Saturday, December 21, 2013

Battle Report: Men of Dunharrow, Quest 4: Another Rohan Army!


Hey Reader!

Welcome to Quest 4 of the Dunharrow Campaign!  Tiberius and I were able to get together on Sunday for a few hours, and he decided to run a portion of the new Rohan army he is testing.  The lists we ran are below:

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

Descent from the North (Rohan, Warbands)
Warband 1
-Eorl the Young (Army Leader): 90 pts
-3 Sons of Eorl: 66 pts
-4 Riders of Rohan w/ throwing spears: 60 pts

Warband 2
-Gamling w/ Royal Banner of Rohan: 100 pts
-4 Rohan Outriders: 28 pts
-2 Warriors of Rohan w/ shields: 14 pts
-4 Warriors of Rohan w/ shields/throwing spears: 36 pts

TOTAL: 19 units, 400 pts, 5* Might


Scoring

Tiberius and I decided to play a To the Death scenario.  As a quick reminder, scoring works like this:
  • Game ends when one force is brought to 25% of its starting force
  • 2 Victory Points are awarded for killing the enemy army leader
  • 2 Victory Points are awarded if a team has a banner remaining at the end of the game (both teams are sporting banners this match, so this should be interesting!)
  • 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
Both of us liked our chances under these rules, as both of us were sporting banners, both of us had a solid army general, and our teams had different approaches (but doable approaches) for how to break the enemy army.

Deployment

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


The board was relatively open (giving lots of room for cav to maneuver), though with enough terrain to give archers and infantry a chance to screen their flanks or stay out of reach of horsemen.

Strategy for Glenstorm: Okay - I'll be honest: I don't really have a plan for taking out Eorl.  He has enough standing infantry that I can break his army by running over his footmen, so I'll plan on doing that, and perhaps screening his horsemen and forcing them to the far side, so that I can delay the brutal charge as long as possible.  But with F4 D6 warriors hitting me with 3 attacks on the charge with S4 (gotta love Sons of Eorl), whenever that hammer falls on my battle line, it's going to hurt.  Guess we get to see how resilient Rohan is, :)

Strategy for Tiberius: I'm really excited - I've been thinking about how to run a cavalry-focused army from Rohan and particularly how to use heroes that have hitherto not been seen on this blog. Glenstorm is not only the buddy that I learned to play the game with, but his Rohan army is the one that got them all started. I'm very thankful that he had some infantry models for me to borrow, and please pardon the unpainted riders - more on them soon!

...And with that... (for death and glory!) (The Red Dawn!)

Turn 1 (P: North)


Like most Turn 1s that do not involve Grey Company volley lines, nothing much happened on Turn 1, :)  The armies moved up, no one shot anything at each other, and we prepared for Turn 2.

Turn 2 (P: North)


I formed up my battle line against difficult terrain, with 3 RRGs and a Rider of Rohan in the building (primarily to screen Eorl and the Sons of Eorl from sweeping through there).  Tiberius took the high ground with his archers, giving him solid cover against the Eomer and my mounted warriors (which means I'll likely be unable to catch them for a while).


In the Shoot Phase, one of the Riders of Rohan took down one of my Warriors of Rohan, and we moved to Turn 3.

Turn 3 (P: Dunharrow)


I opted to reconsolidate my battle line so that it would be a bit more workable against the cav charge (and to force his SoEs to charge multiple guys, which will give me 4 dice on shielding against his 3).  I also ran Eomer wide to avoid archer fire, but also within a 10" striking distance of where I expected his infantry to be (yeah, we're screening the archers).  He setup his men in a skirmish formation on the other side (so that I'll only be able to charge one soldier at a time to get through to Gamling), and charged his heavy horse into my infantry lines (careful not to engage the Rohan Captain this round).


In the Shoot Phase, one of the Riders of Rohan lands a hit on the RoCap, who Fate saves it (1/1F).  Tiberius then launched his throwing weapons, and took down one of my Warriors of Rohan and Firefoot from under Eomer (*so* not cool, man) (but *oh* so necessary, :P ).  Heading into the Fight Phase, I realized that my plan had backfired, as Eorl would now be in combat from Turn 3, and Eomer would be out of action until at least Turn 5.  That...was poor planning on my part, :-/


In the Fight Phase, Eorl won his combat, knocked over the two RRGs, and wounded both of them.  In the fight next door, the RRGs won combat and killed the horse, bringing the Son of Eorl (axeman facing off against them) to the ground ("Riders, to Me!").  In the other combats, a Warrior of Rohan and 2 RRGs were killed, bringing the casualty count to:

Kill Count: Dunharrow 7/22 (4 from break), North 0/19 (10 from break)

Turn 4 (P: Dunharrow)


Any time you opt to take a charge from a unit of cav and don't have spear support, you expect to take a beating that round, :)  What makes up for it is the round after that, where you have a chance to counter-charge, take down a few horsemen, and prepare to overwhelm the enemy forces.  We were able to do a good job of it this round, surrounding two of the SoEs, charging the dismounted one, and pulling in a strong attack against the infantry.

