Belated 2008 Chicago LotR GT - illustrated battle reports.

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Belated 2008 Chicago LotR GT - illustrated battle reports.

Postby ptbuckle » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:46 am

A GT Newbie's tale

Hey all, I posted these on the last alliance too, but that's been down a lot recently, and at Brent's suggestion, I figured it wouldn't hurt to post my illustrated reports here as well.

2008 LotR Chicago GT Prologue
I know the Chicago GT was over a month ago now, but I took pictures, and hey, everyone likes illustrated battle reports, right? Part of the reason for this report’s delay was learning to use photobucket, cropping and formatting the pictures to a size acceptable according to TLA’s regulations. The other part was real life intruding.

First off, here’s the army list that I took to the 2008 Chicago GT. I decided to do “Arnor on the rocks.” The Witch King is sweeping all before him. In desperation, Arvedui gathers the remnant of the army of Arthedain around him, calls up the shire levy, and sends to Cirdan for aid. Cirdan decides that it is better to show up to battle on time with a handful of warriors than too late with a host of them, and so sets off immediately with those warriors already under arms, leaving behind orders that the rest of the Falathrim are to muster and join him as soon as possible.

Arnor:
Arvedui – the leader – 70 pts
Amlaith – cpt of arnor w/ shield – 55 pts
Malbeth – 75 pts
26 warriors of arnor – 208 pts
13 hobbit archers – 52 pts

The Grey Havens:
Cirdan – 90 pts
5 elves w/ heavy armor and shield – 50 pts

Total of 48 models.

I went with this army for a number of reasons.
#1: I didn’t think anyone else would do it (see the list of weaknesses).
#2: It’s arguably my best paint job to date (I stopped keeping track of the time necessary to paint the warriors of Arnor alone after the first 80 hours). Ironically, when the Arnor supplement first came out, I really did NOT like the look of the warriors of Arnor, but they grew on me, and now I like the look of them very much.
#3: I liked the theme.

I didn’t post my army list on TLA asking for advice prior to the tournament because I didn’t want to be told things I already knew – like the long list of this army’s potential weaknesses, and because I didn’t have time to paint any more models aside from Cirdan and his bodyguard (I didn’t have time to make a scenic base for this army as it was).

Weaknesses:
- The leader has two wounds, no fate, and defence 6 - BIG problem in Kill a King and CoC. I could have gone with the cpt as the leader, with his higher defense and point of fate, but Arvedui is the KING, so he’s the leader and that’s that (though I could argue that there’s plenty of historical precedent for a king to delegate authority on the battlefield to an underling, I didn’t want to do that in this case).
- No cavalry. A definite problem for seize the prize and reconnoiter.
- The archers are unarmed, have the fight value of goblins, the strength and range of an orc bow, and move four inches maximum, 2 inches if they want to shoot.
- The standard warriors have a courage of 2. Courage of one, under the influence of a ringwraith. This army has the potential to utterly dissolve the turn after breaking, and the army breaks after losing 24 models.
- With 31 effective close-combat warriors (hobbits don’t count), it will most likely be outnumbered in close combat situations by pretty much every opposing army. Can be a problem in domination.

Strengths:
- Malbeth – that 5+ fate save has the potential to be really handy (and it was).
- Cirdan – assuming no nearby ringwraiths. Aura of Command, cast blinding light, and fight value of 6. Can help to cancel out a number of this army’s weaknesses.
- 26 warriors with fight 4 – higher than average; defence 6 – pretty tough; and spears - which make them more efficient at using their numbers.
- 5 elves with two-handed weapons – these elves were really handy.
- 7 might is a good amount for a 600 point game.
- The archers are accurate as elves.
- Arvedui’s 12-inch stand fast has the potential to stack with Cirdan’s aura of command in a very helpful way if the army does break. On the other hand, there’s a strong likelihood Arvedui or Cirdan would be dead by then anyway.

So there you have it. Army painted, packed and ready, I got up at 2:00 a.m. on Saturday (couldn’t go to the Friday mini-tournament, sadly), and drove to Chicago for my first grand tournament. I arrived on time, and it turned out to be a great weekend. I had a lot of fun meeting and playing with everybody, and took a lot of pictures, so this tournament report will be heavily illustrated. By the way, my camera had the wrong date (months behind the actual date), so ignore the date on the bottom of the pictures that have one. I hoped to at least give my opponents a little bit of a challenge.
ptbuckle
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:42 am
Location: Detroit, MI

Game 1

Postby ptbuckle » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:47 am

2008 GW LotR GT Game 1

I was rather relieved to see that none of the scenarios on order for the tournament were Contest of Champions or To Kill a King.

Game 1: Reconnoiter vs. Brent Sinclair’s Rohan/Woses alliance.

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Brent with his army. My admiration for his choice of theme.

Brent’s army was led by Eowyn (disguised as dernhelm – mounted, armored, etc…), Ghan-Buri-Ghan, and Meriadoc.
14 Cavalry (8 RoR, 2 mounted royal guards, 4 Outriders)
20 woses
16 warriors of Rohan

53 models total

My first thought: “Oh goody, reconnoiter vs. an army with a large cavalry contingent. This’ll be a nice and uphill fight.”

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I deployed on the south, clearer side of the board.

When placing the terrain, I tried to get a good line of terrain to slow down Brent’s cavalry - especially the fence in the middle bounded by rocks with room for an infantryman but not a horseman to get past without taking a jump test. This left two six-inch avenues of easy movement on either side of the board.

My hope was to try to use Arvedui, the Cpt, and Cirdan to punch through at some point and funnel multiple models off the board while slowing down any advance across the rest of the board. The terrain helped this by giving me choke points.

I set up with Malbeth and 8-10 WoA on my left, the hobbits in the center with 2-3 babysitters, and Arvedui, Cirdan, the Cpt and the rest of the warriors on the right positioned so they could go down the center to the stone fence or up the right lane. I was counting on the fence to slow down the cavalry enough to let the hobbits and babysitters kill an extra one or two before close combat to hopefully prevent a massacre.

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Hobbits and babysitters.

We moved off. Brent had a contingent of WoR backed by woses – about 8 WoR and 10 woses per side, with Eowyn and the Cavalry coming down the center. Ghan was leading on his right (my left). Merry was on his left.

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Brent’s Cavalry deployed and ready to move through the woods.

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Most of the board, though I missed the corridor on the far left in this picture.

The hobbits inched forward and volleyed for a couple of rounds, getting a couple of hits, but no kills. The riders tried shooting at Cirdan and the group with Arvedui and failed due to CBL being up after Cirdan first move. Brent rolled a disturbing number of 6’s to hit, but an equally large number of 1’s to wound.

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Malbeth’s contingent moves forward to block the left thoroughfare.

On the left, Malbeth’s contingent was doing a dance to minimize damage from the opposing detachment’s ranged weaponry, while trying to avoid close combat due to the almost 2:1 superiority the opposing contingent had (it was pretty much the same story on the right, too). Malbeth’s foresight prevented a couple of wounds, and when the clash on the left finally occurred, with the WoA charging the advancing rohirrim and woses, Malbeth’s contingent had only taken one casualty.

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The centre of the board. Note the wall to buy me one more turn of shooting.

I counted the odds, and found that I would have approximately a 1:1 fight against cavalry in the center, with Arvedui, the captain, and Cirdan + WoA and covering fire from the hobbits. That seemed like my best chance at a breakthrough to get models off the board.

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My breakthrough force is the cluster in the center (that’s all I had). The hobbit babysitters are on the left, mobile reserve of 4 models on the center-right, and you can see a couple of the six guys sent to hold the right flank on the far right of the picture.

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Brent advances. Note Eowyn and the riders going like a shark for my weak right. Brent handled this masterfully (see a bit farther below).

In the center, Brent went for a defensive action (or the hobbits made him change his strategy – I’m not sure which). Brent’s riders advanced, firing but doing no damage to the warriors around Cirdan, (plenty of sixes to hit despite CBL, 1’s and 2’s to wound). The riders reached the fence within 18 inches of the hobbits and the hobbits started doing direct fire.
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The riders reach the fence and fire.
Freddy Boffins: “Hey Proudfoot, I’ll bet you can’t hit that horseman behind the fence.”
Odo Proudfoot: “You’re on, Boffins. If I do, you’re buying drinks at the Green Dragon when we get back home.”

The hobbits killed one outrider the first round of their shooting, and the next turn they shot at the riders taking cover behind the fence, killing another outrider and unhorsing three other riders. Those three died from hobbit fire the turn after that. So far, no hobbits dead. Meanwhile Arvedui, the Cpt and the warriors were funneling through the gap in the fence.

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The six warriors of Arnor sent to keep brent from breaking through on the right. They ended up needing help – not entirely unexpectedly.

On the right, things went not-so-great.

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Here’s what the six warriors of Arnor trying to hold the right gap saw bearing down upon them. I don’t envy them.

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“Uh, guys, does anyone else have a bad feeling about this?”

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The Right and center at the end of Turn 2

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End of my shooting (remember, 11 or 12 hobbits shoot) on Turn 3. Note the lack of an outrider who failed his fate save and the 3 other unhorsed riders.

The hobbits killed one outrider and unhorsed three other riders. Those three unhorsed riders died from hobbit fire the turn after that. The wall did Brent no Good.

