Orcs and Numenorians, Hold Ground!

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Orcs and Numenorians, Hold Ground!

Postby BaronDeSade » Tue Jul 03, 2012 9:41 am

“The watchtower of Amon-Sul, my Captain, look how the warning fires burn!” cried one of the Numenorian soldiers.

The two Captains of the Numenorian warbands spoke to each other briefly, then turned to their respective companies. “Orcs are attacking the watchtower! We must go to their aid and hold that ground! Amon-Sul must not fall!”

From the south, two warbands of Numenorians marched towards the tower, while from the West, two more companies came. Even as they moved, though, a great shadow arose in the East, a terrible winged serpent bearing its foul, cloaked master towards the tower. Under the pall of darkness it cast beneath its wings, Orc warriors marched, eager to slay and loot. From the North, a company of Orc archers led by their wicked Shaman, Khardush, readied their bows.

The two Numenorian companies that were mostly archers slowed their advance and drew their bows up to the sky. “Volley-fire!” shouted their commander, and a hail of arrows were loosed upon the Orc archers and their Shaman, but for naught. The range was too far, and the Orcs were too dispersed.

As the range between the four forces closed, the Orcs unpacked their own bows and let fly with arrows that felled a man of Numenor, scoring the first blood of the encounter. The Numenorians fired back, but the pall of darkness hid the Orcs, while the Shaman's mad chanting seemed to make them immune to pain.

The two evil forces had now joined together, and the force of men slid their line to their right in order to let the archers take their place on the fighting line. The Captains of Numenor strictly controlled the movements of their troops, having them advance or back up as necessary, while the Orcs rolled forward, seemingly intent on striking the center of the line of men like a spear-tip hitting a shield.

The cloaked fiend that led the Orcs, known only as, “The Shadowlord,” exhaled the dreaded Black Breath upon the army of Men. One of the Captains, his will overwhelmed, stumbled towards the Orcish line, obeying a command from The Shadowlord. There, a fireball from Khardush burned him badly, and the Shadowlord drove his fell beast down to where it gobbled up the unfortunate captain of men before flying back to its own lines.

The men, witnessing this horrific assassination, roared out in rage and grief and charged heedlessly at the Orcs, who, for their part, raised their shields with scowling faces and braced their shoulders to accept the Numenorian's charge. Another of the Captains drove a heroic breach in the Orcish lines and broke through to attack their warg-mounted banner bearer, but it was all for naught, and in a moment's time, he too had succumbed to the Black Breath and was devoured by the Fell Beast.

The men still outnumbered the Orcs, and they pressed in on both flanks of the foul army, with their archers on the left and more spearmen on the right. Responding, a pack of slavering war-riders that had been held in reserve spurred their hairy mounts over to attack the more lightly-armored archers.

The melee was hard-fought, to say the least. The Men of Numenor had numbers and discipline on their side, and had brought four captains to the battle while the Orcs only had one captain, a shaman, and of course, the Shadowlord. The Men could also boast of superior fighting skill. The Orcs, on the other hand, typically wore heavier armor than the men, and they were much inspired by the banner that waved behind them and were filled with vigor from Khardush's chanting. A terrible groan arose from the Men, though, as the third of their captains attempted to duel the Shadow Lord, only to end up in the belly of his beast.

The army of Numenor had taken a terrible battering, but its discipline did not flag. With a mighty effort, the last of their captains cut down the Orcish captain. With his loss, the Orcish army was considered “broken” while the men were not. Hope had not died!

Hissing in rage, the Shadow Lord spoke an abominable word that sacrificed his apprentice, Khardush, and fed his own power. Some few of the Orcs fled the battle but then the Shadow Lord tore apart another of the men and now the Numenorian army was also truly broken.

It was a terrible sight, and eight of the men fled, terrified by the keening scream of the Nazgul. Those that remained fought all the harder, hacking at what few Orcs remained and bringing down their foul banner. Even so, a moment later five more men had fled from the Shadow Lord, and those that remained struggled to reach the edges of the watchtower.

Finally, one of the men, a youngster of true heart, stepped forward and banished the Shadow Lord with a swing of his sword. The last few Orcs fled or died and the remaining Captain gathered what few men remained to him. It had been a victory for men, but at a terrible cost!

Hello All, that was a very fun battle. I don't have to win every battle, as I have fun if I wreak terrible havoc upon my opponent's army and stymie and frustrate his designs. In this case, the Shadow Lord was like a god upon the battlefield, slaying Tim's heroes “like flies,” as he put it, blocking up paths of maneuver with the huge base size of his Fell Beast, blunting Tim's numerical advantage by paralyzing hit troops with terror, inspiring the Orcs to continue fighting and causing Tim's men to flee the battle in droves once he was broken. That's the way to run one of The Nine!

Of course, he couldn't do all that unless he was protected by a lot of Orcs, and having three full warbands was key to getting the most out of him. Khardush proved himself a powerful supporting hero in that regard, as his Fury spell saved several Orcs from death and kept them in the fighting line.

The warg riders in the third rank proved their worth, also, by shooting over the heads of the Orcs in front of them (nice how many of the Orc models are hunched over, just as if they knew some bad archer was going to be shooting over their heads.) Once the melee was joined, the Wargs were able to rush to the right flank and tear up the Numenorian archers who were pressing on that flank. Their S4 and knockdown effects proved the doom of many a man, and I was lucky enough to have a couple of wargs stick around even after their masters had been killed.

My Orc captain was worth his points, if nothing spectacular. He's a cheap source of Might points and a decent fighter and that's all I ask of him.

I could have done better in this battle if I had focused more on using Khardush's flameburst to kill enemy heroes. I had still been a little uncertain about the whole “Orc sacrificing” thing, since it hurts my own army to do so, but I realize now that a wounded or dead enemy captain is certainly worth a few Orc bodies, and so next game I will focus more on assassination and sacrificing Orcs. Khardush proved his worth by giving the Shadowlord 3 more points of Will, and that kept the SL in the game three more turns. It hurt to lose Fury, but the SL's courage is so high that I felt it was worth the risk, and sending 13 of Tim's men fleeing from the harbinger of evil was certainly satisfying.

Hold Ground is a bit of an odd scenario anyhow, because the warbands come on separately, and I geared this army to work best when the warbands overlap, so we'll see how it functions in future games. For now, the keywords are “Moar Assassinations!”


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Re: Orcs and Numenorians, Hold Ground!

Postby Gartl » Tue Jul 03, 2012 2:17 pm

Good report.
It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing. - Boromir FOTR
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Re: Orcs and Numenorians, Hold Ground!

Postby BaronDeSade » Tue Jul 03, 2012 7:45 pm

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Re: Orcs and Numenorians, Hold Ground!

Postby Smeagol » Wed Jul 04, 2012 11:07 am

Yeah, that was a very tough fight for the men of numenor.
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