Friday, August 03, 2012

Battle Report - Harad and Isengard vs Wood Elves

Last night was the Thursday night club night.  As so often recently, we only had three players.  Since we had two good and one evil we decided to have Tony and I split our armies in half, each fielding 300 pts vs Jake's 600.  We rolled up a meeting engagement.  This scenario is a kill 'em all battle.  It was bloody and unpredictable with some awesomely funny moments.

This is near the end of the game.  The Elves have done surprisingly little in combat up to now.

I deployed on the right, Tony on the left.  His wharg riders were behind a building.  My heroes were a chieftain and a taskmaster.  Tony had an Uruk Hai captain and Sharku, on a wharg.  Jake had twelve archers led by Legolas and two close combat groups; one led by Thranduil and one by a storm caller.  This gave him one guaranteed Nature's Wrath a game and up to three others.  Nature's wrath knocks down all enemy models in six inches.  It's a game changer.  It also completely negates cavalry since it knocks them off of their mounts.

Due to the threat of the spells Tony had to keep his whargs in reserve for most of the game.  Jake had his archers on a hill in the rear and the two close combat forces on each side of a ruined wall, in the center.  Our plan was that my archers would try to thin out his shooting while my melee troops would engage the elves, and die, sucking up the Nature's Wraths and clearing the way for the whargs to charge in and finish the elves.  Tony's infantry would advance on the left, clear out the elves facing him and assault the hill.

No plan survives contact with the enemy.  My archers started dropping elves left and right.  I killed seven in the first two turns just with shooting.  My melee troops survived the knockdowns and got back up and killed elves.  On the right Tony's troops mowed down the elves opposite them.  The elvish shooting was killing almost nothing.
All those Haradrim were supposed to be dead by now.
Jake's dice were ice cold, mine were incandescent.  I was out shooting and out fighting the elves; things that are just not supposed to happen.  Tony was barely breaking a sweat.  He killed everything in front of him, absorbed a single Nature's Wrath, with no attack to follow it up, and charged the hill.  Two of his Uruks were killed climbing up the one inch hill; they fell off.   I'm pretty sure that hill killed more Uruk Hai then any of the elves did.

Thranduil threw down a Nature's Wrath to cover his escape.  He's the one at the foot of the hill.
On the right I continued to drop elves with shooting, but at a much more reasonable rate.  I also continued to win fights and kill elves once I'd won them.  The whargs were finally able to get in some charges and the elvish battle line disintegrated.

Those Uruks are about to fall and impale themselves on their own swords.
It was good to finally get to wade in some wood elf blood.  Jake could have played it safe and forted up on the hill but that would have made for a dull game.  Even with the risks he took, he should have done much better but his dice were just not working for him at all.

The highpoint  of the game had to be two Uruks falling to their deaths from the puny little hill, in the same turn.  Tony managed to get a couple of guys up but they were mostly shot off.  His captain got shot in the face by Legolas as he stuck his head over the edge of the hill.  Very cinematic.

This was a much better way of playing with three players.  In a normal, all on all, three player game, you always end up with two players killing each other off and the third one cleaning up the survivors.  This way is better, though the two 300 pt lists are not equal to a single 600 pt list.  It is harder to take named heroes this way.  Tony and I both had to drop our wraiths, for instance.  The team is also disadvantaged by the fact that their heroes don't affect each other's armies.  On the other hand, two heads are often better than one and the two armies can compliment each other's weaknesses.

The most important thing is that we all got to play and we all had fun.  Jake was frustrated by his dice but he stayed cheerful and played it out to the end.  It was another fun night, especially after not getting to play for the last three weeks.

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