Sunday, October 30, 2011

Take and Hold: Wood Elves vs. Goblins

So Gaius and I are playing Round 2 of our tournament and each of us has been given a Good force and an Evil force. Hence, today's game will be between my Wood Elves and my Goblins (with me controlling the green skins). The scenario, as was detailed in the last post, will be a "Take and Hold" mission. The armies are as follows:

The Denizens of Moria: 400 points

Durburz, Goblin King of Moria - 60 points
16 Goblin Warriors with shields - 80 points
16 Goblin Warriors with spears - 80 points
13 Goblin Warriors with Orc bows - 65 points
1 Cave Troll - 80 points
1 Bat Swarm - 35 points

48 units, 13 bows, 1 hero

Host of Lothlorien: 402 points

Galadriel, Lady of Lothlorien - 130 points
8 Wood Elf Warriors with Elven blades and thrown daggers - 80 points
4 Wood Elf Warriors with Elf bows- 36 points
12 Wood Elf Warriors with Wood Elf spears - 96 points
6 Galadhrim Warriors with Elf bows - 60 points

31 units, 10 bows + 8 thrown weapons, 1 hero

The scenario we will be playing is a Take and Hold game on a board that is 24" long by 24" wide. No models are deployed at the beginning of the game, but will move onto the board as follows: on a 1-2, the unit doesn't arrive. On a 3-4, the model moves in from any edge of the player's side chosen by his opponent. On a 5-6, the player may choose where on his table edge the unit arrives. Models may move normally, but may not charge. When one side is broken, roll a dice during each End phase - on the roll of a 1-2, the game ends and the team with the most units with their complete bases within 3" of an artifact in the center of the map wins.

The map is set up as follows: in the center is a box of treasure, which will serve as our "artifact." Around the artifact (with no piece being within 12" of the center are four woods, a ruin, a marsh, a rocky outcrop, and a hill. The Goblins won the roll off and have chosen to select their board edge (the northern edge), ceding priority to the Elves for the first turn. To tell you the truth, I'm a bit concerned, seeing as the last time I played a "Take and Hold" game, I won with my Wood Elves...and that's the only time I've ever played this scenario. Also, I had high-defense Dwarves for that game...not Goblins. This should be very, very interesting.
From the last few games between the Goblins and the Wood Elves, I learned how important it is to shield my Bat Swarm from Elven archer fire. Thankfully, this fight requires that all of us be in the very center of the map, so I need to get my bats quickly into the foray and support them with lots of Goblins, who will then tie in Fight Value the Wood Elf Warriors. The greatest fear I have, then, is from Galadriel, who could move them 6" with "Command", which is likely to be enough to get the Bats away from any cover/protection they have.



Turn 1: Forming Ranks (Priority - Goblins)

The armies move towards each other. Galadriel successfully casts "Cast Blinding Light," which doesn't protect her units now, but will later. Both armies form volley teams, but only the Elves team can shoot (because my Goblins would be out of range and need to get closer in order to be helpful in this fight).
Gaius unleashes a barrage of arrows, landing two hits. I assign one to the Goblin with shield (who promptly died) and he assigned one to the Bat Swarm, who unfortunately didn't benefit from cover and one great bat fell dead (one wound of four taken). I don't like facing Elves very much, as they wound my Goblins on 5+ and my Bat Swarm on 4+ at range.
Kill count: Goblins 0/31, Elves 1/48.



Turn 2: The Charge Begins (P - Goblins)

The armies continue to advance. Both sides volleyed, both scored one hit, and both failed to wound. Nothing else interesting to mention about this turn.
Kill count: Goblins 0/31, Elves 1/48.



Turn 3: The Charge Continues (P - Elves)

The armies continue to move and fail to score any wounds with their volley teams (though each again scored one hit).
Kill count: Goblins 0/31, Elves 1/48.



Turn 4: Flashing, Flying Steel (P - Goblins)

The armies have neared each other, though the Troll got closer than  the Goblins to the Elven line. He was promptly targeted by a "Command" spell by Galadriel, who sent him running backwards 3". I hate having to charge an Elven spellcaster, but there's nowhere to hide from her on this map. So, my hope is to rely on my Troll's Defense 6 to keep him alive while the squad of Goblins on the far left move around the flank and attack Galadriel before she casts magic. We'll see if that works or not.
The Elves really come into a world all their own in the Shoot phase - particularly Wood Elves. With 10 Elf bows and 8 throwing weapons, a Shoot phase right before combat can be incredibly deadly. In this case, Durburz' bodyguard contingent was reduced to one unit after 7 warriors were killed by throwing daggers and arrows (3 kills and 4 kills respectively). After losing the last game, I really wish I had been using the Elves in this one.
Kill count: Goblins 0/31, Elves 8/48.



