Battle Reports for The Necro 2009

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Battle Reports for The Necro 2009

Postby ChrisLS » Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:50 pm

I posted these onto TLA, but it was suggested that I post them here as well. I'm almost done with the last one, I might have it up tonight.

I managed to make it out to Orlando, Florida for the Necronomicon this year. I made the reservations shortly after I attended the Gathering in the Desert in February, because after my strong showing there I figured I had a shot at the overall tournament circuit, but also because I just had such a good time at the Gathering. Of course, this was also when GW was promising to schedule their own GTs and may be able to attend either the Vegas GT or LA Games Day. Then they dropped those, so my dreams of Tournament Circuit glory were dashed, but I still went to have a good time. Fortunately, 10 years or so of unused frequent flyer miles and hotel points leaves more than enough to fly across the country first class and stay in a nice hotel next to the venue.

My list was the same Errand I played at the Gathering in the Desert, which is as follows:

Mithrandir’s Errand

Gandalf the Grey

Ecthelion, Heir to the Steward of Gondor (King of Men, heavy armor, shield)

5 Guards of the Fountain Court with shields
23 Warriors of Minas Tirith with shield
14 Rangers of Gondor (9 with spears)

Models: 44
Bows: 14/42
Might: 5

After taking a red-eye out of San Francisco and arriving in Orlando around 10:30 am on Friday, I played in the Blood Bowl tournament just for fun. My Skaven are still really fast and really fragile, and I did manage to win one game in a rather lopsided fashion, losing the other two to people who played keep-away from the Skaven (which is a really, REALLY good idea, BTW). I met Tom Keegan and some of the other tournament organizers and started getting ready for the main LOTR event the next day. One nice thing that I saw in the packet was that all of the scenarios were different, one of the few flaws of the Gathering. Exhausted from my sleep-depriving cross-country flight and needing and early start (who starts a gaming tournament at 8 in the morning?!?) I went back to my room and fell almost instantly asleep.

The next morning I woke with enough time to get my shower, breakfast, and still highlight my rangers cloaks and wooden items. One of my terrible habits is procrastinating to the point where I paint furiously immediately before ANY tournament I play in. With my rangers looking considerably better than they had earlier, I packed up and went to the first day of the 2009 Necro.

Round 1

Seize the Prize (modified)
Frank Brown – Tower of Ecthelion/Ithilien

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Boromir of the Fellowship
Beregond
Cirion
10 Citadel Guard with longbows and spears
6 Guards of the Fountain Court with shields
6 Knights of Minas Tirith with shield
5 Osgiliath Veterans with shield
12 Warriors of Minas Tirith with shield (4 also with spears)

Models: 42
Bows: 10/39 (split across ToE and Ithilien)
Might: 10 (!)

The Board

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The last two GTs I attended I pulled pretty light opponents first round. Not this time. Frank Brown is the two-time defending champion of the LOTR GT Circuit. He was also playing a very mean force which would be hard to hurt, with a lot of F4. The scenario was the same one from the Gathering – the objective had to be taken off the other side of the board.

Deployment was fairly typical – there was a stand of trees to the right of the objective (from my perspective), and a large stone building with a stone wall at about 10 o’clock from the objective. Frank put his infantry in the front and his cavalry to either side, with Boromir hiding behind the stone building. I put Gandalf near the middle surrounded by warriors, with Ecthelion and his Guards in the second rank directly across from the objective. My rangers were to the right of them, and I had a detachment of 10 more warriors right of the rangers. My plan, similar to the Gathering, was to grab the objective, hand it off to the right, and run it up the side. I was really looking for a chance to Command someone near Ecthelion to allow a Heroic Combat to put me around the objective.

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Frank, quite understandingly, did not oblige me in this. He moved Boromir and his cavalry escort to my left but kept them behind the house. His other horsemen hid behind the stand of trees in order to force in the way checks. His infantry line began its advance across the field. I let 6 of the rangers move 3”, while the rest of my infantry mirrored Frank’s infantry, moving forward. Gandalf cast Cast Blinding Light and my archers failed to wound anything. The second turn saw pretty much the same thing, though I only moved three inches with all of my rangers and managed to kill one of the knights on my right and unhorsed another, who promptly broke his neck from the fall, leaving only one knight on my right. Gandalf also got Terrifying Aura up.

