Welcome back to Little Men. I had a bit of a gaming hiatus and then the 6-Sided blog went casters up. Time to get back at it.
Our heroes return to Isengard for another go at rousting Saruman…
The game started with all of the Ents asleep except for Treebeard. His mighty bellow slowly roused the sleeping Ents – don’t be hasty! Treebeard and several others advanced to the wall. Treebeard paused to stomp an axeman or three and then kept on his slow advance (never quite making it to the wall). The Ents slowly arose from their deep slumbers and were all on the move by the third turn.
From the Eastern flank, the Ents were surprised by the return of Mauhúr’s band of Uruk-Hai Scout marauders. These lads tied up four Ents for most of the game. The were pretty successful in melee, but their puny Orc bows only served to decorate the Ents’ trunks.
To add to the tactical surprise, two patrols of Warg-riders entered the board edge along the east-west road. The eastern “wart-hawgs” quickly engaged the Ents making their way to the Gate and delaying the wooden charge for the entirety of the game. This allowed time for Isengard’s forces to start to flow out the gate (4 war-bands made it out – Swords and Shields, a third patrol of Warg-riders, and a pike block bristling from the wall).
The Warg patrol on the western flank had a long haul to reach the river ford. A Great Ent clipped the Uruk captain with a hurled stone as the Wargs thundered down the road. Once the Ents crossed, the terrified Wargs had difficulty overcoming their fears and were largely unable to bring superior numbers to bear. Over 4 turns, the Ents slowly pulled the Wargs and Riders limb from limb and then began to tear-down the wall.
Up on the defenses, Vrashkû and his Cross-bowman poured a steady stream of bolts into the Ents. This relentless fusillade slowly took its toll and accounted for half of the dead-wood. The Ballista failed to ever fully connect, but it did light a Great Ent aflame.
The same turn two Ents moved too close to the tower and were doused with burning oil. The oil set them afire and all three bonfires fled to the river for relief. Unfortunately, two Warg-riders were also incinerated in the process.
At this point, the Ents breached the western wall, killing a number of brave pike-men and crossbowman with their treachery. As our game ended, 4 tree-herders were ready to wade into action within the interior.
Hard to tell what would have been the final outcome. The wall would likely prove a hindrance for the pikes manning the west side since they would need to get down and form up. Probably they would have just jumped, but it would still have taken 3 turns for them to bring pikes to bear. The strong pike blocks in the middle were probably 2 turns from contact depending on what the 4 Ents did. Of course, Saruman would have engaged with bazooka fire and his mighty bodyguard of berserkers would have made some splinters.
I think the Ents near the gate (including Treebeard) were likely not to survive much more action, but the Ents on the eastern flank could have made things dicey if they hustled to the wall and climbed over. If they did this, then the evil forces on the eastern flank would have been tied down and unable to run to the rescue on the western breach.
Each side had lost about third of its force and was beginning to creep to the 50% cliff where courage checks are required every turn. Once the Uruks hit 50%, half would likely fail their courage tests and run away while Saruman and his guard would likely have held steady.
However, it is possible that missile fire into the wounded Ents to the front plus more hand to hand would have gotten the Ents to 50% casualties first.
Hard to call, so lets just call it a fun evening of battle with only winners and no losers!
Order of Battle:
- 13 Greater Ents (standard Ent profile – large base)
- 14 Lesser Ents (we used Cave Troll stats – cavalry base)
- Saruman and 12 Uruk-Hai Berserkers
- Grima Wormtongue
- Sharldu, Gruklich, and Drazapan – Warg-Rider Captains and 36 Warg-Riders with a mix of Throwing Spears, Bows, and Swords
- Mahur and 12 Uruk-Hai Marauder Scouts
- Vashnu and 12 Uruk-Hai Crossbowman
- Uruk-Hai Engineer Captain and Siege Bow with Burning Munitions
- 2 Uruk-Hai Engineers and a vat of Boiling Oil
- 2 Uruk-Hai Captains and 24 Uruk-Hai with Sword and Shield
- 5 Uruk-Hai Captains and 60 Uruk-Hai Pikemen
- Ent Minis were from a mix of sources:
- Majestic Bear makes the AWESOME!!!! Willow, Linden, and Birch tree giants
- GW makes the plastic ent, the old metal ents, and Treebeard.
- WOTC D&D Treant
- Mithril Miniatures – smaller LOTR ents and a Huorn
- Ral Partha / Mage Knight – Demonic Treeman & Mage Knight Deadwood Golem
- Mage Knight – Wood Golem and Living Elemental
- Reaper – Mossbeard (2 variants)
- Dungeon Dweller- Treeman
- Saxon- Treant
- Outer walls are from Ziterdes (city walls). Other than a bit of static grass and painting the doors, they were used as is.
- Monolith Icon in Poland provided a very nice Chaos Tower to serve as Saruman’s Orthanc. I painted it with Krylon metallic paint and gave it a few licks with Dry-brushed GW granite. I sprayed it with 3 or 4 coats of Gloss Krylon sealer and then painted the wood and top stone-work.
- Zuzzy makes the Despoiled Reaches mat. I lightly dry-brushed it with Delta Ceramcoat Hippo Gray and Quaker Gray.
- Angry Badger makes the very nice laser cut wooden platforms positioned over the pits.