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


Saturday, 11 October 2014

Act Four - The Siege of Minas Tirith

The defence of the Rammas had halted the orc vanguard, Gothmog had to reconstruct the assault on Minas Tirith. The Witch-king wasn't pleased only satisfied the Gondor could be felled in one final blow. However the Nazgul still had to consider the wizard in his plans. So he would have to break him...

The bolt thrower and archers volley, taking down five orcs.
Gandalf casts a spell, lifting an orb of blinding light around the men nearby

More orcs are cut down by the swathe of projectiles. Gothmog orders the ram
 to be dropped, the archers are killing too many orcs
The siege bow crumples a portion of the gate into splinters.
The defenders claim six more orcs to their arrows and bolt.
The siege bow turn on the bolt thrower and bolts through on of the crew.
A warrior takes up the charge, but the number of orcs killed is reduced.
Another ladder is dropped as the first siege tower reaches the wall

And ladders are thrown up. The witch-king shouts "Your staff is broken",
but this is lost in the background battle noises 

A ladder is cast down, while orcs ascend the other. The witch king shouts
the same spell again, but Gandalf easily resists

A ladder approaches the wall, as another orc is cut down. While two
captains duel on the tower-top, the man getting the better of the orc

The other siege tower and ladder are placed to the wall
but a defence is prepared.

The two captains duel longer, two orcs being the casualties, one more orc is shot

The orc captain vaults over the ramparts stabbing the helpless men behind it
The orc in the captains duel gets the better and carves the man to pieces
Gandalf's voice thunders over all else as he blasts two orcs back
Another orc captain makes his way onto the ramparts
The southern wall defenders are attacked on both sides
The troll chief pushes down the gate, and  through three men
One fall either side on the northern section

One fall either side here to, as more orcs try to
find a foothold in the defences
The defenders scramble around trying to slow the flow of orcs.
As one orc and a man are downed
The orc captain is surrounded but pushes the attacks back,
whilst the Gondorian fairs better pushing an orc from the ladder
The orc captain succumbs, a ladder is pushed off the ramparts
and Gandalf stabs an orc
The troll tired of the defenders, crushes a couple and swats out at three more.
A handful of the defenders see the break in their lines and rush to the gate
One orc hastens down the steps, as two orcs and men are felled by the
gatehouse by arrows and swords
The attack has weakened here

The Men here hold the orc captains
Although the gate had been breached and the southern wall section taken, Gothmog knew that the assault was far from complete. The Grey-fool had held the Men of Gondor in check.
From afar horns could be heard in the rising sun. Rohan had come. His orcs were engaged on the walls and couldn't retreat. There were several companies of orcs positioned on the northern flank, the Rohirrim had broken through them like wheat. The host was trapped against the Gondorian walls like an anvil, and the riders of Rohan were the hammer folding over the orc lines tearing the assault apart as the moved, killing, maiming, carving. Routing.

Until then


Sunday, 5 October 2014

Act Three - The Rammas

With Cair Andros and Osgiliath overrun, Faramir prepares a small desperate defence upon the walls of the Rammas to stall the assault on Minas Tirith. Along with Damrod and a handful of rangers that are fleeing from the enemy attack which had been formed hastily by Gothmog, although more of the Mordorian vanguard enter the field as the fighting progresses. One of the Gondorian captains takes to his horse with a contingent of knights, to rescue Faramir from the clutches of the orcs. If Faramir falls, Minas Tirith is doomed.

The Knights file out
Faramirs company is catch by the warg riders

With Damrod getting cleaved to the ground and a warg paling

More orcs enter the field as the ladders draw closer,
several of the bearers are tactically killed
The Knights enter the fray, as Gothmog and one of the captains
charge into the melee
More orcs are cut but bolts and arrows, yet they can only kill one of the rangers
The Knights charge, breaks up the attack on the southern flank
A ladder is abandoned to kill the knight, while Faramir makes it
closer to the gate, and to safety

The Knights charge takes more orcs out of the ladder carrying picture

But one makes it to the wall, where a number of the defenders have gathered
The ram finally starts moving closer to the gate, as more of the knights
and rangers are surrounded and cut down by the reinforcements
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

Ladders are pushed down and up, while the other orcs are shot at

The captain holding the ladders on the southern flank back

But in the northern section the orcs make a foothold

More heroics from the captain
The foothold is lost, while more orcs are felled to arrows
The captain caves in, as another ladder is pushed up
One orc is shoved off the southern ladder, the siege bow
 cuts a hole in the gate and more orcs are cut from the ram

Another foothold established on the ramparts

But two of the ladders are thrown off the walls, while the
captain tries to secure the position

One more ladder is shoved from the wall, as another is picked up
The orc captains make their mark in central wall section, carving through four men

And the ram smashes through the gate, leaving the defenders flondering

But two more ladders are thrown down encouraging
the defenders

Gothmog issues through the gate and the company of orcs cut
down one of defenders

More orcs climb atop the ramparts, while the men behind hurry to
intercept them

Man and orc are surrounded by each other
More orcs pour through the gateway, the defenders struggling to hold them
Either side taking casualties
One viscous melee leaves two more corpses for either side

But the bolt thrower gets the last kill
Gothmog sees defeat glinting in the eyes of the men as they hurry from the ramparts and gatehouse, he orders a small contingent of orcs to kill the routers. The Gondorians had inflicted a heavy wounds on the orc vanguard, too many of the orcs lie prone on the floor and half as many men. It would take another day to set up the attack on the walls of Minas Tirith. The Nazgul would not be pleased.

Until then


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