Faramir's Rangers defend ithilien

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Faramir's Rangers defend ithilien

Postby Smeagol » Sat Jan 24, 2009 2:43 am

Steve Shook and I got together this evening to test out some of his tactical theories and to get in a game just because. He choose to take on my Gondorian Rangers lead by Faramir. So armed with the force I was to play I went out ot Great escape Games (Gary's store). Once Steve arrived he choose that we should play Storm the Camp which is not one of the scenarios that my Gondorian Rangers excel at, but as I have used all infantry forces before I had a plan.

Faramir's Rangers of Ithilien
Faramir with bow
18 Rangers of Gondor (no bow)
18 Rangers of gondor with spear (no bow)
18 Rangers of Gondor (with bow)

Models = 57
Might = 7
Break Point = 29

After the terrain was set we deployed for battle with Steve deploying first. He placed all of his orcs in the center of his lines with his wargs on his left flank and his spiders on the other. I had a hill so I placed my archers on the hill, but safely within my camp's boundaries and split my attacking force into two parts. 18 rangers with Faramir on my right and 18 rangers on my left with Madril. My intent was to attack Steve's camp from either flank and thus prevent his fast movers from going around me. They either had to go through my flanks or through the middle where my archers could shoot them up before dealing with them in my camp.

Steve's initial tactics were in line with what I wanted and expected him to do. He sent out his wargs on my right flank towards Faramir and his spides towards my left and Madril. Half of his orcs moved up the center towards my "undefended" center. With things going according to my designs I decided to tempt Steve into an engagement on my right while I tightened my defenses on my left (against the spiders). Steve took the bait and charged in with his wargs lead by their Wild Warg Chieftain. Being somewhat concerned about my archers and seeing that I had closed his intended channel of attack (my left flank) Steve hunkered his spiders in a wood just outside of my direct fire range. His orcs continued to move forward. Wargs are not typically a match for a supported ranger and this became apparant to Steve when the only fight he won was the Chieftain and so he inflicted only one wound, whereas I had removed two of his wargs. Priority shifted and Steve called a Heroic Move to try and salvage the situation, but Faramir would have nothing of it and I managed to engage all of his wargs and the bat swarm Faramir had wounded last turn. With his wargs in serious trouble and foreseeing the same scenario happening on the other flank Steve decided to send his advancing orcs towards the spiders to support their attack on Madril's entrenched line,.

Spiders have fewer advantages over the Rangers of Gondor than they do other creatures of Middle Earth. Their FV is matched by the rangers and the rangers have spear support so they can match the number of attacks and given enough models can put more attacks into a spider than the spider can dish back. The spiders' high strength is mostly a waste as they still need a 4 to wound, still giant spiders are dangerous creatures. they are more dangerous when you have some orcs to support them.

Steve's wargs were chewed to pieces with just one warg and the chieftain left. Priority stayed with me and I soon had the last two surrounded. On the other flank Madril adjusted his line to anchor it on the table edge and a clump of rocks. This meant that any attack on that flank had to be a frontal assault and it was running the risk of taking fire from the reformed archers on the hill. Steve made his move and started his frontal assault as I expected. To his credit he was careful enough to avoid my archers by being too close for me to get a clear shot over my own troops, but not so close as to risk a counter charge. His orcs were now close enough to threaten to take Madril by the flank if Steve was willing to risk the archery from the hill. I dispatched the last of the wargs and dropped a couple of orcs to archery and now had Steve on his heels. Faramir's force had list only one model, well actually my force had only lost one model total, while Steve had lost his entire left flank and only had 13 orcs left in his camp. it was at this point that Steve realized that all I had to do was march Faramir's force into his camp and I'd win by sheer numbers alone. After a moment of consideration he decided to fight out the battle justto see how well things would turn out.

