Friday, 10 January 2020

LotR battle report: Orcs vs Dwarves

For my sins, at CanCon in a few weeks I have decided I will play a few tournament games of GW's Middle-Earth Strategy Battle Game, the latest version of their Lord of the Rings ruleset. I haven't played this edition before, and I've played about one game of the first edition in the last decade...

So I drafted Gorillamo to give me a test game to blow off the cobwebs and kick the tyres. I threw together two forces (~370 points each), dropped down some of his great scenery, and gave him a run down of the rules.

My force was Mordor Orcs with a troll and some minor commanders, and he had dwarves (pics way back here) with some captains, Iron Guard shock troops, and some rangers with bows.
Orcs and troll


The forces face off.

The orcs rush forwards...

... and form a hasty shieldwall.

The dwarf captains smash into the orc line.

The Iron Guard hurl throwing axes and join the fray.

The orcs melt away...

... and dwarf victory is assured.

It wasn't quite as one-sided as I had expected. The terrain funnelled us and protected our flanks. I did inflict some hits on him, but he made mincemeat of my orcs who broke and ran. The troll was tough, but only able to smash one guy per turn. I'll have to familiarise myself better with the rules because there's more actions monsters can do in this edition.

Overall, it was fun. I like the hit-wound-remove mechanic (no saving throw), and remembered how underpowered scattered bows are. Gorillamo will be a soft touch for playing more LotR in the future.

I've decided to keep my force simple for CanCon- numbers rather than fancy heroes and cavalry etc.  I'll tweak my list and build it up to 500 points. I've got a decent collection of LotR that I painted many years ago- I'll have to drag it out and onto the blog.


  1. Sounds like a couple of lessons to learn, but a great game all the same.

  2. Great batrep Barks! Poor Orcs'is

  3. I'm surprised he had numbers on you - Mordor usually can field enough bodies to set up some one-sided fights. Or did the higher Dward Fight do you in?

    1. I had a few extra commanders and a troll, all of whom ate into my orc budget. Also, I used a double line of spears and allowed the terrain to funnel me and protect flanks.

  4. Always fun to drag old figs back out onto the table!

    See you at CanCon - BBQ at my new place one night

  5. Good to see the collection getting an outing and the Orcs being pushed back.

    1. Thanks, Stu! Definitely a soft spot for Middle-Earth.

  6. Ohhh, sweet! It's been ages since I last played anything LotR related, it's so cool to see such games!