Saturday, January 19, 2013

WOTR Batrep: Angmar vs Noldor Elves

More WOTR! This whole Hobbit boost to the game is great. As part of my ongoing quest to keep messing with the rules, one of the key concerns is that the Elven Kingdoms list was in dire need of attention. Evidence of that can be seen here with a nice collection of Elves that has been passed between Andy and Jason and that had struggled to perform vs other lists due to its overpriced unit. I did increase the effectiveness of the list with houserules but since we are trying out lists specifically made for the 'War of the North' (ie around the Hobbit movie, and before), it was a good opportunity to create a properly focused Noldor list, for the Elves of Rivendell. Who else to oppose these Elves? The brave pastoralists of the Carn Dum plateau, of course. This allowed me to port of the changes I had made to the Ringwraiths for the 'War of the North' Dol Goldur list to my favourite WOTR list.
The first big change from the old Elven Kingdoms list is that the Noldor Elves have a higher defense rating - a standard Noldor with Glaive or bow is defense 6 and defense 6(8) with a shield. I also tweaked the costs a bit and reworked the legendary formations and Epic Heroes. A key addition is a new Epic Hero version of Glorfindel - who weighs in at 225pts but is the best dueler in our lists, at the moment. I have taken away the houserule boosts I had previously given Elves and reworked 'Guide Arrows' to have the effect of ignoring shields and now only the Legendary Cohort unit gets a boost  to its striking order. 

Jason's Noldor force for this 1200 pt clash was led by Glordindel and contained two 2 coy units of Noldor Cohort, two units of 2 coy Noldor bowmen, 3 coy of Gildor's wayfarers, and a unit of 4 coy of Noldor with Glaives. He also had (a reworked) Arwen in there and we were trialling it with Stormcallers allowed for all units (either wilderness or command). We Will be sticking to Epics/Legendaries as the only spellcasters in future.

My Angmar force was based around three blocks of 5, 5 and 6 coy Men of Carn Dum with Banners, Captain and Hornblower (yes the upgrade costs have been lowered), 3 coy of Militia bowmen, 3 coy Orc bows, 2 Angmar Siege BowsBuhrdur and this was all led by the Witch-King himself, and a Twilight Ringwraith. We trialled a new version of 'Wings of Terror' that just pushes a unit forward 1D3" on a 2-5 or 1D6" on a 6. 

I now hand over to Arnulf, from the Red Fortress Ministry of Truth: 

Gods below, it is cold, cold as the grave. The Elves seem to like the cold though and can be relied upon (being a consistent threat is both their chief vice, and virtue) to come gliding over the snow whenever the boys want to settle in for the winter. Sure enough, the muster of the Grey Mountains spied a band of them in their gold armour, bright gold and no doubt made of stolen candle-sticks and women's jewelry. Morgoth's teeth, they had a lot of archers with them, and the ones in front of my brother's company seemed to be led by some screeching waif of a girl.


Of course, bolstered by the principles of Morgoth-Witch-Kingism, we feared no foul Valar magics. In fact. the Witch-King was with us this day and seemed unusually eager to get to grips with these Elves. He also seemed to be casting an unusual amount of sideways glances toward the right, where the Elf-girl was waving and caterwauling. I am told that he/it was heard to be muttering 'no man' over and over. We were more preocupied by the sight of some Elf-Lord and his fellow party goers taking over one of our home-steads. They BETTER NOT be interfering with our livestock.
I think the Elves were afraid of us. Not only did they cower like the thieves and baby-stealers they are, their magicians called forth more cold winds to blow our warriors back from them.  Casualties from their serried ranks of dawn-armoured-longobwmen were light, and of no consequence to the advance of our cause. Equipped as we were with the fruits of the Witch-King's science of siege-craft and some of the more, uh,'frisky', young country folk with their bows, not to mention some skulking Orc archers. I have no doubt we can outdo these elf-scum.

