Gil-Galad surveyed his forces as they made camp for the night. They were fresh for battle, but a weariness hung about them, as each knew that they marched to war and likely death. Gil-Galad turned his gaze to the sky. He noted that in these lands a malice hung in the air, dancing above his host and the host of men at his heels. He could see that this malice would personify itself as an orc ambush, and although his host alone could dipatch a battalion of orcs, if they were caught unawares in a compromising position they would be slaughtered.
His gaze turned once again to the mountains. The mountains that must be crossed to meet Sauron's armies, the very same mountains that would prove fatal if they were ambushed. Gil-Galad cursed the malice: his host and that of men must gain the other side of the mountain soon, and he did not wish to travel further south, but if he went without care it could be all for naught, as an ambush could cause the destruction of the hosts of men and elves, and end any chance for pease in Middle Earth.
So it was that Gil-Galad, Elrond, Elendil and Isildur convened to decide their actions. There it was decided that a small scouting host would be sent forth to discover the mountain path and if it held any plans of ambush. The scouting force was to make for the other side and set up a garrison there to protect the following hosts, if any enemies were encountered, they were to return with warning. And so Gil-Galad sent a contingent of elves along with a captain. Elendil insisted on sending a force of men as well, with them a captain of men.
Mithruin surveyed the road. Something wasn't right: a drakness fell over the pass before nightfall and the birds of these lands stood silent. A feeling of ill fortune invaded the minds of both men and elves in the scouting force and all were ill at ease. The steep, rocky slopes that flanked the road held hidden eyes and spears and shafts, Mithruin was sure of that.
After a quick discussion between Mithruin and Ethendur (the human captain) the elves and men were organized into a defensive position along the road. If there was an attack their only hope would be to flee as this path held no hope to defend and ambush.
No sooner had the forces been arrayed when a scout returned. The news was ill. A battalian of orcs was sighted in camp at the base of the pass, and there was rumour that orcs patrolled the pass itself... Suddenly cry went up, splitting the uneasy silence.
"Wargs, Wargs are attacking!" One man called out as he readied his spear for battle.
Mithruin replied to himself "May the Valar protect us." The sounds of men and elves readying for battle snapped through the chill dark. Today men and elves would stand together.
The elves lead the retreat back accross the pass, while the men brought up the rear. The orcs attacked from the cliffs to the side, as well as from the direction the warriors of the last alliance are attempting to escape from. Only by the will of the Valar will they survive this... The orcs are in the red squares, the warriors of the last alliance in the blue.
Mithruil called for his elves to move, and so they retreated back across the pass. Unfortunately their path was not clear, as a small horde of Warg riders were bearing down on them... Ethenduar made a similar call to retreat, and so they did as hordes of orcs swarmed out of the hills on their flanks,raining arrows down upon them. No orc arrows found their mark, but two orcs were skewered at the hands of the archers of evles and men.
Unable to catch their prey, the orcs scramble in
pursuit of their targets. Men and elves both send
arrows into the advancing orcs to slow them up, but
their overwhelming numbers prove too many...
Mithruil and Ethenduar, with the iniatiative once more, drove back along the pass. The host of men and elves followed, except those with bows were ordered to take the time to shoot... The howling wargs charged into the fleeing warriors, and the orcs pursuing from behind finally caught some of the men that they chased. And so the battle began...
Mithruil cursed as an orcish captain upon a warg, along with two other warg riders charged Ethenduar. Unable to join the battle, Mithruil watched as the vicious orcs attacked. Blow fell and aimed spear held true, but from some act of the valour or of Ethenduar's might, he won the fight and inflicted a grievous wound upon his foe. Mithruil breathed a sigh of relief, but realized that Ethendual would no longer be able to show such might agian in this battle...
But the battle did not go so well for all warriors of the last alliance. Two men and two elves were felled, while no orcs fell in return. This was sad news to the eyes of the captains, but they must focus on their retreat, or lose the entire host that followed.
Two elves fall as the force strives to retreat... Only the mounted orc captain takes a single wound.
Mithruil, taking the upper hand once again, calls the charge to attack the ambushers. He and Ethenduar assault the orc captain on the warg that charged them previously. Everywhere along the line men and elves joind the fight.
Mithruil and Ethendual (played by Elrond and
Elendil) battle the mounted orc captain
(played by Gothmog).
The battle that erupted was fierce, both men and orcs and elves falling to the blades of the enemy. Mithruil and Ethendual faught fiercely, but it took their combined might to beat and then kill their orc opponent... Both captains now would be too weary to use pull such a fight into a win again.
The elves leading the retreat dispatch three warg riders and two wargs, only to curse when the orcless wargs remain to continure the fight. The men of Numenor holding the rear manage to dispatch two orcs, but lose four in the fighting. Things are looking grim for the warriors of the last alliance... But still hope remains. Mithruil takes a moment to reflect that now the orc captain blocking their way has been dispatched, they should be able to flee the battle if they can maintain the upper hand...
Mithruil and Ethenduar dispatch the orc captain while the battle rages
But it was not to be. Empowered by the sounds and sights of battle, both Mithruil and Ethendual forgot their objective to retreat. Once and then again the elves and men held their ground and fought, hoping to dispatch the ambushing horde. The Valar were not with them that day though. In the fighting five men and three elves were felled, while only four orcs and two wargs were dispatched. The numbers of men and elves were wearing thin, and nightfall was on the horizon.
After two turns of fighting, many men and elves lay dead (figs with blue X's through them). The numbers of orcs and men nearly equaled, and two orcs captains remained unchallenged (those surviving orcs and men are circled in red and blue respectively).
Although they ran, it was not to be... Mithruil was knocked down by a charging warg, and three more men and on elf were felled. Only one warg died at the hands of the warriors of the last alliance...
The terror began to invade the minds of the remaining warriors of the last alliance, and although some fled, Ethenduar and Mithruil managed to keep the retreat from turning into a route. As the warriors of the last alliance maintained the initiative they pushed their retreat again. The orcs followed fiercely as still two orc captains remained unchallenged. Ethenduar silently hoped that the orc captains remained unchallenged until they escaped...
Although only one turn away from escape, the men
and elves lose two elves and a few men stragglers
that were caught behind the orcish advance.
Furthermore Ethenduar recieves a grievous wound
from a charging warg... Woe to the last alliance!
(Note the warriors of the last alliance are marked
with blue, while orcs are marked with red)
Again, Mithruil and Ethendual maintain the initiative. They call for the retreat once more and the remaining warriors of the last alliance manage to escape the pursuing orcs. Counting their numbers as they make their way back to the waiting Host of the Last Alliance they count their numbers and mourn those lost, thier bodies surely to be defiled by their murderers...
With only six elves and two captains remaining alive, the forces of Sauron gain a Minor Victory.
A very intense battle. Not too commonly does fighting start in turn two. I think both sides made obvious mistakes in this one. The last alliance should have continued to move off the board whenever possible, instead of trying to fight with their hopelessly bunched up forces... The orcs should have deployed more forces down the road to block the retreat, instead of chasing the fleeing free peoples for the whole game :) But is was great fun, and a great example of the subtelty of deployment and maneuverability.