Friday, October 5, 2012

The Axles of Evil: Thundering hooves sound the Death of Gondor

Today's first match was back to the Khandish / Easterling alliance vs Rich's Gondor.  You can see the forces arrayed here.  You can see the Kataphracts, the Black Dragons, and the chariots, led by the King.

Rich's army, featuring the thrice killed Faramir, as well as some rangers.  He borrowed some army of the dead to go along with his Dol Amroth knights.

I was curios to see how this would work, as he outnumbered me 41-23!  The scenario was To The Death, where it is basically a kill 'em all sort of deal.  In some ways, his massive outnumbering could work to my advantage if I could isolate sections of his army.  Rich deployed his rangers in the woods (huge surprise!).

Here is the rest of the deployment.  My whole army deployed in or behind the building, while Rich had units up front on either side.

I knew he wanted to shoot the snot out of me with the archers, so I figured I would hide as long as I could until I could engage him, and make the bows useless.  Since I had the drum, I could move 13 with the mounted units, and 9 with my infantry!

On the first turn, I made a big move towards his Faramir lead troops.  I wanted to see what he would do with those guys.  I had no intention of going after them, since I could never get the numbers over there.  Instead, the ghosts and swans seemed like a tastier target...

I was still able to keep the building between me and the archers.  For good measure, the War priest cast fury.

Once the Faramir units went backwards, trying to draw me out, I decided to use the drum and go student body right, after the Ghosts and Swans.  I left behind all the heavy hitters behind the building so that he could not ignore that flank.  It was risky, since dividing the army in front of a numerically superior foe is a no no!  Also, I was leaving behind my fury, whcih would have given me protection from terror and random bow fire.

However, I was able to keep enough terrain between me and the archers to minimize any potential damage.  Also, I moved out the King's men on the left to draw some bow shots into the multi-wound, fate and fury bunch... Rich had a lot of unfortunate rolls, to say the least.  You can tell by all the "fired"

The Good force got priority, but I used might to charge the AoD and Swans.  I failed 3 tests, but enough guys made it so that the pikemen could pile in!  The King;s men went back behind the house.

The fights didn't go as well as planned for me this turn, but I was now surrounding the Ghosts and Swans.  The next turn would be the Big One as Faramir's boys continued to skedaddle to the rear...

Here it is.  I passed all the fear tests, as my guys wanted to say hi to Casper the friendly ghost.  Some Swans won combats by sheilding, but that was more delaying the inevitable.

The Army of the Dead showed all their weaknesses, which is the low fight skill and no protection against massed strength 4 attacks.  In some cases, I was rolling 6 to 12 wounding dice.  Not much can survive that!

What remains of the Ghosts and Swans is getting hammered.  The Swan captain miraculously survives, but is using fate, which still counts as victory points in this scenario.  My King stays lurking behind the building, preventing any shots coming his way.

The end comes quickly for the last of the Ghosts and Swans.

I do a final charge on the right, and whack the lone Gondor warrior on the left.  It's all about piling up casualties at this point, and staying in combat to eliminate bow shots.  More bad rolls for the archers render them a major bust.

The Faramir units high tail it towards the building, so the King keeps backing up, with the thought of moving to the one side of the building at the crossroads to hit the smaller Gondor unit with no Faramir.  That would get them to a break point, and provide more easy kills.

Now that the last Swan knight is dead, all of my units do a massive drum fed move to the right.  Now the archers are in big danger, and they even start to fall to chariot bow fire!

At this point, Faramir had had enough, and headed back to Minas Tirith.  There was not much need to play out the rest of the game, since I had amassed a 15-2 lead in kill points!  The strength of men (if it ever existed) was fading fast! 

This was the nail in the coffin, so to speak, of the Army of the dead.  For the high points cost, you can easily counter any advantage with a combination of much lower priced units.  Sadly, these will likely only see the table again in a special scenario that we create ourselves.

The stunning mobility of this army was the key.  I could move so fast, staying away from his nasty units, away from bow fire, and getting into position to isolate and destroy smaller chunks of the opposing army.  While I was outnumbered by almost 20, the extra attack generated by the cavalry and chariots actually make that number even.  When they start knocking guys down, it actually gives me a huge numerical advantage at the point of attack.


  1. Thanks for a really entertaining battle report.

    I have some of the Lord of the Rings miniatures in my collection, although I've never played any iteration of the tabletop game.

    But i love skirmish games and reading your last several games has really piqued my interest.

    May I ask, which version of the LotR rules you are using..?

    1. This is the strategy battle skirmish game. We are using the six "official" scenarios that are featured in the front section of every new faction book. We have tried 5 of them at least twice each.

      These are all 600 point games. We prefer much larger games with a special theme of scenario (mostly in campaign form), of 1000-1500 points. Since this is tournament prep, we are stuck with that size for now...

  2. This is Rich the "good" player. I made some serios errors in this game and was never able to recover. Spliting my army was the biggest mistake. Jim uses this high speed army of his like a surgon uses a scaple, he kills key units one at a time until you have nothing of use left. I pity his oppenents in the 600 pt. tourney in November. Well played Jim.

    1. Rich has generously volunteered to be the sparring partner in all this. He is constantly writing new and very different lists (sometimes two in a day) to test out thet armies I have, while I am using the same, finely honed killing machine lists. :-)

      Many thanks, Rich!!

  3. Replies
    1. Now I just have to figure out what sort of names each of my Easterlings should have! Do I go Chinese or Indian. I decided that Khand will have Mongol style names...

    2. Maybe go even more exotic with something like Tibetan or Khmer?

    3. Oooh... As I was typing that, I had thought that tibetan might be a more exotic name group. However, going with Khmer could be even more intyeresting. Gee, talk about being the Khmer Rouge ofMiddle Earth!

      The major story point of the army (as told from the King's viewpoint) is that he is both impressed and appalled by his Easterling allies. They are fanatical and unwavering in their belief of Sauron. He see the rewards they have reaped, but the effect on their culture horrifies him...