Jason dropped by with his budding Rohan army last night. I set up the winter table and took my Carn Dum army, since their bases matched the new hill!
I am going to run this as a commentary on the houserules we have been trying out. Key housrules in terms of this matchup are: Wraiths (except for Witchking) are only mastery 2, no Epic Strike in duels, all Rohan Cav count as having lances for free, and 'Will of Iron' works on a 3+.
Jason did not take Eowyn, so I did not take the actual Witchking. We are boring and half wanted to just chat and have a beer - so it was Shieldwalls and until one killed the other!I won the roll off and opted to choose table side and have priority. Here is the Carn Dum Line. Left to Right: Buhrdur is in ambush, single Siege bow, four coys of warband with 'the King of Carn Dum', five coys of warband with 'The Dwimmerlaik', two siege bows in the wood, and lastly four coys of warband with 'The Tainted'. I use the Dwimmerlaik statline for the Witchking model, since Dwimmlerlaik is what Eowyn called him when she faced him, and I take her to be the most first-hand account available.
The Rohan line. Left to Right: Four coy of Royal Knights with Eomer, four coy of Royal Knights, a unit of three coy of bowmen to the front on the hill, Gandalf the Grey inside, then nine coys of Riders of Rohan with Theoden King.
I have both 'home-field' and 'painted army' advantages. Also, Jason played my boy at a little 40k before we got going, and Josh beat him soundly. Apparantly Jason's boy had managed the same earlier today, so was the theory that 'third times a charm' or that 'bad luck comes in threes'. Of course, I am sure the better tactician will win on the day, etc, etc.
Speaking of which, I've skipped to the end of turn one (above). Nothing much happened before his point - I shot up some Rohan bowmen, the Rohirrm approached and.... why the heck did I leave a formation of troops out on the flank, separated from my main army by occupied defensible terrain?
A cunning trap? Hardly. Smash, Eomer and his Knights hit hard. He went second, so no spells to stop him. Eomer duels the Ringwraith. Despite being two points behind to start (+1 for calling duel +1 for fight 6 vs 5, no Epic Strike allowed), the Ringwraith pulls through alive. I lose two coy of troops in the ensuing melee.
So on turn two (beginning is shown above), I win priority and have Jason go second. There is some half-hearted moving by my troops (I keep the troll hidden) and I fancy my chances and leave the Tainted in the flank unit. Jason takes the opportunity to add a second unit of Royal Knights to beat up on the flank unit duty. Theoden keeps his riders safely behind the bow, where arty cannot reach. And Gandalf begins, Jason was going second so got to ensure he was in range. The victim formation is now enfeebled, as well as hopelessly outnumbered. I try to Pall of Night the threatening units, and actually block Eomer's one from charging... but Gandalf has lept into the other and hit my Wraith with 'Blinding Light' I am still confident I can take them. We exchanged a bit of fire, my artillery seems to be doing ok, his bow less-so. Then the charge and fight phases ensue. Gandalf is going to have to duel the fight 0 Wraith himself.
It transpires that I could not 'take them'. Well, I didn't really need that left flank, right?
But look, who is that over in the back left? It's Buhrdur - revealed to do battle at last. Jason has priority and goes first for turn three (beginning shown above). He decided to send the Knights against the artillery in the trees, reasoning that Javelins will be 'just the thing'. In response, Buhrdur exits the terrain, but is not keen to get too close to the bow this turn, I am also trying to keep my warband back, just over 1' from the bow, biding my time. Jason did bring Theoden's riders out to play, thinking he would bag himself a another warband... but the Dwimmerlaik hits him twice with spells - first off 'Pall of Night' Theoden rolls will of iron and gets a one. Then the Wraith follows with 'Strength from Corruption' killing two horses and their Riders. Jason's bowfire actually kills an artillery crewman, while my artillery fails miserably. The Knights charge into the forest, and kill nothing, while taking no casualties.
So it's looking pretty good for Rohan so far, will third time really be a charm? We will have to see, in tomorrow's second installment...