5 Orc Warbands vs. 3 Easterling

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5 Orc Warbands vs. 3 Easterling

Postby BaronDeSade » Sat Aug 18, 2012 11:55 am

“Efendim,” saluted Captain Gokmen. “If we can take and hold these three key positions I have marked on my map, we will have a commanding advantage over the Orc army!”

Captain Tai-Shan looked down from the back of his armored warhorse, his scarred face twisted in contempt. “And, if we ride out and slaughter every member of that filthy tribe like the stray curs that they resemble, we'll probably have a commanding advantage as well.” He donned his bronze helmet and buckled it tightly. “There's no point in trying to outmaneuver that mob. They'll just flow over us like a tide of sewage. We've got too much cavalry to try and hold those positions. Better we should just hit them hard and send them packing.”

Gokmen attempted one last protest. “But, Efendim, the Orcs outnumber us by more than two to one!”

Tai-Shan withdrew his bow from its quiver and expertly braced the weapon. “That is excellent news, because I know that every son of Rhun here is worth at least three of their kind. Now, go lead the right wing to glory.”

“Talam ha!” saluted the junior Captain and jogged off towards his warband.

The Orcs began the battle in their typical fashion, by shouting as loudly as they could, stomping their ugly feet as their warbands moved up, and banging their weapons onto their shields in time to one Orc who had fashioned himself a crude drum. Howling, the two warbands of Orc trackers raised their bows and sent a flurry of poorly-fashioned arrows at the Easterlings.

“By the Great Eye, that's giving me a headache,” griped Tai-Shan as the Orcish arrows fell harmlessly around him. “He gestured to one of his Khandish horsemen. “Would you mind?”

The man with the drooping mustache nodded and drew back his bow. With an expert shot, his arrow flew through the assembled Orcs and struck the drummer in the eye. Groaning, the Orc fell forward, smashing his drum beneath his corpse. The Orcs fell silent, shocked and more than a little chagrined.


“Thank you,” smiled Tai-Shan. “Never has one arrow bought so much silence.”

Aside from the drummer, two Orc trackers had met their end at Easterling arrows. Confident that he was winning the shooting war, Tai-Shan ordered his army to hold it's position. The ground they held was good. On the right flank, Gokmen's warband held a narrow gap between a pair of stone ruins. If the Orcs attempted to force that passage, they would have to fight the Easterlings in the narrows, which would be their ruin. In the center, a rough patch of forest and the ruins to Gokmen's left defined a space where perhaps two warbands could fight. It was all well for Tai-Shan, who knew that his army's success would come from beating down one part of the Orcish army at a time rather than trying to take on the whole thing at once.

The Orc trackers launched another salvo of twisted arrows, and this time, they managed to bring down one of the Khandish horse-archers. Of more concern, though, was their concerted attempt to shoot the Easterling's mounted Dragon Knight. Although Tai-Shan did not personally care for the aloof Dragon Knight, it would be a shame to lose such a valuable resource before his sword had been properly anointed with Orc blood.

“Infantry on the left, forward. Cavalry on the left, charge!” he commanded.

On the left, the Easterling Warriors ran forward, their shields up, not engaging the Orcish line but forming a wall from behind which charged two of the Khandish horsemen to attack the extreme left flank of the Orcish army. Aside from being excellent archers, the Khandmen were also very skilled their their axes, and two Orcish heads quickly rolled in the dust.

The brutal Uruk Shagrat was in charge there, and he roared out for his Orcs to attack. Captain Ilhan of Rhun proved quicker, though, and the Easterlings and the Dragon Knight charged forward into the Orc line. Orcs howled and ran to join Shagrat, eager to get into the fight, only to find themselves charged by Tai-Shan and his Kataphrakt cavalry.

In desperation, the Orc trackers continued to shoot at the Dragon Knight, but their arrows ended up in the back of the Orc he was about to slay in a heroic display. Shagrat crushed an Easterling in his own heroic display, even as Captain Ilhan and his Easterlings set about butchering Orcs. Although technically not an act of heroism, Tai-Shan single-handedly took three Orcish lives on his charge, greatly inspiring the Men of Rhun.

