Warbands of Dol Guldur!

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Warbands of Dol Guldur!

Postby BaronDeSade » Sun Mar 18, 2012 2:18 pm

Hello All,

I thought it would be nice to deploy my Dol Guldur force in warband form, as all of my models are painted already and I have a great affection for that army. Sadly for the Tower of Mirkwood, I've lost Giant Bats, Wild Warg Chieftains and Wild Warg choices from my army :cry: :cry: :cry: So, for those of you who have been complaining about the loss of theme in the new books, count your blessings if you still have most of your troops! (And still waiting for Werewolves and Dark-Hearted Trees!)

Anyhow, this is similar to forces I have fielded in the past and it has a lot of pleasant synergies to it:

1st Warband

The Shadowlord on Armored Horse
4 Black Guard
4 Orcs with Spears
2 Black Numenorians
2 Giant Spiders

Dol Guldur was mostly an army of specialist melee troops, and I am trying to maintain that flavor. Since I won't have a lot of shooting, the Shadowlord is the natural choice of force leader to balance the strategic playing field. Black Guard are excellent troops, and the Black Numenorians benefit from the Shadowlord's Harbinger of Evil rule. Giant Spiders are cheaper now, huzzah! I have used the terrain-ignoring movement of the spiders often in the past, and it makes them very good flankers.

2nd Warband

Black Guard Captain
4 Black Guard
4 Orcs with Spears
2 Giant Spiders

The Black Guard Captain in a monster in close combat, and the presence of the Shadowlord fills him with Courage!

3rd Warband

Khardush the Firecaller
1 Black Guard
2 Black Numenorians
2 Orcs with bows
3 Orcs with Shields
2 Giant Spiders

Khardush has only one wound, but his Fireball spell is very useful, I think. He can sacrifice Orcs to regenerate is powers, and the Shadowlord can sacrifice him if needed. There's no particular reasoning behind this mixed-up warband, save that these were the models I had already painted.

35 Models, which is a little small for three warbands, but the Spiders have two wounds each, so that's six more wounds.

Thoughts?

BdS
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Re: Warbands of Dol Guldur!

Postby BaronDeSade » Sat Mar 24, 2012 6:53 pm

So Dol Guldur marched forth against Tim's Dwarfs last night in the High Ground scenario. The first two rounds saw Dwarf heads rolling in great numbers as my Orc-supported Black Guard hacked them off while my Giant Spiders wrapped the flanks. After that, though, things went downhill quickly as the weakly-armored Spiders were quickly dispatched and the Dwarfs wrapped my flanks, now able to kill the crappy Orcs of my second line. Tim also loaded his left flank in deployment, and I failed to counter his refused flank strategy, so many of my Orcs did not reach combat until late in the game. I also violated my own army building strategy by putting too many fighters in the center and not enough on the flanks. So, a few adjustments need to be made, but certainly, the Black Guard were wreaking havoc on the Dwarfs and just need a little bit better support.

Cheers,

BdS
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Re: Warbands of Dol Guldur!

Postby griffen127 » Sun Mar 25, 2012 1:51 pm

hmm
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Re: Warbands of Dol Guldur!

Postby BaronDeSade » Sun Mar 25, 2012 3:52 pm

OK, then, I sat down and worked some things out for the warband. Sadly, it doesn't look much like Dol Guldur anymore, but I think it is better, anyhow.

Center Warband "The Anvil"

It is upon this anvil that the enemy army will be beaten down. It's job is to press forward against the center of the foe and hold or defeat them, but mostly, hold.

The Shadowlord on Armored Horse
8 Black Numenorians
4 Orcs with Spears

The Black Numenorians have heavy armor and shields, and the Shadowlord protects them from missile fire with his aura and from being charged with his Harbinger of Evil rule. Orcs with spears provide some extra attacks at low cost.

Right Flank Warband "The Hammer"

This warband will smash through opposing warbands and roll up the enemy's flank.

Captain of the Black Guard
7 Black Guard
1 Black Guard with Banner
4 Morannon Orcs with spears

Replacing my Orcs with Morannon Orcs makes it harder for the enemy to get behind and roll up this warband, as happened in the last game. The Captain of the Black Guard is an awesome fighter, and the presence of the banner will make this warband fight even more ferociously.

Left Flank Warband "The Dagger"

This warband will seek to exploit weaknesses in the enemy's formation, or quickly move to capture ground.

Khardush the Firecaller
2 Warg Riders with Bows
2 Orcs with Shields
4 Morannon Orcs with Shields
4 Orcs with Spears

Khardush's fireball is not to be underestimated, and this warband provides him with plenty of sacrificial victims. Fury can also help to keep this warband together and alive.

598 points, 39 models (4 more than the original.)

Good stuff, I think!

Cheers,

BdS
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Re: Warbands of Dol Guldur!

