Goblins, that have a pretty poor statline. Vice-versa, it’s difficult to balance nine dudes vs. millions of gobbos.
i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again, i’m very impressed by the sculpting on these little dudes. i feel that makers of action figures could learn a lot from whoever did the sculpting of the Lord of the Rings models, ’cause i can actually tell the difference between Aragorn and Boromir, despite the fact that they’re both beardy guys. This impresses me.
It’s been a bit of a learning curve with the painting, though, as the techniques i use for this are completely different to the techniques i use on canvas. For a start, the amount of paint you use is different – obviously due to the size of the canvas, ’cause i like mine about three foot square, and here’s twenty-five millimetres of plastic, but even taking that into account, i have to use a hell of a lot less on the brush than i think. As little as possible is key – sometimes you put as little as possible on and then you still take some of it off to get the effect you want.
Another rainy Saturday, another Lord of the Rings game. Possibly the last one on my home table; the latest relocation means the board just can’t come with us (it’s too big for the room we’re moving into) and so it’s being traded away for a top-up to the VC army.
I was too busy working on a commission, copying out the stats for my old Mordheim warband, and generally being a domestic man of mystery to really play, so Hark and Blackheart threw down and I took photos and heckled. Hark had my box of Uruk-Hai Scouts and Saruman, Blackheart took a Nazgul, Taskmaster, 18 Mordor Orcs, 5 Morgul Knights and no bows whatsoever.
Okay, so that’s wrong on two counts: we’re not married and technically it’s The Lord Of The Rings Strategy Battle Game, but whatever, a pun is a pun.
During the festive gaming glut, which was sufficiently hectic enough to provide me with post-fodder for at least the next few weeks, Hark and I played a good few games of varying ilks, among them the aforementioned LotR SBG (that’s a terrible name). Oddly, she rather enjoyed it – she took a force of Mordor Orcs, led by Grishnakh and accompanied by the customary Troll (Hark likes Trolls) against Blackheart’s Rohirrim, led by the increasingly unfortunate Eomer.
At some point today, my weekly diatribe on matters roleplay…ical… will be materialising on the House of Paincakes front page for your viewing pleasure. You should consider the possibility of finding the time to give it a quick once-over, if you’re not too busy.
Anyway, in the continued cause of Avoiding Content-Free Pimp Posts, here’s a Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game report, co-starring Blackheart from Grumpy Gamers Reviews.
To rationalise his collections fighting against each other, Blackheart came up with a ‘What If…’ scenario, loosely based on the battle on the edge of Fangorn that occurs at the beginning of ‘The Two Towers’ sourcebook.
What If… Grishnakh and his minions of Mordor successfully escape the Uruk-Hai with their little hobbity prisoners, but Saruman comes forth from Isengard to meet the raiders in person, and Grishnakh stumbles upon him at the edge of Fangorn. In leaving his fortress, however, the White Wizard has placed his head on three blocks at once. The Three Hunters are still in pursuit of Grishnakh, and the Riders of Rohan too, while word of his treachery has reached the ears of Sauron, who has dispatched a host from Minas Morgul to retrieve the hobbits and the traitorous Wizard alike…
One Hobbit each – technically a draw, but considering how few Orcs are left, and how many Riders, and above all the fall of Saruman, the day really belongs to Rohan.
I’d forgotten how much fun the Lord of the Rings game can be. I say ‘can be’ and not ‘is’ because you need to be in the right mood to enjoy it. Some of the Good forces – the Elves and Dwarves in particular – are so, well, good that one wonders if Sauron ever really posed a significant threat to them. While the elegant Priority system and counter-play of Heroic Moves, Shoots and Fights is pleasing, in a bugger-my-neighbour kind of way, the combat system frequently boils down to “well I rolled one six and you rolled seven fives, I win” or “well you have elves so you win all the draws” or “you’re on a horse and I’m not and HOW MANY DICE ARE YOU ROLLING?”
So it’s not what I’d call a brilliant piece of game design, although it does a decent job of recreating the films, in which the fate of heroes is seldom really in doubt (I’d argue that the sieges of Helm’s Deep and Minas Tirith are the only really tense bits in the films, and look how unbalanced the armies are there!). Points-matched pick-up games tend to be rather dull affairs, void of context, and the competitive lists tend to be rather implausible combinations of stuff. However, play it with a soundtrack, and do the voices, and bother to come up with a scenario of some sort and there’s a good day’s play in it. I think I’m going to find time to rebuild my Isengard army and maybe build a Last Alliance force to match Blackheart’s Mordor minions, so that we can actually do something resembling narrative play. Where I’m going to find the money for this fr0m I’ve no idea… and me with Lizardmen to paint and second-hand Necrons incoming too!