Triumph of the Orcs

Rob Dean

As mentioned in the previous post, it was my plan to get a game on the table with the “new” Middle Earth figures, and my brother was able to give me a hand by commanding the orcs remotely.  We played using Dragon Rampant, and tried the “Death Chase” scenario, basically an ambush.  We surmised that the orcs ambushed the allies while the latter were marching between Dale and Laketown, or some such…

My brother had a unit of elite foot (the goblin king and bodyguards), two units of better orcs (light foot with bows mixed), one unit of lesser orcs (light foot), one unit of wolves (lesser warbeasts) and  one unit of goblin scum (ravenous horde).  I had the elf king and bodyguard (heavy foot), two elf foot units (light foot with mixed bows), one human foot (light foot), and the dwarves (elite foot with magic weapons).  We rolled for leader special characteristics and both rolled a 9, giving us the ability to ignore fear.  Since there were no fearsome units in the game, we promptly forgot about that.  I rolled to see if the dwarves’ magic weapons were effective, which they were not.  
With Norman remoting in, we kept the board simple, so that my forces were basically just trying to get down a road, and the only piece of terrain that got involved in the action was a small patch of woods on my right.
The basic set up can be inferred from the overarching shot (3rd picture) below.  I had, from left to right, humans, elves, elf king, dwarves, and elves, and the orcs were split into two detachments (per the scenario instructions) with a better orc, the lesser orcs, and the goblin scum to my left, with the balance, the wolves, the other better orcs, and the goblin king to my right. 

My brother consults the rules, with his view of the table inset on the left
The ambushed side cannot, by the scenario special instructions, attack or shoot in the first two turns. One of those was quick, as we each failed to activate early in the turn, but, unlike some Dragon Rampant games, we didn’t have many turns with sudden shifts of fortune related to activation failures.  We had plenty of turns in which all units successfully activated.
Armored goblins, in their first outing as a full unit

Norman’s basic plan was to sweep in with his two detachments and block the road.  The light foot predominating on both sides is better defending than attacking, and I had the obligation to attack him to push through to the far table edge, so it was a good plan. 

As the battle develops; note the wolves lurking in the woods

As can be seen above, by a few turns in, each side ended up in a U.  The red marker on the humans above is a battered marker; they were routed early by the shooting of the armored goblins.

The elvish foot on the left stands off the lesser orcs

In the center, the lesser orcs attempted to drive back elvish foot, but failed, and were eventually routed by bow fire.  Unfortunately for me, the elves soon went the same way…

The wolves make little impression on the dwarves

The dwarves advanced straight up the road, and were first hit by the wild charge of the wargs.  They successfully repelled the wargs, and then went toe to toe with the goblin king.

The dwarves withstand an attack by the goblin king

By that time, everything else on the goodly folk side had routed, leaving the few remaining dwarves to attempt a heroic charge up the road into a somewhat reduced unit of better orcs.  Unfortunately, the orcs shot well, and the last few dwarves perished under a hail of black-feathered arrows.

At the end, all allies fled, the dwarves final charge at the orcs

So it was another sad day for the good folk, and there was celebration in the tunnels of the Misty Mountains.

It took us about two hours to play the game, and Dragon Rampant works pretty well remotely.  The 3" required spacing between units and the one unit at a time activation mean that exact positioning is seldom important, so command is made a little easier for the remote player.
These figures are likely to be back out again as soon as a few additional units are painted…

via The Sharp End of the Brush http://sharpbrush.blogspot.com/2019/09/triumph-of-orcs.html
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