After last week’s game, I have to admit, I was really looking forward to playing the next scenario. I don’t think I’m spoiling much to say that this second scenario had moments of fun and excitement but also did not match the heights of the last scenario. My hope is that this is still a fun read for all of you in spite of that.
Pre-Game Thoughts – I set up the board following GW’s image in the booklet and already spotted an issue with the board. The drawing does not match the actual results and the gap you end up with is way too wide for dwarves to jump across. I didn’t think to try and rearrange the board going into the scenario to make it more realistic but I do recommend it and would do so in the future.
The idea for the scenario is simple, the dwarves just need to grab the baggage and get off the table. There are two ways you can achieve this by jumping across the chasm and taking a short cut to the baggage or by going the long way around and grinding through goblins. The problem with the shortcut is that the dwarves can easily by trapped by the goblins and the goblins can in theory just block the dwarves from jumping. GW couldn’t have fixed this by making the goblins deploy on the far side of the platform but unfortunately did not. With this in mind, I decided to try and take the safer route and grind through the goblins in a war of attrition. I knew that the dwarves in this scenario Bifur, Bofur, and Bombur are not among the strongest so I had a feeling this would be a tough scenario. My goal for the goblins was to try and wear down the dwarves (by making the game go long and getting as many reinforcements as possible) and then utilize Grinnah to hopefully land some key wounds/casualties, especially after how the Goblin Captain fled the battle before it ever began last game.
Battle Report – Starting with priority but with nobody to charge, Bifur, Bofur, and Bombur move forward knowing that the goblins would land the first blow. Two goblins responded by charging in and try block Thorin’s Company’s path. Bofur delivered a fatal hammer blow to a goblin’s head as the other backed away from the combat clearly impressed by the Bofur’s tenacity. The slain goblin was replaced at the end of the turn when another shows up ready for a fight near the dwarves.
Needing to get closer to the baggage and knowing they would have to punch through the goblins to do so, Bifur and Bofur charged into the nearby goblin and once again slew one of the two in combat. With the other four goblins approaching a melee was about to break out on the Goblin Town walkways! No goblins arrived to support their peers at the end of the turn.
The goblins finally seized the initiative and one charged Bombur and the other two charged Bifur and Bofur to avoid any models becoming trapped. The Bombur quickly carved up the snarling goblin with his axe. Bifur and Bofur continued to form a deadly tandem and slayed one of the two goblins they faced as well. One goblin joined the fray with another pivotal turn of combat coming up.
Thorin’s Company won priority but found it difficult to decide how to charge the goblins. Ultimately, they decided to split the goblins into two combats and hope that Bombur could win his fight. Unfortunately, Bombur’s soup ladle failed to win the duel and the goblins pushed him back and scored two wounds. Bombur burned a point of fate to stave off one of the wounds. Sensing their ally in need, Bifur and Bofur stabbed and slammed both goblins in their combat to death. A single goblin combatants entered the board near where the fighting had been occurring.
With three goblins left, the dwarves had a major advantage and needed a quick victory here to punch through the goblins and advance towards the baggage. Bifur, Bofur, and Bombur won the duel and managed to kill two of the three goblins. A single goblin arrived to once again slow down the dwarves. In the next turn the goblins, were eliminated and a goblin entered on the other side of the board since this part of the board was clearly controlled by Thorin’s Company.
Deciding to save their might for future heroic deeds and risk that the goblins replenished their horde, the dwarves jogged down the walkways towards their baggage. While a another three goblins returned in the ensuing turns.
With the dwarves within range, the goblins won priority and charged in. Thorin’s company maintained the same formation that had worked in the past and hoped Bombur could survive one more round of combat on his own. Grinnah lurked in the back, ready to charge the following turn. Bifur and Bofur continued their streak by slaying another goblin while Bombur lost and suffered another wound. Panting heavily, Bombur clearly was in trouble and the goblin horde was wearing down Thorin’s Company. No goblins arrived to reinforce their friends and the evil’s strategy of attrition appeared to only be halfway working.
