Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Battle Report: The Men of Dunharrow, Quest 3: The Denizens of Moria


Hey Reader!

This is Centaur with another battle report!  As I mentioned in my last post, I got together with Tiberius on Black Friday for a game against an Isengard list, which turned into a double header!  We kept the map the same (moved the terrain around a bit in the center for what we wanted to do, but otherwise the same), and changed the scenario to a Hold Ground scenario.  Against Moria, this may not have been the smartest move, but it wouldn't be my type of game without a bit of danger, :)  These were the lists in play:

The Men of Dunharrow (Rohan, Warbands)
Warband 1
-Eomer, Knight of the Pelennor Fields w/ armored horse (Army Leader): 130 pts
-5 Rohan Royal Guards: 50 pts
-1 Rider of Rohan: 13 pts
-1 Rider of Rohan w/ throwing spears: 15 pts
-2 Warriors of Rohan w/ shields/throwing spears: 18 pts
-2 Warriors of Rohan w/ shields: 14 pts

Warband 2
-Captain of Rohan w/ hvy armor/shield: 55 pts
-1 Rohan Royal Guard: 10 pts
-3 Rohan Royal Guards w/ throwing spears: 36 pts
-1 Warrior of Rohan w/ banner: 31 pts
-1 Rohan Outrider ("Hawk Eye"): 7 pts
-3 Warriors of Rohan w/ shields: 21 pts

TOTAL: 22 units, 400 pts, 5 Might

Denizens of Moria (Moria, Warbands)
Warband 1
-Groblog (Army Leader): 55 pts
-1 Cave Troll with Troll Chain: 85 pts
-2 Goblin Warriors with shields: 10 pts
-2 Goblin Warriors with spears: 10 pts
-7 Goblin Warriors with Orc bows: 35 pts

Warband 2

-Moria Goblin Shaman: 45 pts
-6 Goblin Warriors with shields: 30 pts
-6 Goblin Warriors with spears: 30 pts

Warband 3

-Wild Warg Chieftain: 75 pts
-3 Wild Wargs: 24 pts

TOTAL: 30 units, 399 pts, 5 Might


Scoring

We haven't done very many Hold Ground games on this blog to date, so as a quick reminder, scoring for our Hold Ground scenario will work as follows:
  • Game ends when one force is reduced to 25% or less of its starting models
  • 1 Victory Point is awarded for each model within 6" of the well in the center of the map
  • 1 Victory Point is awarded if the enemy force is broken.  3 Victory Points are awarded if the enemy force is broken and your force is not broken at the end of the game.
Deployment

We rolled for deployment, Moria placed first, and after everything was on-table the board looked like this:


Strategy for Glenstorm: Just like how Lords of Battle may not be the best game against Isengard, playing against a Moria team on Hold Ground may not be the wisest move either.  Honestly, though, I don't mind.  My plan is to quickly neutralize the warg threat through throwing weapons and some quick wounds from Eomer (as he'll wound on 4s, even against the Wild Warg Chieftain), and then I'll swing into the archers and shamans with my horsemen.  Once Fury is gone, holding down the force until it splinters itself shouldn't be too hard.  With a solid battle line of higher FV, I should be able to win a good number of combats against everyone that's not the troll.  The troll, honestly, will be the easiest part: hold him down with the RRGs, and keep my men spread out so that he can't do any cool monster moves.  The banner should also help me in hewing through the spear ranks, as I basically get a second attack dice if I need it.

Strategy for Tiberius: I'm really excited to try out my new Wild Warg Chieftain (conversion!) and a small Warg pack - these guys aren't great compared to Dwarves or Uruks, but they're fast and better in stat line than Goblin warriors. It'll be interesting to see how the two-hammer approach of using a Cave Troll and Wild Warg Chieftain works out - something I'm planning on making even more powerful in a 600 point game.

...And with that... (for death and glory!) (ATTACK YOU SLUGS!)

Turn 1 (P: Moria)

Like most Turn 1s that do not involve Grey Company volley lines, nothing much happened on Turn 1, :)  We didn't even both to take a picture: the armies moved toward each other, and we headed into Turn 2.

Turn 2 (P: Rohan)


We moved the armies up, my force only advancing 3" so that Hawk Eye can take aim, and leaving my throwing spears within 8" of the goblin main battle line.  You'll also noticed, I opted to take advantage of greater mobility and swung my cav to the other side, as I liked their chances against the wargs and infantry better than my odds against a troll with a throwing weapon, :)  The goblin archer troop also squared up, moving 2.5" so that they can shoot this round.


Hawk Eye takes aim and knocks down one of the wargs (first kill!!! :) ).  The throwing weapons gave me a bunch of nothing, so the Moria archer troop let loose on me:


...And would you believe it: the little buggers took down two of my RRGs (wow...well, that escalated quickly! :P ) (and that's why I take lots of archers - never know what they're going to do).  With no more shooting, we moved to Turn 3.

