Saturday, October 6, 2012

To Kill a King: Harad & Umbar vs Numenor

Numenor vs Harad & Umbar

Scenario: To Kill a King

*Elendil /w Horse & Shield
6 Warriors of Numenor /w Shields
6 Warriors of Numenor /w Shields & Spears
Isildur /w Horse & Shield
6 Warriors of Numenor /w Shields
6 Warriors of Numenor /w Shields & Spears
Anarmegil (Captain of Numenor) /w Heavy Armour
12 Warriors of Numenor /w Bows

650pts 39 models 8 might

*The Betrayer
12 Watchers of Karna
Suladan the Serpent Lord /w Horse
12 Serpent Riders
Morevion (Corsair Bo'sun)
6 Corsair Reavers
6 Corsairs of Umbar /w Shields

649pts 39 models 5 might

Turn 1 – Evil
Deployment occurred in stages, with The Betrayer and his contingent of Watchers of Karna appearing first in the approximate center of the Northern board edge.  Anarmegil and his archers arrived next opposite the Nazgul.  Third to arrive was The Serpent Lord and his riders, appearing on The Betrayers right flank. In response, Isildur led his warband onto the field on the Numenorean left flank. Following in The Betrayer’s path, Morevion and his Corsairs stepped onto the field behind the Watchers. Finally, Elendil and his soldiers entered on the Numenorean right.

The evil army was the first to move. Suladan and his Riders cantered forward, keeping a ruined wall between themselves and the bows of the Numenorean Archers. Morevion and The Betrayer were content to remain in place and observe the reactions of their enemies. Anarmegil and his archers were the first to move, advancing only slightly but re-orienting their line so that the roughly faced the approaching horsemen. Isildur’s warband moved forward, staying roughly even with the archers while Elendil and his men advanced behind the cover of a small copse of trees.

Finding the enemy just within range, the Numenorean archers let fly with their first arrows of the battle. Three of the arrows clattered harmlessly against the ruined wall, but two find their mark slaying a Serpent Rider and unhorsing a second.

Turn 2 – Good
Turn 2 opened with the Men of Westernesse largely continuing their previous advance, but Suladan abruptly wheeled his Riders to the left, moving toward the rest of the evil army and endeavoring to keep out of range of the steel bows of Numenor. The Betrayer and Morevion were again content to remain largely in place.

Hoping to improve on their success, the Numenorean bowmen loose a volley of black feathered arrows at Suladan and score five hits (three riders and two horses) but the Southrons emerged from the hail unscathed.

Turn 3 – Evil
The evil cavalry continued their Eastward drive, riding past a set of weathered standing stones and beginning to pass in front of the evil infantry. Isildur moved to the left flank of his warband as they re-oriented to face the enemy. The archers also brought their line around to more properly face the enemy while Anarmegil jogged over to join Elendil’s men as they advanced to the eaves of the copse.

Loosing their first arrows of the battle, the Watchers of Karna fail to cause any casualties among the
Numenorean ranks. In return, Dunedan arrows unhorse another rider.

Turn 4 – Evil
The haradrim cavalry take another southerly tack, aiming themselves between a small swamp and the copse Elendil’s troops were sheltering behind. The Betrayer and Morevion watched impassively as the horsemen kicked up clods of earth as they thundered past, again holding their own position.

The watchers’ bows twanged as another flight of arrows leapt from their bows, this time slaying a swordsman of Isildur’s company. The bowmen of Numenor fired back, a rider near the rear the rear of the column toppling from his saddle.

Turn 5 – Good
The Numenorean Army continued their steady advance, Isildur’s company moving along the wall ruin, the archers trotting forward slowly, and Elendil’s company forming a line extending out from the trees to face the oncoming horsemen, who know formed their column into a line.

Once more arrows sliced back and forth through the air. Numenorean archers strike down a Serpent Rider and slay the horses from beneath two more. In return, a Watcher’s arrow finds it chink in the armor of an archer and he slumps to the ground.

Turn 6 – Evil
Suladan lead his remaining horsemen into the Numenorean line lead by Elendil with a resounding crash. In the meantime the two horseless riders retreated back towards the main block of infantry surrounding The Betrayer. The un-engaged members of Elendil’s company rushed to the aid of their comrades, while Isildur and his company advanced on the infantry block while trying to keep the standing stones between them and the bows of the Watchers.

