Easterlings vs. Karna/Angmar

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Easterlings vs. Karna/Angmar

Postby BaronDeSade » Sat Jan 19, 2013 1:48 pm

SCENARIO: RECONNOITRE

POINTS VALUE: 1000

“GOOD” SIDE: Harad, Watchers of Karna and Angmar, Specters and Wights

“EVIL” SIDE: Easterlings and Khandmen, Castellan of Dol Guldur

TERRAIN: Village ruins on West side of the battlefield, rough oasis ground in the center, rough hillocks in the East, leaving a wide avenue of approach in the center-East and two narrow approaches in the East and West.

T1: Three Karna warbands arrive and advance. Only the Castellan arrives from the Easterling army. He takes up position on the Western avenue.

T2: Two more Karna warbands arrive, leaving one undeployed. Two Easterling infantry warbands arrive, along with the cavalry command group and Khamul the Ringwraith. These forces organize in the center-East. Easterling War-Priest successfully casts Channeled Fury.

T3: The Easterlings sound their war drums and the force of two infantry plus command cavalry advances at the double time. The third Easterling infantry warband arrives in the West to support the Castellan, leaving one warband undeployed. The Haradrim call a heroic march, moving their own troops at a double time to block the Easterling's advance in the center-East. The last of the Angmar warbands arrives.

T4: The men of Karna move into blocking positions and set up firing lines. The Easterling center decides to attack the center of the Karna line where the terrain is most open, rather than try and force the narrow passage in the East, where a Karna warband is backed up by a Angmar warband. The Easterlings reason that their cavalry will be most effective in the open terrain. The drums are sounded and the Easterlings advance at the double. In the West, the last Easterling warband finally arrives and the warbands there begin to advance. The Easterlings are already in a bad position, as the entire Karna army has deployed in blocking positions, while the lateness of the arrival of the Easterling Warbands means that there is no possibility for the Easterling army, with its war-drums and cavalry, to exploit any weaknesses in the Karna battle line. Furthermore, the inability of the Western flank to move forward means that the center will be going into battle on its own, allowing the Karna to shift reserves from the West.

The only other strategic choice for the Easterlings is to fight an archery duel with the Karna until all forces can be brought on line. On this turn, Karna troops kill five Easterlings with bowfire, while the Easterlings do no casualties in return. The Easterlings are now even more outnumbered than they were before, and decide to commit to an attack.

T5: The Karna advance slowly while the Easterlings form up for their attack. Although an Easterling Kataphrakt is struck by a poisoned arrow, he is saved by Fury. This turn, Easterling arrows slay two of the Watchers, while suffering no wounds in return.

T6: On the Eastern flank, Specters pull the Kataphrakt drummer forward where he is mobbed by Watchers and beaten down. The center of the Karna line hardens its defensive formation. In the Weast, multiple Specter attacks ruin the Easterling battle-line, further slowing their advance.

The Easterling infantry is still too far away for a massed charged against the Karna, so magical trickery is used. Several Easterling cavalry troops charge the left side of the Karna line, while Khamul compells forward one Watcher. Easterling Sergeant Ilhan and several troopers surround and mob that Watcher, slaying him in a heroic fight, then using their momentum to attack the Karna line.

Although the Easterlings strike hard against the Karna line, and are supported by the War-Priest and their banner-bearer, their attack only causes two casualties, and utterly fails to make a breakthrough.

T7: The Easterlings maintain the initiative, but the Haradrim chieftain closest to the fight attempts to steal it back with a heroic move, but he is thwarted by Sergeant Ilhan, who moves faster, and by Khamul, who transfixes the hapless chieftain in place. The Easterlings charge into the Karna line again.

The Karna respond by infiltrating Specters in along the left side of the battle-line. These Specters were originally part of the Western force, but as the Easterlings cannot advance on that front, they are free to attack here. On the Eastern side of the battle-line, an Easterling spearman stands in a gap between the fighting and a rough hillock. A Specter moves him out of the way and infiltrators wrap around that flank. A Wight incapacitates Sergeant Ilhan and the other Wight very nearly paralyzes the other Easterling sergeant. Wrapped on both flanks, the Easterling battle-line is brutalized and takes heavy losses.

