Friday, January 3, 2014

LOTR and testing my Tablet for miniatures.

well christmas was intersting and busy.

Back at the beginning of December I pulled out my old GW wor of the Ring collections and palyed a game with my friend dan.  This reminded me why  stopped playing the WOTR rules from GW. they are just to gimmicky and full of loopholes. plus magic can be game breaking. this to me is not at all what Lord of the rings was all about.

I mentioned I had a lot of 28mm LOTR to my friend Bevan, and he suggested trying mantic Games' Kings of War rules.  I have not pulled these figures out since a few months after War of the Ring was released. so we made a date (Dec 22nd) and i did some searching to see if anyone ahd done unofficial LOTR lists for kings of war. turns out only bad guys had been done.

 I took the liberty of trying my tablet out during the game for taking pics of miniatures. I have not done this before, but i do use it frequently at school in labs for taking pictures of waveforms, equipment setups, etc. and it works superbly for that.

Easterling/Khandish centre and left flanks
so we set about trying the game out. i did Saruman's Uruk-hai and Bevan ran the Easterlings & Khandish(just used Easterling stats for all), and we just used the chariots as Kataphracts that could shoot.

Khandish right flank

the game lasted maybe 1hour and 45 minutes, even with us constantly looking up rules.  the combat was bloody and fast.  I did not think the army lists were particularly well designed, and my pike crushed the opposing flank. 

Uruk-hai army

Still the rules flow fairly well.  one of the things I did not like was  melee rules. basically, the side that charges rolls it's dice, and the enemy just stands there and takes it until his turn. this just seems wrong. so one of the house rules for the next game was to make it so that once the chargers struck, if the unit receiving the charge passed it's morale test(remained steady) then it strikes back.

After the game I went about rebuilding the army lists from the ground up, cross referencing existing stats and special rules in Kings of War with what i know of my Lord of the rings Armies(Easterlings, Khandish, Elves, Rohan, and Uruk-hai).  then  on  December 30th we tried it again. this game was much less one-sided, although the Rohan Guard cavalry managed to make a quick break on the Easterling elf flank(wiping out a unit of Khandish cavalry in the process). I reacted with an Easterling pike unit flanking the guards, but a succession of terrible roles later and I had completely lost the flank, and my centre was locked in place  by a massive unit of Rohan foot troops.

finally we identified a few things we'd like the change.  we are going to migrate the system to a D10.  this will require some tweaking of Nerve numbers, but will allow for more differentiation in levels of armour(currently the system only uses 3+, 4+, and 5+). we are going to make heroes that are not combat worthy unto them selves. ie they are upgrades to units.  the last thing we are going to do is come up with a command & Control system. we haven't decided upon that yet, but it will likely end up being either a card driven system, or something more akin to War master.  either way Bevan and i enjoy more command friction in our rules, and we also enjoy tinkering.

I was also happy with how my tablet pics turned out. they aren't as good as a camera on a tripod, but they are still of respectable quality.


  1. Hi Stephen:
    Terrific post as I am just in the process of painting some GW Rohirrim left over from when my son lived at home and we were playing a lot of LOTR. I am sorry to hear your opinion that the War of the Ring rules are too broken to play. I bought WoR but never played it, always hoping for the right moment. I don't know Kings of War. I have just started talking to another Lardie about adapting the Dux Brit rules to an LOTR setting.
    I'm in Kitchener, we should talk about getting together to try this sometime.

    1. I was also hoping to adapt Dux Brit, mostly because of the campaign system(and i have a soft spot for Richard Clarke and his rules. but when i put an order in to J&M a few days ago he was out. so I'll wait until he gets them in.

      I'm always up for a game, unfortunately i don't drive so getting up there can be interesting, one of the many things i hope to remedy over the next year.

    2. Hi Stephen
      I am the Lardie Michael mentions. More about the Dux adaptation, Ride To Ruin, here:


  2. Looking realy good !

    Best regards Michael

  3. Hi Stephen,
    impressive table and models! Congratulations!
    I came across your inspiring post because I also plan to experiment LOTR games with KoW rules, which appear simple and fast (I too was disappointed after trying GW WotR a few times)...
    I found your ideas about interactive Melee rules interesting and will be certainly experimenting with them. Again, I too felt the lack of a (simple) c&c system, and will be trying with Warpath's (Mantic's sci-fi game from the same author) alternate initiative mechanic, rules are available online.. let me know if your impressions in case you try..
    Finally, I think I will stick to D6 based, but I would be very interested in the adaptation of the KoW lists you used, as I have the same armies (+ a couple of Mumaks which I am unsure how to use in KoW): it would be great if you could share them by email if possible.
    Cheers from UK and thanks for a great post.

  4. That looks really good but as a bit of time has passed since you wrote it I wondered if you'd made any progress with the rules? I havent played Kings of War, but have you looked at Sword & Spear? They are designed for ancients/medieval and give a really good game, and they are looking at adapting them for fantasy now. I'm not that interested in that aspect except for the Lord of the Rings - so at the club we've been concentrating on that. Anyway if you are interested have a look at my AAR on the rules forum here.