Battle Report: Easterlings vs Black Numenorians!

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Battle Report: Easterlings vs Black Numenorians!

Postby BaronDeSade » Sun Jul 27, 2008 8:09 pm

Cerebrus, leader of the Black Numenorians, clapped his hands for attention. The assembled Men turned their eyeless helmets towards the sound. The dungeons of Minas Morgul grew quiet, for once.

Cerebrus stood, resplendent in his ancient battle armor. His starched collar reached over his head, like the petals of a black flower. He cleared his throat.

“Brains?” he asked the assembly.

The Black Numenorians muttered among themselves. “Brains, brains, brains?” they discussed. Finally, another stood and slammed his gauntleted fist against his armored thigh. “Brains!” he shouted.

“Brains! Brains!” the rest of the Black Numenorians concurred.

Cerebrus nodded. “Brains,” he agreed.

The gates of Minas Morgul swung open and the Black Numenorians marched out in a column. Orc trackers slithered along behind them, perfectly safe because of their renowned lack of gray matter.

The chant “Brains, brains, brains,” filled the Morgul valley as the Black Numenorians marched towards the scent of fresh human brains…

Captain Tai-Shan frowned. There was a hint of corruption on the wind, causing the Morgul vale to stink worse than it normally did. Khamul’s orders had made him nervous as well. His last few battles had not gone well for the Easterlings, and Khamul had commanded him to march to Minas Morgul, “…where his stupid head could be put to better use.” What could the Ringwraith have meant?

“Look, Efendim!” shouted Sergeant Ilhan, pointing across the valley. Tai-Shan’s mouth fell open at the sight of a seemingly endless legion of Black Numenorians. He had no idea that there were so many of them in the whole of Middle Earth. They stumbled towards his army, eyeless masks impeding their progress. Their armored hands stretched out in front of them. They chanted, “Brains, brains, brains…”

Tai-Shan did not understand exactly what was going on, but he knew of the Black Numenorian’s taste for cerebral tissue of the human variety. Since there were no other Men around, he could only assume that his forces were slated for consumption. “Well,” he said to himself, “This is one Easterling who won’t willingly open his cranium.”

“Men of Rhun!” he ordered. “Seize the high ground and slaughter these…zombies!”

The Easterlings quickly fell into a battle line of swordsmen backed by spearmen. Their archers formed a double-thick firing line on the left flank, and Tai-Shan led the Kataphrakts on a gallop around towards the right flank, where there were fewer Black Numenorians and a flanking movement might succeed.

The Easterling archers and the Orc trackers began to exchange shots. Overall, the Orcs were getting the worst of it, but the Easterlings were losing Men, too.

“Now, charge!” shouted Tai-Shan. He had reached the flank of the Black Numenorians, and the Kataphrakts were in an excellent position to charge. It was then that the fearsome presence of the Black Numenorians came into its own. Horses screamed and refused to budge. Men quailed and refused to charge. Here and there, the Men of Rhun drove back their foes, but what should have been a devastating charge turned into a mess as the Easterling formation broke apart and the Black Numenorians swarmed into the gaps.

“Brains!” they cried happily as they fell upon Men paralyzed by fear and bit through their skulls. The Easterlings fought hard, but the terror of the Black Numenorians was unmanning them.

“Fight!” shouted Tai-Shan from the back of his armored horse. “They can eat our brains, but they can never take our warpride!” His attempt to rally his troops was a failure, and more of the Black Numenorians swarmed over his army like flesh-eating beetles.

Tai-Shan gritted his teeth. There was nothing for it but to retreat. His troops were both outnumbered and outclassed. He needed to fall back while he still had some Men with brains in their heads.

“Retreat!” he ordered bitterly. Against the forces of the brain-eating Black Numenorians, there could be no victory.

Tactical Notes: I really hate HixonT’s army, mostly because it is very similar to mine except better. Compared to an Easterling Warrior, a Black Numenorian costs one more point and gets higher Fight, higher Courage, and Terror. Gartl believes that there is “Codex Inflation” (i.e. “Power Creep”) going on. On this, I have no opinion, except that I do believe that the points are not balanced between the Easterling Warriors and the BN Warriors.

Anyhow, Terror was the game-breaker for me in this battle. Without the ability to coordinate my attacks, my formation broke up, and HixonT was able to use his superior numbers to take full advantage of my situation. In this case, the limited amount of unit choices I have hurts me, as I have neither any “bodyguard” troops who can fight fearlessly, nor do I have any Shamen who could make my troops fight as fearlessly as Orcs or Goblins might (BdS pauses to cry a bit at this last admission.)

If I fight the BN’s again, I will have to maintain a defensive formation the entire time, and try and maximize my advantages of spear support, phalanx formation, and banner support to inflict as many casualties on the BN’s as I can, and to do my best to use my Kataphrakts to destroy the Orc trackers. In such a case, I may be able to grind down the BN’s through attrition and break them before I am broken. I definitely won’t be able to charge them, ever, and so I will just have to do my best to maneuver defensively.


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