Gondor vs. Easterlings

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Gondor vs. Easterlings

Postby Smeagol » Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:32 am

I brought my Easterlings on Friday and got in a game with George wit his revamped 500 point Gondorians. We played Take and hold which can be a very complex scenario since the deployment rules are totally random. This game went on for quite a long time as both of us were using FV3, Defense 6 forces. George did have a slight advantage in the form of Faramir and his Osgiliath veterans. In the long run the battle was decided by dice rolls and two mistakes on my part. The first set me up for the second. My first mistake was that I didn't roll for my captains' deployment first. i rolled them last and as a result it was easy for George to isolate them on the first turn. Note to self: don't every do this again. I know better, but I was tired from work and just didn't think of it. As George set up his two captains (Faramir and Damrod) first he was able to reinforce their positions with models he got to deploy. This lead to him having one large formation around Faramir and a smaller one grouping up on Damrod. Afraid of what would happen if Faramir made it to the center and set up a defense I spent an inordinate amount of energy in containing Faramir and his troops (my second mistake). As a result more Gondorians poured in and it beacme an unholy mess with both of my captains and a third of my troops fighting at the table edge. in the meantie I had little to throw at Damrod so I piecemealed in my attacks to tie him down while I tried to get models intot he center.

Unfortunately dice rolls started to go south for me and while George was having his fair share of bad luck I could see the writing on the wall long before he did. I had the smaller force, I couldn't win a combat against Faramir, I was losing models left and right (mostly due to Faramir, but Damrod was doing his fair share) and I couldn't get anything into the center as they were all tied up in skirmishes on the edges of the table. Once I got models free to make a dash for te center Damrod broke free of my puny efforts to pin him down and he had more warriors at his disposal than I did. I was broken soon after, but the game refused to end and ultimately I chose to copitulate when I was finally down to three models and had no chance of winning the game or of bringing George to break point to lessen his victory.

Georege's 500 point Gondorians did him proud and it can be tough facing a Gondorian horde. My Easterlings just couldn't match the Fight Value 4 troops that the Gondorians could muster, though I did manage to decimate his rangers by the end of the game. I think he al of 2 left out of 15.

I've been toying with the Easterlings since that battle and have pretty much decided that ataphracts are basically toothless cavalry. They may have a good defense, but they are mediocre in everything else that they do. So I've decided to abandon my Kataphracts and concentrate on configuring my future Easterling forces into infantry lines. interestingly enough I didn't miss my lack of spears, but by the same token they probably would have made my life easier. At 10 points a model I still hate bringing them. Elves in heavy armour, shields with spears cost 11 points each and Easterlings are definitely not the equal of Elves.

After fiddling with the force again, I decided that it was going to stay unpartined on its shelf. There are just some forces I can't seem to make work no matter how hard I try and Easterlings are one of those forces. The Army of the Dead is the other one.
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Postby Midloo » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:44 am

Thanks for the report! I've just invested in some Easterlings (mostly because I think the models and fluff are cool), but I was concerned about the point costs relative to the stats. Guess they'll be more of a challenge to play.

Any luck allying them with another force? It seems to me they might make a better supplement rather than a core.
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Postby BrentS » Mon Jan 19, 2009 9:56 am

Good report Tim. Thanks for posting it. Its nice to hear when some people actually get out there and play games.

I think your experience with the Kataprachts is interesting. Obviously, you have a lot of recent excperience with the "cheaper" Haradrim and Khandish Merc Cavalry which are basically just as effective at a higher cost. They are a bit more resilient when it comes to the archery attacks but otherwise, you are probably right in that if feels like they are pedestrian. Interestingly, I have the same issue with Rohan these days. I can get a Haradrim Raider for 2 points less than a normal Rider of Rohan. Sure I sacrifice a shield but I can get a lance and get the bonus to wound on the charge that Rohan can't get. I'd rather have 7 Raiders than 6 Riders of Rohan.
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Postby BostonNazgul » Mon Jan 19, 2009 11:24 am

I'd rather have 7 Raiders than 6 Riders of Rohan.


amen brother! my motto is never ever take cav. unless they have lances, no matter how prettied up those throwing spears look.
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Postby Smeagol » Mon Jan 19, 2009 1:54 pm

Midloo wrote:Any luck allying them with another force? It seems to me they might make a better supplement rather than a core.
I' a purist for the most part. having said that I have seen alliances that work. Chris (Best overall at the 2008 LVGT) used an Easterling alliance. He had a core force of Easterlings, with a mounted captain and a few Kataphracts allied with a force of Morannon orcs (for punch) and a budget wraith. This force proved to be a tough nut to crack, especially since he knows how to play it well.

I have faced the Easterlings as a pure infantry force as well. They don't lend themselves well to the horde theorum due to their points cost (8 points per model), but if you go with the minimal hero configuration then you can get into the 60 model range with them and that makes them pretty tough to crack as they are high defense models.

On paper I've toyed with Easterlings and Mercenaries. This configuration provides the Easterlings with thee things they don't have; mounted archers, FV 4 troops and two handed weapons. At 600 points I can get 1 Mounted Merceanry Chieftain with a bow, 15 mounted archers and 30 two handed axe armed footment, plus an Easterling Chieftain, 14 Easterlings with shield and an easterling with a banner. For a total of 62 models before Sell Sword losses. Sell Sword losses should be in the range of 6 to 8 models on average. As I did surprisingly well with just the mercenaries in the 2007 Baltimore GT (3rd place) the addition of the heavy armour and shield to te front lines will make some forces easier to deal with.

I've also looked at using the Haradrim as an ally which gives them mounted archers with lances, cheap spear support and numbers. At 600 points you can have a hero with shield and 30 Easterlings with shield or bow plus A Haradrim King with 40 Haradrim warriors with spear or bow. Which gives you a 72 model force if you go the all infantry route. Obviously things like banners and cavalry will reduce those numbers, but on paper the basic force has potential.

Easterlings are actually a force that lends itself to alliances. They give you a strong front line to shield your weaker elements from enemy bowfire and then you hit them with your supporting units while your Easterlings lend their weight. With lower defense forces you need heroes to lend Might and Courage to your lines. With the higher defense forces you don't need Might or Courage as much.
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Postby Aragorn by the Bay » Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:05 am

Great report Tim! So far I like my Gondor swarm. And I think Damrod has come through for me for only 20 pts!

In my opinion, two things happened:
1) Your "wounding" dice rolls sucked big time! You won your share of combats but hardly ever wounded any WOMT or Vets. I know you need 6's, but still - your rolling sucked! I got more of those crucial 6's than you did.
2) I agree you made a tactical error by keeping all your cavalry tied up on Faramir so long - which is like waves breaking against the shore! 8) I was worried that you would send out your cavalry team to pillage the countryside - picking off all the onesies and twosies on the board while keeping Faramir tied up with your foot troops.

But again - dice rolls have a big impact.

You're right - my rangers were very soft - but they also got quite a few kills with their F4.

Good report.
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Postby Aragorn by the Bay » Wed Jan 21, 2009 9:11 am

And let me just add that any game I play against Tim is always a challenge for me to win! I have never stood a chance against his Haradrim horde, for example. Since I win < 50%, it's nice when it happens! And in any case, the games are always fun. :D
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