Gathering in the Desert, Game 2

 Game 2 – Light the Beacons vs David’s Serpent Horde

This scenario was another meeting engagement modified scenario with a corner deployment. There were up to 3.5 bonus points available in the form of 7 beacons that were equally spaced across the board from corner to corner (opposite our deployment corners). You could earn 0.5 bonus points for each beacon that was lit (requiring a roll of 4+ on a D6 – a failing result meant your model was burned and died instantly).

For this scenario, I drew David’s Haradrim horde army featuring the real Suladân (as opposed to my “Young” version), 5 Serpent Riders, 5 Haradrim Raiders, and a huge host of Haradrim Warriors with bows and spears. Ironically, we also drew the Harad themed table – it represented a small village somewhere in the desert regions of Harad. It was a classic match-up of rival Haradrim tribes.

I deployed with 2 Haradrim Raiders eying each corner beacon with the rest of my army bunched to the center to march towards the open area near the center of the table. There was a nice building near my deployment zone that allowed the archers to climb up and form an archery platform. It took me several turns of full movement to get them into position but it was worth the effort.

My Deployment

My Deployment

Archery Platform

Archery Platform

The northern most beacons (north being the top of the board from my perspective of course) looked like they would be contested by both of our us as I raced two raiders towards them and David brought all his Cavalry towards the them. However, David turned the majority of his cavalry in towards the center of the battlefield to prepare for combat. This allowed me to dismount both raiders and light each beacon successfully. I also moved my other two raiders towards the beacons to the far right. However, as I was in no danger of losing the ability to claim those beacons soon, I left my Raiders to guard them until some cheaper infantry troops could get closer. After a few turns I had two Haradrim warriors in position to light the beacons. Fate struck a fickle note there as one of my Haradrim warriors burned up in his attempt to light the beacon and to make matters worse, both Haradrim raiders fell to archery as they moved to join the ensuing battle at the center of the table. Aargh. I was able to secure one other beacon for a total of 4 earning 2 bonus points regardless of the outcome of the scenario.

The Battle Lines Preparing to Clash

The Battle Lines Preparing to Clash

In the center of the board, using my typical formation, I lined up my Mahûd, Half-Trolls, and Tribesmaster with spear support in preparation for the upcoming assault. David tested the waters of the my front line by charging in some Serpent Riders. Despite the equal fight value with the Mahûd, my superior number of dice (3 vs 2 again) allowed me to win the fights or luckily win the roll off. In the first turn, I took down three Serpent Riders (if I remember correctly).

The rest of the game was spent trading priority and had very similar results with the Mahûd working there way through the cavalry charges. Once I had broken through and killed most of his mounted models, the next lines of foot soldiers died pretty quickly. One of the highlights of this game (for me) was the Half-Troll going toe-to-toe with a Haradrim Chieftan (on foot) and taking him down. My “little” hero-killers did exactly what I wanted them to do. However, despite all that, the most valuable player of the game for was the “Iron Coated Ent-like Palm Trees” in the center portion of the battlefield. David and I both dubbed these trees with this moniker as they seem to absorb 75% of the arrows that his archers shot at me.

Eventually, my superior FV and Strength values broke through his army and he succumbed to the 25% remaining end game criteria, earning me my second Major Victory plus the 2 additional bonus points.

David was a fun opponent and I think both of us really enjoyed playing that game on that table. If he had been able to get his archers clear of those Iron Trees, I think the game could have been a lot closer. He could have been much more successful with his archery against me and wore my numbers down that way.


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