Friday, March 02, 2012

Battle Report - Harad vs Gondor and Dwarfs

With the league in hiatus there were only two of us playing last night at Collectormania.  When Rhys and I arrived there was no one else there to play so he played with his Star Wars Squinkies on some Osgiliath terrain while I talked painting and rules sets with Russ and Chris.  Chris is a great painter with a really entertaining blog, which I can't find right now.  Hopefully I'll be able to dig it up or someone will shoot me the link.

Micah showed up a little after 1900 and we agreed on a game.  I had played him a couple of weeks ago, before the switch over from Legions to Warbands.  In that game he had an avenger bolt thrower and Boromir.  Two very expensive options.  His new list is led by Faramir as a ranger.  It had a Capt with five knights, Faramir leading nine rangers, a captain with six sword/board and six spear and shield and finally a Dwarf captain with five or six Iron Guard.

We rolled up Reconnoiter, which is not my favorite scenario.  It pulls me out of my comfort zone.  This is not a bad thing.  My army is designed to stay out of combat as long as possible while shooting the hell out of everything that gets in range.  If I haven't whittled my opponent down, by a lot, before we get into combat then I am going to lose.  My guys are squishy and my force is only average sized.  The opposition last night was very crunchy, and had almost as many models as I did.  Not a good place to be. 

Reconnoiter gives points for getting models off your opponent's table edge, wounding or killing the opposing general and for breaking the enemy.  His knights were a priority target.

I apologize now for the pictures.  I forgot my camera so these were taken with my phone.

Two warbands, one of which is the Nazgul and Hornblower.
The knights moving forward to try to get off the table.  Faramir, his general, with the rangers, moving up in the background.
The Gondor Phalanx followed by the slow moving Dwarfs.

Micah rushed his cavalry across the field trying to get them off the hill in my left rear deployment zone.  His Rangers advanced, volleyed once, killing an Abrakhan Guard, then moved forward three inches at a time, not killing much of anything for the rest of the game.  All of the grey areas, in the pictures, are difficult terrain.  I had a stream to cross but I moved all but one warband across that.  The taskmaster left his band behind on my side of the stream and joined the other heroes in the center, where they could make use of his special ability.  My archery was taking a toll.  I dismounted the knight captain and one other knight and killed one as well as picking off the odd Warrior of Minas Tirith.

The remaining knights race for the table edge while I move Abrakhan Guard up to block them.
My battle line two turns before melee began.  The taskmaster is the one laying down on the job in the center.  My Nazgul is my general.
I managed to dismount all but one of his knights but the Abrakhan Guard just didn't want to win any fights and got wiped out.  I put their dismal performance down to "new paint syndrome".  This is the well known fact that models will fail in their first battle after getting a paint job.  The final knight was killed when I fired into the combat.  I figured my fat guy was dead anyway so I might as well try to take some of the others with him.  This left the Captain and three knights to move to the table edge with no one to stop them.

The Fat Guys completely failed in this fight.  One survived, to be killed in the next round, along with the knight.
In the center the Gondorian phalanx finally reached my lines.  The first round made my heart sink with Haradrim dropping right and left.  My Chieftan got one round of combat in before he was killed.  The second, and subsequent, rounds went much better.  I was getting good rolls on my Taksmaster's special ability, gaining a total of five free might out of him over the game. 
The two lines as the Gondorians hit the right end of my formation.
The giant hole in the center of my line after the first round of combat.  After this I was able to plug the gap and lap around both flanks.  Staying in the game.
 Heroic combats and movements were keeping me in the game but when the Dwarfs arrived they started killing everything in sight.  If they won, they killed, with two, S4 attacks they just couldn't help themselves.  We both broke in the same turn and Micah won priority.  His leaders made all of their courage checks and the Captain and two of the knights made it off the board.  The last one was an inch out.  After removing the three models, Micah commented, "I should have left the Captain on to help that guy with his courage checks next turn".  Truer words were never spoken.

While the combat in the center had turned into a meat grinder the shooting war had gone against the Rangers.  Faramir was killed and the rangers were whittled down.  I started three of my archers running towards the far board edge and Micah's rangers started targeting them.  Shooting and failed courage checks brought their numbers down to the point of ineffectiveness, however.

The final two rangers.  They just didn't have the juice to kill my runners.
These two chaps are about to run behind a big hill, hiding them from the rangers.  One of them is also about to fail his courage check and run away.
In the end, Micah got me down to 25%, the scenario end point, before I could get anyone off the table.  He was one model away from 25% himself.  We totted up the points and it was an even four.  Micah got three for getting three models off the table and one for breaking me.  I got three for killing Faramir and one for breaking him.  He got my Wraith into combat on one turn but failed to wound.

The positions in the final round.
This was a great game.  There were a ton of cinematic moments, lots of back and forth and we really didn't know who had won until we added up the points a couple of times.  The Kharna upgrade to my archer's shooting seems to be worth the points and the poison re-rolls on 1-2 vs just 1 are helpful and got some kills.  The hornblower more than paid for himself, as always.  I never seem to be able to get all three warbands in range of the Betrayer.  I may end up downgrading six of my archers.  That would give me twelve points and if I can find a couple spare I could get two more spears in the army.  I'll have to give that some thought.

Great game and thanks for the good time Micah.


  1. Sounds like your shooting has been very phenomenal with the Kharna upgrade. I have been looking at my Haradrim army lately and I just can't build a list I like anymore. I don't really have this problem with any other faction I try and build. I feel the Haradrim got really hurt by the point increase in their basic warrior, and the fact that their cheapest hero is 45 points base. Doesn't matter if I am making a 600 point list or 700 point list, my lists just don't feel right.

  2. I agree with you. My army is one more model than the High elf list I'm looking at. I'm enjoying playing with this, but it relies too much on shooting, which, while effective sometimes, is very fragile. I've been giving other builds a look but I'm leaning towards hanging them up.

  3. I love the terrain - where did that come from?

    1. Sadly, that table is from GW. It was a store table for demo games of LotR when it first came out. I'm pretty sure you have to sell the soul of your first born to get one.

  4. Who makes the vacu-formed terrain? Very nice.

    1. Greblord, see above for the sad, sad answer to your question.


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