After doing some further work on my Angmar and Misty Mountains forces, I took Zorro up on an outstanding offer to test out my troops on the battlefield (instead of just in the workshop). Zorro is trying his hand at my Rohan force just for kicks, and I'm anxious to see what it is like facing off against my favorite hero in the game: Eomer, Knight of the Pelennor Fields!
Zorro's Force: The Rallying of the Riddermark (LOME: Theoden's Host)
Eomer, Knight of the Pelennor Fields w/ Armored Horse: 130pts
1 Captain of Rohan w/ shield: 50pts
1 King's Huntsman: 50pts
10 Rohan Outriders w/ bows: 70pts
16 Warriors of Rohan w/ shields: 112pts
10 Warriors of Rohan w/ shields/throwing spears: 90pts
3 Riders of Rohan: 39pts
6 Rohan Royal Guards: 60pts
TOTAL: 601 points, 48 units, 7 Might
Glenstorm's Force: The Chill of Angmar (LOME: Angmar)
The Dwimmerlaik: 120 pts
3 Barrow Wights: 150 pts
8 Orc Warriors w/ shield: 48 pts
8 Orc Warriors w/ shield/spear: 56 pts
3 Orc Warriors w/ 2H weapons: 18 pts
1 Orc Warrior w/ Banner: 30 pts
4 Orc Warriors w/ bows: 24 pts
Allied force: The Predators of the Misty Mountains (LOME New Addition: Misty Mountains)
Narzug: 50 pts
4 Hunter Orcs: 32 pts
6 Hunter Orcs w/ bows: 54 pts
2 Hunter Orcs w/ 2H weapons: 18 pts
TOTAL: 600 pts, 41 units, 3 Might, 32 Will, 4 Casters
Today we will be playing a Domination game, with the following rules:
- Game ends at the end of a turn when one side reaches 25% of its starting number of models or below
- 3 Victory Points for each objective marker that has at least one of your models, and no enemy models, within 3"
- 1 Victory Point for each objective marker that has both friendly and enemy models, but more friendly than enemy models, within 3"
- 2 Victory Points for killing the enemy Army Leader
- 1 Victory Point if the enemy force is broken at the end of the game. If the enemy force is broken and your force is unbroken, you instead score 3 Victory Points
This will be a good way for me to test my troops, as it will test the list's killing power, ability to fight concentrated bodies of enemies, avoid archery, and cover a good portion of the map. With both forces at around an equal size (48 - 41), there is also no inherent advantage to one side or the other in covering the ground (though speed across the board may be another question).
Strategy for Glenstorm: Simple game: cover my hunter orcs with the orc warriors from archery, and aim for the middle objective and Zorro's starting objective. Like most players, he'll only leave a handful of people at that objective, and send his formations toward the wings. I'll punch a hole through his center formation through magic and brute firepower, drawing his formations back toward the center, and then keep him out of scoring radius while I rush the top objective. I'll likely feign an attack to the side objectives just to keep him from reinforcing the center early.
Strategy for Zorro: This game was mostly to expand my horizons and strategic thinking. I've only played Rohan once before, although I've ground them underfoot many a time. I figured it was about time that I see what it is like from under those horse-hair helmets. My general plan was to cover the center objective with the outriders to maximize damage as the orcs charge for the middle, hook the main force to claim the Eastern objective while still pressuring the center, move a stunting force towards the west to prevent orcs from taking my Northern objective from that direction, while Eomer and his riders would feint towards the middle, and then swing around East to claim the Southern objective from whatever stragglers Glenstorm left behind. Basically, I was conceding 1.5 objectives to claim the moral victory of stealing my opponent's home base. A lot of this would depend on the Huntsman's ability to pick off the barrow wights - otherwise things will probably go downhill fast!
We used the setup rules that will be used in the March Tournament for LOME teams, which requires deployment within 12" of opposite corners (Z: I like the old deployment better, as it involved more strategy in determining where to commit your forces rather than each side starting with 2 objectives from the get-go at which point the game devolves into a scrum for the center) and at least 3 distinct groups (no hero required in each group), and the deployments of the armies looked like this:
With everything in place... ("To war!!!") ("Death and Glory!")
Round 1 (P: Evil)
The armies moved toward each other, with each volley line moving only 3" forward. In the Shoot Phase, Narzug - volleying with his crew of orcs - landed a hit on Eomer, which was Fate Saved (1/3F) (note to self, putting the hit from the guy who has a free might to wound with archery on your main hero is baaaad...). The Rohan Outriders fired directly into the approaching orcs:
Round 2 (P: G)
In the Shoot Phase, the King's Huntsman looked across the field, saw what was within 24", and said, "Hey Barrow Wight #3, I can see you!" He landed the hit, it was on target (passing in-the-ways on a 2+ is sweet), and he wounded the Wight, restoring the Might points he spent (killing Barrow Wights on 4s without "spending" might points is sweeeeter). That's 2 Barrow Wights down for me. I'd love to tell you that the archery kills this round ended there...
