Author Topic: Khazâd du-bekâr (Dwarves, to Arms!) COMPLETE  (Read 13301 times)

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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Khazâd du-bekâr
« Reply #45 on: December 18, 2016, 04:27:35 PM »
WEEK TWELVE -- REPULSE
----------------------

Eomer and Boromir were celebrating in Meduseld, as Gloin stood in the door, watching anxiously northward.

“What think you of our fine rocky town, friend dwarf?” Eomer strode over in grand cheer; aside from filthy leftovers, the team had taken the area without a fight.

“Better, I’d say, to defend this place than Fangorn,” he replied judiciously. “Where your enemy here has gone.”

“Indeed. Well, Brand is a ranger, of sorts. He will have a fine time hunting many, many targets. And here, a courier must be coming now!” The man could see a torchbearer from the city gate wending up the mountainous roads; not quite see the elven courier flanking him with the actual messages.

A few minutes later, Gloin reported. “King Dain has taken the stronghold of Carn Dun.”

 


[Gamenote: in fact, he had four territories he could have chosen to strike, none of them with a commander yet to threaten retaking Forodwaith; I chose the place which would give me ten more points to spend each battle on superpowers. :D Despite almost no garrison, this was a tough fight; I was never in danger of losing, but had to build up enough of a task force to punch progressively through multiple walls, each with archery and catapults. Meanwhile the enemy built up enough behind the walls, unmolested, that they could send down increasingly strong task forces to harry my mines along the southern side of the map: I had to build up my own, smaller ad hoc stronghold to guard them sufficiently, before moving out. The most amusing thing in this battle, aside from building and upgrading two of my own forts just outside the final walls guarding the enemy’s camp, was capturing one of the signal fires about mid-fight and setting up a death-gauntlet of axe-towers leading to it, since I knew the computer would send squads down there to reclaim it!  >:D ]

“A fell place of power indeed; better that Angmar no longer holds it.”

“Goblins,” Gloin coughed. “But yes, indeed. And,” he read on, translating the runes, since to be honest he could not truly imagine the Witch-King granting that place to Gorkil either, “as expected, Gorkil the Goblin King led a large army, even including Stone giants, to the Carrock.”

“Ah. Well, you had to lose a territory sometime.” The rider of the riddermark clapped a hand on Gloin’s shoulder in commiseration.

“My son arrived in time to lead a counter-charge across the river and into the enemy’s burgeoning camp, once the initial rush had been parried.” Gloin explained this patiently, and with no small satisfaction. “They slew four hundred before the enemy beheld the folly of sending only one army, however large, against a dwarven hold.” The dwarven elder chanced a glance up and over to see the man goggling in disbelief for a moment.

 


[Gamenote: despite my cavalier attitude, and the battle’s brevity, I honestly wasn’t sure I was going to pull it out at first. But I had a strong enough force, and a small enough map, that with a battlewagon serving as a portable healing depot, I pushed for the early win.]

“...erm, a fine cavalry charge! -- and with no cavalry either, even more marvelous an achievement!” The clap on the shoulder smacked even heartier, though not enough to budge the stolid elder, who smiled behind his beard. “Let us to a drinking game, in celebration of your victory!”

“You understand, of course, that Lothlorien fell behind my son, who chose -- “

“ -- yes, yes, what?!” Eomer blinked. “Oh. Well I’m sure he chose which territory he preferred to hold, as we ourselves have often had to do.”

Gloin couldn’t quite bring himself to remind the marshal that the alliance of southern human kingdoms had last claimed Lorien’s forest. “A temporary setback,” he agreed instead. “The dwarves shall return and set things right soon enough. Who I worry about now, is our ally, your fellow Man, King Brand.”

 


“He has nothing to hide behind, indeed, except some trees,” Eomer declared, shaking his head.

“He has two archer squads, and two catapults, defending against no less than fourteen squads and a giant spider looking for her vengeance against him.”

“And a Wormtongue, don’t forget!” the cavalry marshal laughed.

The news of Brand’s failure didn’t need much longer to arrive.

