Tuesday, 30 December 2014

Face-off 2014 1st round Tower of Ecthelion Vs Rivendell

The men have a move rate advantage, a wounding advantage needing 4's and 5's, if they have charged, while the elves need 6's to kill but 5's to de-horse, which could be an better option. But the elves have higher fight and courage values so will be tough to break down into single fights, where the knights would excel.

Tower of Ecthelion Vs Rivendell (Contest of Champions) 

A fell light falls upon the field, allowing the knights to
run circles around the rocks and shrubbery
One such knight gets over excited and is thrown off his steed from a 
mistimed jump. The elf captain orders his warriors in a defensive position.
The Knights charge regardless, smashing into the elven phalanx
Leaving one knight and elf spliced in two, while the captain attacks hither
and thither unable to push the mighty elven shields aside.
So he urges his men into them again
The elven captain laughs in the faces of them while stabbing the
nearest rider in the chest. A knight also manages to kill one of
the more resistant elves.
The elves take advantage of the clearly inept men, springing on them
unaware, but to little effect.
The men of Gondor retain their composure and attack all of the elves

And the knight captain cuts down one elf, as his warriors 
bring down two more. The elf captain seeing only half his warriors
left, slices through a man.

The Knights are ordered to halt the advances of the elf captain,
as their captain cleans up the other elves
But they can only oppress one of the elves from their courage
"Stand fast" calls the elven captain, although it is probably not needed,
then they are swiftly surrounded by knights

Which is the last order from the captain as three lances puncture his flesh.

The knight captain must kill this elf or his men will ask questions
about his leadership, having only killed one elf so far
But no questions shall be asked yet as his sword splits the elf in two
And with that last kill, the Gondorian captain draws level with the Elf. Making it a draw between forces:

Tower of Ecthelion = 15
Rivendell = 7

Gondor captain = 2 (2)
Elven Captain = 2 (2)

The Elves were smart to defend the back of the field, otherwise the knights would have trapped and killed them easily with their lances.
However the knights couldn't perform well as the higher fight value and shielding from the elves prevented them winning fights and using lances at all therefore halting a destructive charge.
But this only worked for so long, as the back wall trapped the elves and could be more easily cut down.

So the knights will face the Isengard raiders next but before that, revenge battles:
The Easterlings against Cirth Ungol in Domination
and Théoden's host against the serpent horde in a contest of champions.

Until then


Saturday, 27 December 2014

Face-off 2014 1st round Erebor Vs Isengard raiders

The uruk-hai don't have the statistical advantage needing 6's to wound any of the dwarf warriors (except Lurtz), even then he could be outclassed by the high defence enemy captain. Especially when they only need 4's or 5's to wound them, so the extra two models have to make a large difference...

Erebor Vs Isengard raiders (Meeting Engagement)

The dwarves form a marching line
The uruks aim to pepper them with arrows

One uruk moves around to flank the dwarf line

But the dwarves crash into the uruk shields
but the melee results in nothing
Lurtz engages a guard while the captain stands off the archers
Who promptly fire arrows through a guards facemask catching him
unawares and another khazad guard is caught off balance in fighting
Lurtz orders all his warriors into the dwarves, giving no quarter
The captain kicks away Lurtz and slices through the two nearby uruks
In the line dwarves and uruks are killed alike, with the dwarves
giving to much of their quarter to the uruks
The dwarves are surrounded quickly by Lurtz' warriors
The uruk warrior stabs the captain while Lurtz occupies his attention
Another guard succumbs and the other fights back

The last two are engulfed by the enemy warriors

And are quickly dispatched with ease
This reduces the dwarves below 25% and gives the raiders the victory!

After the dwarves took casualties and didn't respond quickly, they lost too much of their wounding advantages from not being able to win fights against multiple opponents, so got surrounded and killed.
Raiders = 18
Erebor = 4
Lurtz = 2 (2)
Dwarf captain = 2 (2)
This means they will now face either the Men of Gondor or the Elves in the next round.
Which is the next battle up... 

Until then


Monday, 22 December 2014

Face-off 2014 teams and analysis

Over the next few weeks I shall be doing another Face-off tournament
The rules are the same as before:

  • 150pt teams
  • No more than 15 participants in favour of the warband rules
  • One hero who can be generic
  • Victory conditions are scenario specific

  • This years Face-off shall include:


    A dwarf captain with shield leads six khazad guard and two dwarves with shield. This is an average numbers of troops, they have high defence values and the khazad guard strength 4 so should be able to deal with heavy armour decently. Only move rate should be an issue for turn dependent scenarios.

    Isengard raiders

    After reaching the final last time around, so the force remains the same: Lurtz followed by ten uruk-hai, seven with shields, three with bows. A good mix of strength, fight value and numbers. Lurtz is as sufficient in combat as using a bow so will have to be against a superior hero to negate his assets.