Turn 5: The Battle Rages (P - Goblins)

We have combats! Unfortunately, Galadriel cast "Immobilize" on my Troll this round (she used two Will points - 1/6 - to make sure that it worked). This places him against 5 Elves (one using his Elven blade as a two-handed weapon) and will probably mean that he loses the fight and takes a wound or two (hopefully not three, but we've seen that done recently). Thankfully for me, the throwing daggers of the Elves didn't kill anyone this round.
Also thankfully for me, my small raiding band of three Goblin archers shot into the blinding light and scored one hit, which promptly turned into a wound! As with the last game, this model will be substituted with one of the Wood Elf archers who is waiting to be converted into a Wood Elf spearman.
In return, the volley team of Elven archers turned to fire at my archers, preventing them from volleying ever again. Two Goblins fell to their arrows, which is a bummer for me.
In the Fight phase, I won most of the combats against the Elves on the left flank, but only managed to wound one of them (come on, guys!). The Elves beat the troll, but he suffered no wounds (huzzah) and during all the fighting, I only lost two Goblins. With two sneaky teams of Goblins on the way, my units just have to hold...
Kill count: Goblins 2/31, Elves 12/48. The Elves will break the Goblins when they kill 12 more units, while the Goblins need to kill 14 Elves before they break...oh dear.



Turn 6: Around The Objective (P - Goblins Again!)

The Elves consolidate their position as Galadriel casts Immobilize yet again on my Troll (1 Might used with her free Will point). My first division of flankers have engaged one Elf and continue to press on towards Galadriel. I just need my lines to hold for one more turn or so...
My flankers are shot at and lose two units to Elven bow fire. Grrr...
Another Goblin archer is shot down. I'm starting to figure out at this point that shooting at the Elves in either position isn't worth it for my archers, so I'm going to charge them towards the objective soon. Hopefully I won't attract those bows though. I'm kind of in a classic "Sun Tzu wouldn't be too happy with my gereralship skills right now" position until my flanking troops arrive.
I don't ususally call heroic combats with Durburz, but I need to rack up Elven kills right now. I take a chance, call the heroic combat, win, and slay the trapped Elf (yaye!). Durburz and his spearman friend engage the two Elven bowmen (spearmen proxies in this game) just below them, with me choosing to split off the red Goblin spearman and the Green Elf spearman to the right into their own fight).
Pardon the blurry picture, but nothing happened to the right of the Troll (no one died, Duburz lost his second fight, etc.). The Troll lost again, but escaped uninjured yet again. Three Goblins fell (which is really not good) and one Elf was killed in return (whose token will be shuffled around to the other side of the board where proxy Elves are still present).
Kill count: Goblins 4/31, Elves 18/48. 6 Goblins away from breaking...12 Elves away...oh no...



Turn 7: Pushing For Victory (P - G.O.B.L.I.N.S.)

So here we are on Turn 7. My Goblins have charged again, with the Bat Swarm pushing deep into the ranks of the Elves. Galadriel casts Immobilize on the Troll again and side-steps to attack the Bat Swarm (trapping it with the help of another Wood Elf). I'm a bit concerned right now, as my trapped Bat Swarm is what I'm depending on while my Troll is out of commission. My Goblins, as you see, are cutting across the plains towards the objective to try to get more bodies there, but despite my bad position, I've kept most of the Elves out of scoring range.
Three Goblins die, but not the foremost one in the charging division. I don't know how he escaped the three arrows that were shot at him, but none even hit...incredible.
In the Fight phase, Durburz calls another heroic combat, this time fighting all by himself. He won the fight (surprisingly) and moves on to fight elsewhere (the swordsman on the left).
There was a lot of death in the Fight phase (which I'm usually a fan of in these games, as it makes them shorter). Four Goblins were killed, as were two Elves. My bats were not very lucky and lost their fight, promptly getting hacked to ribbons by the Lady of Lothlorien and her Elven guard. You can also see that the Troll was wounded (1/3 Wounds), which isn't good as my force was broken this turn.
Kill count: Goblins 7/31, Elves 26/48. The Goblins are broken. The dice was rolled and on the roll of a 5, the game continues.



Turn 8: Gaining Difficult Ground (P - Elves)

The Elves reform their lines, trying to keep the Goblins from advancing further. My final flankers went too far out of the way, as they are just now nearing the Elven ranks. If I wasn't broken by now, I'd probably be arriving at the right time. Galadriel put my Troll under a spell yet again and I'm a bit frustrated with how the battle lines are looking. After the Fight phase for this round was resolved, Gaius and I realized I didn't test for my Goblins' courage. As he had almost as many Elves as I had Goblins, he was fine with that (and I think he felt bad about my position in the tournament).
The Shoot phase was relatively uneventful. One of my Goblins shot at Galadriel and scored a hit (rolled a 6), then scored a wound (also a 6)! She turned to look at the oncoming arrow and deftly dodged the shot (rolled a 6 for her Fate save, 2 Fate points remaining). With a cry of anguish, the archer attempted to notch an arrow on his bow as one of his companions fell to an Elven arrow.
The Fight phase was brutal. The Troll was beaten yet again and suffered another wound.  Two Elves fell, while four Goblins were killed. Durburz lost his fight and suffered a wound as well (no Fate used). At this rate, my goblins aren't going to be very strong when their reinforcements arrive.
Kill count: Goblins 9/31, Elves 31/48. The Goblins are broken. The dice was rolled and on the roll of a 2, the game ends. With a score of 5-3, the Elves win a minor victory.



