Sunday, June 5, 2016

Battle of Five Armies. Take 2

We met again to test this scenario one more time. I was tempted to switch sides (I haven't been the Good player yet in any of our games), but I more wanted to try a few different tactics for the Evil side. Plus, it's fitting and congruent with our overall nature for me to be Evil and Chris to be Good. Natbud joined us as did Ogre Dirty Dog (Craig) in a 4 man brouhaha. Craig and I decided that. tempting as shooting is, is isn't the way Evil is going to win this scenario. Needing 5's or 6's to hit (vs, 3+ for the Elves and 4+ for the dwarves and men), plus needing 6's to kill the dwarves, it just doesn't make sense to enter into a bow fight with them. With that in mind, the new Evil strategy was to move forward the first two turns and then stagger our archers, with every other goblin firing and the others moving full speed. (The rules say a model can only shoot if they move half their rate or less.) Last time we spent turn after turn pouring arrows into defensive positions and barely moving. The rules also make you roll a die for every intervening model, tree, wall or other obstacle with a 50% chance of hitting them/it instead. Couple this with the poor shooting stats and you can see why we eschewed that option.
I was also determined not to make the same mistake in set up as last time. I think it's important to slow the elves down on the western half of the board but I committed far too many troops (and the wrong kind) to it last game. The Elven archers, with their superior range and shooting ability can definitely cause major problems for the Evil side. They especially, needed dealt with.
The plan was to use the wargs and some archers to impede their progress and use overwhelming numbers to pour into the fort.
I didn't take as many pictures this time around, wanting to focus more on the tactics behind our efforts. Plus, yinz seen it last time.

Here's the board after the first Evil turn. You can clearly see the different approach. Ogre's boys are on the far right, waiting to give the Men of Laketown the business end of their pointy bits. The greater part of two other clans are massed in the middle, about to take the shortest route to the fort. I started with 6 archers to the west of the stream and on the Elves' entry, they whacked 4 with their first shot. I was very nervous at this point. Luckily for the Evil side, Good's dice went down hill from there, especially Natbud's. It's always better to be lucky than good.

Turn 4.  Evil is already threatening to enter the fort. Ogre has craftily divided his clan into shooters and non-shooters. His massed archers squared off against the boys from Laketown and consistently wore them down.* (*See Natbud's shitty dice, above.) Finally, on Turn 6, he scored 5 hits and wiped out the last 5 archers!!! This also forced a Courage Test which their leader, Anglo, failed from inside the fort and a 2 point VC swing Evil's way. The wargs have divided, with part going to block ingress of the men on the east side and the rest, with riders, to do the same on the west against the Elves.

I entered 12 wargs on the west edge to cut off the Elven advance. Once again, though, I couldn't resist jumping on them, especially the archers. With more wargs heading for the head pf their column, I reasoned it was better to go after their archers to keep them from harassing the left flank of the main assault. Eventually we killed a bunch, actually causing a Courage Test, but more importantly, we just kept engaging them do they couldn't shoot. (Troops already engaged in melee combat need not take the Courage Test, so though we forced one, all the Elves were engaged and never took one.)

Evil muscles their way into the fort. In the bottom center, 2 Evil heroes gain purchase on the walls before leaping in. It took a 4 Hero Might roll off to finally decide who got to move first. Luckily Evil prevailed which allowed a mass intrusion into the fort. By engaging most of the Good models, it also negated thei ability to move to plug gaps and holes. You can see my troop of 6 orcs got into the fray this time. Their two handed weapons cleaving a few dwarves in the process. The dwarves are so tough though! Most are just pushed back, but that was enough for our purposes. In the top center, you can see Anglo before he thought better of the situation and thought he heard his wife calling. Ogre's clan, with a few reinforcements from the center smash the Men of Laketown like they owed them money. He has swung some goblins round to enter the rear of the fort. Only two men, plus Anglo, were able to get in.

The wargs whittle down the Elven archers. After their first volley which cut down 4 goblins, I am not sure they ever got to fire again.

The Elven advance is halted as wargs and warg riders cut them off before reaching the fort. A few wargs have also disentangled themselves from the archers to hit the Elves in the rear. (Just the way they like it!) Their long scrotumed leader was tough though! Facing up to 6 attacks per turn, Evil could not lay even a single wound on him.

Get 'em, you dogs! Ablaat, goblin hero, stands in the breach, supported by spearmen. (Uh,.. speargoblins?) The orcs lend their two handed assistance. Booglin, one of the other goblin heroes, can be seen in the center right, just inside the fort, with the green hair and red helm. He blew his Fate point trying to save a wound and on the next to last turn, Nat had two chances to finish him off, but failed. With Evil getting Priority, he ran and hid in the corner on the last turn. (You can see him putting a wall of goblins between him and harm in the lower left in the photo below.) Thus another 2 point swing in Evil's favor.

The final positions. Evil has two heroes and 3 clans in the fort for 7 VP. (This time, instead of being out by a half inch, we got a warg rider in by half inch for a point. A deliciously sleazy move on the last turn. He can be seen in the center left of the pic.) Good has a Hero, and two factions (men and dwarves) for 4 VP. The Elves are stymied on the west side, while Ogre mops up what's left of the Men on the east. A very close game once again with wild point swings on the last turn.
The whole game had some wild swings back and forth, especially with Priority changing hands so many times. Both sides fluctuated from acting to re-acting almost turn to turn. There were no tactical gaffs on either side and, all in all, very well played. Once again, on the last die roll of the game, an orc cleaved a dwarf from gullet to gonads. Nice to end with a '6'.
Well Done, Men. Chris, great scenario! 

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