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Turn three, and this was the turn the lines would hit in the middle. With the cavalry pretty much dead on my right and hiding behind the building on my left, this would be decided by the ground pounders. I won priority and advanced my line up to the center line, opening a hole for Ecthelion to come forward. However, since he was in the second rank, he didn’t come into contact with the objective. The rangers moved 6” forward to try to support the line but would take a turn to catch up due to the time spent shooting at the knights. Gandalf also came up and knocked down the center Guard of the Fountain Court with a Sorcerous Blast, sending him back into some Citadel Guard and Cirion, knocking them all on their butts but killing no one. Frank sent most of his line forward to meet mine, Guards of the Fountain Court in the lead, though he kept a few back off the line, including the stragglers who were knocked down. Boromir and his buddies finally made an appearance, coming out from behind the stone building. The combat went Frank’s way, however, with both of my troops contesting the objective being shoved off. I lucked out, however, as Frank failed the 4+ roll needed to dig it up.

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The next round was pretty critical. Frank won priority, but I called a heroic move with Gandalf. I forget if it was contested or not, but I went first. Gandalf blasted one of Frank’s Fountain Court Guards off the objective, and that killed a Citadel Guard behind him. Ecthelion and my own Fountain Court went into the gap, isolating the objective from most of Frank’s force. I wanted to send more of my troops up the left side, but due to Gandalf’s Heroic Move I had to pull them back to cover my flank, allowing me to put more effort into the fight in the center. This proved a fortuitous move. I hadn’t bothered to measure how far away Boromir and friends were, and while his knights managed to get into combat with my flank guard, Boromir was 10 1/8” away, BARELY outside of what could have turned into a devastating Heroic Combat.

Instead Boromir went towards the middle of the fight. We finally started killing some models in the combats that followed, but neither side was able to dig up the objective. Frank called a Heroic Combat with Cirion, who was in contact with a single warrior of mine. This felt very similar to the position I put Brent Sinclair in during the same scenario at the Gathering – do I save the might, or call the Combat in order to try to keep my escape channel open? I decide to allow the Combat to proceed unchallenged, and while Cirion does win and kill the warrior, he only managed to cut my spear support, and he didn’t manage to kill that Guard of the Fountain Court.

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I win priority, but Frank calls a Heroic Move and I lose the challenge. Frank throws Boromir into Ecthelion. Uh oh. He also sends his remaining knights around my left flank. The knights are no problem – I’ve got extra troops behind my lines that promptly surround them. Boromir is another problem. Gandalf casts Transfix on him, but with his lone point of Will and a point of Might he shrugs it off. In the ensuing combat, Ecthelion is knocked to the ground but only wounded once, which I shrug off with Fate. He’s fighting Boromir, however, the man you send when it-absolutely-positively-has-to-die-right-now. Blowing three points of might, he turns a four and a five into sixes, ending Ecthelion’s life and prompting a discussion about whether or not Boromir needs to make a Fate roll for creating a time traveller’s paradox. And guess what? No one manages to dig up the artifact.

The next turn Gandalf turns Boromir into a drooling idiot, or as we put it Boromir had to stop mid-battle and contemplate the consequences of killing his own grandfather. I’ve now got my flanking force deep into Frank’s left, and I’ve dispatched all but two of his knights. Other than Ecthelion’s death and the objective still being on the ground with an hour and fifteen minutes remaining in the game, things are going my way.

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The next turn I finally manage to dig up the artifact and whisk it away to Gandalf. I start shifting my force to my right, creating a channel towards the table edge, and I send some models forward to act as couriers. I’ve got a pretty effective blocking force in place, so Frank starts trying to head me off, particularly with his cavalry. By this point I am out of might, so I’m at the mercy of the priority rolls and Boromir. Time is starting to get tight, with about a half hour left and the artifact only just past the centerline.

