Panthers in Hatten

Making Hatten great again. This time Liehr Launched First. I had the honors to be the defender, and because ROAR suggested that Germans would need a balance, I was glad to grant it. This meant conversion of two squads to a better type. Unintentionally, I did not notice SSR2 when doing setup late evening, and for morning game I left my disabled tank destroyers only concealed.Liehr-first - 1

I expected the Germans to take the main road, but instead they took a route from the north side attempting to flank my positions. Apparently the idea was to cut my defenses in half with fire lane along the road by strong MG positioning. However, this was foiled by my mortar placement and well established WP screen that sent the infantry crewing the MG running. Additionally, would I have thought of similar idea on the most obvious, and only firelane, I would have stacked both MG’s with half squads for the purpose.Liehr-first - 2

Seeing where Germans were going, it was an easy redeployment of troops, and Germans were in difficult bind.Liehr-first - 3

It took a way too long for the cautious Germans to move around. Use of riders quite liberally helped but after the end of second turn there was no sight of well coordinated incoming attack. I had rather strong defense, and while bazooka ended the life of one PzIV through a turret hit, the bad die rolls caused the two panthers to lose MA’s pretty much on the first shots they ever made – in addition to a stall on a critical moment. Additionally, two small mortars caused a bit of havoc among the advancing Germans. It is not that they are effective at  FP of 4, but given raiders and infantry running on open, this makes it interesting. If you keep ROF for 8 shots, one is bound to cause PIN or MC.Liehr-first - 4

Americans could not cause many permanent losses, but could foil the incoming assaults and push them back temporarily – for Germans, time was in short of supply so that was more than enough. There were 7 victory hexes to be had, none of which were in the hands of Germans by the midpoint of turn 5.Liehr-first - 5

Too little too late then. American victory was mostly a product of very poor Panther performance, and perhaps a lack of the aggressiveness required from the armor.

Notes: Case J3 and J4 (FFNAM, FFMO) DRM’s are applied to the TH. not the effect. Raiders may fire inherent FP, but bailing out raiders have chance to lose the SW they carry.

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Heat in Hatten

Cold, ground snow, wintery battlefront, a town of Hatten were divided in half. Germans occupied the North side and Americans prepared for attack on the south. I had the honors to be the attacker in HF8 Fahrenheit 352. Initially I had few things to worry about, namely the two flame Hetzers that were lurking among the reinforcements. That actually worried me more than the rather strong position that the Germans held.

Fahrenheit - 1

Attack takes off, slow and confused. Burned tank for PF early on my right flank (top of the photo)

I did not realize it early enough that there were nothing in my arsenal that had a decent chance to kill flame Hetzers from the front. Bazooka? Nope. 76L gun? Nope. APCR – yes, if one has them. The tank on right sector that did have, actually burned way before it could have put in any use. The others, well, did not have any.

Fahrenheit - 2

Gaining momentum a bit. Still a bit confused.

Actually, I did not realize that the Hatten map is really restricted – much more so than any in other ASL scenario I’ve played until the date. I don’t mind walls, but the orchards, hmm. A LOT of orchards and plowed fields that do slow down infantry quite a bit. This map is a bit of puzzle.

German defense was covering all avenues of approach quite well. There seem to have been good interior lines that they could use to consolidate the defenses and retreat – and the reinforcement entry points were conveniently located to be used to reinforce any area in need. To counter the wide defense, I set up on a wide front with an idea to tie up the the defenders and hopefully find some way to reinforce success where encountered. A mistake there.

Fahrenheit - 3

Annihilating German resistance on the right flank (top of the picture), and gaining toehold on the left. Things started to look better and less confused. Reinforcements moving into positions behind the German positions to wait for the German tanks.

I had a sluggish and confusing start. I wasn’t really focusing on any avenue, but tried to probe the weaknesses and I was definitely not sure how to go about the attack. This was not helped by the mistake on the concealment counters (defender placed concealment in a same way as if I would have entered, giving far more of them than ordinarily available). I managed to fire a few WP shots with the mortars before running out. Tanks attempted to provide fire support but due to hindrance there were not much hits recorded, and as usual, run out of WP as well.

