Thursday, 23 February 2012

WOTR: Battle Report - Osgiliath Battlehost v Mordor

"The Time of Man is Over...  
           ...The age of the Orc has begun!"
Gothmog - Lieutenant of Mordor

After last weeks close battle, Craig again decided to field the same army Gothmog's Morannon Orc Battlehost.  I, guessing he would planned an army that I was convinced would crush his Morannon orcs and Gothmog.

WotR: Gothmog Lieutenant of Mordor
I was convinced that I needed to fight fire with fire and opted for the Gondor equivalent of the Gothmog's Morannon Orc Battlehost... The Osgiliath Battlehost.  Looking at Craig maximum formations of 6 companies I decided to favour maneuverability over size (after all it is rare that 6 companies will all be able to fight at once - often most are support) and decided that smaller formations of 4 would allow me to engage the enemy and have more points for more formations.

My son Thomas didn't want to come... Lord of the Rings is not for him!

We again played on our usual 6 x 4 battlefield (shield wall) with one ruin to the south of the board which had capacity for 6 companies.  We used the usual Realm of Battle battleboard and had the hills in each of the four corners to create a valley.

I am no longer worried by the sheer number of troops Mordor can muster for a 1600 point battle.

Here are our army list:
WotR: Gothmog Morannon Orcs
Mordor force Circa 1600 points 
Epic Hero:
6 x Comp of Morannon Orcs
- (with Banner)
 - (with Captain)
6 x Comp of Morannon Orcs
 - (with Banner)
 - (with Captain)
6 x Comp of Morannon Orcs
WotR: Mordor Battlehost
 - (with Banner)
 - (with Captain)
6 x Comp of Morannon Orcs
 - (with Banner)
 - (with Captain)
1 x Troll Chieftain
2 x Mordor Trolls
1 x Mordor Catapult

To ensure that the army was legal (decree of variety) Craig dropped the Battlehost and went with the troops as is, which suprised me as I though he could have easily added some archers or a small band of orcs to help balance the decree.

Gondor Force Circa 1600 points 
WotR: The Osgiliath Garrison
The Garrison of Osgiliath Battlehost

Epic Hero:
4 x Comp of Warrior of Minas Tirith (WoMT)
- (with Banner)
4 x Comp of Warrior of Minas Tirith (WoMT)
 - (with Banner)
 - (with Captain)
4 x Comp of Warrior of Minas Tirith (WoMT)
WotR: Citadel Guard Long Bows
 - (with Banner)
 - (with Captain)
4 x Comp of Warrior of Minas Tirith (WoMT)
 - (with Banner)
 - (with Captain)
6 x Comp of Knights of Minas Tirith (KoMT)
3 x Comp of Citadel Guard
 - (with Banner)
 - (with Captain)
3 x Comp of Citadel Guard Longbows

1 x Trebuchet
4 x Comp of Osgiliath Veterans
 - (with Banner included in cost)
 - (with Cirion)

WotR: Gondor Battlehost Deployment
We decided to lay the field with minimum scenery - the ruin with capacity for 6 companies was the only piece of scenery.  Again Craig lined the entire side of the board with the Morannon orcs and they still look impressive, with the occasional Mordor troll between formations for good measure.

The building in the south was my target, I lined my force up and it was clear that the main bulk of my army was going to fight for it (I wanted to get the Osgiliath veterans in to the building and so placed them as close as I could to the building. The main part of my army was Minas Tirith warriors who lined the battle field opposite the Morannon orcs. My Minas Tirith Knights, along with the citadel guard and citadel long bows were placed near the building.

WotR: Gondor v Mordor
I had my tactics, get the building shoot his flanks with the Osgiliath Vets, draw him into the centre and plough my cavalry around the southern flank into the rear of the main Morannon force.
I placed my trebuchet on the northern hill.

Boromir joined the knights of Minas Tirith as Craig had placed his Troll Chieftain opposite them, Boromir would be crucial in ensuring that the cavalry made it around the building and in to the open space behind the orc horde.