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Frank tries to block my run down the side with his two remaining knights, but I surround them and kill them. Boromir is a bigger problem, and I see him lurking outside of Gandalf’s range, just waiting to pounce. Frank is trying to break through my blocking detachment, but it just isn’t happening. I’ve handed off the artifact twice, but as time winds down, I’m still three turns from the sideline with Boromir waiting to pounce. While neither of our forces are broken, the artifact is still on the table.

RESULT: Draw

Frank is an absolutely outstanding player, and this battle proved it. We were fairly evenly matched, with Frank having more combat power and mobility and me having Gandalf’s trickiness. The result was a knock-down, drag-out draw with some great play on both parts. About halfway through the game, Frank remarked, “I’m starting to hate you – you aren’t making any mistakes!”. While I appreciate the sentiment, there were two mistakes that I think I did make, one of which I paid for and the other I barely dodged.

The first mistake I made was actually the result of a mistake I made in one of my lead-up games. I had left Ecthelion in the front rank of my force but outside of Gandalf’s Blinding Light. On the first turn of the game he was gunned down by Dwarf archers. I realized I had to leave other people in from of him on the advance in order to protect him from archery, particularly S3 like Frank’s longbows. Unfortunately, what I REALLY should have learned is don’t put Ecthelion outside of Gandalf’s Blinding Light! By not putting him in the front rank directly across from the objective, he didn’t get there turn 3, where I had priority, and could have dug it up with his might on anything but a 1. I then could have done the exact same thing I did later in the game (our forces weren’t too degraded due to all of the D6 and 7), saving a huge amount of time. Time management is critical in tournament play.

The second mistake was that I didn’t measure how far Boromir was from my line when pulling in my left flank. My unconsciously calibrated eyeball must have saved me if it wasn’t dumb luck, but if he had managed to launch that Heroic Combat he would have put Boromir up close and personal with Gandalf, which could only end one way.
Last edited by ChrisLS on Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:27 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. - Mark Twain
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Postby ChrisLS » Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:51 pm

Round 2
Domination
Alexander Adams – Arnor/Khazad-dum

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I didn’t get a keeper copy of Alexander’s list – here is the closest I can get from my recollection and photos.

Captain of Arnor with shield
2 Dunedain with spears
1 Dwarf Captain with shield and throwing weapons

16 Warriors of Arnor
8 Rangers of Arnor with spears
15 Khazad Guard (I can’t find two of these in my photos, but this would make it a 600 point list, and it makes sense with the spear support)
6 Dwarf Rangers with longbows

Models: 49 (I remember this – his break point was 25 models)
Bows: 33% + 2 heroes
Might: 6

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The table and initial deployment

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With domination against an outnumbering force, my standard strategy is to place the objectives fairly far apart and then try to bait my opponent into splitting his force with a small blocking detachment. I then try to destroy one of the isolated groups while desperately trying to hold off the other one. I’ll also try to snag one objective by running a group around the terrain and leaving one of the models behind the terrain where my opponent can’t see it. Four go in, three come out – did he notice? I’m a sneaky bastard, I know. To his credit, Alexander did ask during the game if I had someone back there, and I told him I did, complimenting him for thinking to ask the question.

Of course, most times I’m outnumbered I’m facing softer troops, so I can often kill them fairly quickly. Now I’m outnumbered by S4 dwarves and heavily armored men. Great. I decide to try to hold the far left objective with Ecthelion, his Guards of the Fountain Court, and five warriors. I hoped the D7 could hold off the Khazad Guard he was sure to send after them. I then sent everything but two non-spear armed rangers (which were left to hold my rear objective) up the middle.

Alexander split his force fairly evenly, sending half his spear supported Khazads towards the ruins with the Captain of Arnor and the other half towards my main force, backed up by his rangers. He left two spear backed Khazads on his own objective to hold it. One mistake I think he made though was succumbing to the siren song of the volley fire. This kept his rangers back off the line while his battle line advanced at full speed. I just moved forward with everything, not shooting until I had my rangers within 24” of his line. I then started shooting at his “softer” Arnor warriors through the in the way checks while sending my drop off contingent around the objective building on my right. When he moved the rest of his troops further forward, I started shooting the Dunedain and rangers. I finally capped things off with Sorcerous Blasting one of his Khazad guard out of existence along with a warrior he hit, while knocking down his captain.