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Meanwhile Arvedui, the Cpt, Cirdan and the main attack force reached the big rocks and started funneling through the gap in the fence. Cirdan and a few warriors started breaking off to help the badly beleaguered detachment on the right, where things went bad thanks in part due to my mistakes, and in even larger part to Brent’s good playing.

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Brent’s breakthrough on the right at the end of the fight phase on turn 3. Note Eowyn and friends on their unobstructed way to the board edge in the lower right corner of the picture.

On the right, I grouped most of my defensive contingent on the side to get them under cover of Cirdan’s CBL and hopefully minimize losses from the woses’ blowguns and Rohirric throwing spears. This allowed Eowyn, a rider, and a royal guard to all gang up on one guy. In the fight phase, Brent had Eowyn call a heroic combat. They won the fight, killed the warrior of arnor, and moved 10 inches toward the board edge. I couldn’t catch them, and they were out of range of the hobbit archers. Dang. Good job brent. That’s three models he’s effectively gotten off the board.

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Eowyn waltzes off the board on turn 4 or 5. Her friends were slightly closer and made it off on the turn before

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Turn 4, Brent won priority and another rider made a break for it. Thankfully, he was still in charge range of the remaining warriors of Arnor, who promptly charged and killed the rider in the fight phase.

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Turn 5 – Cirdan and the mobile reserves arrive to restore the right flank. Still outnumbered, but no longer broken wide open.

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In the meantime in the center, Arvedui, the Cpt and their contingent broke through the thin screen of riders while the hobbits finished off the last rider trying to hold the wall.

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Meanwhile, on the left, Malbeth and his men have been in combat for a while. Holding their own, causing a couple of casualties (killed my first wose) but getting beat down by sheer weight of numbers. Note the guy on the far left who’s fighting two guys with spear support all on his own. The superior fight value of the WoA really helped. Note the guy on the hill on the right. He killed the wose, and continued to be a nuisance for brent. He took two wounds from blowpipes, both of which Malbeth saved before brent engaged him in close combat. It took Brent something like six turns to kill him, continually piling on more guys.

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In the center, Brent’s thin screen of Cavalry is getting decimated. The Captain and Arvedui are ganging up on lone riders and then calling heroic combats to move farther, faster, and kill more, trying to stay ahead of the troops Brent is pulling back from his left (my right) to catch them.

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Brent plans his next cunning maneuver.

At this point, there’s only about two horsemen between the board edge and Arvedui, the Cpt, and several more guys.

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In combat with the last of two riders in the center, the captain of Arnor calls a heroic combat with his last point of might, from which Arvedui, an elf, and a WoA can benefit. They will then charge the last horseman after killing their opponent.

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Brent pulls back a handful of Woses (this picture doesn’t do justice to his excellent paint job) from the force opposing Malbeth to get in position to stop the force making its way toward his board edge. Note the lone WoA on top of the hill who is still being unsuccessfully ganged-up on.

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A view of the left flank situation somewhere around turn 4-6. I’ve still got a good 7 warriors (6 WoA and 1 elf) + Malbeth to hold the gap. Note the WoA at the foot of the cliff on the far right of the picture. He was one of two that jumped down (and took two S3 hits in the process) to avoid the main scrimmage and make for the edge. The other one that jumped, died.

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The right side of the board around turn 6-ish. The right cleft is holding thanks for Cirdan and his reinforcements, and Brent’s pulling back some of the force to get in a couple of shots at my guys with a clear run to the board edge. At the top you can see the fight with Arvedui shown in an earlier close-up.

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Malbeth continues to hold the left, though a couple more WoA die.

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The lone WoA on the hill mentioned previously. A tenacious fellow, he survived several turns of this!

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Around turn 7-8 –ish, Arvedui and his now-reduced cadre finished butchering their opposition, and were poised to make it off the board. The captain and two warriors of Arnor left the board, tying the game. Arvedui still had some might left, though, and I decided to leave him on the board to possibly use his heroic moves to help keep the other three warriors of Arnor now converging on his position ahead of the closely following pursuit by brent’s woses and rohirrim. A won priority would allow Brent to catch them.

At this point things got even more interesting in both left and center, and I therefore forgot to take pictures (that’s how it always goes, it seems). Long story short: over the course of a couple of turns, Arvedui’s heroic moves let me get two more guys off the board edge (putting me in minor win position, and needing one more guy off the board – hopefully Arvedui – to get a major win), but resulted in Arvedui being left alone on the board edge. By now he was out of might, and Brent won the priority (dangit!) and promptly charged Arvedui with his last horseman – an outrider, who was the only man in range. (See the picture below and note the woses just one turn away too). The outrider won the fight, but failed to wound the king (whew! – maybe if I win priority next turn…).
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Unfortunately, the next turn I lost priority too. Arvedui, still on the ground, got charged again by the outrider, as well as a bunch of woses. He lost the fight again (rolled a 1 and 2), and became shish-kabob. Oh well, he did a lot better than I had initially expected him to, and getting five guys off the board is no mean feat.

At this point, I just needed to hold on to get a minor win, but things were going downhill fast on the left. At the same time Arvedui lost his first fight with the outrider, Malbeth lost a fight to a rohirrim with a wose spear support. The Warrior of Rohan scored two wounds. Ouch. Malbeth failed to save either one with his forsight. Ouch Ouch. Malbeth rolled a 2 for his fate save. Uh oh… Malbeth died. Not good. Three other warriors holding my left also died, leaving a grand total of… four remaining, plus the one guy on the hill who somehow hadn’t died yet. On the bright side, Ghan-buri-ghan by now was out of might, fate, and had taken one wound.

On the same turn Arvedui died, Brent’s won priority let him lock down the remaining four defenders with two guys and then slip Ghan, two or three woses, and two rohirrim past my lines and down toward my side of the board. I had nothing to stop him with. Nothing… except some hobbits… By now we were running low on time, and both Brent and I moved almost frantically fast. A couple turns of movement later, it became clear that 9 hobbits would have two turns of clear shooting to bring down those 5 or 6 runners. Them’s not good odds. Since the woses count as having elf cloaks, and the hobbits’ view of the wose runners and ghan was partially obscured by a WoR with shield (wounds on a 6 instead of 5 from hobbit bows), the WoR had to die first. I rolled for the first hobbit, hit… and rolled a 6! The Woses were visible! Hope! 8 hobbit bows sang at once, 6 or 7 hit, and when the wounds were tallied up, only one lone wose runner remained, and he still had to survive a full round of these hobbits’ attentions! He didn’t. My hobbit archers now have something of a reputation.

We were almost out of time, and Brent was nearing 25%. My Warriors on the right under Cirdan had actually started winning and were advancing (mostly because of the guys Brent had to pull back to deal with Arvedui and my runners, but Meriadoc and some good courage tests by Brent held them firm, and Brent won priority, charging an elf warrior on the verge of getting over the board edge, thus preventing me from getting the 6th guy off the board for a major win. Honestly, after the hobbits, he deserved to win that last priority roll. His force hit 25% during that fight phase, the time was called, and the game ended.

Game 1: Minor win. Very fun game, multiple tense moments and shifts, and Brent was a great guy to play with. AND My army had been a LOT more effective than I had expected (especially the hobbits). Maybe I can actually provide a challenge for some of my other opponents. A promising beginning to this GT.
ptbuckle
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:42 am
Location: Detroit, MI

Game 2

Postby ptbuckle » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:48 am

2008 GW LotR GT Game 2

Meeting engagement vs. Jamie Welling’s Legion of the White Hand + Dunland

Jamie’s “Best Painted” trophy was well-deserved. I especially like the berserker with the two arrows sticking out of it, but he also had a bunch of other really good looking conversions, not to mention the all-around excellent paint job, and a flawless theme.

Jamie’s Army:
Uruk Shaman
Uruk Cpt w/ heavy armor and shield
29 Uruks w/ heavy armor (1 w/ banner, 6 w/ crossbows, 9 w/ pikes, and 8 w/ shields)
2 berserkers

Dunlending chieftain
9 Dunlendings - 3 w/ bows, 3 w/ shields, and 3 w/ 2-H weapons
4 wild men – 2 w/ 2-H weapons

47 models total

This was gonna be a smash-n-hack match. I had wondered how my WoA would stand up to the equal fight value and superior strength of uruk-hai. Time to find out.

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The board. My deployment edge is nearest the camera.

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Jamie and his Army.

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Jamie’s left wing line of Uruk-hai.

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Jamie’s right wing of Dunlendings.

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Me. My army deployed. Big block of warriors of Arnor on my left, with the hobbits and a smaller company on the right.

Equal numbers on both sides, but I only had about 31 effective front-line warriors, so I knew that being overlapped, trapped, and crushed was a strong possibility. We deployed, and looking at the field. I decided that it would be a BAD idea to charge straight into the center for combat using an outnumbered group of warriors – that and I was hoping a couple of hobbit volleys might kill a shielded Uruk or two (or maybe the shaman). Jamie obliged and started advancing. CBL may have helped provide incentive not to sit back and shoot, but that’s not Jamie’s style anyway.

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The Dunlendings advance.

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The Uruk-hai surge forward

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The Strength of Arnor marches forward.

