The Salvation of Ithilien - The Contest of Champions
MikeStMonkalot: Dol Amroth
We are nearing the end of the Dark Plague Campaign, and the battles in the land between Gondor and Mordor continue to be the most brutal of the war. Today saw Prince Imrahil finally lead his men across the river to try and rescue the region of South Ilithien, while Saru-kai and his uruk forces stand against them. Down from the slopes of Mount Doom, Sauron has sent a powerful new ally for the forces of evil - The ShadowLord has arrived!
At the time this battle begins, both forces have already been ground down through fighting and are hanging on by a thread. All that is holding them on the field is the leadership of their heros, and the fight will be decided by nothing other than whichever hero can kill the most of the enemy and thereby inspire his men!
As an aside, one of my goals in the game was to see how viable a standard Uruk-Hai captain would be in such a contest against a powerful hero - and Prince Imrahil fills that role better than most!
The Uruks muster their forces on the banks of the black river.
The men of Dol Amroth prepare to march, as their Ranger allies filter into the ruins for a vantage point.
The game started with the Uruks being forced from their defensive position by the rangers volley fire; there was no way Mike was going to be forced into charging his cavalry over rough terrain.
Using the ruined tower as cover, the archery was mostly restricted to mere volleys, but it had been sufficient to start the evil force moving forward.
Marching forward to meet them, the cavalry suddenly split off from the infantry and circled around the tower, hoping to get a charge into the softer targets of Isengard Crossbowmen.
With good placement, the knights were only subject to a single round of crossbow bolts as they came in tightly against the rockface. One fell and another lost his horse, but they valiantly shielded their Prince from the missiles.
More kudos to the men of Dol Amroth, who managed a formation with a firing corridor down the middle that let archers fire directly at the Uruk hero for one last turn. With The Shadowlord around to foil their accuracy this was not enough to wound him.
Breaking forward, first blood went to Saru-Kai as he struck down an infantry man.
Dol Amroth 0 - Isengard 1
Then the cavalry charged - killing 3 crossbowmen instantly. Prince Imrahil attacked 2 orcs, but I fired all my crossbows at him and managed to miss and kill one of my own men -a perfect result, although killing both would have prevented him scoring at all.
Cunning placement meant that this fight left all the infantry outside of Imrahil's inspiring banner, but Mike was not having that. He called this fight to be resolved first, did a heroic combat to kill the remaining orc, then galloped Imrahil into two other uruk-hai within range of the rest of his men. They got the banner, and he got 3 kills one one turn.
A very impressive move.
Dol Amroth 3 - Isengard 1
Imrahil killed another Uruk after managing to resist the Transfix spell from The Shadowlord, but Sarukai struck down a pikeman and as the fighting in the centre got more intense.
Dol Amroth 4 - Isengard 2
Leaping forward into a double combat, Saru-kai outfought both knights and their supporting pikes to kill another two, only to see Imrahil ride down two more of his men.
Dol Amroth 6 - Isengard 4
Now came the moment that Mike had been waiting for - he had managed to clear a charge corridor between Imrahil and Saru-kai! The prince charged the captain, preparing to lance him to the ground, only to be amazed when Saru-Kai won the fight against the odds and striking his horse down!
Imrahil fell to the ground at the mercy of the Uruk!
The wild cheering of the Isengarders was short-lived however, as Imrahil managed to win the combat even though on the ground, and having lept to his feet, in the next turn killed Saru-Kai and one of his henchmen. The contest was over, the champion was decided.
Dol Amroth 8 - Isengard 4
South Ilithien is taken by the Fiefdoms of Dol Amroth