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SBG

Sculpting
Tips

Battle
Report

Painting
Masterclass

Issue 3
Spring 2016
A Middle-earth fanzine by the fans - for the fans

The Hill Of Sorcery


Galadriel leads the White Council to Dol Guldur in a
bid to save Gandalf and destroy The Necromancer!
EDITORIAL
SBG
An issue of SBG is never late, it arrives
precisely when it means to....

Welcome to the third issue of SBG - we


A Middle-earth fanzine by the fans - for the fans
have been waiting to write those words for
an awfully long time! To say this issue has
Issue 3 taken us longer than expected would be a
Spring 2016 huge understatement, it has been one year
exactly since the release of Issue 2 and all in
Created and Edited by: all this issue has taken 17 months to produce.
Tom Harrison
Damian O’Byrne However, as you delve into the pages that follow you will hopefully see
exactly why it has taken so long; the work that has been committed to this
Layout & Design:
Damian O’Byrne Dol Guldur-themed issue by our contributors is, quite simply, staggering:
Shadow & Flame’s Necromancer, Steve Crowe’s converted spiders, Matt
Copy Editor: Davies’ Ringwraiths and Barry O’Neill’s custom gaming board have all
Tom Harrison combined to create a truly spectacular issue. There are not nearly enough
pages in the magazine to even begin to do justice to the work that these
Principal Photography:
Jim Muller five talented hobbyists have created and you all have our eternal thanks.

Article Contributors: Indeed, we ultimately decided that we simply did not have the space to do
James Baldwin, Ed Ball, Steve justice to all the incredible work that had been produced for this issue,
Crowe, Matt Davies, Dave
therefore we have made the big decision to move some of it into the next
Fredericks, Kev Lawrence, Barry
O’Neill issue! So if you are wondering how Barry built Dol Guldur or how Steve
converted the spiders then fear not, all will be revealed in Issue 4 of SBG,
All images reproduced with which has been completely re-conceived to form the second part of our
the kind permission of the adventure in Dol Guldur and will now be released in the Summer of 2016!
photographers:
James Baldwin, Ed Ball,
Brushstroke, James Clark, Matt Beyond the borders of Dol Guldur, Ed Ball has divulged some of his
Davies, Dave Fredericks, Bradley wisdom about the Ringwraiths in this issue’s Tactica and James Baldwin
Hutchinson, Kev Lawrence, has penned a wonderfully evocative article to help encourage anyone to
Peter Middleton, Jim Muller, take their first steps into the independent tournament scene - two great
Barry O’Neill
articles that complete what we believe to be the best issue of SBG yet.
Contact us:
SBGmagazine@gmail.com As always we don’t have the space to thank everyone who deserves it but
a special mention must go to Jim Muller for once again taking the majority
of the beautiful photographs that you see throughout the issue and to
In association with: Emma and Lily for their constant understanding and unwavering support.
Orc-Ward Battles Most of all, we want to thank you, the readers, for being patient with us
over the last year; the constant messages of support and encouragement
have been genuinely overwhelming and have ensured that the production
of this issue has remained fun during what has been quite the slog!

Nevertheless, we’ve made it through and are delighted with the results -
we hope you agree and are as excited as we are about the unexpectedly
early release of Issue 4! See you in a few months!
Enjoy the issue,
SHADOW & FLAME Damian & Tom
CONTENTS
SBG Towers 2
Tom and Damian take a look behind the scenes of the production of

14
SBG with some news snippets and fun facts about the issue

Over Hill and Under Hill 3


James Baldwin talks about why we should all step outside our hobbit
holes and take the first step on the road to adventure!
Tom’s Top 10 - Under-costed Heroes: Part 2 6
Tom returns with his final Top 10 article, this time focusing on the
top-tier Heroes in his quest to find the most cost-efficient profiles
Scenario - The Siege of Dol Guldur 10

19
Damian and Tom present a brand new scenario depicting an alternate
version of the White Council’s assault on Dol Guldur
Tactica - The Ringwraiths 14
Ed Ball divulges some of his dark wisdom about the use of some of
the less commonly seen and more tactically complex Ringwraiths
Battle Report - The Siege of Dol Guldur 19
Tom leads The White Council and a host of elves in an epic assault on
Matt Davies’ garrison of Dol Guldur in our largest bat-rep yet!
Summoning the Nine 36
Matt Davies explains how he sculpted our stunning Ringwraiths,
inspired by their appearance in The Hobbit:The Battle of the Five Armies 36
Shadow & Flame - The Necromancer & Saruman 40
Dave Fredericks reveals how he created our incredible custom
Necromancer model and Kev Lawrence paints Saruman
Hobby BLOG 44
Discover what the SBG team and our contributors have been
working on during the production of this issue
Supporting SBG 45
We explain how you can support future issues of SBG and get your
40
hands on a physical copy of the magazine!

Even Gandalf wants to make sure he


gets a copy of SBG Issue 2! A limited
number of physical copies of Issue 1
and 2 are still available - see page 45
for how to get yours!

Thanks to Chris Young for making us


the beautiful SBG objective markers -
fine work and very much appreciated!

2016 Issue 3 SBG 1


SBG owers
SBG SBG

Behind the scenes news snippets from SBG

Painting Pains: For the past ten years, Tom has used Humbrol’s enamel-based
paints exclusively, much to the annoyance of anybody in close proximity given the
frankly awful smell of turps (white spirit). After continued pressure, Tom decided
to pick up some Citadel paints for the first time ever in what is seen as a life
changing moment here at SBG Towers. Tom hopes his new water-based paints
will help with ‘social painting’ - although we’re now worried that we’ll have to
explain that the smell of turps was just an excuse not to sit with him...

NOVA the Moon! Be on your Guard!


Damian: The highlight of our
hobby year was surely our trip
to the NOVA Open convention
in September. Along with James
Clark and Jamie Giblin, Tom and I
were lucky enough to spend five
days in Washington DC, taking
in the sights, meeting some
great people and representing
Queen and country across a
number of events. I’m delighted
to say that Tom and I won the The box that contained Tom’s
Doubles Tournament and came Hunter Orcs (who are seen in
1st and 2nd in the Singles Grand this issue’s Battle Report) has
Tournament respectively. We’re not gone to waste, his partner
very excited to be going back Lily is now using it as a make-
this year to defend our titles shift (Devlan?) mud guard for
and reconnect with all the new her bicycle - the only orcish
friends we made in the States! mud guard in the world?

787 Hero of the Issue


Issue 3 in numbers... Photos taken for Issue 3,

133
21063 3333
from which
we selected... We want to say a huge thank-
you to Barry O’Neill’s mum
Combined points cost of the Annette. When Barry was
Words in the magazine forces in the Battle Report suddenly unable to make

499
Days between choosing it to England for the battle
Issue 3’s Dol Guldur theme report, Annette brought the
and releasing the magazine Dol Guldur scenery across

6
from Ireland on the ferry and
Number of hours Gandalf the Grey delivered it to SBG Towers,
before the bat-rep models painted allowing the battle report to
that Matt finished specifically for this go ahead and in many ways
painting the Nazgûl! issue of SBG saving the issue - thank-you!

In Brief: Damian’s wife Emma is producing some Middle-earth themed cards for sale at future GBHL events *
* Thanks to Christian Sørup Jensen for his unseen contribution to the magazine - we will be forever grateful! *
2 SBG Issue 3 2016
Over Hill and Under Hill

Over Hill
U nder H ill
and

James Baldwin is a lifelong lover of self and ‘a change is as good as a


Tolkien who made his first forays into rest’, as they say up in Breeland!
Of course no respectable hobbit
the independent tournament scene
would say such a thing, but
in 2014 and has since won more perhaps to most hobbits I am not
‘Best Painted’ awards than anybody entirely respectable. 
else in the Great British Hobbit
League. In this article, he discusses The Tookishness in me inspired a
the adventures he had during his New Year’s resolution: not simply
to sit alone in my hobbit hole and
first year on the tournament circuit.
paint toy soldiers, but to go out
into the wider world, befriend
As I settle down with a glass of place and life beyond the borders new folk and ultimately put those
Old Wynyards (and urge you of my land is full of strange and little painted figures that I love so
to do the same), I am reminded intimidating folk. To put it another much to the purpose for which
that this story began, like so way, like many of you, I am a they were intended! In plainer
many others, with just one step somewhat introverted person language, I vowed to attend every
out of the door. It was around and, while I like visitors, I’ve The Hobbit: Strategy Battle Game
the turning of the year and I never been one for big crowds tournament I could for the period
often use that special season of people I do not know. This can of a year. This was, of course, a
as a time to reflect on the past lead me to be overly solitary.  challenging task; if you enjoy a
and plan for the future. My tale quiet, well-ordered life, where
is full of dragons and dwarves, But I think there’s a little nothing unexpected ever happens,
victories and defeats, and lasting Tookishness in all of us and the idea of undertaking a journey
friendships. But my journey it’s not hard to recognise that to distant lands filled with strange
was not to a distant mountain comfort can soon become sloth. folk may well fill you with the
(although some treasure was had It’s important to challenge one’s same sort of anxiety I felt!
along the way!) and, glamorous as
it may sound, didn’t really involve
much real danger, unless the
nightlife of Stockport or the perils
of the M1 can be counted! What
then, is my story about? Well, this
is a story for any of you who are
considering taking a journey, with
or without handkerchief, to a
tournament. 

Where was I? Ah yes, New


Year. I’m the sort of person who James’ origins in the hobby focused exclusively on the modelling
spends far too long in his hobbit aspects, so his beautifully painted models rarely graced the tabletop
hole. It’s a rather comfortable
2016 Issue 3 SBG 3
Over Hill and Under Hill

but also that I met many others


who were on a similar journey.
I don’t think it’s uncommon for
wargamers to be the sort of
people who find meeting new
and strange folk a little unnerving;
many of us like the comfort of
our hobbit holes and only like
company when it is expected -
and invited! Yet so many people
were not just able, but eager to
befriend ‘the new guy’. 

Another thing that really stands


out among all tournament-goers
is their furious enthusiasm for the
adventure - not just the games,
but also the hobby side of things
(which is still my favourite). It’s
easy to do exactly as I had done
previously - just stick to the
collecting, painting and model-
making side of the hobby, which is
of course a solitary pastime, but
what could be better than giving
all of that effort a purpose?

The nature of a game like ours


is that there is a winner and a
loser, and in a tournament one
From an entirely respectable Baggins safe in his hobbit hole... person is crowned the ultimate
victor, so there should be stiff
“Fun before victory could be a good motto competition for such an honour.
One fear I had, before putting
for the The Hobbit: Strategy Battle Game” one foot in front of another
and finding myself at the gates
of these strange lands, was
Up until this point I had played have gone more smoothly - to a that the competitive aspect
no more than a handful of games man (and the occasional woman) of a tournament would lead
and didn’t really understand the everyone was understanding of to an awkward or unfriendly
rules very well. This, of course, the fact that I was a new player atmosphere during games. Well,
was somewhat worrying. What if and extremely helpful. again I can report that this was
I got things horribly wrong? What an unfounded fear. During my
if people thought I was stupid, At this point I am sure some of first year of tournament play I
or a burden? Would people be you are thinking “was he just had very few bad experiences.
tolerant of someone who didn’t lucky?” Well, years later I can The simple fact is that the vast
really grasp the rules, let alone honestly say that I haven’t met majority of people are there for
the tactics? Well, I can assure anyone at an event who isn’t the same reason - they want to
any of you who are wondering if willing to bend over backwards have fun! You might go so far as
you should attend a tournament to help out a new player. Indeed, to say that fun before victory
that I (and by that virtue, you) after my first venture into the could be a good motto for the
had nothing to fear. My first wilds, I can safely say that not only The Hobbit: Strategy Battle Game
tournament experience couldn’t was my experience a positive one, community. 
4 SBG Issue 3 2016
Over Hill and Under Hill

