The Battle For The Moria Gate

Lord of the Rings Shadow and Flame Battle Report

--Neldoreth - Sept 15, 2005

And so it Begins... (deployment)

Balin marched with his sturdy dwarves through the day, driven by his desire to recapture the mines of his forefathers. It was at twilight that Balin and his dwarves reached the gates, eager to secure a foothold in Moria, Balin ordered two small groups of his sturdy dwarves to scout along the north and south sides of the entrance, perhaps they may catch some goblins unawares, making their descent into the mines that much more easy...


The goblin captain Grilatz barked at his small patrol to keep a steady eye. There was a shrill warning in the air biting at his nostrils, he was sure he had caught a smell of the wretched dwarves in the air. Eager to wipe dwarven blood from his blade he ordered his eight archers to watch the southern flank for the approach of dwarves, and kill anything that moved. He took the rest of his four swords to see what he could find... Little did he realize that he would be matched with the soon-to-be king of Moria...

The two forces suddenly realize each other, let the battle begin! Note the red lines represent deployment zones and the Moria gates The goblins have some distance to cross before their allies can arrive... (The goblins behind the red line at moria gates represent the line that must be crossed to win the scenario/gain reinforcements.)

Battle Joined... (turn one)

Grilatz and his goblins sieze the initiative. After surveying the battlefield, he quickly realized that he was outmatched. With the murmers of his archers watching the southern flank that yet more dwarves lay in ambush to the south and the north, he orders his warriors to retreat to the gate for reinforcements. Before retreating with his warriors as fast as he could, he barked at his archers to hold the line with bowfire, promising them dwarf meat if they could hold them!

The goblins flee to call aid, Balin and his dwarves close in inspite of losing two of thier own...

As ordered, the goblin archers let loose their arrows at the pursuing dwarves. A hail of black blots out the setting sun as two arrows find their mark. Two foul dwarves die a wretched death, pierced with the rotting arrows of the dwarf archers. Despite their success at stopping some dwarves however, the goblin archers realize that their flanks are threatened, and that a mere two dwarves will not force the dwarves to retreat...

The Pursuit Continues... (turn two)

Again Grilatz and his warriors snatch the iniatitive from the stench of their enemy. Again Grilatz and his warriors move as fast as they can toward the Moria Gates to secure aid from their fellow goblins lying in wait, unawares. The goblin archers know their duty and let fly with their arrows. This time they are not so lucky, failing to find the gaps in the dwarven armour.

Grilatz and his warriors continue to retreat, despite losing one of their own to dwarven bowfire.

Barks of anger and warning ring out accross the battlefield as Grilatz spots the fowl dwarves threatening the north and south flanks. The warning rang out too late however, as the flanking dwarves let loose with their shining arrows, piercing on of Grilatz's sword armed warriors... Grilatz spits, cursing the dwarves and promising revenge as he watches them move fast in pusuit.

Fleers Caught! (turn three)

Again, Grilatz barks to his men to act before the dwarves can gather their initiative. Again he leads his sword armed warriors back to the gate, where reinforcements can be called! His archers still remain, although they cower from the threat to thier rear as a pair of Dwarven archers appears from behind a rock. Their scattered bowfire amounts to nothing and Grilatz howls in anger. He watches in vain as the dwarven archers fell on of his own in the distant shootout.

Grilatz and his warriors continue to flee while his archers exchange fire with the dwarves.
Balin continues to pursue while the flanking dwarves close in in attempt to thwart their eascape.

Grilatz puts down the attacking dwarf while realizing that his enemies are closing in on him.

Grilatz, distracted by the exchange of fire between is archers and the dwarves to the south, turns surprised to see a single axe-wielding dwarf charge him from the north. He howls in rage, mustering some might, he runs through the goblin with his jagged blade, spitting on the lifeless body as it falls. Stealing a moment to survey the field of battle he scowls at the dwarves pursuing to his rear, the dwarves closing in from the north, a single axe armed dwarf threatening his escape from the south, and the dwarves exchanging fire with his archers to the south... Rasing his bloodied sword he vows for vengeance!

Fleers Tangled... (turn four)

Grilatz again steals the initiative from Balin's dwarven warriors, and again he beckons his goblin warriors to retreat and call for aid. Anger fills Grilatz's mind as he sees one of the dwarves flanking from the south attack one of his fleeing swords, the fight is brutal, pushed back by the force of the dwarf, the goblin warriors is saved by his armour.

Barking at his archers to shape it up, Grilatz watches them loose their arrows again to no affect, as they cower from the dwarven bows. Surprised, Grilatz turns to see one of his fleeing companions die with a dwarven arrow in his throat... Rage grows in his corrupted heart, but also fear. The main force of dwarves is still in pursuit, and now the north and south flankers are dangerously close...

Grilatz howls in rage as one of his
warriors is cut down by dwarven archers

The Flight of the Goblins Goes Ill... (turn five)

Balin roars a war cry through the air, beckoning his dwarven warriors on to steal the initiative from the fleeing goblins. He watched in excitement and anticipation as the dwarves he had ordered to scout the area, who then attacked from the north and south, closed in on their fleeing prey. A single axe armed dwarf from the southern flanking forced charged into the battle with the goblin that he had previously battled. The fight was brutal, but the dwarf failed to fell his goblin foe. The two bow armed dwaves from the north both charged with ferocity into battle with the goblin captain. Balin's war cry shook the battlefield as the goblin captiain defeated, but failed to kill his attackers.