T8. Khamul the Easterling calls a heroic move, pulling back the cavalry command group from the disintegrating center. The Karna envelop and begin to destroy the remnants of the Easterling troops in the center. In the West, the two forces have finally begun to clash and the Castellan demonstrates his quality by carving through the enemies there. The Easterling force is broken.

T9. Karna troops are pouring through the center, and the Easterling cavalry command group does not have enough fighting power to do anything but attempt a final assassination-strike against the King of Harad on the Eastern flank. Sadly, Khamul's compel-spell fails. In the West, the Easterlings are making headway with the help of the Castellan, but movement is very slow. The Easterling army conceeds defeat.

THOUGHTS: I was definitely disadvantaged by my very poor rolling for troop-deployment. I had six warbands, and odds say that the most likely outcome was for three of them to enter the table on Turn 1. Instead, I got just one. As a result, my opponent was able to establish blocking positions with his infantry and archers, negating my advantages of cavalry and war-drum. My best choice, then was to attack the thinnest part of my opponent's line with my heaviest troops, but because of the failure of my left flank to advance, my opponent was able to shift reserves and hold and defeat my attack.

Another strategic choice would have been to attempt a contest of archery against the Karna, but the scenario, Reconnoitre, isn't a good one for defensive-play, and besides, I was already outnumbered and my opponent had more and better bows, although less armor, so the outcome would have been a coin-toss at best.
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Re: Easterlings vs. Karna/Angmar

Postby Smeagol » Mon Jan 21, 2013 1:36 am

Turn six looked bad for my side as my reserves were too far away and I couldn't get any other hero over to the center in time. Believe me I calculated and mentally measured a lot of options, but my spectres on the right couldn't draw the right models into the right position.

The start of turn seven had me scared that you would carve a hole in my center before I could envelope your attack. That War Priest blunted my Spectres. By the end of turn seven I was obviously feeling a lot better about my chances of holding you in the center, but after doing the math I could see you still had enough models to win a major victory if you could blow through the minimal defense I had on my left. Killing Kushir alone would have put us into a tie (you broken and me losing my leader), but once again Kushir proved a tough hero to kill. Of course it was Khamûl's botched spell roll coupled with my resisting the second spell that kept him out of harms way.

By the time you concede the battle I was sure I could swing a major win regardless of what you pulled. I had enough infantry within easy reach of your table edge by that time. It was a good game, but I feel for you regarding how difficult it was for you.
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Re: Easterlings vs. Karna/Angmar

Postby Smeagol » Thu Mar 14, 2013 5:21 pm

I took the time to document this battle with pictures. Steve is very good about documenting our battles and I thought I would assist by documenting with some pictures. All photos are links to larger images and I have to apologize for the blurry pictures in some cases. I was using my tablet's camera which is fairly good, but doesn't have a very steady base to work from. Autofocus was sometimes centered on something other than the desired action which didn't help either.

SCENARIO: RECONNOITRE

POINTS VALUE: 1000

“GOOD” SIDE (Tim's force): Harad, Watchers of Karna and Angmar, Spectres and Wights

“EVIL” SIDE (Steve's force: Easterlings and Khandish Warriors, Castellan of Dol Guldur

TERRAIN: Village ruins on West side (POV right) of the battlefield, rough oasis ground in the center, rough hillocks in the East (POV left), leaving a wide avenue of approach in the center-East and two narrow approaches in the East and West.

Table Setup Left
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Table Setup Right
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T1:
<Steve> Three Karna warbands arrive and advance. Only the Castellan arrives from the Easterling army. He takes up position on the Western avenue.

