Thursday, November 15, 2012

Battle Report: Dunedain v. Isengard Trackers



Greetings from the Forge!

To initiate my first fight in Grey Company Month, I teamed up with a friend of mine who plays Warhammer casually (though never on this blog), Donatello.  Last night we played an insanely long match, with me using my new Grey Company army, and him using my Isengard/Angmar forces.  When we built the teams, I completely spaced on the cost of Mordor Orc Spearmen (7 points with spears and shields, not 6), so the points are...disparate...between our forces.  Oh well, :)  Below are the army lists that we used:

Dunedain - 600 Points
Warband 1:
-Halbarad with Banner of the Evenstar - 125 pts
-2 Dunedain with spears (Daerdan and Forchon) - 50 pts
-3 Rangers of Arnor with spears - 27 pts
-2 Rangers of Arnor - 16 pts

Warband 2:
-Elladan and Elrohir with armor - 150 pts
-2 Rangers of the North (Culang and Cadan) - 50 pts
-4 Rangers of Arnor with spears - 36 pts
-2 Rangers of Arnor (Dannassel and another ranger) - 16 pts

Warband 3 (Allied Contingent):
-Eomer, Knight of the Pelennor with Armored Horse - 130 pts

TOTAL: 19 units, 16 might


Isengard Raiders - 612 Points
Warband 1:
-Vrasku - 60 pts
-8 Uruk Scouts with shields - 72 pts
-4 Uruk Scouts with bows - 36 pts

Warband 2:
-Ugluk - 60 pts
-8 Uruk Scouts with shields - 72 pts
-4 Uruk Scouts with bows - 36 pts

Warband 3:
-Orc Captain with shield - 50 pts
-8 Orc warriors with swords - 48 pts
-2 Orc warriors with bows - 16 pts
-1 Orc warrior with banner - 30 pts
-1 Orc warrior with 2H weapon - 6 pts

Warband 4 (Allied Contingent):
-1 Barrow Wight - 50 pts
-8 Orc warriors with spears and shields - 56 pts
-2 Orc warriors with bows - 12 pts
-2 Orc warriors with 2H weapons - 12 pts

TOTAL: 52 units, 8 might

Scoring

For our purposes, we will be playing Domination with five objectives.  Scoring worked like this:
-3 Points for sole control over an objective (with "control" including units within 3" of the objective)
-2 Points for majority control of a contested objective
-1 Point for a 50-50 tie in controlling an objective
-1 Point for killing the enemy Army Leader
-1 Point for killing an enemy banner, and an additional point if your banner also survives
-The game ends when one force drops to 25% or below (Because both of us hate the whole die rolling thing once you reach a certain percentage)

Layout



The board consists of a 3' x 4' area (in this case, my landlord's carpet, since his newborn was sleeping on the floor above us).  Two of the objectives were trapdoors behind the larger defenses (in the diagonal corners).  A statue served as the objective for the bottom corner, and another statue served as the objective in the center of the beginnings of my abandoned factory.  I quickly threw walls up around the factory, and am still trying to decide if I want to expand it.  We'll see.  In the top corner, an ammunition depot will serve as the top objective (courtesy of my Space Wolves).  There are additional barriers on the sides of the factory that count as impassible terrain for the purposes of the game.

Thoughts from Glenstorm: This game is purely experimental.  I am interested in seeing whether a Grey Company force can survive with a small, veteran crew against overwhelming odds (more than 2-5).  My plan (if it can be said that I have a plan) is to rush the center with the Twins and crush his forces there so that Halbarad can wag some of his force North, with Eomer left in the South to clean up Ugluk and his men.  I don't have Aragorn, Isildur's Heir, in this battle (like I normally do), so this should be interesting.

Thoughts from Donatello: I've dabbled with Glenstorm's uruks and orcs before, and the advantage of getting cheap second dice for your uruks is not to be understated.  The nature of the map favors larger armies, as more guys within scoring distance will gain me a victory, even if I end up taking a beating.  I'll attempt to use my heroes to keep his heavy hitters tied down (if not paralyzed!), and then rush his back two objectives with hordes of men.

