Batrep WOTR: Angmar vs Isengard, Field of Swords

My new ambition is all WOTR, all the time. I wish. However, I've had a good run - got to play James at the Cavs last week, Jason on Monday and will be playing Raymond at the Cavs this week. I'll have to shake the local WOTR tree and see who else falls out! :)

To keep things simple, we used my Tournament guidelines, so only one decent Epic each.The board is the full 8'x4' at the club and in hindsight, this AAR tells me that this probably saved me from a loss.

James brought along his Isengard for this one:
2x Three Coy Uruks w shields; 2x Three Coy; Uruks w pikes; Three Coy Uruks w xbow; 1 coy Sappers; 2x1 Coy Berserkers; Ballista; Battering Ram And a single base of Orc bowmen.

At James' request, I had the army of Angmar:
The Tainted (Nazgul); 3x Five Coy Carn Dum Barbarians (two with Chieftains); 2 x two Siege Bows; Buhrdur.

James won the dice off, let me deploy second, and took priority. He used it to snatch the forest on the hill and deny it to me. He also got the Crossbow into the ruin, which is just exactly in range to rain fire on my artillery in the wood. Meanwhile the rest of his line marched, slowly but inexorably, forward.

In response, The Tainted raced around the hill and used Strength From Corruption to blow up the sappers.
I got priority turn two and went second. As Lurtz approached to the centre, I pulled the facing Barbarian unit BACK, while the other two units lined up charges on the Uruks in the wood.
Isengard began shooting up the artillery but was not able to remove a base. My return fire began to decimate the Uruk Pike.
The charges on the wood lost! The ignominy, James Uruks laugh as two formations of Barbarians fall back in disorder.
Turn three gave me priority again. James was still trying to march up his small Berserker units and I kept the center Barbarian unit back while rallying the other two to make charges once again, surely this time? My artillery used the space to decimate more of the Isengard troops in the center, while James' return shooting took out a Siege bow crewman. Then charges and the Barbarians lose again. Those three coy of Uruks are tying up a lot of troops!
Turn 4 and Buhrdur arrive in ambush next to the wood on the hill. Perhaps I can defeat one unit of three bases if I throw the kitchen sink at it? James is bringing up the two units of Berserkers. One is sneaking around the top of that wood and will be in range next turn while the other pushes the center and dies to artillery fire. His shooting takes out a siege bow then my charges go in again and again I lose to those Uruks. James sends Lurtz and some pike and lose to my artillery, taking a few casualties - Karma!

Turn 5 saw a lot of the same move and counter move. He shot at my artillery with crossbows and got his Berserkers in range to hassle my disordered Barbarians on the left flank. Even with Buhrdur, I was having a bad time of that exchange. I could have perhaps used the Tainted on the Berserkers but it had a more important mission. To the right, you see Lurtz's Pike formation at the end of James' move phase. That's right, a 175 pt epic in a def 5 unit that is 9 hits away from removal.

 So I tried magic, which failed. I then tried one artillery battery, which shot rounds into the mud. The other battery of two actually got a hit with one piece and here you see the outcome. Tantalisingly close to the removal of those Uruks and Lurtz. The Tainted failed focus so not Wings of Terror and no charge to finish them. 

One bright point was that I actually evicted the Uruks from their wood by the end of this turn.

Turn 6. Here you can see almost all of James' melee units in play. By the end of turn, I have eliminated another block of Uruks, meaning that he is down three (and Lurtz has fallen!) with only that last Pike block to come around and finish off my artillery, assisted by the battering ram. They have a ways to go yet though.

However, just out of shot to the right, his base of Berserkers is totally messing with my Barbarians and Buhrdur. Angmar loses another fight with another set of disorders.
Turn 7. We were down to the nub now. James' Uruks were blocked from participating by Pall of night and I set Buhrdur up so that if the berserkers charged the dwindling barbarian unit out on the flank - he would get the counter charge. I then had the Tainted send the remaining decent Barbarian unit in to take on the Battering Ram as it attacked my Siege bow.

This turn was much more successful - finally the forces of Angmar managed to actually win all their fights and eliminate their opponents. .
So Turn 8. I make a little charge at the last pike unit and take a fair bit of shooting to the rear of those Barbarians but I had sent the Tainted off to hide in the wood and also hid Buhrdur and the other Barbarians in its shadow. So I killed a few more Pikemen and managed to take the game due to no losses to my own heroes - in true cowardly and Evil fashion.

I don't have much useful AAR reflection on this one. I won it but James absolutely pummelled my army. I really like what he took. Lots of tough Uruks. Angmar only pulled through by using the forest in the center, with artillery, as a castle to hold the flank while I refused to fight his center. Good thing I chose that course, since it took me almost all game to win on my right flank and I should be very thankful that artillery and opportunist charges killed so much elsewhere. If I hadn't managed to avoid most of his troops through them having to march so far, it would have been all over for the men of Carn Dum.


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