When it did, Gloin arranged for ten pints to be set near the door. Where he spent the night, drinking them slowly.

 


[Gamenote: yeah, I’m not anywhere awesome enough to overcome that, no matter how much I save scum. He loses his troops, but because he has somewhere to retreat to, namely Dol Guldur, he’ll be active next turn. Besides, it wasn’t a dwarven territory.]
« Last Edit: December 19, 2016, 06:56:55 PM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Khazâd du-bekâr
« Reply #46 on: December 27, 2016, 09:08:59 AM »
In case anyone has been wondering, I'm closer to the end of this AAR than you may be expecting, and I'd rather it count toward next year's AAR nominations, so I'm holding off completing it until after New Years.  O:-)
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline Martok

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Re: Khazâd du-bekâr
« Reply #47 on: December 27, 2016, 02:54:41 PM »
I was wondering about the lack of recent updates.  I'll admit I'd started to think you had maybe abandoned it. 
"Like we need an excuse to drink to anything..." - Banzai_Cat
"I like to think of it not as an excuse but more like Pavlovian Response." - Sir Slash

"At our ages, they all look like jailbait." - mirth

"If we had lines here that would have crossed all of them. For the 1,077,986th time." - Gusington

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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Khazâd du-bekâr
« Reply #48 on: January 05, 2017, 04:58:27 PM »
WEEK THIRTEEN -- AWAY WITH ROHAN
--------------------------------

“WHAT IN ALL THE STONES ARE YA DOIN’?!” Gloin roared as he stumped at a brisk sprint down from the recently-reclaimed hall of Meduseld to the king’s recently-reclaimed stables not far down the path.

Eomer and Boromir shrugged in confusion at one another and continued saddling up as Boromir answered, “Saddling up. I’m sure even a dwarf has seen that before.”

“You ninny-headed ninny-riders! I know that,” the elder spluttered, “and don’t evade my question! Where could you possibly be riding to?”

“Wherever we want to fight, frankly; it isn’t as though we don’t have plenty of targets,” Boromir grumbled.

“You haven’t even made this fine rock-fortress safe yet! You have no troops to speak of!”

“Don’t think so little of yourself, friend!” grinned the Gondorian captain, clapping the dwarf on the shoulder -- and winking over his head to Eomer who smirked at the joke. “We’re leaving you here to guard the keep-town.”

“But! ... But!” Gloin sputtered, too enraged to get out words.

“The enemy in Fangorn will doubtless throw themselves at Dol Guldur, once they understand that its defenders have been deployed more forward,” Eomer patiently explained. “So Boromir may be able to take back Fangorn at least behind their backs. They’ll get that wretched castle at last, so we might as well try for an even exchange.”

“And I will ride southeast to Cair Andros, to see if enemy troops there have moved on to help attack the Old Brown Lands. Again.” Eomer rolled his eyes a little at the thought of wasting time and energy trying to take or defend that dumpland. “If no one is there, I’ll retake it, otherwise I’ll be back next week.”

“That lad, King Brand, and his lassie the elf have worked miracles in blood, holding that pile of cursed stone! If it falls now, that’s because they were trusting in their allies to protect the western approaches while they sent troops to other front lines. As it is, your king Theoden refuses to stay in Dagorlad to help Ithilia defend it; and with a sorcerer leading a sizable army in Lorien, the elf-lassie had to risk losing Dagorlad to go back to guard her own recovered home, the Greenwood --!”

“Mirkwood,” sniffed Boromir.

“-- which you at least should be following her example on!” Gloin rounded on the riddermark captain in fury.

“Why, under all the skies, would I ride into Mirkwood?!” “Dwarves don’t really understand how horses work,” Boromir stage-whispered to his peer, who snickered slightly.

Gloin thought steam might soon be spouting from his ears. “I MEAN FOR DEFENDING YOUR HOME YOU HORSE-DROPPING!”

“We already said: that’s why we have you here. Fair luck!” bade Boromir to Eomer as he swung into the saddle and kicked away.