Finding several warriors of Isildur’s warband exposed, the Watchers loosed a sheet of arrows at them. A spearmen and a swordsman fell with southron arrows in their bodies. A second spearman thrashed around on the ground as the poison from another arrow stole away his life. Returning fire, a Watcher’s thin robes are pierced by an arrow and he too stains the ground with his blood.

In the melee on the Numenorean right flank, a spearman is lanced by a Serpent Rider, but the rest went poorly for the evil men of the South. Suladan himself was beaten back by a pair of warriors and was wounded twice, but fate intervened and the second proved to be only superficial. To his right, Anarmegil and several warriors slay a pair of riders, their bright blades flashing in the sun. Near the edge of the battle, Elendil nearly loses to a rider, but reaches into his reserve of might to defeat and kill him (spent one might point to tie, and won with the higher fight).

Turn 7 – Good
With the Good army having taken the initiative, Suladan attempted to call a heroic move, but Anarmegil proved to be faster, leading the Numenorean infantry in cutting off the Haradrim line of retreat and bringing them back into battle. Elsewhere, Isildur’s company remained in the dubious shelter of the standing stones while the archers continued their measured pace forward. The evil infantry continued to maintain their position, the horseless riders rushing back to join them.

Continuing their merciless arrow exchange, two watchers are slain in return for a archer and a spearman.

On the right flank, the Men of the West continued their butchery of the haradrim cavalry, with Elendil and a trio of warriors slaying a rider, and Suladan himself being trapped and cast down by Anarmegil and several other warriors. The remaining Serpent Rider beats his opponent, but cannot kill him.

Turn 8 – Evil
Seizing the initiative, the surviving Serpent Rider gallops hard away from Elendil and his warriors, riding along the edge of the copse of trees toward the Numenorean archers. The evil infantry begins to finally shift their position, perhaps discomforted by the destruction of their cavalry arm. They slide their formation to the east, and bent back their flanks to a more convex shape. Isildur and his warriors begin to move in their direction, skirting the standing stones. Elendil’s warband also advances, moving along the shore of the swamp.

Again arrows cut the air, but this time the only casualty was a Watcher of Karna.

Turn 9 – Good
The armies moved again, with all of the Good warbands advancing on the evil infantry who continued to pull back to the East in a dense formation fronted by the watchers and Corsair Reavers. Seeing an opportunity, The Betrayer stretched out an armored hand, with swirling black energies dancing around it, but the spell failed (failed to cast Black at Elendil).

A Numenorean arrow sinks deep into the chest of a Watcher who collapses to the ground with bloody foam dripping from his mouth. In return the Watchers fired off an ruthless flight of arrows which slew virtually the entire front rank of Elendil’s company (three swordsmen and a spearman).

A pair of warriors charged into the remaining Serpent Rider but they were unable to kill him.

Turn 10 – Evil (had been a tie)
The evil army continued their eastward shuffle, maintaining formation. The sole surviving Serpent Rider sped away from the pursuing warriors and swung around the rear of the formation of archers to charge one from behind. Perhaps not seeing this, the other archers continued their forward march, along with the other two companies of Numenoreans. The Betrayer again attempted to cast Black Dart at Elendil but once more the dark sorceries deserted him and the spell failed.

The Watchers again fire into Elendil’s oncoming warband, slaying a spearman and sending Elendil himself tumbling from his horse, though he remained unhurt. The dunedan bowmen fire back and kill two of the black robed Southrons.

The Archer who had been charged by the Serpent Rider cried out for help, but before his fellows realized what was happening, the man fell to the lance of the rider.

Turn 11 – Evil
Maintaining the initiative, the Serpent Rider charges into a further two archers as the evil infantry block continues their eastward movement. Again, The Betrayer fails in his attempt to Black Dart Elendil. Elendil pulls himself out of the muck and sets out across the swamp with the rest of his men. Isildur and his warband continue to close the gap with the enemy, but are still out of reach.

A swordsman of Elendil’s warband feebly plucks at an arrow before collapsing into the fetid water of the swamp. Shifting their fire, the Numenorean archers fire into the tightly packed Corsairs, killing two of the reavers.

 The Serpent Rider’s dreams of Glory are cut short as the two archers he had charged casually turn around and beat him to death with their bows.

Turn 12 – Good
After having found his men in charge range of the enemy, Isildur made an unexpected decision. Instead of sending his men charging into the enemy line, they instead slid their formation to the north, but still several paces from the front rank of enemy warriors. The Archers continued their advance, and Elendil’s warband began to force their way onto dry land. Seizing the opportunity to engage their foes, the Corsairs and the dismounted Serpent Riders charged into Isildur’s warband.

