Jack and I got in our first Hobbit Scenario since the painting of some very nice Splintered Light Miniatures Dwarves. (Post later on these) The scenario deals with the three trolls, Tom, Bert and William from the first encounter in the book. The scenario is written for Jack’s rules of war but could easily be balanced for any game.
The game map is relatively small. A 2X2 board should suffice for most games. The trolls are in a clearing in the hills or mountains. The clearing is enclosed on all sides save one entrance that is exactly 2 trolls wide. The party of dwarves are placed near the entrance and the trolls are placed within charge distance of the party. The trolls get the first move.
The trolls cannot be killed. However, they can be knocked out for D6 turns if they take 3 hits.
If a dwarf gets hit, they are also not killed. Rather they are put “in the bag.”
Bilbo may not be attacked unless he is the last character out of the bag. He may distract one troll on a 4 or less and the troll not making his magic save of 2 or less. If successfully distracted, the troll can do nothing that turn. Characters engaged with him in combat may freely disengage. If a distracted troll is attacked, he may not strike back but may move again in his turn. Distraction only lasts for 1 turn.
Each turn that there are no active trolls (distracted or knocked down) a single dwarf may escape from the bag.
Trolls get 2 attacks and hit on a 3 or less. Their thick skin also allows them to save on a 3 or less.
The dwarves are relatively unarmored at this point in the story. They hit and save with only a 2 or less.
The game lasts up to 15 turns. Gandalf may arrive early. At the end of turn 12 roll a die. Gandalf arrives on a 6. At the end of turn 13 he arrives on a 5+. At the end of turn 14 he arrives on a 4+. The game ends at the end of turn 15. The Dwarf player must end the game by saying, “The dawn will take you all!”
How it played
Our game was a hedged in field about 1’X1′. There was a mound in the middle of the field that was the location of the bag. There was also a fire elemental that served as a campfire. I did not have an actual camp fire. The Trolls charged in but one was effectively blocked by the other two. They managed to take 2 dwarves down. Jack tried to distract but for two turns he was pretty unlucky in that department. The trolls, effectively grabbed more than half the party by turn 5. Things were not looking good. Jack expressed his dismay. I told him that maybe it was a mistake to split the party between the two trolls. So, he managed to distract 1 of the trolls he was fighting. He then moved all of those guys to the other troll. In a couple of turns he managed to knock that one down, then the second, and finally the third. When the third fell, they all were on the same number of turns to return…3 turns. So we fast forwarded and allowed 3 dwarves to escape from the bag. The trolls now were in position so that all 3 could attack and started making short work of the party. Things were looking bad. The game finally ended on turn 14. Gandalf arrive and famously proclaimed, “The dawn will take you all!”
We sort of made it up as we went. When Jack was complaining about the difficulty of the game. So we lowered the turn count to 12 turns. Then when he knocked all the trolls down, we decided that some of the dwarves could escape. Finally, since the battle was going to be a tight one, I decided that Gandalf could potentially arrive on turn 12 and so forth. It ran smoothly and we both had a great time. Isn’t that what it’s all about?