Slightly annoyed the Gondorian captain had won their little preparation race, Eomer checked his tack a couple more places before also swinging up. “Don’t lose my home here before I get back, little guest.”

 


 


One day later, Eomer was back with news: Gothmog from Mordor, Lurtz from Isengard, and Rogash Troll of the North, were all marching to finish off Rohan once and for all, bringing two catapult, three cavalry, two spears, five archer, three sword, and one support companies. Gloin, unable to reinforce yet in lands his allies barely held before throwing away to grab at more, could only muster two missile companies for defense, along with himself and Eomer.

 


It wasn’t a long fight.

 



The final territory of Men had fallen. Again.


************** [dropping out of narrative voice]

The Witch-king, meanwhile, led three fellow evil commanders, but six cavalry, a spear, and two sword companies, into the Old Brown Lands. Again.

But, despite a protracted fight, things didn’t go quite as well for them there. Again.

 


Enemy units slain: 4500. 66% friendly casualties.

Worst of all: Morgormir, the northern demi-lich trying to rise (or sink) to the level of the Nine Ringwraiths, led Wormtongue from Isendgard and Shelob the Spider-goddess (aiding the goblins) into Dol Goldur, confident that this time, with 2 catapult, 6 cavalry, 3 spear, 1 archer, and 1 sword companies -- plus three factions worth of builders -- against literally no one but King Brand standing alone...

 


...this time they would surely throw down the defenses of that dread fortr --

 


--ressSSSORRY, NNNOT! ONCE AGAIN, TEAM EVIL, YOUR OWN FORTRESS HAS BECOME A DEATHTRAP FOR YOU!!
 



No easy task -- I will note that even after that snapshot they actually managed to get a squad of elite spears into a gate of Dol Goldur (mostly having wiped out my attacking army from that snapshot, including Brand and the Storm Queen!) -- but with the strategy I developed (painfully) in my prior defense, of marching out a forest of towers near the left open gate, to lure forces across the board into a rune-axe gauntlet, I built up a strong assault army, and carried the day back into their teeth.

Compared to those two hour-long slogs (not even counting reload attempts), King Dain’s assault on Angmar’s home province barely rates mentioning: in with plenty of elite Dale Archers and catapults, done in six minutes boom.

Upon this turn, however, the whole game turned...
« Last Edit: January 10, 2017, 02:01:20 PM by JasonPratt »
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline jjdenver

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Re: Khazâd du-bekâr
« Reply #49 on: January 13, 2017, 08:10:21 PM »
What game is this?

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Khazâd du-bekâr
« Reply #50 on: January 14, 2017, 01:10:55 PM »
Electronic Arts' The Lord of the Rings: Battle for Middle-Earth 2: The Rise of the Witch-King. (If I could figure out how to add New Line Pictures into that over-wieldy title, I would.  >:D )

See also this post introducing the game per se: http://grogheads.com/forums/index.php?topic=18319.msg484159#msg484159

Coincidentally, I'm working on the next entry this afternoon!  ^-^
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Khazâd du-bekâr
« Reply #51 on: January 14, 2017, 02:27:48 PM »
WEEK FOURTEEN -- THE TURN OF THE TIDE
-------------------------------------

Eomer eased his steed up to the edge of Lothlorien’s woods. He had only recently left behind Fangorn Forest to the south, and couldn’t say he felt specially eager to enter another ancient forest -- on horseback again or otherwise.

Better than going again into the Mines of Moria on horseback, however. What under all the skies had he been thinking to do that...?

“Well met,” called a voice softly from under the trees, far enough back so as not to startle him. Not overmuch. “We’re coming up,” he heard Boromir tell him from the forest, but he still backed away in case of some kind of trickery.

A prudent move, and so not needless, but this was truly the heir to Gondor’s stewardship. Eomer breathed a quiet sigh of relief as the taller man strode clearly out from the forest; men behind him stayed in partial concealment, but the Riddermark marshal could sense the presence of horses. “You found some cavalry, then? Excellent!” he told his ally.

