To start with we chose our forces, he had 461 points worth of Haradrim, so that's what we played to.
At the top of the board you can see his army if you squint really hard =)
Suladan the Serpent King, 1 Hasharin, 1 Chieftain with bow and spear, 1 Raider with banner, 2 raiders with war spears, 3 raiders with bows, 6 Watchers of Karna, 9 warriors with spears and 6 warriors with bows.
30 troops, so I had to kill 15 to break him.
At the bottom of the board is my goblin horde. Just because I've never had a chance to use them yet I've taken goblin drummers instead of my usual cave troll. Later I think I regretted that choice.
Anyway, I've got Durburz the Goblin King, A Wild Warg Chieftain, 2 Wild Wargs, the drummers, 14 warriors with sword and shield, 15 with spear, 13 with bow.
48 troops, so he had to kill 24 to break me.
To set up the board I have six cards representing the 6 boards, we chose them at random to select scenery.
The mission we also randomly chose - Take and Hold.
In the ash wastelands of the south, water is very hard to come by. A well nearby a mushroom farm has been targeted as an objective by the nomadic Haradrim. Unfortunately for them, a recent tunnel has opened nearby, unleashing a swarm of goblins.
Same time, different angle. The rules of Take and Hold are that you randomly get troops put onto the board. For each troop you roll, sometimes you get to put them on, sometimes your opponent chooses the side they enter from, sometimes they just don't make it. When a force is broken, whoever has more troops within 3 inches of the well wins!
My tactics were going to be swarm forward with the troops, try and counter his cavalry with my wargs and get my archers up on the walls to shoot down.
I'm not sure what happened with the colours here, but in Turn 1 we basically just had guys appearing all over the place.
Turn 2 was just as exciting as Turn 1, with some initial movement. As you can see below, the random reinforcement rule meant that some of the Watchers of Karna appeared behind some of the goblins who had randomly appeared on the left. Not good news for the goblins!
In the top part of the map, three Haradrim archers draw bows and fire at the two goblins that appeared from nowhere. Their shots thunk home, but only into the raised shields of the little greenies. In the bottom of the map a wild warg and two goblins gang up against a lone Haradrim archer who must have misplaced his map to appear on the wrong side of the well. He is beaten back, but suffers no fatal wound.
In turn 3 there is some charging forward and all troops from both sides have arrived.
The cavalry are filling gaps in the ruined walls.
After the cavalry move into position, the goblin archers all take aim, draw back their bowstrings and unleash a hail of arrows. As you can see from the dice, they must have gone to the stormtrooper school of marksmanship. No hits, let alone wounds.
The lone Haradrim archer is lucky to avoid being killed, but retreats back perilously close to the lava pool. We ruled that you could walk infantry over the raised lava stepping stones as difficult terrain, but couldn't end your turn on it without succumbing to the intense heat. Also, the lava itself was fatal.
A melee broke out with two watchers of karna and five goblins. One watcher went one on one with a goblin swordsman. Swinging both deadly blades in a rushing arc, the watcher fails to take into account the diminutive size of the goblin, who stabs at the black clad knees, forcing the watcher to step back rapidly.
The other watcher faces four goblins, but whirling in an insane flurry, beats back all four, mortally wounding a spearman!
The goblins at the top edge of the board are becoming surrounded, but manage to fend off all attacks. One of the rolls is a tie, but the mightier Haradrim warriors win on ties (something that ruins many a turn for the poor goblins).
The beginning of Turn 4 shows the main Haradrim force moving towards the center. The goblins up the top are being surrounded again. The main goblin army arranges itself around the drummers while the archery line forms up for another shot. The watchers towards the front, faster than the shorter goblins, engage all but one archer who runs towards the center.
Inside the ruins, 9 archers now let fly! There are three hits, but nothing serious enough to cause a wound. The warg chieftain and an accompanying wild warg savage a horse and rider to the ground, killing them both.
Surrounded by a warg and three goblins, the brave (and previously very lucky) finally succumbs to the many puncture wounds.
Three watchers and a spearman make short work of four goblins, the short, green, gibbering goblins are no match for the flashing blades.
Up in the top corner a stalemate continues as some very lucky goblins prove hard to kill.
In turn 5 the main Haradrim force reaches the well, the main goblin force lines up around the drummers. The watchers, having slain all the nearby goblins, head towards the drummers.
Finally, in turn 5, the goblin archers manage to loose four arrows that hit the banner bearing rider. One arrow sinks into the neck of the hapless horse, slaying it instantly. The banner bearer leaps free of his mount and brushes off the dust, planting the standard defiantly into the ground and encouraging his fellow riders.
The inspiration of the banner bearer spurs on one rider to spear a wild warg to the ground, spear pinning the writhing body until it dies. Meanwhile the Wild Warg Chieftain beats back two riders and uses all might to slash and dice one rider before sinking slavering fangs into the neck of a second.
In the top corner, two trapped goblins are speared through by four Haradrim warriors. The last remaining goblin attacks a warrior, but is beaten back.
One goblin had charged a watcher, to try and buy time for his green skinned colleagues. Also he would have been to slow to run away anyway, but let's go with the bravery option =) His brave charge ends in tragedy as a watcher callously slices both blades through the goblin's neck.
In turn 6 the banner bearer runs around to hide in a most cowardly fashion behind a rider to escape the archers. Inspired to save his brave companion, the banner bonus allows the rider to wound the wild warg chieftain, who fate has deserted for the moment.
