Ride of the Rohirrim

This is the scenario from Return of the King I’ve been angling to play since I got the set. The Mordor Trolls were just released last Friday and I haven’t been able to finish painting any yet, so we substituted in Cave Trolls. I also didn’t have any generic Rohan banners, so we substituted the more powerful Royal Standard for both banners, which was theoretically an even point swap. Games Workshop calls the scenario the Charge of the Rohirrim, but the name of the chapter in the Return of the King is the Ride of the Rohirrim, so we’ll go with that.

The Riders of Rohan were always slightly frustrating in The Two Towers, because the Uruk-Hai with their defense of 6 and strength of 4 and Pikes were very, very tough, so even the Riders were really not a match for them one-to-one. Now, however, they are facing down Orcs, who are not as strong, have no pikes, and have courage-related issues. All of a sudden the chances of actually eliminating your opponents are doubled, the fight values are even – plus you get all the charge bonuses. The Royal Guard are all of a sudden a lot tougher now that their heavy armor makes a difference.

All this means that the Rohirrim tore through the Orcs in this scenario quite impressively. Where Théoden, Éomer, the Royal Standard, and the Royal Guard went, the Orcs melted away. On the other hand, the Mordor Trolls were virtually immovable objects, rocks on which the charge broke whenever in ran up against them with their monstrous fight and strength. Fortunately, we were able to use the maneuverability of the Rohirrim to pin and avoid them to a great degree, so they didn’t quite do as much damage as expected. I think it’s basically impossible to take those guys down, but fortunately the good guys don’t have to.

Once the morale of the Orcs broke, things went downhill badly – this is the primary way to deal with the Trolls, I guess once everyone starts panicking the Trolls panic too, because despite their prowess their courage is fairly lousy. The Rohirrim are on a tight schedule – they have to exit half their models plus a hero from the opposite edge in only 10 turns. It was actually surprisingly close in the end, as a number of Riders got pinned down in the middle game, and while the combination of heroes backing up Théoden was able to do impressive damage with coordinated heroic fights, it meant some riders were without leaders and susceptible to being pinned if we didn’t win the priority. Also, we found that somehow an extra 3 riders got added to the good guys by mistake. We were still able to exit half, but I don’t know how much difference the three extra guys made.

Anyway, a good and exciting scenario. Definitely one to play again, especially once we get some real Mordor Trolls.

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