In the Shoot Phase, the outriders took down Hawk-Eye; other than that, nothing else happened in the Shoot Phase.  Heading into the Fight Phase, the RoCap called a Heroic Combat (1/2M), and it was not contested by any other heroes.


The RoCap won combat, killed the Son of Eorl (represented by the infantryman on the ground) (*sigh*), and moved on with his RRGs to engage the Riders of Rohan (so that we can bring F4 to bear on that fight)


In the Fight Phase, Eorl won combat and wounded the warrior and RRG (1/3M after failing his Legendary Hero roll) in his combat, the Son of Eorl beat the Rider of Rohan and slew him and his horse, and one of the Sons of Eorl was taken down by the banner, Warrior of Rohan, and the RRG.  One of the Riders of Rohan for Tiberius was slain by the RRG and the Warrior of Rohan, and the other Rider (lucky dog) beat the RRG and the RoCap, knocked them down (because he was on the charge), and no one was wounded.


On the other side, our boys roll, :)  The Rider of Rohan won combat, knocked over the spearman, and wounded him, and another Warrior of Rohan won combat and wounded his man (who is one of my conversions - I really like that one) (this is not going well...).  As we prepared for Turn 5, I was anticipating finally bringing Eomer to bear on the combats, especially since I suffered enough losses on the other side to break my army.

Kill Count: Dunharrow: 11/22 (broken, 6 from game), North: 6/19 (4 from break)

Turn 5 (P: North)

So, I decided to do something kind of stupid: I called a Heroic Move with the RoCap (2/2M), primarily so that I could stand him up, call "Stand Fast!" and charge his horsemen this round.  If I failed my courage test with him, though, I'll lose the hero (who would otherwise have been engaged, stayed on the table, and rolled 4 dice at F4 to shield off his opponent, which would have also stood him up).  As it happens, he passed his courage test, charged the riders, and called "Stand Fast!"  When the warden charged Eorl, he landed a hit on him with his throwing spear, landed the hit on Feralof, and wounded him, which brought Eorl to the ground (represented by the infantry in grey and green with the spear; we also made a point to replace the Son of Eorl with an axeman in grey and green so that I wouldn't move him as one of my models, so that's the other change in this picture.  Figured Tiberius would appreciate that, :) ) (thanks for the models, boo for killing Feralof).  At the end of movement, the board looked like this:


Nothing happened in the Shoot Phase, so we moved to the Fight Phase.  Eomer called a Heroic Combat (1/3M) (because that's what you do when it's Turn 5 and you haven't killed anybody yet!), and no one else challenged it.


Eomer wins combat, kills his man on 4s, and engages the Warrior of Rohan (as he's out of range of Gamling - I badly need to catch that guy, as he's worth 2 points if he survives, which means even if I break Tiberius's army, he'll still win 3-1) (um, not really - you still have a banner, buddy. :) ).


In the rest of the Fight Phase, all but one of Tiberius's Warriors of Rohan go down, and the other one manages to kill the Rider of Rohan in his combat.  On the other side, Eorl killed the RRG in his fight (leaving the warden unwounded), the RoCap won combat but dealt no wounds, and the banner and RRG killed the Rider of Rohan in their fight.  Suddenly, the game was a lot closer on the points scale...

Dunharrow: 13/22 (broken, 4 from game), North: 9/19 (1 from break)

Turn 6 (P: Dunharrow)


Gamling called a Heroic Move (1/2M) (wise call, as Eomer would have been on him if he didn't escape, and since Eorl is the only model that can benefit from the special rule of the Banner of Rohan, it makes sense to pull the two together), and on the charge one of the Riders of Rohan took down an RRG with his throwing spear, allowing him to engage the banner (lame, :P ) (see, banner. :) ).


After the Move Phase was completed, no one from my team fled (hold the line, Dunharrow!), and I was able to pull the RRG from Eomer's side of the board to help against the horseman threat.  Nothing happened in the Shoot Phase, so we moved to the Fight Phase.  Both Eorl (3/3M) and Eomer (2/3M) called Heroic Combats, and Eorl went first.  Eorl presently won combat (not surprisingly), and then failed to wound on either dice (WOW...), ending the Heroic Combat (BOOO).


Eomer wins, wounds the warrior in his fight on 4s, and then runs toward Gamling.  In the rest of the combats, the Rider of Rohan was killed by the RoCap, the banner was killed by the other rider (no more banner, :P), and the Son of Eorl kills the warden.  The game was very close to ending, with both teams broken (1-1 tie), and a banner still remaining for the North (bringing it to 1-3 in favor of the North).

Kill count: Dunharrow 15/22 (broken, 2 from game), North 11/19 (broken, 4 from game)

Turn 7 (P: North)


Eomer called a Heroic Move (3/3M), because if Gamling got away, the game would be over, :)  (this will not end well...) The Rider of Rohan engaged the standing RRG, the Son of Eorl engaged the RRG on the ground, and Eorl took on the Warrior of Rohan.