Turn 3 (P: Rohan)
I moved up so that there were 6" between me and the goblins (in part so that I could take another round of throwing spears to them, but also because I'm not overly keen on getting in combat with the troll anytime soon).  Eomer engaged a warg, and one of the Riders of Rohan engaged the WWC (failed to wound with his throwing spear).  Tiberius chose to follow my maxim that archers are swordsmen, and (probably in light of the fact taht in one turn he paid for four of them through archery) opted to bring his archer core up the full 5" instead of shooting.  The free warg engaged the Rider of Rohan to help the WWC, and the troll found himself woefully out of troll chain range.  With that, we hit the Shoot Phase.


One of the RRGs took down a goblin shield; otherwise nothing happened up there.  In the Fight Phase, Eomer called a Heroic Combat (1/3M), completely botched his roll, and thus was both unable to wound the warg (though he was also not wounded in return, which I guess is a good thing), but also cost me the loss of my Rider of Rohan, as he was easily overwhelmed by the Wild Warg Chieftain and the wild warg.  With those fights resolved, everything was squared up for a solid round of melee combat in Turn 4...

Turn 4 (P: Goblins)


Eomer called a Heroic Move (2/3M) (so that I can be S5 this round) and charged the WWC (oh dear... *snarl*), while the Rider of Rohan that remained charged one of the wargs.  As you can see here, the free warg charged into the infantry, and the goblins and troll engaged my the battle line en masse.  As we counter-charged, we were able to surround the warg, and I was able to take down one of the goblins with a throwing spear on the charge.  Nothing of interest happened in the Shoot Phase (I think Hawk Eye took aim at a spearman and failed to hit), so we moved into combat.


Eomer dealt 2 wounds to the WWC (OUCH - now I gotta play a bit more conservatively...as in, get away from the crazy rider), and the other rider lost combat but was not wounded.  At the main battle line, things got really crazy:


My RoCap called a heroic combat, killed the shield (2/2M), and Tiberius failed the Fury Save.  The RoCap then went on to the deal wounds to both spearmen he fought, and Tiberius passed both Fury saves (1/1M) (Seriously, Tiberius?  Seriously?!?!) (hehehe...and the archers are coming to fill in the line!).  The warg was trapped and defeated, and a few more goblins fell.  With my battle line holding (including a successful shielding attempt against the troll!!!  YEAH!!!) (idiot...), we headed into Turn 5 slightly up in kill count.

Kill count: Rohan 3/22 (8 from break), Moria 5/30 (10 from break)

Turn 5 (P: Goblins)


Tiberius charges the WWC into two of my infantry, and the troll fails to wound an RRG with his troll chain on the charge.  The goblin archers form a perimeter around the shaman and Groblog to fend off a potential horse attack, and Eomer is charged by the other warg (I'm guessing to keep him from calling a Heroic Combat that could swing him into the shaman - well played, Tiberius).  I surrounded the WWC (hoping he flukes his roll and we can finish him off this round; it's the only shot we've got at stopping him), and tightened up the battle line behind the RoCap.  In the Shoot Phase, a goblin archer landed a hit on Eomer, the arrow landed on-target (not on the warg), was on Eomer (not on the horse), and failed to wound.  With that, we went to the Fight Phase, where Eomer called a Heroic Combat (3/3M).


...And then he summarily botched his roll to win the fight, :P (*Sigh* It's just been an off afternoon...), and the warg failed to wound.


For the rest of the Fight Phase, the Rider of Rohan up top failed to wound the Goblin (though he won combat, so he knocked him to the ground), and the WWC succeeded in winning combat, knocking over his opponents, and wounded both of the RRGS.  The RoCap beat the archers he was up against but failed to wound either of them, though the Warrior of Rohan, Hawk Eye, and the banner managed to wound the goblin spearman next door, who failed his Fury save.  The Troll was shielded off again by the RRGs, though the goblins on the battle line really came out in force, wounding three of my Warriors of Rohan, including the Warden who was holding the end of the battle line.

Kill count: Rohan 8/22 (3 from break), Goblins 7/30 (8 from break)

Turn 6 (P: Rohan)


I opted not to engage the warg again with Eomer, as I need him to 1) be in scoring range of the center objective, and 2) start trampling the shaman defenders this turn, so I rammed him into the goblin archers.  I quickly discovered that my battle line was growing too thin, and swallowed hard as I realized that it would be 2-1 or worse all across the line.  This round, my plan was to trust to my banner for an extra dice near the center in the hopes that I could win some solid fights to give us a little more breathing room.  Confronted with the chance to only tag one RRG this round with the troll, Tiberius opted to move up against the Rider of Rohan who engaged the two shamans (which means there goes my easy chance at taking down Fury, :P  Oh well, :) ).  With no archery, we moved straight into combat.


Eomer won combat, dealt 2 wounds (1 to each goblin - how do 8 dice on 4s only yield 2 wounds?!!?), one of which is Fate saved (4 saves so far, all on 5s - Groblog was a good choice this game).  One of the RRGs managed to kill a goblin down low, but most of the battles went to the goblins this round, who managed to kill one of the Warriors of Rohan.  The WWC and the warg also killed off two more of my men, and (not surprisingly) the troll and shamans kill the Rider of Rohan, which breaks my force.  As we enter Turn 7, because of sheer volume there is now no way I can win the game (because model count is essential for Hold Ground), so my hope at this point is to break his army, remove Fury, and hope a lot of his goblins flee.

