After last weeks gaming I wanted to post a few pictures of my finished Glorfindel model, however I have recently been suffering from the attentions of Nurgle and had bearly left my bed for two days. On Monday I was considering which one of my friends would get to pay off their mortgage after inheriting my Tyranid army. But the sickness has passed and now here are some pictures.
As you will already be aware of Thursday night saw us gamers get together for another round of beat on the Elf. Last nights battle was a lot of fun. As ZombiePirate has already informed you it was a battle for the pass game with us basically having to kill as much of each other as possible [I love simple games]. My army had seen a few changes since its last use – out went the Ent which had done next to nothing in 3 games, and I’ve also been trying out lots of different characters – in last nights match I used Glorfindel, Thranduil and Cirdan. The rest is pretty familiar; 3 companies each of Galadrim, Galadrim Archers and Galadrim Knights.
I deployed my army across the board to take full advantage of the longbows, whilst ZombiePiarte used a refused flank stance. In general the battle went as follows – Elves got attacked by the wood; Galadrim Archers shot the crap out of stuff; Glorfindel had a fantastic failure of a combat with the Winged Nazgul (more later); the Galadrim Knights saw off the Haradrim Raiders, then got finished off in combat against the Haradrim Infantry with Dalamyr (though they did take out about a third of the unit); the Nazgul spent half the game having fantastic magic rolls, whilst despite having 3 casters, mine flopped like a bad perm; Glorfindel later redeemed himself by finishing off the Haradrim, the Easterlings and the Nazgul and at the end of it all there was 4 Morgul Knights and Dalamyr left on the table. Total whip out for the Elves [my third in a row now!].
So what are my feelings towards my army? I like the Elves, despite the losses sustained so far – I’ve 1 game out of 4 and like I said the last 3 there was nothing left of my army, but at least this time there wasn’t much left of my opponent’s either. For some reason I like the Elves (and Elf-type) armies in wargames. I have a Wood Elf army for Fantasy, an Eldar army for 40K and the Thaniras Elf fleet for Uncharted Seas. And now after playing some games of War of the Ring I’ve noticed a theme; that they all aim for the hit hard, hit fast principle. They are all incredibly fast armies with a lot of hitting power, but somewhat lower defences and so tend to lose out in a war of attrition. The Elves of War of the Ring are no different. After having spent some time thinking about the army, I’ve identified what I see to be the main strengths and weaknesses of in the army.
- Speed – all the Elves move at least 8 inches (their cavalry move 12), they also all have pathfinder master, meaning that they ignore difficult terrain.
- High Fight – even the basic Elf is Fight 5 (equal to many other people’s Epic Heroes) and their own Epic Heroes often have Fight values of 7,8 and 10. So that’s LOTS of attack dice.
- Terror – they all cause terror.
- High Courage – basic Elf courage is 5, with captains and most Epics at 6, making them very reliable and making the Spirit Grasp rule pretty pointless against them.
- Longbows – 36″ range weapon with at least 10 dice per company, it massacres lightly armoured units and even heavy units need to watch out.
- Magic – the only Good army to have magic users in their list and there are plenty of them; out of 12 Epic Hero choices 6 are magic users, plus there are 2 Legendary formations and the Galadrim can be upgraded with Stormcallers. This gives you access to Dismay, Command and Wilderness spells.
- Characters – they have more Epic Heroes to choose from than any other army save Mordor, so that’s plenty of choice.
- Expensive – most companies of Elves cost at least 50pts; that’s enough for 2 companies of Minas Tirith Warriors or almost 4 companies of Orcs/Goblins. This means you can expect to be outnumbered by at least 2:1. It also means that you often can’t afford the a lot of unit upgrades.
- Low Defence – they’re defence is often a point or two lower than most units; e.g. Galadrim Warriors 4(6), Easterling Cohort 5(7).
- Limited unit options – a lot of the units do similar things, and they’re is no artillery.
- Characters – too much choice leaves you pondering on which characters to use and the expensive units means you can’t get a lot of Might points in your army.
So how do I feel about the army that I used last night? And how did these strengths/weaknesses play out?
