Last week we kicked off our Battle Companies Osgiliath Campaign. As I think I have said before this is mainly to familiarise ourselves with the rules and also to give us time to build up the armies and terrain we need for the full strategy game. The rules are similar enough to Legends of the Old West and this has caused a little bit of confusion. Still our first two games played out well and we didn't feel like we made too many mistakes. I've since gone through the rules fairly in depth and picked up a few nuances that we missed in the excitement. The purpose of the map for Battle Companies is simply to record who is doing the best in the campaign and records total victories and also territory controlled. Once the total victories of one side reaches the edge of the page the campaign is over and a winner declared. While there are empty territories on the map the players can chose one empty one to occupy for each victory. Once they are all filled they can then only take a territory that is adjacent to one they already occupy or directly across the river from one already occupied. This shouldn't result in the exact same tally as the total victories as territory can end up getting swapped back and forth a few times before an overall victory is declared. You might have a slight advantage in territory but lose the campaign and this could be considered this more of a waste or too high expenditure of resources on behalf of the loser.
The first game featured the men of Gondor trying to hold the Ford of Ranbarad against a marauding band of Orcs. The Gondorians couldn't prevent the Orcs from making the crossing they were just too numerous to hold back for long. The ford itself was bombarded with arrows forcing the defenders to duck for cover while the Orcs crossed in numbers to the North and South. Two forays were sent against them with the Orcs to the North being stopped with a bloody slaughter while those to the south rampaged past the beleaguered defenders to make it to the ruins of Osgiliath and the relative safety of their foul brethern's company.
The second game was a closer affair. The brave men of Rohan were ambushed by marauding Goblins along the Anduin and took to higher ground while awaiting reinforcements. Thinking that their rear was protected by a small river they were quickly surrounded by an unseen force of goblins rapidly crossing the river and charging uphill to take them in the rear. It was a bloody affair but the Goblins scattered the Rohirrim and claimed victory.