Now, I don’t want to


misrepresent things, so I should
point out that I have met a few
problematic people during my
stint on the tournament scene. I
guess the sad truth is, whatever
game you play, you will get some
of those sorts of people, but I can
honestly say they are extremely
rare and thankfully don’t turn
up that often! We are also not
talking about people who cause
any sort of problem worse than
a bad attitude and a bit of sulking,
or the dreaded millimetre thieves
that you encounter in any game
with open measured movement.  ...to a master burglar of Best Army awards who doesn’t give a hoot
if his adventures make him late for dinner! Above - winning the Best
Thankfully, I think it’s fair to say Themed Army award (with a Paths of the Dead inspired force) at
that the core of the The Hobbit: The Seven Stones tournament with doubles partner Tom Macklen
Strategy Battle Game community
are, to a man, great people who into the wider world has had experience, skill and talent - but
won’t put victory before decent an unexpected effect: I am now one thing pervades throughout:
behaviour. Indeed, perhaps the much better at painting than I was enthusiasm! It really is a pleasure
most unexpected benefit of when I began my journey! Why? to see and to play against so many
this great journey is the many Well, as I have already mentioned, lovingly crafted armies. 
friendships that I have formed the gaming and social sides of
and I now feel as if I truly belong the hobby are very strong in So, some time on from my
to this great community. Hobbit the community, but the artistic, Tookish decision to attend
hole-types like myself sometimes painting, converting and scenery- almost all of the Great British
find it hard to make a lot of making sides are equally strong, Hobbit League tournaments for
friends, but I can honestly say that and that has caused me to ‘raise a year, how would I sum up my
I now feel part of a fellowship my game’ so to speak.  journey? Well, as you may have
guessed, I don’t regret it in the
slightest and I quickly discovered
“I can honestly say that I now feel part of a that my fears were unfounded. I’ve
met some wonderful people, had
fellowship of like-minded adventurers” some amazing games, seen some
beautiful armies and even had the
honour of having my armies voted
of like-minded adventurers, Every tournament has a painting the ‘best painted’ at an event a
many of who have crossed the competition and the winning few times. Most of all though, I’ve
borders of The Shire from ‘gaming entries are always of an excellent made some solid and (hopefully)
acquaintances’ to true friends. standard and I’ve been lucky lifelong friends. Not bad for a
enough to raise the odd trophy year’s work!
I suppose at this stage it would myself on occasion (see - I told
be remiss of me not to bring you there was treasure in this So it comes to the point where I
this full circle. Going from tale!). Of course, not everyone is remind you that the first step out
someone who barricaded himself at the same standard, so there’s of your front door can lead you
inside his hobbit hole to paint no need to worry about the to all sorts of exciting places. And
miniatures, to someone who quality of your own painting - really, that’s all it takes - just the
left his handkerchief at home the community is made up of first step - and who knows where
and took those miniatures out people of all different levels of you might end up?
2016 Issue 3 SBG 5
Tom’s Top 10 - Under-costed Heroes: Part 2

OM’S TOP 10
UNDER-COSTED HEROES PART 2
In 2015, Tom demonstrated his battlefield skills across the Atlantic
by winning the Doubles and the Singles Tournaments at the NOVA
Open in Washington DC. In past issues of SBG, Tom discussed
how some Warriors and mid-level Heroes are more cost-effective
than others. Now, in the final article in the series, Tom returns,
one last time, to evaluate the top-tier Heroes of the game.

And so we come to it at last, to use a very simple system for SBG, there is no generic Hero
the final article in my series determining a model’s point with at least 3 Attacks and 3
investigating the relationship value – Heroes seem to pay a Wounds which can be used as
between a model’s profile and its set cost (usually 5 points) for a benchmark for comparison.
points cost. In previous issues I improvements to their base stats, Consequently, using one of these
have presented my Top 10 under- additional items of equipment and named Heroes as a standard
costed Warriors and Heroes in Special Rules. However, the point with which to compare other
the game, but there’s room for a values of some models are lower Heroes is not ideal, as that Hero
little more... than this theoretical total and may be under-pointed itself. This
therefore appear to be under- poses a problem: how can one
Interestingly, in my last Tom’s Top costed relative to other models. test whether or not 3 Attack, 3
10 article, no Heroes with at least Wound Heroes are pointed in a
3 Attacks and 3 Wounds made So, where to start? An immediate way that is fundamentally different
an impression on the top spots, stumbling block is that all Heroes to other Heroes?
which led me to the question: with at least 3 Attacks and 3
is this because these Heroes Wounds are named and they all Perhaps the answer lies with
are not particularly good value, have at least one Special Rule – those Heroes who have
or is it because they are priced and rightly so! This means that, ‘upgraded’ profiles; that is, they
somewhat differently to other unlike the lower-tier Heroes that have a profile that has at least 3
Heroes? In this article I will I discussed in the last issue of Attacks and 3 Wounds in addition
be attempting to delve a little
deeper into this question and also Éomer and Shagrat are two
determine which of these Heroes of the three Heroes who
brings the most to the table for seem to pay a 10 point
their points. premium to upgrade to 3
Attacks and 3 Wounds –
As a reminder to those who despite their additional cost,
have not yet read the first two these ‘improved’ profiles are
articles in the series (where have seen far more regularly than
you been – perhaps stuck under their weaker versions due
a rather interesting rock?), my to the advantages that they
method for determining a Top bring – namely killing ability
10 is based on the fact that The and survivability! 
Hobbit: Strategy Battle Game seems
6 SBG Issue 3 2016
Tom’s Top 10 - Under-costed Heroes: Part 2

Boromir of the White Tower pays


over the odds for his ‘upgrade’ from
Boromir of Gondor, yet he is seen more
frequently on the UK tournament scene.
This is very likely down to the fact that
Boromir of the White Tower is far more
survivable because of his 3 Fate. He is
also able to take a lance and The Banner
of Minas Tirith and, crucially, he can lead
troops from the Minas Tirith list into
battle, making him a far more versatile
Hero than his ‘Fellowship’ incarnation  –
clearly, upgrades are sometimes worth
‘more’ than their theoretical points!

to a less powerful profile. There it’s impossible to say. What I’m is yes: on the tournament scene
are three examples in the current trying to highlight here is that in the UK, the ‘upgraded’ versions
rule set: Éomer, Shagrat and this is a very inexact science and of Shagrat and Éomer are seen
Thranduil. Looking at these three that there may, in fact, be no real far more frequently than their
examples, it seems as if a 10 method to this madness I’m trying ‘weaker’ versions, as they are
point premium is paid to ‘evolve’ to shoehorn into some sort of both more survivable and have
into a 3 Attack, 3 Wound Hero. logical approach! improved killing power. Of course,
Interestingly, Heroes only seem the extra Attack and Wound
to pay this 10 point premium Let’s assume for a moment that gained are not the only reason
if they are upgrading both their my postulated 10 point premium for the improvements in these
Attacks and their Wounds stats to is true – then the question surely areas, as both upgraded profiles
3; for example, Mauhúr (with his becomes: is this premium worth have an excellent Special Rule to
2 Wounds) only seems to pay the it? I think the clear answer here accompany their improved stats;
standard 5 points to upgrade to
3 Attacks when compared to an
Uruk-hai Captain – not a 10 point
“Some Heroes, even if not optimal for their
premium on top of this. Similarly, points, are invaluable as leaders for your army”
when compared to Angbor the
Fearless, Forlong the Fat does

The Top 10
not seem to pay any additional
premium for his third Wound,
perhaps because he does not
simultaneously gain a third Attack. Pos. Profile name Points too cheap
1 Thranduil, King of the Woodland Realm 35
However, even here there is 2 The Golden King of Abrakhân                                    30
some inconsistency… If one 3    Thorin Oakenshield              25
looks at the difference between 4      Gil-galad  20
the two Legolas profiles – =     Prince Imrahil of Dol Amroth                                =
Legolas Greenleaf versus Legolas 6   Glorfindel, Lord of the West                                  15         
Greenleaf, Prince of Mirkwood =  Suladân the Serpent Lord =
– it seems as if the 3 Attack = Isildur =
version of Legolas still pays a 10 = Thorin Oakenshield, King Under the Mountain        =  
point premium despite not having 10    Éomer, Knight of the Pelennor                     10      
a third Wound. Perhaps this is =  Dáin Ironfoot, King of Erebor =                              
because he has 3 Fate, or perhaps = Boromir of Gondor                                              =
it is just because one is more = Shagrat, War Leader of Cirith Ungol                        =       
under-costed than the other –
2016 Issue 3 SBG 7
Tom’s Top 10 - Under-costed Heroes: Part 2

regardless, the 10 point premium examples in that he actually loses Thranduil’s Warriors are generally
certainly seems like a small price several Special Rules and abilities more expensive, meaning that the
to pay for the upgrade. when he ‘evolves’ into his more cheaper version of a Hero may
powerful form – Nature’s Wrath, be more attractive to generals
However, discerning the more Aura of Dismay, plus the ability to wanting to swell their numbers.
effective of the two Thranduil upgrade Wood Elf Warriors to
profiles is not so simple – as Mirkwood Guard – all of which Whilst my 10 point premium
powerful as the 3 Attack, 3 are commonly considered to be assumption is based primarily
Wound King of the Woodland very effective in game. The fact on only three characters with
Realm profile is, Thranduil is still that the 3 Attack, 3 Wound profile upgraded profiles and is therefore
more regularly seen in his weaker replaces these with very different hardly a robust theory, it is
(and 40 point cheaper) form. Of but equally effective Special Rules perfectly viable to compare those
course, this does not mean that means that the two Thranduil Heroes with at least 3 Attacks
his 3 Attack, 3 Wound profile is profiles have very different roles and 3 Wounds with one another,
non-competitive, but simply that in an army – making them both so I did just that [see the Top 10
his weaker form is much more very viable choices dependent box-out on page 7].
useful than Éomer and Shagrat’s on the type of force one is trying
weaker forms. Indeed, Thranduil to create. In addition, when The first thing to notice is that,
is unique amongst my three compared to Éomer and Shagrat, finally, some Evil Heroes have

1 Thranduil
2 The Golden King
3 Thorin Oakenshield

With a mouth-watering Fight 4 Attacks coupled with the Thorin Oakenshield has the
Value of 7 and two elven Chop! Special Rule make The competitive edge over his King
blades, Thranduil, King of the Golden King (and his bearers!) Under the Mountain incarnation
Woodland Realm is able to cut a highly efficient troop killer. due to his ability to lead a
his way through enemy Heroes His throne also counts as a warband of Warriors. Whilst
and Warriors and is deadly banner, so Warriors will be wielding the mighty blade Orcrist,
when mounted (on either a fighting harder when nearby. Thorin is able to cut through
horse or a custom Shadow However, his most feared scores of orcish enemies and
& Flame elk!). Uniquely, he Special Rule is surely Riches is the nemesis of The Goblin
arguably becomes even better Beyond Renown which makes King. However, perhaps his most
once dismounted thanks to him a threat to even the valuable piece of wargear is The
his Bladelord Special Rule. The greatest Heroes in Middle- Oakenshield, which raises his
Thranduil, King of Mirkwood earth without ever risking Defence to 8 and even allows
profile is also an excellent himself in combat. Even the him to make a single strike after
choice, making Thranduil one of most courageous of Heroes Shielding! He can also take a
the most versatile characters in can be tempted by The Golden barrel – but sadly, as yet, he
The Hobbit: Strategy Battle Game. King’s offers! cannot take a wheelbarrow…

8 SBG Issue 3 2016


Tom’s Top 10 - Under-costed Heroes: Part 2

joined the party – although their Special Rules can be worth


admittedly not many (see Issue 2 much more than the ‘theoretical
for my ‘original’ Top 10 Heroes – cost’. This is arguably even more
spoilers, there are no Evil profiles complicated for the Heroes
in there…). However, with The featured in this article as their
Golden King of Abrakhân taking Special Rules tend to be both
the runner-up spot I suppose it’s more effective and more complex;
slightly harder for the supporters for example, Aragorn’s Mighty
of Sauron to complain! Hero and Gothmog’s Master of
Battle Special Rules would be
Interestingly, if I was to create a worth more than 5 points on a 2
combined Top 10 under-costed Attack Hero, but when combined
One thing that makes Heroes
Heroes list that drew on all of with a 3 Attack, 3 Wound Hero
with at least 3 Attacks and 3
the Heroes in the game, only the they become even more powerful
Wounds even better value
top three from this issue’s Top 10 and thus even better value. This
for their points is the fact
would be under-costed enough to is why Heroes such as Azog
that their mounts do not
make the cut. Perhaps one could and Bolg are seemingly so over-
cost any more than those
argue that this means that this costed – their Special Rules (I
ridden by cheaper Heroes,
issue’s top-tier Heroes are not as am the Master and Bringer of
yet their mount’s impact in
under-costed as ‘smaller’ Heroes Death respectively) are extremely
a game will be far greater as
and therefore not an optimal effective and they clearly pay a
both their killing ability and
selection for an army? very high premium for these.
survivability will be increased
exponentially (if they are able
to take a mount of course –
“When combined with a 3 Attack, 3 Wound sorry Celeborn…). If you ever
Hero, Special Rules become even more see one of these Heroes on a
horse, move Heaven and Earth
powerful and thus even better value” to remove it!

Whilst there is cause to say So, to some sort of conclusion! more useful in the dying stages
that this is true purely from a Trying to make sense of the when your opponent has run out.
theoretical point of view, it is morass of calculations that need Of course, Aragorn is far more
certainly not cut and dry: these to be considered when ranking likely to make it to the end-game
Heroes, even if not optimal for Heroes with at least 3 Attacks due to (you guessed it...) his free
their points, are invaluable as and 3 Wounds is a devilishly tricky Might point, but also that extra
leaders/focal points for your army and potentially fruitless exercise. Wound and extra Attack.
and being under-costed when it Complex Special Rules such as
comes to selecting Heroes isn’t those that offer free Might points This third and final article in my
always the be-all and end-all. and Heroic Actions simply have Tom’s Top 10 series has been far
Some of the mightiest Heroes in to be worth more on a 3 Attack, and away the hardest to write,
the game (think Aragorn, Isildur’s 3 Wound Hero. These Heroes but I still believe it has been a
Heir and Boromir of the White are bound to be able to deal useful exercise and one that I
Tower) are actually over-costed! out more damage and be more hope sparks some discussion.
However, these Heroes can still survivable and thus their Special After all, it is not the destination
be pivotal as they have the ability Rule will have a greater impact that counts when coming to the
to comfortably make their points over the course of the game. end of an adventure, but the
back, usually thanks to their unexpected journey that was had
excellent Special Rules. Aragorn is the prime example of along the way.
this, known far and wide as the
As I discussed in the last issue of master of the end-game: a free Let Tom know your thoughts at:
SBG, pricing Heroes can quickly Might point every turn is handy SBGmagazine@gmail.com
become extremely tricky, as at the start of the game, but is far
2016 Issue 3 SBG 9
Scenario - The Siege of Dol Guldur

The Siege of Dol Guldur


In this brand new scenario, Damian and Tom present an alternate version of the Siege
of Dol Guldur that depicts the huge battle that the White Council had to fight their way
through before their epic showdown with the Nazgûl and the dreaded Necromancer.

