Sunday, April 3, 2011

Far Harad Battle Report

So I'll just be pretending that I haven't added anything to this blog in two years. Let's get right to a new post!

I'm not so big on photographing my models and posting up. I suck at photography, and therefore tend to dislike it. But my new iPhone has got me taking more pictures. These still all suck. But I plan to take more pictures of my games and document the fights on this blog. Hopefully I can improve my game by writing up an analysis and report of what happened. Let's go.

I played a game of Lord of the Rings today with Tim from Cursed Treasures. It was a 700pt game, with Tim taking Uruk-Hai and me taking Far Harad. We rolled up a scenario from Legions of Middle Earth, and came up with "Ill Met by Moonlight." This scenario calls for each players' forces to be divided in half. One half goes to the center of the board and the other half is deployed three inches from opposite table edges. The object is to fight until one or both sides is destroyed.

As for forces, I don't know the exact troops Tim took. There were about 65 models in the army, mostly Uruk-Hai warriors with normal Orc spear support. He had some crossbows, a few berserkers, and a nasty Uruk-Hai Shaman. I had 38 models in my army, mostly all warriors and eight half-trolls. I took three Mahud Raiders and put a King and Tribemaster on camels to complete the force. With 38 models total, it really hurt to dived them in half. Here's how the Mahud looked at the end of deployment.
I put all my half trolls up front along with some warriors and the Mahud Tribemaster. The King and the Raiders along with the rest of the warriors were deployed at the back. As you can see, the half of the Uruk-Hai that was deployed to the center already outnumbered me two to one. I lost priority and expected to get hacked up. If I had won priority, I wanted to pull back to bring my forces together. One thing I'm learning by playing small forces is that you shouldn't divide them without good reason. This scenario starts with you breaking that rule.

You can imagine my surprise when Tim did exactly what I was thinking. He pulled back to get all his troops together. I wondered at that move, since he had superior numbers. I should let you know this is only my second time out with an all Far Harad force. I didn't appreciate the power they bring to combat. So I think Tim was right to consolidate. Later when I saw the eight half trolls in action, I belatedly realized that front line could've readily handled the odds. Two wounds, fight five, and strength five turn them into "demi-heroes" capable of ripping up almost anything.

When I got my turn, I pulled back and here's what we looked like.
The basic flow of the game went as you might expect. The lines pulled back to reform then pushed forward to engage in close combat. I have three blowpipes in my force, which due to their move or shoot rule almost never do anything other than tote around the blowpipes all game. I never had shots. Tim, however, had six crossbowmen that took the hill that frowned on the center of the table. Having the high ground vantage point was great for him, and the only thing that limited its value was the special rule for the scenario. In this scenario, all ranged attacks were limited to 12" due to the moonlight. However, rolls to wound were at +1 due to being at a closer range.

I made a mistake with this special rule. I engaged the Uruk-Hai within 12" of the hill crest. This allowed Tim to pepper quarrels into my spear support and unengaged models. I should have stopped out of range of the hill crest to deny  the vantage point. Had I done that, Tim would have had nothing to use to prod me forward. But I guess I was feeling cooperative and parked myself so that his bows could hit me everywhere. It cost me a few men, and also cost me my Tribemaster's camel. Here's a shot of the line after a few turns. You can see the commanding position of the crossbowmen.

The rest of the battle was fun, but doesn't provide much drama in a write up. We kick the snot out of each other back and forth. The Uruk-Hai Shaman had cast Fury on himself from turn one. So he stood at the center of all key fights and gave everyone a who took a wound the ability to ignore it on a die roll of 6. Tim saved two or three warriors this way.

My heroes turned out to be the half trolls. They were incredibly good and earned every point. My King was the biggest let down. He wiffed everything, barely killing a few lousy orcs. Also sort of a mixed bag was my raiders. They are tricky to use due to their Impaler rule. If they kill whoever they charge, then they are sitting ducks for a counter charge. Tim wisely positioned his troops so I couldn't get multiple hits. So I often ended up hitting a model, killing it, and then getting swamped without the benefit of charge bonuses. I learned that with Raiders, you have to pick their charges carefully and to charge them before other friendly models move. This way, if you kill the model you charged then the other friendly models can intervene to protect the Raider.

I broke the Uruk-Hai, but due to the benefit of Fury they kept going. Everyone within 6" of the Shaman auto passes courage checks. That Shaman was the game defining model for the Uruk-Hai. Eventually, I got to break and we had to call time. It was an impressive fight, since my break was 19 models and the Uruk-Hai breakpoint was something like 33 models. So I had a good showing and could've had a shot at a win. But the Shaman kept everyone on the board. Tim saw the break point coming and each turn he moved the line tighter around the Shaman. Here's what it looked like with both forces broken.I definitely had a great time and appreciated the chance to get these guys on the table. There's a a lot of nuance to this army that I'm going to have to take the time to understand. They're brutal but very fragile. I don't want to even talk about what happened to this same force when it faced a Wood Elf army! (Evaporated in bowfire.) I'll try to take more pictures of future battles and post up. Maybe it won't be two years between posts!

1 comment:

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