Since the release of The Hobbit: Motion Picture Trilogy™ There and Back Again, the armies of the Pale Orc have continued to swell – Gundabad Berserkers and Gundabad Ogres now rampaging across gaming tables around the globe.
All of these reinforcements are making the Azog’s Legion army list pretty formidable, and certainly a force to be reckoned with. So, what are the best ways to make the most of these new additions to the Azog’s Legion army list, and how do you go about countering them? We caught up with Jay Clare to find out.
That all-important 8″ Move
Jay Clare: Perhaps the most important thing to note with the Berserkers and Ogres is their Move value, which sits at a rather speedy 8″. Whilst on the surface, this extra 2″ may not seem like much, it is quite possibly their greatest asset, allowing them to race across the battlefield and engage with their enemies far quicker than most models. They can also give Cavalry a good chase, being only 2″ slower than most mounted models. In Scenarios such as Domination, Reconnoitre and Hold Ground where movement is vital, these swift warriors provide Azog’s Legion with a distinct advantage.
Strike at the Opportune Moment
As Gundabad Berserkers are quite expensive points-wise, they will often be outnumbered. A good tactic to employ is to advance until you are out of your opponent’s Charge range where possible when you win Priority. This means that you can hold back and wait until the time is right to strike, such as when your opponent has won Priority, meaning you can charge without the risk of being charged in return. This will allow you to pick and choose which fights you are best suited to win, and allows you to gang up on the flanks of your opponent, and maybe even get around the back of their lines without the risk of being counter-charged, surrounded and brought down.
Most monsters will sit on the edges of their battlelines waiting for their chance to get into the fray, meaning that they can be countered by being charged by the enemy, preventing them from getting to where they can do the most damage. Gundabad Ogres suffer no such problems. Not only do they have an 8″ Move, allowing them to sit slightly further back yet still remain within Charge range, but they also have the Relentless Advance special rule. This allows them to lurk right behind the rank and file Gundabad Orcs and charge through them if needed. Yes, they may squash a few unfortunate Orcs along the way, but getting them into a position where they can wreak the most havoc is far more valuable!
So how do you go about countering these very dangerous additions to Azog’s Legion?
Let Those Arrows Fly!
Well, the first thing to note about the Gundabad Berserkers and Ogres is their Defence value of 5. They are certainly not the toughest warriors out there; they wear very little armour after all. Whilst fighting them in combat is an unpleasant thought, shooting at them is much more preferable – especially as they have no shooting abilities of their own to retaliate with. Strength 3 bows such as Elf bows or the Esgaroth bows found on the Warriors of Dale will cut through the Defence 5 of these models; hopefully thinning their numbers enough before they inevitably charge straight into your lines. If your opponent is hiding some Gundabad Ogres behind their lines, calling a Heroic Accuracy will help more of your arrows hit their mark, increasing the chance of bringing down the lumbering beast.
Find a Bottleneck
Gundabad Berserkers rely on being able to out-manoeuvre their foes, hitting the flanks and getting around the back of enemy formations. If you can use terrain cleverly, then you can wedge yourself into a bottleneck, preventing the Berserkers from getting to your flanks and rear, and taking away their advantage. This will force a straight fight of the two battlelines, and if you have plenty of spears in support, then you can make sure that your entire frontline effectively has two attacks, shifting the advantage away from the Berserkers onto a more even playing field. Then it is down to a war of attrition, and as it is likely that you will outnumber the Gundabad force, it is one that should be in your favour.
Well, there you have it! Plenty of tricks and tactics for you to use when your own Azog’s Legion marches to war. And should you be faced with the armies of the Pale Orc upon the battlefield, you should now be much better prepared to drive them back to Gundabad!
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