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Battle for Helmsdeep
Designer: Reich
Type: Simulation
Countries: 100-150 (Large)
Board Info
Reviews Launch Game
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NOTE: The contents of this wiki are current only as of the early beta stages of map development. Many details are flat out wrong with regard to the published version of the map. Updated text will appear in normal font, while old details will appear in italics; as they may still be somewhat useful to players until they are made current.

The Battle for Helmsdeep is a map simulating the siege/assault of The Hornburg in Tolkien's The Two Towers. On this board, players will assume the roles of various leaders on either side of the conflict, will act as a team on either side of the battle, and will have special roles within that team.

The basic idea is this: 8 player map - no exceptions. On a team led by Theoden; Gimli & Legolas (1-person), Prince Haldir of Lothlorien, and Aragorn & Eomer (1-person) hold The Hornburg and must charge into the field of battle to eliminate Saruman's evil armies. On the other team the Orc Lieutenant, the Dunelender Lieutenant, and the Goblin Lieuetenant are led by the Uruk-Hai Warboss in an assault of Rohan and its allies. The 6 "basic" players will get a small cache of bonus armies each turn. The leader of each team will receive substantial bonuses each turn - with team placement and transfer on. The leader is responsible for distributing most of the team's armies to his allies each turn.


[edit] Standard Game Rules

  • Game play: Turn-based
  • Attack Resolution: Versus Dice
  • Number of sides on attack die: 6
  • Number of sides on defend die: 6
  • Card scale: 5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5,5...
  • Card capture: On
  • Disable continuous attack (for num attack limited games): On
  • Hide history move log in fog games: Off
  • Team vision: in fog team games team mates see the same territories: On
  • Team place units: allow unit placement to team members territories: On
  • Team transfer: allow transfers to team members territories: On
  • Allow abandoning of territories: On
  • After a territory is abandoned players should still retain possession: On
  • Empty territories turn neutral at the end of a player's turn (keep posession): Off
  • Player's are only awarded a card if they capture a non-empty territory: On
  • Max number of armies in a single country: Use board defined
  • Number of armies allowed to be stored in reserve: 50
  • Army reserves capture: On
  • Eliminate player bonus: 0 armies
  • Bonus army per: 5 countries
  • Min army bonus: 0
  • Fog of war: Light fog
  • In Turn-based Play: Allow return to Unit Placement from Attack: Off
  • In Turn-based Play: Allow return to Attack from Transfer: On
  • In Turn-based Play: Number of attacks: 10
  • In Turn-based Play: Number of fortifies: 5

[edit] Heroes

[edit] King Theoden (Green)

King Theoden generates most of the armies for Light forces -- 30 per turn. It is the responsibility of the King to distribute these armies to his teammates as needed (the team placement option is on) as other players receive relatively few armies per turn. Theoden is heavily armored and can hold up to 30 units.

[edit] The Rangers (Aqua)

Some Heroes work fine alone, but better as a team. Aragorn alone is worth 3 bonus armies, as is Eomer. If the same player possesses both Rangers, they receive an additional 4 armies for a total of 10. Eomer and Aragorn can hold a max of 15 units.

[edit] Gimli and Legolas (Gray)

Gimli and Legolas share the same 3, 3, 4 pattern as Aragorn and Eomer. They also hold up to 15 units.

[edit] Haldir Lorien (Cyan)

Haldir Lorien, having fewer soldiers at his command, draws only 6 armies per turn and has no hero pair. His safe position high atop the Hornburg more than adequately compensates. Haldir has a max unit limit of 15.

[edit] Villains

[edit] Uruk-hai Warboss (Black)

The Uruk-hai Warboss is the General for Sauron's dark armies and commands a bonus of 40 per turn. It is up to the Warboss to distribute these armies to his teammates as needed (the team placement option is on) as other players receive relatively few armies per turn. The Uruk-hai Warboss is stronger than most, and can hold 20 units. He can also attack at a range of 1.5 hexes.

[edit] Orc Lieutenant (Dark Blue)

The Orc Lieutenant is charged with a battalion of Orcs, Goblins, Dunelendings, and other dark creatures. He supports himself with 7 armies per turn. (Max Units = 15)

[edit] The Goblin Lieutenant (Red)

The Goblin Lieutenant shares rank with the Orc and Dunelending Lieutenant and also receives 7 bonus armies per turn. (Max Units = 15)

[edit] The Dunelend Lieutenant (Brown)

Like the other Lieutenants in Saruman's dark army, the Dunelender receives 7 bonus armies per turn. (Max Units = 15)

[edit] Special Bonuses

[edit] Internal Strife

While a few of the Heroes work together to draw a bigger bonus, the evil leaders on the villainous side work alongside each other only out of fear of their master. If the same player takes control of 2 Lieutenants, they will lose 5 bonus armies, essentially negating one of the Lieutenants, as they squabble and bicker amongst themselves. (To clarify Lt. 1 = +5, Lt. 2 = +5, Lts. 1&2 = 5+5-5 = +5 net)

[edit] Rangers

When the same player controls both Aragorn and Eomer, they receive an extra bonus of 4 armies per turn. That brings that player's total bonus to 10 per turn (3 for Aragorn, 3 for Eomer, 4 for Both). The starting condition grants both of these Heroes to the same player. They are yours to lose.

