Monday, 31 July 2017

Lord of the Rings battle Report:

Last club night we played some LOTR, I've already discussed my options and the set up for the games but here are the two armies I used:

For the 500 point game I used The Glittering Host Army List originally published in White Dwarf but updated in the Free Peoples source book. It's essentially the armoured forces of Lothlorien, like the ones who turned up at Helm’s Deep, it consisted of:

Warband 1:
    • Celeborn, King of Lothlorien (heavy armour, Elven blade and shield)
    • 4 Galadhrim knights with Elven blades and shields Warriors with bows
    • 4 Galadhrim Warriors with spears and shields
    • 3 Galadhrim Warriors with Elven blades
    • 1 Galadhrim Warrior with banner

Warband 2:
    • Galadhrim Captain (armoured horse, Elven blade and shield)
    • 4 Galadhrim knights with Elven blades and shields
    • 2 Galadhrim knights with Elven blades, Elf bows and shields
The plan was that Warband 1 would always deploy on the table because Warband 2, with their 12” move, were much more mobile and would be able to get in position faster than if they deployed the other way around. I settled on Celeborn because he's a good character killer and the banner bearer will give a nice boost. I plan to move this Warband around as a bit of a phalanx with the archers taking up good covering positions and using their range to thin out the enemy ranks before the rest engage.

For the 200 point game I used the Thranduil’s Halls list from the Desolation of Smaug source book.
Warband 1:
    • Tauriel
    • 8 Mirkwood Rangers

I did not expect this list to be competitive in a 4 way fight just fun for me and annoying for my opponents, with plenty of cover on the table their Elven cloaks would make them almost impossible to shoot and with their knife fighter rules (+1 A for each enemy in base contact, up to +3A) they were rarely going to be outnumbered in terms of dice being rolled in close combat and their high Fight value means they should beat most rank and file enemies. Tauriel is also a really strong character with D5 and a good stock of MWF. She has a ramped up version of knife fighter (+1A for every model in base contact with her) and her insertion into the story for romantic purposes really bugs people so she can become a bit of a distraction for them.  
(Note - I used this list two weeks ago in a 4 way game and got smashed by some Dwarven throwing axes…)

We decided on a 90 minute time limit and my first opponent was a pure Easterlings force with lots of warriors and a smattering of cavalry, there was also a War Priest who caused me some headaches. We were playing mission 2 which is a take and hold objective game. 5 points were set up around the board with each one being worth 3VP if you held uncontested and 1VP if it was contested but you outnumbered the enemy. I deployed and split my army into 4 pieces. 2 Archers and a spearman were tasked with holding each of the objectives in my half whilst the cavalry and the rest of the infantry advanced to claim the third in the middle. The extra movement in my Galadhrim Knights (they move 12”, not 10”) gave me much greater reach and I was able to kite his Army around his table edge, dashing from one side to the other and forcing him to react rather than make a move himself. This meant I could consolidate a strong position on the central objective with Celeborn holding the line. Using this tactic also meant his leader was effectively neutralised. Because he was constantly being moved to counter my cavalry threat he didn't end up participating in any combat and was basically a waste of 150 points! 

In the later stages of the game I advanced my remaining knight and an archer on one of his flank objectives, stealing it in the penultimate turn after shooting down one of his Kataphracti and then successfully charging the other to clear the objective. It was a really good contest and a very enjoyable game. I came out with a 9-3 win for controlling 3 objectives outright and him controlling 1, the central objective was split with 3 models each within 3”. 

There were some eye boggling moments of shooting in the game with his archers performing some spec-ops levels of sniping and similarly my archers picked off some of his most heavily armoured units at crucial points in the game. Overall I was pleased with how the list functioned. The mounted captain was a weakness, the extra might point that named heroes give you is vital to make cavalry effective and I had to use them early to get some key charges in. The only 3M character who can take a horse in this list is Legolas and he starts to become expensive that realistically I think I'd be too outnumbered having him and Celeborn in a 500 point game. I might swap out some guys to include some Royal Guard but for now I'm happy with the list as it stands.

The second game only had a 60 minute limit and was a domination game where you scored a point for every model killed. My elite Galadhrim faced off against a swarm of goblins and Uruk Hai, I was pretty confident that I had this one in the bag. He split his force into 3 with 2 ranks of goblins on his left, a block of 10 goblin archers in the middle and his Uruk pikemen on the right. I put everything I had on the right flank and raced up the board into his goblins. My 4 archers claimed a watchtower in the middle but only managed to kill one Uruk all game - despite landing about 8 hits on Lurtz they failed to wound him. The cavalry charged in and for three turns rampaged through the goblin lines but eventually his Uruk Hai caught up and I performed a tactical withdraw to keep them out of combat range and wind down the clock. Not the most sporting of manoeuvres but it worked. I won the game 12-4.

In conclusion, I think that 500 points is the sweet spot for LOTR and imposing a realistic time limit was also a good idea - 90 minutes was a decent amount of time to complete a game at this size. Overall it was a good night of gaming in Middle Earth.

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