Balin, too far to join in, is forced to watch his warriors
do battle with the fleeing goblins.

To the south, the two dwarven archers currently shooting it out with a horde of goblins fell another. The goblins, feeble as they are, fail to keep themselves together and their shots flail about the sky, finding no mark to pierce.

Another goblin falls to the arrows of the dwarves.

Fleers gain initiative... (turn six)

Grilatz howls in rage, forcing his retreating warriors to snatch the initiative from the dwarves. On he leads them toward the gate, and protection. Despite is desperate dash, Grilatz finds himself asailed once again by the dwarven archers that he had previously battled. His fellow fleeing warriors managed to move fast enough to avoid the charge from the pursuing dwarves, so he knew he must fell his opponents to secure their escape.

The goblins way is nearly clear, but will they hold the priority
long enough to escape?

Through his melee, Grilatz watches in vain as his archers once again fail to fell either of the two dwarves that they are locked in a shootout with. His anger boils as he sees the return fire of the dwarves fell yet another of his archers. He curses his lack of foresight; those dieing goblin archers would have done better by fleeing with him, ensuring that his own escape would be unhindered.

Driven by his anger, he bests his petty dwarven foes. Jabbing with his jagged blade he curses their crafted armour... gathering all his might he strikes, seonding one to his early death... although Grilatz relishes his recent kill, he realizes it cost him, as he knows he has no more might with witch to turn the tide of future melees...

Fleers initiative lost.... (turn seven)

Balin roars in anger as he laments the recent loss of one of his warriors to the wretched captain of the goblins. He vows to get revenge as he urges his goblins on, wrenching the initiative from them. His call to battle sees two of his mighty warriors charge the wretched goblin captain once again, and now even his own retinue has gained enough distance to engage the fleeing dwarves, as a Khazad guard charges into battle.

Battle is finally brought to the fleeing goblins, but the dwarves fail to fell any in the fighting.

Balin takes a moment to survey the shootout to the south, his heart gives rise as he watches his archers charge into battle with the remaining goblin archers. The battle there is hot, and so are the hearts of the fighters as two goblin bows fall to the axes of the dwarves.

The dwarven archers see more success, two goblins are felled.

Balin rips the sounds of battle with another war cry as the fighting at the gates fails to claim any of the remaining fleeing goblins. The Khazan warrior was bested by his adversary, while the goblin captain again escaped the axes of the dwaves, but this time at least, he failed to kill.

The Gates of Moria all but recaptured... (turn eight)

Grilatz urged the last remaining, fleeing goblin warrior on, and they, together, make for the gate to bring reinforcements, but to no avail. Still too far, both Grilatz and his lone warrior howl with rage as they are charged by the entire pursuing horde of dwarves. Grilatz turned to face his attackers, but they still managed to get behind him, cutting off his chances of escape.

The battle goes ill for Grilatz and his goblins.

Through the clanking of the charging dwarves, Grilatz could hear in the distance the continued melee between his archers and the dwarven archers. There, he knew, two more of his three remaining archers were felled in the fighting, he knew that no aid would be coming from them...

In rage after seeing his warriors killed, Grilatz fells a Khazad guard.

At that same moment he witnessed his sword armed warrior die at the vicious axes of the dwarves. With rage, knowing he was the last, he howled and fought with everything he had. Although outnumbered three to one, his nimble dexterity saw him defeat the foul dwarves, finding a gap in the armour of the heavily armoured dwarf he struck, laughing at the blood that flowed from his dead victim... in spite of his victory, he knew the gate was lost...

Yay to the Free Peoples and the Dwarven Lands! (turn nine)

Grilatz howls at his misfortune, but his will to survive drives him to maintain the initiative. He makes for the gate and enters, but it is too late. He scrambles to find a hiding spot as the dwarven hosts charges through behing him. Grilatz watches in silent rage as Zalig, his fellow goblin captain, and all of Zalig's warriors are taken by surprise and slaughtered. The gates are lost. All that is left is for him do is await nightfall and attempt to escape into the darkness... but still, Grilatz can't give up all hope that his single archer still remains in the battle, and many a dwarf may still yet be killed in the struggle that is certain to come soon...

The last remaining goblin archer flees for his life
The arrows of the dwarves fail to find their mark.

The Tides of Battle (Quick debrief...)

What a battle. The goblins won priority seven times out of nine and still failed to escape the axes of the dwarves. After my first thought, it seemed that this scenario was far too difficult for the goblins to win at all... but then I realized that more than half of the goblin force was tied up by two dwarven archers in a vain shootout. Certainly that was a gruesome tactical error on my part, and they should have been used to cover the escape of the goblin captain (as Grilatz himself realized during the battle). Still, this is a tough battle for the goblins to win.

All in all though a very satisfying fight it was. Now I have some fuel to finish painting my dwarves and get on with the battles surrounding the Shadow and Flame expansion... Yes, it is true, I am only getting to that now ;)