Steve launched his assault into my left flank. As we were using the new ruling on Heroic Moves as published in the UK GT house rules/FAQ his Spider Queen wasn't able to engage any of my frontline since she was behind her spiders when she called it (and because a Heroic Move is an action she had to move first). No big deal as she got her spiders into contact and the majority of the orcs as well. Faramir took the tie to reorganize his force as it had gotten dispersed in the fight with the wargs. The battle on the left went mostly my way. I lost a couple of models, but I had beaten back the spiders and inflicted a couple of wounds. The next turn saw Madril call a Heroic Move to make up for losing Priority and instead of falling back and closing my lines I choose to attack to prevent the Spider Queen from having a chance to charge my lines. Steve was annoyed that he lost the roll off, but he rolled with the dice and proceed to pile in orcs whereever he could while his spider queen sat in the bleechers. His orcs in his camp decided the best place to defend his camp was as far forward as possible. This would help prevent a mistake in his defense and me winning by a single model due to an error on his part. This has happened before to Steve when he plays me in this scenario. I've won with just one model every time we've played. Faramir's force moved up just out of charge range and consolidated into a loose spear supported line.

Madril got the stuffing knocked out of his force. While Madril himself wasn't wounded, he lost several rangers to orcs and spiders. The orcs were by this time the more dangerous of the two forces as they had killed four models to the spiders two. Priority stayed with Steve and I lost the heroic Move roll off. The Spider Queen and every orc piled into Madril's lines and only some tricksy manuevering of my secondaries peeled the Spider Queen off of Madril. On the other flank Steve put his orcs into a long skirmish line which I then proceeded to charge with the intent of crushing it in the center. As I had spear supported warriors and I was able to get 4 to one odds in a couple of places on his line I was confident I could make short work of things.

Madril's force was decimated, while Farmir's force slashed large gaps in Steve's skirmish line. Now broken the writing was on the wall. Steve through his flanking attack into the remnants of Madrils' force and succeeded in engaging Madril with the spider queen. It helped that Madril refused to charge her in the first place (darned snake eyes). While the orcs attempted to stem the tide of green clad rangers trying to storm their camp. by the end of the turn Madril lay dead as did all but three of his rangers. Faramir on the other hand had lost none of his warriors and had managed to kill the enemy orc captain and decimated the orc skirmish line.

At this point we reevaluated the situation and steve surrendered. I had 19 models in my camp and he was one turn of direct fire away from engaging them and Faramir was two turns from making it into the orc's camp. So the end was obvious and inevitable. We discussed ideas on how I would have attacked with his force and what went right and wrong. I also shared my tactical plan, which worked extremely well all things considered, and why it was that my force was able to do so well against his. Bottom line is that my Rangers of Gondor force does fairly well against any force that isn't Defense 6 and it has enough numbers to avoid being outnumbered by all but the most dedicated of horde forces.

So chalk a victory up for the forces of Good.

Steve's force was something like:
1 Spider Queen
4 Giant Spiders
1 Wild Warg Chieftain
6 Wild Wargs
2 Orc Captains with shield
24 orcs with assorted equipment (what ever two boxes of orcs comes with), though all of bu one or two his spears have shields.
2 bat swarms.

This force looks like a menagerie, but it has managed to do a decent job of winning as much more or more than it loses.
Last edited by Smeagol on Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby BrentS » Sat Jan 24, 2009 10:51 pm

Great report. Sounds like a fun battle. I think a lot of people will probably underestimate an all ranger force like that (when they aren't grey company).

Well done and thanks for posting it.
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Postby Smeagol » Sat Jan 24, 2009 11:29 pm

The game was fun if for no other reason than I got to bring out one of my "wierd" forces. Most of my for fun forces are underpowered at best depending on the scenario in play. Faramir's Rangers are one of those forces. I can play it well enough to make a fight of any game, but they have some definite weaknesses. No cavalry is the easiest to spot, followed by Defense four and the fact I'm paying for 36 bows I never get to use. After that it gets a bit trickier to spot their weak spots. Strength three all round is the biggest hidden handicap.

However numbers, the quality of the force's leadership (7 Might from three heroes is pretty good), Fight Value 4 all round, 3+ to hit with the archers and a spear supported front line help to balance this force back towards playable. Wood Elves aren't a big problem for this force, though Dwarf Rangers will chew it to pieces with their throwing weapons and bowfire. Wood Elves are smaller and easier to wound which is what makes all the difference. Against the forces of Evil the rangers do much better. Morannon orcs and Easterlings being the two big problem forces, though the rangers' higher Fight Value will help. Black Numenoreans can be a problem, but I haven't played against them yet to make any informed analysis.
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