He used the same Haradrim force as last time, I mixed things up a little. Last time I just wasn't satisfied with the drums. Sure I got a re-roll, but with my pitiful fight score, he still kept winning on ties and with lots of spearmen he seemed to get lots of 6s =)
Anyway, I played mix and match and ended up going with:
Durburz the Goblin King, a Cave Troll, the Wild Warg Chieftain, a Giant Spider, 15 goblins with sword and shield, 16 with spear (1 extra for the King) and 13 with bow. 48 minis all up (max allowed at this level, 461, is 50 so just under.)
We rolled for the mission and got "To the Death!" Subtle mission huh. The mission calls for a crowded board, so we piled on all of the scenery I have. I'm in the process of making some more rock pillars, stalagmites and some mining equipment but since I used all my grey paint on the board I've gotta get down to the shops before I can finish them off.
You can see in the bottom left corner just peeking into the photo next to the tape measure are a stack of cards. My brother used his computer nouse to whip up some playing cards with all the stats of our different mini types as well as a photo and any special rules. Makes it really nice and quick to find info and saves flipping through books - also it looks cool!
Well we split our forces into two squads each. I rolled a 2 for one and a 5 for the other, so I had one group of guys right up at the front lines (you can see a batch of goblins - no special characters, just 12 shields and 12 spears in the middle right). The Cave Troll and Wild Warg Chieftain deployed near the hill next to the stone arch towards the left of shot. The other group, my archers, King and Spider were up the back corner.
My brother's forces were all in the front lines, he's got some Watchers of Karna with spear support on the left, in the middle is his cavalry and near my goblin horde are Suladan, Hasharin and the remaining forces.
In turn one I moved my goblin horde to a defensive position in the archways of the ruins, his powerful guys advanced towards them.
Another shot of the same area from a different angle. Unfortunately most of the shots I took for this game didn't turn out. My hands weren't steady enough or something, so they're mostly very blurry.
On the other side of the map, his cavalry charged forwards on the right of a big lava patch, his Watchers to the left of it. My troll and WWC leapt to the top of the small rocky hill to get a good view of the map. This put them in good striking range of several enemy groups.
My 13 archers unleashed a hail of arrows, four hits and two wounds. The first arrow killed the steed of one of his cavalry, the second arrow impaled the rider.
Turn 2 saw the Goblin King leading a small group of goblins towards the Watchers on the edge of the board. The giant spider headed towards the cavalry group. The goblin horde continued defensive maneuvers. With priority to the goblins, the troll and WWC pounced down from the hilltop to engage the cavalry units nearby.
The goblin archers launch another swarm of black barbed arrows, two thunk home, but only cause flesh wounds. The 6 haradrim archers fire back, hit two goblins, even with a re-roll for poisonous arrows they only manage to injure some archers rather than killing them.
The Wild Warg Chieftain uses a point of might to win the battle against two cavalry and kills them both, swiping the riders from their saddles and allowing the horses to gallop away frantically. The troll rolls badly... but not as badly as the Haradrim and clobbers a spearman and another of the hapless cavalry.
On the edge of the board, a Watcher of Karna kills a goblin, who blocked one blade with his shield, but neglected the second deadly blade which lanced through his neck. Next to him a goblin pushes back another Watcher, but fails to cause any wounds.
Turn 3, priority goes to the Haradrim - the last time it will for quite some time. Nicknamed "suicide Bob" a Haradrim archer rushes the WWC AND Troll! Saving his courage roll, he valiantly sacrifices himself for the greater good. You can guess how that ended up for suicide bob.
The 13 goblin archers manage to kill two haradrim archers, whose own shots flew high, missing entirely.
Meanwhile, the giant spider is swarmed and killed mercilessly! Arachnophobic cavalry joins up with a Watcher of Karna to wade through the ichorus mess left afterwards. The Goblin King kills a spearman, kicking the lifeless body into the lava afterwards. On the edge of the board a Watcher takes on four goblins, wins the battle and kills one of the surprised goblins. Next to him, his colleague takes on two goblins, but fails to kill either of them.
On the other side of the board, Suladan and his forces set themselves up for next turn's charge.
Turn 4, Priority goes to the goblins. After a delay in actually getting into action, Suladan and the Serpent army strikes at the defending goblins. Their fortifications don't help them against the deadly heroes. Suladan kills his goblin easily, the Hasharin next to him also slays a goblin, and in the next archway a Watcher dispatches yet another defender.
