Thursday, July 26, 2012

Helm's Deep

   Helm's Deep is the Rohan Stronghold and the place of the last stand of the Rohirrim. Theoden King with few guards and the people of Edoras came to find refuge. At dust the King orders every man and boy who can carry arms to be ready for fight. The hordes of Isengard will fall upon them to eliminate them. The Rohirrim must hold. At the last moment some hundred Elves came to honor the ancient alliance of men and elves and to fight alongside men for one more time. At the third day, at dawn, Gandalf arrived with Eomer and his riders. At that final moment Theoden with few survivors made a heroic exodus.
   Gandalf: "Theoden King stands alone"
   Eomer: " Rohirrim! To the King! Charge! "
   " Let this be the hour when we draw swords together. Fell deeds awake. Now for wrath, now for ruin, and the red dawn. Forth, Eorlingas! " Theoden King before the exodus.
   We played the Helm's Deep battle using 280 miniatures in total. To win the game the Good side had to keep three out of the five objectives. The objectives were the five deep red stones inside the castle. On the opposite side, the evils had to conquer three of the above stones. To achieve that an evil warrior had to stand next to the stone for a turn. The game had 20 turns. At the end of the twentieth turn (the moment when Gandalf, Eomer and the rest appear) we count how many stones each side posses. The one who has three is the winner. Below you can see the evil force first, 210 warriors, 2695 points all together. 

   On the front of the picture you see an Assault Ballista with a Siege Engineer and its three crew members, as well as a Battering Ram and an Uruk Captain with 23 Uruk-hai warriors.

The Uruk Captain and his 23 Uruk-hai warriors 

A drummer, a banner-bearer and Vrasku with his 15 crossbowmen  

Lurtz and his 15 Uruk scouts

16 Uruk pikemen

16 more

   There were four Uruk demolition teams consisted of 8 Sappers and 4 Berserkers with torches. 11 more Berserkers with various weapons accompanied the above teams just to be on the safe side! Below you can see the teams and the extra Berserkers.

An Uruk Captain and 23 Uruk-hai warriors more

A drummer, a banner-bearer and 16 Sappers more

Wildmen Chief and 24 Wildmen of Dunland

Thrydan, a banner-bearer and 15 Dunlendings

   Let's take a look on the good force now. 70 warriors in total, 1076 points. The rate "attackers:defenders" miniatures is 3:1. First of all, King Theoden with 16 Rohan Spearmen and 16 Rohan Archers, stand inside the Keep.

Aragorn, Legolas and Gimli

Haldir with 16 swordsmen and 16 archers

The far left part of the castle (impassable terrain) and the first
objective, the red stone No.1

The left part and the Elves

The centre, the three heroes and the second objective, No.2

The Keep, the Rohirrim and the final three objectives

The far right part of the castle (impassable terrain)

   We needed a Siege Tower for our game. I have one from the time I was a child, a Timpo medieval siege tower. It was in my mother's house attic for 35 years! Its condition is not bad at all (just the rear wheels are missing), so after such a long period of time it is back in action again! 

The Timpo Medieval Siege Tower

   And finally the battle began! Below you can see the evil force deployment opposite to the castle walls.

   The Elves manned the left walls of the castle while the Rohirrim manned the Keep.

   The evil warriors moved holding their ladders and pushing their siege tower while the Elves welcomed them with a rain of arrows.

The evil left move

The evil centre move

The evil right move

   Legolas', Haldir's and the Elf Archers' priority was to aim the demolition teams and especially the berserkers with the torches. A lot of them died trying to reach the walls. At the other side of the castle Rohirrim threw numerous spears to the Uruks of the battering ram. They suffered huge losses but they were so many and every time newcomers replaced the fallen ones. Finally they managed to reach the gate despite the casualties.

The evil left reaches the walls

The evil centre does the same

The evil right reaches the gate

   At that point, Theoden with a few brave Rohan warriors made their exodus to face the enemy. Although they had a cover fire from the Rohirrim, who manned the Keep, they died all. Of course they managed to delay the Uruks to reach the gate for a couple of turns.

The fight for the walls

Thrydan steps the walls first

The Elves shoot non stop

The Rohirrim do the same

A panoramic view of the fight

   Above you can see the Dunlending archers on the front and  the Uruk crossbowmen with the Ballista on the back, trying to cover their comrades. We considered that the Ballista position was farther than it was actually placed on the table, unreachable for the Rohirrim arrows.

Thrydan and Legolas duel

The battering ram reaches the gate

   At that point the evil casualties were two times more than that of the good ones. Unfortunately, among the good side casualties were Theoden and Haldir. Theoden and a few brave Rohirrim died in front of the gate trying to stop the battering ram attacks. Haldir and some Elves died on the walls when three demolition teams managed to activate their bombs. The rest casualties of Rohirrim died from the Ballista and the crossbowmen shoots. They shooted every turn from a safe distance, that is why till the end of the game they did not suffer any losses.

The black dice on the walls indicate where the bombs exploded

   Finally, the evil warriors managed to step on the walls. Since that moment, Aragorn, Gimli and a few Elf swordsmen, who just watched all the previous turns doing nothing, became killing machines and scattered death among the attackers! Aragorn held his position, killed Wildmen Chief and protected the centre ladder while Gimli protected the stairs on the right. The rest Elf swordsmen and Legolas ran to help the Rohirrim to defend the Keep.

Gimli and three Elves defended the stairs which led to the stone No.1

Elves and Rohirrim defend the stone of the gate

The Uruks break the gate

The Uruks enter the Keep

Defenders' last stand

Gimli wins all the fights and kills many of the attackers

Gimli kills Trydan

Berserkers break the interior gate and fight the Elves

   By that point we had reached the twentieth turn. Although Gimli continued to kill many of the attackers, he did not manage to stop them all. A couple of Dunlendings passed and reached the stone No.1. The attackers on the centre had reached the stone No.2 from the moment they stepped on the walls. The attackers needed another stone to win the game. And they got it! They won the fight for the interior gate and the stone was theirs! They had to hold it for a turn, but we ran out of turns, we were already at the twentieth! Was it a draw? No, we (the defenders) accepted our defeat. We did not have Gandalf and the rest cavalrymen to save the day anyway. Helm's Deep fell.

The Fall

   That's it for today. Stay tuned for more.
   Myincubliss, David Dale, Thanos, Lee Hadley, Michael Awdry and Pixel welcome aboard!

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