Sunday, January 06, 2013

Battle Report - Harad vs Gondor

I've now played my first game of the year.  It wasn't the 1st, but pretty close.  I met Russ down at Collectormania and we took the new Hobbit rules for a spin.  We are both very familiar with the LotR rules but we still had to flip through the book a fair amount.  It was a fun game, only slightly marred by my loss.

Faramir and his Osgiliath veterans. 

Nuradan was too far north, again.  His detachment had been ordered to serve as the rear guard for a major raid into Gondor.  They had caught the northerners off guard, raided villages, and were headed south with their loot, but the men of Gondor had reacted quickly and were in pursuit.

Cirion and his escort.
Nuradan's force was his personal warband from Kharna along with a Wraith, he didn't know which one (Bob the Budget Nazgul) accompanied by his bodyguard from Abrakhan.  In pursuit were forces from Ithilien, led by Faramir, Nurdan feared.  There was also a body of troops led by the fearless Cirion of Caer Andros.

This looks good.  Except for those rangers off frame right.
Nuradan decided to take position in some ruins during the night.  The position looked very promising, right up until the Rangers appeared to his rear (I knew their position was inevitable and I still set up the way I did.  I don't know what I was thinking).  Ranger's aside, the dark allowed the men of the White City to get too close for his archery to have full effect.

The battle lines close.
Nuradan ordered his line forward to the near side of the ruins.  His archers exchanged arrows with the rangers, giving as good as they got.  The metal tide of Gondor closed, filing the center and lapping around the ruins on the left and the walled building on the right.  The rangers advanced slowly, firing as they came.  Nuradan's position was not looking good.  He, normally, would have abandoned it immediately but his orders were to hold up the enemy as long as possible.

The battle lines begin to meet.
In the center the lines met, and held.  Neither band was able to gain advantage.  Allawhi held up the formidable prince of Gondor but was unable to strike him down, even with the help of the wraith (the new Transfix is not nearly as dangerous as it used to be).  On the left flank the Abrakhan body guards, supported by Nuradan's spears, pushed back, and eventually destroyed, the flanking force.  On the right flank Cirion and his band did the same to Nuradan's archers.

The left flank advances, killing all in their path.
With a shout Nuradan led his chieftans into the fight, only to be met by Faramir and a Captain of Gondor.  The line swayed back and forth with no advantage being won by either side.  The rangers began a sprint to get into position to Nuradan's right rear while Cirion led his troops through the ruins.  Nuradan's archers fought like cornered rats and held the superior Gondorian numbers off for several valuable minutes, but they were not match for Cirion and his guard.

The Haradrim break through the Gondor line.
The Haradrim enveloped the Gondorian right while breaking through the center.  Faramir was forced back into a desperate defense with his few followers.  In the meantime Cirion's band killed the last of the archers and swept around the remains of the building.  As he sighted the Wraith, Cirion took a deep breath and charged.  He was forced back, but charged again, doing no damage before the swirl of battle separated the two foes.

Faramir surrounded.
In the meantime, Faramir was surrounded and cut down, along with the last of his followers.  The hated northerners had gained the advantage but Nuradan had bought time, with his stand, as well as killing the enemy's prince.  With the fall of Faramir the Haradrim had clearly decided that their task was done and they faded away, leaving the Gondorians undisputed masters of the battlefield.

The remnants of the Haradrim are about to face the other half of the Gondor force.  I'm at 25% here so the game is over.
This was a good game.  I deployed badly and was unable to recover from that.  Russ took advantage of it and was able to destroy half of my army with little effort.  My shooting was not really a factor, which guarantees that I'll lose the game, every time.  My army is designed to soften the enemy up with shooting before I finish the fight in hand to hand.  Any time I can't do that my troops don't have the margin they need to win.  They are lightly armored with low fight.  The wraith plays differently now, with the changes to magic, and that changes my game quite a bit.  I'll have to give that more thought.

Dead Faramir.  He performed much better for Russ than he ever does for me.

18 comments:

  1. Alas for poor Faramir. He will not be returning to the White City.

    Thanks for the report. Looked like a fun game.

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    1. Nice quote! Thanks for reading. I'm pleased that you enjoyed it.

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  2. Always great to see some beautifully painted figures on the table! I'm really looking forward to a game and I'll pick up the new rules at CM this week (gotta support the shop at which we play!).

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    1. So far I'm liking the new rules better. I can't really think of a single gripe. We have to get back into the swing of things with Thursday nights.

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  3. Very enjoyable and very pretty models, I'm a big fan of the rules.

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    1. Thanks Fran. Hopefully you get to play some time.

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  4. Can you describe a little more what has happened to magic and how "transfix" has changed? It is my only defence against the Boromirs and Aragorns we face and it worries me if it is weaker!!

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    1. Tony, all spells now have a normal casting level and a channeled level, which is a heroic action, using might. Most of the spells have been downgraded so that the awesome stuff is now the channeled version and the normal version is less effective. Black Dart is actually better, doing D3 wounds in the channeled version. Transfix now just halves the fight and attacks instead of dropping them to 1. Es no bueno.

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  5. Nazgul don't have a lot of might to throw around either....are they at least easier to cast? The real reason for the Shadow Lord was his pall of darkness but this will hurt.....

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    1. I don't have the big book, so I didn't see if there were changes, though I think Russ said there were not. They are less of a threat, though you can hit harder with some luck.

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  6. arrggghhh....everyone keeps saying they like the new rules and it hasn't really changed any current LOTR army but that sounds alot like the doom of any Ringwraith led side to me(they don't have a lot of Might and transfix was their best spell).....sigh.....

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    1. My Wraith still locked Faramir down and he still was useful, he just wasn't as game changing as he used to be. Having played against plenty of Wraiths in the past, I'm not too hurt about that.

      You might have to tweak some things in your armies to get them to play "better" but your current armies will still be viable.

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  7. Hey Aaron,
    This is an awesome battle report. I have finally gotten around to posting my report to the same game on my blog, although mine is not in character.

    Any one interested can read it here.

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    1. Awesome Russ. Thanks for putting in the link.

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  8. Russ said you had some great pics up and he was right-you do. Those are some well painted figures. Glad you had a good game!

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    1. Anne, thank you very much. And thank you for stopping by.

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  9. I enjoyed reading that. Very cool. Bit late, but just started following your blog as I saw an image from this on google. Hope there's more of this to come.

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    1. Nathan, welcome to the site. I'm glad you like it.

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