Assessment by Gaius:

2-0 in the tournament so far...who would have thought. :-P I really like Tiberius' Wood Elves, but the Goblins are the easiest team to fight out of his civilizations (only 2 Defense 6 units, while the Uruk-Hai and Dwarves have Defense 6 standard in their armies). I owe a lot to the archers in this game, as they consistently cut down Goblins - especially in Turn 4.

Assessment by Tiberius:

Games like these bite. Hard. I was thinking near the end of it that it might have been wise to charge the Troll and Durburz at the archers instead of the main line so that Galadriel wouldn't have had any good targets to use magic on and the archers would need to shoot at difficult targets coming their way (or be consequently mauled in the upcoming fight). At the end of the day, though, you can't do anything about the casualties the Elves inflicted with their bows and even if my power troops had been on the perimeter and away from Galadriel, the Elves would have still killed a lot of units in the center and there would be no units to challenge them there. Classic victory, Gaius, well done...

Stellar unit for Wood Elves: Galadhrim Warrior with Elf bow

Keeping track of who killed which unit during archer is really hard, but the archers in this game scored 17 kills. Of those kills, the Galadhrim and Wood Elf archers killed roughly the same amount of units (about 2 per archer), which means that the Galadhrim killed at least 10 Goblins. That nearly pays for them (and probably does if they killed 12). In addition to their effective archer this game, they cleared out scoring units more adeptly than the infantry in the center - which is really good, as they are unable to shoot at units in combat.

Stellar unit for Goblins: ????

There weren't really any stellar units for the Goblins (I mean, 9 kills isn't much). Of those kills, the Goblins with shields killed 4 units (1 of those with the help of the Bat Swarm), the Goblins with bows killed 2 units (one at range, one in close-combat), and the Goblins with spears killed 2 units (one in single combat and one in a heroic combat with Durburz). Durburz scored 1 kill (and another one with a spearman), so our choices are quite limited really. Hence, I give the game title to...the cave troll. he killed no units (but not of his own choosing) and successfully tied up the spellcaster and between 2-5 Wood Elf warriors. All told, the cost for tying down this monstrous beast was twice his cost. It is not his fault that the rest of the team didn't capitalize on this power play (and I feel really bad for him).

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The High Ground: Dwarves vs. Uruk-Hai

Way back in Uruk-Hai month, I selected three scenarios that I don't play often (two of which I haven't played at all) and decided to use them in a round of games for a sort-of tournament with Gaius (who is taking my Elves and Uruk-Hai), randomly pairing the armies I have. The three scenarios are:

The High Ground: the game lasts for 10 rounds and the goal is to have the most units on the high ground at the end of the game. Any round where there is a tie for priority, all units on the high ground are knocked to the ground.

Ill Met by Moonlight: archers cannot shoot at anyone further than 12" away, but when they shoot they have a +1 to wound bonus. Both armies try to destroy or rout the other.

Take and Hold: when one side is broken, roll a dice during each End phase - on the roll of a 1-2, the game ends and the team with the most units with their complete bases within 3" of an artifact in the center of the map wins.

After rolling to determine what games will be played by which combatants, the Elves will face the Goblins in a game of "Take and Hold," while the Dwarves and Uruk-Hai will fight for "The High Ground." The winners of each match will play an "Ill Met by Moonlight" scenario. Should one player win both games, he may choose which army to cede to his opponent to play with (hear that, Gaius? :-P).

The Dwarves of Erebor: 401 points

Gimli, Son of Gloin - 90 points
Dwarf Shield-bearer (two-handed axe unit) - 60 points
Peregrin Took - 10 points (ally: Fellowship of the Ring)
8 Dwarf Warriors with shields - 72 points
6 Dwarf Warriors with two-handed weapons - 48 points
8 Dwarf Warriors with Dwarf bows - 72 points
1 Dwarf Warrior with banner - 38 points
1 Khazad Guard - 11 points

27 units, 8 bows + 1 thrown weapon, 2 heroes

The Fist of Isengard: 401 points

Uruk Captain with shield and heavy armor - 60 points

17 Uruk-Hai Warriors with shields - 170 points
16 Uruk-Hai Warriors with pikes - 160 points
1 Uruk-Hai Warrior with crossbow - 11 points

35 units, 1 crossbow, 1 hero

The scenario we will be playing is a The High Ground game on a board that is 24" long by 24" wide. In this game,as mentioned above, both teams are trying to have as many units on the High Ground after 10 rounds of playing. The team with the most units on the High Ground wins (but the game could end earlier if one side is completely routed, as they will have no units on the high ground). All units start in base contact OFF of the board edge and move in from wherever their starting position is.