Again dark energies swirled around The Betrayers hand, but again his attempt to Black Dart Elendil failed. Releasing a piercing shriek, the Nazgul waved his sword at the remaining Watchers of Karna. Even their hardened hearts were chilled by the evil cry, and they were jolted into launching their arrows (The Betrayer called a Heroic Shoot). The arrows were directed at Elendil’s warband, the evil archers trying to clear a path to the High King. They did not succeed, but two more brave warriors of Numenor, a swordsman and a spearman, were slain. The Numenoreans fired back, killing a corsair and another watcher.

The corsairs crashed into Isildur’s company with a great crash of shouting and ringing steel. The gleeful shouts of the men of Umbar quickly turned to chagrin however.  A Nimenorean spearman was driven back by a ferocious Reaver and a Corsair defeats a swordsman, but neither is injured. A Reaver is also defeated by a Warrior but unhurt, but two other reavers fall to the blades of the men of the west. With casualties mounting, the evil army is now broken.

Turn 13 – Good
Losing his nerve, a reaver flees the field. The Betrayer’s evil heart also felt the urge to flee, but his will steadied his dark resolve (The Betrayer failed his courage check by 1, but spent a will point to pass). Spending his remaining point of might, The Betrayer called a heroic move, his men rushing to engage Isildur’s men before they had their own opportunity. Finally succeeding, the dark energies dancing around The Betrayer coalesce into lance of darkness that streaks through the air, snuffing the life from a swordsman standing near Elendil.

Taking a page from the evil playbook, the Archers of Numenor let fly a sheet of arrows which fell Morevion and a corsair who had stepped in front of the The Betrayer. A spearman, the lone surviving warrior of Elendil’s warband is struck down by haradrim arrows.

The melee embroiling Isildur’s company again goes poorly for the forces of evil. A corsair is defeated by a spearman but is not killed, but a swordsman manages to overcome and slay his corsair opponent (he won a tie roll to win the fight). A reaver barely avoids death, but another corsair is not as fortunate and falls to a swordsman. Isildur himself wheeled his horse around to kill a dismounted Serpent Rider.

Turn 14 – Evil
The Betrayer, having steeled his resolve the previous turn easily passed his courage check, the unseen baleful eyes strengthening the spines of his remaining follower. Before they could move however, Isildur shouted and put spurs to his horse, leading his warriors into the enemy. Isildur and two of his warriors resolved their hearts and charged into The Betrayer himself. The remaining Numenoreans worked to tie up the enemy infantry. There was an absence of archery this turn, as the unengaged bowmen of each side were content to watch the chaos before them (time was growing short, I think we completely forgot about the shoot phase this turn).

A dismounted Serpent Rider who had charged into a pair of archers was cut down as they discarded their bows and drew their swords. A Corsair defeated his swordsman opponent, but was unable to harm him. Another howling Corsair and Reaver meet their ends at the hands of the Warriors of Numenor. Even as Elendil and Anarmegil ran to join him, Isildur’s sword past through the unseen body of The Betrayer and severed his spirit from the clothing and armor that gave him visible form, and it departed with a whispered hiss (Isildur caused one wound, but The Betrayer passed his fate roll. Isildur spent one point of might to cause a second wound, which the Nazghul failed to save).

The battle had come to an end, and the forces of Numenor, though sorely depleted, stood victorious on the field.

Final Casualty Count:
8 Warriors of Numenor /w Shield
8 Warriors of Numenor /w Shields & Spears
3 Warriors of Numenor /w Bows

The Betrayer
12 Serpent Riders
8 Watchers of Karna
4 Corsairs of Umbar
5 Corsair Reavers

Post Battle Thoughts:
I'm rather surprised at the large role archery played for both sides in this one. My original thought had been to use my archers to volley at the enemy commander until direct fire opportunities took precedence. After I got my opponents list, I changed my plan to trying to use them to kill as much of his cavalry as possible, as the prospect of 12 horsemen riding down my infantry had me worried. Seeing 12 Watchers of Karna in the enemy list had me a bit worried to, as they are no slouches in close combat either. All in all, I think it went fairly well for me (and I must say, I think the dice were really in my favor this time). I shot down or unhorsed enough of his cavalry that Elendil's warband made short work of the survivors, including Suladan. Speaking of Elendil, I either forgot or neglected to make use of Narsil. Oh well, I guess. Always next time. Again, a fun game :)

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