PATM Guest Blog...Battles in Middle Earth
Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game
By Michael Schaefer
I'm starting to make up for lost time, fitting in two games this weekend. What's more, I finally had the opportunity to play a game of Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game. I've been itching to play the game for years, to try it in one of its formats, since the odds of playing its mass-battle variant again is pretty slim (I had the chance to play it only twice, back when it came out). The game mechanics for the skirmish game are an interesting mix -- at the moment I'm still unsure what to make of it. I guess I'll just have to keep playing it, until I figure it out!
Initial deployment. My Harad/Mordor stack the left flank to counter the enemy Arnor troopers and delay contact with the Great Eagles, flying in from the East.
Nasty Hobbits man the ramparts.
The Eagles include the Lord of Eagles, Gwaihir, a real bad-ass.
Evil emerges from the deep dark forest.
Wargs intercept the Eagles. The Wargs outnumbered one of the Eagles, but to no avail!
Harad archers use poison arrows to pick off the Hobbit archers, at least, and Harad/Mordor dictate the battle with a flank attack.
The Eagles brush off the Warg attack
Harad/Mordor engage too early. They needed more mass, before initiating the fight.
The Eagle versus Warg fracas continues, but the conclusion was clear.
A classic phalanx fight. A nice cinematic scene. Pretty much what this hobby is about, as far as I'm concerned.
This lone Warg Rider is brave, but thoroughly outclassed.
So, Harad and Mordor were sent packing back into the night. I think I set myself up for success for the early engagements, but the dice gods were against me. Without that initial edge, it became an uphill battle against the mightier Arnor heroes and the Arnor troopers' plate armor.
I think I'm going to need to beef up one of my Captains. But it's tricky to get the right allies to match the models that I have. Maybe I can enlist a Ringwraith to lead my forces..... hmm, that would be pretty cool. And fast to paint, ha, ha.
The next day, I was able to play yet another game of Konflikt '47. My regular opponent, David, and I finished out the escalation league, and now we're playing at 1000 points, having grown our armies up from 500 points over 3 months.
A downed pilot is hiding in the pale house near the center of the board. He holds Secret Plans. My Germans are coming in from the bottom to acquire the plans, while the Russians swarm from the top.
Both sides had to use Turn 1 to come in from Reserves. My new anti-tank team and my walker didn't make it on.
My elite Falcon Squad (rocketeer guys) are positioned to take the house, if they get initiative on Turn 2.
The cheeky downed pilot, who holds the Secret Plans for key Rift-tech technology. He's hiding out on the second floor.
Russians assemble their Siberian Terror units and their Heavy Infantry, to deal with German threat.
My walker makes it onto battlefield, just in the nick of time. Um, ignore the star-and-sickle. That's a German walker...must be captured equipment....
The walker strides up the road and flames the Russian heavy infantry...pretty much my only weapon to deal with them.
As usual, the heavy infantry respond in kind, and the walker is quickly turned into a burning wreck. Seems to happen every game....
Earlier, the Russians got the jump on occupying the house, sending in their Siberian Terror squad. My Falcon Squad desperately flew in to take back the house, but it was a suicide mission. The Siberian Terrors were weakened, however, letting my assault squad do the clean-up. Then the Russian SMG unit cleared out my assault squad. Then the German werewolves killed the SMG squad and take the house. Then the German regulars killed the werewolves and take the house. Next up.....German zombies.
The zombies are knocking on the door of the house. Except there's no door on that side of the house. Don't they see the big gaping hole on the other side of the house? Stupid zombies!
I think they figured it out.
It's a bad day for that lone Russian soldier.
Time runs out, and the game ends a draw. Hard to say whether the zombies would have successfully "escorted" the pilot off the board.