The map is set up as follows: On the east there are cairns of rock (climb test required), while the western side has a rocky ridge and a rocky outcrop (difficult terrain). In the center of the map is our "high ground," which does not require a climbing test to scale. For the purposes of victory conditions, anyone on any elevated part of the map's center counts as scoring a point (brown or white areas). The Uruks won the roll off and have chosen to seize priority, allowing the Dwarves to choose their starting position (eastern board edge). The board is prepared as set up in the picture above. Note that the Dwarves have left the Uruks with difficult terrain between some of their men and the high ground.
Today's game features a "Dwarf Shield-bearer," played today by a Dwarf with a shiny marker on his base. This unit costs the same as the Uruk-Hai Captain in play and has the following statistical changes: -1 Strength, +1 Defense, -1 Might/Will/Fate, two new special rules. These special rules are: 1) all Dwarf heroes and warriors within 12" of the shield-bearer may reroll failed courage tests; 2) when the shield-bearer is within 3" of a hero he serves (in this case, Gimli), he may call a free Heroic Combat. He must use any movement he gains from this to enter the combat or get as close to it as possible. To tell you the truth, I'm kind of excited about this guy...we'll see how he does.



Turn 1: The Armies Amass (Priority - Uruk-Hai)

The Uruk-Hai enter the field and avoid the difficult ground where possible. Nothing interesting to report, as there are no volley teams this game.
Kill count: Dwarves 0/35, Uruk-Hai 0/27.



Turn 2: The Slow Advance (P - Dwarves)

Both armies still move towards each other...nothing interesting here as well. The Dwarves are climbing the rocks to gain a better vantage point against the advancing Uruk-Hai phalanx. Hopefully these archers will be able to find the softer targets of the Uruk pikemen and not be forced to shoot all day at the shield troops (who I wound on 6s).
Kill count: Dwarves 0/35, Uruk-Hai 0/27.



Turn 3: Taking Good Ground (P - Dwarves)

Perhaps the most interesting thing about this round is that the Uruk-Hai are in base-contact with the High Ground. Besides this, nothing of interest happens here. You can see at the top-left corner that an Uruk-Hai Warrior with crossbow has stationed himself behind some rocks to shoot at the Dwarves as they come. He can basically cover everything on the High Ground, though he will have some problems seeing some areas because of the terrain.
Kill count: Dwarves 0/35, Uruk-Hai 0/27.



Turn 4: The Arrows Fly (P - Uruk-Hai)

Slightly different angle of the camera, but as the fourth turn nears a conclusion, we're seeing the armies approach each other in battle. This turn, we actually have shooting to do, so hopefully that will be interesting...
Though not very interesting, there were two casualties in the Shoot phase: an Uruk-Hai Warrior with shield (who Gimli killed with a throwing axe, paying 1 Might to do it) and an Uruk-Hai Warrior with pike (shot by an archers).
Kill count: Dwarves 2/35, Uruk-Hai 0/27.



Turn 5: The Gust Of Change (P - TIED, Dwarves!)

COMBATS! The Dwarves have attempted to get in defensive positions, preventing the Uruk-Hai from getting around their flanks. Unfortunately, Gaius knows he has a lot of Uruk-Hai and so he is sneaking some of his men past me (and a few at my archers). We'll see what comes of this.
Two units died in the Shoot phase: a Dwarf Warrior with two-handed weapon and an Uruk pikeman. Two Dwarf archers paid for so far and almost the crossbowman.
The Shield-bearer comes into a field all his own (for 60 points, that is) by calling free heroic combats. In his fight against the Uruk-Hai, he killed the Uruk he was fighting and will rush to join Gimli in his fight.
Here's the result of the combats. The Uruk-Hai Captain is the only unit who wounds the Dwarf warriors with shields on a 5+ and he successfully killed the Dwarf he was fighting. Three other Dwarves were killed and Gimli lost his fight, scooting down the mountain with the loss. Bummer. In return, only one Uruk-Hai Warrior was killed. That bites...
Kill count: Dwarves 5/35, Uruk-Hai 5/27. The Uruk-Hai are 13 units from breaking and the Dwarves are 9 units away...I've got some ground to make up.



Turn 6: The Battle Rages (P - Uruk-Hai)

The situation has grown perilous, with the Uruk-Hai sweeping around my flanks and threatening to trap my soldiers. Gimli has been kept from rising to the upper levels of the high ground and will need to kill one of his opponents to climb up.
The Shoot phase for this round resulted in one dead Dwarf archer, pierced by a quarrel from the Uruk-Hai crossbowman. This 11-point archer has now killed 17 points worth of Dwarves...and there are still some turns for him to work.
Heroic combat by the shield-bearer on the hill should give Gimli the opportunity to rise  to the top. After  slaying yet another Uruk-Hai Warrior, one of the other Uruk-Hai with shield is to be charged!
And here's the carnage of the round: as you can see, Gimli and the shield-bearer won their fights, slaying their opponents. Unfortunately, only one other Uruk-Hai Warrior was killed by the Dwarves, and the Uruks slew two Dwarves in return (one of which was killed by the Uruk-Hai Captain).
Kill count: Dwarves 9/35, Uruk-Hai 8/27.



