This battle came about as a result of a discussion on the YMG forum about the effectiveness of Orc Crossbowmen, whom I call XBowOrcs. The concern is that they are not worth the price and always stay in the box. The reply is that they are "situational" and under certain circumstances they are worth the expense. I said they would work sitting in a swamp shooting out, because it would take some pretty major doings to invade the swamp with adequate force to neutralize them. My good pal (and superior Orc tactician) Marcus maintains that sitting them atop a hill was the way to go.
As a scientific kind of guy, I decided there was no better way to check out the competing theories than "On the game grid, Sark!" (Tron) To achieve this I placed a swamp on one side and a hill on t'uther and selected the Kingdoms Scenario "Last Stand." It is significant to note that this scenario gives the defender (the Orcs in this case) only 1700 points, to the Attacker's (HE) 2000. All the defender is trying to do is eliminate as many of the enemy forces as possible before the rest run off the defender's mapboard edge. This means it doesn't matter if the defender is totally wiped out, in fact, it sort of assumes that as a given. It's a matter of how much damage can be done to the steamroller.
The Orcs chose 3 SpearOrcs, 2 XBowOrcs, and 2 Wolfriders for 1696 points. In the picture below the XBowOrcs are flanking the 3 SpearOrcs in the center. The Wolfriders are behind the XBowOrcs by the hill, just out of the picture.
Sorry about the neck craning this may cause. All this to show that the XBowOrcs and their friends on the right flank pinched and one-shotted an EBS.
All the dice show Courage checks to be taken. Starting from the left at the bottom of the pic we see the XBowOrcs fail their test v. Bowfire. The pinched SpearOrcs above that pass theirs, but their EBS opponents do not and are eliminated by free hacks. The SpearOrcs in the upper center follow the previous example by routing and being eliminated. The last SpearOrc pass their test.
And so the end of the last High Elven turn looks like this
The XBowOrcs charge the archers and heavily damage them while taking a surprising amount of damage themselves do to hot elf dice. At this point the HE have lost enough to give the Orcs a 5/1 victory.
Heroes for the Orcs: The Wolfriders who essentially sealed the fate of the HE Cav (370 points vs. 680 points).
Heroes for the Elves: The archers who did a combined 6 damage vs HeavySwordsOrcs in hth combat!
Now, I intend to re-fight this battle after hearing from the High Elven council. My first thought is that attacking on such a broad front was a mistake. I think I should have flanked the Knights with a couple EBS's to capture the hill, and left the Bow riders to cover the right flank while the remaining 2 EBS's demonstrated in the center.