Gathering in the Desert, Game 1

Game 1: Bilbo’s Treasure vs Tom’s all mounted Rohirrim Army

This scenario was a Meeting Engagement style game with bonus points available for successfully finding Bilbo’s treasure and carrying it off your board edge. There were 6 objective markers scattered evenly across the table. Each had a number written underneath them. At the start of the game, we rolled a D6 and that number represented the hidden treasure. If you managed to get the treasure off the board then you were awarded 3 bonus points.

For the start of the tournament, the organizers made sure that all the out-of-towners had an opponent from the local area to play in game one. I drew Tom O. I’d admired the work on his blog and was very happy to see Rohirrim across the table. As many of you know, Rohan was my first and still favorite army and I always enjoy seeing them played.

Our table was the “Angmar” table that was designed by one of the locals had two large hills that spanned the entire length of the table on each side. We had several areas of difficult terrain (trees and ruins). My deployment was split into three groups. On my far right side I deployed about 1/3 of my cavalry and all my archers. In the center I had the majority of my Mahûd host supported by Haradrim Spears. On the far left, I had the rest of my cavalry. My plan was to sprint out and get to at least the three objectives closest to my deployment edge. However, since I was facing an all cavalry force, I knew I could get to as many as I would have liked. As it turns out, the first objective marked that we uncovered was on my side of the board and it was the one marked with the 2 on the bottom, matching the result of our D6 roll. I used 2 Haradrim warriors to drag the treasure off my board (taking about 3 turns).

With the objective secured, I repositioned my army for a straight up Meeting Engagement style battle. On my left side, my archers ran up the hill and in front of the ruins settling into a nice archery zone. On my right flank I moved a small contingent of Mahûd and a Half Troll, some spearmen to compliment the Haradrim Raiders and Mahûd Raiders. The middle portions of my army filled in a front wall of Mahûd, the other Half-Troll and the Mahûd Tribesmaster, all supported by Haradrim Spearman. This front wall was bracing for the inevitable cavalry charge.

As I’ve said before, I love Rohan but right now I’m convinced they’ve been affected more than any other army list by the “stat creep” in the last few supplements. Even on the charge, they aren’t as effective as the front line I could put against them. Tom did what he had to do and charged head-long into my lines. Our first point of contact was my right flank. It was probably shortly after those first fights that he realized how hard it was going to be against my army. Even with the extra charge bonus, I could still get more dice rolling into his attacks (2 from the Mahûd and 1 from the spear vs 2 from the Cavalry) and with a higher FV I was more likely to win the fights. On top of that, in certain fights, I could counter-charge with cavalry and negate some of his bonuses. Including in one instance where I countercharged with a Mahûd Raider and killed the Rider of Rohan with the Impaler rule.

On the center of the board, I advanced full on preparing the weather the same charge. I tried to narrow my exposure as much as possible to ensure that he couldn’t completely outflank my lines. The ensuing cavalry charges were much the same as the previous attempts as Tom was losing models quickly. On dramatic moment saw Eomer engage in a cavalry charge and was counter-charged with one of my Mahûd Raiders. The impaler rule allowed me to take his horse out from underhim. He passed his thrown rider test and ultimately won the fight but had to burn his might to get to a ‘6’. Another funny moment was when I killed his banner bearer 3 times in a row. Luckily he kept the banner in contact with another model so he was able to keep picking it up during combat.

Eomer Surrounded by the Enemy

Eomer Surrounded by the Enemy

As the turns progressed, the results were inevitable. The Mahûd went on to carve through the Rohirrim and eventually brought Tom’s army to less than 25% of his starting numbers earning a Major Victory and 3 bonus points for securing Bilbo’s Treasure.

This was a fun game that gave me an opportunity to play against a familiar army. Tom did a great job using his army, but he was just hampered by some bad dice and some overwhelming fights. He did a great job remembering the use his throwing spears advancing into every combat (many people pay for throwing weapons but forget to use them). He scored lots of hits with his throwing weapons but his dice failed on the rolls to wound. They almost always came up ‘1’. I told him after the game, that I thought he could benefit from adding a few more bows to his army. Rohan, they way they are currently configured, have to using archery to their advantage to whittle away at the enemy.

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