Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Rohan Campaign Turn 3 - The Second Battle of the Fords of Isen

2000 points of Isengard descend on the Fords Of Isen
Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas rode with Erkenbrand to the Fords of Isen.  There they met Theodred and the remnants of his force.  They had put up a stubborn defense against Isengard, but Theodred knew that Saruman's forces would return in greater numbers.  Theodred spoke of a new breed of orc, the Uruk-hai, stronger than any other orc he had ever encountered.  The heroes held their council of war, and decided not to abandon the Fords.  Their plan was to wear down the orcs since they knew they would have been on the march and would have to expend their Might in order to cross the fords.  Once they had crossed, the Rohan forces would attack being lead by five Epic Heroes.  The plan was in place.  They needed to give Gandalf time to break Théoden from Saruman's spell and bring forth Rohan's elite Royal Guard from Edoras.

Rohan decided to fall back from the defenses of the fords forcing Isengard to use their Might on Heroic Moves.
But the forces of Isengard learned their lesson from the first battle.  They knew that their captains would have to expend their Might to get across the Isen.  But they planned to save at least one point of Might to declare a Heroic Fight enabling their formation to fight a second combat if they won a fight.  They had to depend on At the Double moves thereafter to reach the Rohan force on the far side.  The plan was simple, Sharku's Hunters would lead a charge of wargs across the far right ford.  Uguk's Raiders and Mahrur's Maurauders would push across the left ford, leaving the center clear for long range shots from their two assault ballistae.  The Uruk general Lugdush and the Dunland Chieftain Thrydan Wolfsbane would lead the archers to the west bank along with Vrasku's Talons.  Then they would go after the ranger from the north and the dwarf and challenge them to a Heroic duel.

Isengard is joined by Thrydan Wolfsbane and his Dunlendings from the Gap of Rohan.
With the ballistae on the horizon, Rohan decided to stay out of range and keep back from the defensive position at the fords as that would leave them vulnerable.  Then they saw the wargs charging their flank.  Elfhelm's Riders and Grimbold's Helmlingas went out to meet them.  But the wargs were a tougher opponent then they expected.  Sharku's Hunters took the advantage and charged Grimbold's Helmlingas.  Grimbold challenged Sharku to a Heroic Duel, slaying the orc captain.  But more wargs were coming and Elfhelm's and his riders were torn to shreds and Elfhelm became dog meat.  Grimbold's Helmlingas cut through the remnants of Sharku's Hunters and another formation of warg riders, but the Warg Chieftain thirsted for more blood and charge into Grimbold's flank proving too much for the brave Rohan warriors who died horribly from the fangs and claws of the wargs.

The Isengard plan was to push the wargs on the far right flank, while keeping pressure on the left and center.
Seeing that the orcs decided to come up the center as the ballistae were useless to them, Gimli led the Oathsworn militia and declared an Epic Rampage destroying an entire orc formation.  Seeing Gimli's success, Aragorn went forward to join him.  Aragorn saw that the Dunlendings had made it across the far fords and pushed forward declaring an Epic Challenge against Thrydan Wolfsbane.  The Dunlendings failed their Courage test and decided charge Aragorn's formation.  Aragorn hacked his way to Thrydan killing many Dunlandings along the way, but Thrydan proved tougher than he thought as Aragorn was wounded.  But seeing the ranger wield Anduril cutting down many in the process was too much for the Dunlendings and they fled the field since Hope is Lost with Thrydan chasing after them.

Aragorn and Gimli join Theodred and his Oathsworn Militia and were able to destroy the orc and Dunlending formations with Epic actions.
On the other flank, Eomer joined Grimbold's Helmlingas and positioned the Outriders above them on a hill so they could maximize their shooting attacks.  Legolas joined the Oathsworn Bowmen and led them out of the woods to secure Erkenbrand's left.  Mauhur's Maurauders led the charge across the ford since they are Pathfinders (Master).  But they fell from continuous shooting attacks, and Legolas's declaring an Epic Shot giving an additional D6 automatic hits.  The Ugluk's Raiders led the charge, but again were cut down by shooting attacks.  Then Lugdush tried to position the Urk-hai Scout archers to fire back, but they also fell victim to Legolas's Epic Shot running due to Hope is Lost with Lugdush running after them threatening to kill all who fled the field.  Now Vrasku's Talons were in range and fired their crossbows with Take Aim! giving each company three additional attacks against Legolas and the Oathsworn Bowmen who fled the field due to Hope is Lost.  Next to come was a formation of Uruk-has warriors armed with swords and shields.  Erkenbrand's Riders charged and after back and forth fighting, destroyed the Uruk formation, but they now had only two companies left.

Now the tide was turning in Isengard's favor as the other archer formations had made it across the Isen as well as Uruk-hai bezerkers.  The Dunlending archers fired into the Oathsworn Militia leaving Aragorn the last in his company and in the confusion, Aragorn fell into the Isen and was carried downstream.  This was proving too much for the brave Oathsworn Militia and Gimli led them to the safety of the woods.  But the woods did not provide safety from the charging wargs.  Gimli, out of Might, could do nothing but watch the Rohan die.

Rohan had been reduced to less than 30% effective combat strength and was forced to yield the field to Isengard.  The remnants chose to seek refuge in Helms Deep.  Isengard was victorious, but paid a heavy price and now must decide to follow up on their momentum, or once again consolidate and wait for reinforcements.  Rohan was beaten and had lost much of their army, but they were soon to learn that the Ents had decided to go to war!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Rohan Campaign Turn 2

The forces of Isengard were not able to break the Rohan defenders at the Fords of Isen, so they decided to retreat back to the safety of Orthanc.  Saruman was displeased that his orcs were not able to kill Theodred and wipe out the line of Théoden.  Even worse, he had learned that Gandalf had somehow appeared in Rohan and had broken the spell he had over the King.  He called forth his orc general Lugdush and told him to prepare his army for war.  He sent word to the Dunlending Chieftain Thrydan Wolfsbane to make for the Fords of Isen in two weeks time where he will be met by Lugdush and an army of Uruk-hai, a new breed of orc that Saruman had created by crossing orcs and goblin men.  These Uruk-hai were stronger and better armed than orcs and could march under the light of the sun.  Saruman then outfitted his new army with heavy armor and pikes to stop the horse lords and siege ballistae, capable of shooting long distances.  Now he had the army he needed to seize Rohan, not of thousands, but tens of thousands!

Saruman confers with his general Lugdush at Orthanc.
Aragorn, Gimli, Legolas, and Gandalf the White meanwhile had come into contact with Erkenbrand, master of the Westfold, and his eored of riders. Erkenbrand told them a sickness had come over King Théoden and he would not leave his fortress of Edoras.  Erkenbrand also told them that word had come to him that Theodred, son of the king, held off what appeared to be and advance guard of orcs from Isengard.  Erkenbrand was taking his eored to reinforce the fords in the event Isengard returned.  Knowing that it was Saruman who had cast a spell on Théoden, Gandalf rode quickly  to Edoras.  Aragorn, Gimli, and Legolas rode with Erkenbrand to the Fords of Isen knowing that if the position there fell, the forces of Isengard would be unleashed on the Westfold. 

But something was happening that none of them were aware of.  The ents were beginning to wake after a long age, and were to find that they were strong.