Tuesday, 23 February 2016

A Sad Day in Rohan

My third game of War of the Ring this year, and also my biggest yet.

John wanted to give his Uruk Hai an outing, and we decided on a good size game of 2000 points.  It was to be a straight pitched battle on an 8 x 4 foot table with no terrain.

The Rohan force consisted of:

Royal Guard (4 stands)
Oathsworn Militia (4 Stands)
Oathsworn Militia (4 stands)
Oathsworn Bowmen (2 stands)
Oathsworn Bowmen (2 stands)
Rider of Rohan Eored (6 stands)
Rider of Rohan Eored (6 stands)
Rider of Rohan Eored (6 stands)
Erkenbrand's Riders (6 stands)
The Kings Bodyguard (6 stands including Gamling and Hama)
Theoden, King of Rohan.

The forces of Isengard consisted of:

Orcs (4 stands)
Uruk Hai Scout archers (2 stands)
Uruk Hai scouts (4 stands)
Uruk Hai Phalanx (3 stands, including s Shaman)
Uruk Hai warband (5 stands, also including a shaman)
2 Isengard Trolls
2 Uruk Hai Berserkers
Sharku's hunters (6 stands)

I had never seen magic used in War of the Ring before, and had never really paid much attention to it so it was going to be interesting.
We had five players, with 2 commanding the Isengard and I had two sub-commanders, neither of which had played the game or seen the rules before.
Deployment was fairly standard, with the Rohan deploying a centre of infantry, with cavalry on each flank. It was a tight squeeze and a 10 foot table would probably have been more appropriate.
The Isengard deployed with the Trolls and Beserkers on the their right, facing down the Rohan cavalry, with the main Uruk formations in the centre with Saruman leading and their Scouts and cavalry on the other flank.

Looking at deployment it was clear from the start that the Rohan left flank was a write off, as there was no way the cavalry could defeat the trolls, and not enough room on the table to redeploy in ay meaningful way.
Early game saw a cautious advance from the Rohan and a rush across the table from the Isengarders.
At this point we began to realise just how powerful magic is in this game, as Saruman and the two Uruk Shamen began to blow massive holes in the Rohan centre.
Rohan tried to counter with shooting but the Isengard army was full of high toughness, high resilience troops and it was not terribly effective.  By the time combat was joined the Rohan centre was pretty much destroyed, with a mopping up exercise being carried out by the Uruk's  The Trolls started to work their way through the Rohan cavalry on the left flank, without the Rohan being able to do much of anything about it.
On the Rohan right things were going slightly better, but not much. Failing to get priority for pretty much the whole game bar the first turn left the cavalry in a difficult position, and they were unable to capitalise on their superior charges.
Late game saw some minor success, but basically the game had been decided. The King of Rohan and his bodyguards were wiped out by the Trolls, along with the rest of the cavalry on that flank (the Trolls between them managed to pretty much wipe out that Rohan flank single headedly), while on the Rohan right the Uruk scouts had all been destroyed but some rotten dice rolls had ensured that Erkenbrand's Riders Had been seen off by Sharku's hunters.

The Rohan army at the end, give or take....
We called it at 10pm as there really wasn't enough Rohan left on the board to do anything, and they would just have been killed by the wizards anyway.
Upon reflection the game as not the complete disaster that it at first appeared to be. All that was left of the Isengard force were the troops that Rohan had no answer for, namely the Trolls and the Uruk Warband under the protection of Saruman.  Apart from that the army did not do too badly, especially when you consider that it was a cavalry army and we lost priority for pretty much the entire game.
A good game, played differently than I would normally approach it, which is always a good thing to try.  This was more of a Warhammer Fantasy Battle style game, with powerful magic and monsters.
A few mistakes were made with regards to the rules and what re-roles are allowed by what, but it was a very hectic evening, with a lot going on at the table at once, all needing my attention.
 In the context of the game I am not sure how I feel about that kind of powerful magic being present in the game. There are very few wizards in the forces of good, and most of them are named characters but I do not want to feel compelled to bring a member of the Istari every time the Rohan go to battle as I'm sure they have other things they could be doing.
  My gaming in Middle Earth has always taken a "historical" approach, in that I always tried to capture the feel of the books and films.  Further to that I think magic does not really have any part on the battlefield, with there being only a very few magic users in middle earth, consisting mainly of the Istari, Elves and perhaps at a pinch the Nazgul.
I will keep going with my Rohan as is and see what happens in the future, but perhaps a different approach is required for this style of gaming.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Sneaky Eldar

A game of Epic already this year, and its only February!