Glorfindel: I decided that I wanted to use this guy partly because I thought I could do with a monster to replace the Ent and partly because I enjoyed painting the model [it’s the big green one in Servitob’s post]. The beginning of the game went really badly for him – he charged the Winged Nazgul, declared a Heroic Duel and did nothing, then came regular fighting between them and again nothing. What should have been a dramatic combat between two monsters was a huge pile of fail from both characters, no hits were scored. He failed a lot of his spells and failed to hit a single Morgul Knight in a later combat. He later redeemed himself by killing the said Nazgul along with the Easterlings and the Haradrim. His speed and the sheer number of dice you roll in combat makes him a formidable character, and at defence 7 and Very Hard to Kill, he’s not easy to hurt. Would I use him again? Most definitely, but at 250pts he’s probably a bit too expensive for a 1000pt army.
Overall rating so far: 4/5
Thranduil: Another new hero for me to try. His epic shot surprised ZombiePirate and his Fight 7 and Wilderness Spells are useful – though I did manage to fail a lot of my magic rolls (especially focus rolls) with him. On the plus side he is (125pts) and you get a good combat character who is also a wizard. Chances of me using him again; good.
Overall rating: 3/5
Cirdan: A new choice for me. I thought his Command Spells would hurt the Nazgul and repair damage to his unit, but he got Black Darted at the beginning of turn 2 and had done nothing in the game. If he had survived longer, then perhaps something may have come from him, but at Resilience 1 I’m not sure I’ll be in a hurry to use him soon.
Overall rating 2/5
Galadrim Infantry: I’ve had a mixed amount of success with these troops. As my main combat unit they tend to get a lot of attention, but at the moment I’m only fielding 3 companies of them, and the damage absorption just isn’t there. One the plus side they do have a habit of really hurting stuff in close combat and at defence 6 they can take some punishment. They have worked well when supported with a Hero with Epic Defence and the Spells of Command to replenish depleted companies. A good, dependable unit, just don’t hit it too many times.
Overall rating 3/5
Galadrim Archers: Probably the one unit that has done the most damage. At the risk of offending the dice gods they have a habit of doing a lot of damage with their longbows, hence why I added a third company to the unit since my last game. At fight 5 they’re also no pushovers in combat and when they have a Hero with Epic Shot or Epic Defence, they become a unit to fear. This unit I intend on taking every time I go to the field.
Overall rating 5/5
Galadrim Knights: Another useful unit. I’ve yet to use the shield armed variety as I find their longbows and Expert Rider ability just too much of a temptation. They do a decent amount fo damage at range – destroying the Haradrim Raiders after 3 volleys, and they can deal a lot of damage in combat. There one big weakness – defence 4, so pick your targets carefully. This being said, I fully intended on keeping the unit in my army.
Overall rating 4/5
So how did the army as a whole work? Ignoring the bad dice rolling that plagued us both this game I think it went well. Although I had nothing left, it was probably the most tightly fought game so far. The speed, high fight and longbow strengths really came out, how ever so did the lacking in numbers and the loss of Might points to the Black Dart. What would I change for next time? I think that the army was to character heavy, especially for 1000pts, so a change of characters will probably take place before the next battle. Good thing I have plenty to choose from.
In an obvious attempt to steal my thunder Servitob has already displayed some of the exploits from last nights gaming nirvana. Not only that, but he is obviously trying to make me feel bad by picturing my plastic army men force going up against Gribblin’s painted, foppish, dilettantes… If you stare really closely you can spot some painted Easterlings in there I swear!
After meeting up at our usual hang-out it turned out that only Carabus, Gribblin and myself had bothered to bring any models. As Carabus had already mercilessly crushed the Armani handbag forces of the Elven Kingdoms and I was yet to face off against their perfectly manicured and flaxen-haired Galadhrim legions, it was decided I would be fighting this time round.
I’d tweaked my list ever so slightly from the last time out when I had great success against the Rohan. The Winged Nazgul stayed in the list but the rider on his back changed from the Shadow Lord to Khamul the Easterling. I wanted to try out his Essence Leech ability and it fits more into my purported Easterling themed army. I also dropped the Balefire Arrows Fate from the Haradrim Warband and took the Black-hearted Trees intervention, this was primarily an anti-Ent pick but can also do a number on any infantry that choose to camp out in defensible terrain (we normally have at least one or two forests on the table).
