Saturday, February 2, 2013

WOTR Batrep: Rhovanion vs Dol Guldur

Andy dropped by for some more WOTR action using the new 'Hobbit Era' (aka 'War of the North') lists I have been working on. Along with the Noldor Elves list that gave me so much trouble, I've made up a properly laid out version of Dol Guldur as well. So what did Andy do? Leave all the ghosts and Castellens and other spirits (even the Twilight Wraiths!) behind and load up on the Orcs and Spiders. He did take the Witch-King, because well why wouldn't you? Unfortunately my Rhovanion forces were sadly lacking in a Glorfindel (and frankly I miss Aragorn/Thorongil) but I guess the Brown Wizard can lead us to victory? His face inspires confidence. 

 The forces defending Rhovanion were pretty much identical to those that mustered for the previous inconclusive clash vs Dol Guldur. Cavalry and infantry to the left, with Ragdagast in the infantry from Esgaroth. In the center lots of bow (Andy decided I had to deploy first so I got to pick the hill!) and on the right more infantry from Dorwinion and the stout Dwarven Mercs from all over the Wilderlands. Beorn of course, lurks somewhere in a wood. Andy had Orcs and Spiders, in droves. Many of them were the tough Orcs of the Hill of Sorcery and so were more than a match for my own Huscarls. In the place of ghosts, it was spiders and there was alos some fiendish artillery positioned in a wood (watch out for that localised bad weather....) to rain fire on my own archers. Folca - the new commander of the Rohirrish Exile Mercenaries - offers the following account of the clash: 

Before battle, Radagast is wont to wander round in his overly kindly manner and try to inspire us with 'blessings' from the Valar and exhortations to defend our homeland. Not to be irreverent - but bollocks to that. There used to be kingdoms of Men here. Then other Men came and cleaned them all out. Now it's wild country and plenty enough mutual animosity to go around. Still I find the coin flowing from what's left of local 'civilisation' to be personally quite motivating. We need a lot of motivating because what did that old idiot Wizard do? He went and got stuck in front of about a thousand Orcs and the Witch-King at their head. That went about as well as expected and what was left of the men of Esgaroth didn't even have the decency to bear Radagast's copse from the field as they fled.

It's funny, there was quite the silence across the outskirts of Mirkwood after THAT happened. Then all of a sudden the Captain of the Dowinion Mercenaries gave the order to advance and our right flank got going. That just left all these Orcs and spiders to us. I wasn't feeling quite that greedy but it's generally injurious to future employment prospects to leg it before the battle really gets going. So I compromised and had the Cavalry back up in the face of the horde to our front.

Somehow, it worked. Spiders might look fast but they aren't all that smart if you keep a cool head. So we got around them and managed to pull the fight far away from that looming mob of Orcs. It wasn't hard to do. Whereas all the other units on the field were able to wheel and keep ranks, the Orcs didn't seem to be able to agree on a facing, let alone carry on the march to crush our left.

I shouted to the Woodsmen to get their carcasses in that ruin quick, or they'd be the next snack for the the Orcs, once they finished with Radagast's rabbits. Meanwhile, my boys picked their spears out of what was left of one of the Spider units and then made a glorious charge on the other. What was more, the Orcs and the Witch-King were unable to intervene since I had lured the mindless spiders too far away.

No great deed goes unpunished, or so they say. While the Dwarves and Men of Dowinion were making what might be politely termed 'workmanlike' progress on the right - I had completely seen off all the Spiders. My reward? Yes I get to emulate my predecessor's example and charge the Witch-King's massive horde of Orcs. At least those Orcs were denied their reinforcements, even more Orcs, by the timely arrival of that smelly unwashed killer that has named itself Beorn. I know he/it's on our side but I kind of like to keep a whole Orc army between us...

In fact, the Men of Dorwinion and the Dwarves hadn't done that bad. It was pretty much the whole Orc army that was between us and Beorn, and just a few stragglers left for the right flank to pick off.

Beorn had laid to his task with a will. Somehow, with the Woodsmen and Greenwood rangers loosing volley after volley, my riders executing charge after charge, and the lads to the right running back and forth through that farmhouse about ten times, we had really thinned out the forces of Dol Guldur.

I had initially been in this fight just for appearances. Figuring we could disengage once it was clear only a fool would stay and no future employer could blame us. Now though... now there was glory - and perhaps loot - to be had. Just as my men's pulse began to quicken, and we moved in for the kill, I could see the Orcish lines beginning to fray and the first creatures could be seen abandoning their cause. Already they faltered before the sight of Beorn and I had again managed to charge the Witch-King's Orcs before they could hit the Woodsmen in the ruin.

I couldn't follow much of what occurred for the next while. My arm grew leaden from swinging my sword, the horses were stumbling and exhausted, we were all bathed in blood. Somehow though, we had done it. The Dol Guldur host broke and made for the eaves of the Mirkwood.

Did we pursue? Pursue the Witch-King into the giant-spider infested Mirkwood? Hah!

Well that went better than expected! Thanks for the hard-fought game, Andy. I was sure I had lost it there after you blew all that might to bag Radagast and all his men turn one (for those watching at home, 'Heroic Charge' is a good counter to Epic Tranquility.) The leader of the Rohirrish Mercenaries must have been quite some talent though, I think I'll keep him on. 


  1. lol
    next time I'll take the Castellans I PROMISE!
    One of these days I'll win a WOTR game Jamie just you wait!

  2. You should have kept your Elves, Andy. Sure they are better with the new Noldor list we are using but you've crushed both Jason and I using them. Achieving that with the rulebook Elven list is the stuff of legend!

    I reckon Orc and Spirit combined arms will be tough to stop. Also the Witch-King is cool but I think Twilight Wraiths and captains are good options. Especcially if you don't have to face the Noldor!

    Looking forward to getting in another game.

  3. Most amusing commentary Jamie- obviously a fun game


  4. Thanks Craig, it was. It's a shame some aspects of WOTR put you off because this battle was a good example of the system working well. Lucky for me that Andy's massive 'train' of orcs sort of got stuck and I managed to keep a,few of his units pinned in place by keeping one of mine close. Especcially since the battle was typical Andy in that he managed to kill my army commander early. Again.