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THE HOBBIT The Battle of the Five Armies "BOTFA"

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Joined: 02 Mar 2010
Posts: 75
Location: Hollywood, CA

PostPosted: Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:33 pm GMT    Post subject: THE HOBBIT The Battle of the Five Armies "BOTFA" Reply with quote

In honor of this scenario being included as an official Dragon Dice™ tournament event at the Los Angeles Strategicon GATEWAY 2016 Convention, we proudly present this terrifically fun game for your Labor Day Weekend enjoyment:


Designed by
Clifford Broadway @quickbeam2000
Nicole Roberts @rasputintx

"So began a battle that none had expected; and it was called the Battle of Five Armies, and it was very terrible." ~ J.R.R. Tolkien


This scenario uses analogous races of the Dragon Dice™ game in a specific formulation to recreate the famous Battle of Five Armies found in the climactic final chapters of THE HOBBIT; slanting its adaptation a bit more towards Tolkien's original book with some fanciful additions necessitated by the new Dragon Dice™ 3.0 rules design. Remember: in the book Azog was long since dead, there were no giant trolls at the Battle, and Bilbo barely participated. Well, we had to include Legolas just as Peter Jackson did, because he is just so bad-ass.

This is a scenario of quick-attrition without any magical support and is expected to run a maximum of 90 minutes playing time. It has been playtested thoroughly for more than a year. Our scenario is played like a standard 24-point Dragon Dice™ game but with the following key differences:

* Always requires 5 players

* No Magicians construction

* No Dragonkin

* No Minor Terrains

* Players use pre-built armies that include unique characters/ items from the story (Dice List included at end)

* Bilbo Baggins is the only major character not present (while wearing the Ring he was knocked unconscious and woke up after the BOTFA was over)

* Only ONE dragon is used -- a unique creature in this campaign -- that being a Red/Gold Hybrid Drake representing Smaug the Golden

To determine who plays which army, five players blindly choose one die out of a hat representing each of the races used in the BOTFA:

4. Goblins/ Frostwings: BOLG & GOBLINS & WARGS
5. Feral/ Firewalker/ Dwarf: GREAT EAGLES & LEGENDARY AVIANS (angry birds)

** ~Special Winning Objectives~ **

Winning conditions for the BOTFA campaign are two-fold:

(1) Winning player must have slain Smaug at least once.

(2) Winning player must capture two terrains' 8th faces (per standard winning conditions) but these must be a combination of Erebor/ Frontier AND ANY OTHER Home terrain. Bottom line: capturing two outside Home terrains without controlling Erebor's 8th face does not count for the win.

Players have assigned Home terrains as follows:

** Dwarves - Highland Tower (the Iron Hills)

** Men - Coastland City (Lake-Town)

** Elves - Swampland Temple (the marshy edges of Mirkwood)

** Goblins/Wargs - Feyland Standing Stones (the Ruins of Dale on the Running River)

** Eagles - Flatland Standing Stones (the Withered Heath)

** Smaug - Wasteland Frontier Dragon's Lair (Erebor, the Lonely Mountain)

** The Arkenstone and Smaug are initially placed at Erebor during Setup.

** Players divide their starting forces normally into 3 armies as they see fit, using standard 50% size-limit rules.

Roll all Horde armies normally to determine order of play.

Army Placement:

A Player's Home Army begins the game at their Home Terrain, as always, but their Campaign and Horde armies must go to other players' Homes -- as NO ARMY can be initially placed at Erebor.

SMAUG special rules:

* Smaug begins the game placed on Erebor, as if already summoned. He need not stay there, however.
* Each player engaged with Smaug rolls the die on his/her own army, since no one brought the beast to the table.
* He will attack armies normally during the proper point of each player's future Dragon Attack Phase after they've arrived at Erebor.
* Once slain, Smaug is placed in a communal Summoning Pool which belongs to no individual player, but to all.
* Smaug will reappear immediately and commence an isolated Dragon Attack Phase on the active player at Erebor every time that terrain is maneuvered from 7 up to its 8th face. The Chiefest and Greatest of Calamities will not wait for the next turn of the active player, but attacks immediately upon said player possessing the 8th face.
* If Smaug rolls Wings, he inflicts 5 points of damage normally and flies to Lake-town (if he is not slain).
* If Smaug rolls Wings while at Lake-town or any other Home terrain he inflicts 5 points of damage and defaults to fly back to Erebor (if he is not slain).
* Erebor's 8th face Dragon's Lair ability affects Smaug normally, allowing him to be summoned anywhere.
* Using 7 points of Red or Gold magic will summon Smaug normally..
* Bard's Black Arrow (the Heart-seeker magic item) holds a special threat to Smaug with its Impale S.A.I. -- if indeed the dragon rolls Jaws and the magic item rolls Impale, the beast is slain, but Bard does not have to be alive or present to achieve this effect.

FIVE ARMIES special rules:

There are none. All regular Dragon Dice™ rules and mechanisms (Rule Set 3.0 at the time of this posting) apply in this scenario. Racial abilities, SAI's, Magic Items and Artifacts, 8th Face terrain special abilities, Spells, Dragon Breaths, Eldarim Champion abilities, etc all apply normally. Exceptions are noted.

