Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hold the High Ground: Durin's Folk vs Angmar

Durin’s Folk vs Angmar – Hold the High Ground: 600pt

Deployment Phase
Barrow Wight 1
Witch King
Barrow Wight 2

Turn 1 – Evil
The battle opens with several attempts by the Spectres to seduce Floi and two other dwarves, but their stalwart hearts, despite the dread of the nearby Witch King held fast. One is however lured away, bemused by the spectral lights.

The Witch King himself casts Sap Will at Floi, who attempts to resist the enervating sorceries, but fails. (Spent two Will, but could not beat a 5). The dwarf bowmen fire their first volley of the battle, killing a spear orc. 

On the hill, the Cave Troll smashes a dwarf into pulp with his hammer while an orc collapses with a dwarven axe in his chest. Down on the flatlands, an orc is slain by a pair of dwarves. Elsewhere amongst the melee several orcs and dwarves lose their battles but avoid harm.

Turn 2 – Evil
Balin shouts “With Me!” and charges to engage the hulking troll, while a pair of his fellows charge down the hill to attack the advancing Angmarim left flank. Balin’s other followers on the hill rush as quickly as the uneven terrain will allow to engage the other forces of evil on the hill. 

Down on the flatlands, Floi’s warband threw themselves into the Angmarim right. Befuddled by the gaze of a Spectre, the dwarven banner bearer stumbles away from the center of the battle, leaving his friends out of range.

A Barrow Wight attempts to paralyze Balin, but his spell fails. Two dwarves shrug off the glowering stares of Spectres, their hearts hardened by the chaos of battle. The dwarven bowmen fire into the Angmarim right flank, their arrows striking down a Spectre and an orc bearing a spear. Another spear orc is struck by three other arrows, but manages to avoid more than superficial harm.

Of the pair of valiant (or suicidal?) dwarves that charged down the hill into the evil left, one is slain by the brutal weapons of the orcs, while his companion is driven back up the slope.

On the hill itself, Balin falls under the shadow of the Cave Troll and the Witch King and despite his best efforts, he is grievously wounded, though Fate saves him from death (suffered two wounds, but prevented one with Fate). At the foot of the hill, Bilbo darted around a dwarf who was distracting an orc, and sank Sting deep into its side, killing it instantly.

Turn 3 – Good
With the Good army having taken priority, the Witch King attempted to call a Heroic Move, but Balin was quicker on the draw. Using his newfound initiative, Balin again charges into combat with the hulking troll, while a fellow dwarf challenged the Witch King. On the left flank, the Angmarim force began to climb the hill and engaged the dwarves on the left side of the hill. On the right, below the hill, the dwarves begin to flank the evil forces.

In the ensuing melee, the Witch King contemptuously ends the challenge of the dwarf warrior, while the Angmarim spectres cut through dwarven armor as if it was not even there, killing three dwarves. Elsewhere the fights go poorly for the forces of evil, either losing their fights or failing to do any damage in the fights that they did win.  One orc is slain by angry dwarven axes, while one of the Barrow Wights is defeated, but escapes injury. Balin ducked under the Cave Troll’s swinging hammer and Durin’s Axe bit deeply into its flesh, causing a wound.

Turn 4 – Evil
Evil seizes back priority, and Balin attempts to call another Heroic Move, but this time the Witch King succeeds in blocking it. The Barrow Wight succeeds in casting Paralyze at Balin and the valiant dwarf failing to resist it falls to the ground with a clatter. Swinging its chain in a wide arc, the troll nearly hits himself, but fails to hit Balin. The troll settles for stomping into combat with the paralyzed dwarf.  On the left, the orcs continue to climb the hill and attack the remaining dwarves on the hill. On the right, the dwarves nearly complete the envelopment of the Angmarim right flank, sandwiching the orcs between vengeful dwarven warriors.

