Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Hard Crossing in Osgiliath

Last Thursday was another great War of the Ring game with my friend Mark. I haven't blogged about it until now because of other stuff which I will talk about in my next blog.

Mark had recently acquired the new Osgiliath ruin set from Games Workshop. He combined this with some Warhammer terrain and put together a wonderful board with ruined buildings on both sides of the river Anduin representing the mostly destroyed Gondorian city of Osgiliath. I had a force of Orcs lead by Gothmog, including some Morannon Orcs as well as a Troll. My objective was to exit a formation of the opposite edge of the map from where I started. I was facing a number of formations of Warriors of Minas Tirith including some Osgiliath Veterans. The force was lead by Faramir and there were a couple of other heroes as well.

I had one of two ways to cross the river, either to use boats to cross, or a central bridge. If a company made it to the rivers edge it could start to cross the river. It could do this even if it were part of a larger formation, as we were allowed to break up formations for the crossing and reform them on the other side if they made it. A unit in a “boat” rolled a D6. On a one it was spotted from the other shore and could be targeted by bow fire. On a 2 or 3, it drifted down the river one base length. On a 4, 5 or 6 it could begin to move across the river about one base width. The bridge was about as wide as a single company base.

Mark had a large number of archers in his force most of whom deployed in buildings along the river’s edge. A two company formations of WoMT held the bridge edge and he had an Avenger bolt thrower near the centre of his line. Like my other battle reports, this is more of gloss than a blow by blow account.

My forces started about half way up the board on my side of the river. I quickly moved my archers up to occupy the buildings along my edge of the river, two companies on the far left, two companies in the centre and one company on the far right. The buildings mostly masked my assault forces for the first turn, but I did take some bow fire which caused a few casualties. I focused most of my fire on his formation in the open holding the far side of the bridge. It would have been very difficult to get hits on the guys in the buildings. I would have to roll a 6 on a D6 followed by another roll of at least 5. The city ruins made it difficult to set up cohesive formations but I kept two strong formations of Morannon Orcs on either flank and the regular orcs less one company in the centre. Mark had priority for the first few turns and steadily whittled down some of my units as they tried to get to the river. My archers in turn pounded his centre, slowly reducing the troops holding the bridge. I had a lot of difficulty crossing the river, with several boats rolling ones, which meant they drifted and could be targeted by missile weapons. As they crossed they were only single companies, which meant they only had to lose four casualties to be destroyed completely. Mark later changed this so you had to kill at least 6 before the company broke and ran. I couldn’t coordinate the landing as I had a lot of bad drift rolls and individual companies tended to get destroyed soon after they landed. The Avenger took a heavy toll, with its fire plus bow fire taking out the force trying to get a across the bridge and then killing the troll that was using the first wave as a screen. I haven’t been having much luck with trolls. Sometimes they do very well while other times they act as shooting magnets and die quickly. I think there should have been a rule that the troll could have forded the river and have a less chance of being hit because he was mostly underwater, but that’s just me. I did have some luck, calling out one of his captains in a heroic duel which I one and messed up one of his formations despite some abysmal rolls. After a few turns, most of my regular assault force was destroyed and I had to start pulling archers out of the buildings and forming a second wave. Gothmog and two companies of Morannon had managed to make it across and link up, forcing their way into a building and wiping out the Men that were there. Unfortunatley, the low defence of the Orc archers made them easy meat for missile fire, but they did manage to take out the Avenger after a couple of charges. Mark still had sufficient forces to contain Gothmog’s formation and he went down after a heroic effort to break through the men who almost surrounded him, eliminating the last of my forces.

I know now what I would do differently, but I don’t want to broadcast it as I know mark reads this blog. I hope we get another chance to try the scenario as the board was magnificent and it’s a fun game to play. I’ve posted some of the pictures we took of the game at the beginning of this blog.

My next blog will be on events that happened last weekend. Until then, keep watching the skies, or don’t. It’s really up to you.

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