We awoke around our campfires to see a chill sight marching silently, like the dead, toward us across the snow of our homelands. The Elves had come. Stealer's of children, alien myrmidons of alien gods, allies to those who would conquer the lands of our forefathers, a foe out of legend and nightmare.
Here they were, nightmare made real, gliding towards us without sound or expression and leaving no trace in the snow with their steps. Brave veterans shivered and not from the chill winter air.
They can bleed though - when cut by cold iron, and they will find that we are not without dread allies of our own.
This was a 1000pt WOTR battle, Shieldwalls deployment and for VPs.
The Elves brought along Galadriel, the Twins and Cirdan. There was a unit of three coy Cohort; a unit of three coy Galadrim with Longbow; three coy Woodelves and four coy Galadrim with Glaives and Shields.
The brave defenders of the Carn Dum plateau were led by the 'King of Carn Dum' (Thrydan), assisted by the Nazgul Dwimmerlaik and Tainted; the Troll Cheiftain Buhrdur stalked somewhere about the outskirts of the fray. The bulk of the forces were two formations of five coy Carn Dum warriors, another of four coy, two coy of Carn Dum (Mordor) Siege Bows and a lone Siege bow to round things out. The force was meant to contain borrowed Angmar Orcs, but the Elven player forgot to bring them. I have the models on order.
If you have read this blog before you will know I don't rate the Elves as a WOTR force and like to houserule when playing like minded players. In the case of this fight, the Elves benefited from their Glaive armed troops striking before other infantry, their Longbow ignoring Shields (hitting on 5s within 18" vs the bulk of my army - ouch), Epic Strike being less important, so their base fight values count for more (the 'King of Carn Dum' goes from being awesome to pretty average in a duel, Nazgul fear Elven heroes), and my Wraiths were mastery 2 not 3.
The Elves advanced openly, arrogant in their unearthly power. So we were able to array our lines to our advantage. Our artillery was well protected in a wood, with Warriors to protect its flank. Meanwhile, we would send the bulk our infantry to turn the Elven flank before the they polluted any more of our ancestral lands with their presence.
The Elves obviously sought to bring us down with their bowfire but a skilled Huscarl can lay even an Elf low with sword or axe, if he can but close.
For all their vaunted martial pride, the Elves clearly feared that fact. We took the priority and the Nazgul led two war-bands surging toward where the nearest Elven bow skulked in a hilltop wood. Accurate Elven bowfire forced one war-band back, and its Nazgul had failed to ensorcel them to permit a long-range charge. The Nazgul leading the other was content to lend his magics to assist the artillery in picking off the odd Elf. The bulk of the Elven troops were out there - yet screened by their craven and un-manly magic cloaks. Confident that the Elves would leave their heads in the noose for a while yet, our Captains held back the charge - so we could smash upon them all at once and carry the day.
Houserules: Bowfire is generally a pitiful thing vs heavy infantry with Shields but we have changed Elven bow so that it ignores the shields. This effectively double their lethality from the front and within 18" Elven longbow hits my best men on 5s!
We again took the lead and threw out a line with the three Warbands, our King bringing the third around the right Flank. Over-confident, those Elves would not have the wit to recognise their doom, even as it closed about. Somewhere yet, the Troll Buhrdur lurked on the flanks of the fray. After a volley of artillery bolts splintered the trees about their heads, the cowardly Elves clearly feared to lose their long lives. THEN their fate was revealed to them - he could see it too, Cirdan, with his gift of foresight. Our resolved banished any shred of fear we might have, and all we saw was a frail old Elf, cowering before the dread Nazgul. Our King too had joined the assault and he slew Cirdan handily, along with his coterie of lanky bowmen. What remained, fled the wood - and we took the high ground.
Houserules: The King of Carn Dum is a 50 pt Epic Hero (Thrydan) with Epic Strike. Under our modifications, this only gives him +2 fight, 6 total, rather than the maxed out fight 10 he would usually have. He smashed the Elven hero here, without using Epic Strike at all, but only because Terror went our way this turn.
Now that all was prepared, Buhrdur announced his arrival with a bellowing roar and ran uphill to join the assault on the Enchantresses hiding hole.
The Nazgul was unable to wound her companion Warriors with his magics, however more artillery fire again savaged the High-Elves.
Houserules: If my men had managed to charge in, they would have met a nasty surprise - Elven Glaives strike before other infantry. This is meant to give the Elves an edge in melee. However, Buhrdur is a monster and so has the jump on mere infantry.
Then the fateful moments arrived: The Nazgul's Warband was unable to shake off the befuddlement of Galadriel's enchantments and assault the wood where she hid like a Viper. However, Buhrdur was a creature of simple aggression. He gave a bellowing yell, charged down the hill and unleashed with all hi might. Once he was done, Galadriel was a still form on the ground, and most of her Glaive armed guardians had sold their miserable lives failing to protect her.
In their shame, the remainder were steadfast and unwilling to give up her body. However, this was a vain act of empty symbolism.
Their army in tatters, what remained of the Elven host beat a silent retreat.
That was a blast - Elves are a great army in WOTR, aside from how terribly over costed they are! I benefited a lot from a not entirely coherent strategy on my opponent's part here. I think next time it will be melee troops (with Glaives!) forward and he wont let me gang up on a formation early on to get ahead. With so few numbers to begin with, Elves can't really afford to lose one of their army units, since this gives too much flexibility to their opponent. My WGF Orcs have arrived, so I've got some minions being assembled to go with my hardy Carn Dum warriors.
Good game Jason, I'm looking forward to facing the Elves again and I was pleased to hear you talking about planned expansions to the force, you must be enthused by them.
Just don't get as competent with the Elves as you got with the Beige Wizard for a while there!
Thanks for reading.