Published in the mid 90s they looked a little old school but certainly worth a game to try them out. I posted about them on the Falkirk club facebook page and Following our game of Hannibal Crossing the Alps both Tim and Doug offered to play a game the following Monday.
I was happy to arrange something as I have been wanting to get some more of my growing collection of elves on the table. This is the 3 way scenario I came up with
The Elvish race came into existence at the birth of the world. For eons they lived in peace and harmony. Despite their famed longevity few if any of even the oldest elves remember the so called Golden Time.
Then came the Great Sundering, the scattering of the families and an everlasting legacy of hostility and hatred between them. The old Elvish lands are remote, desolate and wild. Occasionally intrepid rangers or foolish adventurers venture there in search of ancient artefacts. None of any great power has ever been recovered but rumours of a hoard with strange properties have been circulating around the Courts. Small parties have been dispatched by competing clans to investigate and return with anything that may be of value.
Ball and Chain by Dave Garnham
6 x 4 table covered in woods and with a reasonably large central glade. Paths lead from each of the four corners to the glade. Three elf forces will randomly enter down 3 of the 4 paths. Each player rolls for deployment and comes on (up to 6 inches) on a roll of 6 on the first turn, 5 or 6 on the second etc. Roll to see entry point once a successful deployment roll has been made.
There will be 2 imps that will appear when a player for any reason rolls 49, 50 or 51. This player can place an imp anywhere he likes on the board and it will immediately attack the nearest elves.
There will be 12 artefacts scattered in the glade or just inside the woods bordering the glade. They will be of 2 types. An elf in sole contact with an artefact at the end of its turn will have picked it up by the start of the next turn. If an elf carrying an artefact is killed it is difficult for it to be recovered and requires a 6 at the end of the first turn searching, a 5 or 6 at the end of the second turn etc. Any searcher engaging in combat breaks the search sequence and if they wish to try again must start with a 6. No elf may carry more than 2 artefacts. If an elf tries to carry artefacts of different types there is a (one off) 10% chance of a deadly adverse reaction. No elf will voluntarily give up an artefact in any circumstances.
The aim for each group is to get off the board with as many artefacts as possible. At the end of the game it will be apparent that although all the artefacts have power one type is vastly more desirable than the other. There is no way of knowing this in advance so this will be determined only once the game has finished. The group that has left the field with the most of the more desirable artefacts wins.
My biggest mistake was to go for a 4 x 6 table as this meant that 2 of the forces were inevitably going to be closer to each other and it would take the 3rd longer to engage. This was made worse by all 3 rolling to enter the table on the same turn. Doug with Dark Elves soon engaged my Wood Elves and Tim with his High Elves remained some distance away
The rules worked OK. There was some difficulty with those for horsemen in combat and shooting but we made on the hoof interpretations to get something workable. I got the upper hand against Doug early on but a couple of long range shots from Tim took a couple of my guys out and before long I was down to one man! Having recovered most of the artefacts and all those within reasonable reach both Tim and Doug started to withdraw from opposite ends of the table when an Imp finally appeared. It was nearly packing up time so we let it do a couple of rounds of combat before calling it a day.
We all had fun. The rules are usable and could certainly be easily modified to iron out our difficulties. It was good to get some more of my Elves on the table and I now have a setting that would be usable for future games.
The Wood Elves advance
Brave Dark Elf charges
The Imp arrives
Postscript: Looking at my background for the scenario I talk about a Great Sundering of the Elves. This is actually the way Tolkien describes the break up of the Elves. I don't remember reading it and haven't actually read any Tolkien post the Silmarillion which I struggled through once. I suppose it either is in the Silmarillion or I have somehow picked it up elsewhere. I thought I was my own idea, although almost all fantasy owes at least something to the great man. I think I will just keep it in anyway.
Rules played 26 New 11
Places played 10 New 0
Places played 10 New 0