Monday, March 31, 2014

Hold Ground: Mordor vs Rohan & Ent

The hour has come and the two armies are closing in on the monument. For the Evil army, click here. The approaching Good army is commanded by none other than Theoden, King of Rohan himself. With him ride Eowyn, Hama and their warriors. Aiding their cause, a giant Ent of Fangorn strides through the trees near by.

Theoden with Horse, Heavy Armour and Shield
12x Riders of Rohan
Eowyn with Horse, Armour, Shield and Throwing Spears
12x Riders of Rohan with Throwing Spears
Hama with Horse
Stonebark (ent)

642pts 28 models 6 Might

Having only six actual RoR, we had subbed 6 Knights of Minas Tirith, 6 Rivendell Knights and 6 Galadhrim Knights to make up the balance. Also, not having a mounted Hama, he is represented by Gamling. Also, I want to apologize for the general poor quality of picture taking today. Not sure what the problem was, if I was using the wrong focus setting, or what. Also some pictures appeared ok on the screen of my phone, but didn't look so hot when expanded on my computer screen. Hope you don't mind.

Turn 1 - Evil
The first turn sees little action, just the armies beginning to arrive. The Mouth and his morannon warband arrive from the West (rolled a 6). Dolgulzagar and his Morgul warriors appear from the opposite side of the battlefield (rolled a 3), while Gorbag's detachment deploys near the ancient ruin on the southern edge (rolled a 2).

King Theoden steps onto the field from the South between the Mouth and Gorbag, while Eowyn's warband arrives from the West just on the north flank of the Mouth (each rolled a six). Hama and Stonebark do not arrive this turn. Perhaps they were waylaid, or made a wrong turn?

Volleys of arrows flash back and forth, but fail to cause any casualties.

Turn 2 - Good
Seizing the initiative, several of Eowyn's riders charge into battle with the Mouth's Morannon bodyguard while several others make their way toward the monument. One of the riders hurls a spear at a Morannon Orc, drawing First Blood of the battle as the evil warrior crashes to the ground, the spear punching through his armour. Unfortunately there is not a large enough gap for him to continue on and attack another target.

Theoden and a companion race north and engage more of the Mouth's warband. Some of his other riders start to charge the monument, while several others leap to attack Gorbag's orcs. Hama again fails to appear this turn.

The Great Beast's orc driver goads the creature forward, and it slams into a rider, trampling him into the ground. More arrows and spears cloud the sky but again do little but cause warriors to duck and cower behind shields. A Rider loses his duel against a Morannon Orc, but is able to dodge the attack against him. The Mouth of Sauron strides forward past the speared orc and draws his sword. Possibly distracted by the Great Beast, the Rider does not see the Mouth approaching until his blade is already slicing through the air. He hastily raises his shield, but is too slow and the Mouth hacks him out of his saddle.

Another Rider is defeated by a Morannon Orc but manages to avoid harm. Yet another Rider has more luck and strikes down a Morannon Orc. Charging into battle against a pair of morannons, the King of Rohan bowls them over and the two orcs stain the ground with blood.

One of the Riders charging into Gorbags warband slays an orc while one of his companions is pulled from his saddle and bludgeoned to death by another. A third rider wins his fight against several orcs and a Morgul Stalker, sending them all crashing to the ground. A blow from his weapon kills the stalker before it can attempt to stand.