Round 3 (P: G)
In an interesting turn of fate, the Rohan warriors nearing the West Objective decided, on the whole, to hold their ground, preferring to present a strong, long battle line against my orcs (Rohan players take note: this is what you should be doing with Rohan infantry! FOLLOW THIS EXAMPLE!). (It was all... part... of the plaaan /heathledgervoice) The archers were careful to move to about 6.5" away (to avoid being charged), and prepared for another round of archery. The horsemen split up, also careful to be more than 12" away from the Dwimmerlaik (to avoid any spells from coming out this turn) ("Much the pity," :) ) (actually, I was more concerned with trying to keep them out of range of the last Barrow Wight - who could unhorse them if you managed priority next), so instead the Dwimmerlaik turns and casts Transfix on the Huntsman to save the last Barrow Wight (2/16 W). I took the opportunity here to slide my force toward the center, preparing for the punch through his lines to the far objective. I also remembered that I need someone at the South Objective to claim it, and ran one of my orcs back to tag the base. The other archers broke into a run toward the far objective, knowing that we will not get a lot more time from the horses or the infantry formation. At the end of my Move Phase, the Barrow Wight successfully cast Paralyze on the Rohan Royal Guard (2/5W):
Round 4 (P: E)
Current casualty count: Angmar has lost 10/41 (11 to break point), Rohan has lost 4/48 (20 to break point).
Round 5 (P: G)
The fights turned out like this:
Small aside: everyone expects you to do your magic within range of the Dwimmerlaik because he makes spending Will points risky, but did anyone else see attacking with Barrow Wights within the radius? Did I keep that under the radar well, or what? ;) Okay: aside over (considering I didn't know wights had the ability to wound against courage, no of course I didn't see that coming =P).
On the far side, Narzug and his hunter orc took down the Rider of Rohan, and two of the other hunter orcs took down a Warrior of Rohan and a Rohan Royal Guard. In response, one of the Royal Guards killed one of the orc warrior bowmen. To close the phase, the Rohan Captain failed his roll to dispel paralyze (requires a 6), and we prepared for Round 6.
Round 6 (P: E)
Casualty total: 24 for Angmar (broken), and 21 for Rohan (3 from breaking). The Rohan Captain rolled again to see if he rose from his paralysis, and he failed again.
Round 7 (P: G)
Round 8 (P: G)
Final Score: 11 for Zorro (6 for two controlled objectives, 2 for two contested objectives, and 3 for breaking the enemy force without being broken), and 0 for Glenstorm, ending in an 11-0 Major Victory for Zorro.
Assessment by Zorro: Well, strategy-wise, I managed to do nearly everything I wanted to do. I made a few dumb mistakes (leaving an objective unclaimed, leaving my D4 troops as the main barrier to S4 troops, not remembering to assist my captain in getting up until the end of the game), but I also lucked out with a "free" objective and a few key kills from the Huntsman early on. The Dwimmerlaik really messed with my hero game plan. I'm getting the sense that he will quickly become my least-favorite nazgul to face. Thankfully the rank and file troops were able to tip the scales even without the support of heroes. Luckily for Glenstorm, most armies won't be fielding snipers like the Huntsman or Legolas and will have to wade through a few lines of orcs to get to the wights, so I look forward to seeing the kind of terror this army can wreak (on someone else of course!). Well fought Glenstorm.
Assessment by Glenstorm: Major props to Zorro for effectively cancelling the strengths of my list. I walked into the game against an opponent who had almost no Will points, and my aim was to couple brute firepower from the Hunter Orcs with the magic of four casters. Zorro picked his targets very well, taking out two of my casters and a number of my hunter orcs early in the game, and with only one wight and a Nazgul remaining, my magic game was easy to handle. From a strategy perspective, it doesn't get prettier than that!
Stellar Unit for Zorro: I think I am going to have to go with the Outriders on this one. The Huntsman got a few key kills with the wights, but quickly petered off into dead weight who couldn't even use his might points to assist - thanks to the Dwimmerlaik. The F4 of Royal guards helped win some key combats, but oddly enough it was the Outriders that carried the day. Not even counting the archery kills, they managed to hold a steady line against superior-and particularly lethal-foes when their inept leader forgot to back them up with shield support. As much as it pains a primarily evil player to say this, well done sons of Rohan!
Stellar Unit for Glenstorm: Hunter Orcs. Okay, some may label this as "New Unit Syndrome," but let's face it: who can say that they have had orcs without spear support unhorse and kill cavalryman, hold a flank when outnumbered, and keep a major hero (like Eomer on a horse on the charge) tied down with orcs that only cost 9 points/model? To date...no orc commander ever. In fact, I'll even wager that Morannon orcs have never done it. I was highly impressed by what I saw in this army, and, after discussing the game with Zorro, am seriously thinking about fielding more of them in the next game - perhaps removing a Barrow Wight to do so. I think they complement my force well, allowing me some additional muscle to back up the wildcard that is magic.
As we head into the rest of January, I'm looking forward to experimenting against different civs using different tactics, so stay tuned to this site for more painting projects and games with the forces of Angmar!
Watching the stars,
"I set myself against what is lurking in this forest, Bane - yes, with humans alongside me if I must." ~ Firenze, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone