Sunday, August 19, 2012

Isengard vs Gondor & Mirkwood

Scenario: Reconnoitre

*Faramir, Captain of Gondor /w Hvy Armor, Shield, Armrd Horse
12 Citadel Guard /w Horse
Beregond /w Horse
12 Citadel Guard /w Horse
Engineer Captain
2 Knights of Minas Tirith
Avenger Bolt Thrower /w Swift Reload, Siege Veterans
Damrod, Ranger of Ithilien
12 Citadel Guard /w Spears
12 Wood Elf Warriors /w Elf Bows
994pts, 57 models, 10 might

*Saruman the White
2 Uruk-hai Berserkers
5 Uruk-hai Warriors /w Shields
5 Uruk-hai Warriors /w Pikes
Thryden Wolfsbane /w Horse
6 Dunlending Warriors /w Shields
6 Dunlending Warriors /w Two handed Axes
Graznar (Uruk-hai Captain) /w Heavy Armor, Shield
4 Uruk-hai Warriors /w Shields
2 Uruk-hai Warriors /w Pikes
6 Warg Riders
6 Uruk-hai Warriors /w Shields
3 Uruk-hai Warriors /w Pikes
Ulgash (Uruk-hai Captain) /w Heavy Armor, Shield
4 Uruk-hai Warriors /w Crossbows
Siege Assault Ballista

1002pts, 57 models, 13 might

Battle Report

Turn 1 – Priority Good
Deployment rolls:
Beregond rolls a 1
Thranduil rolls a 4 and arrives with his warband in the center of the northern board edge.
Damrod rolls a 2
Faramir rolls a 2
The Engineer Captain rolls a 1
Saruman rolls a 4 and arrives in the eastern half of the southern board edge
Thryden rolls a 5 and appears in the south-west
Ugluk rolls a 1
Ulgash rolls a 5 and arrives just west of Saruman
Graznar rolls a 3

Opening the action, Thranduil and his elves launch a volley of arrows toward Saruman's warband, scoring two hits, one on an Uruk warrior and one on Saruman himself though no damage was caused.

Turn 2 – Priority Good
Deployment rolls:
The Engineer Captain rolls a 2
Faramir rolls a 5 and appears in the north-western corner of the map
Damrod rolls a 1
Beregond rolls a 2
Graznar rolls a 5 and arrives between Thryden's Dunlendings and Ulgash's warband
Ugluk rolls a 4 and enters the field behind the Dunlendings

The evil army largely advances straight ahead, while the elves hold position. 

The elves commence direct fire against the Dunlendings and the warg riders, though it is largely 
ineffective. Thranduil looses an arrow killing a mounted orc, but the warg remained in the fight despite the loss of his rider. Perhaps seeing this, Ulgash barks out orders to the crew of the ballista. Carefully sighting down the immense siege arrow and releasing the tension, the machine bucked as the arrow leapt into the air. With no time to react, Thranduil is smashed to the ground and slain, his followers looking on in stunned silence (a successful to hit roll followed by a six on the scatter chart and the failure of Thranduil's fate rolls left him very, very dead).

Turn 3 – Priority Evil
Deployment rolls:
The Engineer Captain rolls a 2 and arrives near the center of the northern board edge
Damrod rolls a 2 and appears just west of the now leaderless wood-elves
Beregond rolls a 6 and appears in the space vacated by Faramir's warband
I had not noticed when taking the picture, but it appears that Mina (our cat) was studying the rule book. Another aspiring player?
The warg riders continue to skirt the small wood to the west, trying to add some in-the-way rolls for the elvish bowmen.

The siege ballista fires again, and finds its mark in a Citadel Guardsman of Damrod's warband, slaying him instantly.

The enraged elves return fire, killing the warg out from under an orc, and then slaying the dismounted orc himself. 

The crew of the Avenger place a box of bolts into place and bring the machine to life, firing two shots, though none hit.
Gratuitous shots of turn three:
Cavalry on the Move
Evil Advances

Uruk crewmen readying their engine

Turn 4 – Priority Good
Finally realising that they are terribly out of position, Saruman and Graznar begin their frantic march back to the western side of the board. The Gondorian cavalry charge straight toward their objective, not pausing to engage the enemy except where they throw themselves into blocking positions. Faramir and a fellow become the first to draw steel in close combat.

 Another flurry of elven arrows throb through the air, slaying a warg rider and three wargs from under their orcs as well as an Uruk warrior.

The Uruk crossbows return fire but cannot cause any damage while the ballista fires at a Knight of Minas Tirith but misses. In the first melee combat of the match, Faramir slays three Dunlendings while a mounted guardsman kills two more.

Turn 5 – Priority Evil

Faramir calls a Heroic Move which Thryden contests and wins. Damrod leads his band of Citadel Guardsmen straight ahead toward the enemy, the two Knights out-pacing the infantry and rushing past the still hurriedly marching Uruks of Graznar's band.

Bolts leap from their strings as three of the Uruk crossbowmen roll ones and completely miss. The fourth, disgusted with his comrades, shoots and kills a Knight of Minas Tirith, planting his bolt square in the mans armored chest. The uruks crewing the ballista correct their aim, making a few adjustments for windage and elevation, and this time bring down the remaining Knight of Minas Tirith. 

Elven arrows again rake the Army of the White Hand, killing a warg, an Uruk warrior and two Pikemen. The Avenger only manages one shot this turn, and misses an Uruk warrior.

A charging mounted Citadel Guardsman is slain by a pair of uruks, while a third Uruk is defeated by a guardsman, but survives. Faramir wins a fight with a Thryden and a Dunlending Warrior, and Thryden is forced to burn two fate points to avoid a wound. Elsewhere dunlendings and guardsman clash, but cannot cause any more casualties. An ominous portent of things to come show a pair of mounted guards already breaking away from the approaching uruks and closing in on the southern board edge.

Turn 6 – Priority Evil
Gazing into his palantir, Saruman steals priority. He continues leading his warband west, attempting to stay out of range of the elf bows. Graznar leads his warband in a more direct route to engage the approaching spearmen.

Beregond attempts to call a heroic move, but fails when contested by Thryden.

The siege ballista strikes a Citadel Guard Spearmen, throwing him back 6" knocking down another spearmen and Damrod in the process, but miraculously all three survive uninjured. The crossbows fire again, striking down two guard spearmen. An elf shoots down a warg while the Avenger crewmen find their rhythm, firing four times and killing three Uruks. Graznar spends a fate point to avoid a wound from an arrow, but is struck and wounded by a second. A wargless orc rider is also struck by an arrow and slain.

In the west, Ugluk pulls down a mounted guardsman and kills him. Beregond is in turn defeated and slain by an Uruk warrior while two more warriors kill another mounted guardsman. In return the men of Gondor kill a pikeman and three dunlendings, while Faramir again defeats Thryden and two of his lackeys, killing one of them.

Gratuitous shots from turn six:

Turn 7 - Priority Evil
Faramir calls a heroic move which is unsuccessfully challenged by Thryden. Saruman casts Sorcerous Blast at a Citadel Guard spearman who flies backwards 4" but is uninjured, hitting another spearman who is also unhurt. An uruk in combat with the spearman is also knocked down. One Uruk crossbow misses his target but another strikes down a spear bearing guardsman. The Siege Ballista misses another guardsman, the missile flying wide.

Five mounted guardsman make good their escape to the south. The elves loose more arrows, killing a pair of dismounted orcs. The Avenger fires three times hitting once, but causing no damage. The Uruk knocked down by Saruman's spell is slain by another spearman as he struggled to rise. Graznar springs into combat with Damrod and two spearman and kills the ranger.

Three Dunlendings are bested by a mounted guardsman and one is slain. A second Guardsman defeats two uruks, killing one of them. In retaliation, Ugluk and a fellow uruk pull a guardsman from his horse and batter him to death. Nearby, two pike uruks are killed, while another uruk loses his fight but survives. Ulgash engages Faramir and wins, forcing him to spend all of his fate point but still suffer a wound. Thryden manages to kill a guardsman, his axe splitting the man in half.
 Gratuitous shots from turn seven:

Turn 8 - Priority Evil
Faramir calls a heroic move, which Ulgash attempts to challenge, but fails. Saruman attempts to cast Sorcerous Blast, but fails. A further eight mounted guards exit the board to the South.  Seeing an opening and gathering his courage, a spearman charges the white wizard himself.