In the mean time, I was barely winning the footrace on my left, but the climb checks decided to defeat me. Fully 2/3 of my warriors whiffed their climb checks, meaning that while I did get to the objective before the dwarves did, they didn’t have far to go, and I had to directly engage them rather than hopping into the ruin to defend it like I’d planned. He used his greater numbers well, lining up 4-on-2s. I think I should have sent a few spear armed rangers over there instead of the warriors – I really could have used the D7 Fountain Court in front of the line instead of behind. To make things worse, Ecthelion was stuck inside by some smart maneuvering on Alexander’s part, and was slain in two turns of combat. Suck.

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Things are going better in the middle, though. By leaving his rangers behind to volley fire, I’m able to swing around Alexander’s left flank, forcing him to try to rush in and save them while withdrawing a little. Dwarves and North-men are starting to fall as I start to turn his other flank, and Alexander makes the tactically correct decision use his priority to pull back and reform his shield/spear wall.

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Well, it would have been correct if I didn’t have Gandalf nearby and he didn’t stick one model between the end of the two lines. I rush his line, led by Gandalf, who throws a three die Sorcerous Blast into Mr. Bowling Ball. I cast the spell, roll for distance, chortling in mad glee, and get – 1”!?! You have got to be kidding me! That does knock down four models though, who are immediately bum rushed by my infantry. In the mean time, the models that were turning his left flank, not really needed for the main line, rush up towards Alexander’s home objective. I win priority next turn, determined to finish off his line with another Sorcerous Blast into the still prone bowling ball, and have to burn might to get it to go. And I get – another 1! STOP THAT! I guess I’m being greedy now, because over half of his main line including his captain is on the ground, but STILL! I dogpile in while engaging the far end of his line on the back objective, managing to kill off one of the spearmen.

The situation on the ruins objective is looking dire, however. I use my priority to withdraw four of my five remaining models over there into the ruins in order to defend the barricade. Alexander throws 4-on-2s against both pairs, winning both fights, but failing to wound, primarily due to the in-the-way checks. One problem I’ve had all game was reminding him to withdraw a full inch when he loses combats. This is critical here, because the edge of the objective extends only about a half inch from the barricade. If he can’t kill me, he has to back up OFF the objective.

Finally, I manage to break his force. The center of the table is almost clear of Alexander’s troops, and I’ve got three models in contact with his own objective, while he also has three models in contact. I’ve got my own objective and the building in the center of the table, and I’m holding onto the ruins by my fingernails. We roll the die to see if the game ends – 1. I found out later that we did make one mistake – remember that you check to see if your force is broken at the BEGINNING of a turn. The way the scenario is written, you start rolling to see if the scenario ends at the END of the turn a force is broken. That means we should have played one more turn, complete with break checks, before rolling to end the game.

Final position of my models (some of his have been picked up already)

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RESULT: Minor Victory

I’ll admit, knowing that I was in the draw part of the pairings and seeing a young kid with lots of Khazad Guard across from me, I was expecting a fairly easy battle. I didn’t get it. He had a great list and used it fairly well. However, his lack of knowledge of the rules, particularly relating to spells and defended obstacles, hampered his play. His first mistake was in holding his rangers back from the main line and trying to hurt my D6 and 7 models with volley fire, allowing me to wrap the flanks of his center line. The second was in giving Gandalf a perfect line-up for Sorcerous Blast down two lines of troops. I also wondered if he was really having any fun – I don’t think he smiled the entire game. It’s never fun to play a game, particularly when you’re winning, where your opponent looks like he’s just suffering through the experience.
In my fantasy world, we have pie.

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. - Mark Twain
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Postby ChrisLS » Mon Jul 27, 2009 10:57 pm

Round 3

Seize the High Ground
John Adams – Tower of Ecthelion/Fiefdoms)/Grey Company (Doomed Heroes of Pelannor Fields)

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Forlong the Fat on Horse
Halbarad
Ranger of the North with spear
Beregond

6 Knights of Minas Tirith with shields
12 Guards of the Fountain Court with shields
12 Men-at-arms of Dol Amroth with pikes
6 Rangers of Gondor with spears
4 Rangers of Arnor with spears

Models: 44
Bows: 33% + 5 Grey Company + Beregond
Might: 8

(I didn’t manage to get a picture of his army set up)

Having just defeated the son, I now faced the father. I expected a tough fight this time, partly from having just battled his very competent youngest son and partly from seeing his list – a very combat heavy, high fight high defense list. With the ten turn limit, there was no time for anything other than rushing towards the objective.