I moved forward too, but at a much slower rate. In turn 1, Hobbit volley fire hit the Uruk Shaman, and I rolled a 5 to score a wound. YES! Then Jamie saved it by rolling a 6 with fury, which the Shaman had successfully cast in the move phase. Phooey. The next turn, the Hobbits again scored a wound on the shaman with a volley. Which Jamie AGAIN saved with fury. Curses! This irritation at being cheated of a wound/kill must be what my opponents feel whenever Malbeth’s foresight saves a wound.

The Uruk-hai and Dunlendings moved into contact without taking a wound from the hobbits. Thanks to Cast Blinding Light (CBL) and a successful save by Malbeth, Jamie’s archers didn’t do any damage either. As we were moving forward, I kept bending back my left to try to keep from being overlapped and to buy more time to (hopefully) win on the right.

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The situation right before first contact. Arvedui and my Captain are in the front rank, though not directly across from Jamie’s Uruk captain. Cirdan and Malbeth in the rear. Jamie’s three dunlending archers are on top of the hill to the left of the picture, where they stayed sniping the rest of the game (I was really thankful for CBL). You can see Jamie’s crossbowmen standing and shooting on the top right of the screen. Note Jamie’s good placement of his shaman and banner for maximum effectiveness.

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A model’s eye view from the end of the left of my line.

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The right side of the board. I had a company of 5 models sneaking around. I was hoping to use it to envelope Jamie’s left. Kind a of needlessly complex maneuver, but it LOOKED sneaky. Turned out pretty well too. The hobbits aren’t doing much good back there, now that the lines will be in contact. They’ll have to be shifted left.

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The shield-wall of Arnor prepares to receive the Uruk charge.

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Huzzah! Chaaaarge!

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The melee – a view from Jamie’s side of the board. Note the wild-men and Dunlendings coming up in the foreground but not yet in contact. My bending back the left of my line bought me another turn before contact.

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The left – not yet in contact. Just as well, once contact is made, I’ll get overlapped if I don’t do something.

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The second turn of melee. Pardon the blurriness, but it’s still discernable. My digital camera doesn’t take good pictures without the flash on if it’s not held absolutely still. We’ve engaged all along the line. I haven’t quite been overlapped yet. I did some shifting of the warriors giving spear support so that I could lengthen my left that last little bit. I also sent over an elf from Cirdan’s bodyguard to help deal with the Chieftain. The first turn of combat wasn’t too eventful. An uruk died, but the warrior of Arnor that took a wound was saved by Malbeth’s foresight. Malbeth is in a very central Jamie’s 3 snipers would have been a definite threat to him if not for Cirdan’s CBL. Cirdan is a bit farther to the right to cover that flank from the Uruk crossbowmen, who are still shooting. You can’t see it on the picture, but the hobbits are moving at top speed (4 inches per turn) to the left to try to hold up the dunlending overlap.

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This is after multiple turns of melee. You can see that I’ve gained a definite advantage by now. At the start, things were so intense that I neglected to take pictures. Initially, the sides were pretty evenly matched, but there were a number of things that turned the fight in my favor:
#1 (and I think Jamie would agree with me on this) was Malbeth. I was rolling REALLY well on my foresight fate saves. Altogether Malbeth saved nine out of a possible fourteen or fifteen wounds. It’s really hard to break an enemy line when the warriors just won’t die. In addition to its first saves, the Uruk shaman only saved two or three more wounds.
#2 Arvedui and the Captain were in the front rank with their strength of 4 each killing at least one Uruk per turn – often the ones with shields. Arvedui killed at least one of the berserkers (I think he killed both, but I only distinctly remember one dying at his hand).
#3 Cirdan’s bodyguard of elves, with their fight value of five and elven blades were also crucial, winning fights and then (if going 2-handed) wounding more easily. One of the elves on the left flank beat the Dunlending chieftain and then wounded him (he failed his fate roll).
#4 The hobbit archers. They got to the left flank. Jamie saw the hobbits just over six inches away, said: “It’s what they would do,” and proceeded to charge at them with all the Dunlendings not currently engaged. The hobbits killed four at range (2 wild men, one with a shield, and one with a 2-handed weapon), and killed one Dunlending in close combat, leaving just one (carrying a shield) remaining in close combat. The Dunlending archers did manage to kill one hobbit at range, though. This put a bad dent in Jamie’s right. That plus the superiority in quality of the warriors or Arnor meant Jamie’s right in trouble.

Jamie’s banner was helpful to him, providing several wins on re-rolls (though malbeth usually saved any wounds he caused immediately afterward), and he kept me from getting to that dang shaman, though both Arvedui and the Captain of Arnor were trying to hack their way through, it was like swimming in molasses. After several turns of getting no kills from the crossbowmen, and seeing that his far left was in trouble, Jamie decided the crossbowmen would be more effective hand-to-hand and brought them up to shore up his left in close combat. It helped, but by then they were dealing with a greater number of elves and warriors of Arnor, so they couldn’t completely save the situation. However, it did put the crossbowmen in range of the shaman’s fury for when his force broke.

There was also a confrontation between Arvedui and the Uruk captain, in which Arvedui came out on top, though he had to spend a point of might to do so, and the Uruk Captain wasn’t staggering when he walked away.

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A close-up of the left. It just looks cool.

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Hobbit archers vs. Dunlendings. The Dunlendings lost.

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Howling, two Warriors of Dunland bypass the line of Warriors of Arnor to charge at the hobbits stage right. “RAAAAARGGGH! “

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Immediately afterward; note the hobbit now emerging (probably humming to himself) from the place the two Warriors of Dunland charged the last turn. The Chieftain has taken a wound from an elf and the warriors of Arnor.

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A view from Jamie’s side of the table. the Uruk line is still mostly intact, but few of the Dunlendings are left.

As we began running low on time, Jamie’s force broke, but thanks to the Shaman’s fury and the Uruk captain’s standfast, few Uruks fled. The Dunlending captain passed his courage test and charged a mass of hobbits with one other lone brave companion. I sent an elf and two warriors of arnor to help the hobbits with the captain, and a warrior of arnor to help the hobbits with the Warrior of Dunland. This led to what was arguably the most entertaining fight of the game, taking place in the last fight phase minutes before the time was called. The chieftain was completely surrounded: 1 elf, 1 WoA w/ spear support, and 4 hobbits in base contact. The Dunlending warrior was also completely surrounded by 1 WoA and 5 hobbits.

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This picture was taken midway through the fight phase. The surrounded Chieftain shielded… and WON! It made for a very good mental picture: roaring defiance, the chieftain beats back the elf, warriors of Arnor, and heaves off the hobbits attempting to bring him down by sheer weight of numbers. Hobbits go flying back every which way as the elf stumbles back from the wounded chieftain who keeps going on sheer strength of mean. You can see the result on the left half of the above picture. In some ways, the fight with the lone warrior of Dunland was even better. He LOST the fight, was trapped, and took double strikes. Twelve dice later (two of which would have wounded on a 5+), he was still standing proud. We could just picture all the hobbits running up to him and beating at him with their bow staves and stabbing with their pocket-knives to no avail.

Here’s a view of that fight from above.
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Moments afterward, the game was called. Here’s a picture of the final standing of the main battle.

Below are a couple more models-eye shots of the end.
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Since the legions victory conditions for the scenario had not been met, the game had to be decided on the points-resolution system used in the tournament for certain of the legions scenarios. With a 210 point differential in kills, I had a major victory by a narrow margin. Jamie was an awesome opponent, and I got the impression that, like I did, he greatly enjoyed our game.
ptbuckle
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:42 am
Location: Detroit, MI

Game 3

Postby ptbuckle » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:48 am

2008 GW LotR GT Game 3
Game 3: Seize the Prize vs. Paul’s Minas Morgul/Harad/Dol Guldur

Paul’s Army:
Grishnakh w/ shield

Harad chieftain
8 Haradrim raiders
26 Haradrim warriors w/ spear
16 haradrim Warriors w/ bow

2 Spider Queens

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Winter-themed Haradrim! Pardon the blurriness. Camera issues again.

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Paul – a model’s eye view. I had to brace the camera on something because at the time I was hyped up on adrenalin and couldn’t hold it as steady as I needed to for a good picture.

For my thoughts about how my army would do in Seize the Prize, see the prologue. I don’t like looking at a board knowing I’ll lose, but I refused to admit that loss was a foregone conclusion even in this case, facing 2 spider queens and haradrim horsemen. I knew my only chance, slim as it would be, would be lots of heroic actions and combats, with Arvedui and the Captain front and center flanked by the elves with Cirdan close behind (high fight value and one more point of might for heroic actions) and a phalanx of WoA with Malbeth backing them up.

When we were setting up the terrain on the board, I deliberately placed terrain as much as I could to slow down anyone’s progress to the artifact (since if Paul won deployment he might choose my side to deploy on if that was too vacant). At this point in the tournament, we only had separate trees (with no forest bases, though the bases of the trees themselves counted as difficult terrain) which we placed in clumps of three or four at a time. Given this, I seriously considered placing the trees I had in a line so close together all around the border of the terrain deployment zone surrounding the artifact that the spider queens wouldn’t be able to get through to the artifact. That would also really slow down the cavalry, but then I decided that this might be looked upon as dubious sportsmanship, and that the trees were probably intended to be placed in a clump and not a line, and so I compromised heavily clumping them on two sides of the artifact (in retrospect, I kind of regret not following my initial impulse).