Deployment


We rolled off to see who would place first, and I won the roll.  The Twins took their detachment toward the center-top of the map, and Ugluk's men deployed near the bottom-center, behind the factory.  Halbarad's force deployed near the lower statue, followed by Vrasku's men, who deployed at the top of the photo.  Eomer started near the edge of the map, and the two orc detachments filled in the center for a quick center rush.  With all armies placed, we were ready to charge for death and glory!


Round 1 (Priority: Evil)


Both armies advance against each other, with two uruk archers running back to the Western objective, and two orc archers running back to the Northern objective.  My Dunedain send one ranger to each objective (Dannassel and a conversion ranger) on my side of the board, and the rest of my men advance.  Eomer moves up, stationing himself 7" away from the enemy infantry.


During the archery phase, the uruk and orc archers attempted to shoot at Cadan (Ranger of the North), Eomer, and a ranger, but failed to wound them.  For my boys, Halbarad's 2 Dunedain, Daerdan and Torchon, both manage to kill an uruk with shield from Ugluk's detachment, as does one of the other rangers.  On the other side of the map, one of the rangers from the Twins' detachment also kills an uruk archer.

Casualties: 4/52 for Evil, 0/19 for Good


Round 2 (Priority: Good)


Both armies advance, with Good controlling 2 objectives and contesting 1 objective, and Evil controlling 2 objectives and contesting 1 (go figure, right?).  The orcs had an opportunity on this turn to engage the Twins, but opted not to ("I'll wait for Barrow Wight backup support, Glenstorm.") ("Cowards!").

In the archery phase, Dannassel killed one of the Uruk archers from her perch, but other than that, there was a bunch of nothing from both sides.  It was actually quite depressing.

In the fight phase, nothing happened (as the orcs goblined out of fighting this round, ;-P ), but Vrasku began to load his crossbow...

Casualties: 5/52 for Evil, 0/19 for Good


Round 3 (Priority: Good)



As you can see, now we really went at it!  Soldiers poured into each other's ranks everywhere, with a large detachment of seven Uruk-Hai rushing toward Dannassel's post at the Western Objective.  This was one of the bloodiest rounds of the game, and boy did both of us feel it in later rounds (like, Rounds 4 and 7)...

During the move phase, the Barrow Wight used 2 will points to cast Paralyze on Elladan, and rolled a 6 high.  Elladan resisted the spell (2/2W, 2/3M), but at a huge cost. ("Um, yeah: that was not fun, Don.")  Other than that, you'll notice that Halbarad elected to run away from combat so that he could place almost all of the fights within the banner radius of the Banner of the Evenstar.  The Wag has begun...


In the archery phase, one of the rangers giving spear support to the Rangers of the North killed an orc 2H warrior, but otherwise the archery from my rangers was really quiet (primarily because we all chose to draw swords, :P ).  For Don's archery, Vrasku lined up and took down one of the Rangers of Arnor with spear up top (1/3M expended), and a lot of Uruk and orc arrows were shot at Dannassel in her perch, all failing to land a wound.  7 shots so far (keep count).

In the fight phase, there were three heroic combats (sorry: no pictures here).  Eomer (1/3M) called one against the 2 uruk scouts and uruk archer, and Elrohir (1/3M) challenged his orc warrior in the center.  Ugluk (1/3M) called out Forchon, one of the Dunedain under Halbarad.  We rolled off to see which side would go first, and Donatello won.  So, in the order that they were resolved:

-Ugluk (2/3M) killed Forchon (failed fate save, 2 wounds - ouch), and Ugluk moves on to the Ranger of Arnor with spear near him.
-Eomer wins his fight against the 2 Uruks and the Uruk archer (Okay: bad move for me to bring the archer into the fight, because it kept my Uruks from shielding.  Eomer rolled a "6," so it wouldn't have changed anything, but I'm openly admitting that this was a bad idea for my strategy), and he moves 10" over to engage the Barrow Wight (Courage Test passed: 10).
-Elrohir wins his fight against the orc warrior and sends him to the orc equivalent of Valhalla.  He then engages the orc 2H in Elladan's fight, breaking him off of that fight.  This ends the heroic combats.


Here we have the carnage at the center post ("Doesn't the statue look so serene amidst the melee?") ("Not when we put a catapult ball where his head is right now.  Move up, boys!").  Following the heroic combats, Eomer trounces the Barrow Wight ("Yeah...I saw that working out differently in my mind, Glenstorm..."), wounding him four times.  Elladan wins his fight against the Orc Captain, and wounds him once (fate saved, 1/1F).  Elrohir then finished off the 2H orc he engaged.