~ ~ *Bonus Characters & Items* ~ ~

(1) The ARKENSTONE (the King's Jewel):

The 1st player to arrive at Erebor receives the Arkenstone (represented by any shiny token or "jewel-like" gaming piece you have). Possessing it is like a never-ending Stoneskin spell: it adds +1 save to your army while they are present at Erebor. Leave that terrain (or perish with no units left alive) and the ARKENSTONE must be transferred to the next player who had arrived after the 1st. Players must keep track of who arrived in sequence at the Lonely Mountain after the 1st player.

GANDALF the Grey and shape-changing BEORN begin the game on the sideboard -- to be brought into play upon the following conditions:

(2) GANDALF, Mithrandir, the Grey wizard:

Gandalf is represented by the King's Die (a.k.a. the Royalty Die). He is added to the player's Reserves who *first* captures any 8th face. This die provides the standard recruiting/promoting benefits.

(3) BEORN, goliath man who can shapeshift into a fearsome bear:

Beorn is the only unit in this campaign bearing a Magic icon. He is added to the weakest player's forces after the end of the 2nd complete round. Beorn is added to any army that player wishes.

Completing a round means the *last* player (they who placed armies last) ending his/her turn after all players have gone around the table. Use a marker to distinguish the 1st player and keep track of the end of the 2nd complete round of turns. The weakest player is defined as having the MOST combined health of units dead and buried.

Free Advice: Do not, for the love of honey, Hug anything that can do 4 points of damage back on you. HUG SMART.....


DURATION: The game is ideally intended to finish between 60-90 minutes of playtime.

The winning player gets a pipe-full of Longbottom Leaf, the finest pipeweed in the South Farthing; and gets to sit with Bilbo in his garden at twilight enjoying seed-cakes, ice cold ale (it comes in pints), and listening to stories about his many adventures.



Use this specific list of dice to create the perfect narrative nuance for your BOTFA experience. Play Howard Shore's film scores while engaged in this scenario for maximum flavor:

1 Warlord (Thorin Oakenshield)
1 Mammoth Rider (Dain Ironfoot)
2 Patrollers
1 Lizard Rider
1 Marksman
1 Footman
3 Sentries
2 Crossbowmen
1 Red Mantlet artifact
TOTAL: 24 points


1 White Eldarim Dragoncrusader (Bard the Bowman)
1 Warchief
1 Harbinger
2 Warriors
2 Envoys
1 Soldier
1 Runner
2 Charioteers
1 Black Heartseeker (the Black Arrow)
TOTAL: 24 points

1 Protector (Thranduil, the Elvenking)
1 Herald (Legolas Greenleaf, his son)
1 Trooper
1 Knight
1 Archer
1 Fighter
1 Guard
2 Horsemen
1 Bowman
1 Noble Willow
1 Redwood
TOTAL: 24 points

Goblins/Frostwings: GOBLINS & WARGS
1 Filcher (Bolg)
3 Cutthroats (the bodyguard of Bolg)
4 Thugs
3 Wardog Riders
2 Wolfpacks
TOTAL: 24 points

2 Vulture-Folk
2 Hawk-Folk
5 Falcon-Folk
1 Phoenix
1 Roc
1 Blue Wooden Targe
TOTAL: 24 points

Sideboard Bonus Characters -- Eldarim/Feral: GANDALF & BEORN
1 Royalty Die (Gandalf the Grey)
1 Bear-Folk (Beorn the Skinchanger)
TOTAL: 8 points

Non-Dragon Dice™ Additional Item: THE ARKENTSTONE
1 Shiny or Gem-like token of your choice
TOTAL: 1 point save effect

1 Highland Tower (Iron Hills)
1 Coastland City (Esgaroth a.k.a. Lake-Town)
1 Swampland Temple (marshes of eastern Mirkwood)
1 Feyland Standing Stones (ruins of Dale on the Running River)
1 Flatland Standing Stones (Withered Heath)
1 Wasteland frontier Dragon's Lair (Erebor a.k.a. the Lonely Mountain)

1 Red/Gold Hybrid Drake (Smaug)


Observant players may note how important the functions of the City 8th face, Feralizing racial ability, Wild Growth SAI, Gandalf's addition, and Beorn's addition may influence late-stage game play. If Smaug rolls effectively against these Armies as they struggle towards their terrain objectives while decimating each other -- the winning criteria seems further out of reach unless mechanisms like the ones mentioned above help restore units from the DUA.

We have discovered this makes for a really juicy game of Dragon Dice™; showcasing the game's best conceits that make fantasy battle storytelling come to life.

Feedback and player's thoughts on this game are very welcome. Nicole and I hope you enjoy this mischief.

Let's Roll to Victory!
Much too hasty,

"Quickbeam" from
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Rep Dragon

Joined: 16 Mar 2008
Posts: 324
Location: Vancouver, WA

PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:11 pm GMT    Post subject: THE HOBBIT The Battle of the Five Armies "BOTFA" Reply with quote

I had the pleasure of playing this very creative themed DD game over the past weekend at Orc Con 2017! Apart from the specific army construction, the game is Dragon Dice™! You just need 5 players. It played relatively fast due to the fact that there are no mages. Extremely fun and entertaining, please give it a try and tell me what you think.

Thanks again to Quickbeam and his cohort for developing this FANtastic scenario!
Rep (director)
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