WOTR Isengard v. Fallen Realms

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WOTR Isengard v. Fallen Realms

Postby BostonNazgul » Sun Sep 19, 2010 9:59 pm

I finally got to play a game of WOTR and see if my forum browsing, hypothetically conclusions, and conceptions to movement tray games held any truth. Some did, some didn't, but overall I had fun and enjoyed playing war of the ring.

If you dont want to read my long winded impressions, some quick thoughts are:

-shooting is lame and useless unless you bring it in massed massed quantities
-it is really amazing seeing that many guys on the board
-SBG rule ideas convert easily
-balanced army match-ups are fun.
-SOME bonuses seemed odd, "who decided that 1 company of cavalry gets 6 extra dice on a charge? why not just double their base attacks?"
-movement is very simple and allows for quick strategic adjustments and alterations.
-LOTR (either system) turn priority is by far the most realistic wargaming method around. allows for both players to react during a turn and be more interactive with each other opposed to watching an opponents complete turn before you go.

When I do get games in locally, it is in Dover, NH where there is a good store and a consistent group of friends that play many games. They truly have embraced WOTR's better side and play more reasonable armies. They used to travel to the Baltimore Games Days but obviously have stopped.

Ed and I played a standard meeting engagement style game. 1000 points*

*only 1 magic user was on the board and it was a warpriest


I picked up on the rules quiet quickly from my experience with Warhammer Ancients. throughout this I will be comparing the two games to an extent.

Ed have preset the armies since I was a bit late and we quickly got into moving up.


about turn 3 I had decided to have some fun with the mumak and after charging with it instead of going for the movement phase trample, I got stuck in combat against a single unit of Isengard engineers/sappers. I then found out that they set off their bomb when reduced to 0 models. Dumbo the elephant pressed forward none the less.

After taking heavy wounds from crossbows the turn before, the ensuing explosion supplied my army with enough BBQed meat for the journey home.


On my left flank my haradrim cavalry charged a unit of berserkers and after the combat Ed's lone warrior was left clutching his blanket and teddy.


The next turn led to his destruction and completed my easterling cavalry's flank into some ready and waiting pikemen.

Even with the pike's bonuses the cavalry inflicted more damage and the fight went in my favor with the formation being wiped out on the next turn.


Meanwhile the right flank saw Amdur and his warpriest easterlings running down the outnumbered uruk pikes. I used 2 might to gain both of Amdur's abilities in the fight and his company caused some 8 causalities themselves.

*easterlings were represented by orcs and goblins in the back rank, Ed has not finished the army I was borrowing.


Ed's crossbowmen shot point blank into my harad cavalry and reduced the formation to 2 companies but I still got the charge off and weakened that formation which led to a charge in the rear by my newly freed up easterling cavalry.


at the end of the last turn, Lurtz's shield wall was left shattered after another charge in the rear by the MVP easterling cavalry.

Overall Impressions: This game is fun. The GW marketing of "roll lots of dice" is complete bull. Yes you roll lots of dice. But, for the most part you are rolling that many dice because, A) you have that many models on the table and in the fight, and B) charge bonuses, and C) core rules that are simplified for more killing and less starring at each other.*

*My experiences with movement tray games are Warhammer ancients, which strives for complete realism when working out fights and wounds and combats. WOTR emphasizes getting your guys in the fight, taking away the dead and doing it again.

For example, if a company is touching an enemy, that whole company rolls to wound including back ranks. it simplifies having to figure out front ranks only striking, then some die, so you subtract that from who can strike etc. to me it allowed the imagination to say, "yeah, all my guys just pig piled into the fight, we arnt going to stand in a line and say, no no, only Joe in the front rank can swing his sword."

My disheartening with WAB was that it was too easy to force a leadership roll and then run down your opponent without even killing anyone in combat. No blood, just neat and clean vacuuming models off the table.

WOTR does not put so many bonuses on the winner of the fight to "break" your opponent and even if you fail your courage check only the worst case scenario has you fleeing from your opponent.

So, while it maybe less realistic to the ebb and flow of a real battle, it lets the player duke it out with the models they spent so long building, painting, and sweating over opposed to having your models in the dead pile longer than on the table.

So while I may seem harsh on WAB, it depends on your mood I guess. I love the historic aspect and if I wanted to have a little more serious game with more number crunching and realistic formation movement, ie if you want to back up, you need to about face and march your men backwards, instead of back peddling. while WOTR gives a more simplistic approach to the movement tray game genre.

My experiences left me with this, Warhammer Ancients is a 3 course meal at a 5 star white table cloth restaurant that is a dining adventure. It sometimes can leave you with indigestion because it is too rich.

While WOTR is that delicious bar food that you want to stuff your face with and beer in hand, but could leave you on the toilet if someone brings the extra spicy wings to your table instead of the mild ones.

I encourage my fellow SBGers to get out there and try it out, if you see someone playing it, ask for a demo game, then offer to show them SBG the next time you meet to be fair :D
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Postby Lordgoober » Mon Sep 20, 2010 1:06 am

Thus you catch onto the major thing to think about with War of the Ring, it is NOT a tournament game, as was well shown by what I saw at the Ard Boyz finals when I was watching (didn't even get to play a round 1 because the nearest one to chicagoland was 4 hours away and I was still not in great health at the time.) This game is more for fun and having balanced games, not going for the utter cutthroatness of it. Now if I could only get some people at the bunker to play...
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Postby BostonNazgul » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:27 am

its a slash and bash good time in my opinion. kick back with some beers, doubt the bunker would allow that but bring some paper bags? haha

If someone is wary about playing a game, maybe play a non magic list. From talking to Ed and everyone on these forums that stuff is just brutal.
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Postby BrentS » Mon Sep 20, 2010 10:36 am

Sounds like you had a fun game. I'd like to give WotR a whirl in a setting like you described. Not interested in a 'ard boyz style event.
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