Fahrenheit - 4

Clouds appear into the sky of the success on my right flank. A Hetzer. Another was very soon to follow.

I lost one of the better Shermans early on to a PF in a foolish push on the far flank. The terrain felt both restrictive and way too open at the same time. Advance was slow but eventually after my additional tanks showed up, I started to have an idea of how to proceed. Sort of.

Fahrenheit - 5

Yep, Bazooka does nothing to stop them. They just run point blank and roasted away. Killed everybody and there was nothing that I could do to avoid it.

Unfortunately when I finally found weakness and could set my feet into one of the victory locations, and got my HtH attacks in motion, I encountered the flame Hetzers. My right flank collapsed in seconds under fire. Those buggers were practically invulnerable to the bazooka, and gunfire (I had no APCR). I lost 50% of my leaders and substantial amount of troops in a single flaming instant.

Fahrenheit - 6

Final position. I had three good order squads left (+2 half-squads with mortars), and one very small toehold on the first victory building. Between me an the victory stood two Hetzers and three elite squads supported by 9-2 leader. And two turns for the Germans to eradicate my presence. I conceded.

Shortly after I had to concede since there were no practical chances for my three remaining good order squads to capture and keep the two building locations against the fresh German elite squads and two roaming Hetzers for two turns.

Lessons learnt: First, check the weapons that are able to kill enemy armor – and check again. Americans seriously lack on this department – especially when rolling like I do for APCR. Plan accordingly. 9-2 leader with bazooka may be better than 6-6-7 with bazooka. Taking the Hetzers from the side or rear is a way easier said than done.

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Morgan’s Stand

11th of September 1944 Lt. Allen Morgan decided to make a stand.

Later that day, he was soundly defeated. We can put all the blame on the delayed arrival of Sgt. Harnshaw.

While Harnshaw was attempting to make a do with his maps, in Bar-le-Duc brave Morgan was fighting for his life against piecemeal German forces. I took the Germans to try out how attack goes for a change. German forces come in four random installments. First one was Group 2, which had a Stug IIIG with second line troops to pave a road, followed by heavy hitting Group 4, StuPz IV and PzIV with two squads. Third one was the 250/10 halftrack from Group 3 and at last the infantry only contingent in Group 4. This did enable me to do a very nice armored spearhead that pretty much vacated the key areas for my foot troops to exploit.

Morgan - 1

Smoke it out. Assault gun in action providing fire support from the flank and infantry cover moving in. I would have engaged aggressively here as U.S instead of reversing away…

I kept the armor closely supported by infantry, and made good use of half squad probing. Approach was a systematic one. Position big guns for a threat, cut retreat as much as possible, probe positions, enter with force and exploit vacated ones, and repeat. Further away I could vacate the proximity of the road, better chance I would have to win by the victory hex. By the midgame hiatus the rate I was causing casualties to U.S. was far too slow to win by vacating the board 10.

Morgan - 2

… because what followed was a really bad news. Brumbär.  

My Pz IV occupied the walled roundabout in the middle, HD from all angles, yet having excellent field of fire while the rest of the armor swept from the right and pushed to clear the road to the bridge. Instead of challenging my newly gained position the U.S. Sherman decided to avoid engagement and fell victim to my panzerfaust fired from a inside house in desperation(!). I was ready to sacrifice the trooper to the cause, but remarkably the squad did get away with it at no cost in lives… Burning Sherman created nice permanent smoke field masking the arrival of my major infantry contingent, which made it to the center of the village in all haste.

Morgan - 3

Pz IV moved in to cause real havoc. U.S. decided to disengage…

Elsewhere the half-track took a long route around the right behind the open topped GMC. I could not really hurt the GCM from the front, but I could force it move out of position. Eventually I did manage to immobilize the GMC at the cost of the halftrack.