<Tim> Given Steve’s cavalry advantage in this scenario I was forced to spread out my warbands to cover all exit lanes. Luck was with me as he didn’t have anything significant show up early in the game, whereas I had over half of my force show up on the first turn.

Turn 1 left side:
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Turn 1 right side:
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T2:
<Steve> Two more Karna warbands arrive, leaving one undeployed. Two Easterling infantry warbands arrive, along with the cavalry command group and Khamul the Ringwraith. These forces organize in the center-East. Easterling War-Priest successfully casts Channelled Fury.

<Tim> The cavalry coming in on my left had me worried at this point and it would force me to pull a Heroic March in my center in order to get a defensive line across the large gap there. This would allow me to move my King and his reinforcing Spectres to the left to block that route. My right was more secure and I was thinking this would be were I would try to make my breakthrough. Given the terrain Steve’s ability to cross reinforce wouldn’t be that good while I would have time to decide how much force I actually needed to make a break out on that flank.

Turn two left side:
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Turn two right side:
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Warband closeup right side (King’s warband):
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Warband closeup center (Taskmaster and Chieftain warbands)
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Warbands closeup left flank (Chieftain and Wight):
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T3:
<Steve> The Easterlings sound their war drums and the force of two infantry plus command cavalry advances at the double time. The third Easterling infantry warband arrives in the West to support the Castellan, leaving one warband undeployed. The Haradrim call a heroic march, moving their own troops at a double time to block the Easterling's advance in the center-East. The last of the Angmar warbands arrives.

<Tim>My force march go me into a good position to start deploying a defensive line next turn. My last warband was late in arriving, but as they are Spectres it wasn’t a bad thing. Their ability to reach out 12” after movement still made them very useful in defending my left flank and stalling any cavalry that wanted to exploit the small gap. I was still worrying about where the cavalry would strike so I needed to make some sort of “mistake” or some stroke of good luck to draw Steve into a trap.

Turn 3 left side:
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Turn 3 right side:
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T4:
<Steve> The men of Karna move into blocking positions and set up firing lines. The Easterling center decides to attack the center of the Karna line where the terrain is most open, rather than try and force the narrow passage in the East, where a Karna warband is backed up by a Angmar warband. The Easterlings reason that their cavalry will be most effective in the open terrain. The drums are sounded and the Easterlings advance at the double. In the West, the last Easterling warband finally arrives and the warbands there begin to advance. The Easterlings are already in a bad position, as the entire Karna army has deployed in blocking positions, while the lateness of the arrival of the Easterling Warbands means that there is no possibility for the Easterling army, with its war-drums and cavalry, to exploit any weaknesses in the Karna battle line. Furthermore, the inability of the Western flank to move forward means that the center will be going into battle on its own, allowing the Karna to shift reserves from the West.

<Steve> The only other strategic choice for the Easterlings is to fight an archery duel with the Karna until all forces can be brought on line. On this turn, Karna troops kill five Easterlings with bowfire, while the Easterlings do no casualties in return. The Easterlings are now even more outnumbered than they were before, and decide to commit to an attack.

<Tim>Talk about good luck. My archers killing five models in one turn was the match that got Steve off his defensive perch. By spooking him into being aggressive he prematurely launched an assault on the center where I was strongest. Since I could reinforce from either flank to fill in holes or add numbers. The trick was to get into a defensive fighting line where I could hold him and still have a fighting chance at flanking him once our lines hit. Luckily the Warriors of Karna are great skirmishers and can reform quickly to meet new threats.

Turn 4 left side:
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Turn 4 right side:
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Easterling casualties from archery this turn:
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T5:
<Steve> The forces of Karna advance slowly while the Easterlings form up for their attack. Although an Easterling Kataphrakt is struck by a poisoned arrow, he is saved by Fury. This turn, Easterling arrows slay two of the Watchers, while suffering no wounds in return.

