After crushing me so decisively, last month, Andy was up for another game - this time 1200pts. This time, I gave my Angmar forces a run (that's the way of Evil, always fighting amongst themselves) while Andy had another version of his Mordor/Misty Mountains Dol Goldur mixture. 1200pts leaves us a full 300pts for allies.
Let's see the deployments (Field of Swords and Kingslayer).
Andy had: Khamul (Tainted), Durbuurz, Khadush, Cave Drake, 8 coy 2HW Orcs, three units of 3 coy Morranan Orcs, 3 coy Mordor Stalkers and 2 coy Castellans of Dol Goldur.
In the interests of having me actually field some monsters, Andy fielded his Khamul using the Tainted's rule (his little secret was that this would help the Castellans, I am on to him...) and we don't tend to use house rules between the two of us because 1. It is a bit too confusing for Andy because he has played so little this year 2. We both just take fairly tough armies anyway.
I had: Tainted, Witch-King (actually Dwimmerlaik, as Eowyn named him), The King of Carn Dum (Thrydan), Buhrdur, two formations of 5 coy and one of 6 coy Warriors of Carn Dum, with one Chieftain, 2 Siege bows and 4 coy Uruk Crossbows (I need to get my Angmar Orcs assembled and painted!). The two changes we did make were 1. Heroes can 'Will of Iron' for free if they have at least one might point left (otherwise magic becomes overpowering) and 2. I let the Castellans 'move at the double', since they already cost heaps and have no legal way to achieve this otherwise.
We were tending our pastures when the boy saw the smoke for the watch fires. Was it Elves? The weak men of the South, who had so recently lost their King? Rohavian Bandits? Morgoth's black arse - it is those traitorous Orcs from that fetid Mirkwood and their Misty-Mountain running dog lackey's. And run they did. The black line surged forward and a fake Wraith gave them wings.
Evidence of their low cowardice and base treachery! They snuck close to our artillery - under pretense of Fellowship in the glorious Evil Revolution from the yoke of Westron oppression - and obliterated it with magic. They are base blackguards and class-traitors!
We know how to deal with such enemies of the peaceful and progressive Carn Dum people. Magics of our own, only to be used as weapons of reprisal in case of sneak attack, were unleashed. Their disorganised advance faltered in the face of the drilled Angmarian war-machine and, in accordance with the progressive principles of Morgorth/Witch-Kingism, we charged and flanked them precisely. The lumpen-Orcs never saw it coming and even their chained-beast was frightened into immobility by the ferocity of our counter-stroke.
Led by the Dwimmerlaik, crack Carn Dum wariors (heroes of the people, all) struck, surrounded and executed the false Ringwraith and his coterie of Westron-sympathisers. Meanwhile, the true Tainted used his magics to surprise and the Orcs of the Misty Mountains. Training and the enthusiasm of the Warriors saw to the rest. Vainly, their Orc Chieftain sought to duel the Nazgul but failed, like all enemies of the people must.
Confident in our superior position, we allowed the enemy to betray their intentions, so that again we could punish them. In a move breathtaking in it's villainous treachery, Orc Stalkers stole Buhrdur's home from him. He was not happy at this turn looked fit to weather many arrows to punish their insolence.
He was aided by the swift arrival of yet more crack Carn Dum infantry, led by the elected headman - Hrothgar. The reckoning they unleashed was swift and final, though unfortunately the cowardly Orc spell caster was able to escape to elsewhere on the battlefield. The enemy had moved up ghostly reinforcements - though they were still too far to reach the battle. More orcs could have joined them but feared to leave their wood. The Dwimmerlaik used his magic to forestall the charge of the remaining orcs and he led our warriors once more to victory against the cowering Misty Mountain infantry.
The enemy Cave Drake did achieve some small measure of success against our (entirely selected on basis of merit) King. So he opted to make a short term withdrawal, for tactical reasons. Buhrdur had finished off the abandoned Mordor Stalkers and is perhaps a little too Zealous in his efforts to ensure none escape.
The enemy are now badly bloodied. Their leaders have little more strength to spend, the false-Tainted is gone, several formations are broken and shattered. Our numbers remain strong and we are buoyed by fervour for our just cause. So we continue to harry them close. They appear to have lost the will to fight and once it is clear that their Drake will be unable to shift our King from that forest again, they turn and retreat to their holes in the hills and forests.
Even by WOTR standards, that was a swift and brutal game. Since Andy used the full array of Nazgul magicon me (avenge the artillery!), I responded in kind. That allowed a swift envelopment of his forces by my own Carn Dum infantry. These do no do so well on defense (hit on 5s by Morranans and Courage is not the highest) but are hard-hitters on attack. I did have to spend a fair bit of might to ensure charges went in and Berserk rolls were passed but I got my hits in early.
1200 pts is a little more than we usually do. I am still not 100% sold on the idea. This game went to turn 4 but that was through the impact of 'Wings of Terror speeding the important action up. We'll have to experiment further. Perhaps a Wraith free zone next time?
Cheers for a very fun game, Andy.
Thanks for reading.