Turn 3 - Evil
Seeing the initiative slipping away, Eowyn shouts "With Me!" to her nearby warriors. The Mouth of Sauron, hearing her cry, bellows out his own order. Unfortunately for the Rohirrim, the evil army responds quicker. The Beast attempts to slam it's way past a rider, but the horseman manages to avoid being pulped by its hulking bulk, forcing the creature to engage in melee. Finally getting their chance to move, several of Eowyn's warriors charge the beast, casting their throwing spears. Two of the spears find their mark and pierce deeply into the Great Beast's hide, the creature bellowing with rage.
Finally managing to convince Stonebark to stop conversing with a squirrel, Hama and the ent arrive at the battlefield from the West, mere paces from the battle surrounding the beast.
A lone Morannon Orc charges Theoden, blinded by battle fury perhaps.
Dolgulzagar and his knights and the Trackers continue their slow advance, looking for an opening or a weak point to exploit.
The chaos of battle again engulfs Gorbag and his warriors, as they leap to attack the nearby riders, Orcish shouts and snarls filling the air.
The Riders swarm around the Great Beast, confusing it and allowing one of their number to get in close and open a third wound with his blade. The Mouth of Sauron and the rest of the Morannons begin to look about nervously for escape routes should the creature be slain and crush them all. Another rider who had slipped around the beast and charged a Morannon Orc, finds the tables turned as the orc leaps aside from the charging horseman and delivers a deadly blow from his sword.
At the other end of the beast, a riders charge ends in disaster at the tip of an orcish spear. The riders momentum is his doom as he is plucked out of his saddle and flung to the ground.
A third rider manages to defeat another Morannon Orc, but his strike skates harmlessly off the orcs armour. Not far away, Theoden handily defeats the lone orc, but the evil warrior manages to duck at the last second, the sword blade cutting nothing but air. Further away around Gorbag's warband, a Rider is forced to retreat across a fallen statue after failing to defeat a pair of orcs. Just to his left, another Rider sinks his axe into the body of another orc, black blood splashing into the air. A third rider is swarmed by the surviving Morgul Stalker and several orcs, his screams cut short in a flurry of blows. A fourth Riders only casualty is his pride after he is forced back by an orc.
Here is the general (blurry) state of the battlefield at the end of turn 3:

Turn 4 - Evil
Unwilling to let another turn pass by without the initiative, Eowyn calls a Heroic Move, the Mouth out of Might and unable to contest it. Her riders again press into combat with the beast, though this time their spears fail to cause any wounds. The Mouth attempts to Transfix Stonebark, but the site of the glowering ent causes his tongue to stumble on the words of the spell and it failed. Regaining his composure, he orders an orc to charge it, gesturing meaningfully at his bloodstained sword. Getting the hint, the Morannon warrior successfully makes his Courage check and charges screeching. An Orc Tracker carefully looses an arrow and grins in sinister delight as the black feathered shaft topples a rider from his saddle.
In return, a Black Numenorean advancing past the ruin is slain as a Rohirric arrow finds a chink in his armor. The evil man slowly sinks to the ground, plucking feebly at the arrow jutting from his chest.
The Morannon Orc's screaming charge is swiftly brought to a halt as Stonebark casually picks him up, crushes the life out of him, and with a Hoom and a Hom, then Hurls the lifeless carcass against the rump of the Great Beast, though the beast seems not to notice.
At the combat swirling around Gorbag's warband, Gorbag himself emerges from behind a crumbling wall to slay a rider with a brutal chop from his sword.

Two more riders fall to the hungry blades of the Stalker and company, cruel shouts in Black Speach ringing in the air. Another rider is driven back, but manages to avoid harm, while one of his fellows manages to cut down an orc.
Back near the Great Beast, a Morannon Orc is knocked to the ground by a charging rider, but perhaps the the man is unable to lean far enough over in the saddle, as his blows fail to slay the orc.
Another Morannon Orc manages to defeat his attacker, but is likewise unable to kill him. After charging the beast, Eowyn and her companions are stunned when the beast shrugs off their attacks, instead dealing two wounds to the Shieldmaiden, forcing her two use both of her Fate points to survive. Theoden is also shocked when the single Morannon Orc he faces overcomes his defences and causes a wound, forcing the King to use his own Fate point to avoid harm.