<Tim>I got cocky and tried to duplicate my archery results from the turn before. No luck there. IT put me slightly out of position, but with the Spectres as a reserve on my left I wasn’t too worried. My line was anchored on the woodland terrain on my right so the cavalry would have to go through me to get past me. My attack on my right was stalled by me trying to inflict casualties with archery. The spectres were in position, but my fighting elements were not. Minor mistake on my part.

Turn 5 left side:
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Turn 5 right side:
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T6:
<Steve> On the Eastern flank, Spectres pull the Kataphrakt drummer forward where he is mobbed by Watchers and beaten down. The center of the Karna line hardens its defensive formation. In the West, multiple Spectre attacks ruin the Easterling battle-line, further slowing their advance.

<Steve> The Easterling infantry is still too far away for a massed charged against the Karna, so magical trickery is used. Several Easterling cavalry troops charge the left side of the Karna line, while Khamul compels forward one Watcher. Easterling Sergeant Ilhan and several troopers surround and mob that Watcher, slaying him in a heroic fight, then using their momentum to attack the Karna line.

<Steve> Although the Easterlings strike hard against the Karna line, and are supported by the War-Priest and their banner-bearer, their attack only causes two casualties, and utterly fails to make a breakthrough.

<Tim>I had positioned my line at an angle to prevent the infantry from being able to support the initial cavalry charge. I also pulled in the Spectres on my right to assist in blunting the Kataphract charge. Steve’s very fond of compelling a model out of a line to mob and Heroic Fight into a combat. The Watcher of Karna’s magical resistance failed to beat the spell so now I had to deal with a small amount of infantry support on the attack. I was starting to sweat this turn and all I could hope for was my superior FV holding my line together. I was pretty sure that I was still in a good position to hold for one turn given I still had a few reserve models to plug any large holes. In the end I only lost a couple of models, though I lost more fights than that. Steve was having trouble wounding my models when he won, which wasn’t often enough to open any holes.

Turn 6 left side:
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Turn 6 right side:
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Closeup of action on left side:
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Closeup of action in center (before Heroic Combat):
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After Heroic Combat:
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T7:
<Steve> The Easterlings maintain the initiative, but the Haradrim chieftain closest to the fight attempts to steal it back with a heroic move, but he is thwarted by Sergeant Ilhan, who moves faster, and by Khamul, who transfixes the hapless chieftain in place. The Easterlings charge into the Karna line again.

<Steve> The Karna respond by infiltrating Spectres in along the left side of the battle-line. These Spectres were originally part of the Western force, but as the Easterlings cannot advance on that front, they are free to attack here. On the Eastern side of the battle-line, an Easterling spearman stands in a gap between the fighting and a rough hillock. A Spectre moves him out of the way and infiltrators wrap around that flank. A Wight incapacitates Sergeant Ilhan and the other Wight very nearly paralyzes the other Easterling sergeant. Wrapped on both flanks, the Easterling battle-line is brutalized and takes heavy losses.

<Tim>This was the turn I had set up for. With his entire line engaged and with him having Priority I managed to move a critical support model out of position with a Spectre and the flanked his line at the rocky terrain. Trapped combats and the Blades of the dead were going to cause a lot of havoc on his lines from this point onwards. Essentially I crippled his decimated his infantry in the center with this attack. Things on the right were going well for me as well. I drew a couple of sacrificial models out of his defensive line and mobbed them as well as forcing his favourite hero out of position and back to his starting position. My wights were not doing well as spell casters during this game, but their very threat caused Steve to be very cautious around them.

Close up of turn 7 action on left (I love spectres):
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Action in center (boy do I love spectres):
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Action on right (again with the spectre love):
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Aftermath left:
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center:
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And right:
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Our favourite Easterling hero back at his starting gate. Did I mention how much I love Spectres?
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T8.
<Steve> Khamul the Easterling calls a heroic move, pulling back the cavalry command group from the disintegrating center. The Karna envelop and begin to destroy the remnants of the Easterling troops in the center. In the West, the two forces have finally begun to clash and the Castellan demonstrates his quality by carving through the enemies there. The Easterling force is broken.