Postby Smeagol » Mon Mar 26, 2012 10:15 am

Those Black Guard were tearing me apart. My archers spent more time fighting then shooting in that battle and your Black Guard were not any better against them than they were my other dwarves. I'll have to remember to send my lightly armoured archers against thos monsters while my combat dwarves take on the rest of your force. Of course my hot turn of dice rolling also helped gut your center in the long run. I don't think I've rolled so many sixes to wound in one turn in any other battle. Though I have been on the receiving end of that kind of rolling more than once.
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Re: Warbands of Dol Guldur!

Postby BaronDeSade » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:01 am

Well, one thing I have noticed is that my warbands didn't have enough frontage, so I worked on extending frontage and limiting the number of spearmen so my flanks don't get wrapped so easily. We'll see how it goes.

BdS
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Re: Warbands of Dol Guldur!

Postby Smeagol » Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:14 am

My dwarves have to try and extend my opponent's lines when facing forces like your Dol Guldor force. I don't have spears so I can theoritically extend my line twice as long. With the archers in the fighting line then I can theoretically extend by three times. Of course this doesn't take into account the need to maintain a reserve to plug holes that occur in my own lines, etc ...

My stacked deployment was intended to force you into a situation where half of your force was fighting all of mine. Ultimately it worked, but as you well know I was sure I didn't have a chance to win that game after turn three. The goal is to build warbands that can stand on their own, but still dovetail into the larger force when it comes to the knife fighting.
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Re: Warbands of Dol Guldur!

Postby Smeagol » Tue Mar 27, 2012 2:35 pm

BaronDeSade wrote:Well, one thing I have noticed is that my warbands didn't have enough frontage, so I worked on extending frontage and limiting the number of spearmen so my flanks don't get wrapped so easily. We'll see how it goes.

BdS

Okay this isn't exactly Dol Guldor, but it gets the idea across. This is a nasty combat line. It has numbers, high defense, high FV and that nasty strength value. Plus it has lots of Might and three hard hitting heroes. The best part for me is that it is painted.

Care to borrow it? :P You won't have flank issues and while trackers are soft troops they do fill holes and trap models quite nicely. For the objective games they just sit back and hold the objectives while the bigger guys beat the snot out of the opposing force. It lacks speed, but that's about it.

Warband 1
Shagrat, Captain of Cirith Ungol with Shield
6 Orc Warriors with Spear
6 Black Guards of Barad-dûr

Warband 2
Captain of the Black Guard
6 Orc Warriors with Spear
6 Black Guards of Barad-dûr

Warband 3
Morannon Orc Captain with Shield
6 Orc Warriors with Spear
6 Black Guards of Barad-dûr

Warband 4
Grishnak
12 Orc Trackers

Points = 599
Models = 52
Might = 10
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Re: Warbands of Dol Guldur!

Postby JLeong » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:33 pm

Smeagol that is just plain BA. That force looks so fun to play. One question, though: couldn't you change the Morannon Orc captain to an Orc Drummer? He allows even mordor uruk-hai to increase their movement, and by my reckoning Black guard are mordor uruks, aren't they?
The guard have their own drummer. Can they only use that drummer? Or does an orc drummer work too?
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Re: Warbands of Dol Guldur!

Postby Smeagol » Tue Mar 27, 2012 4:39 pm

JLeong wrote:Smeagol that is just plain BA. That force looks so fun to play. One question, though: couldn't you change the Morannon Orc captain to an Orc Drummer? He allows even mordor uruk-hai to increase their movement, and by my reckoning Black guard are mordor uruks, aren't they?
The guard have their own drummer. Can they only use that drummer? Or does an orc drummer work too?

I was going to use a drummer, but since I haven't looked closely at the new definitions of the Black Guard and checked the updated (if any) wording of the Orc Drummer. I don't know if the drummer affects Black Guard. If they do then yes a drummer would be a preferred upgrade, though I'd probably dump Grishnak for the drummer. I want the fighting hero the Morannon Captain represents more than the additional Might point.

Sorry for derailing your thread BaronDeSade. :P
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Re: Warbands of Dol Guldur!

Postby BaronDeSade » Tue Mar 27, 2012 8:34 pm

I don't know why you would say, "You won't have to worry about flanks." That force, including heroes, has 22 front-line fighters. Mine, including only the BG Captain, has 24 front-line fighters. The whole reason you were able to wrap my flanks in the last game is because you were able to break through and slaughter my crappy Orc spearmen, so I adjusted the number of 2nd-line fighters downward, and made them tougher on the right flank. That army you have posted has more flank vulnerablility than my new one does, IMHO. :P

BdS
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Re: Warbands of Dol Guldur!

Postby Smeagol » Tue Mar 27, 2012 11:22 pm

There are twelve trackers and the drummer makes it easier to manuever. Most forces are built on the spear supported shield wall so being out numbered on the fighting line is rare when you have twenty plus fighting pairs. The only reasons I did it to your force was the refused flank and my archers acting as warriors and not bowmen. This effectively gave me an almost three to one advantage in numbers on your right flank. Had I been using a force with spears I wouldn't have had that advantage.