    The Easterlings

    After abysmal showings in both of the last years Face-offs, the force remains similar, but the archers are dropped giving the captain a shield, all the nine infantry shields and three spears. The numbers should be better utilised here, at least against strength three, otherwise they'll be torn apart.

    The Serpent Horde

     A winning performance by the serpent lord himself won the tournament easily the last time of entering, so he retains his place along with his guard, hoping to at least reach the finals, hoping that the scenarios are not orientated around numbers.

    Tower of Ecthelion

    The slow dwarves ran rings around then two tournaments ago, they have changed their style a lot to an all out attack. A captain on horse-back leads a guard of six Knights of Minas Tirith with shields hoping to break the enemy forces in one fell strike. This is a brave strategy for scenarios with kill limits so one or two turns can destroy the bulwark of enemy troops, but this is a disadvantage for longer scenarios where numbers may be required to win objectives.


    An elven captain with heavy armour leads seven elves, five with spear and shield, two with blades. The shields will form a high fight value, high courage resilient wall while the captain and blades cut through the flanking forces. Against a large number of enemies this will become less effective, but will be prevalent against smaller forces in longer skirmishes.

    Cirth Ungol

    Shagrat takes back the lead with a shield so should be able face most of the enemy leaders. He brings eleven orcs, one with banner to gain combat advantages in longer skirmishes, and the other ten orcs aim to swarm the force trapping them against themselves.

    Théoden's host
    Erkenbrand retains his place despite not making a single kill last time, his horn and three might points will be dearly needed. He has four royal guard with throwing spears, and five warriors with shields and throwing spears too. One of the larger forces here, although not by much, aiming to strike the enemy with throwing spears reducing numbers before the fight phase where Erkenbrand's horn can come into play.

    Of the forces here, The Isengard raiders and Théoden's host will probably stand a better chance of winning the tournament. Although Tower of Ecthelion and the serpent horde have outside chances too, having overbalanced forces either too much invested in the hero or a unit only with a specific skill set eg.charging, which could work if other forces winning or having well suited scenarios in their favour.
    The battle order:
    Erebor Vs Isengard Raiders (Meeting Engagement)

    Tower of Ecthelion Vs Rivendell (Contest of Champions)

    Easterlings Vs Cirth Ungol (Domination)

    The serpent horde Vs Théoden's host (Contest of Champions)

    Until then


    Thursday, 18 December 2014

    A seasonal return

    Seasons greetings blog fans!

    After a long term, it's time for my version of this year's games, but first the last paintings of the year:

    Khazad Guard

    The paint scheme was pretty simple, considering that these were very quickly painted.

    Blue cloth - (1:0 , 3:1 , 2:1 , 1:1 , 0:1) Regal blue to Calendor sky
    Brown cloth and leathers - (1:0 , 2:1, 1:1 , 1:2 , 0:1) Rhinox hide to Mournfang brown
    Note: some were highlighted again using different mixes of steel legion drab

    Metals 1 - Wash of Boltgun metal, a black wash then drybrush with Runefang steel
    Metals 2 - Gehenna's gold

    Flesh - (1:0 , 1:1 , 1:2 , 0:1) Mournfang brown to Ratskin flesh

    These were painted more simply and crudely than I would've liked, but they shall have to do for now...

    Until then


    Wednesday, 15 October 2014

    Siege of Gondor - A Review

    After five battles it seems like the Gondorians came out just on top.
    With two minor and a major victory, against two major victories.

    Although I did complete the Epilogue, the pyre of Denethor, a school-boy error in the game meant the result was inconclusive.

    Now I'll go through some of the tactics that I learnt and tried to employ, some huge mistakes and points to be learnt from.


    Some struggles here
    Objectives - Models entered sides of the board on a D6 system. So try to place models, when you get the chance, as close to key fighting points and near objectives to win the game.
    Rather than trying to win smaller skirmishes in the corners of the field and deploying near them, Losing means enemy models will simply need more turns to reach objectives.

    Orc traffic through Osgiliath
    Travel routes - The orcs moved through the ruined city in groups of three to six, which means they can be flexible to disperse your troops in key places and effectively deal with the Gondorian defences. 

    One of the mistakes here was that the objectives were unfairly placed, the orcs could get more easily to three of them, while the Men could only get easily to one of them.