John lined up his troops first, with the Fountain Court in the front backed by Men-at-Arms. His rangers were holding back, and most of his cavalry were on his right flank behind some trees. I didn’t want to have to deal with those guys, so I deployed all of my rangers on my left with beautiful line of sight across the table. He did have two knights on his left, but that was small and didn’t have a hero, so I wasn’t as concerned.

We both moved forward quickly, though he wisely held Forlong and his buddies behind the trees out of range and sight of the rangers. When I got priority, I’d move half-speed with the rangers to discourage him from getting any ideas, but everyone else dashed forward, Gandalf in the lead. I got to the hill with just enough movement to move Gandalf to the top of the hill, Sorcerous Blast a Fountain Court into Beregond and a Man-at-Arms. This knocked them over, but little else. Gandalf then used his remaining inch of movement to duck back behind the hill, and the rest of my force took their positions on the military crest of the hill (the highest point of a hill or ridge that blocks you from being seen from the other side).


Unfortunately, Gandalf could be seen, and when he won priority John charged Gandalf with fearless Guards. No spell for me this turn. He also took the top of the hill with a pike-backed wall of Fountain Court. I decided to turn his flanks while holding the Fountain Court in place with shielding warriors.

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We proceeded to knock on each others’ forces for several turns. I destroyed his small contingent off the top of the hill, then surrounded his knights on my right side, but they stubbornly held on for three turns. In the mean time, his knights finally rode in to the aid of his right flank, attacking my rangers who were finally engaged in combat. He also brought in Halbarad and his rangers in an effort to stabilize his left flank.

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He did a good job of chopping up the rangers, but it was too little too late. Ecthelion, helped by Gandalf Immobilizing Halbarad, led a devastating assault on his left flank, finally collapsing it and rushing the top of the hill. As the 10 turns came to a close, John was getting close to breaking and I had nine more models than him on the table and on the hill.

Final Positions of models

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RESULT: Minor Victory

I have to admit, dice played a major role in this victory. While John was winning some of the fights along the ridge of the hill, he could not kill those warriors. On the other hand, I was rolling sixes like a madman, both to win combats and more importantly to wound his models. A great deal of the collapse of his flank was due to awesome rolling on my part. If there was one thing I would say it is that I’d have kept his rangers and Halbarad closer. For one thing, with F4 to my 3, a pike block at the top of the hill (Fountain Court, Ranger with spear, Man-at-arms) would have been very tough to get around. Anchor the flanks with Halbarad on one side and Forlong on the other, and I’ve got a major problem. He could also have ridden his cavalry over to his left flank instead of leaving them behind the trees for half the game. But again, a lot of this victory just came down to luck – I got some great die rolls when I needed them.

Day One was at an end, and it was overall an enjoyable one. Afterwards, I went and had dinner with Tim Hixon, David Wear, and, Jonas Skinner. We goobed about LOTR and discussed our next opponents. I knew I’d be facing a local store owner who had started about six months ago but had a lot of experience with his force. Apparently it was a Shadowlord/Drummer force with Morannons. Fun!
In my fantasy world, we have pie.

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. - Mark Twain
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Postby ChrisLS » Mon Jul 27, 2009 11:02 pm

Round 4

Contest of Champions
Kingsley Montgomery – Barad-dur with Shadowlord

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Kingsley is the owner of Paladin Tech and Games, one of the sponsors of the tournament and a local gaming store and computer repair business in Orlando. Awesome guy – he was a blast to play and talk to.

