War of the Ring at Croydon 18-Apr-09

090418croydon35aWar of the Ring battle report. A force of Gondorians was returning from patrol on the northern part of their land, near the mountains. They were being stalked by a swarm of Goblins; hunting the men of Gondor on the edge of the ruins of an old Gondorian city. Played on Saturday 18th April at the Croydon venue of the Nunawading Wargames Association. See if the Goblin ambush worked. 

Click on any photo below to see a larger version of the photo.

War of the Ring

Jeremy used the holidays to good effect to perform an Epic Painting. He painted 110 Goblins in only two days and they look great. John provided additional Gondor figures for Charles who took the side of the Gondorians. The armies were 1,000 points.

Goblin Army


Druzhag the Bestcaller

1 x 9 company Gundabad Blackshields with Goblin Captain and drum.

1 x 9 company Warg Pack with chieftain.

1 x 8 company Moria Goblin warband with Goblin Captain and armed with short bows.

1 x Cave Troll.

Gondor Army


1 x 6 company Minas Tirith knights with banner and shields

2 x 6 company Minas Tirith warriors with banner, captain and hornblower

1 x 4 company Minas Tirith archers

1 x Avenger bolt thrower


Turn 1

Scenario: Maelstrom of Battle.

The Blackshields came on from the west and the Wargs from the southwest. The main Gondorian force arrived from the east. The Knights of Minas Tirith trotted out from behind the ruins in the northwest, straight into an ambush.

The Blackshields moved quickly, using the ruined buildings to hide themsleves from the column of marching knights. Emerging from behind the knights was a Goblin warband with bows. Druzhag the Beastcaller summoned three companies of Giant Spiders. They crawled around to the side to surround the knights. 

The spiders attacked the left side of the knights, the archers did not bother shooting but were not ready in time to charge the rear of the knights. The Blackshields swarmed through the ruins to attack the right flank of the knight column. The Wargs growled and pawed the ground. They  looked on, ready to hunt down any knights that survived.

Faramir called Epic strike and a Heroic duel with Durburz. Durburz called Epic Cowardice and went to join the archers. Faramir easily killed the remaining Goblin Captain and slaughtered eleven Goblins to get to the Captain. Faramir's called an Epic Sacrifice to stop the slaughter of the knights, but at the cost of his life. This reduced the carnage to only four knights killed. No spiders died and the spiders were not disordered, however the Blackshields bacame disordered in the melee.

Turn 3

Stunned by the death of Faramir, the knights did not react quickly enough. The spiders scuttled fiurther around to try and hem them in. Realising the danger, the knights wheeled to face the Blackshields, as they were the biggest threat on the flank. The Goblin archers killed one knight and then the spiders attacked the rear. The Blackshields charged the front of the knights. The Minas Tirith cavalry were wiped out in the ensuing struggle with only the death of one Goblin.

In he south, the Troll snuck through the woods, with his eye on the nearby formation of Minas Tirith warriors. The Troll threw the limb of a tree and it crushed one of the warriors.

Turn 4

With no knights left, the evil side moved east towards the remaining Gondorian troops, reorganising themselves as they went.

The southern Minas Tirith warriors were too scared of the Troll and again refused to charge the woods, fearful of what lurked within.

Turn 5

The spiders and Blackshields emerged from the ruins, heading for the northern Minas Tirith warriors. The Wargs skirted around the ruins, using the roadway to speed their way. They held off at a distance where they could attack, but not be counter-charged by the warriors. The Goblin Shaman cast Dark Fury to make the Blackshields more dangerous.

The spiders were inspired by Durburz to attack the flank of the northern warriors, while the Blackshields and the Wargs charged the front. Durburz called Epic Strike (making his fight value now 10 for this turn). Charles countered with a Heroic Duel but lost six men although his captain survived. Durburz now had no Might left.