Boromir shook his head. “Only one squad, beyond the squad of scouts you sent up ahead of you. Also a company of spears, and of archers.”

“Better than nothing,” Eomer shrugged -- he, after all, was alone. “And we’ve marched with far less.”

“Aye, you have! Bunch of -- “ curses in dwarven floated from over a nearby rise, as Gimli son of Gloin stomped over it to the west, the mountains behind him. “Can’t say I’ve brought any better myself this time, to be honest. Hopefully we’ll bring more in as we hunt.” He eyed Lothlorien with just as much trepidation as Eomer, while he approached. Behind him, close up and within the forest edge, came one squad of archers of Dale and a dwarven pike squad -- well clear of the foreign foliage!

“Now listen,” he continued: “I’ve left most of my forces at the Carrock; King Brand will come later to support us, but he has left all his troops at Dol Goldur; Ithilia, I think, is staying in her Greenwood homeland for now, in case these villains move that way. So whether they stay here, or move out, we’ve got them cornered!”

“Glad you could join us to help retake the forest that you abandoned. I mean withdrew from,” Boromir smirked.

“Not as though I was abandoning my homeland nearly unprotected, though,” the dwarven commander saltily retorted. “To be overrun, again, while taking a forest I couldn’t hold and left behind, again, to --!”

“Enough!” Eomer winced at the implied rebuke. “We’ve caught Shelob, Wormtongue, and most importantly Morgormir, here in our trap -- “

“-- made mostly out of dwarven preparations --“

“-- yes, I acknowledge that. But they should be who we’re fighting. Not each other. So let us get going and find them, before they slip away again!”

As it happened, Shelob found Gimli and his dwarven detachment first!

 


Scrabbling down the side of the valley’s cliff-face, the demonic spider-thing shattered all the morale of the troops, who fled in disgust!

 


But that didn’t stop Gimli, son of Gloin, from axing her face and spindly limbs. Repeatedly. Soon the wretched thing had collapsed; she might crawl away to reform, eventually, but not especially soon. Especially with King Dain Ironfoot methodically removing the heartlands which the Witch-King had delivered into Goblin hands to harvest and protect!

 


Alas, with the Mines of Moria still in Angmar control, and with the fall of Fangorn again behind the advance of the human commanders, the weakened group in Lorien, although pressed before they could regain strength, escaped the noose.

Not a fault of the dwarves; but Gimli had long grown used to the foolhardy moves of his human allies. Sullenly, since otherwise his friends would have no territories at all anymore, he agreed not to take the Lorien woods under dwarven control and management.

Down to the southeast, Gimli’s father, the elder Gloin, having been pushed from Rohan in shame after being overrun with no support left behind to help him defend the homeland of his allies, took out his rage and frustration upon yet another advance by all four evil factions into the Old Brown Lands.

Still, while Azog of the Goblins, the Witch-King himself in such power that there seemed two of him on the field at once, along with another one of the Nine, Khamul, plus no less than Saruman, too (and Sharku, who commanded his warg riders), all together marched to try to wrest the Old Brown Lands from the dwarves, they all together could only manage to bring three sword squads, four cavalry, one spear and one sword squad, a catapult and a drummer troll. No small force to be sneezed at, but rather much less than all those commanders together should have been able to muster!

Against them? Gloin sneezed!

Four catapults, two pike phalanxes, and no less than nine ready archery squads (mostly dwarven axe-throwers), put paid to a rush by an enemy quickly.


Leaving his fledgling base to weather sporadic raids by the enemy...

 


...Gloin took advantage of his early force superiority to clomp southeast steadily, ruining resource spots and occasional forays in his direction, until...
 


...he had pressed into the largest enemy camp, fatally crippling their efforts and sending their commanders packing off to the Dead Marshes once again.

“Hmph. We didn’t even get a wall up this time! Not that I’m complainin’,” the dwarven elder muttered to a banner sergeant, who heartily agreed -- his pikemen had needed seasoning, and frankly hadn’t come through all that well. “All those commanders together, and we drove them off in about a day?!”