    Act One

    The Gondorians guard the palisade very thinly
    Hold the line - Initially I thought that the Gondorians could hold the line at the palisade and prevent the orcs getting more than two objectives. However the morannons promptly cut down one or two of the defenders, easily as they need 4's and 5's to wound, and the entire flank collapsed equals loss.
    The line was too thin. So maybe a better strategy would be to try and hold the two keeps?
    Bar the gate - Placing a group of men with Faramir at the gate to prevent any of the ladders getting through, would not only delay the ladders arrival at the walls, but give plenty of shooting opportunities for the archers and rangers

    Two-pronged attack on the sparsely numbered men
    Two pronged - Have small groups of morannons to break the line, and help the other orcs breach the palisade. After breaking the defensive line, victory should be easy with superior numbers.
    Stubburn defence - If they defend the keeps, get a small contingent, 12 warriors plus two captains to hold the gate while the ladders are ferried through, use the contingent to shield the ladders approach to attack the main keep, the rest of the orcs attack the ruined keep.

    Beregond was used as a proxy for Damrod, and the captain of Gondor for 6 warriors of Minas Tirith.

    Act Two
    The defender needs to prevent the gate from being breached, the siege bow and ram will do it within 6-8 turns with no resistance, then Gothmog and the captains should easily kill any defenders at the gate. 
    Orcs are ordered over to the siege bow assisting the
    lone crew-member in firing at the gate
    So shoot down ram and bow crew with the rangers and archers, each delayed turn is important. The ladders should be simple enough to hold, focus on pushing down ladders over surrounding any enemy models that make it onto the ramparts.

    The opposite are the pointers for the attacker if crew members are being constantly killed it will take nine or ten turns to get attackers on the ramparts.
    The archers fire on the ram-crew downing two of them,
    as they smash a small opening in the gate
    Kill archers on the wall with the orcs. Fortunately the orc archers in my game killed all four of the rangers. Have a couple of orcs stationed as untrained crew in the case of on of the crew being killed. If you do get models on the ramparts, engage as many defenders as possible and draw archers into fights.

    Act Three
    The easiest two objectives are to stay above 25% and to prevent 10 or more models getting behind the ramparts. If Faramir is saved in the knights charge then even better.
    The Knights charge takes more orcs out of the ladder carrying picture
    Holding up ladders - The knights although they are saving Faramir, can delay each ladder while they have sallied forth, they are little use behind walls. So by engaging ladders delays them by two turns minimum, assuming they are killed upon charging.
    The captain holding the ladders on the southern flank back
    Captain of Knights - Having a hero sally forth with the knights allows for a greater priority influence, which means they can have charge bonuses and maybe even save Faramir.
    But the bolt thrower gets the last kill
    Bolt Thrower - Equipping this with swift reload, can make for some interesting killing, aiming at the right battlefield targets, ram crew, morannons and heroes can stall the ram, and wound harder to kill models.
    The knights and rangers are almost eradicated, Gothmog orders his
    minions into the full assault with a clear stream of orcs coming to the field
    Although the Mordor player gets all dead returned to the field edge, at some point models returning will not be able to reach the walls before turn fifteen.
    Furthermore the returning orcs will be in small groups which are easier for archers and the defenders to deal with.

    Half-out attack -The Mordor player needs to carry two-thirds of the ladders, four, and use the remaining orcs to shield them from the knights assault.

    One of the mistakes here was that, a ladder carrier cannot fight after dropping a burden, unless charged, as several of the orcs broke this.

    Act Four

    Kill the Trolls! - The main threat to the defender is the presence of trolls, two Mordor trolls should be used both for pushing the towers. If two trolls try to go through the gate, they will be stalled by the defenders and their own battering ram. Which if stopped a troll should try to break through the gate.
    Another ladder is dropped as the first siege tower reaches the wall
    Limited orcs - Unlike the previous act, you have a finite number of orcs. If the defender stalls the attack, they can pepper you with arrows and the assault will fall short. You may have to abandon ladders so the assault can progress at all.
    And ladders are thrown up. The witch-king shouts "Your staff is broken",
    but this is lost in the background battle noises 
    Duel of casters - Try not to break Gandalf, it will take to long or have little effect as he is just as good in the scenario without the staff. Focus on killing crew members, Beregond and controlling individual defenders from pushing down ladders, immobilising them etc...
    The troll chief pushes down the gate, and  through three men
    Keep the gate - This is the main access point on the field, if breached let a troll fill the gap, preventing the other orcs getting behind too *evil laugh*. Although it may kill many so keep reinforcements coming down from the ramparts.
    The bolt thrower and archers volley, taking down five orcs.
    Gandalf casts a spell, lifting an orb of blinding light around the men nearby
    Archery - The easiest way to win. Keep a two-one kill ratio so the raised ladders can be met with two shielder-s rather than one man against a captain. Aim to kill bearers on one ladder than single on all of them and use the bolt thrower on the ram crew, prevent the ram getting to the gate.
    Furthermore as a defender you want at least 24 warriors of Minas Tirith for the last two scenarios, as an attacker, try to have 50% of all infantry as morannons for all the battles.

    Next time shall be some time over Christmas when the Face-off will be revisited once more...

    Until then


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