Gondor versus Men from the East 14-Apr-09

090414wotr01bThe men of Gondor stood ready to receive an attack from the combined forces of men from the east. Sauron had banded together Easterlings, Khandish and Haradrim in an attempt to weaken the men from Minas Tirith before a planned major onslaught.

War of the Ring is a recently released rule set by Games Workshop which is designed for fighting large battles with Lord of the Rings miniatures. This is a whole new set of rules and is well written.

 


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War of the Ring

The Rangers and armoured bowmen of Gondor stretched out into a long line in front of the other troops. Their aim was to discomfort the enemy with arrows for as long as possible. Once the enemy was closer, the archers were to step back whilst the heavy foot troops of Gondor took the fight to the (hopefully) weakened evil men. A reserve of lancer armed knights led by Prince Imrahil would be the key to the battle. They were to be saved until the decisive moment.

Unknown to the good side, the Watchers of Karna had hidden themselves among one group of ruins. They were hoping to spring an ambush on the unsuspecting Gondorians. The rest of the evil army looked spectacular as they formed up between the ruins. The golden armour of the Easterlings, the rich cloth of the Haradrim and the colourful tribal banners of the Khandish warriors made a memorable scene. They made a much more impressive sight than a bunch of filthy Orcs.


Closing the Gap

The Gondorians edged forward to give themselves some more manoeuvering room, wary to maintain their formations. The evil side outnumbered them in cavalry, so they had to be careful not to open up their flanks to their faster moving opponents. The evil men surged forward, eager to come to grips with the "tin cans" of Gondor.

The Rangers commenced shooting at their opponents, the Easterling bowmen. The skill of the Rangers clearly gave them the upper hand in the engagement, despite the heavier armour of the Easterlings. The Gondorian bowmen took a heavy toll of their opponents as the evil men continued to close the gap. The Haradrim Raiders and the Khandish two-handed axe wielders were the favoured targets as they were seen to be the greatest threats. Both were pushed back from the casualties. Although not pushed back far, it gave the Gondorians some extra shooting time to create further casualties.


Into the Fray

The shooting had done enough damage to the evil side to weaken their spearhead formations. With their confidence increasing (or was it overconfidence?), the bowmen decided to continue loosing arrows until the last minute and then take their swords to the enemy, instead of leaving it to their warrior brethren.

The heavily armoured Easterling warriors advanced into the fray, intending to chop the Gondorian bowmen and some of the Rangers into fine little pieces. The Gondorians had cleverly left a gap between these, which allowed Captain Deauvil to charge some knights into the Easterlings.

As the Easterling bowmen also pressed forward to attack the Rangers, they were assailed from the flank by Prince Imrahil and the horsed knights of Dol Amroth. An unstoppable charge with pennants flying from the long lances shattered the Easterling bowmen, scattering the formation to the four winds.

This helped balance the main infantry fight. The result was close and both sides took some casualties, without it being decisive. The good side recoiled slightly, ready to regroup for the next round of the melee. The mounted knights and the Minas Tirith bowmen quickly reformed, but the Rangers became disordered.

Before the fight could be renewed, without a Captain to spur them on, the Rangers inexplicably lost heart and fled from the field. The evil commander chuckled as he saw this and threw his Easterling warriors and Haradrim cavalry into the bowmen. But their blood was up and the bowmen were spoiling for a fight. They calmly stood their ground, wreaking havoc with steel tipped arrows on the poorly protected horsemen as the latter charge in. The Minas Tirith knights attacked the Easterling right flank as the Gondorian braced for the physical clash or arms. This time the fight went to the Gondorians. The Easterlings crumbled and the Haradrim cavalry were destroyed.

The two-handed Khandish warriors had slunk around the back of some ruins to avoid being slaughtered by bow fire. They wished to join the main infantry fight in the middle. This movement had several unfortunate consequences for the evil commander. The Khandish could not contribute to the fight for the next few rounds. This opened up the Haradrim cavalry as a target for the Gondorian archers. And when the Khandish emerged from behind the ruins, they were just in time to be made a target of the hard charging Prince Imrahil, who shattered them on first impact.

With the Watchers of Karna the only evil survivors, they disappeared into the ruins to secretly make their way home. Prince Imrahil surveyed the scene of this victory, which would give Gondor a few more weeks breathing space. The steadfast Gondorian archers went in search of the run away Rangers, ready to exert their well deserved bragging rights.