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The center of the board after the final set-up.

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Paul won the roll off to decide which board edge to deploy on, took one look at the board (seen above), and promptly decided to deploy on the edge facing the completely open pathway to the artifact (a deployment possibility which I have to confess never even entered my head until that moment, and made me tempted to bang my head on the table when I realized it). Dangit! Clever Paul! But I’m not dead yet! I deployed as planned, with the combat power and might for heroic combats in the dead center, and hobbits on the flanks, to snipe with direct fire or possibly join together for a volley.

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This is that status of the artifact at the end of the move phase of Turn 1. Paul won priority. The spider queens moved forward 10 inches, deployed all their broodlings 3 inches in front of that, and the broodlings then moved 6 inches forward to pass the artifact and screen it. I really hoped that Paul would move the broodlings forward full-move on their next turn (you’ll see why). He also moved the raiders and spearmen forward at top speed. I moved all of my warriors full speed forward, still leaving an avenue for the hobbits to fire down on each side of the main phalanx.

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A close-up of the above picture. Here come the spider queens.

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In the shoot phase of Turn 1, the haradrim volleyed, but failed to kill anyone. The hobbits killed two broodling clusters.

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This was taken in Turn 2, just after Paul finished the most relevant parts of his move phase.

In Turn 2, Paul again won priority, and moved the remaining screening broodlings forward by 6 more inches, breaking off the spider queens to either side to wait in flanking positions. 4 Raiders also moved forward, while one went to the artifact and dismounted to dig it up later in the fight phase (since you don’t need a specifically man-sized model to dig up the artifact, just pick it up, I presume he did this so that his digger could pick it up in the move phase of Turn 3 if he successfully dug it up). He then moved one of the cavalrymen visible in the bottom right corner of the above picture into base contact with the dismounted raider (remember, I took the picture while he was doing his move because I didn’t want to slow the game down).

My line charged 5 inches forward to engage the broodlings. Arvedui on one with backup, and the captain on another with backup. Elves with backup engaged the other two.

The rest of the army moved up, and the hobbits moved 4 inches to cluster together to be able to volley on the next turn.

In the shoot phase, the Haradrim archers volleyed, hit 4 or 5 times, but only killed one hobbit (Paul rolled a lot of 2’s, thankfully for me, and I kept some WoA near the hobbits to act as alternative targets).

Arvedui and the Captain both called heroic combats, won, and killed their broodling clusters. But because the broodlings had gotten their full movement in, Arvedui was one inch short of the unearthed artifact at the end of his post-heroic-combat move. The captain charged a raider, also barely over an inch from the artifact. Haha! At least I’ve got a chance to keep this game interesting, and given Paul a little bit of a challenge, even if this did come down to a heroic move roll off to see who gets to pick up the prize first. Better than I expected. Of course, even if I do win the roll-off, then I still have to deal with the spider queens, which isn’t good odds, but even so…

Sadly, I was so absorbed in the game that I forgot to take a picture until after the next turn’s movement. Oh yeah, and several Haradrim raiders got butchered.

At the end of the fight phase of Turn 2, Paul rolled a 4 and the dismounted raider dug up the artifact.

Turn 3: Paul won priority again and it all came down to a heroic roll off. Well, winning the roll-off would cinch the game for Paul if he played it right, and it would at least help keep me in the game for another turn. Cirdan called a heroic move (I was trying to save Arvedui’s last two might), and so did both of the spider queens. Paul won the roll off, and that’s when the tide turned almost irreversibly. I presume he was keeping track of which queen he nominated to use their heroic move first, because I didn’t – not that it mattered all that much, because either queen was capable of charging Arvedui and eliminating his part in Cirdan’s heroic move. Anyway, Paul charged one of his queens into Arvedui and the Captain of Arnor, preventing their moving, and basically canceling the purpose for Cirdan’s heroic move. Once Cirdan’s heroic move was over (details of his charging the spider queen are farther below), the haradrim that dug up the artifact picked it up, and handed it off to the raider in base contact with him who promptly made for the other side of the board. However – since this was part of the spider queen’s heroic move, and the rider had to end his move within six inches of the spider queen, the Haradrim raider carrying the artifact did not move his maximum, ending 5.5 inches from Arvedui, who was still engaged with the first spider queen. In the meantime, the second spider queen also charged Arvedui, making a 1v1 combat for the fight phase which I was pretty sure would get Arvedui killed, 2 might remaining or not. The rest of the raiders also charged forward to engage my line. So we got into a melee.

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Here you can see the major points of turn 3, though the second spider queen hasn’t yet charged Arvedui, as Paul was still moving when I took this. Again, please pardon the blurriness. Next time I’m bringing a tripod or a better camera.

I was still hoping I could call a heroic combat with the Captain of Arnor, kill spider queen #1, then move to assist Arvedui with Spider queen #2. If Arvedui killed spider queen #2, then he’d be able to call a heroic move the next turn and charge the artifact-bearer (though Grishnakh was still around somewhere – I’m not exactly sure where – to contest things). That’s a LOT of “if’s” but I had nothing to lose, so Cirdan charged spider queen #1. I needed his fight 6 anyway to at least make it an even contest. Thanks to his Aura of command (previously cast), he was joined by two more WoA (in addition to the Captain that the spider queen had initially charged) and (except for the captain) both he and they had spear support. That’s a lot of attacks against one spider queen, even if she did charge. You can see. The rest of my line engaged in combats that would be pointless if I didn’t get the artifact.

The Haradrim volleyed again in the shoot phase, doing little damage.

The Captain of Arnor called a heroic combat, and proceeded to roll no higher than a 4. The other six rolls were worse. Spider Queen #1 rolled a 6 and proceeded to munch Cirdan using just one of its attacks despite Malbeth’s foresight and Cirdan’s intrinsic point of fate (two wounds from one attack due to the queen’s doubled strikes due to knockdown-on-the-charge – not to mention her fail-to-wound rerolls).

Then Arvedui faced off against Spider queen #2… and won the fight! He rolled a 4 and a 2 to wound, and since if the queen wasn’t dead, there would be no possible way to get to the artifact-bearer anyway, I used both of Arvedui’s remaining points of might to up the 2 to another 4 and kill the spider queen (she had been wounded once already in turn one by the hobbits despite in-the-way rolls for the forest). I may have lost the game, but at least I killed a spider queen. Paul said I was the first one that day to manage to do that, which made me feel better about getting skunked. And as for Arvedui, I don’t care what anyone says; he is now an official badass.

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The end of the move phase in turn 4. Note the conspicuous absence of a spider queen, as well as the artifact-bearer, who is now within one turn of the board edge. By now only one raider remained as well, and he died in the fight phase. Arvedui was surrounded by spearmen and lost the fight but took no wounds.

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Grishnakh flogs the haradrim on to the fight.

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The rear of the Arnorian battleline. Kind of a pointless pic, but I still like it.

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At the beginning of Turn 5, Paul won priority and moved the artifact off the board. We called it a game.

Result: Major Loss. One hobbit dead.

Not my best game of the tournament, but it had its moments, and apart from the terrain deployment, I don’t have any tactical regrets. I knew this scenario would be difficult at best and hopeless at worst for my army, and I think I did everything possible given the circumstances and the roll-offs, and the game stayed at least a little suspenseful up until turn 3. Paul was a pleasant opponent, and nicer than he needed to be about the amount of time I took to plan my move phases, which took about 50% longer than his (not my usual speed, and I wasn’t playing for time, just trying to figure out what, if anything, I could do to keep things interesting). I doubt he minded much, though; as it was, we still finished more than an hour early, so I got to go see some of the more hotly contested seize the prize games at other tables.
ptbuckle
 
Posts: 6
Joined: Fri Oct 24, 2008 10:42 am
Location: Detroit, MI

Game 4

Postby ptbuckle » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:49 am

2008 GW LotR GT Game 4

Game 4: Domination vs. Josh Smentek’s Minas Morgul/The Nazgul

Josh’s Army:
Minas Morgul:
Black Numenorean Marshall w/ shield
17 Black Numenorean Warriors
5 Morgul knights
15 orc warriors w/ spear
14 orc trackers

Nazgul: The Shadowlord

54 models total 27 breakpoint

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Josh deploys his army.

My first thought: Black Numenoreans!!! I was afraid of this. Terror-causing models are not fun for a courage 2 army. Good thing I’ve got Cirdan and his bodyguard. His Aura of Command has the potential to be REALLY useful, but only if he stays out of the way of the Nazgul. So my strategy was to see where the shadowlord was heading and then send Cirdan (along with my strongest force) in the opposite direction.

While deploying the terrain, I kept in mind that I have an entirely infantry army, with slow-moving hobbits. Hence, I placed the objectives about as close together as I could. I think Josh had similar thoughts (only five cavalry, and 18” bows, after all), so all our objectives ended up deployed pretty close to the center, with the rest of the terrain scattered and not really playing any part in the battle. When Josh deployed the wall as an objective closest to his base, I pretty much wrote that one off as the lowest priority objective to take; since he was closest to it, he would get there quicker and have the advantage of defending a barrier. Black Numenoreans with orc spear support defending a barrier are something I wouldn’t willingly send even elves against (maybe Ents, but they’re so tall that most of the tournament fences and walls wouldn’t count as barriers to them).

