Wednesday, 20 February 2013

The Hobbit: Escape From Goblin Town

Okay so we all love to hate Games Workshop. For those of us at the bottom of the world their prices are even more ridiculous than those of you who live in the northern hemisphere. But if you can get through all the annoying faff, there is a lot to like: their models are pretty cool and in LOTR Strategy Battle Game they have as good a skirmish game system as any.  So I was one of those guys that just had to buy their new Hobbit range and after a couple of months painting we got around to playing it.

The Family Portrait:

 (sorry about the iPhone photos but Steve forgot his camera - and decided to add in random scenery)

We played the scenarios that came with the boxed set.  That meant that there were three dwarves against 12 goblins, the captain Grinnah and a limited amount of special rules that you had to learn for each character (each of the 15 Dwarves have their own rules which makes playing all of them at the same time by one player pretty darn difficult - let alone remembering which one is which!)

Simple scenario: get the baggage and escape.  Some tactical options based on the lay out.  Steve and I played the goblins and Chris the dwarves.

Chris at first didn't like the look of jumping the gap but when we explained the rule (you only die if you role a 1) he ended up giving it a go after a little excursion down the walkway first.

The excursion:


Bofur went first and proved his worth, taking out goblin after goblin and clearing the way for Bombor and Bifur to get across.  Bombor, despite his girth managed to make it across with ease.  Grinnah went in to get Bofur and was promptly killed.  Both hits on him, and he failed his fate role.  Bother.  Blame Steve for that.


Bofur killing Goblins
Steve then tried to block the other side of the platform so they couldn't jump back and get away, but there was enough of a gap for one to get across, and after one was across then it was just a matter of time before the others followed.  Chris played it well and got all three dwarves off the board with the baggage.

Cleaning up the last pesky goblins before taking off:
 


We enjoyed the game play a lot.  It felt fairly balanced between the goblins and the dwarves.  The dwarves would usually win the duel roles and kill 1-2 goblins but because more goblins came each turn (on a successful role) the dwarves had to keep on bashing and slashing to get out.  Every now and then you could win a duel and get a possible wound. There was a fate role that had to be passed for one of them.  if Grinnah hadn't died so early it would have been a bit more balanced.  With three dwarves, and not much terrain, the fiddly ongoing battling that bogs down larger SBG was missing.  We enjoyed it enough to play the next scenario.

Not a lot on the downside, except to note that this was a very limited scenario and I do wonder whether the game can actually maintain its fun when you bring in 15 Dwarves, Bilbo, Gandalf and the Goblin King and keep on top of what each is doing, how much might etc they have and not have the game slow down to a crawl.  I suppose I will have to keep playing and find out.

I say 7/10.


14 comments:

  1. Nice session report. Nice name danisnotatree.

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  2. Nice little review, I am yet to play the scenarios, still painting through all the figures!

    With a bit of practice, and some Stat sheets filled out ahead of time, bigger games can still be played in a prompt manner and with plenty of fun!

    The only thing which bogs us down in bigger games is the tactical thinking of model movement...

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  3. Thanks Scott - I have been following you for a while due to our mutual interest in LOTR. I agree with the prior prep point and a good familiarity of the rules speeding things up. Both things I need to work on! Steve and I keep flicking between LOTR, Empire of the Dead and a bit of Flames of War (with the odd board game thrown in) so we are truly jacks of all trades and masters of none. This year is going to be more LOTR and Empire of the Dead I think so you should see us improve as the year, and our new blog, develop.

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    1. I look forward to it and will watch your progress with interest. Can you flick a follower widget on your blog.

      If you guys are in Wellington (as your profile suggests), perhaps we could hook up for a game some time? I'm not a million miles away... ;-)

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    2. Will work on the follower widget - Steve is better at that stuff. Keen for a game - we have similar interests. Also wouldn't mind learning FOW a bit better this year. We both live in Newtown, Wellington and you're up Kapiti coast way so shouldn't be too hard to arrange!

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    3. Excellent, good to hear :-)

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    4. I put up some follower thing. Hope it works. I am planning to make it look a bit better some time soon but I thought it best to get started with blogging first.

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    5. Cool thanks Steve, following.

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  4. I've always loved the rules, good review sir, I will probably pick up the rules just for the newer changes they've brought in.

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  5. Thanks Francis. We are bringing the new heroic actions in slowly and the various duel options. From what we've played I think the changes are good additions to an already good core system.

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  6. Nice batrep, I must admit GW stuff does still look good. I'm just in the process of flogging my few bits of LOTR collection, Due to lack of enthusiasm for painting it. Don't worry though the funds raised will be injected into Empire of the Dead instead Huzzah!

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    1. GW stuff looks good but EOTD looks amazing. Maybe it's because the Victorian steam punk setting is so good.

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    2. Must admit the EotD stuff is really floating my boat at the moment, even though I am still busy painting The Hobbit Goblins stuff...

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  7. There's a chance you are eligible to receive a Apple iPhone 7.

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