In fact, so confident was our leader that our missile-fire could carry the day, that he - quite intentionally no doubt- declined the opportunity to close on the Elves in brutal melee. I think that this was a novel approach to take. We men of Carn Dum can be quite enthusiastic at close combat, and we've scattered many an Elven-Host (host of what exactly, worms?) with axe-but, teeth, and sword edge. Still, it is only fair to give the younger comrades of the outer farming communes their turn. So we sent them up the hillcrest to get a good vantage on the Elven longbows. As he/it urged them forward, the Lieutenant wraith assured them that the safest place was in plain sight, silhouetted on a hill crest... Poor country rubes. Heroes of the people all.

Despite the inevitability of our victory, the tendency of the Elves to constantly replenish their numbers was of some, minor, concern. The lazy Orcs had no doubt brought the minimum of arrows. What if they ran out of them before the Elves ran out of bodies?

Somehow though, no doubt due to shirkers and enemies of the people amongst our ranks, the advance hadn't been cracking along to our usual pace. My brother Wulfgar's lad on the right seemed to be wading uphill through a hail of arrows, and losing a good man for every step they took. No problem though, our Generals know what they are doing. In fact, the slow pace of our advance had so concerned the Witch-King that he expended every last ounce of his will to get the lads into close combat. A little too much will in fact, as the lads tripped over each other and caused more casualties amongst our own ranks than the Elves did.
 The initial charge was let-down. The Elves repulsed the Witch-King's company easily and not even the arrival of Buhrdur from the rear of the Elven lines was enough to disrupt the solid line of Elven longbow and glaives. It is at this point that I wish to dispel all counter-revolutionary rumours about the Withc-King forming an army of the Undead beneath the Red-Fortress at Angmar. It is a filthy Westron lie that our glorious leader might consider our lives of no consequence and as more fuel for his army revenant soldiers.

Now that I have squashed those scurrilous rumours, we can turn to the success of the Orc Scum in decimating the Elves skulking in that farm-stead. Whatever they were up to, they couldn't quite keep their numbers up as fast as the Orcs and the Siege artillery could thin them out. 
However, I am grieved to relate that Wulfgar, once the Lieutenant-Wraith had relocated, was not quite able to achieve his objectives before running out of trusty Warriors of Carn Dum.  The Witch-King was fulsome in his praise, when dictating the letter to our parents. It was a nice touch and it was good the Black-cloaked Wraith fled at the sight of Glorfindel and quit the battle - as not having that letter would have made Wulfgar's loss a double tragedy.

I have to confess it, while the eventual victory in our campaign to scour the land of the Valar's running dog lackeys is a simple inevitable fact, there will be mis-steps along the road. This day, the peaceful pastoralists of the Carn Dum Plateau seemed to be facing and endless tide of vicious, sharp-toothed, Elves. There were more of them, Glaives held high, marching up the hill to take on our archers. 

It's slippery up on those hills though, and Elves are yellow inside. So they couldn't manage to charge half their number in unprotected archers. 
I think being yellow inside is some form of evolutionary (contra the lies of the Valar that our people are all crafted by a higher power) protection against predators. As Buhrdur seemed to be put off his food today and inclined to poke about at the Elves rather than skewering them and swallowing them whole.

Before I had to follow the Witch-King's example and, aah, ensure my parents got their due consolation, I did see the stirring sight of our brave warriors surging up the hill, Raven Banner bobbing in the breeze, led by the insubstantial form of a Twilight Wraith. It is a great pity that the Wraith met its end about a second later as battle was joined. The Elf that did it saw off several of our warriors for good measure.

A temporary set back.

Thanks for the game Jason - lots of fun and great to see the Elves winning for once! Thanks for reading. 


  1. Great looking game. What programme do you use for the comments in the photos?

    Pride before the fall I guess for the Carn Dum lads.


  2. Thanks Craig.

    I get a few questions about my editing suite.... You know it is MSpaint from windows? Lol

  3. Will have to start playing round with it!