The main forces close towards each other, the lone goblin at the top ties with the spearman he is fighting, but again the Haradrim fighter wins on a tie, failing to wound the goblin by the narrowest of margins.
Turn 7 begins with the goblin at the top beginning to run, outnumbered five to one!
The goblin on the hill shoots at an archer near the well and the arrow spears the man in the eye, killing him! Not even flinching as the man next to him falls to the ground screaming and dying, his compatriot draws back his bow and *thwack* the goblin, who is in the midst of a victory dance, is speared right through the heart, dying instantly. Suladan attacks a goblin defending the archway, but rolls horribly, fumbling his weapons as the goblin, emboldened by the drum beat, pushes the King backwards, not even close to causing injury (apart from one to the Serpent King's pride).
Off to the side, the Warg Chieftain destroys the luckless banner bearer in a flurry of fur and blood to horrible to show here.
In turn 8, the Goblin King is set for an approach to the well from within the ruins, the Serpent Horde swings around the rocky arch to assault the drummers. Failing priority, the lone goblin is caught up by several Haradrim warriors now somehow he manages to hold his own, beaten back but not wounded.
Here is the melee before any blow is struck. You can see the goblin archers are up on the fortress walls now, with easy shots down towards the Haradrim below.
Ouch! Four goblins and a warg die in a single blaze of slaughter. The only upside for the goblins is a tense fight between a mighty Haradrim chieftain and Durburz the goblin king. They both roll 5s, the king uses might, the chieftain also yells mightily, but the King has the fury of seeing so many followers slain and wins the roll-off, using another rare point of might to slay the chieftain.
Four goblins pounce on a watcher... with the beat of the drum in their veins they outroll the watcher, and then roll four 1s, coming closer to stabbing each other than wounding the black-clad Haradrim. In many smaller skirmishes, goblins continue re-rolling from the drums, but the Haradrim warriors roll 6s, and win ties, so no help there!
Turn 9 and the Haradrim win priority (again - 9 out of 13 turns they won it), this spells the doom of the lone goblin towards the top of the map, having faced overwhelming odds from turn 1, he has kept five warriors tied up, but no more.
The goblin archers atop the walls kill a spearman near the well, leaving it with only one man guarding it. Meanwhile, in another turn of pure carnage... Durburz attacks, but fails to fell his opponent. The Hasharin faces a goblin, who rolls poorly, but the drumbeat lifts his spirit and he tries again, rolling a 6! The Hasharin laughs at the goblin, uses a point of might and slays him forthwith. The last rider tramples another goblin into the dust, a watcher vs. three goblins fights them off and removes the head of a swordsman. The Warg Chieftain has had a long walk from the edge of the battlefield but now looms at the edge of the ruins.
Here's a closer look at the poor goblins, dropping like flies. At this point, although the goblins seem to be taking the majority of casualties, percentage-wise both teams are nearing 50%! The Haradrim need only lose two more to break, the goblins 3. It's still anybody's game!
Turn 10: The goblin archers atop the wall launch a flurry of arrows towards the well, felling the spearman there. If the forces break, the game could be over with nobody in charge of the objective!
Suladan lances through to the goblin drummers, who face him bravely, but fall beneath his mighty blade. Durburz kills his foe, causing Suladan to taunt him, having killed twice as many enemies in a single turn. The mighty Warg Chieftain tears down a Watcher of Karna.
Both sides are broken!
At the end of the turn a roll is made, the battle continues!
Turn 11: The battle swings. Haradrim win priority and Suladan calls to his troops to Stand Fast! He rolls a double 1! Then uses his entire store of will to enforce his decision to stay and fight. If the drums had still been going he would have cut and run! Using the impetus of the courageous Serpent King, Durburz is charged. Busy with combat, he has no time to spend on rallying troops. Unfortunately this results in EIGHT goblins deciding that life in the tunnels is better than combat.
Suladan continues to slaughter goblins, in all eight goblins run and four more are killed without mercy.
The only bright spark is the Warg Chieftain continuing to bite the faces off Watchers of Karna, stunting severely their ability to watch anything!
Turn 12 sees the goblin archers descend to the ground, scurrying down the walls towards the well as Durburz urges them on, himself charging forward, bellowing mightily. Unfortunately the deadly Hasharin launches at him, poisoned blades flashing. The king wins the fight! The Hasharin uses a point of might to tie the attack, then wins - counterattacking the King and causing two wounds. Fate departs from the King, who takes both wounds and dies, cursing and spitting to the last.
Turn 13 and the last of the goblins die, Suladan uses his remaining might to slay the incredible Warg Chieftain after winning a tie and no fate can help the mighty beast as he falls.
Victory goes to the Haradrim Serpent Horde. With tears streaking from my face (hence the camera blur), they pose triumphantly.
With less than a third of his force remaining, my brother ignored the email that I'd sent him. I'd invited him to play on the new board as long as he'd let me win. He didn't. Cheater =)
I think with such a small point force, the 100 points for the drummers might have been better spent on my usual troll. The Warg Chieftain cops a lot of flack for being overpriced, but I love both the model and he always acquits himself well in battle when I've played!
It was really fun playing on the board, and the odd way that you couldn't start with your army how you wanted was also pretty cool. We both enjoy games that have a bit of a twist.
Stay tuned for a rematch in the future =)
Oh, and just for kicks afterwards...