Gothmog was center stage in the horde of Morannon orcs… I was not worried about Gothmog's ability as I planned to keep him tied up fighting my warriors of Minas Tirith and NOT Boromir.

Once our forces were deployed there was a long silence as we both stood and looked at the armies working out in our heads the strategy. Which army would win priority - Gothmog with his Morannon Orcs or the Osgiliath Garrison battle host (steadfast against orcs), time to roll...

Turn 1

WotR: Osgiliath Veterans ATD to the ruins
We both rolled the D6… and for once I won the first priority, I smiled as I needed to move my Osgiliath Veterans in to the ruin!

Having won the initiative I did exactly as I had planned; the Osgiliath Veterans ATD to reach the ruins before any of Craig's orcs could get there and Boromir moved forward with the knights to the southern side of the ruins, while the Citadel Guard moved in behind the vets to support any later attacks.
WotR: Citadel Guard Longbows

All my Warriors of Minas Tirith moved forward in a straight line, slow and steady, I was going to reach the orcs all together and ensure that I could engage as many troops in to direct combat in the coming battle as possible.
With my troops moving forward I edged the Citadel Guard Longbows forward to allow them better range across the field.

WotR: Gothmog ATD to Meet Gondor
Craig tried to ATD his army, but some passed their leadership tests and some didn't, this meant that Craigs army was staggered, and it almost looked like he meant it to be like that!

Gothmog was lurking north of the ruins and had passed his ATD and was now in the centre of the battlefiled. 

Craigs Mordor Trolls edged forward towards the ruin.

At the end of the move phase my Osgiliath Veterans moved into the ruins. 

WotR: Cirion and the Veterans of Osgilaith
I considered calling heroic shoot for Cirian to shoot his Osgiliath Veterans at the Morannon (having ATD to get into the ruins), but knowing the Morannon shields are just too good to waste a might point on, I didn’t and Cirian’s Osgiliath Veterans held.

My Trebuchet started work on Gothmog landing a hit and killed 3 Morannon.
My Citadel Guard shot at the Mordor Troll north of the ruins and scored 2 wound counters.

WotR: Mordor Trolls attack the ruins
Craig loosed his catapult at the Osgiliath Veterans to capitalise on them being in a building… despite the high defence he still managed to kill 8 of them, ouch!

Next he measured the Trolls and threw them at the Osgiliath Veterans, but they were not strong enough to get through the walls.

WotR: Gondor Charge Gothmog
I knew I had to get the charge in where I could and so charged Gothmog and his 6 company strong Morannon Orcs with the Warriors of Minas Tirith and successfully manage to make the distance, try to be clever I positioned the spearhead to avoid the wound troll from charging my flank.

Craig, seeing my cunning move then charged the second formation of Morannon onto the Warriors of Minas Tirith, but couldn’t get the flank and could only engage 1 company from the 6 in his formation.

WotR: Gothmog gets a bloody nose
The fighting was tough, Minas Tirith held there ground and amazingly managed to kill 10 Morannon orcs, while Gothmog’s formation killed 3 and the other formation killed 2 (total of 5) warrior of Minas Tirith. Gondor had won the first battle and so it was Gothmog and the Morannon who took panic tests, Gothmog passed, but the Morannon supporting his attack failed miserably and another 5 died in the confusion. Kills 15 to 5.


LotR: Boromir advances
Eager to win priority again we rolled, but I won again and set my plan into motion.

First I moved Boromir and the knights of Minas Tirith forward to the base of the ruins.

The Citadel Guard moved the rear and north of the building keeping their eye on the Mordor Troll lurking in the shade.

WotR: Gondor advance

Then I moved the centre column forward, then the far northern column (who rolled unstoppable charge) forward to engage ALL of Mordor in the centre of the field.

Craig moved all of his trolls forward.