Gribblin had some changes of his own but that’s his army so I’ll let him tell you all about that. Our independent adjudicator nBreaker rolled our mission and deployment, he rolled Field of Swords and Maelstrom respectively. After we administered a swift kicking and some “re-education” we settled on the same objective but rolled Battle for the Pass as deployment in the hope of a less random and a more balanced and enjoyable game. I won the roll off and tasked Gribblin with deploying first. Glorfindel and the Galadhrim infantry went on my left flank behind a wood while the Galadhrim Archers took up position line abreast in the centre with the Knights on the right flank. With the centre of the table composed of a defensible building with some walls there was lots of room to go up either side, I had a wood on my right too. I decied to massively weight my forces towards the left flank, I know things move very quickly in War of the Ring but his cavalry would have to come to me if they wanted to hurt things. Therefore I deployed my Morgul Knights on my far left, to their right were the Haradrim with Dalamyr, next was the Easterling Cohort with the Winged Nazgul stationed behind them. The Watchers of Karna were left in ambush and I’d chosen the wood in Gribblin’s deployment zone as their hiding place. Lastly the Haradrim Raiders were all alone on the right flank to make Gribblin think about his targets and movement or end up with a roaming cavalry unit in his flanks if he turned towards the rest of my army.
Gribblin then gave me priority for the first turn, the Easterlings shuffled forwards slightly but everything else stood still. I was determined to make it hard for the Elf shooting if I could. Rather than give a total blow-by-blow report (I’ll leave that to Gribblin and his better memory) I thought I’d take the units in turn and give a run down of their performance. I’m still looking at my army as a whole and thinking of improvements and tabletop performances are a great way of seeing what is working and what isn’t.
Haradrim Raiders – My current list has 4 companies of these guys with a Banner Bearer. Despite their speed they got shot up by the longbow armed Galadhrim Knights and never made it into combat, this is the third game where they have done nothing. The unit costs 135pts so it isn’t exactly a cheap throw away unit but they have now gotten completely shot down without seeing combat in two out of the three games I have played. Therefore I am considering their future, they do provide a nice boost to the number of companies I field but so far haven’t achieved anything.
Overall rating so far 2/5
Haradim Warband – 4 Companies accompanied by Dalamyr, Fleet Master of Umbar. Cheap and cheerful these are my shooting troops, I may drop the bows though as I rarely shoot, I’d rather move farther forwards and get them into combat. They may only be Defence 4 but due to the size of the unit can soak up casualties. They took a pounding from Elven shooting but still got across the table and made one of the biggest differences in the game. They took a charge from the Galadhrim Knights towards the end of the game. The combination of Dalamyr’s Flash and Caltrops (no charge bonuses against his formation) and spending both Might points for an Epic Strike and Epic Poison meant that the Knights didn’t really kill a lot of Haradrim, while being Fight 10 and re-rolling all failed hits was nasty, they managed to wipe out the Knights completely. I took Dalamyr mainly for his anti-charge rule, I couldn’t really think of why I’d ever use Epic Poison considering the other uses for Might but it was the spot-on time to do it last night and it paid dividends.
Overall rating so far 4/5
Easterling Cohort – 3 Companies with Dragon Knight and Captain armed with Pikes. People avoid these guys like the plague. Defence 7 to the front with Pikes denying charge bonuses is quite a good thing. These guys are just solid and dependable and people don’t like them. They got wiped out in the end this game but they were ground down over time and I made some bad choices with their movements which put them out of position. The Captain Will of Ironed a spell at the right moment and I rolled like a chump when declaring an Heroic Duel against Glorfindel (no guts, no glory). Still, I like their solid and immoveable nature.
