And we’re back to The Lord of the Rings. On Wednesday I pulled together my fully painted – but not yet weathered – Weathertop for Scenario 6: The Grey Pilgrim and the Black Riders: Tom, Digby, Callum and I playing Gandalf at various points, and Ian choosing to rock the Ringwraiths.
This scenario sees Gandalf fending off The Nine while he awaits the arrival of Aragorn and the Hobbits at Amon Sul. He has to kill (or knock out of the playing area) four of the fell servants of the Dark Lord. This seems like quite a task until you read the buffs that he receives in the Special Rules and that only two of the Nazgul start the game on-board, with others entering play on a roll of a 5+.
Guess who can’t roll 5’s… I spent the entire game with Tom hoping to lose my models so that I’d receive the automatic reinforcement. Choosing The Witch King for his Your Staff Is Broken ability I planned to (1) get rid of Gandalf’s free Will point every turn, and (2) deplete his Will pool while doing so. Guess what Your Staff Is Broken is cast on? Yup, also a 5+. All I did was burn my own Will pool! Four Ringwraiths on: all four handily despatched by the Grey Rider.
This was pretty much the same against Digby and Callum. Finally I played Gandalf against Ian’s Ringwraiths and that was a much tighter game with Gandalf being taken down to only 1 Wound remaining – I knew that the breaking-of-the-staff gambit was a good idea!
Final result: Good 4-0 Evil. This is a terrific ten-minute scenario with fast play and a lot of laughs. Gandalf’s Special Rules buffs really help turn him into a total monster in the game. It was impressive to see the challenges that multiple Ringwraiths could present to the Good player and so that for play as a one-off game I would suggest either modifying the reinforcement roll to a 4+ or guaranteeing a Ringwraith every 2 turns to make it tougher for Gandalf. It is just fine as it is for the campaign as Gandalf takes a couple of knocks, but should survive.