Guy has beaten me twice so far but my upgrades from the last fight meant I had a reasonable force this time. The forces were as follows:
1 Urk Hai with hand weapon and shield (captain)
1 Uruk Hai with hand weapon and shield
2 Uruk Hai with bows
2 Uruk Hai with crossbow
1 Orc with bow
1 Uruk Hai Beserker
1 Orc with double handed weapon
1 Warg rider with spear
This force has too many bows for the second edition of the rules (which is now 33%) but we have agreed that as they are killed off we won't replace them.
1 Rohan captain
3 Warriors with bows
3 warriors with throwing spears and shields
1 Rohan Royal Guard on horse
We have found out that the game works best with a lot of scenery and we certainly packed our 48"x48" board this time. I managed to get the Minas Tirith set in Warhammer World last year, after giving a lecture at Nottingham University which is nearby, conveniently. They said it was the last one on sale in any Games Workshop store (they had just found it at the back of the warehouse) so even though it was in a huge box I managed to drag it back home on the train.
Half the Rohan force make for the gate
Isengard won priority and they split their slightly larger force to head for two of the small gaps on the board that were available. Guy had set up the board with only three places where you could easily get from one side to the other, one of which was the gate in the wall. Isengard sent their Warg rider racing for the gate and Rohan did the same with their Royal Guardsman.
This time Rohan won priority and carried on racing for the gate. I hadn't moved one of my archers on the right and he took a snap shot at a partially obscured Uruk Hai beserker but missed.
The Warg rider won the race to the open gate and promptly closed it stranding half my force with no-one to fight. Another Rohan archer traded shots with an Uruk crossbowman to no effect.
The Rohan Captain doesn't act like a newly painted figure!
Isengard regained priority. Rohan continued to bring their left hand force back to the centre to deal with the enemy arriving there. A Rohan spearman tried to climb the cliff to get to the crossbowman but fell down! The first hand to hand combat saw the Uruk Hai beserker take on the Rohan Captain who was joined by a spearman. The three attacks of Rohan were too much and the beserker perished. The Rohan Royal Guardsman charged across the centre and mowed down an Orc with an axe.
Priority was won by Rohan. The Uruk Hai on the left opened the gate and went through with the intention of outflanking the Rohan force which had moved back to the centre. The Warg rider set off on the other side of the gate to join the main action. Tired of missing all his shots the Uruk Crossbowman decended from the hill and attacked the Captain of Rohan who promptly slew him. A second Uruk crossbowman was double teamed by two Rohan tropps and disposed of. The Rohan Royal Guard killed an Orc archer. Isengard had now lost half it's force in two moves to Rohan's none.
Isengard won a much-needed priority. One of the Rohan Archers guarding the flank dealt with one of the Uruks who had come through the gate. An Uruk with a shield took on the Rohan Captain and spearman, won the fight but failed to wound.
Rohan took back priority and several of the skirmishes in the centre continued. The Uruk Captain arrived at the fight and was charged by two Rohan spearmen and an archer. He won the fight and killed the archer. The Uruk archer fighting the Rohan Captain won the fight but failed to wound. The Warg Rider did kill the Rohan Royal Guardsman, Rohan's second casualty.
Priority for Rohan and the two spearmen defeated in the last round charged the Uruk Captain, throwing their spears as they charge and causing a wound but he kills one of the spearmen in hand to hand combat.
Rohan win priority again. The Uruk archer is killed by the Rohan Captain. The Rohan spearman kills the Warg.Turn 10
Rohan win priority for the fourth time in a row (my dice throwing has never been so good!). The Rohan spearman kills the Uruk Hai Captain thus reducing the Isengard force to less than 25% and heralding defeat. The now dismounted Warg rider fights off three Rohan troops to be one of only two survivors, with an Uruk Hai bowman who didn't make it back from the gate in time to join the combat.
This is the first Battle Companies game I have won (I lost three at Guildford as well). I was lucky with my dice and winning priority six times out of ten helped. Basically Guy realised that he had kept his two most effective fighters, the Warg rider and the Uruk Captain, out of the game too long by having them running to and from the gate. I have learned that you need to double team Uruks and use your Cavalry on weaker figures like Orcs for quick wins.
We both decided we needed to play more often (our last game was last Christmas!)
Now we have to do the paperwork to see what our forces look like next time.