Morgan - 4

… and end up as a flaming wreck, covering the entry of my infantry contingent.

Around the time I solely occupied the synagogue in the center, a hiatus set in, and I had to spend some time to regroup and re-align the attack. I knew that I had enough time, but if I would push on into the narrow slit of forrest, my forces would be soundly repulsed. On that token, I could not storm in with the armors either because of the need to secure the victory hex and make sure that no mr. Harnshaw’s units got through. To go around this problem, I first secured the bazooka crew, and moved around on the left to cut out rout paths. This development caused quite distinct failure on the personal morale of my opponent.

Morgan - 5

Fifth turn hiatus, need to concentrate forces. Solid U.S. trooper stands two shots of 16 in the left without any effect (rolled 11..).

He was in really, really dire position, and when Harnshaw finally found his way, it was already last turn and there was little to overcome my strong position around the victory hex. On the map 10, there was only single unbroken half-squad and my opponent conceded. I probably would have given the last units one more attempt instead of conceding. That said, I have to admit that it would have required quite an exquisite luck.

Morgan - 6

Bazooka Joe on the left out. Brumbär crushed through the forest and destroyed the GMC. Road and victory hex are mine now.

I wasn’t very aggressive with my armored support, and did not pick fight with the opposing armors but rather tried to box up the enemy vehicles – or avoid them. I thought to deal with them by infantry means. Brumbär did destroy the GMC with HEAT, but it was out of necessity, not because I wanted to riskily engage. Success of my armor should be credited more to my opponent’s desire to avoid direct engagement (his tanks did suffer from ammo shortage with circled B11), than my superb tactics. I guess at the end I was quite happy that my opponent did not wage mobile engagement type of war.

Morgan - 7

Two squads on the left failed to rout. LMG and one additional unit in position to prevent rout out of the forest. Brumbär in position to take the some drastic measures. My opponent concedes.

Total losses for the Germans, besides of some ELR’d second liners, I lost a squad and the halftrack. Of these, one half-squad fell victim to a friendly fire in melee. My die rolls were not particularly good, but just good enough on those few shots that really mattered. For a sniper activity, there were not a single active sniper in the game (we did use the balance for Germans because of the ROAR data suggesting that the scenario is quite favorable to U.S. A hindsight, the PF usage was one, and I did not really roll fives so balance did not matter that much).

Overall the scenario was very good one. It is also really tough for both sides but for completely different reasons.

Note to self: U.S. Player did not remember to use bore sight for his armor, nor MMG although eligible to do so. Also, if no quarter is not in play, low crawl cannot be used if unit starts routing from adjacent location and the rout can be interdicted. U.S. player would have lost several squads as prisoners.

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Dip in the Suicide Creek

There was an local ASL event which allowed to get to know some new people, and also to try out some fun bits and pieces. We did take an dip to the Suicide Creek, a short scenario where Japanese defenders had five pillboxes and about equal number of defenders set against rather potent marine force of 8 squads and good leadership and support weapon array. Idea was a simple one, marines needed to eradicate the Japanese presence to a less than two squad equivalents with a line of sight to the creek (FFE is a stand-in for sniper).ASL-day - 1

I took the attacking Americans, not because of preference but because my Japanese play would probably not give very good account since I have played very little with them. Once setup was done, the Japanese side of the map was, well… empty. An all HIP scenario is rather unnerving. With limited time in my hands, I deployed and started to probe forwards to the Japanese side of the river. Every time there were troops or pillbox revealed, I bypassed them, and attacked from the rear first with point blank range followed by CC.ASL-day - 2

Ordinarily Japanese are rather good at fighting in close quarters, but in this one, they didn’t win a one HtH or CC. At worst they were ambushed and brushed aside, at best they just prolonged from turn to turn or were killed in return. In this kind of rate of exchange, marine would win due to sheer numbers alone. As a marine player, I set out to clear one pillbox after an other, mostly by infiltrating first behind, and then amassing a softening wall of fire and then close combating the location. This was made somewhat easier because of a gap my opponent left on the right flank.ASL-day - 3

