Posts Tagged ‘Fallen Realms’

Technically I suppose I should tag this as a non-competitive game, as my opponent had to write a scratch list and borrow all his models from the shop. I only actually wound up playing young Jaffar because nobody else showed up. I’m assuming this was down to the bad weather (though there wasn’t actually any snow on the streets of Oxford. For heaven’s sake, is this the attitude that built an empire?), not that it really makes any difference.

Well, anyway, the big event this week is that – with the NaNoWriMo story finished – I’ve been able to paint up some new models and play at 750 points for the first time. Making their debut appearances in this game were a Troll and two companies of Ghostly Legionaries with a Captain seconded from the Angmar list.

Jaffar used the shop’s Umbar Corsairs, fielding 14 companies of Corsairs in three formations, one led by Dalamyr, with (groan) a War Elephant to make up the rest of the total. As the new list still doesn’t have any shooting in it I knew the big beast would take some beating. The scenario we ended up playing was for control of a monolith in the table centre.



Corsairs being rolled over by Ghosts and Morgul Knights not pictured.


Jaffar decided to deploy and go first and opted for a table-wide deployment, sticking down from left to right (my viewpoint) some Corsairs, the Mumakil, the main Corsair block, and then the weediest of the infantry formations (four companies with no shield). Well aware my best chance was to crush his army a chunk at a time, I abandoned the left flank entirely, stuck the Orcs down in the centre, and filled the space up to the right table edge with the Troll, the Ghosts, and both Morgul Knight units.

Seeing the Knights bearing down on them the weedy Corsairs started backpedalling while Dalamyr’s unit and the Mumak redeployed towards the right table edge. The last Corsair unit stayed on course for the objective. The archers on the Mumak managed to shoot down the Troll on the first turn, which was intensely annoying but only to be expected as it was a newly-painted big model.

I got my own back fairly rapidly as the Dark Marshal’s Knight regiment charged the weedy Corsairs and ripped them nearly to bits, despite being flanked by Dalamyr’s unit on the same turn. This, on the other hand, opened up the flank of the main Corsair formation for the Ghosts to spirit-walk through some woods and charge them. One Heroic Combat later Dalamyr and his boys were looking a bit ragged too.

The Mumak was getting a bit too close for comfort, however, and I think my salvation was Jaffar taking it too close to the same woods the Ghosts charged through. Every time he attempted to charge or trample the Knights it ended up clipping the scenery, damaging it and halting the move. In the end he just got impatient, turned it around and went after the Orcs which were behind it. This suited me as they weren’t doing anything useful where they were (I strongly doubted they would be capable of taking on the Corsairs contesting the objective unsupported) and this removed the main threat to my cavalry and the Ghosts.

With the Elephant heading the other way I could concentrate on finishing off Dalamyr’s regiment. I decided I could do this with the Morgul Knights if they charged simultaneously and marched the Ghosts off to take the final Corsair formation in the flank.

Dalamyr and his men duly bit the dust and the Dark Marshal and his Knights galloped off to support the Ghosts (now looking rather fragile with only six men left). The last of the Umbar infantry fell even as the Mumak trampled the Orcs into the ground and polished them off with bow-fire from the howdah.

We now theoretically had two turns left, in which time Jaffar would have to wipe out all three of my surviving units and get the Mumak within 3″ of the mission objective. This was possible, just about, but extremely unlikely – and as Big Ben wanted to close up the shop and go home we decided to end the game.

Well, I won, which is always nice, but this wasn’t the toughest of games – this was a scratch list and very light on characters. I knew that if I could dummy the Elephant away from the rest of my army so the Morgul Knights could engage the Corsair flanks I would have a good chance, and so it proved.

As far as the new elements of the army go, things were a bit mixed: the Troll’s contribution to the game consisted of walking forward eight inches before collapsing full of arrows, which makes it difficult to assess its battlefield potential. On the other hand, the Ghost Legion did sterling work against the flanks and rear of the Corsair infantry. Given the low Defence and reasonable Courage of the Corsairs, the Ghosts’ Spirit Grasp ability was less important than I’d hoped (but then I was half-expecting to play Goblins), but their Spirit Walk into Dalamyr’s flank possibly won me the game. More Ghosts could well appear in higher point value games.