Radagast has informed Galadriel of the return of Designers’ note: Prior to the release of The
the Ringwraiths and confirmed her fears of the Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, Peter Jackson
horror that lurks inside Dol Guldur. Fearing for described the siege of Dol Guldur as being like
Gandalf, Galadriel summons Elrond and Saruman Helm’s Deep but with the elves on the other side,
and leads the White Council to war. Understanding so it seems that the attack on Dol Guldur was
the importance of the quest, Thranduil leads an originally set to be a huge battle with vast armies
army from northern Mirkwood to lay siege to of elves and orcs on opposing sides! At some point,
the haunted fortress in an attempt to oust The Jackson obviously decided to scale the scene back
Necromancer from the Hill of Sorcery. The greatest to the all-hero encounter that was included in
assembly of Heroes yet seen in the Third Age arrive the final version of the films. We are well aware
with a host of armoured elves at their back. Despite that this scenario doesn’t quite match up with the
Azog having already led a huge army of Gundabad combatants and timeline in The Hobbit trilogy but,
orcs eastwards to lay siege to the Lonely Mountain, if you’re anything like us, you’ll agree that the idea
a strong garrison of orcs and fouler creatures of huge armies of elves swarming into the Hill of
still remain to protect Dol Guldur. Time is of the Sorcery was far too cool an opportunity to pass up!
essence, for at the heart of the ruined fortress, We hope you enjoy this alternate version of events
Gandalf and Thrain are already fighting for their which could conceivably have happened before
lives against the renewed power of Sauron! Thranduil led his army to the Lonely Mountain.
10 SBG Issue 3 2016
Scenario - The Siege of Dol Guldur

Good Participants Evil Participants

Gandalf the Grey The Necromancer


Thrain the Broken The Witch-king (3 Might, 20 Will, 2 Fate)
Khamûl, the Easterling
Warband 1 7 Ringwraiths (1 Might, 14 Will, 1 Fate)
Galadriel, Lady of Light Golb, Gundabad Orc General †
Radagast the Brown with Sebastian 18 Hunter Orcs*
12 Mirkwood Elves* 6 Hunter Orcs on Fell Wargs*
8 Giant Spiders
Warband 2 4 Mirkwood Spiders
Saruman the Wise 2 Bat Swarms
Elrond, Lord of the West
12 Mirkwood Elves*
† Golb’s profile can be found in SBG Issue 2
Warband 3 *It doesn’t matter what these orcs and elves
Thranduil, King of the Woodland Realm are armed with, just adhere to the standard
Mirkwood Captain bow limits and use whatever models you
10 Palace Guard* have available

2016 Issue 3 SBG 11


Scenario - The Siege of Dol Guldur

Layout Special Rules

The battle takes place on a 4’ x 4’ board in the heart The White Council: The power of the White
of Dol Guldur so the battlefield should be covered Council is greatly increased by their combined
in ruins, rocky outcrops, dead trees and anything strength. Saruman, Elrond, Galadriel, Radagast and
else that helps to conjure up a suitably spooky Thranduil begin the game with Fortify Spirit in play.
atmosphere. The northwest quarter of the board If any member of the White Council is reduced to
should be relatively open, this is the courtyard table 0 Will then Fortify Spirit no longer applies to that
quarter where the White Council will eventually Hero (although other Heroes remain unaffected). If
confront The Necromancer. a member of the White Council is reduced to 0 Will
then Galadriel may cast Fortify Spirit on them again
Starting Positions as normal (as long as she has Will remaining).

Place Gandalf and Thrain within 3” of the centre All White Council members (excluding Gandalf)
of the courtyard table quarter. Next, place The benefit from the One of Purpose rule as normal with
Necromancer in the same table quarter, at least 10” the exception that they do not have to be within
away from Gandalf and Thrain. No other models may 6” of each other. As long as there are at least two
be deployed in the courtyard table quarter. members left alive, they will all receive +1 to their
resist rolls wherever they are on the battlefield.
Next, the Evil player splits his army into three
equally sized contingents of 16 models each (if using The Courtyard of The Necromancer: Gandalf,
the suggested forces). Each contingent must contain Thrain and The Necromancer are the only models
3 Ringwraiths. allowed in the courtyard table quarter until the
Evil force has been Broken. They may not leave the
The Good player then chooses one of his three courtyard, nor may they cast spells or interact in
warbands and places all of the models in that any way with other models outside the courtyard
warband in one of the table quarters, at least 20” and vice versa. Once the Evil force is Broken, any
from the courtyard table quarter. Next, the Evil surviving members of the White Council may
player deploys one of his three contingents in the enter the courtyard. No other models may enter
same table quarter; no Evil model can be placed the courtyard at any point with the exception of
within 10” of any Good model. This is then repeated the Ringwraiths who may be summoned by The
for the remaining two table quarters until all models Necromancer (see below). All models inside the
are deployed. courtyard, with the exception of Thrain, are Fearless.

The Evil side has Priority in the first turn. Duel of The Maiar: Gandalf and The Necromancer
are locked in a bitter duel and are both drawing
The Good force cannot be Broken in this scenario. upon unusual spells in an attempt to defeat their
opponent. In addition to their usual Magical Powers:
The Evil force can be Broken as normal.
Gandalf can cast Banishment (4+/12”)
Good Objectives The Necromancer can cast Curse  (4+/12”)

• Break the Evil army Both of these spells can be Channelled as normal.
• Revive Gandalf
• Destroy The Necromancer The battle starts after The Necromancer has
destroyed Gandalf’s staff, so Gandalf does not have
Evil Objectives his Staff of Power in this scenario.

• Kill Thrain The Hill of Sorcery: The Necromancer has been


• Destroy the White Council gathering his strength in secret and is now a potent
(kill Gandalf, Saruman, Elrond, force. The Necromancer may expend 1 point of
Galadriel, Radagast and Thranduil) Might per turn without reducing his Might store.

12 SBG Issue 3 2016


Scenario - The Siege of Dol Guldur

There Is No Light, Wizard: If Gandalf is reduced to zero


Wounds, do not remove him from the table; instead, place the
model Prone (or replace him with a suitable objective marker)
in the centre of the courtyard. Once this has happened, The
Necromancer will start to drain Gandalf’s remaining life force -
this allows him to regain a Will point at the start of every turn
until Gandalf is revived (see below).

He Is Summoning His Servants: Once the Evil force is Broken


and before players roll for Priority, any remaining Ringwraiths
disappear from the battlefield and are placed in the courtyard
table quarter, at least 3” from any other model. If Gandalf has
been reduced to 0 Wounds then they each immediately regain
4 Will points as they begin to draw on his life force. In addition,
assuming Gandalf has been reduced to 0 Wounds, at the start
of each subsequent turn, each surviving Ringwraith within 6” of
him gains a point of Will until he is revived (see below).

Master of The Nine: The Necromancer may use the Will of


any Ringwraith in the courtyard as if it is his own.

Reviving Gandalf: The Good side will revive Gandalf if at least


one member of the White Council moves into base contact
with him and is not successfully Transfixed/Compelled or beaten
in combat for the rest of the turn. If Gandalf is never reduced
to zero Wounds then the Good side automatically counts as
having revived Gandalf for the purposes of their objective. Note
that if Gandalf is revived, he does not rejoin the Good army
as he is far too weak, instead, he is assumed to have escaped
to safety. However, even if revived, Gandalf still counts as being
‘killed’ for the purposes of the Evil player’s objective.

The Host of Mirkwood: Thranduil has led a great host from


Mirkwood to lay siege to the fortress. At the end of the Good
player’s Move Phase, he may roll a dice for every Good Warrior
that has died throughout the battle. On the roll of a 6, the elf
may re-enter play from the east or south board edge. Heroes
may not be brought back in this manner. Once the Evil force is
Broken, the Good player stops rolling for reinforcements.

Alternate Forces The exact make-up of


the Warriors in each
player’s army isn’t too important. If you don’t have the
exact participants listed then you could draw on different
army lists entirely. The elven army could be made up of
High Elf, Wood Elf or Galadhrim Warriors, whilst the Evil
force could be made up of Mordor Orcs and the various
troop types from the Angmar army list. Remember that
narrative scenarios should be played for fluff and fun, it
should be easy for two players to get together and create
two forces that fit the narrative from their collections.

2016 Issue 3 SBG 13


Tactica - The Ringwraiths

TACTICA
Ed Ball has been playing the game since its inception and has won the Great British
Hobbit League twice. We asked him to take a break from his reign of terror and
share some tips about his beloved Nazgûl with one caveat: no Fell Beasts allowed!

Eagle-eyed observers may note that Ed only discusses six of The Nine in this article. He has picked six
of the more interesting Ringwraiths to examine as, in his words, “The Undying doesn’t die, The Knight of
Umbar kills stuff and The Betrayer is just a flying Spider Queen that helps you shoot stuff. ‘Nuff said.”

then would Sauron choose for Fortunately, Khamûl’s ability to


The Ringwraiths him to be second in command?
Well, unusually for a Ringwraith,
adapt to any given situation (such
as when he is charged by an
Khamûl’s strengths do not lie enemy Hero before he can cast
So you want to know about The in the natural magic of Middle- a spell) makes up for his inferior
Nine do you? Well, listen closely earth, but in that of necromancy spell-casting prowess, as the
General, whilst what follows isn’t via his Essence Leech Special Rule: ability to parry a competent foe
the introduction to the next Khamûl uses the strength and can be sufficient to ensure their
edition of the bestselling series, death of others to sustain himself undoing next turn!
‘Nazgûl for Dummies’ or ‘Black by draining their life force at the
Riders 101’, the notes below moment of their demise. It is by
describe how any aspiring Dark this mockery of life that Khamûl’s
Lord might best exercise Sauron’s true strength becomes evident -
chief lieutenants (well, six of them losing Will after a combat can be
at least) to ensure that they cover fatal for a Ringwraith, yet Khamûl
all the land in a second darkness. has the ability to negate this key
weakness, which can be invaluable.
Khamûl, the Easterling Furthermore, Khamûl is able to
Sauron’s second-most chieftain boost his Strength, Fight value
is Khamûl, the Easterling. How, or Attacks - with potentially
or when, Khamûl slipped into 3 Attacks on the charge on
undeath is unknown; however, horseback (matching the Attacks,
what is known is that in times if not the impact, of a charging Fell
past he has resided in Dol Guldur, Beast!), the ability to cut a swathe
keeping watch over that dark through the enemy ranks is all
place as warden and castellan. but assured. However, it is worth
Despite residing at the Hill of noting that, because of his lack of
Sorcery, Khamûl is actually the surety in the (more traditional)
Whilst there are no rules for
poorest of all Sauron’s great dark arts, the favoured Ringwraith
the Twilight Ringwraith models,
sorcerers; his casting values are tactic of nullifying enemy leaders
they can still be used as normal
generally one worse than those through Transfix is never a
wraiths for thematic purposes
of the other Ringwraiths. Why guarantee for Khamûl.
14 SBG Issue 3 2016
Tactica - The Ringwraiths

Galadriel’s Channelled Fortify Spirit can scupper the Nazgûl’s traditional tactic of using Sap Will to negate
enemy spell-casters, as she will be able to roll two dice to resist each attempt (with a +2 bonus if she is
in range of another White Council member!). Then when it’s her turn, the Banishment begins...