I started with my Osgiliath Veterans and shot at one of the approaching trolls, initially I only got 1 hit, so used a might point in the vain hope that I could roll a 6 and kill the Mordor Troll… he ended up with 1 wound counter.
WotR: The Battle Intensifies

Next the Citadel Guard Longbows shot at the same Mordor Troll and still didn’t kill it, they inflicted another 2 wound counters, taking it to 3… what do we have to do to kill a Troll!

I then fired my Gondorian trebuchet at a mass of orcs, but to my surprise I only managed to kill 1 Morannon Orc.

WotR: The Knights of Minas Tirith
In return Craig fired his catapult at Boromir and his formation of Minas Tirith Knights, making the most of gaining the bonus for there being 6 companies, but failed to kill any due to them being resilience of 2.

The Mordor Troll Chieftain and a Mordor Troll both threw their weapons at the Osgiliath Veterans and killed 2, the other Troll seeing the approaching Citadel Guard threw and killed 2 of them.

WotR: The Ruins of Osgiliath
Boromir, wanting to lead by example charged the Mordor Troll in front of him, at the south of the ruins, but in doing so exposes his flank to the Mordor Toll Chieftain. 

In the charge phase I charged all my warriors in direct sight of the Morannon Orcs in to battle and manage another unstoppable charge.

WotR:Unstoppable charge
My Citadel Guard attempted to charge the Mordor Troll, they passed the courage test but then rolled a 1 and failed the charge, fortunately their banner bearer came into play and they re-rolled - rolling an unstoppable charge!

In retaliation Craig charged the Mordor Troll Chieftain in to Boromir’s flank - he had no other units able to charge.

WotR: Mordor Troll Chieftain Counter Attack
Boromir called Epic fight and Mighty Blow - those Mordor Trolls are gonna’ die I tell myself… but amazingly neither the Knights of Minas Tirith nor the Trolls manage to inflict a single wound… what are the odds!

Elsewhere the fighting is intense. The Mordor Troll stuck first and killed 4 Citadel Guards, who in turn kill the Mordor Troll.

Moving down the line, the battle was resolved as follows:

WotR: Mass battle between Gondor and Mordor
Warriors of Minas Tirith kill 4 of Gothmog’s motley crew and they in turn 5, some rubbish rolling meant that Gondor were disordered and failed the panic test.

Next in line Warriors of Minas Tirith kill 6 Morannon Orcs who only killed 2 of Gondor.


WotR: Gondor Reserves Advance
We both rolled for priority, and again I won rolling a 6.

Waisting no time I tried to rally the disordered Warriors of Minas Tirith, but failed and used the captains 2 might points to regain control.

Boromir moved back to the line of the ruins to protect his flank and waited near to the Mordor Trolls.

WotR: The Mordor Troll to Die
My trebuchet was first to start the shooting  and shot at the back of the reserve Morannon Orcs, but it only managed to killed 4 of them, not quite what I was expecting.

Next I fired the Citadel Guard Longbows to try to assist Boromir as best I could and fired at and killed the Mordor Troll directly in font of Boromir and the Knights of Minas Tirith, while the Osgilith Veterans opened fire at the Mordor Troll Chieftain, but unfortunately failed to kill him.

WotR: Longbows target the Mordor Troll

Craig, seeing his flank waiver loosed his catapult at Boromir and this time killed a knight of Minas Tirith.

The Mordor Troll Chieftain also threw his weapon at Boromir, but being so worried by his impending doom he threw wide and missed the Knights of Gondor.

WotR: Boromir Charges Troll
Again this time I charged everything I could against Mordor.
Boromir charged the Mordor Troll Chieftain the Citadel Guard Charged the edge of Gothmog, then all my Warriors of Minas Tirith charged the Morannon Orcs in front of them, I even managed to roll an unstoppable charge on the unit to the far north.

I started with Boromir again, the Troll Chieftain struck first and killed a knight of Minas Tirith, but could not withstand the charge from the cavalry and died. Boromir rolled for an Earth shaking charge - the reserve Morannon in his sight, but only rolled a 5.
Again, completing the battle in order of where they are located we rolled for Gothmog.

