When we last left our intrepid Elven heroes, they were in a desperate fight against a horde of orcs, led by a Ringwraith on a dreaded Fell Beast. Despite the repeated theft of the initiative by the foul servants of Mordor, the mastery of Elven weapons had swayed the casualty count in their favor, whittling down the orc numbers, especially on the left flank.
The Elves managed to win critical combats... including a Galadhrim knight against the fell beast!
On the right side, Gwaihir had been swarmed over by the raging elite orcs. The fury of the shaman meant that no courage tests had to be made. It would be up to my last Stormcaller to keep the Greatest of all Eagles from becoming an endangered species.
In a critical move, Delilah called a heroic action. She burst out from in front of the tower, and issued her Nature's wrath spell. As luck would have it, all of the orcs in contact with Gwaihir (including the banner bearer) were knocked down, missing the shaman. Their puny minds could not resist the blast the knocked all of them to the ground, freeing up Gwaihir for a charge on the hapless shaman!
On the left, the Eolves continue to win combats, and kill off orcs. The numbers become more favorable, but Grishnak continues to elude death.
Unfortunately Gwaihir fails to wound the squishy shaman, and is then transfixed by the evil fell beast. It would not be the last time, unfortunately. This is where I got a real demonstration of a Wraith able to run amok. He was by far Rich's most useful character in all the games we have played. Rich knew that I knew what he wanted to do, but still made that happen. Kudos to Rich!
Of course, I was also finding out what adding one horse with a banner could do! Wow. Note: the red '6's that you see by the cavalry indicate that they charged, gaining the +1 attack and double knock down dice).
The Elves on the left were laying waste to the orcs, whose numbers were further reduced when the shaman sacrificed one of their number to regain his lost will. That would be beneficial and costly at the same time...
With his renewed will, the Shaman recast fury, which once again meant that Gwaihir would be swamped by smelly orcs. Unfortunately, this time he would also be transfixed and attacked by the fell beast! No more Gwaihir... My archers on the tower failed miserably to kill the banner bearer. I put 12 shots into him, and only did one wound. A nearby orc picked up the banner. Grrr, no +2 victory points for me...
I was worried that the Eagle was gone, as I saw him as my main response tool for the fell beast. However, the Wraith had been doing a lot of casting and been in several combats. His stock of will was running dangerously low.
It seemed to take forever to kill off Grishnak. Actually, it did. I rolled 25 strength 4 wound rolls, and he never suffered a wound! One tough cookie! I was getting nervous, since I needed to bring all that valuable cavalry (along with Seregond) over to the right side, where Knights of the Blood Rose were falling rapidly.
At last, Grishnak is felled, and everyone dashes to the right. Delilah failed to cast her last Nature's Fury, so she abandoned her staff for a sword, and fought the elite orc captain to a draw.
More girl power on display as Delilah takes on the fell beast and WINS! Now the cavalry, as the saying goes, was coming to the rescue. The charge bonus, and the banner in particular, were key. The orcs reached their break point at last. The Shaman still had fury, but all the orcs outside his range wet their raggedy pants and headed back to Mordor.
Even the Ringwraith failed his roll, needing to spend might, and more will for the price of those combats. Since it was another +3 points to me if he died, the servant of Sauron flew away from the Dreaded blades of Delilah. Who says Eowyn is the only girl out there who can take on a Fell Beast?
Eventually the orcs drop down to 25%, and the game ends. Rich gains a +1 for wounding Seregond. It's a wash on banners, but I get a whopping +5 for not being broken, yeilding a nice victory for the Knights of the Blood Rose. The MVP's of the match were Delilah and Grishnak, respectively.
Once more, Nature's wrath was not cast many times, but the few times it worked out, it was a game saver. It was very scary to lose priority every turn except for turn 1 of a 10 turn game! It could have been very ugly. Fortunately, the Elves high weapon skill saved the day. I guess it was not so bad that all those will and might points were spent killing the eagle. Had the banner been transfixed and killed, it could have cost the Elves the game.
I always tell myself to discount archery, no matter how good it is on paper. I did expect more from the elf bowmen this time. More target practice is in order, I think!