Turn 5 - Evil

Yet another turn opens with Evil in possession of the initiative and the Rohirrim curse their luck. Hama takes matters into his own hands however, and shouts "With Me!" to the nearby warriors. The Riders able to answer his call charge into combat with the Great Beast, trying to prevent it from trampling and hopefully bringing it down for good. Another rider charges into the emboldened orc facing Theoden, hoping to aid his king. Dolgulzagar and his Morgul Knights begin to charge from behind the small hill, hoping to catch the riders unaware, keenly aware of their own lack of participation so far. The Black Numenorean infantry continue their advance past the ruin, hoping their armour will protect them from further arrows. Two of their number move to get close to the monument, sensing the battle might soon be over. Gorbag and a spear orc charge out to engage one of the riders preparing to fire at the Black Numenoreans, howling wildly.

The remaining riders near the fallen statue prepare to fight for their lives as they too are charged by enraged orcs.

The Mouth of Sauron, not wishing to take any further chances, spends two Will points and successfully Transfixes Stonebark. Eowyn attempts to charge the Great Beast, but her courage fails her ("Its big and its ugly and I don't have any Fate left!").
One of the riders who had successfully charged the beast falls twitching to the earth, surprised as an arrow from one of the archers in the battle platform lodged in his body.
A pair of Riders of Rohan are driven back by their Morannon Orc opponents, but they managed to avoid harm. One of their fellows is luckier, slaying the Morannon Orc who had survived their charge in the previous turn.
The Great Beast is whipped into a frenzy by pain and it's driver and stamps a charging rider into the dirt with a nauseating squelching sound. Eowyn looks on and shudders.
Yet another rider is struck from the saddle by a morannon while Theoden is overcome by the Morgul Knight he had charged, though the King manages to avoid injury.
Not far away, at the fallen statue the rider engaged by a pair of spear orcs is skewered and falls heavily to the ground.
At the other end of the statue, the Stalker leads his fellow orcs in dismembering another rider, striking savagely with their cruel weapons.
Gorbag and his supporting spear orc defeat their opponent, but Gorbag falls just short of killing the man. Not willing to let his victim escape, he spends a point of Might to finish him off with evil satisfaction. A few paces away, one of the Black Numenorean Warriors is sent flying after colliding with a Rider. The evil warrior suffers a fatal slash from the man's sword before suffering a broken spine after hitting the ground. The other nearby rider is bested by his own Black Numenorean foe, but manages to block the attack on his shield.
With the end of this turns combat, the Good army is now well into Broken territory. A die is cast, and the result is a two, the battle ends! With no wounds on either army's general, the game is decided by the models within 6" of the monument:
Good - 1
Evil - 2

Final Casualty Count:
18 Riders of Rohan
2 Morannon Orcs with Spears
4 Morannon Orcs with Shields
2 Mordor Orcs with Shields
1 Mordor Orc with Spear
2 Black Numenorean Warriors
1 Morgul Stalker

An interesting and entertaining battle. I think I most definitely had some help from the Dice Rolling Spirits, as first the ent did not arrive for two turns, and then I managed to hang onto priority for almost the entire game. It also ended sooner than I expected and my Morgul Knights only barely made it into action, and really didn't have any impact. The Great Beast of Gorgoroth was a lot of fun, and had a pretty large impact on the game, as even if it didn't kill a lot of models, it became the focal point of action on the west side of the board. The Mouth performed decently enough, killing a rider and keeping the ent from acting in the final turn. I think it was worth the loss of an orc to see it get thrown into the back of the beast though had it killed it in the act I might have felt differently. I did have visions of the beast taking its final wound, and then squashing almost two warbands worth of warriors, as there were quite a few models within two inches of it for most of the battle. In any event, it was a fun battle, and I apologize again for the crummy picture taking. Also, it is giving me more motivation to paint my Galadhrim/Rivendell knights ;) Hope you have enjoyed the report :)

Following are a batch of pictures taken of the battlefield following the end of the action.

1 comment:

  1. Easily the harshest, most one-sided drubbing I've ever received in a miniatures game. Ouch.