Overall rating so far 4/5
Morgul Knight Regiment – 3 Companies with Banner Bearer. Second time out for these guys. Their low courage hurts them, especially when they get Light of the Valar chucked at them every turn. However, once Dalamyr moved over from the Harardim they got a lot tougher. This was the only unit I had left at the end of the game and they pretty much got ignored. I am thinking that they may need a Hero in there full time, probably an Epic Hero to really get the most out of them, especially against anything that causes Terror. This was the first game where Terror really played a part as both myself and Gribblin failed a lot of Terror tests. They did however finish off Glorfindel which was awesome, so that swings in their favour. People are also scared of what they are capable of and I would like to see them charge some infantry at some point, so, still need some more time with them to really find their niche.
Overall rating so far 3/5
Winged Nazgul – I swapped my original Dark Marshal Epic Hero for a Winged Nazgul after the first game, replacing the Mumak. In the two games he has been in my army he has scared the living snot out of the opposition and rightly so. If I had to pick my overall most effective unit it’s this fella. The Swoop Attack can really hurt, especially if you get a nice line of stuff to go over, however, as anyone who has used a Nazgul knows, he is a Wizard more than a fighter. While being on the Fell Beast certainly ups his damage output in combat it’s the magic he casts that is the real gem. While I had a number of spells fail at critical moments (the Nazgul was killed by a charging Glorfindel after I cast Strength from Corruption on him. Average rolls would have seen him dead but I rolled like a chump, scoring one hit), but for the first few turns he went around Black Darting enemy Heros with great success. I reckon next time my opponents may Will of Iron it but that suits me fine, they spend a point of Might to try to stop it and 50% of the time I’ll still be getting the spell off to strip more Might, it’s a tough decision for a player to face. I also got Black Breath off a few times which annoys Heroes too. Khamul’s ability to redirect his Hits hoovered up some Elves here and there too which was another annoyance. Overall I’ve been having great success with this model, sure it eats up all my Allies allowance but it is a mobile threat and one hell of a good one too.
Overall rating so far 5/5
Watchers of Karna – 1 Company with bows and they might not be making a re-appearance. I had spare points so spent them here, however, the idea that they would harass opponents in their own deployment zone through ambushing hasn’t really played out. To be a threat I’d need more of them but I just don’t see them filling that role well enough. A bigger unit would be better but I have nowhere else to squeeze the points to do that. Better if you take the battlehost but then you’d have to sell your kids to afford those metal models so overall about as useful as a third testicle.
Overall rating so far 2/5
Sauron’s forces eventually triumphed over Galadriel’s finest but there was only one unit left at the end of the game, the Morgul Knights. The game really had an ebb and flow to it with the advantage swinging between both forces at one time or another. It was an hard-fought game and I had a lot of fun, happy that I won of course but happier that we had a good game and I got to once more assess the forces at my command. I reckon I can fit some more Nazgul in there….
Thursday evening saw the 6InchMove team head to their latest addition of the floating citadel to talk more smack, throw more dice and drink more DPZ. Fortunately, the Co-op had a buy one get one free offer on DPZ. Unfortunately that meant that they had sold out, so we were reduced to drinking Pepsi of the Max variety.
The gaming commenced with War Of The Ring, the much mocked yet well dressed elvish handbag collectors of Gribblin taking on the might of ZombiePirate’s Fallen Realms. It was a close match that went down to pretty much the last throw of the dice, but as Dark Helmet carefully noted in Spaceballs: “Evil will always triumph because good is dumb.”, the lads from the Fallen Realms won the day. To be fair though, there was no dumbness here as both players are getting their tactics for playing this excellent game correct.
Following War Of The Ring, we all settled down for a game of Death Angel, the card game based on Space Hulk. Personally, I really enjoy this game, almost to the extent that I enjoy Space Hulk. Honestly! Yes, they are two different beasts but Death Angel is far more straightforward at least from a logistical point of view and still retains the edge of tension and the much cliched “a moment to learn, a lifetime to master” type feeling of the original.
As ZombiePirate has already stated, this weekend saw the 6 inch move team having a fun filled day of War of the Ring. Unfortunately for me I had to work until the afternoon [I know working on a gaming Saturday]. Due to circumstances I had not been able to play this wonderful addition to our gaming until this weekend. The force that I’d chosen many moons ago when we first talked of War of the Ring was the Elves, and here are some pictures. Yes I know there’s an Ent in there too.