Josh won the roll-off to deploy first, and chose the corner nearest him which had the objective with the large rock formation. I took the opposite one which had the hill. The other two corners held the fence and forest objectives.

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The board following deployment, with the objectives labeled. #1 is my base (a.k.a. the objective nearest my corner), and #3 is Josh’s. In the case of the GW hill, we were counting the entire piece of plastic as the objective, so it would be possible to capture the objective even if the hill itself couldn’t be taken. I think I took this picture after my first turn’s move, while Josh was still doing his move, because some of the hobbits have managed to jump or scramble up onto the hill. By now my hobbit archers had acquired a reputation, and they were high up on Josh’s “to kill” list.

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Black Numenoreans backed up by orcs. The rock formation on the right is part of Josh’s home-base objective.

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My left flank. This was where I threw most of my weight: Arvedui, The captain of Arnor, Cirdan, all the elves, and 14-15 Warriors of Arnor. Malbeth, the hobbits, and 11-12 Warriors of Arnor were supposed to hold my home base and threaten objective #4. My plan was to hopefully take the forest objective (#2) and then take Josh’s base. Assuming the game hadn’t ended by that time, I would then leave enough models to hold the other three and try to pile as many models as possible on the fence.

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The Black Numenoreans advance past their home objective to claim the forest in the right-hand foreground.

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Note the Morgul Knights at the rear of the line. If there’s one thing more frightening than Black Numenoreans, it’s Black Numenoreans on Horses with lances. Josh’s other two Morgul Knights were headed in the direction of the fence.

This game was so intense that I didn’t remember to take any pictures until several turns into it when the action calmed down a little bit.

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Here’re the basic movements. This game became essentially two separate fights, with not a lot of exchange between the two.

On the left, both of our forces advanced at top speed until they smashed into each other on turn 3 or 4 in a line stretching all the way from the rocks to the forest, with Josh having more models claiming the rocks, and I having more in the forest thanks to the elves’ woodland creature special rule, though Josh had at least 6 models ready to head into the forest.

On the right, my Warriors of Arnor started moving towards the fence, but Josh’s troops (his trackers, the Shadowlord, and about a third of his BN’s and orcs with spears) got there first (around turn 3), and my WoA turned back to climb the hill and assume a defensive position (completed by turn 4). My hobbits starting jumping and scrambling up onto the hill as fast as possible, though I rolled poorly for their jumping (the last one didn’t make it up on the hill until turn 4). Malbeth kept a central position to try to cover the right wing with his foresight.

As far as shooting went, on the first turn, I had no shoot thanks to my hobbits doing jump tests and moving their full 4 inches. Josh’s orc trackers volleyed and hit 5 times, but failed to wound on any of them (even the two hobbits that were hit). Malbeth never got involved.

In turn two, I had four hobbits that could shoot at Josh’s advancing right wing. 4 hobbits shot, all hit, and two Black Numenoreans died. I like my hobbits! Josh was less fond of them. Josh’s orc trackers shot back and managed to kill one hobbit. Subsequent hobbit shooting in the next two turns did no damage, and thanks to Malbeth saving two wounds on a warrior of arnor, and one on a hobbit, neither did Josh’s orc trackers.

The forces on the left finally reached each other. On the right, the two opponsing contingents settled back for a shooting match, neither of us willing to assault the other’s highly defensible objective. My hobbits were stationed on the hill, with warriors of Arnor positioned to act as bodyshields. Josh’s trackers were forming a double line extending from the Rocks to the Fence. Unfortunately for the hobbit archers and my right wing (but happily for Cirdan and my left wing, on the other end of the battle), the Shadowlord was covering Josh’s entire left wing, leaving my hobbits no targets to shoot at which they could hit on anything lower than a six.

On the left, despite the Hobbits’ two earlier Black Numenorean kills, I didn’t exactly have numerical superiority once Josh shifted more troops to reinforce that line, and breaking through the Black Numenorean front line to get to the softer orc spearmen behind would be a tough task. On the first turn of contact, the Morgul knights got a charge, and ended in killing two warriors of Arnor while the BN Marshall butchered a third. I did manage to kill one black Numenorean, though, and won a number of the fights nearest the Black Numenorean Marshall, leaving him isolated slightly ahead of the main line. The next turn, I got initiative (I don’t remember if might was involved or not, if it was, it was Cirdan’s might that was used), and piled everything I could onto the Marshall. A warrior of Arnor engaged his orc spear support, while two elves, Arvedui, and Cirdan charged the black Numenorean captain himself. Arvedui and Cirdan then received spear support and the rest of the line engaged. In the fight phase, the elf warriors wielded their weapons two-handed, and the highest Arvedui rolled was a 5. I – rather stupidly not waiting for Josh to roll for the captain – immediately declared Arvedui was using might to make the 5 into a 6. Since Cirdan has a fight value of six, this automatically won the fight and the Marshall was trapped. Each of the elves inflicted one wound, and Cirdan struck the killing blow. Go Cirdan! Meanwhile, the Captain of Arnor killed a Morgul knight, and an elf on the far end, fighting alone against two Black Numenoreans with spear support, won his fight and managed to kill one of the Black Numenoreans.

On the right, despite firing into the shadowlord’s pall of darkness, the hobbit archers unhorsed one of the two Morgul knights on Josh’s left as he rode towards the fight with Arvedui’s force, and then shot him dead the next turn. The Orc trackers didn’t do quite so well, though they did kill another warrior of Arnor.

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As the fighting on the left continued, I slowly gained the upper hand. The Captain of Arnor killed the other two morgul knights on Josh’s right, and Arvedui killed a number of black Numenoreans. The high fight value of Cirdan’s bodyguard and their ability to move unimpeded through the woods also helped. The picture above was taken just before the last Morgul knight died. You can see the back of Arvedui’s head visible behind Cirdan and the warrior of Arnor.

On the right, after losing a second warrior of Arnor to Orc tracker fire, I couldn’t sit there and take it anymore, so I decided to do what I figured would become a repeat of Pickett’s charge – Malbeth and the remaining warriors of Arnor on the hill charged down at top speed toward the Orc Trackers. I suppose I could argue that I decided to charge after seeing that my left was doing well and that I wanted to prevent Josh from reinforcing that line, but it was primarily an emotional decision. I knew that Malbeth’s force would be vulnerable not only to two or three rounds of shooting while they crossed the open plain, but also in danger of a countercharge in the rear from Josh’s Orcs and Black Numenoreans guarding the fence – though I gambled that Josh wouldn’t want to move them beyond the fence and the shadowlord’s pall of darkness into the Hobbits’ field of fire. Most of the Hobbits (except a few who remained behind to keep the objective controlled) began inching forward from the hill as well, firing at the Black Numenoreans behind the fence.

Josh’s last Morgul knight charged in an attempt to slow down Malbeth’s force, but was promptly butchered due to poor rolling and the cohesive formation of the WoA allowing spear support for the two models that got charged. Thanks to Malbeth’s foresight (and I should add, at this point, that over the course of this game his foresight had an unusually high success rate on saving wounds – 50%-66%), only one warrior of Arnor died in the charge against the trackers over open ground before they made contact, despite the trackers retreating and shooting.

During the charge (which lasted 2-3 turns), there was a point where only one hobbit archer had could shoot. So I figured, “why not?” He shot at a Black Numenorean behind a fence under the Shadowlord’s pall. And he rolled a six to hit. Ok, he’ll probably hit the fence. The hobbit then rolled a five to get past the fence. Ok, there’s no way he’ll actually wound the BN, right? The hobbit then proceeded to get another six and killed the Black Numenorean behind the fence! Josh and I were both stunned (me pleasantly, Josh less so).

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The warriors of Arnor reached the trackers and began butchering.

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A hobbit archer’s view of the fence. Note the orc spearmen supporting the black Numenoreans.

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A bird’s-eye view of the right side of the battle. Pardon the blurriness. In the center you can see Malbeth’s division fighting the trackers, with five remaining BNs backed up by orcs still holding the fence. That same turn, 8 hobbits shot at the remaining black Numenoreans behind the fence, still within six inches of the Shadowlord. Three 6’s to hit. Then three 4+’s to get past the fence. Then three more 6’s to wound! Three more Black Numenoreans dead. Fear the Hobbits!

The next turn, the Shadowlord spent three points of will trying to cast black dart on Malbeth, and this time it was Josh who rolled the three sixes. I didn’t even try to resist, and Josh then promptly rolled a 2 to wound. Ouch.

By this point Josh’s force was almost broken. I was judiciously shielding in selected fights, and we were both moving models that lost fights back one inch in the direction of the nearest contested objective.

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Josh’s right flank was down to seven or eight models. The next move phase, he won priority and moved to tie down as many of my models as he could in combat, including Arvedui, while moving the rest of his in the direction of the contested objectives, particularly the forest, where I only had two models to his four at the moment.

Arvedui still had two points of might, however, and Cirdan and a Warrior of Arnor also charged the orc attacking Arvedui. Arvedui called a heroic combat, and despite the help in combat, he still had to use his last point of might to win the fight. The trapped Orc was killed, and Arvedui and co. then moved into the periphery of the forest to continue contesting it.