[edit] Fellowship

When the same player controls both Gimli and Legolas, they receive an extra bonus of 4 armies per turn. That brings that player's total bonus to 10 per turn (3 for Gimli, 3 for Legolas, 4 for Both). The starting condition grants both of these Heroes to the same player. They are yours to lose.

[edit] Gatekeeper

This obscure bonus gives 20 bonus armies per turn to a player who takes control of all 5 of the Hornburg's gates: The Great Gates, The Sanctum Gate, The Rear Gate, The Inner Gate, and The Upper Gate.

[edit] Terror

When the Warboss or one of his Lieutenants takes control of the Women and Children position, that player receives 10 bonus armies per turn.

[edit] Certain Victory

This bonus grants 100 bonus armies to a player controlling both Theoden, King of Rohan and the Uruk-Hai Warboss position.

[edit] Special Units

[edit] Archers

[edit] Deeping Wall Archers

The archers on the Deeping Wall begin the game under the possession of the Legolas/Gimli player. They can engage in melee combat with their immediately adjacent neighbors, with the Deeping Wall itself (for example, they may want to do this when the wall is breached and enemy units fill the space), and up to 5 "steps" out (including the wall).

  • Archer positions can hold a maximum of 3 units each.
  • Archers receive +4 to attacks 1-step away.
  • Archers receive +2 to attacks 2-steps away.
  • Attacks 3 steps away receive +0 to attack and defend.
  • When archers attack 4 steps away, the defense receives +2 to rolls.
  • When archers attack 5 steps away, the defender receives +3 to rolls.

Strategy Note: The archers have a relatively low unit cap to prevent their use as "teleporters" of large numbers of armies far across the map with transfers. If you find yourself with fewer than 3 armies on an archer position, consider using some of your transfers to 'reload' the space with armies from Gimli, Legolas, or Haldir, all of which have borders leading to each of the Deeping Wall Archers and which have much higher maximum unit caps.

[edit] Hornburg Archers

The archer positions on the Hornburg can likewise fight each other in melee combat in addition to their bows. The Lorien archers can use their arrows to attack the top few units on the Hornramp, to aid in battle in the skirmish behind the deeping wall, to support Eomer's position, and to defend the nearest arm of the Deeping Wall, out to about the Ballista.

[edit] Siege Engines

[edit] Catapaults

The catapaults begin the game under the control of the Uruk-Hai Warboss. They attack The Deeping Wall with powerful showers of boulder and flame.

  • The catapaults can attack to the 4 nearest sections of the Deeping Wall, as shown.
  • The catapaults can hold a maximum of 3 armies each.
  • The catapaults receive +6 to their attack rolls.

Strategy Note: The catapaults have relatively low maximum unit caps to prevent their use as 'teleporters' of large numbers of armies far across the map with transfers. If your attacks have sustained losses, but you want to continue your assault of The Deeping Wall, consider transferring additional armies from adjacent spaces or from the Uruk-Hai Warboss who has one-way, ranged borders connecting him to the siege engines, and then returning to the attack phase. Also, adjacent spaces can attack the catapaults, but the catapaults cannot attack adjacent spaces. As such, they act somewhat as choke-points in the defense of Sauruman's leaders.

[edit] The Deeping Wall

The Deeping Wall seperates the Skirmish Yard and rear gates of the Hornburg from the main battlefield. Along the top of the Deeping Wall stand a line of Archers flanked by the heroes Gimli and Legolas. Each segment of the Deeping Wall initially holds 30 units, however, once the 30 neutrals are gone, the spaces hold a maximum of 10 units each. The wall spaces can be attacked from the Catapaults. They may also be attacked by melee units at the base of the wall and the Archers along its top.

Once a wall segment has been breached, it can attack either of the adjacent archers and the skirmisher space immediately behind it.

  • Initial units = 30 neutrals
  • Normal maximum of 10 units
  • No attack or defense modifiers.

Strategy Note: It would be poor strategy for the archers to attack the wall before it has been breached, as the neutrals are their primary line of defense. These borders exist so that the Elves may attack back against units which have breached the walls.