The goblin archers launched black tipped arrows high into the air, volleying down on the Haradrim banner bearer, the positioning guided by the loud excited shouts of the defending goblins. Unfortunately their directions are about what you'd expect and none of the shots come anywhere near the banner bearer. For the rest of the match, there is a banner bearer shaped outline on the ground made from arrows.
Over on the other side of the battle, three archers and a spearman combine forces to wound the slavering warg three times, fate is with him this day and he takes two wounds, reducing him to near death. Durburz dispatches a cavalry troop while the troll smashes a Watcher so hard he his flung back into the lava pit, disappearing into a charcoaly smear.
The melee on the side of the board results in a Watcher killing a goblin, his companion whoops with excitement, but in doing so drops his guard and a goblin spear flashes inwards, piercing his black heart.
Turn 5 - Goblins win priority. The goblin archers, out of targets now (!) begin to move forward towards the ruins. Suladan continues slaughtering his way through goblins. The Hasharin has a momentary lapse in attention as he tries to direct other troops, a lucky goblin spearman thrusts through his defences, but fate is with the black clad murderer and he escapes unwounded.
Further back in the ruins, however, some of the goblin horde succeed in surrounding several of the Serpent army, killing one Watcher with four black spears. Fighting furiously next to him, another Watcher beats back four goblin swords, and slays two of them! Another Watcher kills a goblin hiding in an archway.
On the other side of the board, the Warg Chieftain, sorely wounded, fights ever more savagely, killing one of the spearmen that injured him. Durburz dispatches one of the Haradrim archers, laughing at the pathetic human. Nearby the Troll kills another, pulverizing the body beyond recognition. On the side the Watchers, dismayed at the way the battle is going near them, fight more defensively, but to no avail as one of them is speared through the kidneys and lungs by two eager goblins.
Turn 6, goblins win priority (again!). This turn sees our first "official" death by lava. The troll and goblins win the fight against a poor Haradrim archer, who had been cornered near a lava pit. They didn't manage to wound him (I know, how bad was that rolling) but the knockback left him at the end of the turn on the crusty top of lava, his body weight breaking through the thin surface and plunging him, screaming, into the superheated rock.
The Warg killed a Haradrim spearman, continuing his revenge on the ones who wounded him, tearing out the man's throat in a bloody mess. Five goblins ganged up on a Watcher and sent him on a permanent voyage, the black clad man died bravely, fighting to the last. A Haradrim bowman, filled with fear, fought like a man possessed, seeing that he is the last man around, knocking back the Goblin King.
On the other side of the board, the Men are doing a far better job of killing the gibbering goblins. Watchers, Suladan and Hasharin all slaying goblins with ease, working mechanically and systematically, blades flashing.
Turn 7 - goblin priority. The last human on the left side of the board is dispatched easily, the archers continue marching across the board. Suladan's troops, scared by the frenetic fighting, go to run away, he calls to them to "Stand Fast" and a quiver in his own voice almost undoes it all, but rallying his formidible willpower he forces the Serpent Horde to continue their assault.
Some of the goblins begin to retreat from Suladan, back towards their own king.
Though retreating as fast as their short legs can carry them, some of the goblins know that the humans will catch them sooner or later! One Watcher of Karna steps from the shadows to assassinate a fleeing goblin - the only casualty of the turn.
Turn 9 sees goblins with priority again! The remaining goblins begin to swarm towards the remainder of the Serpent horde. There is no combat this round. Suladan stops chasing the goblins that are fleeing towards the King and instead turn towards the lightly armoured archers!
A view showing some very surprised, but grateful goblins, who were sure that they would die this turn!
Turn 10 sees priority to the Haradrim for the first time in aaaages! Suladan rallies the troops and they charge towards the archers, who step back in fear, but draw their bows and at closer range than they'd like they manage to send 6 arrows thunking into the brave men - two arrows find particularly painful marks, slaying a spearman and a Watcher in the glow of the lava pit.
The rest of the goblins move in towards the few remaining humans, sensing a Major Victory in the wind!
Turn 11, priority back to the goblins. The archers back off to the left, while the rest of the goblins charge forward. The troll leads a few around the top of the lava pit, Durburz leads a swarm of goblins down towards the archers, hoping to surround the men.
Suladan then abruptly changes course! Rolling an 11 for his courage, he forces his troops to move back and around towards the mighty Cave troll!
