For Game Three, it was back to the Easterling alliance. I already described in a previous post what I wanted to do with this army, and how it was supposed to operate. When I saw that dwarves were the opponent, I was both upbeat and nervous.
I knew that I could move almost 3 times as fast as the dwarves with my cav and chariots, with my infantry also moving nearly double the stunties. However, they would have lots of attacks, the high defense and fight skill, along with the throwing axes.
Normally, you could maneuver around that, and pick your spot to attack. As you can see by the terrain, that was going to be tough to accomplish. There were not a lot of places the cav and chariots could go, which was going to make getting at the dwarves difficult. The scenario was Lords of Battle, so killing dwarves was the primary way to get victory points!
I had my same bonus card as the previous 2 games. I figured I should be able to make that happen, but the dice would not be on my side in this match.
Here is the deployment. Student body left for me, trying to avoid the massed dwarf bows for at least 1 turn.
I used the drum to move everybody up in terms of infantry, so that I would not be relying only on cavalry charges. I also figured that it would split some of the dwarf bow fire. As usual, though, all the shots would go against the chariots. That was helpful for me.
Note the red dwarves on the left. You will be seeing those guys again.
Anyway, my hope was to either surround the dwarves, or run back and forth in front of them in an attempt to get them to spread out.
Given the terrain, spreading them out was not going to work, since they could essentially 'hide' in the swamps. Yes, it cut down their move, but I would lose any charge bonus for the cavalry, giving them a 2 to 1 edge in attacks. Bow shots miss. A lot. Ping off chariots. A lot.
At this point, I said the heck with it an said it was go time. The red dice (as usual) indicate cav charges. You can also see that I was able to get a fair amount of infantry into the mix, so that the cav and chariots were not on their own.
I do a little bit of damage in the initial assault, but not as much as I would have liked. This is where repeated loss of priority was gonna screw me...
One reason I wanted to engage as I did was to minimize all those archers standing around on the left hand side of the board. I discussed in both of the other games. Now that everything was pretty much engaged, the archers would have to take a lot of time to get around towards the hand to hand fighting.
I was learning a lot about Iron Guard and Khazad Guard and such. Despite that higher fight skill, and a banner to boot, I was able to keep thinning down the dwarves. even break points were starting to enter the discussion...
As you can tell by the blue priority disk, the dwarves were stubbornly hanging on to it. I am able to get some charges, and keep whittling down dwarves. I had a slight lead on the casualty count. Could I actually pull this off?
Well, it all came down to the last turn. I was 1 away from the break point, while he was 2 away. Our regular troops traded kills, which meant that it would be up to the Khandish King to get that final kill. If he did so, I would get a 2 point win on casualty count, since both armies would be broken.
Since he had a fight skill of 4 and a strength of 4 (and 4 dice to roll for wounds), things were looking good! Just one '5' was all that I needed.
Sadly, all I rolled were ones and twos. I had no might left, since I was forced to use it all up with the repeated loss of priority. That meant that I was only +2 on the casualty count, and he was still one away from breaking.
The dwarves got the +3 bonus for not being broken, giving them a 1 point win. Ouch.
That would end the day with a pair of 1 point losses, which is not exactly what I had hoped for.
I knew going in that LOTR is a lot like Blood Bowl, where games all too often come down to one single roll of the dice (especially in smaller games like these). That's why I don't play much Blood Bowl any more :-)
Of course, I realized that I was facing armies I had never seen before, and that learning curve was going to be painful at times. Tomorrow would see a significant change, as I started to go up against things that were more familiar, and some improved rolls! Stay tuned for Day Two, the Revenge of the Blood Rose!!!