I had been commissioned to paint some of the figures for the game over the last year or so, and it felt as if I had painted tonnes of LOTR figures. But having seen the set up it soon became clear to me that my contribution was indeed big, but not that big! There were masses of figures set out on the tables. I can however lay claim to having painted most of the Oliphaunts.
The game was played out on the two large tables, one in each room. Below is the table which had the Oliphaunts, Easterlings and Haradrim, who were attacking the Riders of Rohan led by King Théoden.
The thin Rohan line...
And on the table next door the battle before the city of Minas Tirith.
Above the Orc battle line, and below the forces of Minas Tirith lines lined up against them.
I was given the role of Suladan, a baddy, but I was very pleased about this because I got to command some of those lovely Oliphaunts. Unfortunately I became so engrossed in what was going on in this part of the battle that I failed to take any pictures of the game going on before the walls of Minas Tirith. Apologies for this but in my defence it was such a great game to be involved in! So without further ado and no more apologies here are the pictures of the game.
Above are Mahud Camel raiders, some of the figures I painted.
Above: The Nazgul lead the way:
And below the decision is quickly made - he refuses his right flank...
...and advances with the Rohan cavalry on his left and centre (below). It was bold but he knew he needed to be aggressive and gain space between the Oliphants and his vulnerable infantry.
Below: the Olipahaunts begin their attack!
Above and below: The Oliphaunts were extremely tough but also very unpredictable, and it wasn't long before one of them stampeded back into its own lines after heavy archery from the Roharim. It was looking decidedly dodgy for the compacted ranks of Haradrim. If those cavalry can't hold it off a whole division could end up wiped out!
Next three pictures: The rest of the line progresses well, encouraged by the Nazgul, and yes you guessed it - it was my part of the line that was being held up! Fortunately the Haradrim managed to stampede the Oliphaunt back.
I painted the Mahud pictured above!
Next two pictures: Back to my part of the line and look, another stampeding Oliphaunt going the wrong way!
And this is what it's heading into....
Fortunately it was pushed back, but there wasn't much left of the cavalry unit.
Above and below: Oliphaunts everywhere!
Below: The army of Rohan is starting to run out of room as it conducts an effective fighting withdrawal
And the advance continues for the Easterlings, despite the Haradrim being held up
Well earned refreshments for David Marks!
Above: Massed ranks of the Mahud (my painting!)
Above: Some mean looking Half Trolls also painted by me.
Next two pictures: The Oliphaunts crash into the Rohan right flank.
Above and below: Merry has his head bitten off by a Fell Beast ridden by a Nazgul; an unfortunate end for a nice hobbit. He should have stayed at Edoras and washed the dishes after the Helms Deep victory party.
Above: You can see my command at the far end making little progress as the day comes to an end
Above and below: Massed ranks of the Mahud and the Abrakhan Merchant Guard. These guys didn't get to grips with the enemy, there was simply not enough time to finish this massive game.
Above: The unit in the centre is the Rohan Royal Guard, they took a battering but had managed to hold off the unit of Haradrim cavalry to its front and two Oliphaunts to its rear and flank, which explains David Marks' look of astonishment at the end of the game!
It was a shame that time ran out - the main battle lines had not yet come to grips fully. Much had been happening next door - Gandalf had disposed of a Nazgul and Denethor had died charging into the Orcs with his knights rather than falling in a blaze of glory.
Many thanks to David and Sam Marks for organising an amazing game, I am so glad I didn't miss it.
Finally, I would also like to thank my amazing wife Lynne, who not only does the basing on the figures featured in this blog, but she was also ok about me going to the game despite it being Mother's Day (it meant leaving her all day with the kids rather than having the day off!) Yes some serious creeping was involved, and I certainly made it up to her the following weekend.