Friday, June 08, 2012

Battle Report - Harad vs Gray Company

Thursday night is club night, though there were only two of us there, as is usual these days.  Jonathan brought his new Gray Company list, which I have never played against before.  This was a real nail biter of a game, and one of the closest I've ever played.  We played a straight up fight.  Kill to 25%.  First one there loses.

Initial set up.

Nuradan had been instructed to build a fortified camp to serve as a base of operations for a larger force.  He had received reinforcements from Kharna, as well as more levies from the tribes.  The Betrayer was back as well, with his guard from Abrakhan.  Nuradan definitely had mixed feelings about that.

The battle lines from the Harad side of the table.
The construction was going well, but Nuradan's scouts reported Gondorian rangers in the area.  He led his forces out to the reported location, and found ghosts.  Nothing.  Returning to the camp he found his enemy.  they had destroyed part of the wall and were searching the tents.  Nuradan drew up his forces and prepared to expel the invaders.

Pay particular attention to the band, top left.
The enemy appeared to be part of the Gray Company.  What they were doing this far south he didn't have time to think about.  The force was led by Arathorn, backed up by Halbarad and a Captain of Arnor.  there were six Rangers of the North, seven warriors of Arnor and a double handful of rangers.  This was going to be a tough fight.  Two forces with almost no armor and lots of shooting.  The Northerners had more bows, but Nuradan's warriors had poison, and the Betrayer.

Aladhi saw five rangers and Halbarad in the open, seizing the moment (and using an heroic shoot) he ordered his men to fire.  They killed four of the five rangers and wounded the Northern hero.  The return fire of the rangers began to take its toll as well.  They were concentrating on Nuradan's highly skilled archers, and their fire was galling.

That's some devastating shooting.
There was a pack of Rangers in the forest to the front.  Not only did Nuradan need to flush them out, he wanted that spot for himself.  The cover provided by the trees could prove critical in the coming fight.  (Jonathan started out in the forest.  We played it as area terrain.  If you were touching the edge than you could shoot out and be shot, but with an "in the way" on incoming arrows.  If you were not on the edge then you could not shoot out or be shot at.  If both shooter and target were in the terrain then you could shoot with an "in the way").

Nuradan's troops move towards the trees, firing as they go.
Nuradan advanced steadily, both sides steadily losing men to the accurate shooting.  As he closed, the Rangers withdrew, providing a respite from the front, but opening up fire from the flank.  In the original location all but three of the warriors had been killed.  Those three withdrew behind the hill, which the tower was built on.  From there, their accurate fire manged to kill several Rangers and drive the rest, including Arathorn, into cover.  The hornblower hid behind a tree, near the Haradrim starting location.  (Often if you hide a model and don't move it the other player will forget about it.  This was my hope.  Sadly Rhys was insistent on pointing to this model and talking about it.  I don't know if this is what clued Jonathan in, but it was fairly frustrating).

The Rangers have been driven back to the edge and most of my force is hiding behind the trees.
With a surge, Nuradan's forces rushed across the gap and into cover, behind the trees.  A handful of warriors took up position to cover the move, the spearmen dying in the process. 

These three held off Arathorn, a Ranger of the North (killed) and several Rangers for most of the game.
In the rear Arathorn and his band were being held off by three Kharnaks.  The Rangers could see the arrow studded bodies of their brethren who had left cover and were not anxious to join them.  Arathorn managed to kill one of the archers, with a bow shot, but the rest of them kept up a continuous, suppressive, fire.

Arathorn.  He's just begging for an arrow in the face.
Back in the main fight the archer duel slowed down as both sides repositioned.  Now that they were in cover, in the forest, the Haradrim casualties dropped off.  In the mean time the Rangers were now in the open and started to take losses.  Three of the remaining archers, and the wraith, had to slog through the forest to get into position, which meant that there were only a couple of archers shooting, but they took a toll every turn.  (By this point I was close to breaking, at 50% casualties.  Jonathan was about five behind me.  We had started with 39 Models each).

The white blob, center, is the Arnor troops.  Rangers and Rangers of the North are spread around the forest.
With the appearance of the Wraith at the edge of the wood the situation got more interesting.  He flitted forward, a deeper shadow among shadows.  His evil compulsion filled the Captain of Arnor, pulling him out of the phalanx and in front of one of the Rangers.  By now, too, the rest of the archers had reached the edge of the trees and were putting out a galling fire on the rangers, reducing their numbers.  The hand to hand troops, Nuradan's spearmen and the Wrait's guards, were arranged around the edge of the wood, prepared to intercept any attack.

The Captain pulled forward.  His troops, disciplined bastards, stand fast as ordered.
Finallyl, the threat of the remaining archers, coupled with the safety of the Haradrim warband in the woods and the menacing threat of the wraith, induced the Rangers to charge.  (I had been broken for a couple of turns but was making all of my rolls.  Jonathan still had a four model advantage on me, and tough hand to hand troops).  The Arnor warriors first moved to screen the rangers, then charged the archers.  Unable to react, due to the dense undergrowth, the archers had to take the first charge on their own.  On the other flank Halbarad and his band were hovering, menacingly, ready to attack once the reserves had shifted to deal with the first strike.

Arnor charges in the foreground.  Halbarad, posturing at the top.  The archer at bottom is the last of the three who were fighting Arathorn.
The attack by Arnor was repelled.  Halbarad charged and was killed, as was the Ranger of the North at his side.  The Wraith Compelled the Captain, forcing him to stand while he was struck by the great swords of the Abrakhan Guard.  With the losses they had suffered, the courage of the Rangers finally broke.  (This turn got them to 50%.  They won priority and the Captain promptly failed his courage test, as did several of his men and some Rangers, six in all).  Smelling victory, Nuradan ordered his men forward, striking down opponents right and left and sending the remaining Rangers fleeing.

The hornblower had been hiding behind his tree for the whole battle.  After Arathorn and his band chased away the archers, two of the Rangers decided to deal with this single warrior, whose tooting horn had become more than a mere annoyance (The +1 courage was critical in this battle, again).  The two Rangers split, moving around the tree.  The first shot missed and the hornblower ran for cover, surviving anther round of fire before being intercepted by the Ranger.  He promptly killed the Ranger and got behind cover.

Nuradan's force had taken a beating, but that was the nature of warfare among the Haradrim.  Only the best survived for long.  He knew that another column of men had already been dispatched from the south.  The fort would be completed and the Dark Lord would have one more piece of his plan in place.

This was a great game.  I was behind in the archery duel for most of the game.  Getting into the forest was critical to my survival.  Jonathan's Captain's failure to pass his courage test was critical to the end of the game.  This one, literally, came down to the last turn to decide the victor.  Thanks Jonathan.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...