Tuesday, 1 November 2011

WOTR: Battle Report - Dwarves v Misty Mountains

 ...Suddenly without a signal the dwarves sprang silently forward to attack. Bows twanged and arrows whistled; battle was about to be joined.
- The Hobbit

Defenders of Khazad
Gandalf the Grey (allies)
WotR: Misty Mountains Army
Dain Ironfoot
Balin Lord of Moria
3 x Khazad Guard
1 x Kings Champion
2 x Ballista
4 x rangers
4 x Shields
4 x archers
2 x warriors 2HW
1 x vault wardens

Misty Mountains Invasion force
Durburz, Goblin King of Moria
Dragon of Ancient times
WotR: Dwarf Army
Spider Queen
4 x trolls
3 x wild warg
3 x wild warg
6 x goblins
4 x goblins with shields
3 x goblin archers with shaman
3 x goblin archers with shaman

Well, this week’s battle was interesting.  Craig wanted a break from WotR to have a battle of Trafalgar. I was set to take on Adrian (his brother) who used to play LotR 1000 points each.  However, there were two others that were interested in WotR and had never played before so I agreed a 2 v 2 battle.  Adrian and Ben as the Dwarves defending Moria, and me and Dougy as the goblins of the Misty Mountains.
With hindsight we should have stuck with 500 points per person, but everyone got carried away with the number of figures and it quickly became a 1700 v 2000 - Dwarves have to stop the goblins from entering their 1/3 and goblins have to kill all dwarves….
Unfortunately Adrian was busy with running the club so once deployment had finished he left and I had to manage the game with 2 other newbs.
WotR: Invasion of Misty Mountians Battle Field
The Battlefield
The cold morning wind blew across the valley as the dwarves entered the field ready for battle; the snow had lain deep in the valley. The frozen mountain pass which led to the gates of Moria (6 x 4 playing long ways) would be heavily defended by every last dwarf.

The frozen lake on the east side (this was difficult terrain and the broken ice was impassable) came into view as the mist started to clear… then the distant sound of the goblin drums could be heard. 

There were snow covered trees with capacity for 2 companies and a build for 4 companies.
The dwarves won priority and set up with a ballista on each hill at the northern end of the battlefield, the rangers on the east flank and their archers behind them.  The Khazad guards took centre stage with Dain, followed by 4 companies of shields with 2 companies of 2HW behind them.  On the west flank was the vault wardens.
WotR: My Half of the Moria Army
WotR: Misty Mountains Army
We split our misty mountain army, Dougy deployed his goblin archers on the west side so that he could run to the building, the main goblin army took the centre with the trolls and warg behind (our first mistake as this meant we had to move ½ the goblins to allow them through), and a formation of goblin archers on the east side in front of the frozen lake.

Turn 1
WotR: Goblin Army Advances
The dwarves won priority and advanced, slowly but surely, the goblins also advanced, with the archers on the west moving to the building – the 2 shamans and Druzhag cast fire bolts and nature’s wrath spells and managed to kill 5 rangers and 2 Khazad guards.
At the end of the movement the goblin archers on the west side entered the building. The dwarf ballista’s both misfire, with nothing else in range for any of our archers or charging we progressed to:

Goblins win priority

WotR: Wild Warg surge forward
Druzhag summoned 3 companies of spiders and his shields advanced on the ice, he also cast fire bolt and natures wrath on the dwarf rangers killing 3. 

The goblin spears ran OTD to create some space to allow the trolls and warg through, but didn’t create enough space. The shaman cast shatter shields and amazingly managed a 6, permanently destroying the dwarf shields (much to the delight of Dougy). 

WotR: Cave Trolls and Warg Surge
Druzhag casts fire bolt and natures wrath and kills 3 more rangers.

The dragon moved forward, hiding behind the spears and was preparing for the lines to meet so that he could fly to the rear and wreak havoc on the backs of the dwarves.

Dwarves marched to their 1/3 line, spread out and held the line, but at this point realized that their archers couldn’t shoot at anything as the rangers were in the way! The Kings champion walked to the side of the rangers and stopped… Gandalf cast blinding light and Druzhag fight to “0”
My archers having moved ½ distance are now on the edge of the pond, but out of range of the Kings champion and the rangers across the water.
WotR: Dwarf & Goblin Army prepare to clash
The goblins in the building tried to soften up the vault wardens, but with shields that size the goblin bows were ineffective, but still managed to kill one of them.