One of the spectres is target by a sheet of dwarven arrows, but none can cause damage to its undead flesh. Upon the hill, Balin is unable to resist as the Cave Troll brings its hammer down in a mighty blow, and dwarven blood splashes in all directions as Balin is reduced to mush. The Witch King again slays a dwarf while an orc finds a gap in a dwarf’s armor, and sticks him on its rusty blade. Two other orcs on the hill are not so lucky. A dwarf warrior, inspired by the presence of his banner, defeats the pair of them, cleanly lopping the head off of one of them. Another dwarf warrior, also seeking inspiration (and possibly out of ideas of his own) does the same to another orc. Below the hill on the right, an orc spearman falls in a spray of black blood. Bilbo had attempted to charge the baleful Numenorean Spectre below the hill but was defeated. Fortunately, the hobbit’s indomitable courage protected him from harm.

Turn 5 – Evil
Maintaining their grip on priority, the evil forces prepare to move, but Bilbo quickly calls a Heroic Move, again charging the grim spectre. Upon the hill, a dwarf charges the Barrow Wight, while another charges the troll. A dwarf attempted to charge a spectre, but the empty-socketed glare was so nerve wracking, that he called it off at the last minute.

A third spectre, appearing from behind the hill is no match for a well-aimed dwarven arrow, and three orcs who had been following it came to the same realization.

The Witch King continued his reign of terror, a dwarf being torn asunder by the ravening maw of the fell beast. The Cave Troll tromped over to the dwarven banner bearer, whose thin, flapping cloth proved no defense against the crushing blow of the troll’s hammer. An Orcish Spectre atop the hill falls to a hungry axe, while another spectre and the orc banner bearer are defeated but not injured. Bilbo is again defeated by a spectre, but continues to escape harm. Nearby on the flatlands, Floi crushes an orc’s head with his staff.

Turn 6 – Good
Priority returns to the good army this turn, but no might remains in the Angmarim army to contest their movement. A dwarf loses his nerve and fails to charge the troll, but a Barrow Wight and Spectre are charged. The Witch King attempts to cast Black Dart at a dwarf, but the spell fails. Leaving the hill, his fell beast leaps into the air and flies over to assist the Spectre in attacking Bilbo. The cave troll strikes a dwarf with his chain, but fails to penetrate his thick armor. An orc, who apparently had a learning disability after his compatriots were swept away by dwarven arrows, is struck in the face by an arrow and flops to the ground.

Atop the hill, a dwarf is slain by a spectre, while another dwarf defeats both the Cave Troll and an orc in an amazing display of combat prowess. A Barrow Wight reaches out and drains the soul from another brave dwarf, the lifeless body collapsing in a heap. Nearby, another orc falls to a dwarven axe, while a spear orc at the foot of the hill is also slain. On the right, the Angmarim flank finally crumbles as Floi and his band destroy the remaining pair of orcs in a flurry of blows. Luck finally deserts the Halfling this turn, as Bilbo’s short stature proves just the right size to be gobbled up by the Witch King’s fell beast. The evil army is now broken.

Turn 7 – A one is rolled and the game ends!

Victory Point Tally:

Good: 8 (5 for models on/touching the hill, 3 for being unbroken)
Evil: 18 (15 for models on/touching the hill, 3 for killing the enemy leader)


Good:                                                                                 Evil:          
Balin                                                                                   11x Orc Warriors /w Shields
Bilbo                                                                                   7x Orc Warriors /w Spears
Banner                                                                               3x Spectres
4x Dwarves /w Shields
7x Iron Hills Veterans /w Shields

Post Battle Thoughts:

I think I am lucky that the game ended when it did, as those dwarves were well on their way to destroying my army. I think another turn or two would have seen them sweeping aside my remaining warriors and swarming the hill. Those dwarves are certainly tough nuts to crack. I wanted to use the Witch King, but I had debated on how (foot/horse/fell beast/ how much M/W/F, etc.). I think it was fun to see him swooping around and actually killing things (as opposed to my orcs). The cave troll was fun too. Can't wait to see how the new Hobbit rules for monsters play out. Again, a fun battle, and can't wait till the next one :)

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