WotR: Craig Surveys the Battle
Gothmog’s Morannon Orcs killed 1 Warrior of Minas Tirith but Gothmog sensing his doom used a might point to make it 2, as well as killing 3 Citadel Guard.

In return the Citadel Guard killed 4 of thee Morannon orcs and the Warriors of Minas Tirith killed 4 as well.

Next skirmish saw a draw with both the Warriors of Minas Tirith and the Morannon Orcs killing 3 warriors each.
WotR: Morannon Casualties

In the North of the Battlefield the Warriors of Minas Tirith kill 6 Morannon, and only loosing 3 win the battle.


This time Craig won priority.

With the southern flank clear, Craig wheeled his Morannon orcs round to face the Knight of Minas Tirith with Boromir. All other units were pretty much face to face and remained in place ready to fight.
WotR: Boromir Charges Morannon Orcs

My turn, Boromir ATD’d to try to out flank the rear Morannon, but fall slightly short and leave a line of sight for the Morannon to charge.

Craig shot his catapult at Boromir again and again killed a Knight of Minas Tirith.

WotR: Osgiliath Veterans shoot
Seeing an opportunity to kill Gothmog and charge the flank of the Morannon in the centre and rear of Craig’s army I shot the Citadel Longbows at Gothmog killing 4, the Osgiliath veterans then fired in the side avaiding the shields and killed another 4, but this wasn’t enough to remove the last company of Gothmogs who blocked my plan.

Not wanting to risk killing my own, I fired at the rear Morannon to whittle them down for Boromir and killed 7.

WotR: Gondor Unstoppable Charge
Now, I always try to get the charge, especially with cavalry and so Boromir immediately called a Heroic charge, Craig seeing that this could be bad also called one and so we rolled off - Craig rolled 1 -evil first then rolled 1 for his charge, but used his last might point for the captain to make it a 2 which was just enough to make the charge… Grrrrr.

WotR: Morannon Charge Boromir
I then systematically called heroic charge all down the line - the captains using a might point to charge.

Gothmog - within 12 inches of a Captain of Minas Tirith called a free heroic charge, again rolled 1 for evil first, then rolled 1 for stalled charged, Craig considered using a might point, but with so few left he didn’t.

Craig having won the priority decided on the order to fight and changed so that the Warriors of Minas Tirith and Morannon would fight first.
WotR:Gondor and Mordor fighting intensifies

Warriors of Minas Tirith kill 8
Morannon Kill 6

Warriors of Minas Tirith kill 7
Morannon Kill 5

Warriors of Minas Tirith kill 4 and the Citadel Guard kill 4.
Gothmog Morannon Kill 2 Minas Tirith and 2 Citadel Guard - the Lieutenant of Mordor holds out until the last.

WotR: Boromir Calls Epic Strike
I Called Epic Strike for Boromir and had planned to duel the Morannon Orc captain seeing an opportunity to butcher them, but we were distracted for a short while and I forgot… say no more.

The end of the battle saw 4 knights killed and 3 Morannon.


This time I won priority again.
WotR: Citadel Guard advance

With Boromir stranded and now outnumbered I moved the Warriors of Minas Tirith at an angle to Gothmog to allow the Citadel Guard through who ATD’d to the rear of the Morannon Orc’s - could they save the day in time?

Craig’s only move was to spread out and ensure that he had maximum number of attacks on Boromir.
WotR: Gondor Reserves

I move my troops around so that the centre is opened up and the fresh reserve of Gondor troops can move forward and engage in battle.

Craig failed to move Gothmog to a bigger unit of Morannon to help keep him alive - I didn’t highlight the point!

Worried about loosing Boromir, the Citadel Guard shoot and kill 2 of the Morannon Orcs and the Osgiliath veterans kill another 3 all in an effort to assist Boromir and whittle down his foe.

WotR: Gothmog holds
My trebuchet then fired and killed 4 Morannon orcs in the centre of the battlefield.

