Mûmakil of Harad vs Rivendell

I got a chance to head down to the Chicago Battle Bunker again last night to give my next revision of a GamesDay army a workout. When I got there, Drunken Mick (Kevin) and Knitemare (Jay) were just finishing up a game of Take and Hold. As best as I could hear, the dwarves one the day on that game. Knitemare stepped up to challenge the Mûmakil of Harad. He brought an army of High Elves led by the twin sons of Elrond – Elrohir and Elladan. His Rivendell contingent had 35 Models, 11 of which were bows. Most everyone had shields and spears or shields and swords. A few elven blades were scattered for good measure.

We rolled for scenarios and drew Storm the Camp. We rolled for terrain and ended up with 7 pieces total. In three of the four corners, broken down buildings were placed in 3 of the four corners. In the fourth corner, a small hill was placed. We had a decent sized ruin in the middle (built from the LOTR terrain box) and a large rock. We decided for the last piece of terrain to just spread out four individual trees. Jay won the roll for picking corners – he selected one of the abandoned buildings leaving me with the corner with the opposite building. He deployed with his elven bows and a single model with a HW up against the broken wall. I deployed with 10 warriors in the Howdah (8 bows, 2 hand weapon) and a Haradrim Chieftain on top. That left me with twelve Haradrim warriors, four Watchers of Karna, and a Nazgul on foot. The Mûmak only had one place to deploy based on the terrain layout. I deployed all the foot soldiers to his right side in a tight formation with the WoK and RW in the middle.

The first turns resulting in the elven melee contingent moving forward around the left side (my left) of the ruins in the middle. The elven archers inched forward a bit and let off two rounds of volley fire. The archery dice really weren’t on Jay’s favor most of the night – with 22 dice in the first two turns. He managed to roll one six which did not result in a wound. The mûmak moved steadily forward squashing two trees in its path (we used the optional rules that trees could be trampled with the Mumak). My archers proved to have a bit more luck in the early rounds – managing to kill two elven warriors in direct firing range. My ground force moved toward the left side of the ruin to size up the inevitable elven assault.

Somewhere around turn 3 or 4, the elves had moved close enough to be within charging range of my line of Haradrim. I actually didn’t position my models correctly as I had hoped to be out of range. I won priority but sensing that we were venerable, Elladan (or was it Elrohir – Heck, I never called them by the correct names) called an uncontested heroic move and made the charge. Jay was able to tie up at least 8 of my spear armed haradrim with a daring charge towards my line. For the most part he had spear support for ever elf and I had a single Haradrim in combat. It was looking grim for the evil warriors of Harad. I had been out of position to call a reasonable counter HM and had withstand this assault.. On my counter move, I was able to swing one spear support and a Watcher of Karna around the left side of his flank into on fight. The models on the right side of the line, moved straight back into my camp and chose not to engage or support their comrades. The Nazgul cast transfixed one twin only to have it avoided with the use of will augmented by a point of might. The Mumak rotated back towards the battleline. I had a corner of the ruins to contend with but I still had enough of an angle that I could trample into combat. The mighty beast moved forward and the first victim of the trample was a Haradrim warrior! Such is the value of life in the service of evil. The trample continued taking out 5 elven warriors and three more haradrim warriors. Unbelievably, the Mumak was stopped dead in his tracks by a resilient elven warrior – three strength 9 hits resulted in a 1, 1, and 2!! Elrohir (or was it Elladan?) would have been the next trample victim followed by his twin brother. The ensuing combats worked out largely as you’d expect, the elves crushed the single haradrim warriors and I won the fight with the WoK and two spears. All in all I took 8 casualties and he took 6 and really avoided disaster from the trample.

The elves won the next priority roll, with both sides predictably calling a Heroic Move and counter Heroic Move. The roll off went to side of evil and the Mumak lurched forward to trample the first twin. He stopped dead in his tracks again. 1, 2, 4 on the rolls to wound. He caused one wound which was ultimately saved by fate. I was beginning to think the mighty Mumak would be brought down. The elven twins charged into the Mumak and brought their spear supporting brothers with them. In my counter moves, I picked off as many of the spear supporters as I could with available Haradrim and Watchers. The Nazgul spent two will casting Transfix on one of the twins. I only managed a roll of 4! Still enough for the spell to go off but I didn’t have a lot of confidence. The twin rolled a 1 on the resulting check and ultimately decided to burn all three might points to avoid the spell. This was crucial as it only left a single point of might on the side of the elves. As expected, the elves won the fight and put on two wounds to the Mûmak. The courage check for the potential stampede were passed on both occasions.

I won the next priority, and just like the last turn, both sides contest with HM Again, the roll-off favored the side of evil. I was able to trample an elven warrior before hitting the twins. As best as I can recall (the details are still a bit fuzzy) the twins survived this trample. The elves counter charged the Mûmak and managed another wound. The courage check was passed. Both of the twins and the Haradrim commander were out of might and the Mûmak’s ability to move now rested solely in the hands of priority. The Nazgul continued to try and transfix the twins but couldn’t make the spell hit and was eventually reduced to one will. The elves were broken and the Haradrim where two models away from breaking. I hadn’t commented much on the archery but Jay had been managing to pick apart models on the Howdah such that only 5 remained – two archers, two with swords, and the commander. He also started to move a single elf toward my basecamp. I moved a Watcher of Karna, a Haradrim warrior, and the Nazgul to intercept and protect my camp.

I was shortly broken. The Nazgul kept a few warriors in the game by passing his courage tests (barely!) on multiple occasions. The Mûmak finally got his full trample going killing both twins in the same turn. The first killed by missing two fate rolls and the second died when all three trample attacks hit and there wasn’t enough fate to save him. Surprisingly, the elven archers failed about half their courage tests over the next couple turns as the Mumak turn course and made a line for the last of the elven warriors. The archers on the howdah managed a single poison arrow re-roll kill on the Elf guarding the camp and the Mûmak eventually caught up with the last of the elven archers. They tried to swarm the Mumak (only three left) and ultimately lost the fight. Those that survived the combat were trampled in the ensuing turn. The elves were eliminated resulting in a Major Victory for the forces of evil.

In the end, the Mûmak had suffered 7 wounds and passed all seven courage tests. The Haradrim Commander had never been hit (though he wasn’t actually targeted in direct range that much) and never had to use his point of will. For the first time since I’ve played with him, the Mûmak’s trample showed what its all about. While I was shocked to be stopped dead in my tracks by an lone elf and almost as shocked to not bring down the first twin. In the end, the trample still did all the damage it could.

I learned a lot from this game. As everyone online has been telling me, I needed some ground troops to support the Mûmak. Of course they were right. The ground troops allowed me to pick off some fights against the Mûmak and it also gave me a line of combats that I could just trample through. I added the Nazgul to the force to try and use the Harbinger of Evil to make it more difficult to charge the Mumak. Well, those pesky elves and their courage 5 didn’t make that all that effective. The first two transfix spells went off well but were avoided. However, after that, I couldn’t hit a spell to save my life. However, the Nazgul’s courage was great for saving my Haradrim on foot. All in all, I’m quite pleased in the way the army played out. The game was very close most of the way and had the roll-offs gone Jay’s way, the results could have been different. He didn’t have a lot of luck rolling to wound the Mûmak and his archery really failed him. It was a major victory for me but it could have just as easily been a major defeat with slightly better dice for Jay.

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