Thursday, April 13, 2017

Lords of Battle: Mordor & Harad vs Lothlorien & Mirkwood

The forces meet and battle is about to be joined! Will The Mouth of Sauron be shut, or will the elves be forced to flee to the Havens? Read on to find out. Lots of unpainted models this time around, been severely slacking lately on the painting front. Hoping to get back into the swing of things, but at least we were able to get a game in :)

The Good army rolls higher and gets to deploy their first warband, and Galadriel takes up residence in a ruined tower, along with her Mirror, recently installed by a local elven moving company.

The Evil army follows up with The Mouth of Sauron's warband arriving between a small hill and a grove of twisted trees.

Thranduil is next to arrive, standing next to the Lady while his wood elves join her Galadhrim at the base of the tower.

Evil's second warband, led by The Shadow Lord, shows up near the Mouth, just east of the stone bridge.

Legolas' arrival at the head of the Golden Wood's cavalry division completes the Good army's deployment.

Suladan leads the final Evil warband onto the field, his men taking up positions on the small hill just south of the Shadow Lord.

Turn 1 - Good
At the beginning of the turn, the board looks like this:

The Good army takes priority this turn, and Galadriel wastes no time in casting Blinding Light. The spell goes off without a hitch and the Lady is instantly the center of a fierce white glow. The elven warriors below the tower condense their line, with the wood elves shuffling to their left to take cover behind the trees, though two of their number stay near the small ruin. Legolas and his knights stay largely in the same general area, though they spread out their formation slightly.

Prodded by an orc warrior, the Great Beast lumbers forward, passing between the two groves of trees. The Mouth's warband follows in the creatures wake, with a few of the orcs taking positions amongst the twisted trunks. The Shadow Lord's orcs move north, passing the bridge and traveling along the west edge of a small grove. The Wraith himself, moves to join the Mouth, blackness surrounding him like a stifling cloud. Suladan's warband keeps their positions on the hill, though he details the two Half Trolls to move up closer to the Mouth.

Following the Movement phase, here is the overall state of the board:

Elven shooting this turn is foiled by The Shadow Lord's Pall of Darkness, with no hits being scored except for a single heatseeker fired by Legolas, though it fails to damage the banner orc. The orcs atop the Great Beast's battle platform reply with slightly more success, a black feathered arrow slaying one of the Galadhrim Knights.

Turn 2 - Evil (tie)
With the roll for priority resulting in a tie, Evil goes on offense. The Great Beast bellows as his orcish driver goads him on, following the edge of the treeline and pulping a pair of Wood Elves beneath its thundering feet.

The Mouth and the Shadow Lord continue to follow in the Beast's path, with a few orcs continuing to guard the approaches through the twisted grove. The Shadow Lord also takes a moment to Compel one of the Galdhrim Knights, sending him eastward, and away from his fellows.

The Shadow Lords followers, despite being abandoned by their leader, continue their advance, enveloping one of the two wood elves at the ruin, and attacking the right flank of the larger wood elf formation.

Suladan's spearmen advance down the hill, and the Serpent Lord himself moves slightly northward.

Galadriel remains in her tower, but stretches her hand out toward the Great Beast and attempts to Immobilize it, but is chagrined when her spell fizzles with no effect. The Evil army scores again with archery, a Watcher of Karna loosing an arrow and striking down another knight.

The knights return fire, not at the darkness enshrouded wraith, but at the Serpent Lord, who finding himself exposed, can do nothing but hope for the best. Unfortunately for him, several of the elven arrows fly true, and he is wounded twice, and to make matters worse, fails his Fate check. Suladan is left staggering with a single Wound remaining. An unfortunate Haradrim spearman is also caught in the arrow storm, and falls to the ground with an arrow in his chest.

A single Wood Elf warrior charges the snorting Great Beast, and in the opening Duel of the turn actually manages to defeat the creature and force it back.

The rest of the fighting this turn goes poorly for the elves. One of the elves at the small ruin is slain, while the other is pushed back.

Another elf falls to the cruel weapons of the orcs near the trees, after most of his compatriots had fallen back.

Here is the board following the end of Turn 2:

Turn 3 - Good
Good regains priority this turn and The Mouth of Sauron attempts to call a Heroic Move. Thranduil contests the action and wins the roll-off. Galadriel has more success this turn, Commanding the Great Beast and sending it back, away from the elven lines.

The elven warriors pull back, trying to create a screen in front of the tower.

The Mouth and the Shadow Lord lead their orcs past the confused beast, giving dark looks to the sweating orc responsible for driving it. A trio of Wood Elves channel their inner Viet Cong and burst out of the trees to attack the half trolls, an orc and the Mouth himself.

Another pair of elves steel their nerve and resolve to delay the oncoming orcs as long as possible.

Three of the Galdhrim Knights, their courage perhaps shaken by the presence of the wraith, are unable to charge the Great Beast, despite its befuddled state. One knight however, musters the courage necessary and charges the beast..

Suladan continues his march north, attempting to stay behind a screen of his warriors. The Watchers remain atop the hill, readying their bows.

Shooting this turn opens with one of Suladan's human shields falling to elven arrows while he himself breaths a sigh of relief.

One of the Watchers fires back, a southron arrow knocking a knight from the saddle.

The elven knight wins his fight with the Great Beast and manage to cause a wound. To the north-west, Operation Speedbump comes to an early close as both elves are slain by the Moranon hoard.

The Mouth contemptuously swats aside the elf that attacked him. One of the trolls suffers a wound at the hand of a Wood Elf, though the other troll smashes his opponent into pulp with his club.

