Easterling and Haradrim border skirmish

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Easterling and Haradrim border skirmish

Postby BaronDeSade » Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:09 pm

If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Tim’s Easterling army is very high praise of my own. Both of us fielded Easterling Warriors and Archers, backed by Haradrim Spearmen, with cavalry detachments of Haradrim Raiders, led by an Easterling Captain on foot and a Haradrim Chieftain on horse. We fought the scenario, “Clash of Piquets” which seemed appropriate to describe a border skirmish between two unfriendly factions.

Tim’s army composition varied from mine in that he had more Haradrim Raiders than I did, and all of his carried War Spears, while only a few of mine did. I had chosen four Easterling Kataphrakts to serve as a “mobile shieldwall” for my Raiders, and their expense reduced my numbers slightly below Tim’s. His Easterling Captain chose to carry a shield, while mine wielded a bow, but otherwise, our armies were virtual mirrors of each other.

Tim chose to deploy his archers on high ground on his side of the table, with his Haradrim Raiders on their right flank. I left my Raiders in reserve, deploying my own archers and spearmen on a high ground on my side, with Easterling warriors in skirmish formation on each flank.

Turn one saw Tim’s Raiders advance and take the Easterlings under fire, for no result. His Easterling archers picked off one of mine. Seeing the juicy, unarmored targets of the Haradrim Raiders, my Easterling archers opened fire, downing two of them and slaying another’s horse, as well as picking off an Easterling warrior. Although the opening shots favored my army, Tim was much luckier with his reserves, and the majority of his army arrived exactly where he wanted it to, whereas much of my reserves was scattered or remained asleep. My Haradrim Chieftain rolled poorly, but then used a Might Point to emerge onto the table, which Tim, the normally encyclopedic keeper of the rules, was surprised by. It always pays to re-read the special rules of the scenario before each game!

In Turn two, Tim’s archers slowly moved forward, while his Raiders advanced diagonally, opening a lane for his recently-arrived heavy infantry and Easterling captain to move through. I liked the position that I was in, so I consolidated my scattered troops as best I could and sent some of my scattered Raiders to harass Tim’s extreme left flank with poisoned arrow shots. The shooting was more even this turn, with Tim taking down another of my archers, and my Raider Chieftain’s horse, while my own archers shot down a Haradrim spearman.

In Turn three, Tim’s Raiders had begun a flanking maneuver on my left flank, around a thick forest that stood there, so I withdrew my skirmishers from that flank, “refusing” the flank and forming a wall of Easterling warriors and my own Raiders that would be ready to fight his cavalry in the narrow gap between forest and table edge, should he continue the maneuver. Out on Tim’s extreme left flank, some of my scattered Raiders and Kataphrakts where enough of a threat that he formed a small battle line to face them. My archery continued to prove superior, slaying three of Tim’s models for the loss of only one of mine.

Turn four saw Time’s troops advancing everywhere: towards my main battle line and towards my harassing cavalry. Quite reasonably, he was getting tired of my archers killing his men. Archery was about even this turn, with each of us losing a model, although I did lose a Kataphrakt’s horse as well.

Turn five saw a bold advance in the center led by Tim’s Easterling Captain. My own Easterling Captain, Tai-Shan, seized the opportunity and led his archers in a charge against Tim’s troops, although only Tai-Shan was close enough to actually engage the enemy in melee. Tim began to salivate at the though of trapping my potentially-overextended hero. Archery fire flew everywhere: Tim took out another of my archers, but his own troops were punished as he lost two of his Raiders and his Chieftain’s horse. Captain Tai-Shan dispatched the Easterling warrior he faced and my Kataphrakts out on the left flank killed a model or two there, as well.

Turn six saw much heroism. Tai-Shan led a heroic charge into the teeth of the enemy, while Tim’s Easterling Captain performed a masterful Heroic Combat that allowed him to slay three models. Otherwise, melee casualties were even, with three models lost on each side in the terrific scrum.