This was the opposite of the situation at the Rocks objective. The captain of arnor and six other warriors from my left flank were fighting on the objective, and finished off two more orcs, leaving just one more from Josh’s right flank remaining to slow them down, while Malbeth and his contingent were doing a good job of preventing too many orc trackers from contacting the rocks.

In the meantime, the hobbits (except for a couple still claiming the hill) began moving at top speed forward to threaten the fence and prevent its defenders from leaving to try to take back the rocks. As Josh’s force had been broken in the fight phase, the next turn could potentially be the final turn.

The next turn, Arvedui charged into the forest with spear support to attack one of the last five models remaining from Josh’s right wing (four were contesting the forest, and one was contesting the rocks). Cirdan moved into the forest as well, giving me five models contesting the forest. The captain of Arnor and his contingent charged the orc contesting the left side of the rocks, while Malbeth and his force continued to engage the (now reduced) orc trackers. Even Malbeth had been in combat a couple of times. The hobbits moved to within 4 inches of the fence, poised to attack it or shoot in the next turn, if a 1 or 2 wasn’t rolled this turn.

During the fight phase, the Captain of Arnor and his troop butchered their lone orc, while Arvedui killed his opponent in the forest, and the elf and warrior of Arnor beat back the two black Numenoreans trying to contest the forest, though they weren’t able to kill either of them or push them out of contact with the objective. At the end of the turn, we rolled to see if the game would end and a 1 came up. Game over.

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The board at the end of the last fight phase. In the lower left corner, you can see Cirdan, Arvedui, and a warrior of Arnor in contact with the objective with another orc and warrior of Arnor who didn’t quite make it to the forest. Off camera to the left were the two Black Numenoreans and the elf and warrior of Arnor who opposed them. You can see The Captain of Arnor and his companions are now unopposed on the left portion of the Rocks, with Malbeth’s contingent still successfully engaging the Orc trackers and the hobbit archers now within charging distance of the fence.

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The hobbits approach the fence, now defended by a conspicuously lower number of Black Numenoreans.

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The elf and warrior of Arnor who contested the woods all through the game.

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After a hard fight, the Captain of Arnor and his men stand unopposed to claim the Rocks.

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Malbeth’s force, though it has taken some losses, continues to give better than it gets.

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The line of Orcs holding the last objective for Minas Morgul.

The final standings:
I had the Hill claimed with two hobbit archers and no opposition.
Josh had the Fence with 5 orcs and 2 Black Numenoreans vs. 1 warrior of Arnor
I had the Forest with Arvedui, Cirdan, 2 WoA, and 1 Elf vs. 2 BNs and 1 orc
I had the Rocks with the Captain of Arnor, Malbeth, 6-7 WoA and an elf vs. 3-4 orc trackers.

Result: Minor Victory.

This was an exciting game (evidenced by the relative lack of pictures), really up in the air until the last minute with regard to the forest objective, and Josh was a fun and gracious opponent (which was actually my experience with everyone at the tournament, but that doesn’t detract from the individual credit of those I got to play with).

The Hobbits’ final kill tally:
6 Black Numenorians (4 of which were under the shadowlord’s pall)
1 Morgul Knight (horse and rider wounded separately, both under the shadowlord’s pall).
1 Hobbit died.

I just need to finish proofreading the report for the last game, and will post it later today or tomorrow.
ptbuckle
 
Posts: 6
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Location: Detroit, MI

Game 5

Postby ptbuckle » Tue Nov 04, 2008 11:53 am

2008 GW LotR GT Game 5
Seeing how long it’s taken me to write all of these up, I’m very glad I took notes during all of these games.

Game 5: To The Death vs. Kevin Shannon’s (a.k.a. DrunkenMick’s) Minas Morgul/The Nazgul

Kevin’s Army:
Minas Morgul:
2 Black Numenorean Marshalls w/ shields
22 Black Numenorean Warriors
12 orc warriors w/ spear
14 orc trackers
4 Morgul Stalkers

Nazgul:
Bob 2/7/1

55 models total. 28 dead needed to break

My reaction: “Black Numenoreans! Not again!” They could be a much bigger problem this time, because the entire battle is likely to take place in one location, which makes it much harder for Cirdan to stay away from the ringwraith – even moreso because Bob the ringwraith has no handy aura effect that makes him more useful to Kevin elsewhere, and so he will likely have nothing better to do than hound Cirdan until either he or Cirdan is devoid of will – and it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Cirdan will lose a duel of will with even the weakest ringwraith. Without Aura of Command, and within 12 inches of Bob, I’ll be lucky to get even one or two of my effectively courage 1 Warriors of Arnor to charge any black Numenoreans.

Since we have to split our armies for deployment in this scenario, I divided my army up as follows:

Division 1:
Cirdan
The Captain of Arnor
14 Warriors of Arnor
1 Elf
7 Hobbit archers

Division 2:
Arvedui
Malbeth
12 Warriors of Arnor
4 Elves
6 Hobbit archers

We then deployed the terrain:
[IMG border=1]images/scenariomaps/map4908678c499a2.jpg[/IMG]

Next we rolled to see who would setup first, and I won. Phooey. I rolled for Cirdan’s division: and got the 18”-24” forward deployment. By the rules of the scenario, you roll for the first half of your army and deploy it before rolling for the second half, so, gambling that I’d get lucky and that Arvedui’s force would also get the forward deployment (and also because I like to be aggressive), I deployed Cirdan’s contingent as far forward as possible, with the majority of the force on the hill. A line of Warriors of arnor in the center with hobbits immediately behind to shoot through them, and more warriors of arnor on the flanks for spear support. The captain was on the far left as an anchor, with Cirdan at the bottom of the hill, where any auras or heroic moves would cover his whole contingent – and where the ringwraith would not be likely to see him in the first turn.

I figured that if half of Kevin’s army deployed forward, Cirdan could cast AoC, allowing the front rank to charge without hinderance, while the men on the wings moved forward and inward to give them spear support; and the hobbits could then move backwards to fire at any models attempting to flank.
If both of Kevin’s halves deployed at the back of his board, my strategy was to move forward and take the rest of the hill, which was easier to defend against an attack coming from Kevin’s side than from my side.
I didn’t really think about the outside possibility that both halves of Kevin’s army might deploy forward against Cirdan’s contingent alone.

Then I rolled for Arvedui’s force and got the rear deployment. Uh oh. I set up Arvedui’s force to move forward as fast as possible.

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A piece of Arvedui’s line. The hobbits are grouped together with a few babysitters on the far left just in case.

Then Kevin rolled for deployment. His first half came up with a forward deployment. Ok… He deployed it immediately opposite of Cirdan’s contingent, nose-to-nose, with only one inch between the lines.
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Then Kevin rolled for the second half of his deployment, and that came up forward as well. This could be bad. Kevin used the second half of his army to extend his line, leaving us with the result below.
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Kevin’s thinking about having hobbits for his 2nd breakfast. You know he is.
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Arvedui: “We’re coming!”

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Here’s a good top-down shot of Cirdan’s contingent and its situation. On a side note, I took this picture with the flash, and the camera’s preview showed it to be horribly indiscernible (mostly white) – until I got it onto my computer and it turned out to be one of the clearest ones I took. It figures. Anyway, you can see Kevin’s 14 orc trackers on the hill, with a solid line of BNs backed up by Orc spearmen. A handful of morgul stalkers are creeping among the ranks of his army too. Bob the Ringwraith was facing my left, with a BN Marshall in the center and another one facing my right, ready to charge through the gap between the hedge and the hill and cut Cirdan off from a retreat. I think I may have been starting to sweat, heh. Oh well, I dug myself into this hole, time to see about extrication.

We rolled for priority for the first turn. I don’t remember who won; it might have been me, but the final result was Cirdan calling a heroic action with his one point of might, and Bob and both of the Marshalls also calling heroic moves trying to trap that half of my army. The roll-off came up a four, and I breathed a sigh of relief. I was moving first, and Cirdan’s force would not be immediately surrounded and devoured. Retreat!

Even a successful retreat brought up a few difficulties of its own. For one thing, even moving at top speed, the second line hobbits only had enough move to make it to the bottom of the hill, thus slowing down the warriors of arnor and still guaranteeing front-line contact this turn – with my front line unsupported. For another thing, a retreat meant moving Cirdan back into the open, where Bob, who started within 12” of him at deployment, could easily see him.

I couldn’t do anything about the hobbits’ lack of speed, but I did have at least one thing I could do to hopefully delay Bob’s crippling of Cirdan. On page 21 of the ORB, there is a rarely invoked rule that I had used once before to slow down Legolas and his expert shot when I didn’t want one of my models to die:
“If a model is on the ground and the model's eye view of its body is partially obscured by scenery, cover or other models, then it can only be seen by an enemy if a dice is rolled and scores a 4, 5 or 6. On the roll of a 1, 2 or 3, the model can't be seen because it is too cleverly concealed.”
Note that unlike in the case of an Elven cloak, being within 6” of a lying down model that is partially concealed from view does not negate this roll. Also, since this roll is entirely random, a spotter can’t use might to adjust it (ORB pg 36). What you can’t see, you can’t shoot at or cast at. Therefore, I moved Cirdan 3” back into the open, refrained from casting any spells because I didn’t know how much will I would need to resist possible sap will spells, and had him lie down. I then moved an elf and 2 WoA directly in front of him to screen him from easy view by Bob.

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The beginning of the retreat.

