Thursday, February 23, 2012

Battle Report - Harad vs Galadrim - Again

The ongoing grudge match between Harad and Lothlorien continued tonight.  I got to Collectormania early.  Jonathan showed up a bit later and, yet again, we were left with only each other to play against.  Don't get me wrong, I always enjoy playing against Jonathan, he's a great opponent and our games are always nail biters.  It's just that, if you look at the bat reps on this site, you'll see that we play each other more than anyone else.

Now that the league is over we are firmly into the new "Warbands" era, leaving "Legions" behind for good.  This means a new meta-game.  All armies, in the local group, have gotten smaller.  We are, mostly, still trying out new lists and making our first purchases of new models, mainly heroes.

Jonathan's list was Rumil, an archer captain and a mounted captain.  Rumil had his phalanx, spears and pikes, though smaller than under Legions.  The archer captain was leading, oddly, eight archers.  The knight captain had four knights, two with bows and six sword and spear elves.  My list is pretty much the levy of Kharna list.  The Betrayer, Haradrim King, Taskmaster, Chieftan, one Warrior of Abrakhan with horn, six Abrakhan guards, twelve haradrim with spears and eighteen warriors of Kharna with bows.  This gives me eighteen shots hitting on threes with poison re-rolls on a third of the dice (1-2).  With the points for the Kharna upgrade I could add five more models.  So far, in four games, the upgrade seems to be worth the points.  We'll see how it works out in the long run.

Initial Deployment.  The Taskmaster's ill fated band is behind the ruins to the left.  You can see the hornblower.

Tonight we rolled up "The High Ground" scenario.  This one is all about having models near a hill in the center of the table when the game ends.  Any turn that a tie is rolled for priority the winds are too strong for shooting and none is allowed.  That was two turns of this game.  When I've paid a ton of points for good shooting, losing it for two turns hurts.  A lot.
Rumil's Phalanx.  Not as big as it used to be, but still a tough nut to crack.

The rear view of the phalanx with the archer company in the distance.  Notice the new paint on the Abrakhan Guards.  They actually killed a lot tonight, for once.  Coincidence?  I think not.
 The rolls for setting up had all but one warband in the front twelve inches.  My first one went behind some ruins with the archers peeking out where they could shoot.  Jonathan had his three placed evenly across the table.  I put all three of my other warbands together in one giant phalanx with spears, then archers and a third row of heroes and Abrakhan guards.  Jonathan remarked that he had not really thought about putting his forces in one group.  I'm sure he'll be doing more of that in the future.
My phalanx.  You can see the newly based guys in the front.  I think they are looking much better.

The game started with his knights charging and, in short order, killing off the warband on its own.  I caused a couple of casualties but lost my taskmaster and all of his archers.  The hornblower was with this group but managed to hide in some ruins and climb up out of reach of the knights.

This fight is going exactly as badly as it looks like it is.  The hornblower, somehow, managed to escape this disaster.

The tactical situation.  Stalemate.  I was shooting at both groups.
 My giant phalanx moved forward and started picking off elves from both the shooting warband (to the left) and Rumil's phalanx, (to the right).  Eventually, Jonathan brought his knights and swords around to hit my phalanx in the rear while the other two groups moved to engage the front.  My archers turned, as well as the rear rank of Abrakhan guards and heroes, and engaged the flanking force.  Archery killed a couple and the rest died in one round of combat, except for that damn captain who just kept winning fights or surviving.

Here's the mounted contingent, short on mounts at this point.  The other two knights with the captain just got killed, one by a failed thrown rider test. 
The phalanx divides to deal with enemies on both sides.  I'm pretty sure if this were a British regiment they'd get cap badges on the back of their hats for this feat of awesomeness.
This guy will just not die.  On the other hand, his friends are looking pretty scarce right now.

In the main fight the elves were doing their usual imitation of a meat grinder.  My shooting had been effective enough, however, to break Jonathan.  He started the sprint for the hill first and ended up with more models in base contact.  It was five (me) to eight (him).  When we added the three points I got for breaking him and not being broken, it was a draw.

The elves are broken, Rumil is locked in combat.  My line is looking pretty thin at this point. 
This is where we both started moving to the hill.  The game lasted another turn after this.

This was a great game, as always against Jonathan.  There was a lot of back and forth and interesting tactical nuances.  His face when a lone archer fired into combat and killed his spearman was priceless.  This was also the first game where I have seen a rider killed by a thrown rider test.  Again, priceless.  My Taskmaster dying with might on board and no heroes around to benefit from his special ability was pretty sad.

The most obvious change with the new rules is the deployment.  I have to say, again, that I really like it.  It adds a lot to the game.  I'll have to play a few more games to determine if I like the list, but so far it seems to be doing what I want it to.

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