Siege of Gondor, Prologue: Osgiliath

This scenario is the first from the Siege of Gondor book, and covers the events surrounding Boromir’s battles in Osgiliath, which happen off-screen in Lord of the Rings (but on-screen in the movies). The format of this scenario is essentially a multi-way king of the hill game. 5 objectives are scattered in the middle of the board, 3 closer to the good guys, 2 to the bad guys. Whoever controls the most objectives at game end wins. The scenario features a bit of everything: we have the face-off between the major heroes Boromir and Gothmog (an Orc in Peter Jackson and GW’s imagination). You’ve got the Citadel Guard up against the heavily armed and armored Morannon Orcs, Mordor’s shock troops. And you’ve got a chunk of mobile cavalry on both sides, some Knights of Gondor and Warg Riders.

Kim, Jeff, and I were the good guys. Milton, Rich, and Richard were the bad guys. There are a lot of models.

The twist to the scenario is that half your models start on the board while the other half arrive randomly – maybe on a friendly board edge, but maybe on the flanks, and maybe in a spot chosen by your opponent. Our attack started out well – Boromir the tank charging down the middle, while the Knights and some archers screened the flanks. Things started to go awry when a bunch of Wargs showed up on Jeff’s flank. He rapidly found himself outnumbered, outflanked, and trapped in the street with nowhere to retreat. As you might imagine, this did not end well.

Meanwhile Kim and Richard were staring at each other across neutral territory on the left flank. After a few turn, Kim decided to try her luck with a charge, as we were feeling like the crumbling right flank was forcing our hand. It started out looking promising, but the Orcs were driven to a Fury by their shaman, and repelled the charge.

Meanwhile, in the center, Boromir was making progress … but not fast enough. The Orcs were simply falling back under the wily leadership of Gothmog as Boromir pressed on, and he and his Citadel Guard just couldn’t come to grips with them and couldn’t reach the objectives.

The collapsing flanks then led to bad news for the good guys.

This was a pretty good scenario, and played quickly for one so big (more than 100 figures on the table); we finished it in under 3 hours. It’s a fluid battle with so many objectives, which I think is good, and the players have a lot of freedom in making choices. My only complaint is the system for determining where and when the reinforcing units show up, which involves a lot of die rolling but should be played strictly instead of taking shortcuts (that is, roll a die for a model, make the decision where he shows up, go on to the next one, rather than doing them in chunks) for best effect.

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