The archers now face a dilemma, they could shoot at the exposed back of the Hasharin, but worry that they'll inadvertantly kill their own companion, so instead they aim at a spearman. It turns out their thoughtful actions were misplaced, after all the prevaricating they all miss anyway!
The troll kills the brave spearman that charged him. Suladan uses a point of might to swing a massive overhanded blade, splitting the goblin in front of him right down the middle - shield included! A watcher kills his opponent, as does the Hasharin.
Turn 12 - priority to the Haradrim. Knowing that their time is short, the Haradrim, led by mighty Suladan, charge recklessly into the fray. The goblin archers take proper aim this time, and fell the banner bearer, who falls with four black arrows in his back, not too far from the banner shaped outline created previously!
Suladan, busy directing his troops, almost falls to some spearmen, but fate is with him. The Cave Troll kills the next suicidal spearman that charged at him. A Watcher kills a spearman, dual blades flashing in a hypnotic rhythm before stabbing forward through the bulbous goblin eyes. The mighty Hasharin sweeps his cloak around him, almost disappearing from sight before a whirl of poisoned blades lance out, resulting in the death of three goblins!
Turn 13 - priority stays with the Haradrim. Yet another brave spearman sacrifices himself against the massive Cave Troll, who has no pity and clubs him into a nearby wall, smashing his spine. The Watcher takes on three goblins, and while he beheads a goblin, his spear supporter steps forward to lance another goblin through its black heart. Suladan disdainfully steps forward to slaughter a goblin, kicking its decapitated head into the lava pit nearby.
The Goblin King leads six goblins into battle against the Hasharin, knowing that numbers will prove the match for the assassin. The Hasharin, backlit by the redness of the lava pit laughs at the pitiful goblins, his fighting skill more than a match for them all. Using a valuable point of might he wins the fight and slays two goblins with shields.
Having slain five goblins in a single turn, the goblin horde is now broken - hopes of a Major Victory lost amidst flashing blades and red lava-glow.
Turn 14 - the goblins win priority. Durburz rallies the troops, telling them to Stand Fast and Attack! The troll kills the last Watcher of Karna. The Hasharin is charged by a single spearman, whom he kills easily, annoyed at his awesome skills being so wasted. Suladan, charged by the Wild Warg Chieftain, Durburz the Goblin King and some goblin support rolls a 6 and ducks beneath Durburz's blade, pirouetting around and slashing open the mighty Warg's throat, ending his murderous reign.
Now the Hasharin and Suladan look around the battlefield, they are the last men standing, but there are far fewer of their foes left than there were just a few turns ago - there is still hope yet!
Turn 15 - Haradrim priority.
Suladan launches an attack at the Goblin King, knowing that tying him up in battle may dismay the horde enough to cause some to flee.
The Hasharin steels his nerve and turns to face the troll, the troll roars mightily, sending disgusting blobs of saliva into the air and terrifying the assassin, causing him to stand scared on the spot.
Archers fire at the Hasharin, wounding him, in his cowardly state fate abandons him.
Suladan's plan works, six goblins run screaming away, leaving their King to his fate. The remaining goblins ignore the cowering Hasharin and those that are close enough engage Suladan. Against the Troll, the Kings and other swarming goblins, the brave Serpent King has no chance, they leap upon him, pinning him down while the Troll smashes his body with the mighty hammer he wields. The smashed and broken body of Suladan is further maimed by the laughing green minions of Durburz.
Turn 16 - the goblins win priority and swarm all over the Hasharin, who stands no chance against such overwhelming odds. Tossing the corpse into the lava pit, the goblins win a Minor Victory!
Posing for the post-victory shots...
What a match!
I was so sure I was going to just wipe the floor with the Haradrim after the first few turns, but boy are Suladan and the Hasharin good. Today they were just on fire! (Well, literally after they died.)
Between the two of them they killed close to half of my entire force!
A great game, made greater by a (rare) victory for me =)
Again I have it reiterated to me that goblins can do well if they swarm attack, on a map with such a lot of scenery it was a bit tricky to arrange, but it all worked out in the end. The troll did a great job, but could have killed more if it wasn't for the brave but suicidal solo spearmen that kept him busy until the end.
The Wild Warg Chieftain again did a great job, although the Giant Spider was pathetically dispatched without accomplishing much, although it did split his force up a little. Durburz is great for his Stand Fast when the force is broken, the goblins and their low courage really make the game shift once it gets down to that part of the match.
Anyway, there you have it =)