The Shadow Lord forces with your significantly


greater numbers intact, which
crippling handicap. So, in short this
wraith is bad and shouldn’t take
The Prince of Darkness himself! only bodes well for the next few to the field of battle ever, right?
The Shadow Lord is very similar turns of slaughter. Wrong!
to unnamed Ringwraiths in terms
of stats, the one exception being Of course, your army may still Although ostensibly over-
that he is the only wraith to have struggle to get the better of the costed relative to an unnamed
a lowly Courage of 5, which can greatest enemy leaders even if Ringwraith, The Tainted makes
be more significant than you they do arrive in larger numbers. up for this via his Special Rules.
might think. Welcome The Shadow Lord stage Seeping Decay is only a minor
left - with a well-timed Transfix or perk given your own folk may
So what makes this otherwise Compel, not only do you prevent also succumb to that foul aura
unimpressive Ringwraith such a such Heroes from creating orc (although admittedly life is cheap
potentially vital addition to your sushi, but said Hero will be unable under Sauron’s masterfully
army? The Darkness! “Just listen to effectively defend themselves malevolent gaze) but the
to the rhythm of my heart…” No. against the massed blades of even Miasmatic Presence The Tainted
Wait. Sorry. The Pall of Darkness the lowliest servants of evil. emanates can be game winning!
- the Evil equivalent of Blinding
Light. All shooting attacks only hit
models within 6” of The Shadow “Middle-earth has known mightier things than
Lord on the roll of a 6. The area
wraiths destroyed by a single perfectly placed arrow”
shrouded in darkness is large
enough to enclose a vast number
of your minions, meaning that The This is a two-pronged rule:
Shadow Lord is often seen leading The Tainted the first part stops (all) nearby
horde armies. This combination This unholy spirit is without Warriors from using a Hero’s
can be game winning, especially doubt the weakest of The Nine; Stand Fast!, which alongside
against forces that rely on their irrespective of his low Will Harbinger of Evil can be lethal. Of
archery to reduce your superior pool, The Tainted’s 1 Fate point course, this is something which
numbers before the lines clash. means he will be banished 33% can only be taken advantage of in
of the time after taking a single the late-game and does require
With the enemy’s shooting wound (or worse if he’s spent some thought for the safety of
advantage negated, your own his single Might point) - the only your own army as your own rank
army can engage these enemy named wraith with this seemingly and file could end up fleeing!
2016 Issue 3 SBG 15
Tactica - The Ringwraiths

However, it is the second facet


of the Miasmatic Presence Special
The Dark Marshall points, so it could be said that The
Dark Marshall is one of the most
Rule that has the potential to be In the fell wastes of the southern under-costed Heroes in the game!
a death knell to your enemies: reaches of Middle-earth, it is fear
preventing all Warriors from and oppression that are used to Although The Dark Marshall has
taking part in Heroic Moves keep the servants of evil in check. 2 fewer Will points than unnamed
is something that can unravel Amongst Sauron’s armies, it is The Ringwraiths, there is no impact on
your opponent’s plans most Dark Marshall who is best known his spell-casting values, so, when
expediently; again, careful planning to Rule Through Fear: all whom the time is right, this spirit can
is required to use this Special this sadistic king commands join the fray with a well-placed
Rule effectively, as it also affects fight without hesitation and with Transfix to deliver the telling blow
your own ranks. devotion to the cause. to any unfortunate soul who
stands in his way.
All of this means that The Tainted All friendly Warriors within 6”
needs to be where the fighting is of The Dark Marshall count as Finally, The Dark Marshall is the
thickest, but well supported by being within range of a banner, only wraith that brings a natural
other Heroes (such as Mordor meaning that you want him in the Fight value of 6 to the field of
Orc Shamans whose Fury will thick of the action, amongst the battle (a boon that is sometimes
protect your own Warriors) to masses! This bonus of counting as overlooked), meaning he can go
ensure that he can survive to the a banner with such a large area toe-to-toe with most Heroes,
latter stages of the battle. of effect (an area increased even although he will still need the help
further when mounted) would of his pitiless underlings to deliver
Of course, Middle-earth has otherwise cost in excess of 100 the deathblow.
known mightier things than
wraiths destroyed by a single
perfectly placed arrow, so above “The Witch-king is a potent threat to anyone
all else, keep The Tainted hidden who does not have Fate on their side”
behind your lines!

The Witch-king is a worrying sight to armies that include Gandalf, Saruman or Radagast - after he has
sapped their Will, he can then cast Your Staff is Broken, removing their ability to cast spells entirely!

16 SBG Issue 3 2016


Tactica - The Ringwraiths

The Dwimmerlaik Might stores than the lack of The


Dwimmerlaik’s has on your own.
The Witch-king
Of all The Nine, least is known What is more, if a Hero cannot Feared amongst the wise and
about the one men call The afford to pay the additional cost second only to the Dark Lord
Dwimmerlaik, a strange and required, their action is cancelled himself is The Witch-king of
twisted spirit who is far from and the Might, Will or Fate already Angmar. As the Black Captain
a mighty hero [Copy Ed - quite committed is lost, making it easy of the Nine, The Witch-king has
literally in fact, as he has no Might!] to see why this infestation of evil exclusive access to two of the
but whose Sap Fortitude ability is so feared by opponents. Úlairi’s deadliest tools in the form
ever strikes fear and doubt in the of a Morgul Blade and the Crown of
minds of the enemy. This Special And the drawbacks to such Morgul. A Morgul Blade is capable
Rule has the ability to double malevolence? Well, it’s all in the of sapping the very life force of
the required expenditure of any hands of Fate - with no Might to the mightiest lord (or even the
enemy Hero’s valuable Might, Will steer Fate’s course, a single arrow Desolator of the North!) with but
and Fate a staggering 50% of the can easily slay The Dwimmerlaik a single touch.
time (or more if the dice gods from afar, so keep him well hidden
abandon your enemy!). behind the orcish hordes who This weapon can be made even
accompany him! From there, more effective through the
Sap Fortitude only affects Heroes you can use The Dwimmerlaik’s addition of the Crown of Morgul,
within 12” of The Dwimmerlaik, healthy supply of Will to heap which fills The Witch-king with
so this lingering soul will benefit further misery on your opponent, abhorrent power, increasing his
from effective placement on the preying on their stretched Attacks to 3. This allows him to
battlefield - this should have a far reserves of Will and ultimately deal a flurry of blows that usually
greater impact on the enemy’s ensuring their downfall. results in the slaughter of all
who are unfortunate enough to
stand against him. When both
these tools are used together, The
Witch-king is a potent threat to
anyone who does not have Fate
on their side (especially when
mounted on a horse), so attempt
to whittle down the Fate of a
key multi-Wound enemy using
your expendable minions, before
sending in The Witch-king to
deliver the fatal blow.

The only drawback of this


combination is the expense: the
total cost of a Morgul Blade, horse
and Crown of Morgul is equal to
that of a Fell Beast - which of
course is even mightier! [Copy Ed
- is that perhaps because Fell Beasts
are under-costed? Maybe we should
save that discussion for another
article…]

Like all wraiths, The Witch-king


A Fell Beast dramatically increases a Ringwraith’s potential damage is a powerful sorcerer, yet it is
output, transforming their role on the battlefield. Théoden’s lack of his unique ability to shatter the
Will makes him especially vulnerable to an attack from the skies! spirit of the Istari through Your

2016 Issue 3 SBG 17


Tactica - The Ringwraiths

Staff is Broken that really sets him valuable servant is his ability to Pelennor Fields), the Witch-king
apart from the rest. Followed take to the field in a garb that is able to fit into any of the Black
by a successful Sap Will or two, best suits the needs of his cruel Hand’s myriad armies. Thanks to
this spell can take even the most master. From attending the field his ability to start the game with
powerful of wizards out of the as a mere waif of his true self customisable Might, Will, Fate,
game without having to actually (representing his weaker form on Attacks (via the Crown of Morgul)
kill them, which can turn the tide the borders of the Shire), through and mounts, it is up to you to
of battle decisively in your favour. to brazenly wreaking havoc as a determine what role he will play.
vestige of war upon the battlefield
However, what makes the Witch- (representing his appearance So, is there a downside to
king perhaps Sauron’s most on a Fell Beast at the Battle of this truly versatile Hero? Well,
beware mimicking The Witch-
king by becoming arrogant or
overconfident, as even when

Categoraiths under the Crown of Morgul, The


Witch-king is still vulnerable with
only 1 Wound - perhaps a man
Aggressors - Wraiths that take the fight to the enemy single-
could kill him after all…
handedly: Khamûl, The Easterling & The Knight of Umbar
Supporters - Wraiths best utilised with an army around them, The Age of Men Is Over...
letting the minions to do the bulk of the work with the help of
their support: The Dark Marshall & The Betrayer And thus General, my advice
comes to an end. Of course, all
Controllers - Wraiths that slink around at the back of an army, the subtleties above are amplified
their mere presence a constant threat and annoyance to the exponentially (and magnificently!)
enemy: The Tainted, The Dwimmerlaik & The Shadow Lord should you choose to come at
All-Rounders - Wraiths that can do all of the above to your enemies atop those dread
reasonable levels, but can be found lacking in more extreme Fell Beasts - there is then little
situations: The Undying & The Witch-king of Angmar that your enemy can do, save to
trust to luck and, with kindled
hope, pray their hiding places
don’t become their graves…

The Nazgûl are powerful individually but their strength grows exponentially when they are together. For
an in-depth look at how Matt Davies created these incredible Ringwraith sculpts, turn to page 36.

18 SBG Issue 3 2016


Battle Report - The Siege of Dol Guldur

BATTLE
A
REPORT
Battle Report thirteen months in the making! It’s finally time to test out
our new scenario as Tom leads the White Council to war against Matt
Davies’ army of The Necromancer, all played out over Barry O’Neill’s
spectacular Dol Guldur board. Will the White Council prevail? Only time will tell!
bound to creep through. I will try to neutralise the

The Siege of Dol Guldur Ringwraiths’ magical threat by quickly engaging them
in combat - this should ensure that my Heroes are
strong enough to take on The Necromancer when
Tom: It’s been almost two years they eventually reach the courtyard.
since I last sat down to write my
pre-game thoughts for an SBG Inside the courtyard, I’m hoping that Gandalf can
Battle Report and, whilst I can survive as long as possible and drain some of The
remember being excited then, this Necromancer’s precious Will away. Thrain will
time it’s on a completely different surely die swiftly but there is a very slim chance he
level - the amazing terrain and can pass his Shattered Spirit test on a double and
custom miniatures look incredible so I’m itching to ruin Sauron’s day. Once the White Council arrive,
get stuck in! I have the honour of leading the White I will look to revive Gandalf as soon as possible by
Council into battle and, with such a powerful array charging straight at the Ringwraiths - very much in
of Heroes, surely I will stroll to victory? keeping with the epic moments seen in The Hobbit:
  The Battle of the Five Armies. If all goes to plan, Elrond
Of course I won’t! The Nine have the potential to and Thranduil will fight the Ringwraiths in combat
ruin everything for my Heroes via a barrage of Sap whilst Saruman and Galadriel can hopefully engage
Wills and Transfixes; even though the White Council in a magical battle with The Necromancer himself.
start the game with Fortify Spirit in play, something is Leave Sauron to me! 

The White Council lead a host of 34 elves in their quest to save Gandalf and destroy The Necromancer!

2016 Issue 3 SBG 19


Battle Report - The Siege of Dol Guldur

Matt: Having spent the last Having sculpted the Nazgûl to carry the weapons
nine months sculpting the that they use in the films, I have also made the
Ringwraiths, I was thrilled to decision to always Special Strike with them in
get the opportunity to lead combat, hopefully allowing their unique weaponry
my creations into battle across to create some iconic moments. I’m particularly
Barry O’Neill’s amazing Dol interested to see how the ability to Bash and
Guldur board. I begin the Piercing Strike changes the Ringwraiths’ utility
game with ten spell-casters during the battle and I can’t wait to see how each
and a staggering 155 Will of them perform. Just as the time has come for my
points! However, whilst this may seem like an almost wraiths to awaken for battle, so the time has come
unlimited resource, I will have to restrain myself to for the White Council to meet their doom!
ensure that my Ringwraiths make it to the courtyard
with enough Will to take on the White Council.

Nonetheless, I will need to invest some Will points


Naming The Nine Ascenario
quick glance at the
participants
on page 11 reveals that, alongside The Witch-
into an attempt to subdue Thranduil and Elrond, at
king and Khamûl, Matt’s force contains seven
least one of whom will need to be taken out before
unnamed Ringwraiths. Our primary intention
they enter the courtyard if I am to stand any chance
was to make the scenario cinematic and we had
of victory. Conversely, I will need an inordinate
no desire to include the named wraiths with
amount of luck for my spells to get past Saruman’s
their multitude of Special Rules (just think what
magical defences; instead, I’ll attempt to engage the
an effect the Dwimmerlaik’s Sap Fortitude would
White Wizard in combat to limit his damage output.
have on this battle!). However, we were very
Steve Crowe’s fantastic spiders should help here
aware of how hard it would be to keep track
and I hope to use their large movement and ability
of seven unnamed Ringwraiths throughout the
to scale surfaces to sneak up on Tom’s army and
battle so we assigned each of Matt’s sculpts
hopefully kill a powerful wizard or two in combat.
one of the named Ringwraiths’ titles (for more
insight into our choices, turn to page 39).
In the courtyard, I need The Necromancer to
This allowed us to keep track of each wraith
dispatch Gandalf and Thrain as quickly as possible,
throughout the game as well as giving each
since this will give me the best chance of surviving
model a little more character and identity than
once the White Council arrive. Hopefully, by the
simply calling them ‘Ringwraith 4’ etc. However,
time the Nazgûl have been summoned back into the
whilst we may call them The Betrayer, The
courtyard, their magical assault will have severely
Undying, The Tainted etc., they are unnamed
reduced Tom’s Will supplies - giving me a great
Ringwraiths for the purposes of their rules.
opportunity to overcome his Heroes in combat.

The Witch-king leads the defence of Dol Guldur, accompanied by the other Ringwraiths and a host of
orcs, spiders and bats. If the defence fails then The Necromancer himself will be forced to enter the fray!