Turn 7: The Lines Are Muddied (P - Dwarves)

The situation is becoming dire for my Dwarves: my lines are stretched thin or completely gone, making my attempts at defending the High Ground rather slim (in every sense of the word). As I'm writing this up, it probably would have been good for me to have kept some of my archers with my attack force, instead of counting on them to take out spearmen, as they have only killed three units so far this game. If I had kept them with the rest, they would have also added some numbers to my force.
Despite not having any archers here on the High Ground (and my comments about them in the previous picture), the Dwarves manage to kill two Uruk pikemen this round, bringing their grand total up to 50 points worth of units (I paid 72 points for my archers, so they've got a little catching up to do).
Heroic combat number 3 and it's successful again! I cut through an Uruk pikeman and raced down towards Gimli, but got caught int he control zone of a supporting Uruk-Hai pikeman. Gimli called a heroic combat just before the Shield-bearer did and killed the pikeman he was fighting (the one at hte bottom of the screen). Both of these heroes are within range of the banner, so we'll see how their fights go.
Lots and lots of carnage this round. The three heroes won their fights, which ensures their dominance. This round, three Uruk-Hai were killed and two Dwarves died (one of which was the Khazad Guard, who wounds all of the Uruk-Hai on a 5+ with his HAND WEAPON...pity he's gone).
Kill count: Dwarves 16/35, Uruk-Hai 10/27. The Uruk-Hai force is 2 units from breaking and the Dwarves are 4 units from breaking...we'll see who breaks first!



Turn 8: A Fateful Gust (P - Tied, Uruk-Hai)

It has been many games since I forgot to take pictures during a round, but here's the end of the carnage of the round. Gimli is on the ground after the tied priority knocked him and the rest of the Dwarves off their feet. This caused some huge logistical problems (especially for my banner). Four Dwarves (including the banner) bite the dust, while no Uruk-Hai were killed (mostly because Gimli lost his fight on the ground and the Shield-bearer won his fight but stood up instead of wounding his attackers).
Kill count: Dwarves 16/35, Uruk-Hai 14/27. The Dwarves are broken...great.



Turn 9: The Last Effort (P - Uruk-Hai)

Here's the movements of the ninth round. None of the Dwarves fled, though, and we finally see some action from Pippen in this fight.
Not much happening this round...Gimli stood up and no one else died. Not good for my troops. Pippen didn't die though, even though he lost his fight.
Kill count: Dwarves 16/35, Uruk-Hai 14/27. Uruks are still two units away from breaking.



Turn 10: The Sun Sets (P - Uruk-Hai...grrr)

Gaius knows he just needs numbers, so he swarms the High Ground with more units than I can stop. I try to get as many of my troops on the objective as well, but my archers are going to need to do something to help. None of my units flee, which was really good - thanks guys! As typical of the last few rounds, the archers do nothing.
Final heroic combat of the round goes to the Shield-bearer, who slays his pikeman and charges another unit.
Here's the view of the carnage of this round. Two Dwarves fell to the Uruk Warriors and only one Uruk pikeman fell in return. The Uruk-Hai Captain lost his fight and suffered a wound from Gimli, but the shield-bearer did not kill his foe. Pippen won his fight, but unfortunately didn't roll the 6 required to kill him. Bummer, but good job Pippen!
Kill count: Dwarves 17/35, Uruk-Hai 16/27. The final score of this game was 6 points for the Dwarves and 16 for the Uruk-Hai. Minor victory for the Uruk-Hai.



Assessment by Gaius:

Wow, that was a good game. It really helped that I got to charge on one turn when the winds knocked over our units. This was incredibly helpful for charging the Dwarf heroes and keeping them from killing people (as my force was only one unit away from breaking and losing some of my warriors on the High Ground could have been costly). The Uruk-Hai Warriors won a surprising amount of fights and usually did well when it came to wounding the enemy. I was also surprised that the crossbow unit killed more than his points worth of units, as that doesn't always happen.

Assessment by Tiberius:

If the archers had killed more Uruk-Hai, things might have been easier this game, but the greatest problem in the game was when Gimli and the Shield-bearer were knocked to the ground and unable to kill people for at least one round (Gimli was down for two rounds). With my Dwarves having the hardest time ever staying alive (let alone killing people), losing the heroes sealed the game. Being outnumbered by an army with pikes is not good at all for warriors like mine, so I'm looking forward to when the number of Dwarf Warriors I have is doubled...which will be Christmastime.

Stellar unit for Dwarves: Shield-bearer

I try not to pick heroes, but none of the Dwarf units did particularly well this game. Three Dwarf Warriors with shields did a notable work in keeping Uruk-Hai Warriors on the northern front off of the High Ground until the final round, but no one else did anything good. The Shield-Bearer, on the other hand, did a great job of staying close to Gimli and smashing through one Uruk-Hai Warrior at a time. He killed 6 units, which means he paid for himself, but unfortunately that wasn't good enough to win.