Craig shoots his catapult but fails to hit a single warrior of the reserve of Minas Tirith entering the battle.

Desperate to save Boromir I call a heroic charge for the Citadel Guard, which please Craig as Gothmog is within 12 inches and copied it for free - it pleased him even more when he said:

WotR: Citadel Guard Heroic Charge

great a might point used to give Gothmog a free heroic charge - AAGGGHHH!!!!

But on a positive note, the Citadel Guard needed at least a 5 to reach the rear of the Morannon orcs and help save Boromir.
WotR: Citadel Guard Charge

When to my amazement I rolled a 6 (unstoppable charge) I shouted “YES” and slammed the Citadel Guard straight into the rear of Craig's Morannon Orcs (they would now be fighting with -5 per company for fighting in the rear); 

Boromir charged their front and sandwhiched them in battle.

I followed by charging my warriors of Minas Tirith into the remaining Morannon Orcs.

WotR: Boromir Saved

Cavalry strike first and so Boromir started the fight - his Knights killed 11 Morannon Orcs and then the Citadel Guard also killed 11 - the Morannon in return failed to kill any of the Knights of Minas Tirith - a plan that paid off, what a result!

Next on to the main battle lines:

WotR: Gothmog in the Way
Warriors of Minas Tirith kill 5 of Gothmog’s Morannon Orcs, who only manage to kill 1 Gothmog used his last might point to make it 2 before he was slain and removed from battle as less than ½ his last company (all hope is lost) and Gothmog is removed from the battle.

The centre of the field saw Warriors of Minas Tirith kill 6 Morannon orcs who only killed 4 Gondorians.

WotR: Gothmog Dies
In the north the Warriors of Minas Tirith kill 9 using their last might point as time had run out and this was the last round. The Morannon orcs killed 5 and also used their 2 might point s to make it 7.

Final Thoughts
I chose The Garrison of Osgiliath with smaller formations with one thing in mind - kill the orcs.  I think this worked well and the 4 companies against 6 meant I could field more formations, but only miss out on the odd support roll here and there, which is why I fielded the size I did.

WotR: Gondor Wins after 5 rounds
The Osgilaith Veterans were Ok, the bows didn’t do the damage I thought and at crucial times they were a let down - but that is just bow fire for you, the last time I took them they killed 2 Mordor Trolls in one hit.

The Citadel Guard were OK, worth the points? Not sure, but they looked good.

Citadel Longbows - again, they are not worth the points, but they did look good and the extra shooting distance also worked well.
LotR: Citadel Long Bows
The Knights of Minas Tirith were very good, their lances help with rolling to hit and their shields make them harder to hit and with a hero they could fly around the battlefield - a must for Gondor.

Craig doesn’t seem to like using his might, nor did he move Gothmog at a crucial point, which would have saved him and helped with the game especially if it had gone on longer - he could have moved him in to the formation that attacked Boromir and copied his epic/heroic actions and used his own, which could have seen Boromir dead and the knight removed - fortunately he didn’t. 

Man of the Match
LOTR: Man of the Match: Boromir
This can only be Boromir - he took on a Mordor Troll, Troll Chieftain and a formation of Morannon Orcs and cam
e out victorious (with a little help from his friends). His abilities are very good and had I remembered to do  the heroic duel I think I would have done some serious damage to the orcs before needing the Citadel Guard to assist.  Would I use him again… Most definitely!

Next Time
Craig wants to play Warhammer 40K next time, so I am in desperate need of an opponent (any volunteers!?) I might try 40K again, but I love Lord of the Rings and War of the Rings so much, I just don’t think I will. Hopefully I can find someone to battle as I might try to field my dwarf army (especially now I have 3 companies of Vault Wardens), but I guess that really depends on who I can play and what they want to field. With the release of the new LOTR SBG books I am kean to start playing that, I have the rule books and the old journey books and tonnes of LOTR SBG figures, still trying to find an opponent to learn the rules.

Fingers crossed for the next battle…

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