In an afterthought I have no idea how (except by avoiding fight) Japanese can win in that 2:1 manpower firefight where close quarter FP can easily get up to 20. Japanese would have to keep shuffling from one Jungle pillbox to other and stay away from the American wall of fire. It seems that every obstacle (jungle debris, swamp) that causes minimum move/CX has to be taken into full use.ASL-day - 4

Second game of the day was an rather fast and successful Liberation of Bessarabia where my opponent literally stormed my positions with Romanian Panzer Blitz. If something, I learned that this scenario is a lost cause the moment Romanian tanks get through.

ASL-day - 5

I did try to build in depth but about 50% of my armored reserves were in a wrong place, and besides of having their guns out immediately, they were destroyed handily. I have to grant that it was interesting to see how efficiently my opponent just wrapped up my defenses and chewed them to bits literally without much harm to his own forces. Brilliant.

ASL-day - 6

Next time, either hold the bloody road and make sure that the armors count and stop Russians dead, or make sure that Russians can knock out the Romanian tanks and then counterattack.

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War in Budapest – Extracurricular Activity

Since getting ASL module Armies of Oblivion, I’ve had an interest on quite few scenarios, one of them being Extracurricular Activity which pits Hungarian fanatics against Russian defenders. A small area, quick paced city fight including four Hungarian Zrinyi II assault guns and two T34/85’s and civilian interrogation.  There is only six and a half turns to accomplish the feat – to have more squad equivalents than my opponent in the hospital building. I had the honors to be the Hungarian fanatics while my opposition had studied his defensive system ahead of time and made setup ready.asl-extracurricular - 1

Initial analysis showed that the Zrinyi II is not the best for dispatching enemy tanks, unlike the T34/85’s that incidentally excels in the task. In fact, a side shot with AT-rifle can kill Zrinyi. However, I reasoned that in the terrain we had to fight, a street fighting would be most likely cause of death for the Russian tanks – assuming I would not feel like committing a suicide by firing PF from a building.asl-extracurricular - 2

Only role of Zrinyi II would then be to dislodge the Russian strong points, while being closely supported by infantry. I did not seriously thought that my opponent would linger under -1 acquisition for a too long, but nevertheless, there was liberal application of intensive fire – which incidentally did not contribute to any of the malfunctions, nor any actual hits. In an afterthought I could have used the tanks for bypass sleaze but thought that  while effective, it would not be the best way to go about it. Enemy armors were far too potent to catch tanks attempting it.asl-extracurricular - 3

After simple calculation, my plan was to concentrate and push very aggressively towards the hospital. Because of ample defensive options, and strong buildings (almost all buildings are stone row houses and narrow streets) I had to balance between caution and expenditure of men and material while overwhelming of enemy positions. I could not take risk that my assault guns were caught in street fighting, or nasty shots from a rear and therefore had to keep good infantry cover around all times, including armored assault.asl-extracurricular - 4

I had to make sure that Russians keep some forces on their flank, and I pushed a minor detachment there. Naturally I was also hoping to cut some of the retreating options but that was secondary. In the main assault, I did methodically work out one position at the time and it was mostly by close quarter fighting and close combat.  While going was slow, I managed to overwhelm and wear the enemy position one city block at the time. After initial success, advance became easier as the resistance crumbled and withdrew. I did lose one Zrinyi II early on mostly due to untimely move. Luckily my opponent did not seize the opportunity and use the T34/85’s superior mobility and armor to full advantage.asl-extracurricular - 5

Fighting in stone city is hard business in ASL, especially when time is short of supply. Task is very tough when board filled with row-houses and attacking units are Hungarian 3-4-7’s with limited number of leaders and only light support weapons. Even if the broken morale is two higher than normal. Of course having 16 squads against ten helps a lot, but there is still a lot of ground to cover, especially when opponent can, and will use concealment and steady within withdrawal to full extend.asl-extracurricular - 6

