The Crucible – Kinstrife (Gondor 3 player)

The Crucible (Gondor Kinstrife version)


In the middle of the Third Age, while Gondor still had Kings and before the line failed, King Valacar was enraptured by, and married Vidumavi, a woman of the Northmen of Rhovanion, from one of the tribes that dwelt north of Gondor’s Borders near the eaves of the Greenwood (Mirkwood) and were allied to Gondor. However, this troubled many of the nobility, the High Men, Who traced their Dunedain lineage back to Numenor and who saw it as weakening the line of Elendil, as well as mistrust that a Northman from outside the kingdom sat beside the king.

When their son Eldacar came to the throne in TA 1432, open rebellion resulted, in a series of wars called the Kin-strife, where factions in Gondor attempted to seize the throne, while Eldacar and his Loyalists attempted to maintain order and the line of Elendil. One Lord from the South, called Castimir, Lord of Ships became known as The Usurper, when he managed to defeat Eldacar and take the throne.

This scenario is set during that war, the fate of the kingdom is on the point of a knife. Eldacar, defeated in open battle in Ithilien by the Forces of Castimir fled towards Osgiliath first by crossing the Anduin with his few retainers. But they spotted another rebel force of High Men and so hid amongst the loyal peasants of a farm village, waiting. Scouts of the High Men had marked his crossing, and now hunt him. Castimir also had a small force moving up the this side of the Anduin and that has come to investigate. And to the fray has joined a small relief force from the capital, Osgiliath, looking for their King. Who will find the King? The Loyalists? The High Men? or The Usurper?


Play area is a 6′ circle. (Push two 6′ x 4′ boards together and marking out the boundary with terrain).
Each player has a starting point on the board edge equidistant from each other player.
Deployment zone for each player is a 15″ semi-circle from the starting point.


  • 3 Village Houses (Stone Buildings) (defence 3, capacity 3, VP 3)
  • 3 Farms (Wooden Buildings) (defence 2, capacity 4, VP 2)
  • 3 Orchards (Woods) (defence 2, capacity 5, VP, 2)
  • 3 Fields (defence 1, capacity 6, VP 1)

Three roads lead radially to the centre and are equi-spaced to divide the board into 3 segments.
Three village houses near the centre. The farmhouses halfway along each road. The Orchards and fields placed, 1 each, between each road.


Game is played as usual over 8 rounds. Victory is determined by victory points, which are scored by capturing a terrain piece and holding it for 1 round. A player can only score VP for any terrain piece once. The VP of a terrain piece are the same as their defensive bonuses (see table above).


All the armies must be Gondor, with no allies. Each player takes on a sub-factions of Gondor and limited in their choices of troops. (Use the WotR stat blocks and names but you could rename the heroes to Kin-Strife figures such as Eldacar, Castimir…)

Points: 1200 an army. Must include at least 1 Legendary formation, and one Loremaster upgrade (see below)

Cavalry requirement: At least 25% (by companies) of any player’s force must be cavalry. e.g. if a player has 20 companies/trays then at least 5 companies of that force must be cavalry . Round down, so 22 companies still mean 5 companies of cavalry.

High Men (Numenor)
Common: Warriors of Numenor *
Numenorean Archers *
Knights of Numenor * **
Rare: Fountain Court Guards *
Bolt Thrower
Legendary: Wardens of the Keys
Grey Company
Epic: High Lord Dorthelion (Elendil)
Mordreth of Anfalas (Isildur)

* These formations may take a Loremaster for 100 points.
**As Knights of Minas Tirith but +1 Courage -1 Defence

Loyalists (Minas Tirith)
Common: Warriors of Minas Tirith *
Archers of Minas Tirith *
Knights of Minas Tirith *
Citadel Guard
Rare: Fountain Court Guards *
Bolt Thrower
Legendary: Rangers of Ithilien
Osgiliath Veterans
Epic: Ornendil, Prince of Gondor (Aragorn)
Aldamir, Prince of Gondor (Boromir)

* These formations may take a Loremaster for 100 points.

The Usurper (Fiefs and Dol Amroth)
Common: Men-at-Arms *
Foot knights *
Swan knights *
Citadel Guard
Rare: Clansmen of Lamedon **
Bolt Thrower
Axemen of Lossenarch **
Legendary: Blackroot Vale Archers
Epic: Castimir the Usurper (Imrahil)
Olruin, Warden of Pelargir(Faramir)

* These formations may take a Loremaster for 100 points.
** Legendary if Angbor the Fearless or Forlong the Fat taken

Special Rules:

Three way priority. This is a 3-way game. Each player rolls for priority. The player who rolls the highest gets to pick whether to go first, second or third. Then the player who rolled second highest gets to pick. (For example the winner chooses to move/act second, then the player who rolled the next highest has a choice of moving/acting first or last)

Loremasters. The Dunedain of Gondor are long-lived and learned and have had the chance to study ancient texts from Numenor and the elves. These are spellcasters with 1 Might, and 1 Mastery and know all the spells of Command, the army lists above show which units can have the Loremaster upgrade. Each player must take 1 Loremaster.

‘Endless’ Defenders. These are the homes of the common folk of Gondor torn between the factions and seeking to defend their homes and protect the True King of Gondor. On turn 1 no defenders are deployed. Then each turn, after priority is determined, but before movement begins, roll for each defensible terrain piece. On a 5 or 6 defenders will appear (roll below for the type). The defenders will occupy the terrain if possible. If the Terrain piece is occupied, then roll a scatter dice and the defenders appear adjacent to the terrain 1″ away. If the terrain piece is partially obscured by a formation moving across it, place the defenders near the centre.

Roll Defenders M F S D A R C Equipment
1-2 2 Co peasants 6 3/4+ 3 3 8 1 3 hand weapons and slings*
3-4 2 Co militia 6 3/- 3 4 8 1 3 Med armour, Farm tools (pikes)
5 2 Co veterans 6 4/4+ 3 5 8 1 3 Heavy arm, Hand weapons, Bows**
6 Sergeant-At-Arms*** 4 2 4

* Slings are R12″ and Strength 3. No long/short range, and can shoot to/from edges of terrain not the centres (though themselves are targeted at the centre as usual).
** This unit will only use bows if it has no feasible charge target or is defending a terrain feature.
*** Sergeant-At-Arms. Roll again on the table to see which unit he leads, treating a 6 as a 5. He will attempt to call a Heroic Duel when possible, picking off the ‘weakest’ enemy hero available (by Fight Value). He will use any Might to increase his result.

Desperate Defence. The defenders’ homes and young are under threat and they fight with an increased ferocity, to protect them and the True King and so have the following special rules:

  • Defenders make +2 to any courage/terror tests
  • If defenders attacks a terrain, and wins the fight and ousts the defending troops they may immediately move inside.
  • Defenders will randomly choose targets to attack in close combat (company by company), in the open, and the nearest formation when using missiles.
  • Defenders will always choose to throw / charge and attack a formation in the buildings over one in the open nearby, even if closer.
  • If a terrain piece is already occupied by  these defenders and another formation of defenders appears outside, it will move directly towards the nearest enemy it can see
  • Defenders always get priority to move/throw/charge before the players.

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