[edit] The Deeping Tower

The Deeping Tower is similar to the Deeping Wall spaces, except that it cannot be attacked by the Catapaults. Breaching the Deeping Tower also gives direct access to the Ballista - a powerful weapon in either side's hands.

[edit] Sauruman's Explosive Device

The explosive device is found at the base of the Deeping Wall, near the drain culvert. It has a long fuse, which can only be lit (attacked from) from the adjacent Uruk-hai Torchbearer. The explosive device has a large offense bonus against the adjacent Deeping Wall. The Explosive Device position may also be attacked from the walls and archer positions. This is so that once the position is held by the dark forces, the men and elves can take it back to prevent further assault. The explosive device starts with 10 units as a "fuse", but can only hold 5 units once detonated.

Sauruman's Explosive Device receives +10 to attack rolls.

[edit] The Hornramp

This is the sweeping ramp leading from the plains to the Great Gate. The Hornramp is attackable from either end, and by the Deeping Wall Ballista. The Hornramp is narrow and steep. Each position along the ramp can hold a maximum of 8 units, with the exception of the Battering Ram found at the top.

[edit] The Battering Ram

The Battering Ram is found at the top of the Hornramp, adjacent to the Great Gates. The Battering Ram can hold up to 20 armies. This position can only attack the Great Gate. Units wishing to move from the Great Gate down the Hornramp simply skip the Battering Ram. However, once a unit has been placed on the Battering Ram, it is stuck there until it can move onto the Gate Position or it is killed. The Battering Ram can be attacked from behind, by the Great Gate, by the archers lining the Hornburg, by the Ballista, and by the Stone Throwers perched atop the Hornburg Gate Tower.

The battering ram attacks and defends with 12 sided dice.

[edit] Boiling Oil

Boiling Oil is a position found directly above the great gate. It is one of King Theoden's few initial holdings. Boiling Oil has a max unit count of 10 and can only attack its neighboring archer & the Great Gate below -- it is not even capable of reaching the Battering Ram. It does, however, attack with extreme power; burning to death nearly every foe it meets.

Boiling oil attacks with 22 sided dice against the Great Gate which defends with 12 sided dice.

[edit] Stone Throwers

Stone Throwers are another of King Theoden's defensive measures. The stone throwers can attack to either the Great Gate or the Battering Ram. They have a maximum unit count of 5 and are far less effective than Boiling Oil.

Stone throwers attack with 16 sided dice against the Battering Ram and the Great Gate which defend with 12 sided dice.

[edit] Women and Children

The Women and Children position is hidden in a cave above the Inner Gate at the back of the Skirmish Yard. This position has no special attack or defense. It is a part of the Terror bonuses granted to a player that controls one of the evil leaders and it.

[edit] Gates

There are 5 gates around The Hornburg: The Great Gates, The Sanctum Gate, The Rear Gate, The Inner Gate, and The Upper Gate. Any gate position may attack to any other gate position. The gates start with 20 units, but have a max of 10 once breeched.

[edit] Discussion

Feel free to share your opinions on my ideas for this map.

  • Holy shit. This is a lot of borders... -- Reich
  • Sample reply. See how this works? -- Reich
  • A thought here: if you are gonna add modifiers for defense or attacks, I think moving the base die from 6 to a higher value, 8-10, will allow you to add more details and realism because you will have greater flexibility. For instance, even giving a -2 to attack on a 6 sided die is absolutely crippling. But you can give a -1, -2 or -3 on a 10 sided die and it not be too brutal. It can also make things look cooler if a certain gate gets only a +1 defense, the Hornburg +2 but the main wall gets +4. Just to describe the potential for flexibility.
This will also work better for the archers, so every row back can have a penalty, but not a prohibitive one (ie every 1 of the 3 steps back can have a -1 that increases: but attacking with a 3 sided die is not gonna happen). Gimli (PS does the name give extra weighting to ideas?!?!? :) )
  • Gonna try 12 sided dice next game. Definately gives more range to the border modifiers.-- Reich

  • Another thought here: with the catapults attacking the wall with essentially -4 compared to defense, why have only 2? usually as in airbase world war map, extreme attack bonuses are limited by limiting # of units that can use it per turn. so why make only 2 units in it if it isn't really that effective? thx! - Gimli
  • My reasoning, which could be swayed by good argument or seeing how it actually plays, is because once a wall is breeched, the catapaults essentially become teleporters. By limiting the number of catapaults and the number of units that can fit on the catapault, I can control the number of units that can move from mid-field to the skirmish yard with single attacks.
  • The 'clarify' example in the Terror section doesn't match the bonuses described elsewhere. Is this a mistake? (also, while we're nitpicking, which is what I bring to the table map-testing wise, it's spelled 'breach' not 'breech' in this context) -- asm
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