The Orcs attempted a counter-charge but were beaten to the punch by Tai-Shan, who led another cavalry charge into the center. The Orc lines were full of attempts at heroism, spurred on by the lash of the Orc taskmaster's frantic whipping, and overall, it was a poor round of combat for the Easterlings, although Tai-Shan added another Orcish head to his trophy rack.

The Dragon Knight had been frustrated in his attempts to reach combat, first by the Orc trackers stealing his kill and then by the mass of men pressing around him, but he finally found himself free and charged forward to slay the wicked Shagrat, only to blunt his twin swords against the Uruk's shield. The Orcs were being badly battered by the Men of Rhun, and Gorbag the Orc saw his chance at fame.

“If I kill the Easterling general, I'll be famous, and I wound have to patrol the spider caves around Cirith Ungol anymore!” he thought. With a loud battle cry he slew the Kataphrakt in front of him and ran into the pounding hooves of Tai-Shan's armored horse. “Ouch, ouch, ouch!” he cried as he was trampled. Tai-Shan glanced down to see the Orc captain, lying on the ground, his limbs obviously broken. “Limp as a boned fish,” Tai-Shan chuckled, then renewed his attack.

The treacherous Orc Shaman froze the Dragon Knight's mind with evil magic, and Shagrat lunged forward to make a kill but found he could not harm the Knight. On the right flank, Captain Gokmen's troops had just about broken through the Orc lines and were preparing to swing around towards the center, although the Captain himself had been wounded in the battle. Captain Ilhan and the Orc Taskmaster had fallen into a protracted duel, but despite the skill of the Easterling Captain, the corpulent taskmaster either shrugged off or dodged every blow. Tai-Shan slew an Orc tracker that had tried to flank him and sent his corpse to rest near the crippled Gorbag.

The Orcs pushed forward again, although casualties on both sides had been so grievous that both armies could have been said to have been broken. Captain Ilhan had fallen, but Tai-Shan and the Dragon Knight were very much alive and butchering Orcs with seemingly boundless energy. For the moment, the Orc shaman was keeping their army together, but Captain Gokmen's troops were swinging around towards the center.

At that moment, cruel Fate played the Easterlings false. One of the Orc trackers fired and hit the already wounded Gokmen, slaying him. Without his inspiring presence, five Easterlings dropped their weapons and fled. Without their numbers, Tai-Shan knew he could not hope to win this battle, and bitterly called for a retreat.


That was an interesting battle. Staring down Tim's five warbands with my three was unpleasant, but I judged that despite being outnumbered in shooting, my superior armor would let me win a shootout, and I could force the Orcs to come to me. I did fine with shooting and taking out the Orc drummer on Turn 1 was a major coup.

Tim shifted from counter-battery fire then to try and assassinate my Dragon Knight. He was trying to tempt me into a hasty error, but at the same time, the Orcish left flank became exposed and I sent my cavalry in to attack, not out of haste, but because the situation seemed auspicious. In fact, had the Orc trackers not been skilled enough to bring down the Orc I was assaulting with my Dragon Knight, then my twin-blade wielding pyschopath would have been free to romp through the rear of the Orc lines, which would have been a real problem for them.

Part of my difficulty came from the fact that the Orc army had so much Might to begin with and kept getting so many heroic actions for free, courtesy of their Taskmaster. I assaulted the Taskmaster with Ilhan several times but simply could not bring that Orc down.

Tai-Shan was the man of the match, leading his cavalry into the Orc center and collecting numerous Orc-heads including the upstart Gorbag's. Although my Dragon Knight made few kills, he survived the battle without a scratch, despite Tim's pouring a huge amount of resources into attempts to destroy him. Sometimes, you do a good job just by not letting your opponent do what he wants to do.

Sadly, the fatal shot by the Orc tracker that killed Captain Gokmen ended the game for me. Had I been able to swing my right flank into the rear of the Orc center, chances are I could have beaten the Orc Shaman in combat, canceled fury and ripped the heart out of the Orcs. Sadly, it was not to be.

