Following the Elves of Lothlórien on their journey North, the Taken come upon the outskirts of ruined Annuminas. They have arrived the following day from the defeat of the Elves and hope to catch them in their camp. Their numbers have been bolstered by two reinforcements, an Orc warrior named Ufgaz and a Dead Marsh Spectre calling itself Idrahil, thanks to the new Rallying Horn Arnakhor has acquired. Azgarzir is now a proper Morgul Knight with his armored horse and lance. On taking the Path of the Knight he rolled and received an extra attack. And on a cosmetic note, I modified the helmet on Arnakhor to look more spiky Gothic Evil and less Elven. Thoughts on this? Too over the top?
The weather is clear and the sun will soon be setting but as the Taken search the ruins for their Elven quarry they find instead hostile Angmar Orcs….
Azgargir rides into the center fountain square, charging the Angmar Orc Warrior and Orc Tracker he has spotted. He slays them both. Fortunately for him he does not wake the Barrow Wight. Whilst at the same time the main group of the Taken move towards the Southeast set of ruins. A melee ensues but no one is wounded. An Angmar Orc Tracker is beguiled by the Fell Light within Idrahil the Spectre.
The tide turns sharply however as the Angmar Orcs seize the initiative. An Orc cuts down Azgarzir’s horse and another dispatches the Spectre, Idrahil! Arnakhor kills an unlucky Angmar Orc Warrior in return.
A melee ensues where Azgarzir tries to get back to the group, Arnakhor kills another Angmar Orc but Shagduf is cut dropped by an Angmar Orc Tracker. Azgarzir kills the Tracker for this in turn!
With that the Taken head for the Northeast ruins.
Angmar Orcish archery fails as the Taken advance. Another melee ensues. An Angmar Tracker cuts down Nagduf whilst Arnakhor kills another Angmar Orc Warrior. The melee continues. An Angmar Orc Tracker looses at Ufgaz, felling the new addition to the group. Arnakhor kills yet another Angmar Orc Warrior bu he is growing increasingly concerned at how the Taken are being bled dry by the constant attacks of the Angmar Orcs. Worse, they search the Northeast ruins but do not find the Barrow Wight that he senses is nearby. The sun sets and the Taken warily advance towards the Northwestern ruins.
The Taken trap an Angmar Orc Tracker and Azgarzir swiftly dispatches it. Gazbag kills an Angmar Orc. The Angmar Orcs consolidate into a defensive huddle only to be charged by the Taken. Azgarzir heroically manages to slay an Angmar Orc archer. He then slays another Angmar Orc Warrior but suddenly the Barrow Wight appears!
The Taken advance towards the Barrow Wight, whilst it attempts to cast paralysis… however, it fails. The Barrow Wight takes the initiative, ordering two Angmar Orcs to guard it in a defensive group. The heroes of the Taken find the courage to charge the terror inducing Wight and its ensorcelled Orcs but Maubag balks at the order.
A battle of wills begins where each side tests its courage to engage their opponents. Blows are struck but fail to wound. The Barrow Wight successfully casts paralysis on Azgarzir but he resists it!
The courage of all the Taken falters, they edge away from the fight. The Barrow Wight tries to cast its spell again but fails. However it is Azgarzir who truly fails as fate refuses to save him from the blade of the Barrow Wight.
Now the Barrow Wight turns its attention to Arnakhor, casting yet again, this time successfully. Arnakhor resists but only through a mightily heroic effort. Gazbag kills yet another Angmar Orc Warrior but will it be enough? Maubag then kills an Angmar Orc Warrior and Arnakhor pushes the Wight back but fails to wound it.
The Barrow Wight seethes in rage, casting its spell yet again. Arnakhor succumbs to the dark magic and falls to the ground unable to move. Gazbag is cut down by an Angmar Orc Warrior. Maubag is pushed back by another. The Wight tries to finish off the helpless Arnakhor but he is saved, albeit temporarily by fate. Can Maubag somehow move to help Arnakhor? Can Arnakhor break from the grip of the spell himself?
No. Maubag is cut down by an Angmar Orc and Arnakhor is stabbed by the Barrow Wight, then left for dead.
Another defeat for the Taken.
In the post-game phase…
A defeat brings 2 Influence Points, for a total of 2 (same as the Elves).
Maubag “leveled” and was promoted to a Morannon Orc. However he was also injured so will sit out the next scenario as he recovers.
Shagduf “leveled” as well but failed to be recognized for promotion.
In regards to warrior progression for the Minas Morgul warriors, we are using house rules inspired by Johnathan Baker. This allows Orcs to progress to Morannon Orcs and then Morannon Orcs to progress to Morgul Stalkers. My wife and I felt this was a more balanced equivalent to her Lothlórien Wood Elf and Galadhrim progression.
We also used those rules to create a house rule of our own that treats dropped mounts as warriors for injuries. Fortunately for me Azgarzir’s horse had a full recovery.
As far as how I felt the game went….
There were a couple of times I thought I might be able to achieve victory but each time the dice just did not favor me. Admittedly I made some big mistakes. I charged Azgarzir in the first turn forgetting the Wight could be there. I was fortunate that it was not. However I still lost his horse and my new Spectre very early in the game. That hurt my plans quite a bit. And once my archer Shagduf was down I had no way to pull Angmar Orcs out of the ruins in order to clear them before risking the Wight appearing.
When my wife’s Elves tried to clear these ruins I had all the Angmar Orcs head for her right away. And she found the Wight in the first set of ruins, this further encouraged all the Angmar Orcs on the table to rush to assist it. However, in my attempt of the scenario my wife playing the Angmar Orcs had each group of three lurk in their respective ruins in order to be near if the Wight appeared. This meant that until the Wight appeared I should have been able to concentrate my forces against her scattered ones. But the Angmar Orcs slowly bled me from ruin to ruin in a battle of attrition.
Once the Wight appeared the remaining Angmar Orcs could make use of the Terror ability they get in proximity to the Wight. And the Wight itself could attack against the courage of its opponents instead of their armor, circumventing the heavy armor focus of my forces.
Not to mention the spell casting! A very tough opponent.
It is encouraging to see similar results on this run through with different factions. That Barrow wight is one tough opponent too! I think I forgot to mention it on the previous battle report, but the terrain for the last two reports looks really great. I like that you fill the board with lots of terrain which makes the battlefield look vibrant like Tolkien’s world should be.
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Thanks, we put a lot of effort into our terrain. My wife was surprised by how much she enjoyed laying the terrain out to create an interesting table. We both like a lot of terrain on the table although right now we mainly have only temperate forest terrain finished.
That Barrow Wight has been quite the foe.
We are thinking of playing another scenario including it as our next adversarial games. The Barrow Wight will be a wild card potentially attacking both of us in the Seize Ground scenario as we use the five ruins as the five objectives of that scenario.
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It can be very satisfying laying your terrain out and see everything come together. I really like that idea of the Barrow Wight returning and I would think having a random attacker would make Seize Ground be even more exciting as you have two elements to try and contend with!
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Truth is I just want a second try at the loot from the Ruins of Annuminas scenario!