Here is the board at the end of turn 3:

Turn 4 - Evil
Continuing the see-saw, Evil regains priority this round. Not willing to give up, Legolas declares a Heroic Move, which the Shadow Lord attempts to contest, but loses.

The Half Trolls, joined by some of the Haradrim spearmen, reengage the surviving elves near the small grove.

The two orc warbands are re-united before the tower, and rush to assault the elven defenders. The Mouth attempts to Transfix Thranduil, but the King of Mirkwood shrugs off the effects of the spell. Galadriel attempts to Command the Shadow Lord, but he is unable to resist the Lady's power and he wanders away from the main body of orcs where he is shortly attacked by three grim faced elves.

The Evil army scores no wounds with archery this turn, but one of the watchers pitches forward down the hill with an arrow in his chest.

The Beast is again defeated in combat, but this time suffers no wounds. By the grove, the two remaining elvescheat death, either defeating their opponents or escaping injury with no wounds to either side.

Near the tower, a Wood Elf falls to an orcish blade, while The Shadow Lord expends a Might point to defeat the elves pressing against him.

Turn four comes to an end, and here is the state of the board:

Turn 5 - Good
Good regains priority this turn, because patterns are a good thing right? Three Knights fail their courage checks, but two others join their fellow in bringing the creature to battle.

Thranduil calls on the power of his Circlet of Kings, casting Aura of Dismay. Galadriel freezes The Shadow Lord with an Immobilize spell, and the wraith grinds his unseen teeth. Seeing a chance, the Galadhrim Warriors charge back into combat with the Nazgul. The Mouth attempts to cast Sap Will on the Lady, but the spell fails. A few orcs begin to scale the walls of the tower, while the other orcs and elves throw themselves at each other with unchecked fury.

Loosing a single well-aimed arrow, Legolas brings down Suladan, the Serpent Lord's blood staining the grass.

A second Watcher also falls, pierced by an arrow.

The remaining Watchers fire back, shooting the horse from under one of the knights.

The luck of the two elves opposing the half trolls finally runs out, with both of them being smashed and pierced by evil weapons.

The beast turns the tables on the elves this time, two of them being stomped and gored by the creature in alternating fashion.

Near the tower, the results are somewhat mixed, with a wood elf and an orc being killed. The Shadow Lord is defeated this time, but escapes injury.

Turn 6 - Evil
With the almost expected return of priority to the Evil army, Galadriel calls a Heroic move, which the evil force is unable to contest. The Lady moves to the lower level of the tower, while Thranduil and two Galadhrim Warriors remain to face the ascending orcs.

The Great Beast continues its rampage, slamming two knights with horrific ease.

Perhaps realizing that the Shadow Lord can always come back after his "death", several of the orcs belatedly decide to come to his aid. The Mouth spurs his mount forward, and charges a Galadhrim Warrior.

Two orcs complete their climb, while a few others begin their own attempts. Shortly after, Thranduil follows Galadriel to the lower level of the tower.

Two Haradrim spearmen charge the Prince of Mirkwood, while the half trolls shamble along behind them through the trees.

There are no casualties from shooting this round, and the fighting recommences in earnest. Legolas kills one of the southern spearmen, while a knight that had come to his aid slays another.

On the other side of the twisted grove, another knight sends a spearman flying, but the man is not injured.

Near the tower, the fighting goes poorly for the elves of Lorien. Three elves are slain by Moranon Orcs, while The Shadow Lord kills a fourth. The Mouth knocks down his opponent, but is unable to close the deal. Another elf is driven back, but skillful defense saves him from harm.

On the second floor of the tower, the fighting is inconclusive, with no injuries to either Good or Evil.

Turn 7 - Good
Flip flopping with the speed a politician would admire, Good re-acquires priority. Thranduil and Galadriel begin to pull back from the battle, calling for their remaining warriors to cover their retreat. One elf finds himself surrounded by the Mouth and several orcs.

The orcs attempt to catch up to the two elven nobles, attacking their guards with the ferocity born of impending victory. The Shadow Lord attempts to Black Dart an elf, but his powers fail him.

Legolas leads the remaining knights as they ride hard for the east board edge, with the Great Beast in pursuit.

Another orc reaches the second floor of the tower and they attack the two elves guarding the mirror.

The half troll previously injured is finished off by the parting shot of one of the knights, the brute falling to the ground with a thud. Legolas is hit by an arrow fired from an orc atop the beast, but expends a point of Fate to avoid suffering a wound.

With a prowess born of desperation, the surrounded elf throws back his oppressors in a dazzling display of martial skill.

Two of the elves guarding the retreat of Thranduil and Galadriel are not as lucky, falling to orc swords and spears.

Turn 8 - End
A die is rolled, and the battle comes to an end!


Evil-                                                                Good-
Suladan                                                           7x Galadhrim Knights
Half-Troll                                                        12x Wood Elf Warriors
2x Watchers of Karna                                     6x Galadhrim Warriors
4x Haradrim Warriors
Moranon Orc

Victory Points:

Evil- 29                                                             Good- 13

Post Battle Thoughts:
I've been looking for an opportunity to use my Great Beast again for a while, and finally took the plunge. My intention was to essentially use him as a living battering ram, and he certainly didn't disappoint. I will say that I felt like I won a disproportionate number of duel/wound rolls, though I was surprised when I was typing this up to see how evenly split the priority rolls were. Even though my spellcasters really didn't see much success, The Shadow Lord's Pall of Darkness rule came in extremely handy. We ended up not even using half of the board, but no worry, that just ensured near instant carnage :)

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