Theodred rides again! Death to Khand!

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Theodred rides again! Death to Khand!

Postby BaronDeSade » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:05 pm

EOWYN of Rohan hopped out of bed and wrapped herself up in a fuzzy bathrobe. “It's going to be a good day!” she said to no one in particular. She hoped it was true. Her uncle had been sick lately and a dark cloud seemed to hover over her cousin, Theodred. A flock of vultures had been perching on his window-sill for a week, now, and Eowyn knew that that was not a sign of good things to come.

She flung open the window to her room and was surprised to see the head of a giant eagle staring back at her. Although she was startled for a moment, she smiled and offered the great bird a cracker, which it gratefully gulped down. It made clucking noises at her, and she frowned as she listened intently.

“What's that you say? Oh no, Theodred was playing outside and fell down the well? I'd better do something about that. Thank you, giant birdie!”

She strapped on her manly chain-mail and leather armor combo, pulled on her boots and donned her helmet. Her uncle had insisted that she wear dresses at court, but he was too sick to say anything about that now. She tromped down the stairs, gave her uncle a short bow as he slouched on his throne, and shook her head at Grima Wormtongue as he made kissing and groping motions at her. There was something creepy about that guy...why didn't anyone else see it?

A short-horse ride later and she was turning the crank on the well and helping Theodred out of it. “Darn it,” he said, shaking the water out of his hair. “I was just going to get a drink and then someone pushed me in. I didn't see who it was, but he had a high-pitched cackle and I could smell hair oil.”

Eowyn put her hands on her hips. “I'll bet it was that slimy Wormtongue. I'll tell my brother to go beat him up. That'll put him back in his place.”

A sound like dimly-rolling thunder reached her ears, and she climbed up on the side of the stone wall that surrounded the well to get a better view.

“Uh, oh.” She said. “Those riders with the black flags on their backs have returned.”

Theodred wailed in fear. “The last time we fought them, a troll clobbered me! I had to spend a week on the rack just to return to my normal height!”

“Don't be such a baby,” she admonished him. “Oops, looks like they have a Ringwraith with them, this time. This is serious. I don't think your dad is going to be much help in this fight. Let's get Erkenbrand and Grimbold and ask Ghan Buri Ghan for his help. Look, the great eagle is still here. Will you help us, giant birdie?”

The eagle bobbed his head happily. “Yay!” yelled Eowyn.

Some time later, Eowyn and Theodred rode at the extreme left of the Rohan battle line, with their great eagle friend close by. Two warbands of Riders of Rohan faced off against an equal number of Khandish Horsemen. Erkenbrand held the center, with a banner bearer behind him. On the right, Grimbold and his Helmingas, and Ghan Buri Ghan and his Woses-men faced three warbands of Khandish axemen, leaving the Men of Rohan outnumbered.


The two sides began to trade arrow shots, while the Woses spit out darts from their blowguns. Men of Khand fell, the poison darts easily piercing their black battle-robes.

The Ringwraith, Khamul, galloped forward and muttered a spell of black magic beneath his hood. Drawn forward by the magical compulsion, one of the Riders of Rohan tumbled forward out of the battle line towards the enemy. With a crack of whips, a Khandish King drove his chariot forward, crashing into the befuddled rider. The King knocked the helpless man from his horse, then lashed his own horses harder, plowing the chariot into Erkenbrand's Riders. Scything blades on the chariot cut the legs from under Erkenbrand's horse, tumbling the hero of Rohan to the ground.

“We must engage them now!” cired Eowyn. “Charge!”

The Riders of Rohan thundered forward, trading blows with the Khandish horsemen. On the extreme left, the great eagle soared around in a hooking motion to attack the flank of the Men of Khand. Theodred galloped along, close behind the great bird, eager for revenge on the Khand-men who had so humiliated him in the past.

On the right, the horde of Khandish infantry charged forward. Grimbold swung his heavy axe with great skill, while beside him, Ghan Buri Ghan's spear-jabs took a heavy toll on the Khand-men. Even so, the defenders of Rohan were pushed steadily back, and Grimbold was forced to constantly extend his battle-line as the Khand-men pressed forward.

Erkenbrand swung his sword at the King in his chariot, to no avail. The Khandish King was a much better fighter, and drove back the men of Rohan. Even so, his chariot's charge had left him dangerously surrounded by Rohrrim.

The great eagle pounced on the riders of Khand, slashing with beak and talons, panicking their horses and sending them fleeing. “Yeah, take that!” cheered Theodred. A moment later, the young prince was attacked on three sides by Khandish Horsemen and Khamul the Ringwraith.

“Do you not know death when you see it, young man?” hissed the wraith.

By way of answer, Theodred stabbed him in the face. Khamul screamed and his empty armor and robes fell to the ground.

“Nope, couldn't see a thing under that black hood,” the young prince chuckled.

Grimbold and Ghan Buri Ghan were being pressed back on the right. Things looked grim as the standard-bearer of the Helmingas was cut down. Even so, Grimbold hacked down a Khandish Chieftain and the Woses fought on with great determination.

On the left, though, the Riders of Rohan had slain or driven off all of the Khandish Horsemen and were preparing to go to Erkenbrand's aid. Before they could, though, a great, winged shadow fell over the Khandish King, and a moment later, rending talons put a permanent end to his dreams of conquest.

Grimbold and Ghan Buri Ghan fell back towards the center, but now, the great eagle flapped forward to help them. Bereft of their king and their cavalry, and with only one Chieftain left to lead their surviving infantry, the Khand-men threw away their axes and fled from the field.

“Yay! We won!” clapped Eowyn. “Theodred, let's go back to the castle and break open a cask of ale!”