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Kevin’s left flank. The BN Marshall is the one on the far left, converted from a Castellan of Dol Guldur. I sent one WoA as a forelorn hope to stall the BN Marshall from just waltzing through the gap between the hedge and the cliff-part of the hill. That’s his spear poking out into the picture on the far left. The hedge was very helpful, as I didn’t have the men to hold both the right and the left until Arvedui arrived, and the hedge prevented the 3 or 4 defenders on that flank from being overwhelmed.

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I did my best to shore up the left and keep it refused until Arvedui arrived.

Once Cirdan’s heroic move was over, then came Kevin’s. The captain on his left went for my hedge-gap defender while his center charged into combat. His right, led by Bob, moved forward at top speed but could not make it into combat. He also started sending a small contingent through the rocks on a flanking maneuver (kind of like what I tried doing to Jamie in my 2nd game).

Bob decided to try to see Cirdan, and unfortunately for me, having Cirdan go to ground did no good; Kevin successfully rolled a 4 to see him. Kevin then had Bob use one point of will to try to cast “sap will,” and he again rolled a 4, to cast it successfully. This gave me a dilemma. Cirdan only has four points of will. So if he wants to cast and maintain CBL and Aura of Command, this would leave him only one point of will with which to resist any spells, with nothing in reserve to resist subsequent spells. Unfortunately, using only one point of will in this case would only give me a 50/50 chance to resist Sap Will. I could use two points of will to resist, but in that case, I would only be able to cast and maintain either CBL or AoC and completely unable to resist any subsequent “sap will” spells – and even spending two points of will, success would not be guaranteed. It didn’t help that I’d already spent Cirdan’s single point of might, either. Not to mention the fact that Bob still had six points of will, meaning that unless Kevin got REALLY unlucky, more Sap Will spells would be headed Cirdan’s way, even with him hiding – so it basically wasn’t a matter of whether Cirdan’s will would get sapped, it was when it would happen and how long I could delay it. All this flashed through my mind in about 15 seconds. In the end, I decided (foolishly, perhaps) to chance spending just one point of will, in the hope that, if successful, I could then maintain either CBL or AoC long enough to do some good, and save one more point of will to resist the next sap will coming Cirdan’s way. I rolled a 2. It was some comfort that the result would not have been any different even if Cirdan had still had his single point of might, at least. Cirdan was now devoid of will.

Back on Normal priority, Arvedui and Malbeth moved at top speed towards Cirdan’s beleaguered force.

The shoot phase resulted in no losses on either side. In the fight phase, two WoA fell with no BNs lost.

The next turn, I won priority again, and this time, there were no heroic movements called. I pulled back even further, again moving the hobbits from Cirdan’s division at top speed, though being so slow they still hampered my manuvering, while Arvedui and his force hastened to join Cirdan, who stood up and moved three inches away from the action. I reformed the remaining warriors of arnor in the front line to prevent anyone getting through to the hobbits or Cirdan. The hobbit babysitters from Arvedui’s division on the far left of my line kept to the border of the rocks to hold up Kevin’s flanking force, leaving an alley down which the six hobbits of Arvedui’s division could shoot. Some of the men from Arvedui’s force made for the hedge and fence to keep Kevin’s left force from swarming over it, while others extended my line on the left.

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Turn 2, at the end of my move. Again, please pardon the blurriness.

Then it was Kevin’s turn to move:
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Kevin’s left flank of black numenorians, orcs, and a morgul stalker moves parallel to the hedge, looking for a good opening.

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Another blurry picture of the board. This one taken just after Kevin’s move in Turn 2. The front lines are again locked (mine outnumbered), with the hobbits still too near the front for comfort. Kevin’s left flank assaulted the hedge, but was turned back with the loss of a Black Numenorean thanks to an elf warrior. Kevin’s orc trackers moved 3” to the crest of the hill from where they could see the entire battlefield with a clear model’s-eye view, making it essential, but difficult, for me to position warriors as bodyshields for Arvedui, Malbeth, and Cirdan.

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My left flank, with a nice clear hobbit shooting lane. The hobbits killed an orc spearman in the shoot phase of turn 2. During Kevin’s shoot, he targeted Cirdan with all fourteen trackers, got six hits, and wounded once – a wound which Malbeth’s foresight promptly saved.

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The Left side of the battle from another angle. Bob is being screened from hobbit arrows by a line of Black Numenoreans.

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The right wing of the battle. A handful of brave warriors hold the fence.

Turn three saw a lot of charges. I won priority again, and was able to pull back enough to form a solid shield wall again, albeit with somewhat reduced spear support. If I was going to go down, I planned on taking the hard way. Kevin obliged and promptly assailed the shield wall with everything he had, hitting the corner with the captain of Arnor particularly hard. His Marshalls had not yet failed to kill their opponents.
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Arvedui: “Hold fast, men of Arnor!” Note the orc archers ideally positioned on the hill (ideally for Kevin, at least, heh).

The hobbits above are looking at this:
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Kevin’s left flank is now overlapping mine, with a morgul stalker and orc spearman managing to jump the fence outside of the defenders’ control zones.

Kevin’s sneaky right-wing force also got closer to the hobbit archers and their guardians:
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“Black Numenoreans!? Where!? I don’t see any.”

In turn 3’s shoot phase, the vantage point of Kevin’s archers began to tell. They had a clear line of sight to Arvedui with no bothersome obstructions. 14 trackers shot, and arvedui took 2 wounds, both of which were saved by Malbeth’s foresight-fate-save, though Arvedui had to use a point of might to boost one of the rolls. The hobbits fired back and killed two trackers.

In the fight phase, more warriors of Arnor dropped, though I was still rolling slightly higher than average for Malbeth’s foresight. One of the marshals fought a duel with one of Cirdan’s bodyguard. Both combatants had spear support, but they both got a six, and Kevin lost the roll off. The elf then wounded the marshal and Kevin promptly rolled a one for the marshal’s fate. The captain of Arnor lost his fight but was uninjured.

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Turn 4: Kevin got priority, and this is the board at the end of his move. Another couple of pictures taken using the flash that looked horrible on the camera, but turned out great on the computer. You can see Bob on the left, screened by a guard of BNs. Marshall #1 (wounded by the elf last turn) has again charged the elf holding the corner of my army. Note how Kevin avoided making contact with most of my left. No sense in fighting where there’s not an overwhelming advantage, and those effectively courage 1 warriors of Arnor aren’t going to do anything about it, no matter how many courage tests I take with them (believe me, I tried). Even Arvedui chickened out and failed his courage test to charge this turn. Kevin’s other Marshall is over on the inside of the hedge, battling a lone warrior of Arnor who has spear support. Cirdan hastened to get out of range of the orc trackers, and to possibly lend his aid in combat on the right.

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The small contingents on the left also joined combat.

I moved the hobbits farther back, and positioned Malbeth to cover as many models as possible. Unfortunately, this left him open to the remaining orc trackers in the shoot phase, though I figured that he could survive one round in the relative open, since he had his might, foresight, and fate point. I was wrong. None of the orc trackers had an in-the-way roll, and Malbeth took four wounds from them (I think only three missed hitting him). I then rolled for his foresight. None of the rolls was higher than a three. Of course… A victim of my overconfidence, Malbeth died, a pincushion. Kevin was elated (I would have been too), which I took to mean that I had been using Malbeth correctly, except for that last move. I have to confess to feeling some demoralization at losing my seer, but games where everything goes your way, while fun once in a while, get boring quickly, and I still had Arvedui (with two points of might and all his will) and Amlaith, the Captain (not to mention Cirdan wasn’t dead yet). The hobbits killed a couple more trackers, but failed to wound Bob, who was seriously worrying me, as I was closer to breaking than I had been in any other game. It was a consolation, though, that except for the first turn (which was plenty, as far as I was concerned), Kevin had rotten luck trying to get Bob to cast spells.

In the fight phase, three more warriors of Arnor bit the dust, and I winced at the lack of Malbeth. The Black Numenorean Marshall also killed the elf that wounded him last turn. Kevin’s morgul stalkers were making their presence felt, with their strength of 4, they would team up with a BN, get spear support, and then rip apart hapless isolated warriors of Arnor.

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Turn 5, at the end of my move, before Kevin has moved. Note the conspicuous lack of Malbeth. My line is distinctly strung out now, with basically no reserve beyond hobbits (which don’t count), though I still have at least 16 warriors of Arnor on the field, and 3 or 4 elves. This time, Arvedui passed his courage test to charge into combat. The Captain, however, failed (not too surprisingly, given his effective courage of 2, thanks to Bob).

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Turn 5, the fight by the fence. Both sides pretty evenly matched.


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Turn 5, after Kevin has moved.

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Arvedui and Amlaith (the captain) hold the line.

With Arvedui in combat, I was pretty confident of killing at least one more Black Numenorean this turn. Then came the shoot phase. Kevin unhesitatingly fired into Arvedui’s combat with his 10 remaining orc trackers (the hobbits were whittling them down). He got four hits. Two of the hits landed on his BN, and two on Arvedui. I relaxed. Arvedui was safe. Yeah, Arvedui might take a wound, but he’d live. The Black Numenorean was uninjured by the arrows striking him in the back, and then Kevin rolled for the hits on Arvedui. Two 6’s! “Sonuva…!” Arvedui ended the same way Malbeth had, a pincushion with might and will unspent. Now that was demoralizing (though still kind of funny). During my shoot, Arvedui’s hobbits managed to kill the BN immediately in front of them screening Bob.