Stellar unit for Uruk-Hai: Uruk-Hai Warrior with Shield

These guys are absolutely great. With Fight 4, Strength 4, Movement 6", and Defense 6, these guys are amazing at taking on the hardest of enemy positions. Their high Defense makes them a less-appealing target than their pike-supporting comrades, but deal an incredible punch when they arrive to fight (especially against Fight 3 enemies, but in these games, the Fight 4 doesn't really help).

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Domination: Uruks vs. Goblins

In the final game before the grand tournament, we have a fight between my Goblins and my Uruk-Hai. This is the first battle report where the Uruks are dawning their new armor touch-ups (which I'm really excited about). Here are the forces:

The Denizens of Moria: 400 points

Durburz, Goblin King of Moria - 60 points
1 Cave Troll - 80 points
16 Goblin Warriors with shields - 80 points
16 Goblin Warriors with spears - 80 points
13 Goblin Warriors with Orc bows - 65 points
1 Bat Swarm - 35 points

48 units, 13 bows, 1 hero

The Fist of Isengard: 401 points

Uruk-Hai Captain with shield and heavy armor - 60 points
17 Uruk-Hai Warriors with shields - 170 points
16 Uruk-Hai Warriors with pikes - 160 points
1 Uruk-Hai Warrior with crossbow - 11 points

35 units, 1 crossbow, 1 hero

The scenario we will be playing is a Domination game on a board that is 24" long by 24" wide. The armies will pick their corners and may deploy their units anywhere within 8" of their corner. There will be 4 objectives on the board and the goal is to hold three of these objectives (have more units than the other player) before one side is broken. If both sides have two objectives, the game is a draw. Since draws are a huge possibility, both teams must press for three objectives during this game.

The map is set up as follows: On the north there is a rocky ridge (hill with a climb test required on all sides) and a ruin (on a wooded ground, difficult terrain), while in the south there is a cairn (climb test required) and a piece of scrubland (rocky ground, difficult terrain). These four points will be our objectives. In the center is a marsh which we have decided is going to be impassable terrain. The Uruk-Hai won the roll off and have chosen to select their corner (the northeast), ceding priority to the Goblins for the first turn.
As opposed to the domination game I played against the Wood Elves recently, this game has the opposite problem: my opponent doesn't use a lot of ranged weapons (one crossbow) and instead is focused on crushing my forces as they charge. In the only other bout between Uruks and Goblins that Gaius and I have played, the Goblins got their pitiful skins handed to them - even the Troll did! So in this game, I need to use a bit of cunning to keep the Uruks from walking up and down my soldiers.

In this game, though, I have the advantage of using the Bat Swarm. Just as the Elves in the last fight were reduced to the same Fight value as my Goblins, so also in this fight will the Uruks fight on the same level when a Bat Swarm attacks them. Also, I don't have to be as careful in this fight, as the Uruks don't have any ranged weapons (YAYE!), so instead, I just need to watch out for where I strike and who can gang up on me (because they will if given the chance).



Turn 1: (Priority - Goblins)

Both armies advance towards each other. The Goblin archers are able to volley though and so they do: they hit only once and that arrow glances off the armor of an Uruk-Hai Warrior with pike.

Kill count: Goblins 0/35, Uruk-Hai 0/48.



Turn 2: (P - Goblins)

Both armies advance further, with both sides pressing the hitherto unclaimed objectives. The Bat Swarm, with its 12" movement, makes it to the cairn and claims it for the Goblins. It isn't planning on staying to hold it, of course, but if the game were to suddenly end, the Goblins would have more objectives (though not enough to win the game, much to pity). The Goblins volley and only score one hit (which failed to wound). The Uruk crossbowman also shoots, but fails to wound the Goblin he targeted.

Kill count: Goblins 0/35, Uruk-Hai 0/48.



Turn 3: (P - Uruk-Hai)
Both armies near each other and the Uruk-Hai have seized the ridge. My Goblins have spread out their forces fairly evenly, pressuring the Uruk-Hai from leaving their home base unprotected.
In the Shoot phase, the Goblin volley team targeted the forces attacking the south and hit one unit, successfully wounding him.
The Uruk Crossbowman took aim and nailed a Goblin spearman clean through the chest, felling him before he knew what was happening.

Kill count: Goblins 1/35, Uruk-Hai 1/48.