Ric and I had a 3000point bash, my Imperial Guard against his Alaitoc Eldar.

My force consisted of:

Supreme Commander with Hydra
Mechanised Infantry with Hydra
Infantry company with Ogryn Support
Tank Company with Hydra
Artillary Platoon (Manticores)
Sentinel Squadron
Thunderbolt Fighter squadron

Ric had, from memory:

Scout detachment with Warwalkers
Guardians with Wraithlords and Wraithguards
Howling Banshees in Falcons
Striking Scorpions in Wave Serpents
Super heavies consisting of a Scorpion and a Storm Serpent
Squadron of Vypers
Squadron of fliers (I forget their name)

Deployment was fairly standard, with Eldar spread out across the field and the guard mainly in the centre, with one mechanised infantry company out on the right flank, ready to try and flank the Eldar.

Eldar forces in a neat row.

Imperial Guard in a big blob.

I decided to be aggressive this time and advanced into the middle of the bard fairly quickly, trying to shut down the amount of space the more manoeuvrable Eldar had to operate in. This proved fairly successful, with Eldat having little room to pull of their hit and run tactics.  I also tried to knock out a few tanks in each of the mechanised formations, slowing them down to the rate of the foot troops.

My tactic was fairly successful and while the game was still anyone's at the end of turn two it had not been the disaster that happened last time.  Ric had some pretty good luck and mine was about average.

I even managed to pull of an assault with the Rough Riders in this game, although it was blunted somewhat when they were given a good going over in close combat by a bunch of Guardians!

Guard left flank, looking a bit nervous!

Guard right flank, liking these odd a bit better.

We had to call it quits at the end of turn two, with neither side looking like an obvious winner, so a hard fought draw on both sides.  Its always great to get a game of Epic in, especially against Eldar, which makes it a slightly different affair from my usual games against Marines and Orks.  I have a Marine and Eldar force for Epic sitting in the garage waiting to get painted, and hopefully when Epic makes a return in the future I will be able to get the last few bits and bob needed to finish the armies, and also get myself a decent Tyranid army as well!

Nest week I am playing War of the Ring again!  Thidr  time this year and it is only February,

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

War in Middle Earth, Part2

This week we decided to have another go at War of the Rings, although this time it would only be for 1000 points, to make things a bit easier to complete.

I took last weeks 1500point lists and scaled them down a bit, with the Rohan lost looking like this:

Oathsworn Warriors (5 Companies)
Oathsworn Bowmen (2 Companies)
Riders of Rohan Eored (6 Companies)
Erkenbrands Eored (5 Companies)
Knights of Rohan (5 Companies)
Théoden, King of Rohan.

The Isengard ended up with:

Uruk Hai Phalanx (4 Companies)
Uruk Hai Warband (4 Companies)
Isengard Troll
Uruk Hai Scouts (4 Companies)
Vrasku's Talons (2 Companies)

This time we used some terrain, as I thought it might be interesting to see if anyone decided to take advantage of it, so we set up a few hills and put some ruins on the Rohan right. In the end we only made use of the hills to gain good positions for our archers and ignored the ruins, effectively shortening the table to 5 feet.