Tanking a tankard of hard apple brew, and receiving an elven ranger with courier news from far northwest (the grim and weary elf politely accepted a mug for himself as well), Gloin read about his king, Dain Ironfoot, smashing aside an attempt by Gorkil the Goblin king to keep hold of the dark and snowy Ettinmoors.

The tide in the north, along with the tide-breakers held by the dwarves in the south, had finally, finally, turned the tide of the war.

Now, if only they could find a way to keep their Gondorian allies from self-destructing...
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Khazâd du-bekâr
« Reply #52 on: January 16, 2017, 05:50:52 PM »
WEEK FIFTEEN -- THE TIDAL SURGE
-------------------------------

In the weakened state of Sauron’s forces, the dwarves struck out that same week, following up their successes with a push by King Dain to retake Rhudaur, flanking Elrond’s Rivendell to the west, without opposition; moreover, while King Brand guarded Lorien forest against counter-thrusts, Gimli and Boromir pushed freely through the Mines of Moria, and Gloin marched again out of the Old Brown Lands to help Eomer (who chose a forest cavern over caverns made of stone) to enter Fangorn Forest once again as their foes retreated into Rohan proper. Gimli, with Dain’s approval by ranger courier, graciously allowed the human kingdom to temporarily work the mines for now until the war could be won -- besides, as he added in correspondence, past experience suggested the poor humans would simply lose the mines again someday to the enemy, at which time the dwarves could reclaim them clear of conscience!

Shelob foolishly attempted a retreat into Dol Goldur, where even without a commander’s presence the garrison easily routed her support. And the concentrated evil within the Dead Marshes, having scried perhaps the departure of the doughty defender of the Old Brown Lands, tried another push despite their own quite relative paucity -- only to find Ithilia leading the defense now! Blitzing south and west, much as Gloin had previously done, she routed them out of the Brown Lands even more quickly. (Alas, poor, mad King Theoden still kept creeping into the Marshes to try to take them behind the assaulting forces, only to creep away again when he found their garrison left behind.)

[Gamenote: somehow I got off count of my turn/weeks during the game, and this fourteenth week of ‘double-action’ represents me trying to get back into synch with the turns. This desynch is made worse by my having started to save games a week ahead, as Turn 16 for Turn 15! :buck2: Annnnnd now you are insane! Sorry.]

 


With a solid heartland finally, finally secured for the Men of Rohan and Gondor, the dwarven commanders could consider weighted strikes in support of the scatterbrained lash-outs of their allies.

Well, sort of.

 


“Eomer, you utter maroon...” Gloin grumbled.

“We can do it! We can take back our land!” the Riddermark commander exclaimed with just a hint of fever in his eyes.

“Only if the armies holding it for Mordor decide to pass you by and strike here! You can’t beat them by yourself!”

“Which of course they shall do, for ever does greed and madness drive their thoughts,” declared the Rohan noble. Gloin declined to comment on this.

“Well, I’m sure as the Arkenstone not going to stand here in this unfortified patch of weeds and take hits to the face for you from six or seven armies! If you want them to take this forest, again, they can have it. Count me out; I’m going to Dol Goldur to refit.”

“Your bravery is noted, sir dwarf.”

“Yeah, my bravery is noted by not ever having lost a territory I actually owned when I could fortify the place. I’ll be back to take Fangorn again, if I want -- this time for dwarven management. I swear, you humans are as bad as giving money to drunks...”

“Well, don’t come with me to Meduseld! You fled it last time we trusted you with it -- “

“LAST TIME YOU LEFT ME IN AN UNREPAIRED RUIN TO BE PUNCHED IN THE FACE FOR YOU BY FOUR OR FIVE ARMIES!” The elder took a deep breath, as Eomer’s steed shied back from the unbearable roar that had blasted from what, to the horse, looked like a stolid stump. “Now you’re doing the same, but worse. Never in the outer darkness will I do that for you again! -- Let my son go maundering off to Dunland to help that Gondor captain, Boromir, if he likes. At least Boromir has an army to help in his assault! Also, by the way,” he added acidically, “our king will be fighting the shattered Goblin King again this week, this time to reclaim Rivendell. Care to bet he doesn’t?! I can always use the extra gold!”

