Amdur's Easterlings against Faramir's Citadel Guard!

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Amdur's Easterlings against Faramir's Citadel Guard!

Postby BaronDeSade » Sat Oct 03, 2009 7:08 pm

The Easterling archers bent back their bows and let a volley of arrows fly at the defending soldiers of Gondor. At this extreme range, the bronze-tipped shafts merely rattled off polished iron helmets and upraised shields.

Steward Faramir shook his helmeted head. “Didn’t they get the news? The War of the Ring is over!”

Eowyn of Gondor favored him with a small smile. “The Men of the East are famously stubborn. Moreso than even my loving husband is.”

Faramir smiled at her from behind his helmet. “Come, wife, let up put an end to their aspirations once and for all.”

She nodded, blew him a kiss, and vaulted onto the back of her horse with a ring of mail. Behind her, the Citadel Guard sat astride their own horses, their black capes marking them as the elite of Gondor’s army. “Forward!” she cried. “Forward!” shouted Faramir from his position at the rear of Gondor’s remaining infantry.

Across the battlefield, Amdur, swordmaster of Rhun, also urged his troops forward. “Now, my brothers and sisters, is the time to strike! Gondor’s armies are scattered. The gates of Minas Tirith lie broken, and the city is ripe for plundering! Forward, and let us crush the decadent Men of the West for all time!”

The bronze-masked Easterlings cheered, striking their long spears against their rectangular shields. “Yes!” cried out Devrim, war priest of Rhun. He raised his hand-and-a-half sword high to show that the years had not yet stolen his strength. “Blood for the glorious resurrection of Sauron!” The Easterlings roared back at him with fierce anger. The Gondorians were god-slayers, the ultimate blasphemers.

Prince Baltabek of Khand was more pragmatic. He stood in his chariot, red robes wrapped around his gold-edged armor. Raising his axe, he shouted, “For gold!” All around him, the Men of Khand cheered.

The Easterlings swept towards their foes in a loose skirmish formation. First came the riders of Khand on their black horses, firing their bows. Behind them marched the Easterling warriors, ready to lock shields into a fierce wall of bronze. Next were the axmen of Khand, with their heavy, armor-splitting axes, and Easterling spearmen, the elite of the Rhunish army. A block of archers stood fast, firing volleys of arrows at the Gondorians. Lastly, rode Men of Khand with short, rider’s axes, ready to smash skulls.

The Gondorian Citadel Guard, for their part, rode unperturbed by the volleys of Easterling arrows and fired their longbows in response. The effect of the heavy bows was devastating: a rider of Khand jumped free as his black horse stumbled, screaming, and two Easterling warriors sank to the ground, arrows protruding from their bodies.

Shouting, Amdur ordered the two wings of the Easterling army to meet in the center and form a phalanx. Meanwhile, the uneven contest between Easterling and Gondorian archers continued, with the Easterlings taking a beating while dealing out little damage in return.

The two wings of the Easterling army finally met and advanced towards the center of the Gondorian forces. Shields interlocking, they drove forward, arrows now harmlessly sticking into their shields.

Faramir led his infantry in a brief withdrawal, forming a solid right flank to the Citadel Guard. Amdur’s forces countered by lunging towards the Gondorian cavalry, but Faramir, in a surprising move, led his infantry in a charge into the Easterling shieldwall.

The bloodletting began in earnest, then. The Citadel Guard were more skilled than the Easterling warriors, and their warhorses provided them with powerful charges, but the heavy armor of the Easterlings was tough to crack, and while Faramir and Eowyn were far behind their lines, Amdur, Baltabek and Devrim were prominent on the battle line. Amdur’s whirling blade proved unstoppable, cutting down any Gondorian who dared to stand in his way, Citadel Guard or no. Baltabek’s chariot crashed through the Men of the West, and Devrim swung his heavy blade in a lethal arc.

Faramir and Eowyn then lunged forward, and with heroic displays of fighting ability, cut their way deep into the Easterling lines. Amdur, Devrim and Baltabek continuously used their commanding voices to rally the Easterlings and gain the initiative, preventing the Citadel Guard from charging and giving their own Khandish horsemen the initiative to charge with.

Eowyn ferociously dueled with a Khandish axman, whose heavy blade came perilously close to her lovely neck, while Easterling archers fired heedlessly into their combat. Even so, Eowyn, slayer of the Witch King of Angmar, seemed truly blessed, and no blade nor arrowhead could even scratch her.

The tide had turned against the Easterlings, though. Too many of their Men lay wounded on the battlefield, and Faramir launched an audacious attack against Devrim that left the war priest gravely injured. Blaming the shameful defeat on the incompetence of those around him, Amdur grudgingly asked for an armistice.


***

Well, friends, I made three serious mistakes in this game. First, I formed all of my archers into a single block and tried to volley the Citadel Guards’ horses to death. This didn’t work at all, and when the Citadel Guard advanced, their S3 bows caused a lot of casualties to my archers. Once that happened, I panicked and abandoned my loose skirmish formation and formed a phalanx, which ceded the strategic initiative to my opponent, who outnumbered me. Just before combat was joined, I had moved Amdur up with his infantry, ready to lunge at Eowyn’s cavalry. I was due for gaining the Priority, and even if I lost it, I figured that I had a 50/50 chance of being able to hit the cav, and then perhaps use Amdur to heroically hack his way through to Eowyn and execute her. When Faramir called a heroic move, I assumed that he was trying to attack my own cavalry, but that was not the case. He engaged my infantry with his own, which left me in a very bad position, as now, I would have to move up my own units to support my infantry, while he would then be able to charge my units with his Citadel Guard. I was robbed even of the pleasure of killing Eowyn, as each attack against her came within a hair’s-width of killing her, but no.

I do like my army list, and I plan to use it again in the next game, while maintaining my loose formation and keeping my archers distributed throughout my army instead of in one clump.

Cheers,

Baron DeSade
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