20 SBG Issue 3 2016


Battle Report - The Siege of Dol Guldur

Deployment

Deployment:
The army of the
White Council arrives
from all sides: Elrond and
Saruman in the southwest quarter,
Galadriel and Radagast in the southeast and
Thranduil in the northeast (inset). Meanwhile, in
the courtyard, Gandalf and Thrain fight for their lives
against The Necromancer himself! The board is set...

The Forgotten Spells We have


tried to
Turn 1
record the events of each turn in as
Matt made his intentions for the battle clear by sending his
much detail as possible throughout the
forces surging forwards and using the Ringwraiths to target
Battle Report. However, during the game
Tom’s Heroes with an opening magical barrage of four Sap
we had up to fifteen Heroes casting and
Wills. The White Council’s Fortify Spirit and One of Purpose
resisting spells each turn and it would
Special Rules prevented the worst of this gambit, although
be impossible to recount everything
Thranduil had to use an extra Will point and Elrond both a
without taking up the entire issue. As
Will point and a Might point to resist the spells. 
such, we have omitted several occasions
where either a Hero’s casting roll failed
In retaliation, Galadriel led three Mirkwood Elves into
or the target of the spell resisted.
combat with a Hunter Orc, whilst Radagast and a Mirkwood
These events are easy to remove from
Elf charged a Hunter Orc on Fell Warg. Both Hunter Orcs
the narrative as they have little effect
fell in quick succession and the Fell Warg mount failed its
on the wider battle beyond the loss
Courage Test and fled the battlefield.
of a few Will points from the various
Ringwraiths. Therefore, if you find
To their left, Saruman cast Sorcerous Blast on a Hunter Orc
yourself wondering why a spell-caster is
on the bridge above him, sending the orc flying off the edge
absent from the narrative in any given
to its death four stories below. Elsewhere, two Giant Spiders
turn, it’s probably because their spell
killed a Palace Guard and a Mirkwood Elf, whilst a Mirkwood
was either unsuccessful or resisted.
Elf killed a Hunter Orc as the fighting began in earnest.
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Battle Report - The Siege of Dol Guldur

Turn 2
With Good winning Priority, Tom pushed his forces
forward allowing Thranduil to enter the fray. The Elf
King started well, killing a Hunter Orc and wounding a
Mirkwood Spider.

High above the battlefield, Elrond sprinted along the


bridge connecting the southern board edge to the
courtyard, effortlessly jumping the broken section and
charging into a Hunter Orc. Spotting the danger, Matt
targeted Elrond with Sap Wills from The Shadow Lord
and The Undying and Tom had to use Elrond’s final two
Might points and another Will point to resist! Despite
this, the Elf Lord easily overcame the orc who opposed
him, sending his body tumbling from the bridge and
leaving Elrond with an unimpeded path to The Tainted!

Despite the elven Heroes’ progress, across the


Tom checks to see if Galadriel has Line of
battlefield the fighting went the way of Evil, with three
Sight to The Dark Marshall in an attempt to
Palace Guard and three Mirkwood Elves falling for the
destroy the Ringwraith with Banishment!
loss of only two spiders and a Hunter Orc on Fell Warg.

Saruman blasts a Hunter Orc from the bridge above, allowing Elrond to cut a clear path to The Tainted!

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Battle Report - The Siege of Dol Guldur

Turn 3
For the second turn in a row, Good won Priority Nearby, things were going from bad to worse for
but, sensing a chance to get the jump on Thranduil, Thranduil’s bodyguard, with another four Palace
The Dark Marshall called a Heroic Move which Guard falling to the denizens of Dol Guldur.
was immediately countered by the King of
Mirkwood. Unfortunately for Tom, Evil won the Spotting a chance to remove a Ringwraith early in
roll-off and The Witch-king successfully cast Sap Will the battle, Galadriel cast Banishment on The Betrayer
on Thranduil on the roll of a 6! Thanks to the One who failed to resist but, thankfully for Matt, passed
of Purpose rule, Tom needed to roll a 5+ to resist his Fate roll. The Betrayer retaliated by Transfixing
but groaned as he could only manage a 4 - letting the Mirkwood Captain before rushing up to support
the spell through would leave Thranduil extremely the Hunter Orc fighting him [Ed - See the box-out on
vulnerable to being Transfixed. However, since Matt page 24], winning the ensuing Fight and wounding
had no remaining wraiths to target Thranduil this the elf. However, two spiders and a Hunter Orc fell
turn, Tom decided to save his Might to help in the to the onslaught of Galadriel and Radagast, freeing
coming fights rather than use it to resist the spell. the way for the White Council to plunge deeper
into the fortress.
Thranduil was then charged by two Giant Spiders
and a Bat Swarm but, despite rolling six dice and Sensing that Elrond was becoming vulnerable,
having the higher Fight value, Matt only rolled a 5 Khamûl, The Undying, The Tainted and The Shadow
highest and was punished by Tom who duly rolled Lord all cast Sap Will on the Elf Lord but, much to
a 6 to win the Fight. Seizing the initiative, Thranduil Matt’s frustration, Elrond resisted them all. Even
inflicted three wounds on the Bat Swarm and, this early in the game, Matt’s constant two-dice Sap
fearing having the Elf King’s Fight value halved again, Wills were making a dent in the Will stores of the
Tom used a Might point to inflict a fourth wound Ringwraiths - they couldn’t keep up this level of
and kill the Bat Swarm in a single turn! spell-casting for too long…

Saruman finds himself attacked by a Bat Swarm! Thranduil fights for his life in the fortress depths!

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The Spears of the Nazgûl Matt’s incredible reproduction of the Ringwraiths from The Hobbit:
The Battle of the Five Armies generated an interesting question
during the game. Matt had followed the WETA designs as closely
as possible meaning that both The Betrayer and The Shadow Lord
had spears. This allowed Matt’s Ringwraiths to support friendly
models in combat and raised the question of whether or not they
would lose a Will point as they had “been in a Fight”. Ultimately we
decided that, as supporting models are not traditionally thought of
as being ‘in’ the Fight (they can be shot at, maintain their Control
Zones, can’t be struck etc.), the Ringwraiths should not lose a point
of Will for fighting in this manner. This also opened up a devious
way for Matt to benefit from the Nazgûl’s Fight value of 5 in Duels
with the elves whilst keeping his Ringwraiths relatively safe.

Turn 4 two Mirkwood Elves, won the Fight and


managed to inflict two wounds on the
Head of the Istari! To make matters
With Evil winning Priority, Tom called a Heroic Move with worse, Tom rolled two 1s for his first
Galadriel, hoping that she would be able to cast Fortify Spirit two Fate points before eventually
on the weakened Thranduil; however, Matt countered with a passing his third, leaving Saruman with
Heroic Move from Golb and cackled with glee as he won the just 2 Wounds and 0 Fate!
roll-off again. Much to Tom’s annoyance, Galadriel was quickly
charged and, without the protection of Fortify Spirit, Thranduil For the second turn running, Khamûl,
was Transfixed by The Dwimmerlaik, before 2 Giant Spiders, a The Undying, The Tainted and The
Hunter Orc and The Witch-king himself all charged the Elf Lord! Shadow Lord all cast Sap Will on Elrond
The ensuing combat saw Matt easily win the Fight but, despite but he again resisted them all! That
rolling fourteen dice needing 5s To Wound, Matt only managed was eight spells in a row that Elrond
to inflict three wounds and Tom was able to save one of these had resisted - Matt was fuming! Seeing
by using two Fate points. Thranduil had somehow escaped with Elrond bearing down on him, The
1 Wound and 1 Fate remaining! Matt howled in frustration at Tainted fled down the tower staircase
the missed opportunity to rid himself of the White Council’s with the Elf Lord in hot pursuit.
finest warrior. Tom was still celebrating his good luck when the
Bat Swarm in the southwest corner charged into Saruman and Matt’s fury at his wraiths’ casting
abilities was not helped when The
Betrayer failed to Transfix the Mirkwood
Captain and The Knight of Umbar
rolled a double 1 in an attempt to
cast Sap Will on Galadriel - they would
answer to Sauron tonight… Once again,
Matt charged a Hunter Orc into the
Mirkwood Captain with The Betrayer
supporting, but this time the elf gained
the upper hand and slaughtered the orc,
leaving a clear path to the Ringwraith!

Elsewhere, another Palace Guard and


three Mirkwood Elves fell to the poison
of the spiders, but Tom was receiving a
few reinforcements every turn and the
numbers of the elves were beginning to
tell as they killed a Hunter Orc on Fell
Matt and Tom explore every inch of Barry’s awesome terrain
Warg and another three spiders.
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Battle Report - The Siege of Dol Guldur

Galadriel and the Mirkwood Captain charge The Betrayer as The Thranduil’s elves are ambushed
Knight of Umbar flees from the fury of Radagast and the elves! by the garrison of Dol Guldur!

quickly surrounded by The Witch-king, a Hunter Orc


Turn 5 and a Giant Spider. Matt managed to roll the 6 he
needed to win the Fight and The Witch-king himself
Good won back Priority and The Witch-king called a stepped forward and thrust his blade into the King
Heroic Move, which was immediately countered by of Mirkwood’s heart - the first member of the
the Mirkwood Captain, again in the hope of allowing White Council had fallen on the same turn as the
Galadriel to cast Fortify Spirit on Thranduil. Both first Ringwraith! Across the rest of the battlefield,
players held their breath as the dice for the roll-off a Giant Spider and a Hunter Orc were killed, but
bounced across the table and Tom was relieved to the Evil forces were buoyed on by the success of
see it go his way this time. Tom started by charging The Witch-king as a Palace Guard and two more
the Mirkwood Captain into The Betrayer and then Mirkwood Elves fell beneath their vicious blades.
made the foolish mistake of saying ‘anything but a
1’ as Galadriel attempted to cast Fortify Spirit on
Thranduil - nobody was surprised to see the dice Turn 6
land on 1! With a frustrated sigh Tom had to use
one of Galadriel’s Might points to ensure that the With Evil winning Priority, the Mirkwood Captain
spell succeeded and give Thranduil renewed hope called a Heroic Move in an attempt to trap and kill
against the spell-casting of the wraiths. Galadriel The Knight of Umbar with Galadriel and Radagast.
then joined the Mirkwood Captain in charging The The Ringwraith was forced to counter with a Heroic
Betrayer and the wraith was struck down in combat Move of his own and Matt breathed a sigh of relief
- the first of The Nine had been banished! as the roll-off went his way, allowing The Knight of
Umbar to flee from the fury of the Elf Queen. 
In retaliation, Matt took a gamble with The Dark
Marshall (who was running low on Will) by casting Galadriel cast a contemptuous one dice Banishment
Sap Will on Galadriel using one dice, which paid off at the Dark Marshall on the roll of a 6, but the
spectacularly when Tom, in a strange tactical misstep, wraith used three Will points to successfully resist
decided to roll a double 1 for his Fortify Spirit roll! the attack. Tom gnashed his teeth in frustration -
However, Galadriel only lost two points of Will, whilst The Dark Marshall was now down to only
much to Tom’s relief. 2 Will, taking out another Ringwraith before the
showdown in the courtyard would have been a
The Witch-king was able to cast Transfix on huge bonus. Accompanied by three Mirkwood
Thranduil on the roll of a 6 and, despite once again Elves, Galadriel then charged into a Giant Spider
benefiting from Fortify Spirit, Thranduil could only and called a Heroic Combat, she easily killed the
roll a 4 highest, leaving him in dire trouble as he was beast and then charged into The Knight of Umbar -
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Battle Report - The Siege of Dol Guldur

inspired by their queen, all three elves passed their Courage


Tests and also charged the wraith. In the ensuing combat, the
elves won the Fight with ease, but were unable to wound
the trapped Ringwraith - Tom couldn’t believe it!

Sensing that the elven army was getting the upper hand,
Khamûl, The Shadow Lord, The Tainted and The Undying all
darted back around the southwest tower, fleeing from the
wrath of Elrond and Saruman in order to preserve their Will.

On the far west of the board, Tom’s bad luck from Turn 4
repeated itself as Saruman and two Mirkwood Elves were
beaten by a charging Hunter Orc on Fell Warg and knocked
down! Tom looked on in horror as Matt rolled To Wound
with four dice needing 5s against Saruman, but in a lucky
escape, the White Wizard took no damage.

Across the battlefield, things continued to go the way of Evil:


a Palace Guard and two Mirkwood Elves died and Radagast
lost his Fight against a Giant Spider and had to expend a Fate Tom is not at all impressed by this orc’s
point. Much to Tom’s frustration, the Evil force was just one unexpected success against Saruman
model away from being Broken, so the White Council still
couldn’t enter the courtyard and attempt to save Gandalf.

Turn 7
Evil won Priority and Matt immediately charged Elrond with
a Hunter Orc on Fell Warg to prevent him from charging
The Tainted; Saruman subsequently Immobilised the orc and
Elrond easily dispatched the Hunter Orc and his mount.

Knowing that The Knight of Umbar was surrounded with


little chance of surviving, Matt chose to cast Sap Will on
Galadriel with two of the wraith’s remaining three Will
points in a last ditch attempt to weaken the she-elf before
charging in but, sadly for Matt, Galadriel resisted the spell.
Things weren’t going all Tom’s way though as Radagast was
charged and trapped by two Hunter Orcs on Fell Wargs, a
Giant Spider and a Hunter Orc. Luckily for the wizard, three
nearby elves were able to counter-charge, leaving Radagast
fighting only one Giant Spider - this proved fortunate, as the
wizard lost the Fight and took a wound.

