Sunday, July 3, 2011

Batrep WOTR: Angmar vs Isengard Maelstrom/Seize the Prize

In preparation for Tempest 2011 (which is small enough to actually have sufficient players already!), we gave one of the planned mission setups a try. Maelstrom deployment with five 'seize the prize' objectives. We used the special dice from my Son's Combat Hex LOTR collection. Kingslayer VPs, though not for banners (I think you already pay enough to take them in the first place), were in place. I had: The Tainted, Buhrdur in Ambush, three formations of five coy Carn Dum Barbarians, one with captain, one Carn Dum Siege Bow and four Coy of Allied Uruk Crossbow with Captain.
My opponent had: Saruman, three coy Uruk Crossbow, two formations of four coy Uruks, one with captain, a formation of 6 coy 2HW Orcs and a formation of 3 Coy Ferals in Ambush.
He had to go first and only got some Uruks and the 2HW Orcs on for round one (top middle of pic). In my turn, the Tainted arrived with his and another formation of Carn Dum Barbarians (short table edge left of pic). The Crossbow arrived (short Table edge right of pic) and the Carn Dum Siege Bow came on (long table edge bottom left of pic). The arrival of my Uruks gave me the first prize token.

Turn two saw more Uruks arrive, led by Saruman, next to the farmhouse with my (objective holding) Crossbow. My Crossbow got nuked by Saruman then driven out of that farmhouse, dropping the objective. Not a good start! I went after the 2HW Orcs using the Tainted and some Carn Dum Barbarians (WoT). Jason set up his Uruks to flank my chargers.... but the Tainted does not even allow the Captain to boost courage, so he narrowly failed the terror test and my Warriors went Berserk and left only one coy remaining of those Orcs.
Turn three and Jason begins with am ambush of Ferals in that central ruin. He also gets more Uruks from reserve near that farmhouse. My Crossbow are looking a little surrounded. I get the last formation of Carn Dum Barbarians, with a captain, who begin to double up from their entry point on the left short table edge.

Here we see the outcome of Turn three's spells, not much is left of that Crossbow formation. Shooting finishes them off. We both tried Heroic shoot and he won it. I am not sure if I should have tried to heroic move behind that ruin but I don't know that I could have got out of range. Probably not, since I look to be within 6" of that farmhouse so that would be 3 x 3". The Tainted's magic finishes the 2HW Orcs.

No Melees this turn, the cowardly Uruks near the top decided to retreat away from the advancing wall of Barbarians.
Turn 4: I confess I may have been a little ticked off with Jason's troops at this stage and just ambushed with Buhrdur right outside that ruin so as to get stuck in. He is not 'in shot' because the pic is taken at end of turn, after the Ferals ate him for breakfast. Three 6s on the VH2K table, only needed two of them! Elsewhere, I try to keep the Barbarian advance relatively orderly, with the spearhead in that wood near the hill. My Siege bow caused a couple of casualties on the Ferals.
Turn 5: I got the Tainted into the last-arriving Barbarian formation  and gave him the 24" sweep up the flank, last turn. Jason had managed to angle things so that a charge was not quite possible that turn (while the Ferals were busy eating Buhrdur). So Turn 5 sees the Barbarian spearhead (now the unit with the Chieftain in it) within striking distance of Jason's Uruks, who have retreated as far as the table will allow them. I keep the rest of the Barbarians out of range of Saruman and the Crossbow and...
...It is a beautiful thing. Five coy of berserk charging Barbarians, WoT for the charge, with a Chieftain calling heroic fight. Better yet, he tried to duel the Nazgul, so I used my Epic strike (and of course the Uruk Captain died), adding even more dice to the charge. It was a massacre. Yes that's right, the end coy is in easy charge range of that farmhouse. So the followup charge then smashes those Isengard Crossbow out too. That got me right back into the game, though I couldn't pick up the dropped objective. In the back there is a lone Sapper unit, moving 6" per turn (too far away from Saruman for the guided nuke effect) and cursing the fact that he can only detonate at the START of movement.

Turn 7: I have two objectives (formation to left of shot and the one that smashed the Uruks last turn). Jason has three (the xbow can retake the one they dropped). Isengard is going first and wants to avoid getting set up with a double charge while finishing off some of my troops before that last Barbarian Warband on the left rocks up. He actually manages to achieve this and does a very good job of nailing the Tainted's formation with magic before sneaking past charge arc of one Barbarian formation and charging into the Tainted's lot with a fearsome Feral Berserk charge.
The outcome of that is far fewer men to fight alongside the NazgulFerals back to avoid being charged by the one warband that is mobile and further reduces the Tainted's unit with spells and missile fire.

Turn 8: And here we are. I have two objectives, Jason has three. The Tainted STILL does not un-disorder and so the rest of the Carn Dum Barbarians are too far from the fight to make it. Jason moves the Ferals back, to make sure. He decides to go with Epic Channeling, rather than Ruination this turn.... and so just fails to destroy the Tainted's formation with spells and missile fire. I left off on tangling with the Uruk xbow last turn. In this turn's charge phase I go in with Berserkers and do very well. Not only do they win but take enough casualties to occupy.

Angmar manages to scrape a win at the last minute. Dealing with Uruk str4 is horrible for my army and the combination of Saruman in the move phase then crossbow in the shoot phase allows him focus fire on something in my army and decimate it. On the other hand, Berserk charges are things of beauty. Also, since the guidelines restricted my Epics (so only one Wraith) I had to ally in Crossbow to make up points, so I was hardly under gunned either. Since Jason has developed a craven fear of King Elessar, I think I might bring these boys along to Tempest. I may yet decide to give a Chieftain to another Barbarian unit though, instead of the Siege-bow. That might help with the tendency of one unit to get left behind. On the other hand, a Siege-Bow in a defensible terrain feature is pretty good value.

Anyway cheers for the close game, Jason. I only just scraped through and every little decision ended up counting.


  1. Hi Jamie,

    It was a good game that could have gone either way.

    Of course I would have preferred it to go MY way but thems the breaks!


  2. Either way? You were all but robbed! :P I think my Barbarians had a less than even chance of beating the Uruks in the farmhouse, if only you had a few more guys left in there.

  3. Good report always Jamie. I was going to chastize a little for theme - Isengard Uruks with Angmar? Bit of a stretch that perhaps?
    But then I thought Tolkien routinely used "uruks" to mean large orcs (I recall black uruks being mentioned in the books as the fellowshiop passed through Moria) so who's to say there wernt some up at Mt. Gundabad, and they might even have figured out that new fangled crossbow technology!?? ;-)

  4. Theme? At least it's not the Trans-Misty-Mountain-Alliance!

    The reason of course was simple model availability but I think they work (somewhat) as great-orcs from somewhere nearby OR if not, a very good reason for Saruman to trudge up to the frozen North to deal to the deserters.