LotR miniatures first outing…with my son.

December 21, 2014

My son and I have been playing a few games this weekend.  This is not his first wargame.  We’ve played simple battle games and fellow TMPr’s house Matthew/45thDiv with him and his son.  This is probably Jack’s first “serious” wargame at our house, where measurement and actual miniature positions for terrain effects matter.  Here are the rules we used.

  1. Magic: Once per GAME, a spell caster may cast a fireball.  It can affect up to 3 miniatures within close proximity of each other.  Magic has a range of 12″.  The figure(s) affected get a saving through of 2 or less.  Once per TURN, the caster may cast freeze.  This will temporarily disable the target for its next turn.  It also gets a save like with fireball.  The frozen figure has a penalty of 1 on its armor save during combat.
  2. Movement: All figures get a move of 6″ with the following exceptions.  Dwarves and Hobbits only move 4″.  Wargs and other cavalry move 8″.
  3. Terrain: Climbing hills costs 1″ of move to cross a contour line.  Goblins, Dwarves and Hobbits are unaffected.  Woods reduce movement by 1″.  Elves are unaffected.
  4. Missile shooting:  Range of bows is 12″.  Hand hurled weapons is 6″.  Hit number for Elves and Longbowmen is 2 or less.  1 for Goblins.
  5. Melee: Figures in contact may strike at an enemy.  Good Heroes hit on a 4 or less.  Other elves hit on a 3 or less.  Goblin warriors hit on a 2 or less.  Goblin archers hit on a 1.
  6. Saves: When a hit is scored from missile shooting or melee, the target is entitled to an armor save.  4 or less for Good Heroes, 3 or less for Evil heroes, Wargs and Elven Warriors.  2 or less for Goblin warriors and Elven archers, and 1 for a Goblin archer.  In woods, or other blocking terrain, the armor save is increased against shooting or for the first round of melee combat.
  7. Morale: Goblin groups run away when they lose half of their figures or more.

Our games were generally a simple escort mission like The Hobbit or the Fellowship of the Rings.  The good guys have a Hobbit, several elven warriors and archers, a Hero and a Wizard.  Jack picked up the nuances of the game quickly.  We started simple with a handful of Elves vs a handful of goblins.  We then added the Wizard.  Finally I added a few more goblins including a few more Wargs to make the game more exciting.  The object was to get the hobbit safely over the bridge or to the far board edge.  If the hobbit died, the game was over.  Jack always took precautions to ensure the little guy was guarded the whole way.

The games often have river crossings and woods to hide in and usually feature a prominent hill.

Here is the setup after turn 1.  Goblins are guarding the bridge.  Figures are Caesar Miniatures Elves and Goblin Factory Goblins.  The Hobbit is a Chariot Miniatures (Magister Militum) 15mm Hobbit.

Here is the setup after turn 1. Goblins are guarding the bridge. Figures are Caesar Miniatures Elves and Goblin Factory Goblins. The Hobbit is a Chariot Miniatures (Magister Militum) 15mm Hobbit.  Roads are by Battlefield Terrain Concepts.  They were thrown into a box for several months and now have developed a “memory.”  Trees and Hills I think are GW.  The mat is from The Terrain Guy.  The river is from Hotz Artworks.  Bridge is by Kai Weaver from Falcon Figures of Chesapeake.  Yes, it needs some paint on it!

I forced jack to work for his victory.  he did well by using his caster to suppress one cgoblin with the Freeze spell while the warriors rushed over the bridge.  This is how the game looked at the end.

I forced jack to work for his victory by leaving 4 archers guarding the other side of the bridge. He did well by using his caster to suppress one Goblin with the freeze spell while the warriors rushed over the bridge. This is how the game looked at the end.

I think changing the morale rules to more than half should make the game a little tougher the last couple of outings, he did really well and cleaned his old man’s clock.  I’m starting to develop an inferiority complex. 😉  Good times were had by all.  On a final note, my daughter Mary also joined the fun for a game this afternoon.  Not quite to her liking but I think she still had some fun.  She is a kinder and gentler soul.  War is really not her thing.

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Variable Movement in TMA6

December 11, 2014

Some folks like at least a little friction in there games.  Friction provides some uncertainty to the gamer so that he or she is unable to make the perfect move.  Essentially, their troops will not do exactly as they wish.  Taking an idea from the Black Powder series of games, we can add variable movement rules.  Rather than have commanders with command ratings, we will just allow a unit to move a variable amount of inches.  The kicker is that the player must declare the intent of the move before the dice are rolled.  If he says he wishes to charge an enemy but then rolls a number that does not allow his unit to make contact, he is still obligated to move the unit as far as possible.

In the basic game, units move 6,8,10 and 12″ for heavy infantry, loose order infantry etc, heavy cavalry and light cavalry respectively.  We can gauge these move distances based on the roll of several D6 taking the averages to come up with similar distances.

  • Heavy Infantry 2D6-1
  • Light Infantry, Warbands, Peltasts, Elephants etc 2D6+1
  • Heavy Cavalry, Light Chariots 3D6
  • Light Cavalry 3D6+2

To this we can add group movement.  Up to 3 units in line and within 2″ of the next unit in the group may move as one unit.  One toss of the dice based on the slowest unit determines how far the group moves.  Group moves can only be straight ahead.