The Road Goes Ever On and On series is back, and we’re joined by one of the wise to talk about some of the upcoming releases for the Middle-earth Strategy Battle Game. This week, Jay Clare delves into the dark depths of Dol Guldur to provide details on the upcoming Fall of the Necromancer supplement, as well as the new Ruins of Dol Guldur terrain set.
Jay: Though Sauron was defeated during the War of the Last Alliance, Isildur’s decision to keep rather than destroy the One Ring enabled the Dark Lord to endure and ultimately return to Middle-earth.
However, with much of his power lost, Sauron was unable to regain physical form, becoming a literal shadow of his former self.
After founding the fortress of Dol Guldur, Sauron’s corruption slowly seeped into the surrounding forest of Greenwood, which would eventually become known as Mirkwood on account of the fell darkness that had taken root there.
From within this stronghold, Sauron began to regain some of his former power under the guise of the Necromancer, and Evil started to creep back into the world.
It wasn’t until Gandalf and the rest of the White Council discovered Sauron’s presence that he was ousted from Dol Guldur. By then, he had already recovered much of his strength and fled to Mordor to prepare his assault upon Middle-earth once more.
The Fall of the Necromancer supplement covers the entirety of this story. It’s got all the events from Sauron returning to the world and founding Dol Guldur, through the skirmishes between the Elves of Mirkwood and the foul spiders that plague the forest, all the way up to the White Council’s epic showdown with the Necromancer and his deadliest servants.
There are 13 Narrative Scenarios in this supplement, each of which faithfully captures the scenes from the books and the films.
Flight to the East, for example, allows players to recreate the moment from the lore when Gandalf first ventured to Dol Guldur and Sauron was forced to flee to avoid discovery. In this Scenario, the Evil player has a series of markers under their control, any of which might be the Necromancer – the Good player must try to have Gandalf reveal the correct marker before Sauron can flee.
Meanwhile, the Capture of the Grey Wizard Scenario depicts the scene from the film where Gandalf and Thráin are attempting to escape the ruins of Dol Guldur while being pursued by Azog and his Orcs, before being halted in their escape by the Necromancer.
The supplement also contains four new Legendary Legions for matched play enthusiasts, each of which focuses on the forces featured within it.
All of these Legendary Legions have a very unique playstyle. For example, the Rangers of Mirkwood Legendary Legion allows players to field a full army of Mirkwood Rangers who can duck and dodge behind trees to avoid incoming attacks.
Meanwhile, the Pits of Dol Guldur features Azog and the Orcs under his command at the fortress. They can launch a surprise attack on their foes – much like the one Gandalf is subject to in the films – to automatically seize Priority on any given turn.
The Rise of the Necromancer Legendary Legion features Sauron in his shadowy form and the dreaded Nazgûl of Dol Guldur. Having regained much of his strength at this point, the Necromancer can cast two Magical Powers per turn and even has two Attacks.
Finally, the Vanquishers of the Necromancer contains only five models: Saruman, Gandalf, Radagast, Galadriel, and Elrond. Don’t be fooled by their low numbers – this Legendary Legion can prove to be very effective, with each member of the White Council providing aid to their allies in their own way.
Galadriel can unleash her full power upon an enemy model in an attempt to banish them from the world, though doing so will drain much of her power. It’s also worth mentioning that the Legendary Legion also allows Galadriel to cast the Banishment Magical Power on any model, not just Spirit models – just like she does to the Keeper of the Dungeons in the films.
Fall of the Necromancer also contains a handy guide for painting your very own Ruins of Dol Guldur – speaking of which…
The Ruins of Dol Guldur is the latest plastic terrain kit for the Middle-earth Strategy Battle Game, and it is stunning. This fully modular set allows you to build your own Ruins of Dol Guldur in a variety of ways, and you can even combine multiple kits to make a sprawling and twisted fortress reminiscent of that seen in the films.
The kit also features extra details for you to litter across your terrain. There are creeping vines to go up the walls, statues (which feature in one of the Scenarios), and the frames even include the first separate Middle-earth scaled skulls.
Fall of the Necromancer and the Ruins of Dol Guldur terrain are the perfect way to get started, whether you want to play through the events surrounding Sauron’s rise to power or simply build an epic Dol Guldur board that looks like it’s straight out of the films.
Cheers, Jay! We can’t wait to see what else is in the Fall of the Necromancer supplement and the haunting gaming tables people make with this thematic new terrain kit. Keep a lidless eye (wreathed in flame) out for both of these awesome releases, as they’ll be available to pre-order soon.