However, the biggest event of the turn was Galadriel beating


The Knight of Umbar in combat as, whilst she didn’t inflict a
wound, the Fight drew the wraith’s last Will point! With that,
the fell spirit vanished from the field of battle, preventing
a second wraith from returning to his master in the
courtyard and breaking the Evil army in one fell swoop! The
The Tainted,The Shadow Lord and The
White Council had broken through Dol Guldur’s defences
Undying flee down a crumbling tower
and could now enter the courtyard and challenge The
from the wrath of Elrond and Saruman!
Necromancer, but were they too late to save Gandalf?
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Battle Report - The Siege of Dol Guldur

The Duel of the Maiar


Meanwhile, as the White Council were cutting their Tom roared in delight at the start of Turn 4 as
way through the garrison of Dol Guldur, Gandalf Thrain passed his Shattered Spirit test on a double
and Thrain were fighting for their lives against The 4, meaning the dwarf gained +2 to his Fight value,
Necromancer. Matt began the duel by using The Strength, Attacks and Courage! In an attempt to
Necromancer’s free Might point to cast Channelled capitalise on Thrain’s enraged state, Tom charged
Sap Will on Gandalf on the roll of a 6. Tom looked both the dwarf and Gandalf into The Necromancer,
nervous as he opted to resist with two Will points sending Matt into a cold sweat. However, The
but let out a whoop of delight as he also rolled a 6! Necromancer did not share Matt’s fears and showed
his disdain for Thrain’s increased statline by rolling
In the next turn, Thrain failed his Shattered Spirit test a 6 to win the Fight before killing the dwarf with a
and remained frozen in terror for the turn. Matt single touch thanks to his Drain Soul Special Rule.
cast Sap Will on Gandalf who failed to resist, leaving
the wizard with 0 Will remaining. The Necromancer In Turn 5, The Necromancer cast Curse as he
then charged into combat with Gandalf, won the charged into Gandalf and the wizard’s final Fate
Fight (although both Matt and Tom used a point of point was stolen away. The Necromancer won the
Might on their Duel rolls) and caused a wound on ensuing Fight and, again thanks to his Drain Soul
The Grey Pilgrim, only for the wizard to prevent it ability, struck down The Grey Pilgrim with a single
using his first Fate point. blow. Gandalf and Thrain had fallen after five turns
but had put up a strong fight - The Necromancer
Turn 3 started with Thrain cowering behind Gandalf was left with just 12 Will points but would now
after the dwarf failed his Shattered Spirit test yet regain a point of Will every turn until the White
again. The Necromancer cast Curse as he charged Council revived Gandalf. The clock was ticking...
Gandalf, reducing the wizard to 1 Fate. Gandalf won
the ensuing Duel but, much to Tom’s frustration,
failed to wound the formless horror.

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Battle Report - The Siege of Dol Guldur

Turn 8
Realising that the Evil force was faltering, the seven turn. Galadriel cast Banishment on Khamûl who
remaining Ringwraiths vanished from the table, failed to resist and had to use his final point of both
reappearing in the courtyard where they each Fate and Might to survive! Urged on by their master,
immediately regained 4 Will points by drawing on five of the Ringwraiths retaliated by attempting
Gandalf’s failing life force. Seeing their masters to cast Black Dart on Elrond but, much to Matt’s
retreat, ten of the fifteen remaining Evil models fled annoyance, they all failed.
the board following failed Courage Tests.
Finally, The Dwimmerlaik charged into combat with
With Good winning Priority, Saruman, Elrond and Saruman and both Matt and Tom decided to fight
Galadriel all entered the courtyard to face the might with their two-handed weapons. Saruman won the
of The Necromancer and the Ringwraiths, whilst Duel and caused a wound which Matt was relieved
Radagast rushed forwards, hoping to join them next to see saved by The Dwimmerlaik’s only Fate point.

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Battle Report - The Siege of Dol Guldur

Turn 9
Evil won Priority and, after fighting off spells from Outside the courtyard, Matt’s last remaining Hunter
The Witch-king and The Necromancer, Elrond finally Orc on Fell Warg charged Radagast to pin him in
failed a resist roll as The Shadow Lord successfully place for another turn, or so he thought… Tom
cast Sap Will, removing Elrond’s last Will point and, surrounded the orc with three Mirkwood Elves and
more importantly, the effect of Fortify Spirit. Elrond called a Heroic Combat with Radagast. The wizard
was now helpless in the face of magical attacks and killed the orc and charged into the courtyard,
The Tainted took full advantage by casting Black straight into Khamûl! Radagast used a point of Might
Dart, which cost the Elf Lord a Fate point. In an to win the ensuing Fight and Khamûl failed his final
attempt to protect her kinsman from future attacks, Fate roll and was killed! Tom’s sheer, unadulterated
Galadriel cast Fortify Spirit on Elrond, then charged glee in the face of this unexpected and unlikely turn
the Dark Marshall but, whilst the Elf Queen won the of events was only matched by Matt’s shock and
Fight, she could not wound the wraith. disgust. Had the odds just swung in Tom’s favour?

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Battle Report - The Siege of Dol Guldur

Turn 10 Turn 11
As Good won back Priority, Matt called a Heroic Tom won Priority and Matt called a Heroic Move
Move with The Tainted; Tom was running low on with The Dwimmerlaik; again Saruman countered
Might but countered with Saruman and, luckily for but this time the roll-off went to Evil. Seizing the
the White Council, he won the roll-off. Saruman initiative, The Witch-king, The Dwimmerlaik and
began by Sorcerous Blasting The Undying through The The Necromancer all surrounded Elrond and The
Tainted, knocking them both to the floor, before Shadow Lord managed to successfully Transfix the
charging into The Dwimmerlaik. In the ensuing Duel, Lord of Rivendell. Matt didn’t know it at the time,
The Dwimmerlaik bested Saruman but, despite but this would be the last successful spell he would
fighting two-handed, the wraith could not wound cast in the battle!
the wizard who was now back up to 3 Wounds
thanks to a timely Renew from Radagast. In an attempt to help Elrond, Galadriel used
her free point of Will to cast Banishment on The
Elrond took advantage of Saruman’s Sorcerous Blast Dwimmerlaik and Tom roared with delight as he
by charging the two Prone wraiths, yet it wouldn’t rolled a 6. The Dwimmerlaik had 11 Will points
be easy for the Elf Lord as he was then surrounded left but no Fate or Might, leaving Matt with an
by The Shadow Lord and The Witch-king, who called agonising decision: how many Will points should
a Heroic Strike! Elrond maintained his Fight value he use to resist? He eventually chose to use 6 Will,
advantage thanks to his Champion of the Free Peoples but this backfired as he only rolled a 5 highest and
Special Rule, yet to Tom’s dismay could only manage The Dwimmerlaik vanished from the table! Having
a 2 highest in the Fight! The Ringwraiths attacked in destroyed her third Ringwraith, Galadriel moved
force, leaving Elrond with 2 Wounds and 0 Fate! into base contact with Gandalf, hoping to revive him. 

The Necromancer cast a Channelled Chill Soul The Dark Marshall and The Shadow Lord charged
against Galadriel but she bravely resisted the Radagast, whilst The Undying and The Tainted
spell. However, the effort had clearly weakened charged Saruman and the power of the Ringwraiths
the Elf Queen as she failed to cast Banishment on overcame both wizards. The Dark Marshall had
The Undying and then failed to damage The Dark Piercing Struck and swung his huge axe into
Marshall after winning her Fight against the wraith. Radagast, wounding the wizard and forcing him to

The Necromancer sends his remaining servants Radagast is late to arrive but immediately makes
to attack Saruman, Elrond and Galadriel as he his presence felt by charging straight into Khamûl
continues to draw on Gandalf’s failing life force and killing the foul spirit in the resulting combat!

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Battle Report - The Siege of Dol Guldur

use both of his remaining Fate points. The Undying and The Tainted had
both fought two-handed against Saruman and The Undying opted to Bash
the wizard, knocking him to the ground before the Piercing Striking axe of
The Tainted inflicted two wounds on the Head of the White Council!

Yet, hope was not lost for Tom as Gandalf was revived by Galadriel, fulfilling
the second of his three objectives; this meant that Matt’s Ringwraiths would
no longer receive a free Will point every turn - they would have to get the
job done with their existing Will stores! However, Tom’s joy was short-lived
as The Necromancer and The Witch-king won their Duel against Elrond and
the Necromancer’s Drain Soul ability instantly killed The Lord of the West! 

Turn 12
Evil won Priority and Saruman called his third consecutive Heroic Move,
but The Necromancer countered and Matt won the roll-off once again.
Matt was determined to stop Galadriel casting Banishment, so he charged
The Necromancer and The Witch-king into the Elf Queen. Galadriel won
the ensuing Fight but failed to wound either of the evil spirits.

The Undying and The Tainted charged the Prone Saruman who only rolled a
2 in the Duel! However, Matt’s joy turned to despair as his wraiths rolled a
1 and a 2 and the roll-off went to Tom, allowing Saruman to stand up - Matt
had missed a huge opportunity to rid himself of the powerful wizard.

Things went from bad to worse for Matt as The Dark Marshall and the Matt debates how many
Shadow Lord charged Radagast; this time The Dark Marshall’s Piercing of The Dwimmerlaik’s
Strike left him exposed and the wizard was able to win the Fight and kill 11 Will to use to resist
the vulnerable wraith in a single blow! Just four Ringwraiths now remained Banishment. He chose 6...
to oppose the White Council - was victory slipping from Matt’s grasp?

Galadriel attempts to revive the stricken Gandalf as Elrond rushes into combat with The Necromancer!

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Turn 13 Turn 14
With Good winning Priority, The Necromancer used The game was swinging dramatically back and forth
his free Might point to call a Heroic Move, forcing and looked to be back in Matt’s favour. However,
Radagast to use the White Council’s last Might The Necromancer was now down to 1 Will point
point to counter. However, Evil won the roll-off for and would have to start to draw on the Will of his
the third turn in a row and The Necromancer and remaining servants to survive…
The Shadow Lord charged into Radagast, cancelling
his Heroic Move. Matt was no longer attempting Good won Priority and Matt declined to call a
to cast any spells - with only fifteen Will points left Heroic Move so that The Necromancer could keep
between the remaining Evil models, every last one his free Might point for the coming combats. Seeing
was precious! Galadriel surrounded on all sides, Saruman rushed
to her aid and Immobilised The Necromancer on
The Witch-king charged Galadriel and Tom could the roll of a 6 which Matt accepted rather than
only watch as Matt won the ensuing Fight and risk a resist roll as he now had only ten Will points
inflicted a wound on the Lady of Light, which she remaining on the board! Saruman then charged both
prevented by using her first two Fate points. The Undying and The Shadow Lord, whilst Galadriel
charged The Witch-king and inflicted a wound,
The Undying and The Tainted charged Saruman, The forcing Matt to use a Fate point to keep the Lord of
Tainted Piercing Striking with his huge two-handed the Nazgûl on the table!
axe. Matt was sure Saruman was doomed when Tom
rolled a 3 but yet again Matt could only match his Despite his earlier heroic efforts, Saruman lost his
roll! The roll-off went to Good, causing The Tainted’s Duel with the Ringwraiths and, for the second turn
Defence to drop to 6, and Saruman smashed him to in a row, The Shadow Lord’s spear found its mark
the ground - one failed Fate roll later and another and finally killed the Head of the Istari! However,
wraith had fallen! However, no sooner had Tom fighting in the Duel drew The Undying’s last point of
started celebrating the fall of another Ringwraith Will and he vanished from the table with a scream.
than The Shadow Lord and The Necromancer won Galadriel was now standing alone against The
their Fight against Radagast and the wraith thrust his Necromancer, The Witch-king and The Shadow Lord,
spear into the wizard’s chest - killing him instantly! but they only had 6 Will points between them!

Radagast valiantly charges into The Necromancer in a desperate attempt to avenge the fallen Elrond!

