Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Nelly the Oliphant

Its been a while since I played any Lord of the Rings, and with this Monday being essentially the last full Monday's gaming at the club this year I decided to break out my Haradrim for nice big battle.
I have been acquiring Mumakil from e-bay, were you can pick them up for between 20 and 30 pounds if you look for long enough and now have three. I have spent the year gradually painting them up, along with all of the various other bits needed to get them on the table.
This scenario was fro the Return of the King book by Games Workshop, but expanded enough to allow for all three Mumakil and all the Haradrrim cavalry, versus most of my Rohan cavalry.
The Rohan Force consisted of around 60 cavalry, made up of mostly basic Riders but with some Royal Guard thrown in for good measure. Also present was Eomer, suitable ticked off at the death of his Uncle at the hands of a Nazgul, a couple of other captains and some banners.
The Haradrim had three Mumakil, each with 12 archers in the howdah, and 2 of them were commanded by Mahud Chieftains, 18 Cavalry armed with a mixture of lances and bows and 5 Serpent Riders. They were all lead by the Serpent King himself.

In the scenario the Rohan get most of the 3ft by 5ft board to deploy their cavalry on, with the Haradrim being limited to a 1 foot strip down their table edge. The Mumakil would enter the game on turns three and four.
The Rohan chose to deploy aggressively, with most of their force deployed within charge distance of the Haradrim deployment. The Haradrrim players deployed all their forces on one flank, neutralising the superior Rohan numbers.  Turns 1 and 2 saw the Rohan charge the Haradrim, but the dice were not kind and they suffered a lot of casualties, while failing to inflict much damage of the Haradrim.
At the start of turn three the first two Mumakil arrived on the board, with much fanfare.  Luckily the Rohan had moved out of the way and avoided getting trampled by any but the 34 archers on the backs of the Mumakil made their presence felt and Rohan casualties started to mount sharply. 

Turn three saw a change in the Rohan fortunes, with the evil players all starting to consistently fluff their die rolls.  Everyone was starting to declare heroic moves at this point to desperately avoid the rampaging Mumakil, with the good side generally getting the better of them.  The Haradrrim cavalry were getting a bit thin on the ground by this point as well, and by turn 5 only the serpent king and the three Mumakil were left on the evil side of the board.  The Rohan were starting to run out of troops though and just did not have enough men to do the damage they needed to do to the Mumak.

In turn 6 the Rohan force finally broke, although a lot of them decided to fight on regardless.
The Haradrim decided it might be interesting to start firing at the Rohan engaging the Mumakil into combat, but this tactic did not succeed very well as in one volley Stewart managed to inflict 3 wounds on one of the unfortunate beasts with friendly fire.

BY the time we hit turn 8 their were hardly any Rohan left on the board, and certainly not enough to make any serious impact on the rampaging Oliphant's so we called it a night.
All in all an entertaining evening, if a little one sided in the end.  The Rohan objective was to kill the Mumakil, and the best they managed was to reduce one of them down to 2 wounds.  When I run this again I will definitely need to beef up the Rohan a bit, perhaps more men or some more Heroes. It is hard to tell though as the Rohan performed so badly in the first two turns of the game that they were fighting a rearguard action for the rest of the night.  It was good to get all the Oliphant's on the board though!.


  1. I thoroughly enjoyed playing this, even though my first experience of LotR was to be part of a Rohirrin force that were evidently just out of basic training but still sent to face monsters! Thank you for hosting it, Kevin. Well done!

  2. Pretty impressive looking game with all the yellow hairs and big heffalumps on the table.