Monday, May 07, 2012

Battle Report - Harad vs Corsairs of Umbar

Nuradan knew something was wrong when he saw the Corsair ships approaching.  The Haradrim had fled south, crossing the river above the falls and force marching through Ithilien.  He was planning his return to Kharna when the two ships were spotted tacking up river.  The feeling of foreboding became a certainty of battle when a bolt, fired from one of the ships, killed his messenger.

As Nuradan arrayed his forces for battle, the Wraith was focused on the ships.  Nuradan would have said apprehensively, only Wraiths didn't get apprehensive.  Two boat loads of Reavers and Corsairs left the two ships.  He also saw the black hearted Numenorians of Umbar, and even horses, being ferried ashore.  Then he saw what had held the attention of the Wraith.  The Corsairs had brought another one of the Nine with them.  This day was looking darker and darker.

The battlefield.

Nuradan decided to anchor his force between a pair of stone walls, with archers on the left flank and on the hill to his rear.

The battle lines.  There are archers behind the tree in the left of the picture as well as behind the task master, on the hill.
The Wraith decided to place itself near the center.  At least it looked like it was prepared to be useful, though that had never been an issue before.  This was the first time they had faced another one of the Nine.  Whatever the Betrayer had taken from that chest, it looked like the Shadow Lord was willing to fight a civil war to get it.

The enemy lines.  The front rank is all Rievers.

The Corsairs were deployed in a tight block.  The shadows seemed to flow out of the enemy Nazgul, making the shapes of the humans indistinct and blurry.  Nuradan had a bad feeling that even his Kharna archers would have a hard time piercing this veil of shadows to put their poisoned shafts where they needed to go.

The Corsairs advanced while Nuradan slowly withdrew his line, giving his archers time to do their thing.  There was a single cry of pain out of the shadow; not enough to even the odds, when the two lines clashed.  

The Wraiths began a silent duel.  There were no sights, no sounds, just implacable stares from invisible eyes.  Still, even though nothing was visible, Nuradan didn't want to be anywhere near that exchange.  Unfortunately, he was directly between the two Nazgul, and his hair stood on end.

The flanking archers are charged by Black Numenorian Knights with lances.
And promptly dismount three of them and kill a couple of Black Numenorians on foot.

As Nuradan worried about the duel going on above his head, he felt the eyeless stare of the Shadow Lord fall on him.  All of a sudden, he couldn't move, couldn't fight, couldn't defend himself.  His last thought was, "This is not a good day to die."

The battle line is pretty thin, on the Haradrim side.  The Corsairs are looking just peachy over there.
With Nuradan's fall his subordinates attempted to brace the line and give the Wraith time to do something, anything.  Unfortunately, what he did was lose the duel and disappear in a screaming, howling swirl of, something. 

The Betrayer, just before he was destroyed by losing his last will.  Things are going badly on the right flank.
 With the Corsairs lapping around both ends of the line, and punching through the center, the few survivors who had not turned tail and run, charged the enemy, fighting to the last.  It had been a very bad day for Nuradan's warband.  None would be seen in the lands of the south again.

The Haradrim kept attacking, right until the bitter end...

Which looks a lot like this.
This was a really fun game, over at Collectormania.  I played against Huntsman, who is a Kiwi, but we like him anyway.  He's always a great opponent.  This was his first outing with his new army.  It played very well for him.  The Rievers are monsters in close combat with two attacks and fight five.  They are backed up by Corsairs with spears.  The Black Numenorians, both on foot and mounted, cause terror and have a good armor save.  The Corsair's are normally vulnerable to shooting, but with the Shadow Lord there they are only hit on sixes if within six inches.  This is a very tough army to beat.

This game also crystallized something for me about my army.  It just doesn't work right with the new deployments for warbands.  It is rarely possible to get all of the archers within range of the Betrayer to benefit from his better poison rerolls.  When you couple that with the fact that he is one of the worst Nazgul, from a spell casting standpoint, and the number of points spent upgrading the archers to be Kharna archers, the army is just too fragile and has too low a model count.

I'll be making some changes, though I'm still not sure where.  Looks like I'll be painting some more Haradrim, of one sort or another.


  1. Sounds like a fun battle. One of these days I will actually make it out and play a game of LOTR again.

  2. Nice batrep, I use the rules for a lot of periods!

  3. @Nicky, come on down and play. I haven't gotten a game against you yet.

  4. @Fran, Thanks for the compliment. I'm working on lists to use them with my Romans and Celts. I really like the LotR engine.

  5. Hey Aaron! Sounds like yet another fabulous game between you and the Huntsman. Interesting thoughts on your list. When I've thought about your list, I thought it was possibly one of the best I've seen w/ regards to theme and construction. I thought it would be invincible, and perhaps it could have been in the LOME era. But as you mentioned, the new deployment schemes set forth w/ the Warbands rules is really screwing w/ previously held truths and norms. It will basically come down to experience, the more you get games in, the better your understanding and working knowledge of the new rules set, and how they affect the workings of your army. I was not looking forward to meeting that list on the battlefield, and when we actually do lock swords, it will most likely be with me stout-hearted, short-legged, beer-toting Longbeards! Baruk Khazad!!!

  6. What I am finding with the list is that it makes for some great games, and some that I just don't have a chance at, no matter how well I play. The new deployments make it pretty hard to survive with a small, squishy shooting army. Next time you are out here tell me what list you want to face and I'll bring it. I hope the new job and new town are treating you well. You are missed here.


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