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Turn 15 Turn 16
Good won Priority and, terrified of Galadriel’s Seizing Priority, The Necromancer and The Shadow
Banishment spell, The Necromancer used his free Lord both charged Galadriel and won the Fight,
Might point to call a Heroic Move which allowed despite Tom having an extra dice in the Duel. After
all three Evil models to charge into Galadriel and the Shadow Lord failed to wound the Elf Queen,
trap her. The onslaught of the Ringwraiths and their Matt picked up his dice for The Necromancer’s
master was too much for Galadriel and The Shadow strike, needing just a 3+ to win the game! The room
Lord and The Necromancer inflicted three wounds! was silent as the critical dice bounced for what
Both players held their breath as Tom rolled seemed like an age before finally settling on a 1! Tom
Galadriel’s final Fate point before his roar of delight leapt in delight but Matt smiled grimly and used both
let us know she had survived! The Necromancer’s free Might point and the last
Might point from his store to bump the roll to a 3
After giving up their Will points for fighting and kill Galadriel! Tom slumped in despair as the last
Galadriel, The Witch-king and The Shadow Lord member of the White Council fell dead on the table.
had one and two Will points remaining respectively. However, the game wasn’t quite finished yet…
The Necromancer only had one Will point and so
would have to use a point of Will from one of his The Shadow Lord expended a Will point for
Ringwraiths to stay alive. being in a Fight, meaning that both he and The
Necromancer now had 1 Will point remaining - but
Matt had two options: he could reduce his three The Necromancer also had to give up a Will point
models to one Will each, meaning they would for being in the Fight. Without a second thought,
almost certainly all die next turn but he would still The Necromancer stole his last remaining servant’s
be able to trap Galadriel, or he could sacrifice The final Will point and The Shadow Lord vanished with
Witch-king, giving The Necromancer a chance of a scream - The Necromancer was left alone on
surviving another turn but reducing his chances the table, victorious with 1 Will point remaining!
of killing Galadriel. After agonising for a long time, The Necromancer had been weakened but he had
Matt chose to sacrifice The Witch-king to keep The survived and, with the death of Saruman, Galadriel,
Necromancer alive and his chief servant vanished in Elrond, Thranduil and Radagast, Middle-earth stood
a cloud of smoke.  little chance of survival in the wars to come...

One light, alone in the darkness - Galadriel stands alone against The Necromancer, The Shadow Lord and The
Witch-king, whilst Tom tries to make the dice roll over with the power of his mind - entirely unsuccessfully!

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Battle Report - The Siege of Dol Guldur

Saruman was perhaps rather lucky to make it to the


courtyard alive after some nerve-racking combats
against the dark denizens of Dol Guldur (it’s funny
how bats and spiders were more dangerous to
the Head of the White Council than The Nine!),
although once in the courtyard he put up a good
fight whilst outnumbered. Incredibly, Elrond didn’t
manage to kill a single Ringwraith, but the sight
of three of the Nazgûl fleeing from the Lord of
Rivendell more than made up for this! Radagast was
perhaps my unsung Hero - he came from under
the radar to have a fantastic turn, rushing into the
courtyard to Galadriel’s aid following a successful
Heroic Combat and killing Khamûl in one swift
Tom: Well that couldn’t movement!
have been any closer could
it?! What a fantastic way Overall it was a fantastically tense yet enjoyable
to end the battle. One Will battle that had so many exciting twists and turns
point. One Will point. If only right until the very final roll of the game. Finally, I
Matt had thrown one more must say a huge thank-you to Matt for making it
dice at a spell earlier in the such a great game to be a part of.
game… Still, hats off to Matt
for playing a great game, his “One Will point...
victory was well deserved
and let’s face it, given the ONE WILL POINT”
Tom
fantastic sculpts he brought
to the table, was it ever in Matt: What an unbelievable
doubt that he was the true game - victory is mine… but
master of Dol Guldur?!  only by one single point of
Will! I think that battle will
There were so many moments in that game that stick with me for years and
I could pick out as being stand-out highlights, yet has to be the most fun I’ve
it was the small pleasures that really made this ever experienced in a game
battle report so special: running elves through of The Hobbit: Strategy Battle
dark passages, round crumbling staircases and over Game. I can’t stress what a
vertigo-inducing bridges. Playing over such beautiful joy it was to play on such
terrain easily made this the most rewarding battle an immersive board with so
I’ve ever played in and I must say a huge thank-you many great models and I want
to Barry for the wonderful scenery. to thank Tom for being such a
good opponent and creating
Of course, a special mention should go to Galadriel so many cinematic moments.
who almost single-handedly dealt with the
Ringwraiths. Given how terrifyingly powerful she I’m pleased to say I achieved many of the goals I
is in the film I must say I’m glad that she turned it had planned - I was able to use the terrain to great
on in-game too! She truly was an awesome force effect, sending The Necromancer’s minions through
throughout the battle, both through her magical tunnels, over walkways and up walls to trap many
Banishments and in combat. She also revived Gandalf of Tom’s Warriors and Heroes. The culmination of
(just like the film!) and at that point I really thought these tactics was surely when Thranduil was waylaid
I could go on to win the game, but alas it just wasn’t by spiders and bats and eventually fell to the ghostly
to be. blade of The Witch-king.

Matt used a staggering 207 Will points over the course of the Battle
Where There’s A Will There’s A Way! Report - surely a new record for The Hobbit: Strategy Battle Game?

34 SBG Issue 3 2016


Battle Report - The Siege of Dol Guldur

h
I stayed true to my pre-game pledge to always
apless You might be
wondering why you
Special Strike with the Ringwraiths, no matter
the situation and I’m so glad that I did. My most
ero didn’t read much
about what Golb
effective use of this was in Turn 11, when The
Undying Bashed Saruman to the ground before The
was doing during the Tainted’s two-handed Piercing Strike caused two
Battle Report. Well, wounds - fantastic stuff! On the other hand, The
that’s because his Dark Marshall’s Piercing Strike lowered his Defence
main contribution sufficiently to allow Radagast to destroy him - ah
was to lose six Fights well, you can’t win them all! The Special Strikes
to the same Shielding made every combat a lot cooler and really evoked
Palace Guard and the scene in the film where the Nazgûl charged the
not claim a single kill White Council from all sides, only this time they
throughout the game. were victorious…just!
Perhaps a reshuffle of
the ranks is in order
for the armies of Dol “I think that battle will
Guldur... stick with me for years”
Matt
I was particularly pleased when, in a rather
unexpected twist, The Necromancer killed Thrain The custom scenario’s Special Rules made the game
on the same turn that the Dwarf Lord found his so much fun and I could name so many exciting
courage, before advancing on Gandalf and killing the moments from this truly spectacular game that
wizard in the following turn. This efficient work from made us both feel like we were there in the film. The
The Necromancer enabled me to regain precisely power of Sauron rises again from the fortress of
enough Will to take on the White Council in the Dol Guldur and the future looks bleak for the free
courtyard once they had breached my defences. peoples of Middle-earth!

orcs of the match The unsung heroes of Matt’s force were two
Hunter Orcs at the top of the northeastern
tower. Over the course of five turns they killed five Mirkwood Elves, sending their bodies tumbling down
into the spider-infested pits below and preventing Tom from spreading his army throughout the fortress

2016 Issue 3 SBG 35


Summoning The Nine

SUMMONING THE NINE We asked Matt Davies (who goes by the name GenerationShift online) if he
could convert The Hobbit-era Ringwraiths for us; however, as you will see, the
end results were far closer to nine custom sculpts - we did not complain...
Matt: I was first approached by Tom and Damian back in February 2015 to convert
the Nazgûl as they appear in The Hobbit trilogy. This was a fantastic challenge that I
was honoured to undertake and I was excited to stretch my skills and make some
truly iconic models. Having recently finished a heavily converted Champion of Erebor
Bombur with horn and display base, I was eager (if not a little daunted) to get stuck
into this new project. After all, it was only nine conversions. Oh boy…

base models Whilst I could have started my


conversions with the existing
Ringwraith models, their appearance in The Hobbit trilogy is
completely removed from their aesthetic in The Lord of the Rings, so
instead I scoured the entire Games Workshop range, searching for
dynamic poses that had the potential to be great conversions. I kept
a keen eye open for models with flowing cloaks, armour is relatively
easy to change and sculpt but it’s often the cloak that creates a truly
dynamic model. Somewhat ironically, I ended up choosing some of
1
the most detailed miniatures in the range, only to then cut and file all
of the detail away! The before and after shots of the Betrayer (1) and
the Shadow Lord (2) show the extent to which the original detail had
to be transformed.

the ...six? Once I had selected suitable base models, I

2
amassed as many images of the Ringwraiths
as possible - this involved watching the scene from the film over
and over again [Ed - not exactly a hardship then…]. At this point I
was surprised to discover that WETA had only produced six unique
designs for the Ringwraiths! The remaining three Ringwraiths were
actually duplicates with different weapons, so I was forced to go in
search of new inspiration.

My first port of call was the WETA Chronicles books; these contain
lots of sketches and weapon designs for Ringwraith concepts that
ultimately never made it to the screen. I chose the two concepts
whose aesthetic diverged most significantly from the six on-screen 3
Ringwraiths to create The Dwimmerlaik (4) and The Tainted (5). The
final wraith proved problematic, as the remaining concepts looked
too similar or failed to spark my interest, so I was left with no other
option than to come up with the design for The Knight of Umbar
myself. It’s always challenging coming up with designs that feel as if
they belong in Tolkien’s universe but, after letting ‘cool factor’ guide
me, I feel I achieved a realistic and dynamic model (3). Ironically, I
think that only having six designs to go on worked out for the best
because the last three turned out to be some of my favourite models.
4 5
36 SBG Issue 3 2016
Summoning The Nine

armatures Inposes,
order to achieve my desired
I had to re-sculpt most materials The observant
among you
of the arms from scratch. This required a lot of wire-work may have noticed slight variations in the
to create each of the ‘skeletons’. It was quite a challenge to colour of the sculpts seen throughout the
prevent the proportions from looking slightly simian, but photographs, ranging from a dark green
after reducing the length of the arms and experimenting to a beige/yellow - this is because I vary
with the joints, I felt I gained accurate proportions for these the sculpting medium depending on the
menacing figures. Since I couldn’t find a suitable model for desired result. Kneadatite (Green Stuff) is
The Tainted, I sculpted him from scratch using a complete the staple material of most sculptors as it’s
armature; I think he looks incredibly intimidating and I am very versatile; however, I also use a mix of
very happy with the result, especially the billowing cloak. Milliput (the yellow bits) to create some
of the finer details. Green Stuff has a high
resistance when sculpting so surrounding
details can be deformed throughout
a cure - I use this to my advantage to
sculpt flowing robes caught in the wind.
Conversely, a mix of Milliput and Green
Stuff provides the perfect resistance to the
sculpting tool to help create finer details.

poses Choosing the pose is one of the most difficult parts of any conversion - a weak pose can
cause you to very quickly lose motivation during a project. I tried to recreate the poses
from the films or the WETA Chronicles books, but when I struggled with a pose I often ended up taking a
photo of myself to provide me with some inspiration for the armature! In the photographs above you can
see several of the options that were explored for The Witch-king before I settled on his final stance.

weapons Weaponry and scale go hand in


hand (forgive the pun) - the size
of a weapon can quickly shift a model from ‘true’ scale
to ‘heroic’ scale, so it was important to keep in line with
the scale of The Hobbit: Strategy Battle Game, whilst still
incorporating some of the rather outlandish designs from
the films. The Witch-king’s swords, Khamûl’s mace, and The
Shadow Lord and The Betrayer’s spears were salvaged and
adapted from existing models, but many of the nasty looking
axes and other weapons had to be created using plasticard.
Working with plasticard requires a very sharp knife as
you have to be able to precisely shave the material down
to an edge. The more shapely the blade, the more difficult
the weapon is to sculpt (well, this stage isn’t sculpting, it’s
carving!). The Tainted’s axe and The Undying’s mace (far left,
top and bottom) were created by cutting round a stencilled
design to create equal blades. These were then stuck onto
copper rod before the final details were sculpted over the
plasticard with putty. Both of these weapons had to be
trimmed down because I had overestimated their size!
2016 Issue 3 SBG 37
Summoning The Nine

1 2 3 4

5 6 7 8
layers “Patience my love, patience…” I won’t lie to you, sculpting takes a lot of patience and I
can’t stress enough how much you have to take your time. Miniatures should be sculpted
in the same way that a warrior would apply his armour: one layer at a time - if you try to sculpt all of the
layers in one go you can end up with a complete mess. The first layer I sculpted was often cloth, followed
by chain mail, then plate armour and finally the cloak. Above you can see the stage-by-stage progression of
how I converted a Mirkwood Elf into The Undying. I initially intended to incorporate more of the original
model but by the time I had finished, all that was left was the feet! Each layer had to cure before moving
onto the next one, so even when I was pressed for time I was forced to wait. I often found that the heads
were easier to sculpt separately to the main body before then joining them at a later stage (see below right
for work-in-progress shots of The Shadow Lord, The Witch-king, Khamûl and The Knight of Umbar).