On the lower end, it was Ugluk's hour.  Ugluk wins his fight (on the banner re-roll), and handily kills his man. Unfortunately, Donatello was hoping that this would not be Ugluk's hour...but his uruk's hour.  The rest of his Uruk-Hai won their fights, but all of them failed to wound their enemies ("...Wow, you only needed 4s on those...") ("Okay, you know what: it happens, sometimes...").  Daerdan, on the other hand, managed to kill his uruk, after winning the fight using Halbarad's banner support (which you can see at the top of the pic).

At the top of the map, Culang kills an uruk scout, and Cadan loses the fight and suffers 1 wound (fate saved, 1/1F).  With the end of the battle round approaching, there are another 12 bodies on the ground, with only 1 stemming from archery.  New Casualty Count:

14/52 for Evil, 3/19 for Good.


Round 4 (Priority: Good)


Following the move phase, everything is in chaos.  The rangers have primarily wagged their forces toward the Western Objective (whether they were attempting to defend the girl or just kill more orcs and uruks is unclear), with Elrohir and Eomer engaging units in the center, and a lone ranger holding the Southern Objective against four incoming orcs.  Halbarad now leads the soldiers at the top of the map, with Daerdan alone standing to fend off Ugluk and his regiment.

In the archery phase, nothing interesting happens, except that Dannassel sustains another 3 archery shots without so much as a graze (How many are we at now?  If you said 11...you're off, :) ).  In the fight phase that followed, four heroic combats were called (which only added further to the chaos of the situation): Eomer, Halbarad, Ugluk, and Elrohir all clambered for a chance at bloodthirsty killing, and after the roll-off, I got to go first.  In the order that they were resolved:

-Eomer (2/3M) loses his fight to an orc banner and an orc spearman ("...Wow....There are no words...") ("...I have one: Bahahaha!" :-P ), though both orcs failed to wound the horse.
-Ugluk (3/3M) kills the Ranger of Arnor, and he joins the fight against the Ranger of Arnor with spear (while a number of his men join the fight against Daerdan).
-Elrohir (2/3M), using his spear support, kills the 2 orcs in his fight (4 attacks at S4 is...amazing...), and then joins Elladan in his combat against the Orc Captain.
-Halbarad (1/3M) wins his fight and kills his man (2/3M), and then joins Culang's fight.

Melee combat proceeded to add a lot of dead guys.  The Orc Captain was killed by the Twins (2 wounds dealt, no fate points remaining), pretty much ending the fight in the center.



At the top of the map, Halbarad and Culang won their fight, killing their uruk scout.  Cadan, with the help of spear support, slew both of the uruks in his fight, and one of the uruks took down one of the Rangers of Arnor after winning the roll-off (Which means that both of the shieldbearing rangers were killed this round.  That was sad).  The other Ranger of Arnor with spear also forced a roll-off, also lost, but was not wounded.

At the bottom of the map, Daerdan loses his fight, receives 1 wound, but successfully fate saves (1/1F).  His buddy, on the other hand...


Successfully defeated Ugluk in close combat, since Ugluk did not have a might point to promote one of his two 5s to a 6! ("SO wrong!")  As Ugluk backs up, you can hear the tension in the air....

Casualties: 21/52 for Evil (5 away from breaking), 6/19 for Good (4 away from breaking)


Round 5 (Priority: Good...Again...)

Sorry - no deployment picture here (was kind of caught up in the action).  The Dunedain engage as many enemies as they can, since orcs have now slid around the back to contest the Western Objective, while still contesting the Center Objective, and being just shy of contesting the Southern Objective.  From all accounts, the rangers are being pushed hard on all fronts, and no one is in striking distance of the uruks' uncontested bases.  Or are they out of reach...

In the archery phase, the Ranger of Arnor at the Southern Camp takes his last round of archery to kill the Orc warrior with Banner (his first kill - but what a kill it is!), which is lost (since no other unit was in base contact with him).  The orcs take aim at Eomer, and instead of shooting him or his horse, successfully land a hit on their orc archer engaged in combat with him ("Ha!  I stopped you from your heroic combat, Eomer, Horsemaster!").  Other than that, there was virtually no archery (courtesy of everyone favoring hand-to-hand melee fighting).  As we moved into the fight phase, I called two more heroic combats:



-Elladan (3/3M) wins his fight and kills the Uruk, and moves to engage Vrasku (who is itching for hand-to-hand combat!).
-Culang (1/1M) wins his fight with Dannassel against the uruk in the objective radius (Dannassel lands the cleaving blow), and they move to engage the uruk that is attacking the Ranger of Arnor with spear.