On Turn seven, Tim’s infamous Haradrim Chieftain, Kushir, attempted a Heroic Move, but he was thwarted by the superior tactical acumen of his nemesis, Tai-Shan, who blocked the move and led his Easterlings in a charge. My own Easterlings and Raiders had pretty much ruined Tim’s left flank last turn and now they began to wrap his flank with cavalry charges. Tim responded by throwing his Easterling archers through some ruins and began to wrap my right flank. My three remaining Easterling archers still on the high ground shot a single Haradrim spearman, for spite’s sake, and then the armies tore at each other in melee. Tim’s troops, including his Easterling Captain, slew five of my models, but Tai-Shan and his warriors killed seven of Tim’s.

Turn eight saw Tim extending his wrap of my right flank while he attempted to refuse his own left flank against my cavalry. I sent the rest of my troops into battle, save for one last Easterling archer on the hill that picked off a final Haradrim. Kushir performed a Heroic fight that slew an Easterling warrior and allowed him to slay two of my Haradrim Spearmen in his follow-up move. Otherwise, melee losses were even: three models on each side.

We knew Turn nine would be the final turn, as each of our armies was only four models away from breaking and the scenario ended once an army was broken. Tim’s troops performed brilliantly, slaying six of my models while his Easterling Captain dispatched my Haradrim Chieftain. In return, I was only able to remove two of his models from the game, and the game ended with Tim scratching out an unexpected Minor Victory.

This was an excellent game, as both of us maneuvered very well and our armies were very evenly matched so tactics played a very large role in this battle. It is fair to say that Tim’s use of Heroic Combats won him the battle, which is unusual for him, to say the least, as most of his history of Heroic Combats is kept in a file marked “EPIC FAIL.” Tim also had much better luck summoning his reserves, which is part of the scenario and I do not begrudge him. On the other hand, I think that he would have been better served deploying his cavalry in reserve instead of using it as a missile troop from the beginning of the game. His arrows needed 6’s to kill my Easterling archers, and my own Raiders were typically protected behind Easterling shields, whereas my own archers needed only 5’s to kill his Raiders or their horses, and each loss of a Raider or a horse was much more damaging to his army than the loss of one of my Easterling archers. The ultimate result of that was that although he began the game with more cavalry than I did, by the time the game ended, his cavalry had all been destroyed while many of my own Raiders and Kataphrakts were still fighting.

Again, it was an excellent game, and I enjoy how well my mixed Haradrim/Easterling army is performing.

Cheers,

Baron DeSade
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Postby Smeagol » Sun Jan 23, 2011 9:18 pm

I'm still getting a feel for this force. I didn't use my cavalry very well in this scenario at all. Part of that was the scenario, but the terrain also contributed to my poor use of my cavalry. In the end I choose to use the remants as a shield and only the poor priority and contested Heroic Move resultsw got them destroyed. Still they held off your cavalry on my right flank (extreme left in your description). The battle in the center went about as good as I expected given I didn't get priority regularly until the end of the game.

It was pretty much my heroes in the center doing Heroic Combats and my archers the left flank (right flank in your description) finally wrapping your line that gave me the edge for the win.

I was still thinking I was going to lose that game two turns earlier and that last turn looked like a draw, but the dice were kinder to me than you. Loved the game and the force. I'm much happier with my Easterlings now.
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Postby BaronDeSade » Mon Jan 24, 2011 12:54 am

Haha, I am glad that I have helped improve your sentiments for the army of Rhun :lol: .

Thanks also for the tips re: the Haradrim war spears. I went ahead and clipped up some Morgul Knight lances that I didn't need and converted three of my archers to war spear carriers.

I would enjoy playing more games against your Easterlings. It will give me an excuse to work on one of my other forces.

Cheers,

BdS
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Postby Smeagol » Mon Jan 24, 2011 2:23 am

I'll bring them along each week then. They're almost finished with the painting. Maybe it'll motivate me to finish them.
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