Medieval Armies DBA Page

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War of the Ring DBA Armies

Battle of the Pelennor Fields

A Fantasy Scenario for Big Battle DBA

This scenario hasn't been playtested yet -- I'm still painting the necessary elements. The map is still rough. The scenario is based loosely upon the HotT scenario for the Pelennor Fields on Alan Saunders' Stronghold website.


Battlefield Map

The map is still rough -- it is missing a scale and legend. The entire battle takes place within the Rammas Echor (the outer wall). From Minas Tirith to the wall is about three miles to the South-East, and about 13 miles to the North-East. Using standard 15mm scale for DBA (1" = 100 paces) that is about 50" to the closest location of the outer wall and about 150" (12') to the Osgiliath gate. Which is, of course, way too big a map to play a battle on.

The normal Big Battle DBA table size is 4'x2'. Something larger, although not too much larger, would be necessary here. In the book the entire battle takes place within sight of Minas Tirith and the docks of Harlond. On an 8' by 4' table it is possible to show a battlefield around 6 miles by 3 miles in size, which should be large enough for the purpose (focussing on the section around Minas Tirith).


Forces of Gondor

The forces of Gondor move first, after all on-board Mordor commands are set up.

Rohirrim Command

Sally from Minas Tirith

Aragorn's Command


Forces of Mordor

Witch-King's Command

Haradrim Command

Gothmog's Command


Special Rules

The Walls of Minas Tirith -- The walls of Minas Tirith are manned by defenders throughout the game. Treat this as if Minas Tirith is garrisoned by an element of archers (4Bw) according to the BUA rules, except that they are immune to any combat result (i.e., the Mordor forces can not assault the walls or gain any effective result by missile fire against them).

Up until Imrahil's Command has been activated the Gondor player may make one attack from the West section of the wall, and one attack from the East section of the wall, in any bound. After Imrahil's Command sallies from the gate the Gondor player may only make one missile attack from anywhere on the walls per bound.

Gandalf and the Gates of Minas Tirith -- those who have read their Tolkein will wonder why Gandalf does not appear in this battle. Gandalf is busy saving the life of Faramir and attempting to stop the suicide of Denethor at this crucial juncture. Although he will prevent the entry of any Mordor unit into Minas Tirith, even the Witch-King, he is too busy to take any other part in the battle.

Warg-riding Orcs -- Wargs are tough, intelligent, nasty wolves large enough for orcs or goblins to ride them. They fight in DBA terms as LH, except that they treat Woods as good going for all purposes.

Warg rider cavalry are impetuous. Like Knights or Warband, they follow up one base depth after enemy that retreat, withdraw, or are destroyed.


Special Rules for the Witch-King

Flying Witch-King Rules -- The Witch-King appears riding the Fell Beast, a flying monster. While mounted on his Fell Beast the Witch-King is a mobile commander. He may move around the battlefield as any other unit, although he must pay 1 pip for this move if he moves independently from the unit he is stacked upon. If he begins and ends his movement on the same unit he need not pay 1 pip for his own movement.

Restrictions on Flying -- The Witch-King may move 1200 paces. He may not move over any Gondor Bow, Crossbow, Light Horse, or Psiloi, but otherwise he ignores all ground-based units.

Combat Effects of the Flying Witch-King -- The Witch-King may not be attacked in any way save as a result of army combat. as described here. When he is stacked upon (flying over) a unit under his command, that unit acts in all ways as if it had a General (+1 to combat and defend against missile attacks; road movement increase). If the unit recoils, the Witch-King recoils with it. If the unit he is stacked with is destroyed, the Witch-King may be affected as follows:

The Flying Witch-King may also stack himself over an enemy (Gondor) unit, attempting to demoralize it. In that case the enemy unit suffers combat affects as if it was part of a demoralized command: it suffers a -1 in combat (melee or missile) and any Recoil result becomes a Flee 600 paces. Gondor General's elements are immune to these effects. The Witch-King may not use this tactic on any Gondor element equipped with missile weapons (Bow, Crossbow, Artillery, Light Horse, or Psiloi). This tactic can still be dangerous, however -- if the Gondor element wins the combat, the Witch-King's mount is slain and he must join one adjacent Mordor unit (this happens before combat results are assessed).