Shadowlord on horse
Morannon Orc Captain with shield (Champion)
Morannon Orc Captain with two handed weapon
Orc Drummer

13 Morannon Orcs with shields
7 Orcs with shields
3 Orcs with two handed weapons
16 Orcs with spears
14 Orc Trackers

Models: 57
Bows: 14/53
Might: 6

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The board and initial deployments

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With Contest of Champions, I normally roll with Gandalf. With a Nazgul on the board, that’s insanity. Ecthelion took the mantle for this round. I knew that I was heavily out numbered, so I deployed with a big building securing my right flank and a stand of trees to slow down any advance. I put the rangers down with visibility on the trackers since I figured I could start shooting them when the Shadowlord outran them. I then put a block of warriors down on the left side of the trees to serve as a delaying force. I was hoping I could get some good kills in with Ecthelion and then nullify the Morannon Captain with Immobilize. Of course, I had no idea how to deal with the wraith. I’d just take it as it came.

The game began with the big block of orcs pounding down the middle of the board and the trackers volleying to zero effect. I advanced my rangers into the gap, getting most of my warriors, including Ecthelion, ready behind the line to rush in and cover once the orcs closed. I also set a few warriors into the trees to further slow any orc incursions there and a short line to cover my left flank.

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I started shooting down some of the trackers, but the next turn Kingsley won priority and the Morannons were very quickly blocking my view. Kingsley drew the majority of his force in close across the gap between the trees and the building, another detachment around the trees, then brought his Shadowlord in for the dreaded Sap Will. He threw three dice, scoring a 6. Suck. I also threw three dice, two plus my free one, and got a five – add one might and I shrugged off the wraith’s spell.

I now had to make a decision – I had one turn until he did it again, and since used will is better than sapped will, I decided to do something with it. He had withdrawn, but he didn’t have enough range to get outside of Sorcerous Blast. I thought long and hard, and decided that trying to cast spells on a Nazgul with 11 will remaining was lunacy, so instead I threw a three die Sorcerous Blast at a piddly little orc who was a few inches in front of the Nazgul so I could at least knock him off his horse, the better to hide behind the combat. The spell casts, I roll for distance, and… NOT ANOTHER 1!!!! As my poker-playing friends might say, at this point I’m pot-stuck, and I blow the remaining two might Gandalf has to send the orc barreling into the wraith’s horse, knocking him to the ground and the horse off the table. I then complete my engagement of his line, including getting Ecthelion into combat. I do make one stupid move – I had deliberately engaged two models in order to maximize kills, but then I peeled one of them off with another model. Oops.

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Ecthelion manages to kill the orc he was in combat with, so I’m now in the lead. One thing I’m pretty pleased with is that with the way I used the terrain, I am effectively outnumbering his force, and my higher Fight models are doing a pretty good job of shoving back the orcs, and I’m starting to drop a couple. The next turn I get priority and push them back a little farther, and Gandalf hits his champion with Transfix, but it is shrugged off with will. Gandalf ducks back behind a wall of troops to avoid catching the eye of the Nazgul. I’m also pulling my blocking force further back and tying up orcs in the woods. The orc champion gets into combat, and Ecthelion shrugs off a Transfix. Let the killing begin! Or not. The orc gets beaten by the men, and Ecthelion used the Nerf sword to go after the orcs.

The next turn sees priority going to the Mordor force. I call a Heroic Move with Ecthelion to keep the orcs pushed back and guarantee that Mr. Orc decides to drool instead of fighting this turn. Yep, drooling has now commenced. Unfortunately, so does Ecthelion, as I blow his will roll to resist the wraith’s Transfix. But before that I am shoving the orcs back far enough that a gap has opened on my right which I can blow about five models through, including Fountain Court. Unfortunately, I start moving them before my priority (in the Heroic Move phase), so Kingsley very wisely plugs the hole and I have to just throw more people to try to break the line open into what has become my schwerpunkt , or focal point. If I can get some Fountain Court behind his line, Mr. Pall of Darkness is going to be very unhappy. Once I started breaking through the line, in fact, the Shadowlord took a very quick hike away from my troops and Kingsley brought his trackers in off the hill to further plug the gap.