Turn 4: (P - Uruk-Hai again)

FIRST COMBATS! At this point, Gaius has priority. He is ready to charge into my units and tactically deploy on the hill. This is going to be tough. Thankfully, one of his Uruks failed to charge my Troll and with such knowledge, he merely sets up to defend the small crossing beside the swamp. a battle has ensued for the southeast objective and the northwest objective, so things should be interesting this round.
In the Shoot phase, the Uruk with crossbow failed to wound one of my spearmen. My volley team moved as swiftly as they could in my objective to take up better archery points, but one of my three loan archers shoots and kills an Uruk with shield (shot in the face after rolling a 6 to hit and a 6 to wound)! Two of the three archers are now paid for...one more kill at least...
In the Fight phase, the Uruk at the southeast objective loses the fight after shielding but is not slain by the Goblins he faced. The Troll fared much better in his fight and slew the Uruk he was fighting. At the northwest objective, the two Uruk Warriors shielded and won their fights, forcing the Goblins off of the low cliff-face.
Kill count: Goblins 3/35, Uruk-Hai 1/48.



Turn 5: (P - Uruk-Hai, three times running)

The armies have now met in a deadlock, brawling where they may. Three objectives are being pressed by the Uruk-Hai with no units very close to their starting objective. To tell the truth, I'm a bit worried, as my archers are wounded on a 4+ by the Uruk Warriors (with any weapons). In the Shoot phase, nothing of importance happened (a bunch of shooting, two Goblin archers hit someone, but no one was killed).
In the Fight phase, the Uruks dominated at the northwest objective. My Goblins successfully killed one Uruk, but I lost three Goblins and was shielded away from the objective in both fights.

Near the other objective, one of the Uruks was killed (no Goblins killed) and another was forced off of an objective, lost his footing, and fell to the ground (not high enough to be hurt though). He also wasn't wounded by the Goblins, so he'll start on the ground next turn.

In the center of the map, things are not good. My Goblins didn't wound the pikes they were facing and my Troll had a bit of a bad day. He rolled two 3s and a 1 to win the fight and the Uruks rolled a 6, a 4, and a 2. With their Strength 4 statistic, only three 5+ dice will wound him...and three dice they had. They rolled a 6 and two 5s. So...they felled a Troll more than double their points in one round. Elsewhere in the center, the Goblins and Uruks exchanged blows evenly, slaying one on each side. The game could be over now.

Kill count: Goblins 6/35, Uruk-Hai 6/48.



Turn 6: (P - G.O.B.L.I.N.S!)

Things are tough now without a Troll. I will wound most of his units on 6s (pikemen in close combat being the exception) and he has stopped my attack against his home objective. Rats, that's not good.
In the Shoot phase, my Goblins did nothing, but the Uruk crossbowman (from his perch on high) successfully sent a quarrel into the Goblin spearman he'd been trying to nail for the last few turns.

In the Fight phase, both the Uruk Captain and Durburz call heroic combats. Durburz goes first (roll-off winner) and both heroes kill their respective units (Uruk Captain needed to pay his other Might point to kill the Goblin, though).
Near my home objective, things were also fairly even - not good, actually. As you can see, two Goblins and two Uruks fell, which point-wise is good for me, but I'm killing off the few units that are easy for me to wound...not the hard ones.
At the southeast objective, the fights went back-and-forth pretty evenly, with only one Goblin dying (unfortunately, that was in my forward attack squad). The Uruk who was on the ground this turn shielded his way to victory, which is disappointing.

At the northwest objective, only a Goblin archer was slain by the Uruk Captain. Everyone else just rattled at each other.

Kill count: Goblins 9/35, Uruks 12/48. Both sides are half way to breaking, but I need to kill 9 Uruk-Hai and Gaius needs to kill 12 Goblins. I wonder who's going to have an easier time with that...



Turn 7: (P - Goblins)

My Goblins charge as many units as they can, but I'm starting to have only a limited number of units at my disposal. The Uruks do a good job of preventing units from being trapped and trapping some of mine.
In the Shoot phase, my great scheme backfired (pardon the pun). With the unengaged Uruk pikemen hidden from view, I took a chance, shooting into friendly combats with my archers (shooting only where shield Goblins are fighting, requiring me to roll a 6 to wound). Unfortunately, I nail two of my own units this round and wound NO Uruk-Hai in return. Oh, that looks bad. The Uruk crossbowman also fells one of the bats (rolling a 6 to hit, a 6 for in-the-way, and a 6 to wound).
In the Fight phase, Durburz calls a heroic combat to help me raise my Uruk kill count and make some of the fights more one-sided. Though Durburz won the fight, it is the back-stabbing Goblin who manages to kill the Uruk they are fighting.

In the other fights up north, Durburz pays his last Might point to win a fight against the Uruk-Hai he is facing and wounds both of them. In the other fights, two Goblins were killed, including one on the objective. One Uruk-Hai Warrior was killed closer to my home base, but my Goblins on the objective are having a rough day (and the Uruk Captain has cut through my marauding archers).
On the outskirts of my objective, we've already mentioned one Uruk-Hai was killed (see previous picture). Here, you can see the Uruk-Hai have managed to kill another Goblin and fail to lose any more men. If it weren't for the fact that my objective is composed of difficult terrain (which will probably no longer be the case after this mission), I'd be really scared right now.
On the other side of the map, the Goblins are holding their own against the Uruk-Hai, with only one Uruk dying near here. Everyone else fails to do anything interesting. The death is attributed to the Bat Swarm, who you can see has a green marker on his base, indicating he has taken a wound.