Well, anyway. Before we get to that point I have three more companies of Morannon Orcs and Gothmog to get ready for the table. Will Gothmog live up to his reputation as the biggest bargain in the game? Will the Ghosts’ low numbers prove their achilles heel? Will the Troll survive past the first turn of a game? Only time will tell.

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I was in the pub the other night catching up with a friend, when he spied the figure case lurking under the table.

‘What’s that?’

‘I’ve been wargaming this evening.’

‘How do you do that, then?’

‘Well, I put my toy soldiers on the table, my opponent puts his on the table, we both roll lots of dice, and then I lose.’

Well, I was speaking somewhat tongue-in-cheek but I am getting a bit fixated on the fact that I haven’t won consistently since I was the Black Terror of GW Jimbocho (and hardly up against the toughest of opposition). Normal service was once again resumed last night as I took on the Duke at WOTR.

I wheeled out the Morgul Knights and the Orcs again while my opponent reconstituted three boxed sets of Easterlings and a couple of blisters into a mid-sized archer formation and a biggish (six companies) infantry phalanx with various upgrades and Khamul the Easterling.

We played on a small table, theoretically for control of the central building (which was actually too small for any of our troops to occupy it) but this was obviously just going to be another big scrap. With hindsight the tone was set by the first few turns where the Ringwraith magically boosted the Easterling infantry across the table at jaw-dropping speed, outmanoeuvering my attempts to get round his flanks.

A few turns later he was in a position to start opening up with his archers and rather than see my Knights get whittled down I was eventually forced into a frontal charge – I had the choice of going in with an already-slightly-whittled Knight unit led by a Commander or the Dark Marshal’s full-strength formation, and went for the latter option, supported by the remnants of the Orcs (who’d been shredded by magic in various ways). The Knights delivered a fairly big hit, considering, but the massed Easterling ranks – plus the fact they’d been boosted up to Str 6, again by Khamul’s magic – resulted in the Knights and Orcs getting wiped out.

A few turns of the Knights dancing around the archers trying to get a flank charge in resulted, but I was out of Might and had no real defence against Khamul’s sorcery with the Dark Marshal gone. In the end the Knights got transfixed in front of the Easterling infantry, had to receive the charge, and got pulped.

So, obviously, lots of stuff to consider as a result. The main ones are my general shortage of manpower (okay, Orcpower) and particular shortage of shooting. I was particularly struck by how well the Nazgul worked in a big infantry block – the Easterling phalanx outmoving and outcharging my cavalry thanks to Wings of Terror was a nasty shock, while the sheer size of the unit meant he could cast Strength from Corruption on it repeatedly without thinning them out too much (Khamul’s ability to transfer 33% of the damage the infantry took onto my units wasn’t as influential as I’d feared it might be). I had half the infantry, and in any case Orcs are a step or two down from Easterlings in terms of effectiveness – at the moment they’re just in the list to bulk it out a bit, but I can’t really afford an 115-point filler unit in a 500 point army.

The shooting issue is a tricky one. Not having any myself the Duke could use his to pressure me into attacking in force too early, which cost me the game. The question is how I get it – Orc archers are, again, a step down from Easterlings, and you only get one company per Orc box set – fine if I was looking to bulk out on Mordor Orcs generally, but I’m not sure I am! Orc Trackers are an option, I suppose, with some nice options, and not much more expensive than the plastics, but I’m also looking at some siege bows – do I want a few high strength hits with a massive range or more dice at a much lower range and strength? Decisions, decisions.

Anyway, the current project is just to finish highlighting and basing the existing army. Rather to my surprise the Duke asked if my Morgul Knights could go in one of the GW Oxford display cases (hurrah) as an example of a ‘work-in-progress army’ (oh – I didn’t tell him that I considered them pretty much done barring flock on the bases), so that was some sort of positive anyway. Next up: a Troll, to give the army a bit more wallop (and me a change from all the Morannon Orcs I’ve been fiddling about with).

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