Sword and Spear
Mike and Phil played a Helm’s Deep Scenario using Sword and Spear.
We based it on the Mid-Republican Romans and Late Successor lists. Mainly so we could use Trolls (Elephants). We used GW Models and Helm’s Deep terrain piece.
The scenario was set outside Helm’s deep where an invigorated Théoden has linked up with his Nephew Eomer and Gandalf ahead of time. There they deploy for battle outside the Hornburg gates ready to fight off Saruman and his horde from Isengard.
In order to test out the new Phalanx and Elephant rules we had not used before Isengard was allowed to have two units each of these (despite normally being restricted to one unit of Trolls (Elephants) in the list). The Rohan (Romans) on the other hand were allowed a unit of Companion Cavalry (Royal Guard).
Mike chose to do a big scouting effort which allowed him to see where Phil placed his cavalry and then disrupt his plans by putting Elephants in the way!
Finally with Théoden dead and the centre collapsed the Uruk Hai assisted by the Trolls would have been able to attack Helm’s Deep itself. Though the Rohan Cavalry had been able to encircle and attack the Siege Camp Isengard had enough Uruk Hai Medium Infantry in reserve to hold them off. Also having destroyed the Skirmishers (Light Warg Archers and Light Infantry Archers) he left himself exposed then to a flank charge when the remaining Warg Riders managed to move twice whilst he was caught stationary.
So Victory was quite rightly awarded to Mike and the Forces of Isengard.
This was a good learning game of the new rules for Commands and Elephants. Each Army had two split colours of activation dice). We did flanks (cavalry) and centre (infantry) as separate colours. Also Phil learnt how important it is not to be outscouted and have to deploy first. Plus he learnt how Spear armed infantry are only good against mounted troops (such as Trolls/ Elephants) if they have Impetus and these units move amazingly fast with the right dice and Mike in charge! Phil struggled to activate his units and in combat had some bad rolls. However this reflected the tactical position and was definitely not just bad luck!
Next time we will restrict Trolls/ Elephants to one unit as outlined in the lists. Untrained troops and their inability to manoeuvre are not ideal. Cavalry with this trait should really be restricted to those closer to mounted infantry when creating future lists.