The Giant Spiders now killed 22 in their devastating charge on the right flank. The Wargs only managed to kill three with a frontal attack. The stunned survivors now fought the Blackshields, but failed to kill any evil opponents. Despite losing, the warriors remained defiant and stood firm, ready to fight again.

The Troll killed another warrior with a stone throw then charged the Minas Tirith warriors. In the ensuing melee the Troll killed just a few warriors in the southern formation but did not disorder them.


Turn 6

The evil side were still forcing the pace. The Troll moved down the side of the warriors, looking for an ideal place to attack. The Wargs headed towards the archers. Druzhag created a company of broodlings to head towards the bolt thrower, trying to shield the spiders. Druzhug moved to the Wargs and cast Dark Fury (rerolls all misses to hit). Then he entangled the archers with vines to make it harder for them to move.

The spiders scuttled to cover the rear of the remaining northern warriors. The Goblin archers finally emerged from the ruins. The Minas Tirith archers killed three Wargs, which pushed the formation back a little. The southern warriors called a Heroic Charge, which was countered by the Wargs. The southern warriors moved in first against the Wargs but were charged in the rear by the Troll.

The spiders attacked the rear with an unstoppable charge and the Blackshields followed up charging in front. The spiders destroyed the formation before the foot troops ad a chance to participate.

Charles called a heroic Duel. Druzhug used his last might for Epic Cowardice to slink away to the formation of Blackshields. The Minas Tirith warrior captain was killed as was one other brave man that tried to defend him. The Troll only managed to kill two warriors. Two more Wargs were killed by the warriors. The Wargs were disordered as was the Troll. 


Turn 7

Durburz moved back into the disordered Wargs and reorganised them. Dark Fury failed but the Goblin Shaman succeeded in making the shields of the Minas Tirith warriors magically useless for a turn. The Wargs moved to the right, down the river. The Blackshields moved forward to form up on the left of the Wargs and support them. The spiders reformed, in the hope of charging through the forest. The Goblin archers moved forward but were not taking much part in the battle.

The archers and the Avenger Bolt Thrower combined to kill eleven Goblins. The Troll had an unstoppable charge against the rear of the warriors and they became terrified, worried by their magically useless shields. The Wargs charged the front and the Blackshields also had an unstoppable charge against the warriors.

The spiders could not find a way through the woods and so refused to charge. On the other side of the woods, the broodlings attacked the right flank of the Gondorian archers. Although the baby spiders were wiped out, they had caused a couple of casualties and disorganised the archers.

To the south, scared by the hulking brute, the warriors could not fight properly allowing the Troll to crush nine warriors in the back ranks. The Wargs in front tore through sixteen warriors whilst the one company of Blackshields finished off the rest of the formation. Due to being disordered the warriors only killed two Wargs before they were slaughtered.

Turn 8

The evil creatures moved in towards the archers, the last formation of men on the field. The Goblin archers moved swiftly forward against the Avenger bolt thrower. Calling a Heroic shoot, they destroyed the bolt thrower before it could return fire.

The archers did not have time to reorganise before they were charged. The Troll killed four, the spiders killed eleven, the Wargs killed five and the Blackshields polished off the remainder without loss.

Not a single Gondorian was left alive to the Goblin swarm.


The Gondorian force never recovered from their initial setback. Once the knights were surrounded and destroyed the Gondorians would have been better to fall back and regroup so that the rest of the army could fight together, with support of the Avenger Bolt Thrower. Weapons like the Bolt Thrower are a two-edged sword; they can be quite powerful, but they limit movement and reduce your flexibility.

This battle was 1,000 points and was larger than previous test games with War of the Ring. This game showed that large units are needed so that formations are not too fragile and also so that Epic actions do not have a devastating effect on a formation. Caling a Heroic Duel is a valuable way to scare away Heroes with magic that do not have a high fight value. It can also be a valuable way of forcing the opponent to use up Might points to reduce the size of the defeat in a Duel.