As the fights progressed, Elrohir successfully won his fight and killed the spearman near the center objective, and while Culang and Co. win their fight against the shielding uruk, they fail to wound him.  Daerdan put up a good fight against the uruk with spear support and the 2H Orc, but he lost the fight and was killed by the Uruk Scout.  Elladan and Halbarad, now both engaged against Vrasku, not only win the fight, but also deal 2 wounds (1 successfully fate saved, 1/1F, 1/2H)

Casualties: 27/52 for Evil (broken), 7/19 for Good (3 more to break point)
Current Score: 3 + 1 + 1 (for the base they control and the 2 they are contesting) + 1 (banner killed) + 1 (banner still alive) = 7 for Good, and 3 + 3 + 1 + 1 (for 2 bases controlled and 2 contested) = 8 for Evil.


Round 6 (Priority: Evil) (Finally!)



Round 6 marks the first round of courage testing.  The results were not helpful for me: all of the orcs at the lower camp stayed, and both Vrasku and Ugluk (1/1W) passed their courage tests.  Only 1 of the uruk archers from the Eastern Objective ran away (you can see him exiting the board).  Oh dear...

In the archery phase, nothing happens.  In standard fashion for the last few rounds, though, there are four heroic combats called, and after Donatello wins the roll off, they were done in this order:

-Vrasku and his boys, as you can see...



...Lost the fight!  Even though Halbarad's 6 was reduced to a 5, Vrasku lacked the ability to promote his 2s to 5s.  Halbarad failed to wound anyone (But with points scored for dead banner bearers, I need him dead right now to secure a lead).

-Cadan (1/1M) loses his fight, and the Uruk archer, seeing an easy target in the Ranger of Arnor with spear, kills him as a result.
-Eomer (3/3M) kills the archer that engaged him, and then...



...Swung around 9" to engage the archer in the doorway, making a lunge to steal an objective from the enemy!

-Finally, Elrohir (3/3M) loses his fight at the Center Objective (I'm beginning to see a general patter this round...), and the orc warrior shielded, which ended the fight.

In the fight phase, Eomer laid the poor uruk archer out flat (like, really flat) over the trapdoor.  With the retreat of the other uruk from this objective, the Eastern Objective has now flipped from a +3 for Evil to a +3 for Good!  In other news, Ugluk kills the spearman that stunted him on the last round (quite handily, I admit).  At the Southern Objective, the orcs win the fight, but they fail to wound the lone ranger.  Culang also wins his fight, but fails to wound his man (the same uruk that has been eluding him all game).  Dannassel, on the other hand, wins her fight against the 2 sneaky orcs, and kills one of them.  There is now 1 orc in scoring distance of the Western Objective (which she did not wound), and 1 ranger in scoring distance (Dannassel). Elladan also won his fight, killing the uruk archer that engaged him.

Casualties: 32/52 for Evil (broken, 7 away from end of game), 9/19 (1 away from breaking)


Round 7 (Priority: Evil)

Wow - if you're getting tired reading this post, know that we were tired too, as it was around 1:30 a.m. at this point.  Because Evil won priority, they were forced to courage test.  Ugluk and Vrasku both passed their courage tests, so the boys around them were pretty well taken care of.  Unfortunately for Don, though...



...His orcs at the Southern Objective must have gotten the wrong vibe, because three of four fled the field!  This made this objective, for all practical purposes, a 1 or 3-point play for either of us.

In the archery phase, as you can expect, nothing happened.  There were no heroic combats called this round, primarily because only two units on the board still has might points: Vrasku and Halbarad (and they only have 1 each).  With that, we moved into the combats:



Elrohir was not trapped when Ugluk brought his team of specialists in to take the Center Objective.  Elrohir lost the fight, and was dealt 1 wound from the orc (2/2F, 1 successful), and 2 wounds from Ugluk, which killed him.  In other news, Halbarad lost his fight against Vrasku and the uruk archer, and he was dealt 2 wounds (fate save, 1/1F, 3/3M).  With 1 health remaining, my banner is still flying in this fight (even if the tide is heavily turning against me).