Defender could not just try to hold the hospital, but he needed to wear down the attack, and retreat smallest convenient amount every time forces become too much to take head on. Task which my opponent did admirably. In fact I was quite convinced by a start of turn 5 that I could not get enough troops through. While scenario is only half a board, it is quite lot about maneuvering on both sides.asl-extracurricular - 7

A destruction of one T34/85 in street fighting created an opening that I could use, and move one of my threat inducing Zrinyi’s to the flank accompanied by few squads. As a result, remaining Russian T34/85 started to fear for survival and retreated further back. Something I might consider unnecessary force preservation so late of the game. By doing so it was no longer able to contribute much to the final battle. After malfunctioning it’s main armament on last turn, it was boiling down to a dice game. All mistakes on both sides were done before that moment, culminating soon in the hospital.asl-extracurricular - 8

Loss of T34/85 gun was, balanced out by two of my three remaining Zrinyi’s being recalled due to gun malfunction. Luckily it happened when time was past their prime usefulness. Overall, Zrinyi’s acted better as a threat than actual assault vehicles, since none of the HE shots actually hit anything (BU+TEM+(Case C||Concealment) did not make it easy…). This was mostly because my opponent did not wish to take his chances. I did manage to get in a few shots of smoke, and I think it did help in few points.asl-extracurricular - 9

At the end, the final assault to the hospital building was a broiling close combat. Hungarians won the game by a half squad difference which made the game extremely close call, and very, very good scenario. I had lost ten squads, one Zrinyi and two leaders as total losses, and two Zrinyis as recalled against around five Russian squads and a single tank. That is a lot of casualties!asl-extracurricular - 10

asl-extracurricular - 11

Tally. Won, but only just.

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War in the Wild

We had a learning game of a Wilderness War, and my first-time opponent bid for French. I was then given the heavy burden of British colonial command.  For learning purposes, the first half is a very good scenario, because it allows some time for game concepts to sink in. We were not in a hurry and our time to walk through the game and it’s various nuances. Wilderness War can sometimes require a good nerves, and tolerance for ever present defeat and destruction. It is too easy to fail the personal morale test at the dire looking moment but one just have to carry on for a reward. Usually there are tons of options to play with a devilry cunning.

Hudson river attack - 1

Reinforcing Oswego on shores of Ontario. French counter by building fort in Catraqui. British made ill decision not to fortify frontiers early. This resulted raids that eventually brought VP’s for French in the course of the game.

Knowing the momentous task ahead of British, we opted for two optional rules, a surrender could be played by either side, and that 1VP is granted for Regulars entering in game on first two turns. Latter is definite advantage to the French.

Hudson river attack - 2

By a clever maneuver, French cut the supply line of Oswego after driving away all the Indians. British trying to plug the southern department against Raids.

Meanwhile, we started the warmongering, and I opted not only to take, but to keep Oswego fort, while pushing aggressively through Champlain / Hudson River Corridor towards Montreal and eventually, to victory. That corridor would become real pain later on. We did start off well by assembling proper Royal colonial forces dressing in our beloved red.

Hudson river attack - 3

Oswego is lost, and French gain the alliance of the Iroquois.

Loading all the furniture, tea, dogs and tweed shooting jackets, muskets and newly gotten piles of plankets into a boats, it was time to go hunt for some French. Expedition went well on the Oswego and Royal Americans took charge there. Not only did we keep the front but also the nearby Indians flocked to our forts and provided much needed wilderness expertise. Thanks to our great frontiersman Johnson for forging the jolly good alliances. Fellow officers thought that we might win the war even without a tea and biscuits.

Hudson river attack - 4

Montcalm stands in Oswego, looking at the prospects. British advance through Hudson river towards Montreal.

As we prepared for the coming winter we distributed gifts along our new friends, and were struck to discover that they took very ill. In few weeks our great Iroquis Alliance were gone, most were hastily buried, some dying and those still alive, fleeing. Cursed suppliers, playing on French hands!