Eomer looked away, and didn’t take that bet. “Your pet king Brand won’t be fighting this week, or so the courier says.”

“No, he’s marching back to our secured fortress at the Carrock, to refit and prepare to root Isengard out of the High Pass. He’s worth a hundred of you for what he has done so far. Must have inherited good sense from dwarves in his family somewhere back, or by osmosis...”

“Enough. I’m taking my homeland back now -- “

“ -- again, maybe, if they let you. Have fun storming your castle again, boy.”

And Gloin tromped off to muster his forces to march away, before the horseman could insult him further by leaving in front of his face.

A little surprisingly, though predicted, only two of the evil commanders marched to take Fangorn -- but all the others scattered on business elsewhere from Rohan, so Eomer did in fact reclaim their prime territory. Again.

More surprisingly, Sharku, Isengard’s cavalry commander, tried to take the dwarven Dagorlad, heavily garrisoned, by himself -- he fled without a fight.

Not surprisingly at all, King Dain Ironfoot smashed Gorkil the Goblin King, who turned out to have been joined by the wight Morgormir in an attempt to keep Rivendell in Angmarian hands.

 


The elves weren’t exactly happy that Dain and his troops had to blast Elrond’s home to bits to root out the final enemies. Dain suggested that the edifice would never have been fully cleaned and would have needed to be rebuilt from its foundations anyway. He barely managed not to smirk when sending the couriers on their way with the news. Tensions mounted.

Tensions didn’t mount much between Gimli and Boromir, though, who together tore through the enemy commanders gathered to try to slow the tide through Dunland. Gimli diplomatically agreed for the Men to manage this area, since it made sense as part of their territory expanse. Besides, if the enemy took it from behind them as usual the dwarves would probably end up with it anywaAAT?!?

 


Unexpectedly, Grima Wormtongue (of all people) led a large army back behind King Dain to retake Rhudaur, allowing his battered allies somewhere to feasibly escape!

Tensions did mount when Boromir spent a good half hour cackling about this, while handing mugs of mulled wine to Gimli -- who didn’t want to drink while mulling over this news.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Khazâd du-bekâr
« Reply #53 on: January 21, 2017, 10:35:34 AM »
WEEK SIXTEEN -- BY BLOODY INCHES
--------------------------------

Wormtongue, and his rescued allies, the Goblin King Gorkil and the wight Morgormir, didn’t wait around to be smashed by the returning King Ironfoot, but instead (quite reasonably) attempted to push through what was now his logistic backfield, retaking the Ettinmoors first.

 



There, only a garrison and a fort awaited their combined numbers. And no large garrison either, but only a dwarven pike and human archer squad!

 


There, in the snowy dark, with enemies fortifying only a few hundred yards away (what the soon-to-be-dead hobbits called a “par 3” in their vulgar backwater dialect), a brutal slugging match quickly started with a barely-deflected rush by wargs and trolls and wildmen from Dunland.
 


The newly trained and novice troops fought and died heroically; the survivors passed on bitter lessons to the new men and dwarves slowly filtering into the area through the extensive dwarven underground support network.

Without any way to call upon heroes and commanders, and without even enough breathing time to start getting stronghold walls in place, the battered defenders relied more than ever on newly developed innovations. “Dwarven Riches” permanently boosted all income from mines (and forts) by 25% during this hideous battle of attrition. This also allowed the defenders, once they had weathered past the first assaults, to afford not only many lone axe towers (and rune upgrades) while more quickly bringing out troops and technical upgrades for them; but also to push a brigade out about halfway to the enemy’s major base, not far south up a rise, and guard the area while a new fortress could be built.

 


So many enemies congregated at this choke point, that in desperation the dwarves even launched Barrages of rocks (from hidden artillery posts far away) down onto their own overrun forces.

 


These had been used before but only for offense against enemy bases, not in a final defense upon the broken arrowshafts of the men of Dale themselves.

