Today a friend and I played a 500 point Lord of the Rings game.
LotR or WotR battle report:
Mordor - 4 warbands
1 band of 12 or so orcs led by orc captain
1 band of 12 or so orcs led by orc captain
1 band of 5 or so Morgul Knights led by The Dark Marshal
1 Castellan of Dol Guldur
Rohan - 3 warbands
1 allied band of 5 dwarf warriors with shield and a Khazad Guard, led by Gimli
1 band 12 Rohan foot troops with a banner, and most of the warriors had throwing spears
1 band of 7 Riders of Rohan led by Erkenbrand
We had set up a playing board dominated by a central village of 5 or 6 buildings arranged to create a small maze of streets and alleyways. Mixed terrain of hills and trees and walls dotted the area around the village, but as it happened most of the fighting took place among the buildings. It proved to be very interesting. We rolled a Lords of Battle scenario, basically giving a victory point for each enemy model killed, with bonus points for killing heroes or breaking the enemy morale while remaining unbroken yourself. Thus, there were no terrain-based objectives to fight over, though the winding alleyways of the village meant terrain would figure prominently in the action. Time for a brawl!
Mordor deployed both infantry warbands and the Castellan inside the village commanding two different alleyways that led toward their foes. The Dark Marshal and the Morgul Knights were just outside the village to one side. The Rohan foot soldiers and the dwarves also set up inside the town, mostly along one long alley that opened on their foes at each end. Erkenbrand and the Riders of Rohan were outside the village on the opposite side from the Morgul Knights.
Fighting began with the Rohan foot soldiers near the village center hurling their throwing spears at the orc warband in front of them, and fortune shined on them: they slew four orcs, 1/3 of the total in that warband! The Rohirrim nevertheless backed into a tight defensive position afterward, with a building to one side and a walled garden on the other, joined by Gimli and some of the dwarves. They knew that the orcs, the Castellan, and the Morgul Knights were all converging on them and it wouldn't do to leap forward and get surrounded. Up past the other end of that alley, Erkenbrand's Riders of Rohan joined with a couple of foot troops to advance on the second orc warband, shooting arrows and spears as they moved up. Only one orc perished, but the orc warband decided it didn't want to tangle with the Riders and backed down the alley. For two more turns the backing and advancing/shooting continued, until the orcs backed into the rear of the other orc warband and took up defensive positions. The Riders charged in then, and were able to kill a couple of the orcs, but the results were underwhelming. The larger fight that raged in the other alley would determine the victor.
There, things initially looked bad for the Rohirrim and dwarves. The Dark Marshal cast dark magics on Gimli, first draining his Will and then Transfixing him in time for an orc captain to rain blows upon his person. But Gimli's stout armor deflected all strikes. The Castellan slew Rohan warriors one by one, and charging Morgul Knights killed one or two more. The initial "kills" advantage Good had gained through its missile fire was almost made up. Generally, in the early rounds Priority wins and Heroic Moves kept gave Evil the initiative, and it won most of the fights. However, more often than not the Good warriors were pushed back rather than slain. And when Priority rolls began to favor the Good side, the Mordor captains ran low on Might trying to call Heroic Moves to retain initiative, and soon ran out altogether. This meant that Gimli and the Rohirrim heroes (who had more Might to start with and had used it sparingly), could dictate who charged whom for the rest of the battle. And so the tide began to turn. Dwarves or Rohaners repeatedly charged the Dark Marshal, keeping him so occupied he could not cast any more Transfix spells to freeze Gimli. Gimli, in turn, did what dwarf heroes do well when faced with lots of orc necks: hew them in alarming numbers. The Mordor forces still fought surprisingly skillfully, winning more fights than they lost. But when a Rider of Rohan joined with a foot trooper and a dwarf to charge the Dark Marshal from all sides and vanquish him, it was clear that Good would prevail, and the game was called.
Victory for Good!
— Erkenbrand's army-wide courage bump is hugely valuable when facing Terror-causers like Castellans and Morgul Knights and Nazgul.
— Playing inside the twisting alleys of the village was a blast. Lots of varied terrain makes this skirmish game beautiful.
— I'm still trying to decide if throwing spears for Rohan warriors are a smart buy. Sure paid off for them in this scenario.
— Good has won far more than Evil lately in my group's games. I don't think there's any kind of a balance issue. The Good lists have tended to be more carefully drawn up, the Evil ones more for fun. Luck has explained the rest.