Non-Flying Witch-King -- once the Witch-King's mount is slain, the Witch-King is still an independent commander, but he can no longer fly. He must begin and end his movement stacked with a Mordor unit, and may not move through the Face of any Gondor unit. This independent movement still takes 1 pip. The Witch-King is still immune to death except as described below.

Killing the Witch-King The Witch-King will be slain if he is stacked with a Mordor unit that is destroyed, and Aragorn's element of Dunedain is in melee with the Mordor unit or in a flanking or overlap situation. If the Witch-King's element is destroyed in some other circumstance the Witch-King escapes to the nearest Mordor unit. The only other way the Witch-King may die is if slain by Eowyn.

Eowyn/Dernhelm and Meriadoc -- Eowyn is hidden in the Rohan army. If the Witch-King is in contact with any unit of Rohan Knights, whether flying above it (to demoralize it) or commanding a Mordor unit in melee with the Rohan unit, the Witch-King will be destroyed if the Rohan unit rolls a `1' in that combat roll. Note that this is the Rohan unit's roll, not the Mordor unit's roll. It is possible (even likely) for the Rohan unit to lose the combat, be routed or destroyed, and the Witch-King to die as well.

Effects of Slaying the Witch-King -- In addition to the standard effects of a lost General (his whole command being out of his command radius), the Witch-King is worth +3 units toward the breakpoint of the Mordor command, rather than the +2 units that a normal general is worth.


Entry of Various Commands

Imrahil's Command -- No unit of Imrahil's command may move until activated. Imrahil's command is activated if the Gondor player rolls a 5 or 6 for Pips for Imrahil at the start of the Gondor bound after the first turn (don't roll the first turn). Imrahil's command will also become activated on the first Gondor bound after any Rohan forces move within 200 paces of the Gates of Gondor.

Imrahil's Command sallies from the Gates of Gondor. They are in column, and may use road movement. Any non-engaged enemy forces within 600 paces of the Gates of Gondor will rout (move 600 paces as directly away as possible) immediately before Imrahil's command enters.

Entry of the Witch-King -- The Witch-King does not appear on the battlefield until he rolls a 5 or 6 for Pips on a turn after Imrahil sallies from the gates of Gondor. On that turn, before movement, the Witch-King may be placed on top of any Mordor unit. Until the Witch-King appears on the battlefield all troops under his control are considered to be within his command radius. Once he is placed on the battlefield normal command distance rules apply.

Gothmog's Entry -- Gothmog's command enters from Osgiliath on any Mordor bound where he rolls a 5 or 6 for Pips after the Witch-King is on the board. Note that Gothmog's forces cannot enter on the same turn as the Witch-King.

Gothmog's forces enter anywhere on the Northern edge of the battlefield. Any Gondor forces within 600 paces of the point where the Osgiliath road enters the map must immediately rout (move 600 paces as directly away as possible) if Gothmog moves any forces down that road as part of his initial entry.

Aragorn's Entry -- Aragorn's command appears from the Anduin, landing at the wharfs and marching through the Pelargir gate. He enters on any Gondor bound where he rolls a 5 or 6 for Pips after Gothmog's forces enter. Any Mordor forces within 600 paces of the Pelargir gate must rout (move 600 paces as directly away as possible) immediately before Aragorn's command enters.

On the Mordor turn immediately following the entry of his forces, all Mordor commanders suffer a -2 modifier to their Pip rolls. All negative results count as 0.


Victory Conditions

Mordor wins if they break all on-table Gondor commands.

Gondor wins by breaking all on-table Mordor commands.


Last Modified: April 5, 2002. Synchronized this page with the DBA 2.0 modifications to the Tolkein DBA page.

Page put up: July 28, 1998

The author may be contacted at kuijt@umiacs.umd.edu