Hudson river attack - 5

Montcalm relieved Montreal – for a time. Shirley survived, for now.

Meanwhile, our progress in Hudson Carry was good, and new solid forts were built by ever active Shirley, and we started to threaten Crown Point. That would be the last French obstacle between us and the fur laden town of Montreal.

Hudson river attack - 6

Montcalm busy elsewhere, British put again pressure on Oswego that had become an Indian base of operations.

We also initiated push towards the ever increasing menace of the southern and southwestern Indian tribes. Clearly an action was needed against that bloody Ohio Forks fort that attracted all the savages. Indeed it was a savagery, since our southern department was struck so many times by raiding parties that the locals started to think of our military success a source of troubles, and the assembly withdrew their support. Braddock had no choice but to call in Loudoun back home and ask for additional troops to be sent in – which deteriorated the colonial tensions even further.

Hudson river attack - 7

Meanwhile, Luisbourgh falls to Wolfe and his army.

While of all that was going on, we lost control of Oswego in one clever side sweep, and as a result the Iroquois nations were flocking into French fold and foiled our attempts to ever get it back. Additionally, Montcalm arrived from Europe.

Hudson river attack - 8

Second attempt of Montcalm to relieve Montreal under siege. This time he has found his match but not before both sides became depleted and unable to continue open fight.

That said, we still had some cannon fod… Erhm. Colonials to help us out with the prospect of Montreal. Just in time for the the great party, Wolfe arrived from Scotland with his lads, and they made a short work of Luisbourg before French could carry out planned evacuation. Unfortunately there were no prospect to move forward to Quebec from Louisbourg and hence Wolfe was called in to Champlain Corridor.

Hudson river attack - 9

British advance towards Ohio Forks have stalled! Braddock had his road, but lacked the resources to make the final push. French had a force of 3 marines and 9 Indians protecting the fort while I had not one irregular or light infantry in my disposal.

Before Wolfe managed to get into position, Montcalm did made attempt to relieve Montreal, only to be defeated in the field by a provincial help. Not before long, Wolfe did force Montreal to it’s knees, but timely surrender saved them from the destruction of forces that promptly retreated to Quebec. Indeed, French had revenge ready and the pestilence in Montreal was unleashed to our weary troops wiping out five of 11 battalions there.  Luckily our supplies and reinforcements were on their way, and Montcalm could not deliver the final death blow.

Hudson river attack - 10

Situation in a start of last turn… Much pressure on French, but will it be enough?

A stalemate developed, French still had enough victory points to win, should the fighting be inconclusive, and British had no option but to try to get Quebec, which French managed to reinforce with additional two battalions, on top of the garrison from Montreal and hence giving margin just enough to make assault very bloody prospect. It all boiled down to a skirmish over the control of Hudson valley and it was decided literally on last card draw.

Hudson river attack - 11

Depleted troops juggling for positions. A standoff resumed. French managed to reinforce Quebec just in time to match Bradstreet. A strength of 10/10 which would be devastating in assault. I needed more troops.

It was not Montcalm who finally decided the fate of France, but most unlikely figure of French frontier forces – Vadreuil. He accompanied a force of single marine detachment  and several Indians to threaten my stockades.  A Hudson River cat and mouse developed. Finally my opponent saw a light and learned to wage a war where I am not – a lesson so crucial in Wilderness War.

Hudson river attack - 12

Indian infiltration to rid my supply chain…

Supply chain threatened, British had no option than to rid the Indian harassing force from the Champlain Corridor. Finally, all it took was a single die that caused single point of damage and hence prevented an overrun and blocked the Wolfe from advancing to Quebec. Without him, the siege failed, and French won by 3 VP at the end.

Hudson river attack - 13

Wolfe attempting to clean up the line, but failed. With his delayed arrival, the Quebec siege failed!

It was so close, so close indeed!

