Nuradan was again attached to the command of the Betrayer. It was clear that Sauron had a plan for his men, it just wasn't at all clear what it was. The army had force marched to the north and crossed into the lands of the horse lords. They were supposed to meet with Saruman's Uruks. The problem, from Nuradan's point of view was that the meeting between the Betrayer and Saruman went poorly and he found himself facing an army of angry Uruk Hai, deep in doubly hostile territory. Some days it just didn't pay to roll out of the blankets.
|The battle lines on turn four.|
The Betrayer was interested in five chests, spread through some ruins. Saruman, apprently, did not want to give them up. This fight would be for control of the chests, but also for the survival of Nuradan and his men. Nuradan was able to get one of the chests, on a hill, firmly under his control. There was a second, in some ruins at the base of the hill, that he knew he could contest at will. The other three were on the wrong side of a bunch of angry Uruk Hai and one angry wizard.
The Haradrim were deployed along the top of the hill with spearmen defending the crest nearest to the Uruks and the archers ranked along the other side of a large, dead, tree. There was a detachment of archers, along with the Betrayer's Abrakhan guards, at the base of the hill to keep unpleasant strangers from interfering with the Kharna levy's archery. Saruman was mounted and had brought six wharg riders along with man Uruks. There were also a few orcs among the ranks. Happily, there were none of the dreaded Uruk Hai crossbows.
Saruman's forces began a general advance, except for a few orcs who were ordered off to keep watch on the other chests. The wharg riders charged into the spearmen along the crest while Saruman attempted to position himself to Sorcerous blast the line of defenders. The Betrayer worked to counter Saruman and Sharku, leading the whargs, while staying close enough to the poisoned arrows of the Kharna archers to make their poison smoke as the arrows left the bow. Archery began to thin the ranks of the phalanx approaching the hill while the spearmen along the base of the hill, but it was not to be enough. The armor of the Uruks shrugged off arrow after arrow, leaving a dull green sheen of poison on its surface.
|Saruman charging forward to try and cut his way free.|
Saruman found himself blocked in by the mass of his troops and charged into combat, trying to force a way free. Nuradan commanded his sub-Chief and his Taskmaster forward, hacking down opponents right and left (heroic combats all around) to position themselves to attack the White Wizard. Saruman was unable to survive the onslaught, falling at the hands of Nuradan himself.
|Saruman is about to get smashed by three heroes.|
The rest of this fight was going poorly for the wharg riders with the Haradrim spears steadily wearing down the orc riders and their foot bound Uruk Hai brethren.
|The remnants of the Uruk phalanx, about to charge up the hill, and die.|
At the foot of the hill the Uruks had brushed aside the haradrim screen and charged up the hill. The archers stood and took the charge, destroying the Uruks, with some timely help from the Betrayer.
|"Those guys don't look so tough, down there"|
|There's really not much left of the Isengard army at this point.|
The orcs who had been sent off to guard the other chests took flight and the surviving Uruks, from the main battle, turned tail and ran for Isengard.
|The line looks so much less impressive without the wizard in there. You can see Nuradan and his fellow heroes standing around admiring their handy work.|
The first battle was a victory for Harad. Saruman was way too mixed up in the fighting and I got a lot of charges off against the wharg riders. The archer's killing off the phalanx that got up the hill was a surprise, but very welcome.