Even with your force changes thirty nine fighting dwarves outnumber your twenty four fighting models.
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Re: Warbands of Dol Guldur!

Postby BaronDeSade » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:32 am

Bah, humbug! Poppycock and Balderdash! While I would agree that a Dwarf Archer is a stout warrior, as good as anyone else's warriors, I think that Orc Trackers, despite their one shining moment they had in the past, are awful troops. Your Black Guard are decent troops, but even so, they'll have to roll an 8+ to charge my Black Numenorians, which is another weakness that the Dwarfs didn't experience as much (to say nothing of the 9+ the crappy Orcs would have to roll!) I'll put my "Hammer" Warband against any of your Warbands in single combat :P Yes, you'll have 12 BG attacks, but I'll be able to meet your front line, BG for BG, the four with spear support will fight, and the two without it will shield, and the last two BG will wrap each flank and kill crappy Orcs. I will have a total of two more dice than you, because two of your BG will lose their spear support, and those two will be the ones I shield against. Two of my BG won't be able to strike, while two of them will be fighting crappy Orcs and then I will have my banner to boost my dice all down the line.

I understand that you refused a flank last game, and I was foolish to not counter that threat (and you were unusually lucky, to boot,) but what I definitely took away from that battle was that if I allow my line of BGs to be wrapped, they're dead. So, I worked on expanding my lines to nine, eight and eight models wide. Your army is seven, seven, seven models wide, which isn't the direction I am trying to go. I am doubtful that the Orc trackers are going to be very useful, since we start so close to each other in most games, now, and you'll notice that I dropped my drummer from my Easterlings because I wasn't finding it that useful. You are probably right that a spear-supported shield wall is the standard, but I have also been discovering how well my Easterling Warbands are working as a skirmish line supported by light cavalry.

I don't know. You'll have to bring that army on Friday and we'll see how quickly it dies. :P I'll bring an extra box of kleenex for when you start sobbing in despair... :P

Cheers,

BdS
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Re: Warbands of Dol Guldur!

Postby Smeagol » Wed Mar 28, 2012 1:12 am

I have sixty black numenoreans. I know how to counter them.
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Re: Warbands of Dol Guldur!

Postby BaronDeSade » Sat Mar 31, 2012 12:16 pm

And so, feeling cocky, I rolled out this army against Tim's Wood Elves last night. His WE had four warbands, with two captains and two stormcallers, and a bunch of WE infantry. He outnumbered me by five models, and our scenario was, "To The Death."

Disliking the idea of being shot up by WE bows, I deployed in an armored wedge formation, with the Black Numenorians on the left, the Black Guard on the right, and Khardush's Orcs as a reserve in the rear. The Shadowlord's central placement allowed him to cover the entire army with a pall of darkness, and the Wood Elf shooting was rendered completely ineffective.

So far, everything is going to plan.

My front lines engage with the Wood Elves, who have infantry backed up by spears, and no banners. The Wood Elves are attempting to wrap my flanks, but the armored wedge formation means that this will take them a long time to get around the edges of my inverted-trapezoid of heavily-armored troops. The BGs and BNs are backed up by Orc and Morannon Orc spearmen, and the BG's have a banner. The Wood Elves have two fighting heroes in the line and I have one.

The S5 of the BG should be extremely punishing to the WE, wounding them on a 3+, while the puny sticks of the WE will only wound the BG or the BN on a 6+. For those of you who like stats, this means that a BG is 400% more likely to kill a WE than be killed by one. The BN's are only S3, but since the WE have no armor, the BN's are still 300% more likely to inflict a wound on the WE than receive one.

Key words: "Should" and "Likely"

One of the Stormcallers on the right flank blows over some of the BG's. I'm not too worried about it. They have heavy armor. A string of unfortunate dice rolls later, and nine of my BGs and BNs lie dead, in return for only slaying three WEs.

That's bad, very bad. Battles are a slippery slope. As you lose troops, you lose options, and the opposition's power increases. However, I send in my reserve troops and my armored wedge formation remains intact. I have Morannon Orcs in the reserve, and their heavy armor should protect them from the WE spears well enough so that my troops can get back to slaughtering WEs.

Again, that word, "Should." I do not think it means what I think it means.

Round four sees four more of my elite troops hit the dirt while only two Wood Elves are slain in return. WE are now breaking through my lines and my magic is not helping.

Round five sees the WE break through, surround and kill the Shadowlord. My army is broken. Khardush's Fury spell comes down as he loses a combat. The Black Guard captain is still winning fights, but he cannot win the battle on his own. The center cannot hold. I concede.

I did everything right in that game, I think. I protected my troops from WE shooting and he only got one spell off, successfully. My troops should have blown through his center like a hot knife through yogurt. The dice have a will of their own, though.

Cheers,

BdS

PS. Yes, it's easy to counter BNs. You just have to roll a lot of 6's.

PPS. This is why Elite armies annoy me. When they lose, it feels like I've been robbed. When crappy armies lose, it feels normal, and when they win, it's much more exciting than when elite armies win.
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