Well, this afternoon I got to play my very first game for WOTR, trying out a tentative list based on what I have, though didn't want to have upgrades without the models being ready yet [certain command mainly].
LotR or WotR battle report:
As we wanted to get used to the rules, we used The Field of Swords objective with Shieldwalls for deployment, as we wanted a simple picthed battle, allowing us to focus on what our troops could do.
I had the following:
2x 3 Companies of Easterling Cohort, with Banner and Dragon Knight [1 Joined by Dark Marshal]
3 Companies of Easterling Cohort, with Pikes, Banner and Dragon Knight
2x 2 Companies of Easterling Archers
Khandish Chariot, with King
3 Companies of Kataphrackt [No command, not converted yet]
3 Companies of Spectral Host [Joined by Khamul]
Watcher in the Shadows
I believe this is roughly what my opponent had, though I might have missed the odd company or gotten some of the numbers wrong.
2x 3 Companies of Warg Pack
2 Companies of Moria Goblins with bows
3 Companies of Gundabad Blackshields
3 Companies of Morannon Orc
1 Company of Werewolves
Dragon, upgraded to spellcaster and with Cursed Armour of Udun
We had a couple of hills on the board, with one in the middle, to break line of sight and make us move around the table. There were also some trees scattered around, with one large enough in my deployment for one Formation of Archers.
Well, the Dragon blitzed it down my flank, and started to pick off units with spells, causing considerable damage to me over the game.
The Giant went down the opposite flank, with the Werewolves in tow, heading towards my Chariot and Kataphrakts.
Meanwhile, the bulk of his army held back, as he relied on his monsters to do the bulk of the work in his army, supported by spellcasting.
Now, most of the game I can't remember specifically, but I do remember my army not performing as well as I hoped, and wondering how on earth I can deal with his Dragon! I didn't have much luck with magic against it, as Darkness and Dismay are more control based, although I did try to wound it by using Strength of Corruption, although it only cuased 1 hit against it. On the plus side, it failed to charge me and wasn't mighted up, which I was glad of.
By the end of Turn 4, I had lost my entire army. Now, I know I had some play mistakes which didn't help me, and that I'm way out of practice with wargaming as a whole, whilst the person I played has been playing since I last saw him in the store 5 years ago.
However, these are my thoughts and considerations about the game, what I might change in my list, and questions for all of you here.
- How do you deal with the Dragon? Whilst he cost almost a third of his army, considering the power it has, able to fly over anything in the way, At The Double to get well within range, is solid in combat, hard to hurt both in combat and with shooting, can be a spellcaster for extra power, and if it only moves half speed it can shoot with 6 shots at Strength 10! I felt my best chance was to try and lower its Courage value and attack with my Spectral Host, which had mixed results. By the end of the game it had 4 [or 5?] wound markers, but I had to do a serious pounding against it to do that. What could I pick that I can use in my army, ideally [but not restricted to] the Fallen Kingdoms list.
- Whilst I figured magic would be good, I felt that the Undying in a large unit would have possibly served me better then one of the other Ringwraiths, as not requiring me to use a Might point for Will of Iron could have forced my opponent to either be hopeful, or pick other units instead, allowing my main to plow through unscathed. I'm also tempted to stick a third wizard into my army at 1500, either a third Ringwraith or Queen Beruthiel, depending on what I can afford/sacrifice.
- Inspiring Leader is so useful! Since Amdur isn't out yet, and I haven't got a Suladan yet [debating if I want him], I decided I wanted to try out the Dark Marshal to bolster the Courage of my army. It was partly the reason why I went for Dragon Knights over Captains, as the Courage boost wasn't as critical versus the Fight boost. Once Amdur is out, when I do use him, I feel the Inspiring Leader ability will save me on more then one occassion.
- I think that if I merged the two Cohorts into one block of 6, they may have done more. I'm not certain without more testing, but bulking out the unit whilst saving points by needing less command may be worth it.
- My opinion of Dragon Knights being more useful then Captains because of their extra Fight is now tainted by the fact only having one Might REALLY makes you wonder when to use it! For a Heroic action? Will of Iron? Something else, although those two were the big times I felt a need. Unfortunately, every time I was in combat it was against his monsters who were higher then Fight 7, so I felt like I had been cheated out of trying out their full use.
- My opponent had gotten the rules wrong on banners, which himself and others had been doing. He thought they allowed you a re-roll on Courage tests, not rolls on the Panic chart, which I quickly corrected him on. I would just like to know if others have made this mistake, or seen others doing it? Is it just them thinking of a BSB from Warhammer, or just mixing up Panic and Courage, or even just not reading things right? Who knows, but I hope others don't make a similar mistake.
- If I was forced to make a choice between either a Banner or a Hero, I would pick the Hero each and every time! Both are useful, and if the unit intends to fight, try and take both, but the benefits you get from having a Might point, on top of the Command Company using their Fight value when attacking, is amazing! For those who are building lists and can't decide if it is worth paying for, try and have a Hero [Epic or normal] in every unit, and if an Epic is going in, don't just skip on the idea of having a Hero because then it means you are hesitant to leave the unit and go elsewhere. I definately need to finish working on my Command for my Katarphrakts, for this I am certain!
- Spectral Hosts have a mixed opinion on the forums, and I was an advocate of them. Since they tried to fight a Dragon, whilst they had a better chance of wounding then most infantry, their lower Defence is noticeable. Ideally I would have liked to take on another infantry unit, preferably one with Grima in it.
- Watcher in the Shadows was great in theory, but because I expected him to actually move the bulk of his army forward, it ended up not being in a useful place. I still intend to combine with with either Spectral Hosts or Visions of Woe, and in an ideal world it would be both, with Grima for added angry!
So overall, and unsuccessful game, but like everything in life it was a learning experience, and once I figure out what things I would change, what models I would add, and what I would do differently, I can come back here with battle reports where I win [or at the least had a close loss!].