Casualties: 35/52 for Evil (broken, 4 to end of game), 10/19 (broken, 4 to end of game)


Round 8 (Priority: Good)



As you can see, the board is very sparse now.  Both teams were courage testing this round, so I started:

-For Good, all of the heroes passed, and no units ran for Good
-For Evil, Ugluk barely passed (Courage Test: 10), but since Vrasku is engaged in combat, he cannot call the Stand Fast! for the men up top.  2 orcs (including the only orc in scoring distance of the Western Objective) and 1 uruk archer decide to run (which you can see in the picture above), which means that if Donatello loses 1 more unit, the game is over.  Now is the time to score...

In the archery phase...



...Dannassel's spear support lands a wound on the spearman involved in Culang's fight, ensuring that the game ends at the end of this round (and giving Culang more hope of victory).

In the fight phase, neither the Ranger of Arnor nor the Orc Warrior wounded each other, resulting in both contesting the Southern Objective.  Up top:


Dannassel and her spear support finally killed the uruk that had caused Culang so much grief, and Culang finished off the uruk before him.  Cadan won his fight, but failed to wound the uruk archer in his fight ("...only needed 4s, I'll add....That's embarrassing...").  Halbarad handily won his fight and killed the uruk archer, and Elladan landed 2 wounds on Vrasku, killing him.  With this fight resolved, the game is over.

Final casualty count: 43/52 for Evil (under 25%), 10/19 for Good.

Scoring

For Evil: 3 (Northern) + 3 (Central) + 1 (Southern) objectives = 7 points
For Good: 3 (Westsern) + 3 (Eastern) + 1 (Southern) + 2 (killed banner, banner lived) + 1 (kill army leader) = 10 points

10-7, Minor victory for the Dunedain.


Glenstorm's Reflections:
Wow - that one was really close.  There were way too many close calls in there to call this a game of "superior strategy," but I'm glad that my troops proved their metal today.  I'm especially impressed with the gal that weathered the storms of arrows and paid for herself three times over in kills - well done, Dannassel!  I'll also tip my hat to Cadan and Culang, who held the line until Halbarad and Elladan arrived.  That was a game well-fought, and well-played!

Donatello's Reflections:
So, losing your 50-point Barrow Wight early is no fun, especially right after you weaken an enemy bruiser of all of his will stores, :-P  I completely spaced on Eomer's mobility, and that caused problems all game.  Had he not been able to move all around the board, I would never have had anyone even come close to touching my two back objectives, which would have sealed victory for me.  Glenstorm effectively broke my attempts to rush his objectives with brute numbers (though the Southern Objective only stood because my men ran away!), and he deployed his troops well, taking advantage of their strengths.  Well-played, sir.

Stellar Unit (Good): Rangers of Arnor.  Seriously: is there any question?  The Rangers of Arnor not only held their ground to buy enough time for my bruisers, but also kept the kill count going up through archery and hand-to-hand combat.  They pulled their weight, and gave me the edge necessary to hold off a massive storm of units.

Stellar Unit (Evil): Uruk Scout with shield.  I love that these guys are strong enough to punch through archery and then engage light infantry with a S4 value.  They make an effective complement for low-level heroes like Ugluk and Vrasku, because they are almost as effective, and deserve similar attention all over the map.  I hope that Glenstorm buys more of these guys, as it would be awesome to replace the orc warriors with more of these guys!

In the next battle report, I hope to change out the heroes I use to experiment with more of the depth of the Grey Company.  Until then, may the grace of all good men go with you,

Watching the stars,

Glenstorm

2 comments:

  1. Wow. I'm... stunned. When I saw the initial list (outnumbered 19-52 in a _Domination_ game), I thought "oh... this isn't going to be pretty - at all." Spending 450+pts on heroes in a 500pt game? What kinda crazy are you?

    Apparently just the right type of crazy - or just plain lucky. Major h/t to the Grey Company. And kudos to Donatello. Well fought. Unfortunately the dice were not in your favor today.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ok, so I really like the banter that you captured in your post - need to add those to mine. :-P

    It's a good first batrep for Grey Company!

    ReplyDelete