Isengard vs Khand

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Isengard vs Khand

Postby BaronDeSade » Sat Jun 15, 2013 10:10 am

Captain Tai-Shan stared at the Uruk-Hai soldiers balefully through his good eye. “By the Mouth's pointed teeth, you are a dull lot,” he shouted. “I swear upon Sauron's blazing eye, you all act like you were born yesterday.”

One of them raised their hand. “No, sir, only about half of us were born yesterday.”

Tai-Shan stood still for a moment. “That's still no excuse. Once again: your left, your right, your left....”

The Captain's drill orders were drowned out in a rush of air from two great wings. Khamul the Easterling landed his fell best next to the Uruks. “What's this, Tai-Shan?” screeched the Ringwraith. “Are you moonlighting?”

The Easterling Captain stood defiantly before Khamul. “Isengard has a much better meal plan than Mordor, and it's not like there's a war on right now, so why shouldn't I make some more coin?”

“You shall die, traitor!” screamed Khamul, who kicked his fell beast back into the air. “Forward, Men of Khand! Slay the traitor and his Uruks! Take his training ground and burn it!”

Tai-Shan turned back to his soldiers. “Are you willing to give up this sacred hill?”

“No!” shouted the assembled Uruks.

“Are you hungry for man's-flesh after a hard day's training?”

“Yes!” they all roared, spittle flying from their toothy maws.
“Well,” responded Tai-Shan. He pointed at the ranks of black-robed men advancing towards the hill. “Meat's back on the menu, boys.”

In this scenario, “High Ground,” Tim fielded three warbands of Khandish infantry and two of cavalry. Two War Priests and one Chieftain led the infantry, while Khamul and a Chariot-borne King led the cavalry. They faced five full warbands of Uruk-Hai scouts and warriors, led by two Captains, one Shaman, Ugluk and Vrasku. I had fifty points left over after building the army so I threw in my favorite Easterling Captain as a “military advisor.”

The game began with one warband of Uruk warriors holding the high ground while crossbowmen and the shaman backed them up. Vrasku and his scout archers deployed on the left, while Ugluk and his Ferals, another warrior warband, and Tai-Shan deployed on the right. Tim's cavalry deployed on the right, and his infantry began the game pushing to the left and not coming straight up the hill, which was a sound tactical decision. Tim's army began the game outnumbered by mine, but he had a lot of cavalry, while I had none, and Khamul on a Fell Beast and a Khandish King on a Chariot were very expensive models, while all of my heroes were only slightly over their stock cost.

The Khandish troops moved to attack, as the Uruks already held the hill. Strong cavalry forces attacked on the right while the infantry pushed towards the left, leaving the center alone. Uruks fired crossbows and Orc bows at the advancing men, but did little damage.

With a blare of a trumpet, the Khandish horsemen charged in on the right. Tai-Shan was struck by the King's chariot and dragged for a few yards, nearly dying from the blow. Khamul attacked some of the Feral Uruk-Hai but found that they were quite tough and lost some of his Will fighting them. Although the Khandmen had the advantage of holding the Priority in their favor and two tough fighting heroes, the mixture of Uruk-Hai warriors and Ferals was proving to be incredibly tough.

On the left, the Khandmen crashed into Vrasku's scouts, while the Uruk warriors on the hill marched down to join the melee. Although the War Priests saved a few casualties, the tougher Uruks had pike support and a banner and began to grind them down.

Back on the right, the hapless Tai-Shan was continually knocked down and dragged about by the Khandish horsemen, but the tough old Easterling Captain had certainly taken worse beatings in his career and stubbornly refused to die. Slowly but surely, the Khandish horsemen were all slain and only the King and Khamul remained. Likewise, on the left side, the Uruks ground down the Khandish infantry until their army was broken.

The War Priests did a good job of keeping the Khandish army together on the left, while Khamul and the King were very inspirational on the right. Ultimately, though, Khamul decided the right flank was lost and flew his fell beast into the center. There, he swooped down and slew the Uruk banner, causing much consternation among the Uruks, especially as their army was now broken and the fearsome aura of the Ringwraith was now causing them to run.

On the left, Vrasku rallied his scouts, and they hacked their way through the Khandish infantry, slaying one of the War Priests and charging into contact with the hill. On the right, Tai-Shan got to his feet and led the Uruks in a charge that saw the Khandish King torn from his chariot and slain.

The men were dying but the Uruks were fleeing and Khamul still stood triumphant upon his fell beast. Eventually, all of the Uruk heroes fled, leaving Tai-Shan the only remaining hero for the Isengard side. Having slain the Khandish King, he rallied the remaining Berserkers and Ferals on the left flank and charged up the hill. He and his troops surrounded the Ringwraith, and with a mighty crash of his halberd, Tai-Shan banished the wraith and won the day for Isengard!

Major victory for Isengard, as the Khandish army was completely wiped out.

Props to Tim for playing an army that he enjoys rather than the meanest army he can come up with. I'm not a fan of Khandish warriors. While they have good fighting skill and great damage-causing potential with their ability to do a piercing, two-handed strike, their weak armor is a deadly flaw, I think, against armies such as Isengard. I love the Khandish horsemen, but I would prefer an Easterling warrior over a Khandish one.

Tim used the Barge attack with the chariot to good effect. When his chariot was charged by an infantryman of mine, he would simply barge him out of the way and then attack two more infantry and then he is considered to be charging, so his attack is much more powerful. I shall have to remember that.

My crossbowmen and archers were unspectacular, but just having them represents a threat that the enemy must address. I would have lost if I had had to spend all of my energy trying to chase down the Khandish horsemen.

Psychology played a huge role in this game. I think that all of my Uruk heroes, save Ugluk, ran away rather than die in battle. This is the first time I have really noticed the insanely high Courage of the Berserkers and been grateful for it. Of course, I did bring an Uruk Shaman, but Khamul sapped his will and rendered him useless (and then he ran away!)

Obviously, Captain Tai-Shan of Rhun was the man of the match. Although he was reduced to one wound in the opening rounds, and spent a lot of the mid-game on his back, being kicked around by horsemen, he rallied the Uruks when all of their leaders fled. He slew the Khandish King and Khamul and captured the hill for Isengard, forever cementing his status as a living legend.


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