Thursday, December 27, 2012

Lord of the Rings - WarEngine Style

Yesterday, I got to catch up with my good friend Ray Becker at his house.  We spent the entire day playing games, watching Lord of the Rings - Fellowship of the Ring (Extended Cut) and talking about gaming.  It was a blast!  He also gave me a chance to pick up some Todd McFarlane Dragons I had sold him that he was no longer using and we're working on a deal for the stargate stuff which I am currently borrowing back. Anyway want to come play Stargate miniatures at my house Sunday?

We spent about an hour catching up which I very much enjoyed because Ray is like a brother to me and I do not get a chance to see him often enough.  After a bit of chatting it was time for the gaming to begin!  Now I have always really liked Warengine ever since I was introduced to the system by Ray. This is the Shockforce game engine that was created by programmer Aaron Overton.  The system is an easy build system that can quite literally be used for any type of skirmish and with some slight modification to the game could easily be used for massed combat.

To give you some idea of the genres I have used for Warengine - Pulp (Glogo Island by Banana Tyrant), Vietnam, Modern, Cold War, Colonial Africa, Colonial Sudan, Aliens, Predators, Starwars, Lord of the Rings, Cthulhu, Zombies.  Ray has also used the system for Shockforce (it's original design), Starship Troopers, Civil War, 40K, Warhammer and generic fantasy.  The system really is that versatile   Now with the versatility comes some sticking points such as a maximum of five dice can be kept and a maximum of ten dice may be rolled.  The system is very simple, however, and I have grown to care more for simple systems than the more complex ones.

Our game was a recreation of the Mines of Moria scenario from The Fellowship movie.  Ray has perfected this scenario he runs at conventions and over the years I have been lucky to have played it several times.  I got the Fellowship (Gandalf the Gray, Strider, Pippin, Merry, Frodo, Gimli and Sam) and he took the goblins/orcs a goblin leader and he brought a cave troll.  The way Ray runs it is that he gives the goblin player 2d6 goblins per turn until he runs out of goblins.  He moves them in as a unit each turn until the room is filled with goblins and the Cave Troll.  The first round had only three goblins enter such is the fickle fate of dice. My Fellowship quickly took care of the goblins but not before they picked on my poor hobbitses.

The second round had more goblins enter the fight and I used Gandalf to cast spells of blinding light and searing light that hampered the goblins defenses and boosted my attacks.  The goblins were outmatched but they managed to take down Pippin. The second round ended with Boromir (how could I forget Boromir   taking down a bunch of goblins who were harassing my hobbits.

The third round I lost initiative and had to move first so I did the same trick with Gandalf and the cave troll entered. Ray and I talked about how the troll ran from person to person in the movie and we decided to give it slippery. Legolas also seriously wounded the cave troll above his hero point total (in the game characters have hero points which they can use to increase their die roll after the fact to save their bacon) but the troll was doomed.  I thought this was a sad case and told Ray to give the Troll the slippery edge (which means no attacks of opportunity against him when he moves out of combat) and to give him four wounds. This made the cave troll a beast and he rampaged through Legolas then Borimir to Gimli (who never moved off the tomb) and then finally to Merry sending Merry to meet Pippin.  Legolas and Borimir both took the cave troll down to one hit remaining using their final held action and it was up to the hobbits to pelt the cave troll with stones.

The final round had Stryder charges the cave troll and using his four attacks with his sword he slaughtered the beast.  Legolas took out five goblins by himself but was felled by goblin archers (Legolas taken out by bow fire??!?!) when I rolled a four on my save against an eight attack (such is the fickle finger of dice fate).  The final game ended with a Fellowship victory but sadly Saruman forces were never destroyed because Merry and Pippin never met Treebeard.

We then watched Lord of the Rings and played Blood Bowl on the X Box.

Next Thursday afternoon we will be playing a bigger battle of Lord of the Rings at my house and maybe something else using the Warengine rules.  Come on by if you are in the neighborhood!

"They brought a cave troll!"

Cave troll attacks the Fellowship

Stryder defeats the troll

Legolas felled by goblin archers


  1. Nice pics.

    How did you handle squad coherency? Or did you make the Fellowship a bunch of individual characters?

    We've found that WarEngine works best for skirmish when you completely ignore the squad mechanics and just let everyone be a solo character.

  2. That's a great question! The Fellowship were individual characters but the goblins were in squads of 2d6 each. The gobbo leader was an individual character as was the cave troll.