Sunday, 19 February 2017

The Iron Hills are almost ready for War (and yet they already went there)

As I promised last week, I finished the remaining five Iron Hills Warriors for my Iron Hills Army and I started work on Dáin. I did not however finish the Gors I started last week. Instead of paining I spent my sunday afternoon playing the Hobbit SBG with the almost painted Iron Hills Army.

Ironhills Wariors
Pict 062: Iron Hills Warriors
Here is a group picture of the five Iron Hills Warriors I painted this week and the one I painted last week. With this first warband done, only Dáin is missing to lead the 400 point army.

Dáin Ironfoot Hobbit SBG
Pict 063: Dáin (WIP)

Dáin Ironfoot Hobbit SBG
Pict 064: Dáin on Warboar (WIP)

And here are two work in progess pictures of Dáin. As of yet I pretty much have the main colours down. I will have to touch up some places like the handle of Dáin's hammer and his beard jewelry. I already started with the washes on his hammer - at first I was unsure how a red hammer would look. I decied to try and make the red not a solid colour but try and make it a metallic red. To achive this I used Carrobourg Crimson on the parts that will be red. I think it looks good, but I don't know how I will highlight this part, but that will come in time.

As mentioned in the beginning, I did play some games with the Iron Hills army consisting of Dáin on his Boar, eleven Warriors and the Ballista with an aditional crew member.
The first game was against a dark denizens of Mirkwood army with plenty of giant spidders, two Mirkwood spiders some Fellwargs lead by the Spiderquenn. Of course with Dáin only partially pained, he did not do to well and was swiftly eaten by the Spiderqueen. Without their leader the remaining Iron Hills dwarfs were overwhelmed by the giant spiders; the Ballista took of one wound each of four siders and a crewmember managed to slay one, but other than that it really was a points sink. Thanks to my opponent who took the next three pictures. The first one shows the situation before the lines clashed, in the second the lines have clashed and Dáin is just a turn away from death by spiderfang. The last picture is the end of the game - not to many dwarfes left...

Ironhills Dwarfs vs. Dark Denizens of Mirkwood
Pict 065: Iron Hills Dwarfs vs. Dark Denizens of Mirkwood

Ironhills Dwarfs vs. Dark Denizens of Mirkwood
Pict 066: Iron Hills Dwarfs vs. Dark Denizens of Mirkwood

Ironhills Dwarfs vs. Dark Denizens of Mirkwood
Pict 067: Iron Hills Dwarfs vs. Dark Denizens of Mirkwood

In the second game I faced a Moria goblin horde lead by Durbúrz, a shaman with some prowlers and two marauders sprinkled in. Here the Ballista could capitalize on the closly packed goblins and killed seven of them even before the lines clashed. Dáin did his part and in the end I could eke out a draw.
For the third game we decided to test the Iron Hills against a Galadhrim army lead by Haldir, Rúmil and a stormcaller. The scenario was reconnoiter and with the short dwarf legs I didn't fancy my chances. My opponent spread out his elves to minimize the damage the Ballista could do and in fact it didn't do to much. In the end it even managed to kill two woodelf warriors in close combat to prevent them from getting of my board edge. And with breaking the opposing army, not being broken myself and killing the leader Rúmil, I surprisingly managed to win, since only one woodelf left the board!

To reflect a little bit on how the army played: I really liked how surviveable the dwarfs are. Only the mobile two attack spiders didn't have that much of a problem - even heros such as Rúmil and Haldir stuggled to kill lone Warriors even when they could not make use of their shieldwall. Speaking of the shieldwall: I foud it rather difficult to make use of this rule once the lines clashed. I hope to improve that with more practice (especially when backing away from a lost fight), but I think it will always be hard to get the defencebonus. I really like the Ballista as miniature, but agaisnt anything other than a battleline of shield/spear warriors it is not that effective. It only hits on a 4+, so only about half of every shot will hit (reroll ones is nice), even before rolling on the scatter table. I didn't have a engineercaptain with it and so every three I rolled to hit hurt. But then again: the captain is almost as expensive as a second Ballista. With only Dáin as the hero there were only three might points to go around each game, which is unfamiliar to me. Becoming used to that will come with practice. But I really want to get one or two Iron Hills Captains; they will help with their might points and with their tactical awareness special rule.

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