In a pivotal roll, the goblins won priority which forced Bifur to declare a heroic move to protect Bombur from another charge. Grinnah chose his moment to strike and was joined by another goblin. In a bit of good luck, Bifur won the combat two goblins but then promptly failed to kill either. Grinnah and his goblin mate, managed to beat Bofur and then Grinnah used a point of might to land a wound on Bofur which a point of fate could not prevent. Things looked bleak for Thorin’s Company as they were battered and bruised with Grinnah buoying the goblin lines.
Winning the initiative, Bifur and Bofur stood together to prevent the goblins from swarming Bombur with Bofur charging Grinnah at the same time. The dwarves craftily blocked any other combats from occurring. Declaring a heroic combat, Bifur and Bofur won the combat and landed a single wound which felled another goblin.
The dwarves realized they had a chance to take a decisive action and cause a break test. Bifur and Bofur charged into two goblins and risked being trapped and killed. Both dwarves ended up needing all of their remaining might but caused the goblins to be broken! In a stroke of luck, no goblins returned which guaranteed the courage test.
The dwarves won a crucial priority roll to try and place themselves in a position where they were remained safe. Grinnah declared a heroic charge into Bofur and Bifur responded by charging into Grinnah. Bombur charged into the two goblins off to the side. The remaining goblins charged into Bifur and Bofur.
In a pivotal roll, Bombur ties the goblins and burned a point of might to win against the two goblins. He chopped up one of the goblins with his axe while the other scattered away. Bifur and Bombur beat the numerical advantage of the goblins back and only one wound connected and another goblin fell. In a key roll, the goblins brought another goblin on the board.
The goblins won the priority and Grinnah failed his courage test but used his remaining point of might and will to prevent a buckling of the goblins’ forces. This certainly looked like the last stand for the goblins! The goblins piled in hoping to finally get Bombur and maybe pick off Bifur too. Bombur required another point of might but won the duel and slayed yet another goblin. When the stakes were high, Bombur fought against superior goblin numbers and kept the dwarves in the game! Bifur and Bofur won their combat and were able to mortally wound another goblin. One goblin returned but the dwarves were thinning their numbers and winning the war of attrition.
Thorin’s Company swarmed Grinnah and he promptly passed yet another courage test. Much like attrition not going according to plan, Grinnah was being oddly heroic and kept the goblins in the game. His remaining minions piled in. The dwarves rolled a five and the goblins shockingly still won. They proceeded to land three wounds. Bifur saved one wound but Bombur fell in the melee. The game was clearly in the balance next turn with either side about ready to collapse.
The moment the dwarves waited for happened and Grinnah’s courage failed! Only two goblins remained on the board as the others followed their cowardly leader and fled. In what looked to be the final combat of the game, the goblins not only defied the odds and won the duel but they slayed Bifur too! Victory belonged to evil and the baggage would not be returned to Thorin.
Post-Game Thoughts – What an up and down affair that proved to be and to be honest, the conclusion was a bit anti-climatic and not particularly heroic either. Both sides had a good plan that didn’t work in the way that I expected. As I mentioned in the opening, the battle had some cool moments but was not nearly as fun as the previous game. If the dwarves do not leap across the gap, this game tuns into a slow grinder and none of the dwarves have amazing combat abilities either so that certainly detracts from how fun this scenario is.
Unless I’m missing something, I think this scenario is stacked against the dwarves and while I think I employed the best strategy, it didn’t work in the end and it wasn’t as much fun as I hoped. I will only play this scenario again if I can try the alternate route of jumping across the chasm. I think a decently intelligent evil player can prevent the dwarves from getting away with this but the strategy I used wasn’t fun enough to justify playing this again in a similar fashion. I didn’t keep exact count but this scenario had to have taken close to 20 turns and was missing a bit of the drama and excitement that the last one had. I will give it another go later on once I’ve had a chance to play some more of the Escape From Goblin Town scenarios to see if I just chose a boring strategy or if the odds are as stacked against the dwarves as I imagine.
If you’ve played this scenario and enjoyed it, please let me know what changes, if any, you made to make it better in the comments below!