After combat, Gamling was slain (and failed his Fate save) (what do you know...I died...), as was the RRG against the Son of Eorl.  With both forces broken and me 1 model away from 25%, the game was almost certainly ending next round.

Kill count: Dunharrow 16/22 (broken, 1 from game), North 12/19 (broken, 3 from game)

Turn 8 (P: Dunharrow)

So, I realized that due to the massive horse in the way, Eomer couldn't see Eorl - which meant my one way of killing Eorl was dead in the water, meaning the best I could hope for was a 1-1 Draw.  After I engaged Eorl, the Son of Eorl, and the Rider of Rohan (none of my men fled), I also realized that it was impossible for Tiberius to kill Eomer, which meant there was no way to stop us from pulling a Draw (unless we both royally botch our wounding rolls, which between a charging Eomer and Eorl is highly unlikely).  Ironically, 3 of the 4 outriders then promptly fled the field (failing their courage tests), bringing the game to a close at the end of this round (wow - talk about anti-climactic) (I know, right?).  So we quickly did the Fight Phase:


...And as the game ended, the Rider of Rohan and his horse were slain, and everyone else stayed on the field.  Final count:

Kill count: Dunharrow 16/22 (broken, 1 from game), North 16/19 (game)

Final Score: Both armies are broken (1-1), both army leaders are alive (still 1-1), and neither team has a banner, resulting in a 1-1 Draw.

Summary

Thoughts from Glenstorm: Well, that was interesting, :)  Losing the horse with Eomer was a major setback, as it kept the Red Knight from engaging until Turn 5 (while Eorl was engaged from Turn 3), and the result was a force broken way too quickly.  On the whole, though, my honest opinion is that I was outmaneuvered: his throwing weapons and horses did more damage than I thought they would, and I underestimated his list.  Pure and simple.  There weren't any die rolls I would have changed; my force was beaten straight-out, and it was grace that we pulled it to a draw.  But, for once in a draw/loss, it was not my force that reached 25%, :)

Thoughts from Tiberius: Tell you honestly, I didn't expect to lose any of my Outriders...and then I lost three. All in all, I like the cavalry force approach - Sons of Eorl are deadly on the charge and not shabby when they don't have it. Infantry are nice to have, but I need to keep Eorl closer to the infantry ranks instead of way off on the flank. For a first test run, I thought it went very well.

Stellar Unit for Glenstorm: Um...basically, everyone was kind of "meh" this game.  The RRGs took the pounding from the horses, and I was lucky to have two of them survive up until Turn 7.  Honestly, there wasn't anything super stellar about this team in the game.  Eomer was okay (especially considering the fact he was without a horse for all of combat), and the rest of my warriors just did what I usually expect them to.  That being said, I do want to recognize the RoCap for holding the line, dealing damage, and stunting the horsemen after the charge, giving me enough time to sweep the other side of the table with Eomer.  That was essential in pulling me out of my losing streak.

Stellar Unit for Tiberius: Sons of Eorl. Hands down, these guys were great. Three of them really helped Eorl take down the largest division of the opposing force and with 3 Attacks on the charge and S4, they're very, very powerful units. After being dismounted, they were generally resilient and killed most of the enemy units in this game. A big shout-out goes to the Riders of Rohan, who rode around and harassed the flanks and "wagged" between fronts. Stellar performance, strawheads - I look forward to doing more with you guys later!

So at this point in the quest, I've scored a Major Victory, a Minor Loss, a Major Loss, and a Draw.  I was planning on this being the last mission with Dunharrow (as I'd like to do some projects with the new Dwarf models I've got - super excited about that!), but Tiberius has graciously offered to give me one last shot at breaking even.  We're not sure which army he'll use (though I'd put my money on Wood Elves, :P ), but I hope to get in one last game with this list, for old times' sake, :)  In the meantime, here's the newest hero I painted up this week to add to my Rohan force (I purchased her unpainted courtesy of a friend of mine who runs the blog Chef of War):


It sounds like the Chef is selling more miniatures (some painted, some unpainted), so if you're looking to get a good deal on miniatures for LOTR, check the post on his blog.  To give you an idea of his skill in painting (which is phenomenally detailed, btw), check out the Khazad Guards here:


I painted all the others - he painted the Khazads.  He's head-and-shoulders above my painting abilities, so if you're looking for some high-quality miniatures at fair prices, you should seriously look into Chef of War.  He has good pictures of his models on the post, too, so you'll see those when you visit the site.

In the coming weeks, other than the Dunharrow game I intend to transition over to what has become a January tradition of mine in recent years: I'm expanding my Misty Mountain force from the new Hobbit miniatures, and I hope to feature them here soon!

Watching the stars,

Centaur

"Remember, Firenze, we are sworn not to set ourselves against the heavens.  Have we not read what is to come in the movements of the planets?" ~ Bane, Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

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