A spearman is felled by a crossbow bolt, while the Avenger is struck by a bolt from the Siege Ballista, but remains undamaged.

The archers from Mirkwood loose a sheet of arrows at a Berserker, finally dropping him after expending eight arrows. A pikeman and an uruk warrior are slain by shots from the Avenger, while Saruman kills a guardsman in close combat. Graznar slays a spearman.

Thryden loses to Faramir in a fight, but avoids harm. Ulgash kills another mounted guardsman while Ugluk spends two might to win his fight with another, and then kills him. Two uruk warrior are slain by mounted guardsman while two others survive, despite losing their battles. Evil is now Broken!

Turn 9 - Priority Good
Ulgash and a crossbow uruk fail their courage tests and flee. Saruman attempts to cast Sorcerous Blast, but the spell fizzles. The Avenger fires five times, missing Saruman and failing to kill a Berserker, but then kills the Berserker along with a pike uruk and a warrior. Graznar is shot four times by elven arrows, but takes no damage. A pikeman is killed by an arrow and the remaining crossbows fire back, killing a spearman. The Ballista wheels around and fires a shot at the departing form of Faramir, but the shot scatters wide and demolishes a mounted guardsman instead. Thryden kills a spearman, while a Dunlending two-handed axeman and an uruk warrior are slain by mounted guards. Two other mounted guardsman are slain by Ugluk and a pack of warriors.

Turn 10 - Priority Good
Thryden, a ballista crewman and a second crossbow uruk flee the field. Saruman blasts an Avenger crewman, but fails to kill him. An uruk pikeman and warrior are shot down by the elves. The Avenger shoots Saruman, landing three wounds, all but one of which are saved by Fate. The Engineer captain leaves his machine to engage the charging Graznar, staring him face to snarling face. The tension is suddenly released as the Engineer Captain is instantly shot through both eyes by a pair of crossbow bolts. (The two remaining Uruk crossbows barely had line of sight past Graznar and both fired into combat, both passing the check to hit, to see which combatant was hit, and to wound. The Captain then failed his Fate roll, leaving him quite dead). Turning their engine back around, the ballista crew lob a missile at one of the Avenger crewman, but instead strike Saruman, though no damage was caused (possibly unluckily for them). The evil army has by now been soundly decimated and drops below the 25% threshhold for the scenario, and the battle ends.

Final Casualty figures:
Good                                                                     Evil
Thranduil                                                              2x Uruk-hai Berserkers
Beregond                                                              12x Uruk-hai Warriors /w Shields
Damrod                                                                 9x Uruk-hai Warriors /w Pikes
Engineer Captain                                                  6x Dunlending Warriors /w Shields
9x Citadel Guards /w Horse                                 5x Dunlening Warriors /w Two-handed Axes
2x Knights of Minas Tirith                                  6x Warg Riders
9x Citadel Guards /w Spears                      

Thryden Wolfsbane
Uruk-hai Crewman                                                                                                                         
2x Uruk-hai Warriors /w Crossbows

Victory Points:
Good – 21pts
Evil – 0pts

Post Battle Thoughts:
A resounding success for the forces of Good, and a very entertaining battle, even for me :) Got to see several units on the field such as the Avenger, Siege Ballista, Saruman and Thryden along with Isengard in general that have not come out yet. The high point for me had to be when Thranduil was turned into kibble by the ballista shot in the opening stages. A close second was the Engineer Captain getting popped by the two uruk crossbows (maybe Saruman sent them to Sniper School?). The delayed appearance of most of the Good army which seemed like a disadvantage at first, turned into a plus as I was forced to deploy my army without knowing where the opposition was going to arrive. I definately made some tactical errors with Saruman and Graznar's warbands, running them around ineffectively while allowing them to get pelted by arrows. In hindsite, I probably should have charged the elves as quickly as possible to remove the shooting, potentially kill them and then attack the Avenger, rather than have them race to the opposite side of the battlefield to attempt to catch up to an absolute steamroller of a cavalry squadron. All in all though, it was a fun time :)

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