Even so, my army performed very well. I need to tinker with it very slightly, as I have too much cav, but otherwise, it's doing its job.

Cheers,

BdS
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Re: 5 Orc Warbands vs. 3 Easterling

Postby Smeagol » Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:32 pm

Domination is a bad scenario for me to begin with. Good game right to the end. I was pretty sure you were going to beat the snot out of my orcs once you broke through my left flank. That orcs tracker saved the game for me. I really do understand why you dislike them so much. :-)

Tai-Shan was a beast in this game. I think he was so successful because you used him aggressively, but you also kept him supported. I was unable to isolate and surround him, except once, but my dice betrayed me and I lost Gorbag in that gamble. I was pretty desperate to stem the bleeding that captain was inflicting on my faltering center, especially since you were chewing through my left flank so quickly.

There were some things I could have done better, but ultimately your ability to switch from an all out assault to an offensive defense stymied my ability to breach your lines earlier in the game. My MVP has to be the Orcs task Master. He took out one captain and kept Shagrat supplied with free Might all game. I still had one Might point left despite the half dozen Heroic Moves and Fights he declared.

It's been a long time since we've had both of our leaders survive despite being in harms way the entire game.
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Re: 5 Orc Warbands vs. 3 Easterling

Postby BaronDeSade » Sat Aug 18, 2012 7:59 pm

I do not understand why you view Domination as difficult. You had plenty of models with which to capture the objectives, and yet enough models would have remained to still engage and outnumber my own force, whereas I had to throw everything I had against the Orcs in order to try and win.

Yes, Tai-Shan fought more grandly than he had ever done before. I expect that future volleys from the Orc trackers will reflect his newfound fame.

I wasn't really trying to kill Shagrat. He's a better fighter than anyone else in my army, save the Dragon Knight, and as you well know, heroes are not so tough when you can surround them and beat them down, so I was much more interested in focusing my energy on killing weaker Orc trackers and spearmen where my S3 troops could actually do some good. My thwarted goal was to have the Dragon Knight roll up your line from my left, slaughtering Orc spearmen and trackers on a 4+, and the only reason I ended up going after Shagrat was because he was leading the Orc charge and he was the main person I could attack, given the size of my model's base.

Yes, the Taskmaster was the bane of my game. Still, I detailed a supported captain to dispose of that whipping-boy, and if Ilhan failed to accomplish his task, it's not my fault as the general!

I have gone back and tinkered with the list very slightly, breaking down four of the Kataphrakts into Easterling warriors, as really, I did have too much cav, and, as we know, Kataphrakts are not really a good use of points. That ups my model count to 39, which ups my break point to -20, and allows me to transform one of Gokmen's warriors into an archer and strengthen his warband's shooting abilities a bit, because you never know when a single arrow can tip the game over... I still have eight cavalry troops and two mounted heroes, which is plenty for a recon scenario or knocking down Orcs. It's great that six of those cav are the excellent Khandish horsemen, too. Give me a whole army of those and I will rule Middle Earth!

Oh, and I was telling the truth about Alexander screening his cav with infantry and then launching a charge against the Persians, although Alexander's attack was much bolder than mine.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaugamela# ... ive_attack

That's the way to go after a force that outnumbers you so much!

Best,

BdS
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Re: 5 Orc Warbands vs. 3 Easterling

Postby Smeagol » Sat Aug 18, 2012 9:30 pm

Alexander also shielded his infantry with his cavalry. Those javelins helped him complete a flanking attack which routed Xerxes' army.
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Re: 5 Orc Warbands vs. 3 Easterling

Postby BaronDeSade » Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:17 pm

I would be a happy general if I had Easterling warriors with throwing spears!
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Re: 5 Orc Warbands vs. 3 Easterling

Postby Smeagol » Sat Aug 18, 2012 10:20 pm

BaronDeSade wrote:It's great that six of those cav are the excellent Khandish horsemen, too. Give me a whole army of those and I will rule Middle Earth!

I have an army of them. :-)
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