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Walking into Mordor

This post is going to irritate die hard fans of War of the Ring. Apparently in some circles there just are some things you cannot do. Like seeing opportunistic FP player killing Gandalf, and then you, as a Shadow refuse to bring in any minions to play and win… So, if you feel strongly about the way to play WotR, stop now. 🙂

We have recently tested a theory that revolves around not taking the ring into Mordor, but rather walking in with an army instead. We heard from many people that it cannot be done because nobody does it, and therefore it is impossible. Hence, a challenge was thrown.

We’ve now tried several games (most against same opponents who knew exactly what to expect) for the name of science. If you, as FP read the victory conditions in ASL way, 4VP wins for FP, regardless of how many VP Shadow has, as long as it is less than 9. So, don’t get too emotional about your cannon fodder. You can hand out a lot of locations. We can disregard ring  victory condition as it is completely irrelevant.

If you skip ring moves, and use the will of the wests, and swords for more productive cases, you will have saved 15-17 dice for moves alone. You would probably get revealed due to various reasons around 6 times, or more so we can say that you have 21-23 extra dice that allow you to operate armies, leaders, and in case of will of the west, some more productive things. Naturally you will not have, because game will end much before that.

We can easily see that all the southern regions can be lost and should not be bothered with, except for rising (elite) armies. Same goes for Rohan.

So, first thing to do, get some more dice. Get fellowship going, but without Frodo. move as quickly as you can to get Aragorn in play, and while doing that, Activate Rohan on the way. If you can have Gandalf White, good. If you can soften up Orthanac, excellent (leave one hobbit in the forest for that).  Also leave someone to activate North and Dwarves, especially if right cards come to hand. You will not need either if you play fast and aggressive enough. Shadow cannot bottle your Aragorn/strider in any fort when you start early.

Then, build some Army around Aragorn/Gandalf (reroll deterrent)/Hobbit (a witch king deterrent) -combo, and have some secondary army to supply losses, and then go to hunt some Orc. You have to leave some token resistance to various places to force Shadow to siege, so don’t run pool entirely dry. You also may wish to expect the Elven ships, and Dunharrow to get you Umbar when Shadow thinks it’s all clear. This has been done number of times, so it is not impossible.

While doing that, don’t forget to bottle up Gunbald and Moria as soon as possible to wait for picking them up. Two defenders will not risk losing open battle against one regular and one elite and one leader. Any counter measures against the bottled up situations will eat Shadow’s resources elsewhwere so it’s all good. If Saruman is not in play, and Shadow is not inclined to take him, take Orthanc instead, it’s easy as heck.

Because of the evolution of this tactic, Saruman and Orthanac very seldom do anything but stay put. It has been lost too many times.

In fact, Gandalf White+Aragorn+Hobbit+some leaders and 5 Elites & 5 regulars can beat any practical fort shadow can put against. Shadow cannot stuff all elites in forts, so there is seldom more than 5HP worth, most likely 1HP to 3HP which means in average ~30DR, which is highly unlikely because usually there are cards in play. One to three rounds of siege usually suffices in most cases and the key is to use cards that preserve your forces, not to cause hits.

1HP was a recommendation of hardcore WotR player who said that the idea is not to stop, but force you to spend die to siege. Trouble is that if you have two forts with 1 or two each, you’ve lost before you even start playing. Forts defended like this sort have fallen for a single elite unit so it is a pretty boring gamble.

Last game and result in 7 turns (she left Morannon empty because she wanted to build barrier on front and did not expect marching day and night or Scouts in preceding battle). No way this is unique situation:


Shadow thought being clever and attacked me, which was countered by scouts and allowed to slip in right location. Marching day and night to Morannon, then Sauron hired second (Elite)unit in Barad Dur, and I marched to the middle. Then Shadow moved his army next to Morannon, and I took Barad Dur. 

Now, this sort of destroys the whole idea of the game, and takes fun out of it. I hate competitive play, but now this has grown so darn obvious to ignore.

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