The most useful defensive innovation however was the citadel, first deployed in the war for this battle.

 


These artillery structures required much preparation, but once ready could be quickly pushed up from the ground as towers of solid rock -- not unlike the lone-tower ability, but with more toughness and functionality. For these small forts could build up to three runed axe towers and/or flaming catapults around themselves, and on top was placed a larger catapult of the type usually reserved for the fortresses themselves: this strategic weapon could punch far across the battlefield to eliminate some small enemy buildings outright, but like the long-distance barrages (which used more extensive groups of the same technology) needed a lot of preparation first.

Inch by bloody inch the dwarves and men shoved forward over the bodies of their foes and their friends.

 


Sorties against the main enemy base itself often failed -- even after raising a citadel on its very stoop! But at last, enough firepower could be concentrated to crush the enemy fortress.

79% casualties, the worst for the dwarves so far; enemies slain, just under 4800.

But the Ettinmoor garrison now wasn’t a couple of novice squads any longer.

And they itched to see that the evil commanders, who had survived again to flee the loss, soon would pay.

Saruman and his Isengard faction had been dealt crippling blows elsewhere, too: including losing Orthanc Tower itself to Boromir’s scouting advance!

Fortunately -- for Isengard! -- they could rely on their human adversaries galloping off in scatterbrained fashions, and so losing Meduseld and Rohan once again! Even with that typical week for southern humanity, however, Isengard had been whittled away by another three provinces at least.

 


By bloody inches, the treacherous Maiar had almost been cut down.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline JasonPratt

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Re: Khazâd du-bekâr
« Reply #54 on: January 31, 2017, 08:54:36 PM »
PULVERIZATION
-------------

Difficult days still lay ahead -- Mordor’s lands had not yet been touched, and together with their struggling allies, especially Angmar, the leaders congregated together against the Old Brown Lands repeatedly. But always they were repelled, and often quickly, by dwarven fortifications, by doughty archers from Dale, and by Ithilia of the silver hair. Counterattacks by flailing monsters infesting the West, floundering under the dwarven fists, fared no better.

 


From the seventeenth week, the enemies of peace had broken themselves too far upon the rock of dwarven fortitude -- and the rocks of dwarven forts. Boromir even managed to take Orthanc from Isengard by himself, and although he flightily abandoned it (as usual for the Men) to retake Fangorn Forest once again (with Gloin’s help, again), the dwarves at least could push down garrison contingents now to secure, somewhat, the lands rushed over and out of by the southern human leaders. Orthanc never again came under Saruman’s rule.

On the eighteenth week, Boromir and Gloin (mostly Gloin) retook Rohan again for the final time, while the forces of Mordor beat vainly against the dwarven shields in the East -- and while Gimli defended the Gap of Rohan, seized (for now) for dwarven management.

 


King Dain Ironfoot methodically pushed into Angmar’s goblin-ceded heartland, followed and soon joined by his Lonely Mountain ally King Brand -- who often, despite himself, thought long of Ithilia guarding those wretched brown lands every week.

He needn’t have worried much: after week seventeen, the gathered leaders of Mordor simply refused to fight her again! -- preferring to strike what seemed weaker targets like Dagorlad.

 


Whence they typically chose to retreat in dismay without even fighting!

By the nineteenth week, Gloin had joined Boromir and poor, mad king Theoden, in starting to eat away at Mordor’s holdings around the White Mountain, starting at Cair Andros. Henceforth the Lidless Eye would be steadily stripped of resources with which to hire and train and breed troops to die on the flaming points of Dalean shafts and dwarven spears. Desperately, corrupted commanders in the West, unable to even bring troops to the field, strove to keep Gimli from closing off a potential retreat of Angmarian troops by taking the Endewaith. The vengeful dwarf hunted them down for daring to show their faces again instead! -- then hunted them further as they fled north into Cardoland, the final area still captured by Isengard. Rather than face him, some of those captains tried to retake Rhudaur: a fatal move either way.