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Turn 5, after the shoot phase and part-way through the fight phase. Note the conspicuous lack of Arvedui now. It was some comfort that despite his successes, Kevin’s line wasn’t at 100% either. He had been taking some casualties too. Nevertheless, with the loss of Arvedui, I was starting to settle into a last-stand mentality.

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Kevin’s force sent around the rocks to my left also joined combat, and the handful of warriors on my left flank were hard put to it, often almost trapped against the rocks, though I did manage to kill a couple of BNs. The Hobbit archers also began to (literally) inch away from that fight and out of immediate charge range.

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Another shot of the left flank skirmishes. Early on things were pretty evenly matched.

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The combats near the fence, with the hobbits from Cirdan’s force finally grouped and out of immediate threat of being charged.

Turn six contained something of a reversal. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures. Kevin got priority and moved first, his wounded BN marshall, as well as a morgul stalker, both with spear support, charged Amlaith (who still had both points of might left). The rest of Kevin’s line charged or held back as usual. At this point, I pulled back all of my unengaged WoA to reinforce the front line, suddenly doubling the number of attacks Kevins was facing on that front (his unwounded marshal now had to deal with two warriors of arnor, both of whom had spear support). The red lines in the picture below indicate my movement, the blue lines are the hobbits’ shooting and kills.
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In the shoot phase, the hobbits from Arvedui’s force killed three BNs that were screening Bob from the hobbits in Cirdan’s original force. They fired at Bob. All hit, but only one six. I rolled for the 5+ needed to wound after the six, and got a 4. Kevin and I both let out breaths we hadn’t realized we’d been holding, heh.

In the fight phase, Kevin’s Marshall near the hedge lost the fight and took a wound, which Kevin failed to save with fate, making marshal #2 nearly dead. Amlaith, my captain, was in a position where if he lost the fight, he would be trapped. In that fight, Kevin rolled a six, and I had to use both points of Amlaith’s might to boost my roll to tie his. I won the roll-off caused by our equal fight values, and Amlaith then got a six to wound and (since it was his last wound) killed the Marshall.

Despite this shifting in the wind, I was still in trouble. The next turn saw Kevin win priority again, and Amlaith was again charged in a trapping position. Kevin also moved Bob to a position behind one of the last combats on the left flank, where the hobbits couldn’t shoot at him. Cirdan by now was out of range of the orc trackers, and though I wanted to move him back within range of the remaining warriors of Arnor so they could benefit from his soon-to-be-needed standfast rolls, I knew that because of the orc trackers, it would be suicide to do so (especially given this game’s trend regarding Kevin’s trackers shooting at my heroes). Instead, I had Cirdan engage a Black Numenorean with the help of one of his remaining bodyguard near the fence. The orc trackers now turned their attentions on the hobbits and killed one. The hobbits shot at the BNs starting to envelope my line, and killed one. Amlaith lost his fight, was trapped, and took two wounds. Fortunately, one was saved with his fate, and so he stayed defiantly alive. My warriors of arnor killed a couple of orcs, and Cirdan and his bodyguard killed their Black Numenorean.

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There were only a couple of models left on my left flank, in the position you see here.

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The BNs from Kevin’s right, my left, flank started lapping my line and going after the hobbits, now that the warriors of Arnor were busy elsewhere.

Turn 9 was more of (for me) the same downhill slide, except near the fence, where I managed to kill a stalker. Kevin engaged some hobbit archers in combat with his BNs, but only managed to kill one (the hobbits actually won one of the fights). Amlaith lost his fight and was brutally hacked down. The last combat of the turn was Kevin’s second Marshall (Kevin named his marshalls; I can’t remember if this one was Zaius or Waerlaga) vs. two warriors of Arnor. The Marshall won the fight, but failed to get a 5+ to wound. However, one of his dice to wound was a 4, and the Marshall had one point of might left. Kevin asked how close I was to breaking. I counted my losses. I was one kill from breaking. “That’s worth a point of might,” said Kevin. I agreed. The warrior of Arnor died, and my army broke.

The next turn, Kevin won priority and pulled his army, including Bob, back out of contact to watch the show, except for the 4 BNs going after the hobbits. I think he was 6 or 7 models from breaking. Cirdan rolled a four for his courage test. Thankfully, Cirdan was more than 12” from Bob, so he still passed, and moved to cover as many remaining warriors as he could while still staying out of range of the orc trackers.

Of my 14 remaining warriors of Arnor, 2 stayed on the table. Three or four more would have stayed if not for the fact that they were within 12” of Bob (rickafragin’ courage penalty). Even an elf ran. One of the two WoA moved towards Cirdan, while the other one, on principle, charged the mass of Kevin’s army, howling defiance (he even passed his courage test to charge a BN too). A hobbit died in combat, but the fight phase that turn was otherwise uneventful.

On the final turn, I won priority, and the time ran out midway through my move, just after I got Cirdan and some hobbits into combat with an isolated BN. The pictures below were taken after the game was called. I had 162 points remaining on the table: Cirdan, two elves, two WoA, and 9 hobbits (brave little suckers, aren’t they?).

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The last survivor of my left wing. In the background, you can see the lone warrior of Arnor trying to charge Kevin’s force.

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Cirdan rallies the remnant of the army, leading by example.

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Kevin’s remaining army + the lone warrior of arnor. Six or seven of his models are offscreen elsewhere on the table, leaving him with 30-31 models remaining total.

Since my army had not been totally destroyed, and I still had Cirdan on the board and uninjured, by the GT rules, despite having more than 200 points difference in remaining points, Kevin still got a minor victory.

Final Result for me: minor loss.

Hobbit kill tally:
5 BNs, 2 orc spearmen, 5 orc trackers

Arguably the biggest surprise of the tournament for me was how survivable and effective the hobbits turned out to be.

Thank you all for reading. I hope you enjoyed these reports. They were fun to write, though much more time consuming than I anticipated.

Overall, I had a great time at the GT. I got to meet and game with so other many great people, and I guess the people I got to play with enjoyed our games too, because I got voted best sportsman.  My army even did much better than I expected. I will definitely be back next year if I am at all able. I’m tempted to take the same army, but there are too many other fun, little-used themes that I’m itching to try.
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Postby BlackBlade » Thu Nov 06, 2008 5:01 pm

Thanks for taking the time and writing up those battle reports. My BN still cringe in fear of all things hobbits. May a curse be put on them for all time.
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Postby Drunken Mick » Thu Nov 06, 2008 7:06 pm

Oh, they are irritating but not that bad. You got caught w/o enough damage dealing ability and lack of mounted might. I know you took a 500 point force and added the MK's for sake of expediency.

Not that you'll keep the same army but if you'd wanted a better balance (strictly in my opinion). I'd have used TDM mounted to lead the MK's and lost a couple models (I had playtested a similar force proxying the MK's). I found the BN's to sorely lack wounding ability so I added spears. I still found them lacking still and added the stalkers... voila wounding ability. As Phillip laments, the stalkers made their presence felt. Any of my opponents that day will point out that they, if not tied with Bob, were the linchpins to my success (along with the trackers).

In our game you got screwed with terrain placement and lack of mounted might IMO. The BN's aren't what everyone cracked them up to be, but they are still effective IF you situationally use them to their benefit.
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Postby prion2001 » Fri Nov 07, 2008 8:44 am

Great report. I love all the pictures. And congrats on the feature on the GW site. Your army looked awsome!

You are right about our game, I did have a great time. Even though it was frustrating to see Malbeth make all those damn saves it made for a really intense battle which I really enjoyed. And I had quite a few laughs about my Dunlending's poor performance against those hobbits. Thanks for a fun game.

Seeing those hobbits do their work has me excited to get my all hobbit army finished for next year. :)

Jamie
"It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing." Boromir
Check out my painting blog at http://www.fivearmies.blogspot.com
Shop Gorgon Studios. http://www.gorgon-studios.com
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Postby BrentS » Fri Nov 07, 2008 9:37 am

I know I commented over at TLA before the site when down again.

I think you really captured our game quite well. As I said before, it was interesting to see what you were thinking during key points of the game. I was just as intensely trying to figure out how to pull out a win.

Those damn hobbits really won you the game in my mind. They totally neutered my cavalry attack and then they picked off anybody trying to get a clean get-a-way down the board.

I've given up playing against Malbeth. I think I'm cursed that he will always make his saves when I'm an opponent (though it sounds like a lot of other people felt his wrath too).

Nice job again on the reports!
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Postby Drunken Mick » Fri Nov 07, 2008 10:16 am

I briefly felt his wrath until he felt the power of the orc tracker (which many deign as worthless - to them I say pffttt), ask Malbeth and Arvedui how effective trackers are ;).

Heck ask KM he faces them or MG Prowlers with bows often enough.
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Postby BrentS » Fri Nov 07, 2008 11:04 am

Drunken Mick wrote:I briefly felt his wrath until he felt the power of the orc tracker (which many deign as worthless - to them I say pffttt), ask Malbeth and Arvedui how effective trackers are ;).

Heck ask KM he faces them or MG Prowlers with bows often enough.


I too am a Orc Tracker Convert.
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