It was either the Elves or Rohan, and having an affinity for the pointy ears, the Elves it was. The 1000 pts army that I used on the weekend was as follows;
- Galadriel, Lady of Lothlorien
- Haldir, Guardian of Lorien
- Galadrim Regiment with shields (3 companies)
- Galadrim Archer Regiment (2 companies)
- Wood Elf Warband with longbows and hornblower (2 companies)
- Galadrim Knight Regiment with longbows, captain and banner bearer (3 companies)
As this was my first game I decided to go with a mixed force. The main combat unit was going to be the Galadrim regiment, supported by the two archer regiments. The knights provide a hard hitting force whilst the Ent provided me with some much needed muscle. As for the Epic Heroes they all had a certain role. Galadriel was to be the leader and use her magic and epic defence to boost the Galadrim and her epic renewal to allow Haldir to use his epic shot every turn, and Elrohir was to use epic defence to boost the Wood Elves. Not really knowing the full dynamics of the game the plan was simple; to shoot the crap out of stuff on the way in, then give it a good beating in combat. So how did they get one?
I had been told by some of the others that the Elves are considered one of the weakest of the armies in the game, and when I saw how much I was outnumbered by Servitob’s Isengard it easy to see why (21 companies to my 10!). We rolled for the scenario and got The High Ground objective and the Maelstrom of Battle deployment. It’s at this point that I got lucky; almost my entire army all turned up on the first turn, at the same table edge, whilst Servitob’s Uruk-hai came on a little more piecemeal, but also on the same table edge as my army. As the game progressed Galadriel proved her worth by reducing Courage values and then zapping people with Visions of Woe; the Terror aspect really came through with the Uruks refusing to charge on several occasions. Haldir’s epic shot, combined with archery fire proved very effective. At the end of the game it was the Elves who held the field. Score 1 for the first born.
My second battle of the day proved less successful. I fought against Carabus’ Gondor warriors. Shooting saw off the knights of Minas Tirith (Haldir’s epic shot taking down 3 of them in a single phase!). The initial impact of the Warriors of Gondor on the Elven battle line saw them being repulsed, but their second and third charges eventually wore down the Elves; result total wipe out!
So what did I learn from these two games. First of all magic is awesome, if used right. Stacking the abilities from the spells to reduce stats, before forcing them to make a test is a good tactic. The Dismay and Command spells of Galadriel really makes a her very powerful. Spells such as Light of the Valar are fantastic; low focus and the reduction in Courage works well with the Elves causing Terror. Archery can be fantastic, especially when combined with an epic shot using hero you can easily take out a company in a single phase. However archer wont win you the game (ok maybe it does when you push units off the table), and I did notice the difference between Defence 5 Uruk-hai and Defence 7 Gondor Warriors. Archers aren’t bad in combat either, but they will probably need an epic hero to help them against a more determined foe.
The charge is important, as my Ent found out – failing the charge on at least 3 occasions. In the second game he did almost nothing; failing charges, not getting charged himself and finally getting hit on the head by the Gondorian Trebuchet and slain outright. I also think that I need to be more aggressive, especially with my cavalry. Giving the knights longbows was a good idea in theory, but I found myself backing off from combat so that I could shoot again rather than charging in after firing a volley.
Potential changes to the army. Well I want to try out some of the other heroes, and look at some other combinations. The Galadriel using ‘touched by destiny’ to get a free epic renewal worked really well, but I want to see what else is out there. As for the Ent, I might replace him with an eagle, just to see what that is like. I can’t wait until we start having games of 1500 pts though, as you really don’t get a lot of Elves for your points. Overall a really enjoyable game.
As alluded to in my post yesterday the 6 Inch Move team got another day off from our usual lives in order to avail ourselves of some juicy gaming goodness. Unfortunately, “the Man” makes Gribblin work every Saturday so we had to wait for him to clock off before his fashionista forces could arrive for their inaugural game. Servitob also had to arrive late due to generally being a lazy ass.
