Saturday, January 31, 2015

Rohan Campaign Turn 1

 Thanks to one of our players for writing this battle report!
The first turn of this Campaign was the start of the invasion of Rohan by the forces of Saruman. With King Théoden completely seduced by Wormtongue, his army scattered throughout the lands, and a Fellowship that has yet to come to their aid; The Rohirrim are left with only a feeble group of warriors led by Theoden's son, Theodred, to defend the crossing of Isengard at the Ford's of Isen.

Against them, march Uruk-Hai Scouts, Dunlendings, Warg Riders, and legions of Orcs who are attempting to take the one area that provides passage for the massing fighting Uruk-Hai, whom will ensure the end of Rohan.

This battle is fought with the Isengard Army attacking by three crossings on the river. Each one is not much more than mounds of dirt and sand that has build up over a river. While this can support a group of men, marching a legion of Orcs across can prove dangerous. Therefore for this match, The bridges all count as difficult terrain, and any formation that loses while on it, takes an extra D6 wounds. 
As the Orcs marched toward the crossing, the Rohirrim desperately fired all bows and throwing spears into the enemy. The countless numbers of Orcs seemed to be barely affected as they continued to march upon the Rohirrim. Theodred however, was not worried. He had already foreseen this overwhelming advance and called upon his Rohan Rider brothers to come to his aid. He knew they would come soon. He just needed to hold on for a little longer. He needed to hold these orcs at the crossing, the only place where the orc numbers counted for nothing. 
 As arrows were exchanged on both sides of the field, the Orcs clashed with the Rohirrim on the left and right crossings of the Ford. Theodred's company was first met with Orcs armed with crude weaponry and shields. They were easily pushed back, and more throwing spears were lodged into their necks. Seeing this, the Orc captain desperately challenged Theodred to a duel. Theodred ignored him. This foe was beneath him. He sent his captain to deal with him instead. With Reinforcements on the way, victory seemed all but assured for Rohan. 
As ranks of Orc continued to die however, the Dunlendings pushed forward. They were a rowdy group, but fearsome to behold. Wielding mighty two handed axes and a furious anger, they slammed into Theodred's company with an unstoppable charge! 
It was here that the unexpected happened! The Dunlendings ripped and tore through the Rohan forces with ease. As two full companies' vanished under the weight of great axes, the rohirrim started to panic. They broke into a disordered rabble, desperately trying to escape this fearsome foe. Seeing a hopeless situation at hand, Theodred called a full retreat for his company, and ordered his Rohan riders to crush this mighty enemy.
Even the opposite flank was experiencing trouble. Uruk Hai Scouts had met with the Rohan battlelines and drove them back. All seemed to be lost for the Rohirrim. However, as they fell back the sound of Horns filled the air and a new force could be seen on the horizon! The Rohirrim forces led by Elfhelm had arrived!
 As the Rohan fled, and new Cavalry entered the field, the forces of Isengard recognized this as their one last chance to push into the Fords of Isen and crush the Rohirrim. The remaining orcs flooded across the Ford. Warg Riders thundered through the dirt and rammed through the fleeting left flank. As the Sun fell from the sky and sat on the horizon toward the end of this day, Theodred knew the Orcs would soon have to retreat and regroup from fighting all day. Also, the night would only be his advantage since his people knew these lands. He just needed to hold on for a little while longer!
 As they day fell more to night, the Orcs managed to push back the fleeting left side to a small forest where they courageously held back the advancing warg riders.Elfhelm's Riders charged into the overwhelming numbers of Orcs to relieve Theodred's retreat. Although they managed to crush the Dunlending warbands, the Orc numbers proved to be too much even for the Rohirrim. Losing a devastating seven companies of Rohan Riders total, this victory would only be bittersweet at best. 
At the end of Turn 8, the Isengard force recognized the disadvantage of fighting so long into the day and sounded a full retreat from the field. The battle was over, but they knew Theodred was weakened, and his army was fractured. This minor victory for Rohan would only be short-lived, as the Fighting Uruk Hai were almost complete. On Turn three of this Campaign, they would be ready, and there would be nothing this pathetic group of Rohan Survivors could do. With Theoden's mind still broken, and the Fellowship having yet to arrive, only time will tell if Rohan will be able to survive this war. 

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