 


Gloin the dwarven elder caused some political ruckus by staunchly refusing to hand back Gondorian lands now that “real work” as he said would have to be done in evicting the Lidless forces from the region. Brand sent missives of consolation and assurance to his fellow Men, vouching that the Dwarves would depart from Rohan and Gondor lands, after the war had been settled. He did this in the North Downs while detachedly fending away a feeble sally from Gorkil’s final army who, together with Morgormir the wight-lord, had now been cornered by Brand and Dain in a final land that the goblins refused to let loose.

 


Much more importantly, on the twentieth week of the war, the first of Mordor’s allies was wiped from the map: “Sharkey” crept away to face some ignominous fate in obscurity, as the former angelic power, maddened in his splintered-white colors, received news from the Seeing Eye himself, stabbing out from beyond the gates of Mordor, that Lurtz the Uruk-Hai commander, had relinquished the pastures of Cadorland.

Dain spared Gorkil a week more, as Brand and the garrisons behind him in Rhudaur fended away another set of foolish hatred. Meanwhile, Gloin and Ithilia decided the time had come to pen the Lidless foes behind the mountains of Mordor by taking the Dead Marshes.

 


From there it was frankly a foregone conclusion: the Witch King had brought most of his leaders out of Angmar to destroy Gondor and Rohan, and now could not return to protect his waning conquered lands, the home of hobbits and western elves and Blue Mountain dwarves. His plans to reconstitute his ancient kingdom eroded away, week after week, as Brand and Dain marched around. Bizarrely, at the final extreme, a combination of fleeing Angmar commanders, and Mordor commanders using the southern route around the White Mountain, holed up in the Hornburg and on the twenty-seventh week actually retook Rohan away from Rohan one last time!

 


It must be admitted that King Dain heavily debated whether to let the clearly inbred Rohan and Gondorian nobles recover management of their territories at all. Not that he was even slightly worried about a military reprisal should he keep them (or give them to Brand as a wedding gift -- rather misunderstanding that Ithilia wasn’t human and would almost as quickly wed a corpse!) But Dain’s distaste for killing humans, and pitiably weak ones at that, gave Brand a foothold for convincing the derisive king to let his fellow Men return to their homes and do with them as they would.

On week 28, the enemy fled from Minas Morgul rather than be driven out as catapults and archers approached the central undeath tower.

 


On week 29, the Free Peoples invested Mount Doom.

 


The orcan garrison bravely stood this time, while their commanders tried a doomed march from Mount Doom to seize the Black Gates -- guarded by dwarves, though under Gondorian management.

At last on the thirtieth week, Gloin and (of all people) Theoden King marched onto the Plains of Gorgoroth to deal the Lidless Eye in his tower the final blow.

 


Only a hundred and seventeen orcs remained, at the end, to fall at the hands (and hooves) of the Free Captains.

The dwarves celebrated as might be expected: with feasting, drinking, and accounting!

   









Dwarven logbooks estimated that for each dwarf (and/or human) who gave their lives to free the people of Middle-Earth in the war, they and their comrades had slain over nine-and-a-third enemies: a total of fifty thousand, five hundred and fifty-five foes, exactly!

Dain could hardly believe that the Gondor/Rohan Protectorate forces had even stumbled over twenty enemies with their horses while hieing hither and thither like airheaded ninnies. But in fact, his grudgingly careful assessing sergeants -- prodded somewhat by Brand for professional pride -- admitted that together the southern human troops had put down nine hundred and fifty-five enemies of their own.

“Hmph. That’s almost respectable, all things considered. Although I imagine the elven lass did as well by herself.” And Dain went back to slaking his thirst and hunger, celebrating the solid dwarven virtues -- and honoring his dead.

And if that barely bearded boy who had served so well as his ally couldn’t convince that elf to improve her people’s bloodline from their fairy, flighty ways -- well, Dain now recalled that the Men of Numenor had long ago soaked in elven magic or intermingled or something, so if that explained their ridiculous strategic foolery then maybe Brand’s slightly broken heart would be just as well.

Dwarven quality, now: that’s what Men sorely needed to thicken their blood, forward into the Age to come!
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.