<Tim>My followup attacks pretty much spelled the end of any Easterling offensive action. The cavalry retreated and left the infantry to die. On my right I threw my force in to start my breakout only to discover that I had managed to get myself bottled in and by removing Spectres fromt hat flank earlier in the game I was now outnumbered as well. I converted that flank to a desperate holding action and rethought my attack options in the center. With Steve pulling hic Cavalry back I now had that looming threat of him sweeping my left flank and gaining much needed Victory Points by getting models of the table. With that Easterling Priest in tow none of his models were going to run. So I deployed my King into a vulnerable position to try and stall any cavalry charge in that direction.

Turn 8 left (before combat):
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Turn 8 right (before combat):
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Right side after combats:
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Center after combats (notice the conspicuous lack of Easterlings):
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Left side after combats:
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T9.
<Steve> Karna troops are pouring through the center, and the Easterling cavalry command group does not have enough fighting power to do anything but attempt a final assassination-strike against the King of Harad on the Eastern flank. Sadly, Khamul's compel-spell fails. In the West, the Easterlings are making headway with the help of the Castellan, but movement is very slow.

<Whew! I nearly lost my King to Khamul’s trickery. Archery did hurt my holding force on the left, but if Steve is shooting then he’s not advancing. I much prefer cavalry that stands still over cavalry that moves. It did buy me time to start moving towards the table edge on the center right and to start closing in on the remnants of Steve’s cavalry. My right flank was starting to shred and I was forced to start deploying reserves to catch models trying to slip through holes. Steve’s numbers were slowly evaporating between casualties and poor Courage rolls, but his cavalry was still under the effects of that Fury spell which I could do nothing about.

Turn 9 left side after shooting:
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Right side after shooting:
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T10
<Steve> The Easterling army concedes defeat.

<Tim>Once I got into combat with his cavalry while it was standing still it was pretty much over. Steve had misjudged the distance to my infantry and by not moving back hadn’t gotten out of my range on the turn I managed to win Priority.

Turn 10 final positions on left flank:
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Turn 10 final postions on right flank:
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THOUGHTS:
<Steve> I was definitely disadvantaged by my very poor rolling for troop-deployment. I had six warbands, and odds say that the most likely outcome was for three of them to enter the table on Turn 1. Instead, I got just one. As a result, my opponent was able to establish blocking positions with his infantry and archers, negating my advantages of cavalry and war-drum. My best choice, then was to attack the thinnest part of my opponent's line with my heaviest troops, but because of the failure of my left flank to advance, my opponent was able to shift reserves and hold and defeat my attack.

<Steve> Another strategic choice would have been to attempt a contest of archery against the Karna, but the scenario, Reconnoitre, isn't a good one for defensive-play, and besides, I was already outnumbered and my opponent had more and better bows, although less armour, so the outcome would have been a coin-toss at best.

<Tim>This battle hinged on Steve not trying to force his cavalry through my left flank. His poor initial deployments didn’t help him at all, but it did mean that he could react to my movements with his deployments. If he had moved his infantry aggressively towards the right and center (my perspective) and used his cavalry as a reserve for the center and then made a hard charge against my left flank, then I think I’d have been hard pressed to hold him. My force is fairly strong, but it cannot take much abuse before it starts to erode. Especially when outnumbered, which my King would have been. The Spectres wouldn’t have been much help since their ability to move models would be negated by the Priest’s Fury spell. Khamul Sapping my Wight would end that threat as well leaving him the option to take down my King who was my only Might bearing hero on that end of the line.

<Tim>I’d have tried to counter any of these moves of course, but once I was engaged in the center my ability to counter attack would be limited, especially if I had placed my spectres into the combat line like I did. Once around my flank Steve would have been free to abuse my force some more and wait until one or both of us were perilously close to end game casualty numbers and then dashed cavalry off the table for the win. I’m not sure I could do more tactically than I did in the game. There were some poor decision points in my game play, but they did more to stall my attack then imperil my force.
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