Early game started with the Eoreds on the left flank electing to stay back out of crossbow range, while the King of Rohan led the Rohan Knights forward on the right flank. The Uruk-Hai cautiously advanced, trying to close the gap.  The shooting from Rohan was very effective, with much better than average success. The Rohan were trying to get rid of the Uruk crossbows as they were likely to make a mess of the Rohan cavalry.  The King of Rohan managed one charge inot the Uruk HAi scouts, causing lots of casualties before withdrawing away out of charge range of the troll, who was lurking on the flanks. Unfortunately this let the Scouts spend a couple of turns shooting at them, witling them down to a couple of stands.

Mid game saw the Uruk crossbows finally eliminated, but not before they had made a mess of Erkenbrand's riders.  The main combat finally took place in the centre of the field, with the Uruk Hai pikemen and Scouts charging the large group of Infantry in the centre, with Théoden and his Royal Knights piling in for good measure.  This time I managed to remember to use Theodesn Epic Charge, and the knights inflicted massive casualties on the scouts, before the infantry finished them and the phalanx off, but not before taking massive casualties themselves.

On the Rohan left flank the cavalry were now working on outflanking the remaining Uruk Formation, and with only that and the troll left we decided to call it a night. 

A bad night for Isengard, with missile fire playing a big part in their defeat.  It is starting to look like the most effective unit in the Rohan force are the Infantry, which is odd considering that the cavalry are supposedly their main strength. 

Its still great to get the Lord of the Rings stuff on the table, but I still think the game needs a big table to play on as the formations can be quite large. Perhaps I need to revisit my Impetus conversion and see if I can make that work?  As always, it depends on finding the time to do it.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016

War in Middle Earth

Frazer had asked about giving the War of the Ring game a try, and I am always happy to get my Lord of the Rings collection on the table, so we set up a 1500point taster for him.
My main collection concentrates on the Isengard/Rohan part of the books, so I put together a couple of forces.  I tried to include a few options so included cavalry, infantry, a troll, one epic formation on either side and one epic hero on either side.
the Rohan Force looked like this:

Oathsworn (6 Stands)
Oathsworn Bowmen (2 Stands)
Oathsworn Bowmen (2 Stands)
Rider of Rohan Eored (6 Stands)
Rider of Rohan Eored (6 Stands)
Knights of Rohan (6 Stands)
Erkenbrand's Riders (6 Stands)
Theoden, King of Rohan

Isengard had the Following:

Uruk Hai Phalanx (4 Stands)
Uruk Hai Warband (4 stands)
Dunlending Huscarls (4 Stands)
Uruk Hai Scouts (4 Stands)
Orc Warg Riders (5 Stands)
Isengard Troll (Controversial!!!!)
Uruk Hai Berserkers (1 stand)
Vrasku's Talons (2 Stands of Uruk Crossbows)

As we were both a bit late due to the weather and it was just a rules taster we didn't bother with any terrain, so just out the models on the table and had at it.
I opted to put my cavalry on my left,. with eth infantry holding the centre and right.  Frazer deployed fairly evenly across the table, with the Troll on my left, facing my cavalry and his warg riders facing my archers on the opposite flank.
The table was quite cramped so there was not to much in the way of moving about in eth early game. I held back a bit and tried to shoot as many of the Isengard as I could, while Frazer tried to close.  The shooting was quite successful as I managed to slay the Troll in turn 2, while the Uruk crossbowmen started to inflict some hefty casualties.

Turn 3 saw the combat joined properly, with the Uruk Hai Phalanx fighting the main Rohan Infantry, the King of Rohan and his guard getting a doffing over by Lurtz and the Uruk Hai Scout getting a bloody nose from one of the Rohan Eoreds.  

Turn 4 and the berserkers charged the flank of the Rohan infantry, making a big mess in the process but the Infantry managed to finish off the Uruk Hai phalanx facing them.  the Uruk Hai scouts were finished off by one of the Rohan Eoreds. and Erkenbrand's cavalry managed to inflict a few more casualties on Uruk Hai warband led by Lurtz.
We pretty much called it at that point as it was getting late and Frazer had a pretty good grasp of the rules by then.  All in all good fun and a game that I don't get to play enough of.  I think I will try and get it on the table again quite soon, perhaps do a nice big Isen Fords battle or something...