Saturday, April 07, 2012

Battle Report - High Elves vs Isengard and Galadrim

The Thursday night league has closed but that is still Lord of the Rings night down at Collectormania.  We have not had any games in a couple of weeks and Jonathan and I were both Jonesing.  In addition, Huntsman is back in the rotation, so there are three of us who plan on being there every week.

Last Thursday was the last night back and with three of us we had to get creative.  We decided to play a three player game, (all right, so not really that creative when you have three players).  There was an objective in the center of the table, victory points for each model within six inches when the game ended.  There is random deployment with a die roll determining where each warband comes in.  A 1 means, not this turn, 2 your opponent chooses a North/South edge, 3 your opponent chooses an East/West board edge, 4 you choose N/S, 5 you choose E/W and 6 you choose any board edge.  There are also points for wounding and killing the enemy general.  For players of LotR this is the Hold Ground scenario.  The effect of this deployment, with just two players, is chaos as warbands come in all over the table and head for the center to mix it up, often fighting as they go.  With three players there was even more confusion. 

Initial deployment.  Arwen will come in behind the ruins top center.  Galadhrim top left and bottom left with Rumil's band bottom center.

 I had three warbands, two of High Elves and one of Galadhrim.  The list can be found here for anyone interested in the details.  Erestor's warband and the Galadhrim came in side by side.  Arwen's force was delayed a turn later, and then came in on the south edge.  There were two Uruk Hai warbands on my table edge, one only an inch away.  The three Galadhrim were spread with one on the North, and two on the East, one all the way South.  Huntsman decided to take a chance and place Saruman with his wharg riders right next to that southernmost warband.  This deployment meant that my two warbands would immediately be engaged as would one of Jonathan's.  There was a third Isengard warband free to maneuver, but close to the fight with me.  Two of Jonathan's warbands were free to head for the objective.
Rumil's warband.  Four of them would die to archery on the way to the objective.  Other than that, a walk in the park.

Erestor knew he was asleep.  He could remember falling asleep and recognized the waking dream.  He was leading a force escorting the princess of Rivendell, Arwen Undomiel, to Caras Galadron to visit with Celeborn and Galadriel.  In addition to Arwen's personal guard there was a force of Galadhrim, sent to ensure the safety of the princess.  Erestor knew this for a dream, and he knew that dreams did not always follow the logic of the real world, but it did seem odd to him that there was a force of Galadhrim opposing his march.  The Uruks of Isengard, led by the traitor Saruman, that made more sense.  As the battle started, Erestor's awareness of the waking dream faded and he fought his enemies as he found them.

Somehow Erestor had lost the princess.  He had two thirds of the army with him but Arwen was missing.  As he came out of the mists his right flank was assaulted by Uruks, baying for blood.  As they crashed into his flank he shouted orders, immediately obeyed by his highly trained warriors.  The Elves formed a shield wall, archers with spears backing them up.  The Galadhrim were ordered to secure the ruins to the front and to tie in the left flank with them. 

Uruks knocked down all over the place.  This put them at somewhat of a disadvantage in the following combat.
 Their leader, the Stormcaller, strode forward and called on the Wrath of Nature to strike these unnatural enemies, knocking all of them to the ground.  The disciplined Elves struck down the fallen Uruks, giving them a decided advantage in the combats to come.  Erestor's Galadhrim allies had brought some archers and they fired to the rear of the Elven lines, felling two of the opposing Galadhrim.

Another view of prone Uruks.  It just makes me happy to show this again and again.

In another corner of the field, Erestor's vision, inexplicably, focused in and he saw a swirling fur ball of a melee involving the traitor wizard, and his riders battling Galadhrim knights and foot.  The orcs seemed to be getting the worst of that fight, though it would go on for many minutes, finally ending in the deaths of all of the orcs as well as the white wizard.

Saruman managed to drag this out a surprisingly long time, before his inevitable end.
Many fewer Uruks were left.
As the Elvish line continued to hack apart the Uruks to their front, the second, unengaged warband came to their assistance.  Erestor, seeing his chance, charged forward and struck down the commander on this flank, Sharku.  Again, many Uruks fell and the survivors fled to join the line of their approaching fellows.  Together the two bands, now one, formed a new line and again charged forward to engage the Elves.  Erestor used the time to reorder his line, meeting the Uruks toe to toe.  Again the Stormcaller stepped forward to call on the wrath of Nature herself but the Uruk Captain was able to quell the storm and dissipate the energy of the strike.  Even with his warriors on their feet, the Uruks could not strike down the Elves, falling themselves before the greater skill of the ageless warriors of Rivendell.

Arwen arrives.  Galadhrim to the left and Uruks to the right.

Again, Erestor saw through the mists as Arwen arrived, marching her warband across the table to meet up with her guards.  Her archers dropped back to fire into the battle between Saruman and the knights, killing one orc and two enemy elves.

Saruman's last moments. 
  As Arwen marched she saw the knights break away from Saruman, leaving it to the infantry to encompass his doom.  They charged, unbelievably quickly, and struck her archers.  Refusing to leave them to their deaths she ran back across the battlefield, casting her nature's wrath and dismounting the knights, who were butchered by the archers.

Big bullies cut down to size by another Nature's Wrath.
  At this her band resumed its march across the battlefield, braving a storm of Galadhrim arrows.  Two of her guards gave their lives protecting her, proving their devotion to the daughter of their liege.

The Galadhrim foes had now consolidated on the objective with a powerful phalanx guarding the point of contention while archers positioned themselves to force full payment, in blood, by anyone attempting to contest hand to hand.

This Captain will not be making any standfast rolls.

With the death of their leader the Uruk Hai lost heart and all but six fled the field.  A lone Elf charged the captain, keeping him too busy to attempt to rally his force.  He survived three rounds of combat before being struck down. 

That's a whole lot of un-contested victory points.

Erestor used this sacrifice to rush his force through the ruins, attempting to form a line on the objective.  All of his forces finally came together, having fought, and won one battle, he was almost prepared to fight a second, when sleep left him and he woke, confused and uneasy.

At this point Jonathan had won a crushing victory, as the game ended when I rolled a 2 at the end of the turn.  Despite only having five models on the table, Huntsman got one point, the same as me.  We each had one model within six inches of the objective.  Jonathan had so many we didn't bother to count, as well as three points for killing Saruman.  As usually happens in these games, two players ended up fighting each other while the third just waltzed up to the objective. 

An all elf fur ball.  This made Huntsman very happy.
 We decided to fight it out and Jonathan and I played a couple more turns.  One turn in which I lost every fight and Jonathan's sixes ensured a lot of dead elves, pretty much decided things.  When we called it I had the left flank, he had the right, but I was out of might and will and he had Rumil and two captains hacking their way through the remnants of my army.

This was a great game.  Both of my opponents are always fun to play and the scenario made it especially interesting.  It was the first time I've played with the High Elves in a long time and I was very pleased with how they worked.  Both of my enem... er, I mean opponents were very impressed with how devastating Nature's Wrath can be.  I'm looking forward to playing again next Thursday.

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