Last time out Lugthak’s fledgling warband survived an ambush from the Warriors of Minas Tirith. You can see how they got on here.
This week they’re facing off against suitably more aggressive foes. As they wander, they stumble across a party of Uruk-Hai camped on a hill top. Sensing an opportunity to steal some shiny armour and sharp swords, Lugthak sets up an attack.
Today we are facing off against 6 armoured shield bearing Uruk-Hai. It’s a small force, but far more elite than my own. Better defence, strength, fight and courage is going to make a massive difference in the combats. Last time out the warband took very little damage. I’m worried my ten Orcs might be cut down a tad by the end of play.
Scenario – The High Ground
The scenario is taken from the new battle companies manual, but is a familiar one. Essentially the force with the most models in contact with the hill at the end of the game would be the winner.
The Uruk-Hai held the central hill bracing themselves for impact. Whilst Lugthak ordered his force broken into three bands. He would lead the largest from the south. Naglur would lead the north-eastern force, whilst Shagug held the ignominy of leading the archer twins Muzu and Nuzu from the west.
The scenario states that if priority is drawn, then shooting doesn’t take place that turn. Obviously this happened first turn! The Orc’s won the second roll and duly charged forward. Muzu and Nuzu charged in too, knowing full well how awful their bows are. The Uruk-Hai react to the charge. Their Captain decides that the two orc archers are easier prey and moves West.
Combat breaks out across the battlefield. First blood goes to the Uruk-Hai, who manage to cut down Gazbag! He was a real warrior killing two last game, but this time around he has died right away! Naglur manages to even things up though, and the two-handed orc uses his axe to cleave his opponent down. The southern assault bears no fruit, however in the west, the Uruk-Hai leader manages to cut down Nuzu! The other combat is a draw. Already things are looking bad for the Orcs, with two warriors already dispatched.
Uruk-Hai priority means most of the combats are similar. The north-eastern combatants clash, holding Naglur and his support up. The Uruk-Hai leader decides after killing one archer, he will attack the other. Yagbug falls in the south! Even more worryingly for me is that Lugthak himself is wounded, needing his fate roll to keep him on the board!
Things quickly go from bad to worse for the Orcs. Naglur is still held up in the north-east. The Uruk-Hai leader uses his might point to cleave down Muzu. That’s both the archers dead to his sword now! Other combats are fierce but not fatal. Until disaster strikes. Lugthak loses his combat. He has already lost his fate roll and is taken out by the Uruk-Hai. Three turns in, numerous Orcs dead, Lugthak down, and 3 VP guaranteed for my opponent!
The Orcs need something special now. Leaderless, the attention turns to Naglur. Enraged with the loss of his leader he manages to cut down the remaining northern Uruk-Hai. That’s two kills for the hero now. Despite Lugthak falling, the southern combats hold firm. Shagug, dishonoured in the last game decides to shield against his two opponents. If he can hold out for long enough help will come. He survives, but the Uruk-Hai leader is desperate for more kills.
The Uruk-Hai hold priority and again re-engage across the battlefield. The Uruk-Hai leaders attach on Shagug has taken him and his ally from the hilltop, which leaves Naglur to charge across to aid his warriors in the south. Gorul, the spearmen who has been supporting him holds the centre of the hill, ready to join any combats that need him next turn. The state of affairs at the moment means that models on the hill is even at 2-2. I need to keep at eye on the objective in this game! Despite my depleted force, the hill is vital to winning.
Naglur enters a southern combat… AND KILLS ANOTHER URUK-HAI. He has single-handedly killed half of his opponents! Suddenly things are looking a little better. Burz, the Orc spearmen in the south then manages a miracle, rolling a six and killing his opponent! In the space of a couple turns the battle has swung. The south is clear of Uruk-Hai, the hill is in Orc hands, and Shagug is successfully shielding against his two opponents. With the form he is in, Naglur could surely kill anything else needed!
The Uruk-Hai sense the way the battle is going. The leader charges onto the hill. Burz, fresh from killing heads to help Shagug on the western edge, whilst the rest of the Orc Warband decide to take down the Uruk-Hai leader. He’s already killed two of their warriors.