So it was that Carabus, nBreaker and myself appeared to kick off the morning in proper fashion. As nBreaker had been gimped by terrain on his last game against Servitob’s Isengard we had decided he would be up first to get another game in, we were also going to throw him in the deep end against the aforementioned debutantes of Gribblin’s poncy Elves. Due to them getting their nails and hair done they were unable to arrive until the Gribblin left work in the afternoon. So, with the three of us standing around we decided that it would be myself to face off against the Rohirrim using my recently “tweaked” Fallen Realms list.
It was a 1000pts game that saw me take the following;
- Dalamyr, Fleetmaster of Umbar – Leader
- Haradrim – 4 Companies with Bows and Balefire Arrows
- Haradrim Raiders – 4 Companies with Banner Bearers
- Easterling Cohort – 3 Companies with Pikes, Captain and Dragon Knight
- Morgul Knight Regiment – 3 Companies with Banner Bearer
- Watcher Warband – 1 Company with Bows
- Winged Nazgul – The Shadow Lord
We ended up playing the Field of Swords scenario where you are rewarded for taking Banners and crumping skulls. I was up against a veritable horde of cavalry and an allied Dwarf Ballista. My list was changed around since last time, namely the dropping of the Mumak for the Winged Nazgul and dropping the Dark Marshal, the Easterling Archers and the Haradrim Heroes in order to afford the Morgul Knights and taking Dalamyr plus putting a few upgrades here and there such as the pikes on the Easterling Cohort. Overall the new list looks more threatening than the last one.
With a memory like a seive I cannot provide a blow-by-blow battle report but I can pick out what works for me with the new list. The Winged Nazgul is an absolute treat, I was made to set up first and was then given Priority in the first turn. The first thing I did was swoop attack over the Dwarf Ballista, the attack itself did nothing but the following Strength from Corruption spell rolled 4 hits and destroyed the machine before it got to fire a shot. After shuffling the rest of my army around a little nBreaker stood in deep and thoughtful conversation with Servitob about what to do in his move phase due to the hungry looking Felbeast hanging around in his deployment zone.
The Nazgul kept making a nuisance of itself throughout the game, picking off stuff here and there, disrupting charges with Pall of Night and although nothing ever failed its Terror test when it charged into combat it really did cause problems. I heard mentions of Gandalf when people were discussing counters for it later on. The Morgul Knights ended up fighting other cavalry for most of the game, however, when they hit some Rohirrim I was hitting on 5’s and with five dice managed to roll every single one as a 5 to finish off a unit, that was quite lucky on my part. My Easterlings with Pikes were a massive anchor on my right flank, they wouldn’t shift and when bolstered by the Dragon Knight’s fight of 7 really lay down the hurt, he even saw off Eowyn in an Heroic Duel. I am loving my Easterlings and I think other people are respecting how difficult they can be to shift.
The Haradrim could do nothing but harass Theoden’s unit and my Raiders were circling around the left flank to try to flank/rear charge the advancing horsemen. With Theoden stuck in a wood virtually all game I couldn’t shift them with lowly Haradrim but proceeded to make my presence known on the rest of the field. We called the game at around 2.00pm so we could go get some lunch, unfortunately for nBreaker there wasn’t a lot of the forces from the Riddermark left while Sauron’s allies were at virtually full strength.
It was a good game and a lot of fun, it was nice to see how my army has developed and the increase in understanding of how the game plays and what is effective. It is also interesting to look at combinations of stuff, I know there is a lot of Internet whining (give me a subject where this isn’t the case) regarding some of the broken combinations available but I don’t think we’ve come across that yet. We are enjoying the game and while I can see areas where you could pimp an army out to being a little disgusting I am hoping that our players will keep making tough lists but without trying to “spike” their lists.
Eventually the Elves did turn up, late as usual, but their hair was suitably long and glossy, after swapping appreciations for fetching handbag and shoe combinations they even got into a few scrapes, but that’s a story for another day and another author. I was just watching from the sidelines while they macarana’d their way across the tabletop battlefields of Middle Earth.
With War of the Ring coming up in conversation again I decided that it was once again time to embarrass ZombiePirate and his slow painting skills with some pictures of the first regiment that I completed for my Elven army. In all fairness I did these months ago to give me a break from all those Tyranids.