The rangers seeing the danger of the 3 companies of spiders in front of them (which also blocked their view of the goblins) fired and destroyed every last brood in one fowl swoop...  the ballista’s split their targets, one hitting a troll and leaving a wound counter the other targeting the dragon, but failed to get a hit on him.
With the spiders dead, there were no units close enough to charge - end of turn 2.
The dwarves won priority again.
The dwarves went first and stepped over their line to close the gap with the advancing goblins. However, Gandalf the Grey and the rangers moved full distance and ATD to the east to allow room for the archers to move forward in to the gap, which they do using their full distance to get into range, but forgoing their shooting this turn.
The Kings champion walked to the side of the frozen lake just in range of my archers…
The goblin spears marched forward and tried to create enough room to allow the trolls through the side, but the gap was too narrow and so we had to push everything up the middle.
WotR: Giant Spiders 
Druzhag cast another 6 spiders (lucky roll (again)) which were placed straight in front of the gap between him and both the archers and the rangers… cannon fodder me thinks!
The trolls start their surge up the middle with the warg following behind them… (Should have been at the front!), the dragon jumps over the line and lands on the flank of the vault wardens.
WotR: Dwarf Army kill Giant Spiders
The dwarf rangers having moved double distance, use Gandalf to call heroic shoot and are again able to fire, this decimates the spiders again with their volley.  The dwarf archers now shoot at Druzhag’s shields and manage to kill 8, driving them back 6 inches.

The ballista’s both target the dragon but again fail to hit him.

The goblins turn; those hiding in the building fire at the dwarves with shattered shields and kill 3.
WotR: Kings Champion takes 4 wound counter
My goblin archers at the lakes edge fired at the kings champion 20 arrows hurtled across the frozen lake, and to my amazement I rolled 4 hits (having needed 6, then 5), which allowed me to roll twice on the VHtK table.  

My luck with the dice was evident again when I rolled a 6 and was then allowed to re-roll - landing 4 wound counters on the Champion… the look on the dwarves face was clear even through the lingering mist.
WotR: Dwarf shields charge
The dwarf shields take the initiative and charge the goblin spears, while the Khazad guard and Dain charge a company of warg, my dragon fails to charge the rear of the dwarves.
The centre of the battle field started to clog up, but I went through the battles one by one ensuring that I didn’t forget anything (but I did forgot the dwarves had 2HW and relinquished a troll to cover the mistake)
13 goblins dead, for 5 dwarf warriors along with 2 warg. Fortunately the goblins pass the panic test.
Turn 4
Dwarves win priority

WotR: Kings Champion is slain
Again the dwarves win priority and decide to hold their ground apart from the Kings Champion who ATD straight towards Druzhag, running along the side of the lake to try avoiding the goblin bows, and to try to get in to the battle.

The Goblin spears consolidate their formation to allow the trolls through, who subsequently surge through the centre gap. Meanwhile Druzhag uses his last might point to summon 3 more companies of spiders (I keep rolling 6’s) and casts fire bolt and natures wrath on the Champion and manages to kill him before he has a chance to charge Druzhag formation of goblin shields.

The dragon flew straight to the eastern ballista and sat waiting for a shot to hit.

WotR: More Wild Warg prepare to fight
The dwarves again open fire on the spiders and kill them all… still save Druzhag dying! Again, both ballista’s misfire leaving the dragon sighing in relief and his fire breath killed 2 crew, not quite as good as I hoped.

The trolls throw their weapons and kill a Khazad guard, while the goblins within the building again kill another 3 dwarf warriors.

WotR: Khazad Guard surrounded by trolls
The dwarves again press the attack charging the goblin spears, while the Khazad guard charge the warg and a troll; the remaining trolls surround the Khazad guard and charge – 2 of them managing unstoppable charges.
The Dragon charged straight into the rear of the rangers.

The ensuing battle is hard fought and leaves a troll and the 4 warg dead, as well as Dain and the Khazad guard. The Dragon ripped through the rear of the remaining rangers and killed them down to ½ of the last company – Gandalf is also killed.
Unfortunately time ran out and Adrian declared the battle a draw - the dragon and a troll were in their 1/3 so they failed their objective (Oops I forgot about the objective!, while the attacking army had not destroyed the defenders (although I am sure we would have!).

Final thoughts
keep it simple - the amount of figures with only me knowing the rules meant that I kept forgetting things as I had too much to try to sort out and manage (even forgot the objective otherwise I would have just charged everything into battle) and also had questions shot at me from all sides throughout the match - if this happens again, then I will either sit out and teach (although I love playing too much), or ensure the armies are small enough to manage.
WotR: The Dragon prepares to charge
I have previously set up with trolls in the front (last battle report Angmar v Dwarves) and allowed them to advance and soften up the enemy, this is a tactic I need to remember as the battle above took a bit of moving units to get them into the battle - this all took too long. This also needs to be the same for other beasts like the warg and spider queen. 
Also, the dragon is 475 points for a reason - move him in earlier and allow him to do what he does best, breath fire, cast spell and kill dwarves!
Archers… I hear people say that shooting is ineffective in WotR, well sometimes it is, and sometimes it isn’t, I guess that’s the luck of the dice - who would have thought that goblins would have killed the Kings Champion at full range.  I certainly always have archers/siege bows as it allows me to target the enemy at range.  I am about to start painting my Rohan army and I have heard that they are also lacking, but I can’t wait to try them… expert riders who can move full range, fire and then charge, and if they win the fight and roll a 6, charge again, with infantry that have throwing weapons - awesome!

WotR: Dragon of Ancient Times
Man of the Match
The Dragon of Ancient Times, despite not being used early enough, he was able to swoop in, cast spells, breath fire, charge and kill loads of dwarves, all without being challenged, even my fear of the ballista’s was short lived (they have to hit me first!)

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