Worryingly the Uruk-Hai leader wins the combat, pushing back three opponents! But luckily he fails to wound! On the western flank, Shagug and Burz fail to kill their opponent.
I need this Uruk-Hai leader to fall. The Victory points are important, and with the game likely to end in the next few turns, it was important to make sure he was the casualty that triggers the end game. I decided to leave Shagug to face the Uruk-Hai in the west and brought Burz back onto the hill. Four Orcs vs one Uruk-Hai. He doesn’t even bother shielding and manages to roll a six again. All four Orcs are pushed back, but they escape his deadly blade. Shagug plays for time and shields successfully again.
Right. This has to be it now? The Uruk-Hai has survived two turns already against multiple foes… He rolls a six again! Battering my Orcs away. Shagug decides to try and be aggressive and attacks rather than shielding. He obviously loses, fails his fate roll and dies. Two games in a row now for our hapless hero.
Orc priority. With the west clear I move Radrat down to make sure the Uruk-Hai cannot get onto the hill. Setting up a three against one in the centre. This time the Orcs win the combat. I decide to roll the wounding dice one by one. I don’t need to do it for long. Naglur, already having dispatched three Uruk-Hai this game, uses his great weapon to strike down the murderous Uruk-Hai leader. The enemy are broken. As per the scenario rules I roll to see if the game will end, and on a roll of a 1 it does!
A victory. But at what cost?
Only four Orcs survived the assault on the hill. Should my rolls go poorly after the battle, then my warband is weakened substantially.
The score ended 10-3. The four Orcs, plus three points for breaking, and three for killing the leader against the death of Lugthak. It looks better than it is. I need to roll for four warriors on the survival chart, whilst both Lugthak and Shagug run the risk of death.
I begin the dreaded rolls to see who survives.
- Nuzu the archer will miss the next game
- Muzu the archer is dead. He was useless, but it’s still a shame
- Yagbug fell early in this game and will miss the next
- Gazbag makes a full recovery
- Shagug makes a full recovery (twice in a row now!)
- Lugthak our glorious leader suffered a leg wound! Mean he moves 1 inch less from now on.
I also can roll on the hero advancement chart. Naglur, due to his heroics is actually on 10 XP. So will roll twice, whilst Lugthak can roll once.
- Lugthak rolls and gains an extra courage. Which could prove useful in future
- Naglur first gets the choice between strength and defence. I go for strength. It feels more in character! He then gets an extra wound! Which is excellent for his prospects.
I get 11 gold after this scenario. Which means Lugthak’s hope of riches is a real one. If you remember last time round I didn’t spend any. Taking my total to 18.
I decide to spend 9 gold on a Mordor Uruk-Hai, arming him with a two handed weapon. Meet Ugrat!
I like to think that the last surviving Uruk-Hai we fought today has decided to join us, ditching his previous masters and embracing the life of the raiders. I’ll hold fire on the rest for now. Perhaps spending on getting another Orc before the next game. Or a Warg for someone to ride… I’ve just thought about Lugthak on a Warg… That’s a conversion idea and a way around his move penalty! Comment if you think it’s a good idea!
Mini of the Match
This has to be between two doesn’t it? The Uruk-Hai leader managed to cut down both the archers very quickly, and then hold off as many as four Orcs for three turns! He was a tank! But my choice goes to Naglur. The second-in-command killed four of the Uruk-Hai. It was just unreal. If he hadn’t done that, and perhaps died early I’m convinced I would have lost this one! Naglur the Hill Taker. Naglur Uruk-Bane!
- If you haven’t played battle companies. Stop what you’re doing right now and do it. I don’t know if it’s because you name the individual models and have a campaign feel, but I’m so into each of them. Even though they’re among the worse troops in the game I’m so invested in each roll, each kill. I’m gutted about losing Nuzu, but cannot wait to let loose Naglur again, or the now crippled Lugthak!
- Orc defence is poor, it’s been highlighted two games in a row now. I need to get some stronger back up!
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