Kill count: Goblins 14/35, Uruks 17/48.The Uruks are two units away from breaking, while my forces have 7 units to go...not bad, all things considered.



Turn 8: (P - Tied, Uruk-Hai)

As dawn rose, Gaius succeeded in getting my units cornered in most places, but I still have more units than him. As you can see from the overhead view, I'm having a rough day at the southeast objective, but everywhere else things are going just fine. Nothing happened in the Shoot phase.
In the Fight phase, as you can see, a lot happened. The Uruk-Hai Captain lost his fight and suffered one wound from his attackers (Fate save failed), while one other Uruk-Hai Warrior was killed (by Durburz). The fighters on the hill have decided that no matter how hard they try, no one is going to die up there right now...so none did.
At the southeast objective, two Goblins and one Uruk-Hai with pike were slain, making my chances of holding this objective almost impossible. Four Goblins against nearly twice that many Uruk-Hai is never good odds...especially when only half of my Goblins have shields.
At the southwest objective (my home base), the Goblins put up a solid fight, but the Uruk-Hai are unrelenting. Still, two Goblins fall to Uruk weapons, while two Uruk-Hai fall to the cruel blades of the Goblins. My objective is still strongly in my grasp. Let's hope the others remain so.

Kill count: Goblins 18/35, Uruks 21/48. The Uruks were broken, but after rolling a 3, the game continues. My army is 3 units away from breaking, which could be really bad, as I only have one unit above Courage 2 (and he - Durburz - only has a Courage 4).



Turn 9: (P - Goblins)

Priority is MINE! I charge the forces that matter and let the Uruks do what they will. Unfortunately, all of the Uruks passed their courage tests (though most only managed to gain the necessary 10 to pass...what I wouldn't do for a Nazgul in this kind of situation). Most of my archers have now charged, leaving 5 units solidly within my home base, but considering there are now only three Uruk-Hai attacking it, I'm feeling pretty good.
Nothing happened in the Shoot phase, but we had an interesting battle field change in the northeast: my Bat Swarm charged the Uruk on the battlements! The pikeman lost his fight, was trapped, and died to the attacks of the bats - WOOHOO! 12" movement really paid off this time.
On the other northern objective, my Goblins (with the help of Durburz) plunge the Uruk-Hai army deeper into trouble, killing two warriors and sustaining no casualties. The Uruk-Hai Captain lost his fight again, but didn't suffer any wounds.
Near my home base, one Uruk-Hai Warrior (who killed someone last turn) slew another Goblin, but no other casualties were suffered. I'm still feeling pretty good about this objective...
At the southeast objective, the Uruk-Hai have a solid holding, killing yet another Goblin warrior and leaving me with only three units (fighting five). Life is hard right now here.
 Kill count: Goblins 22/35, Uruks 23/48. We rolled a dice and we rolled a 1, ending the game. After counting up the objectives, the Goblins hold three, while the Uruk-Hai hold one. This gives a minor victory to the Goblins - WOW!

Conclusion:
Assessment by Gaius:

I know that the Uruk-Hai Captain tends to have a rough couple of rounds near the middle of the game, but I was really disappointed in him at the end. With Durburz cutting through troops, my Captain needed to do more than kill three or four Goblins...not good enough, pal. The other warriors did pretty well - especially the three Uruk-Hai who killed the troll. These same Uruks went on to kill several Goblins at the southeast objective, securing it for my side (the only objective). If this had turned out differently, I have a feeling that the Goblins would have scored a major victory - possibly a turn earlier.

Assessment by Tiberius:

Wow. I thought the game was over after the fourth turn. Still, the Goblin army specializes in having a lot of warriors - something incredibly valuable in a game like this, where the number of units on an objective determines who wins it - not the value of the units present. By either standard, I won this game, but in other games, this makes the Goblin force quite formidable. I did regret having to travel so slowly across the field (and through difficult terrain), but we can't have everything.

Stellar unit for Uruk-Hai: Uruk-Hai Warrior with Shield

Not only was it technically this unit that slew the Cave Troll, but the ability to shield and survive a torrent of Goblins (especially when trapped) helped the Uruk-Hai last longer against the superior numbers of the Goblins. I love these units and they typically are rewarded for their efforts with this award. Good work, troops!

Stellar unit for Goblins: Bat Swarm

The Goblins have very few good units - and as a group, the Goblin archers probably did the best job. At the core, though, the Bat Swarm really made the difference today. A three-man team of units (Goblin with shield, Goblin with spear, and Bat Swarm) defeated three Uruk-Hai and the reason for their success was due not only to the superb maneuverability of the Bat Swarm, but also to its special rule which puts Goblins and Uruk-Hai on the same Fight value level. With 4 wounds, it's hard to take this unit down with a single crossbow if he has help from a Goblin.