SBG: On the next page you can see the Nazgûl


in their fully painted glory along with the identity
of their base model.We’ve also given a brief insight
into how and why we decided which sculpt would
represent each of the named wraiths

GenerationShift
The nine completed Ringwraiths made for quite an Resin bases
impressive sight. All in all, the project took me nine Miniature sculpting
months to complete and was equal parts challenging,
Painting
frustrating and exciting, only finally being completed just
a few hours before I had to drive the models to Tom
www.facebook.com/Generationshift92
and Damian and lead them to war in the battle report!
Overall, I’m very happy with the finished sculpts and think www.youtube.com/user/GenerationShift92
that they accurately portray the designs from the films.
38 SBG Issue 3 2016
Khamûl, the Easterling The Shadow Lord (Mirkwood The Betrayer (Mirkwood Elf
(Easterling War Priest) - A very Elf with elven glaive) - The flowing with elven blade) - The Haradrim
simple decision as the Easterling robes and minimal armour gave aesthetic meant that there was
aesthetic in the film makes it clear this wraith a darker appearance, never any doubt about which
which design is depicting Khamûl nicely evoking his Pall of Darkness wraith this sculpt would represent

The Dark Marshall (Knight The Undying (Mirkwood Elf The Dwimmerlaik (Mirkwood
of the White Tower) - Matt put his with elven blade) - As the oldest of Elf with elven glaive) - This model’s
foot down on this one: “I want the wraiths, the slightly antiquated huge sword made it a perfect fit
the guy with the huge axe to be armour and helmet made this for the only named Ringwraith
The Dark Marshall” - fair enough! imposing sculpt an ideal choice armed with a two-handed weapon

The Tainted (no base model) - The Knight of Umbar The Witch-king (Aragorn,
Affectionately dubbed ‘Kylo Ren’, (Captain of Minas Tirith) - Matt King Elessar) - Just as with Khamûl,
this sculpt’s helmet has echoes of armed this wraith with a curved, this was an obvious choice as
a gas mask - evoking the Seeping pirate-esque blade, making him an the Lord of the Nazgûl is clearly
Decay of this noxious wraith ideal choice for a king of Umbar identifiable in The Hobbit trilogy
2016 Issue 3 SBG 39
Shadow & Flame - The Necromancer

THE NECROMANCER After Dave described


Issue 2’s Azog conversion
as ‘relatively simple’, we
decided he obviously
needed a bigger challenge
so we tasked him with
sculpting a Necromancer
to lead the forces of Dol
Guldur to war!

Dave: For the last issue of SBG, Damian and


Tom set me a fairly easy task with a simple Azog
conversion, but things got a little more complex
this time round when they asked me to sculpt
Sauron as he appears in The Hobbit trilogy. The
design brief was a bit hazy: “it should be a cross
between how The Necromancer appears in The
Desolation of Smaug and how he appears in The put long ribbons in front of a fan to indicate smoke
Battle of the Five Armies - it should have a central direction and, without any other ideas, I decided that I
body to give him a bit of form, but with the would start by adding ribbons to the Sauron-like body
arms and legs reaching out and becoming smoky to see how it would look. To make these, I used plastic
tendrils.” Right... bag ties (the kind with a thin metal core) and attached
  them to the Sauron torso before puttying over the top.
I figured that the easiest thing to do would be  
to copy the armoured version of Sauron’s body Before going any further, I thought I’d check in with
and head as seen in The Fellowship of the Ring, Damian and Tom to see if this was anything like what
then try to come up with something that might they had envisioned and, whilst the basic shape of the
look a little smoky and it was then that my day- model was spot on, the guys wanted the tendrils to
job as a firefighter gave me some unexpected be rounder and the body to be less obviously like the
inspiration. During training drills, we sometimes Sauron we see in The Fellowship of the Ring.
 

Dave’s first pass at The Necromancer used an armature of bag ties [Ed - now that’s inventive!] to form
ribbon-esque tendrils and bore far more resemblance to Sauron’s depiction in The Fellowship of the Ring

40 SBG Issue 3 2016


Shadow & Flame - The Necromancer

Now armed with a better idea of what the guys


were after, I removed the helm spikes and cut
the head off to rework it. Once I had got the
new head ‘SBG-approved’ (1), I moved onto the
body, which I re-skinned and shaped into a slightly
amorphous humanoid shape. Then it was a case 1
2
of adding the tendrils - this time, rather than
use plastic bag ties, I used wires to form a stable
armature. For each tendril, I drilled a hole into the
body and inserted a wire into it, before encasing it
with putty by attaching a flat strip along its entire
length (2). I then folded this strip around the wire
before smoothing the join out with a rubber clay
shaper (3-4). It was then simply a task of adding 3 4
more tendrils until it felt ‘right’, with the bulk of
them originating from The Necromancer’s back.

At this point I was concerned that it just looked


like a blank figure who had fallen into a pit of
snakes! I decided to disguise where all the tendrils
were sprouting from by adding some thinner
bridge pieces on the back of the model, which
also helped to bulk out the core of the model (5).
Finally, I attached the head and added the tips of
the tendrils to bring each one to a point (6). 5 6
With The Necromancer I then moved onto the fiery glow on the tentacles
complete, Dave turned which was first marked out with a 50:50 mix of
to his partner in crime Doombull Brown and medium. The next stage used a
for painting. Here, Kev 50:50 mix of Evil Sunz Scarlet and medium, which was
reveals how he created applied by brushing the paint towards the body of the
the fiery effects on The model so that the colour was strongest at the body
Necromancer’s body. (where I wanted the heat source to be). I left some
Doombull Brown from the previous stage showing
Kev: I painted the at the points furthest away from the model’s body
fiery skin cracks by where the heat source is cooler. While this stage was
base-coating them still wet, I applied consecutive highlights of Troll Slayer
with Evil Sunz Scarlet Orange, Fire Dragon Bright and Flash Gitz Yellow,
before highlighting each a 50:50 mix of paint and medium.  
each crack several
times, always leaving a As each previous layer was
little of the previous still wet, the colours could
colour showing be pushed into each other
along the edges. The and blended together to
highlight stages were, form smooth transitions,
in order: an 80:20 mix from dark red furthest away
of Troll Slayer Orange from the body, through to
and medium, an 80:20 yellow closest to the body.
mix of Fire Dragon For a final flourish, a touch
Bright and medium, of White Scar can be added
pure Flash Gitz Yellow, to the Flash Gitz Yellow
and a final highlight of and medium mix where the
White Scar. tentacles meet the body.  
2016 Issue 3 SBG 41
"They Speak of a Necromancer
living in Dol Guldur, a sorcerer
who can summon the dead”
Whilst painting The
Necromancer, we
asked Kev if there
was “any chance you
could make a display
base? It doesn’t have
to be the same size as
The Necromancer’s
base - it can just be
whatever size you
want.” We knew that
Kev would push the
limits of what exactly
constitutes a ‘display
base’ but our jaws still
dropped when
he started to
send us work
in progress
pics of this
incredible
piece. Display
base? We think
gaming table would
be nearer the
mark!

42 SBG Issue 3 2016


Shadow & Flame - Saruman

Not content with just creating the fabulous display base for

SARUMAN The Necromancer, Kev also painted this gorgeous Saruman


model, a fitting tribute to the late, great, Sir Christopher Lee.

1 2 3 4
1. From a black 2. Glaze the underside of 3. Paint two white dots 4. Paint the hair and
undercoat, paint the the deepest folds of the in each eye socket and beard Administratum
robes with Karak Stone robes with a 80:20 mix highlight the face with Grey before applying a
and apply a wash of of water and Doombull Ratskin Flesh, followed wash of 50:50 Nuln Oil
Agrax Earthshade. Glaze Brown. Next, highlight the by Bestigor Flesh, leaving and water. Once dry, use
the areas surrounding robes with an 80:20 mix a line underneath Administratum Grey to
the darkest recesses of of Karak Stone and water, each eye to represent highlight the hair and
the robes with an 80:20 before applying a second bags and outline the beard. Apply a tiny amount
mix of water and Balor highlight of a 50:50 mix eyebrows in Dawnstone. of diluted Abaddon Black
Brown, making sure to of Ushabti Bone and Highlight the eyebrows to the beard just under
knock any excess paint water. Paint the face with with Abaddon Black the lip. Highlight the boots
off the brush before Ratskin Flesh, followed nearest the nose and with Steel Legion Drab.
touching the model to by a wash of Reikland Administratum Grey on Paint the hands with
avoid pooling. Fleshshade. the outer edges. Ratskin Flesh.

5. Wash the hands with


Reikland Fleshshade and
highlight the hair and belt
with White Scar. Highlight
the robes with a mix of
Ushabti Bone, Pallid Wych
Flesh and water. Paint the
metal ring on the staff in
Runefang Steel and use
White Scar for the globe
at the tip. 5

Shadow & Flame is a collaboration between avid Middle-earth


enthusiasts Kev Lawrence (Shadow) and Dave Fredericks
(Flame). They have been refining their respective crafts
since 2001, providing the highest quality custom paint jobs,
conversions and scratch sculpts for all of your wargaming needs.
Shadow has painted on commission for three years, during which
time he has painted hundreds of miniatures for clients, while
Flame’s conversion experience and commission services go back
ten years, with his first scratch sculpts dating back to 2007.

2016 Issue 3 SBG 43


HOBBY BLOG
A brief look into what the SBG team have been up to during the production of this issue

Damian: I spent much of last year painting the White


Council and Mirkwood army that features in this issue’s
bat-rep. Next up I’m really looking forward to getting
stuck into the fantastic Champions of Erebor models.
That said, the Mirkwood Knights that I said were ‘up
next’ in my last Hobby BLOG are still in exactly the same
state now, so who knows what I’ll manage to get done?

Tom: Having worked on the forces of evil for so long


(orcses, thousands of orcses), I’m now looking forward
to splashing some colour on the survivors of Lake-town.
I’m hoping that the bases (courtesy of GenerationShift)
give the feeling that the models are fighting within the
ruins of Dale. This may also give me an excuse to paint
Bilbo in his blue coat or even another Gandalf!

Barry: After 13 months immersed in Dol Guldur, I


needed a break from terrain building! However my major
problem when starting a new army is that there’s too
much choice (see right). I’ve decided to start working
on a full Corsair army including some of my first ever
conversions. Terrain-wise, I’ve another project in progress
that will hopefully be used at an event in the future.

Matt: After spending so long on the Nazgûl sculpts, it’s


great to get back to some of my own projects. Over the
next few months I hope to start making YouTube videos
again, expand my GenerationShift base range with an oval
scenic base, start painting a long awaited Easterling army
and, just in case I’ve not had my fill of the Nazgûl, I’ve got
a full set of foot and mounted Ringwraiths to paint.

Dave: 2016 will see the release of not one but two new
Tree Giants (Ash and Fir) from Shadow & Flame which
will go out for casting just as soon as I finish sculpting the
Fir model. I’m getting through my backlog of sculpting
commissions slowly. Unfortunately I can’t talk about
some of the cool stuff I’m working on for future SBG
issues but rest assured these boys are keeping me busy!

Kev: It’s safe to say that I’ve painted quite a bit since
my last Hobby BLOG way back in Issue 1! At the moment
I’m working on Palace Guard, Thranduil, a Balrog and I’m
in the middle of a huge Gundabad Orc commission of
96 models! Also, with Golden Demon 2016 coming up,
Shadow & Flame has been busy trying to get something
ready for the ‘Duel’ category, so watch this space...
44 SBG Issue 3 2016
SUPPORTING SBG
If you’ve enjoyed this issue, then read on to discover how you can ensure that there are more in the future!

Dear Readers, However, the original vision for SBG was to place
a physical magazine in the hands of gamers.Viewing
The primary aim of SBG is to create an attractive SBG on a computer screen or tablet should provide
and informative hobby resource for fans of The a satisfactory reading experience but there is
Hobbit: Strategy Battle Game. It is produced in our something wonderfully comforting about turning
own time and is, first and foremost, a non-profit the pages of a physical copy. Sitting in your favourite
fanzine by the fans, for the fans. If you are reading spot and thumbing through the pages of a glossy
this, then you will be doing so in one of two ways. magazine is an experience that is utterly lost when
The majority of you will be reading the free PDF viewing content on a digital screen.
which is available online. Our pledge is that, as long
as we are producing SBG, it will be available for free Our hope is that the majority of our readers will
to anyone who wants it; we are not a business, we want to read SBG in the intended format and start
are not trying to make money out of this, and we to build a collection of physical issues. Of course,
will never charge a penny for the PDF download. the major hurdle in this step is that we cannot
give away physical copies due to the high cost of
However, whilst we won’t ever charge for SBG, we producing a relatively short print run. However,
would like to give readers a way of contributing anyone in the UK who donates £10 or more via
towards the running costs of the magazine. So, once PayPal will receive a full colour, A4 physical copy of
you have finished reading the issue, if you feel that SBG. Please include the address to which you would
you would like to contribute, then we would invite like us to send the magazine and we will get it out
you to make a donation via our PayPal account: to you as soon as possible. Unfortunately, due to
the increased postage costs, those with an address
SBGmagazine@gmail.com within Europe will need to make a donation of £13
or more, whilst those outside of Europe will have to
As this is a donation, please ensure that you use the donate £15 or more to receive a physical copy. We
Send money to friends and family option. hope that you have enjoyed this issue and would like
to make a modest donation, therefore enabling us to
We would simply ask you to donate whatever you produce SBG for a long time to come.
feel that the magazine is worth. Any contributions
would be welcome and they will help to ensure that Thank-you,

future issues are even better! Damian & Tom

SBG ISSUE 4 AVAILABLE NOW!


In Issue 4 of SBG we continue our journey into the
darkest corners of Dol Guldur with a brand new Battle
Report that picks£2
Donate up where this issue’s left off! We
also include an exciting mini-scenario where Gandalf
or more
exploresfor
theyour
dungeons and offer up some exciting new
rules forchance
playingtogames within The Hill of Sorcery!
winBarry
Elsewhere, this O’Neill has written an in-depth article
about howgreat
heprize,
built his stunning board and Matt Davies
courtesy
explains how he created the ghostly paint-job on his
of Slayer
custom Ringwraiths with only three colours!
Gaming
All this and much more - contact us now for your copy!

2016 Issue 3 SBG 45


COMING IN ISSUE 4!