Theodred smiled. “No, thanks, cousin. There's still the survivors to mop-up and patrol work to be done. I'm going to take a party of riders and go scout the fords of Isen.” He tightened up the straps on his helmet. “On a day like today, nothing could go wrong!”


SCENARIO: TO THE DEATH, VICTORY TO ROHAN!

Haha, well it had been a while since I had handed Tim a defeat, so this one was a long time coming. It is no secret that the MVP award goes to Gwaihir the Great Eagle. I've had that model for a long time, and used it a few times, but I never had much luck with it. However, with the new rules for The Hobbit, all of the monsters, including the Eagle, became much more powerful. In this situation, the Eagle was able to stay out of charge range of the Khandish Horsemen, then charge against them using his superior movement. His incredibly high Defense made meant that the Khand-men weren't even bothering to shoot at him. Once in combat, his incredibly high Fight score meant that he had a good chance to win any fight and his Terror kept him from being too mobbed in return.

Of the special monster rules, I used Barge to knock some Khandish Horsemen off their horses and attack another one. I used Rend against the Khandish King on his chariot, which greatly reduced his defense. I did not use Hurl, as there was no good opportunity for that, but on the end turn of the game, there were a bunch of Khandish infantry bunched up and a Hurl would have devastated them.

Second place goes to Grimbold, who is devastating with his ability to use two-handed piercing attacks. His Helmingas fought well, and died almost to a man. Ghan Buri Ghan and the Woses did well also, and Ghan survived a ludicrous number of attacks against him.

In all fairness, Tim had more than his share of bad luck with the dice. He would make a piercing attack with a Khandish warrior, win because of the warrior's F4, boost their strength to 5 or 6, and then roll a 1 or a 2 on the die and fail to wound. Meanwhile, I don't think that the great eagle ever lost a battle.

The FAQ'd ability of the Riders of Rohan to have all of their horsemen with bows is a very nice ability, but it is mitigated by the fact that moving and shooting is less accurate, now. This also seemed to reduce the effectiveness of my throwing weapons, too, as I don't remember causing any casualties with them.


Onward!

BdS
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Re: Theodred rides again! Death to Khand!

Postby Smeagol » Sat Dec 15, 2012 4:41 pm

Gwaihir was unstoppable. Yes, your Helmingas and Woses were nearly wiped out, but they did hold up my infantry long enough for you to destroy all of my cavalry. They also managed to kill off one of my heroes and bruise another.

I need to think hard about how to use chariots better. I didn't consider the Monstrous attacks as often as I should have, particularly when charged.

Khamul is a lousy wraith and will remain in my inventory of crappy dust collectors. Time to reclaim his place on the shelf of shame.
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Re: Theodred rides again! Death to Khand!

Postby BaronDeSade » Sat Dec 15, 2012 5:18 pm

Hey, Khamul's not that bad, once you acknowledge that he is a so-so fighter and a terrible spellcaster for an extremely high-cost. :P He remains useful in the end game, because of his high Courage and his Harbinger of Evil, but I wouldn't use him as a fighter much, or try and do much with his spells, either. Transfix is OK, but I wouldn't spend more than one die on it at a time.

Yes, if you had used Rend on Erkenbrand, you might have killed him. Or, if you Hurled him, you might have hit the Rohan banner behind him. You could use the two-handed piercing strike with your King, but that is risky.

I would spread your Khandish Axemen out more, as they seemed to get in each other's way, and a shielding Helmingas could hold off several at a time.

You need a Wight to hold off Gwaihir. :wink:
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Re: Theodred rides again! Death to Khand!

Postby Smeagol » Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:20 pm

Terrain and being too cautious early in the game made that traffic jam. I played pretty badly at many points in that game. If I were to replay the game using the same start positions I would push forward into the swampy ground (and remember that woses are hindered as well) while I pushed around with the other half to threaten your flank. In our game I had too many soldiers on your flank and not enough in the marsh since I had pulled back.

I'm not sure they'd have made a difference, but I should have had a warband of infantry in the center to exploit tight spots and narrow gaps in your center. i'm not sure there was anything I could do on my right. I had nothing to stop the eagle and I'm not going to go the route of allying in random models just to stop one model. Eowyn was her typical pain. She's not a powerhouse, but she provided FV and Might to her detachment. Going one on one with her is not the way to take her down.

My Khandish King was good, but I did risk a premature charge. In the long run it didn't work out, but terrain helped contain much of that cavalry fight. I was also on the short oend of the stick when it comes to Might in that section of the battle. You had six to my four and I spent three in the space of one turn between spellcasting, heroic combats and then modifying my die roll to win the second fight with my King.

Piercing Strike is also a very bad idea for the Khandish Warriors. Defense 4 suffers an immediate negative effect since they are guaranteed to lower their defense to 3 and have a 1/3rd chance to bring it down to 1. That meant your warriors automatically went from 5+ to 4+ to wound. When I dropped to defense 1 you were rolling a 3+. On the other hand 1/3 of the time my strength increase had no effect and even if I rolled a +2 or +3 strength the best I would ever roll against your warriors was a 4+. So I should have stuck with my tried and true combat routines with the Khandish Warriros on foot. Now the cavalry is a different issue depending on what they are hitting. When charging a model on foot their additional attacks and higher FV means I can risk greater injury for the much improved chances fo killing the targetted model. against your defense 6+ heroes that is really my only option anyway. They're wounding me on 4s to begin with so 1/3rd of the time they aren't gaining any benefit to wounding.

Your defense 5 warriors could use piercing strike much safer since 1/3rd of your defense drop has no effect on my chances to wound you and they automatically improve their chances to wound my troops in return. So all things considered I was in oen of the worse matchups I could have played with my force. Of course your Helmingas on the other hand are already Strength 4 so they would only get a benefit to piercing strike if you rolled a 5+.
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