Kill count: Rohan 12/22 (broken, 5 from game), Goblins 9/30 (6 from break)

Turn 7 (P: Rohan)


Thankfully, all of my men pass their Courage Tests via "Stand Fast!" or the bodyguard rule (yay for compact bodies of troops, :) ), and my men tighten up and reform.  Tiberius began the stranglehold by sweeping goblins around the bottom and tightening up his defense around the shamans, who are now securely in a pocket of goblins.  With no shots, we returned to the pain of close combat.


...And amazingly, it wasn't all that painful for me this round!  The warg was slain by the Warrior of Rohan, and the WWC lost combat (2 against a 4), was wounded, and failed his Fate save (1/1F, 3/3H) (wow - totally didn't think an RRG from the Westfold detachment would beat and wound the WWC.  I should put more stock in my "fall guys" more often...).  Eomer thrashed through the goblins up top who failed their Fate saves.  The RoCap lost combat, was wounded once, and failed his Fate save (1/1F, 1/2H), and the troll smashed through the RRG that valiantly held the end of the battle line (yeah...we've got no answer for that guy anymore, :-/ ).  Heading into Turn 8, the Goblins were teetering on the edge of breaking...

Kill Count: Rohan 14/22 (3 from game), Goblins 13/30 (2 from break)

Turn 8 (P: Goblins)


Sorry for the blur; focus was a bit off with this shot.  The goblins slammed into us, and were well up on the dice in basically every combat.  Only 1 Warrior of Rohan was unengaged, and he fled (2 from game).  The troll failed to hit with his troll chain again, and we headed into combats.


The battles didn't go well this round - the RoCap won combat and killed one of the archers in his combat, and Eomer managed to kill the solo archer that tagged him, so the goblin force was broken at the end of the game.  But between the overwhelming odds of the horde, two RRGs, a warrior of Rohan, and the banner fell, which ended the game.  By the way, I'll note in passing that you get a good look in this picture at Tiberius's Groblog conversion - I'm a major fan of that one, :)  Final casualty count:

Kill Count: Rohan 19/22 (game), Goblins 15/30 (broken)

Final Score: Both armies are broken (1-1), both army leaders are alive (still 1-1), 15 Goblin units were in range, and 3 Rohan units were in range, makes final score Rohan 4 - Goblins 16, or a Major Victory for the Goblins.

Summary

Thoughts from Glenstorm: Man, that game was rough, :)  Between Fury saves and too many heavy hitters, it's hard for a non-spear support team to push back against a larger force.  I've thought through what would have happened if I had exclusively charged into infantry with my horsemen, as I'd have better FV and knock over defeated enemies instead of charging into the wargs, but frankly I'm not sure I'd like to have seen what would have happened to my banner (among other infantry) if the wargs had been allowed to engage.  The game went south when 2/3 of Eomer's Might points were wasted in lost Heroic Combats, and there were a number of times where my warriors just failed to wound their men.  We got table rolled - easy as that.  Well fought, Tiberius.

Thoughts from Tiberius: Wow - warg pack took the pain in that game. I've been working on the Goblin list since I first got into the hobbit with the Mines of Moria starter set. Until I got my Wild Warg Chieftain and warg pack, I haven't been pleased with the army as a whole - needs hammering power and Will point to resist spell-casters. In today's game, the wargs took the brunt of Eomer's attack on the army, buying time for the Goblins to overwhelm the Rohan main line (and the a Troll as far away from Eomer as possible, opening up his ability to kill things). I'm looking forward to playing with these guys more, and while I'm talking about Rohan in the next few weeks, I'll include some shots of my warg conversions!

Stellar Unit for Glenstorm: The RRGs.  Hands down.  The Rohan Royal Guards held off the troll (and kept him to only 3 kills in 5 rounds of close combat), and held the main battle line for an extremely long time.  My hat continually goes off to these guys, who are as tough as nails, and what any Rohan force needs for sustainability and longevity on the battlefield.

Stellar Unit for Tiberius: Goblin Warrior with spear. I should give this to the Troll, I should not give it to any of my Warg pack (as great as their tactical diversion was), but I could give it also to the Goblin Warriors with Orc bows. While the bows not only killed 2 Rohan Royal Guards with their archery and helped kill several other units in close combat, all of their melee kills (as well as many other kills) were the result of spear support. Though the spearmen of the Goblins can be killed rather easily with ranged weapons of any kind, these little chaps are essential to a fight against any foe that doesn't have spear support of its own.

Over the next week or two, I'll be doing a few tactics posts on Rohan as the Northern Virginia area thaws out from the snow and ice that fell last night.  After that I'm hoping to get in another game with the Men of Dunharrow, in the hopes of ending with a tied record of 2-2, :)  Oh - and I should probably mention: apparently this is the 200th post on this blog - which is kinda awesome, :)  Until we write again, thank you to our loyal viewership, and you'll know where to find me,

Watching the stars,

Centaur

"I watch the stars, for it is mine to watch, as it is your's, Badger, to remember." ~ Glenstorm, Prince Caspian

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