In the mean time, the Contest of Champions continued. Ecthelion was being Transfixed, but not hurt, as was the orc champion. Getting a little more desperate as time passed, Kingsley gambled and fired a Black Dart at Ecthelion instead of Transfixing. He took a wound off Ecthelion after a failed Fate roll, but that turn without a Transfix resulted in Ecthelion racking up another kill. I was now two ahead. The next turn saw Ecthelion Transfixed again, and this time the four orcs arrayed against him brought the heir to the Steward down. No more kills for me, time to make sure Mr. Orc went bye-bye.

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The next turn I had a bad feeling and rolled my last remaining will for a two die Immobilize. This may have been a good idea, since I rolled a 1 and a 4. Whew! I’m now getting traps in on both flanks and chewing through the trackers. I decide that Gandalf no longer needs his minders and throw them into the fray, further killing orcs. Time is winding down, and I’m getting closer and closer to breaking Kingsley’s line and his force. I bring down the Orc Captain with the two-handed weapon, but that wasn’t the one I needed to kill. Despite a whole puddle of drool around the champion’s feet, I’m still no closer to actually killing him than I was at the start of the game. Kingsley is performing brilliantly, peeling off extra attackers and spear support, avoiding trapping situations, everything.

As his force is further decimated and time runs out, Kingsley gets priority and goes for broke. He brings his wraith forward and zaps Gandalf with two of his last three will, Transfixing him before I can do the same to his Captain. Well done, sir! I throw everything I have into the fight, getting a total of six attacks onto the captain and removing his spear support. He still has one point of might as well, but with three models in contact a Heroic Combat won’t work. Despite my getting a F4 model into the fight, he wins the 2-on-6 mismatch on the first roll, and strikes to wound – a 6 and a 3! (at least I think that was the roll) The result – one kill, but the second wasn’t close enough to finish with the might. I had pulled it off in one of the most enjoyable and friendly games I’ve ever played.

Result: Major Victory

The reports were true – Kingsley was a very good player with that army. He played it just right, keeping my Hero out of the fight as much as possible, cracking through the D7 nut with Black Dart, and going for broke on the last turn. The only thing I can really fault him on was his use of the trackers. While volley fire is capable of hurting your opponent, the odds are really against you. The trackers’ strength is in direct firing at fairly soft opponents, and Blinding light made that option null and void. By leaving them on the hill to shoot, he made them vulnerable to my own bowfire and kept them out of the fight at a critical moment when I started to break through. What I would have done when I saw that Gandalf was on the table is keep the trackers behind the line of orcs, inside the Shadowlord’s infuence. Then, send a small contingent into the gap to hold me in place (with the Shadowlord) while sending everything else around the trees with the drummer. Now I’d be stuck between two forces and heavily outnumbered. I couldn’t hide Gandalf behind a wall of models – I’d need them to fight off the orcs! Now Gandalf can be Sapped or Transfixed, allowing the S5 Morannon Captain to go to work. Or, keep the other (2H) Morannon behind the lines with the Shadowlord, Transfix Ecethlion, then send in a hit squad with that 2H nasty in the lead. I’m actually very, VERY glad he didn’t do that.

One way or another, that was my favorite game of the tournament. With the Major Win, I vaulted up to the top tier of the tournament, with equal points to Frank Brown and only two behind the force that had been dominating the event – the Hobbit Horde with that cheesy monkey Gandalf the Grey. What kind of chump would take a model like that?
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Postby Gartl » Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:11 am

Awesome report Chris. Grats on the excellent play.
It is a strange fate that we should suffer so much fear and doubt over so small a thing. - Boromir FOTR
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Postby BrentS » Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:22 am

Nice reports Chris. I enjoyed reading them a lot.

One point of logistics for you... Frank is the two-time defending Circuit Champ for LOTR (2007 and 2008). Someone I know finally managed to knock him off this pedestal this season though.
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Postby ChrisLS » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:22 am

Round 5

Meeting Engagement
Eric Adams – The Shire

Image

By the way - check out the shirt!

Gandalf the Grey
Farmer Maggot and his dogs
6 Dunedain with spears

Hobbits… so many hobbits…
(OK, to be more specific)
30 Hobbit Militia
10 Hobbit Shiriffs
20 Hobbit Archers, 1 with signal horn

Models: 71 (oh, man…)
Might: 10 (even better…)
Bows: 33% hobbit bows + 6 Dunedain

When I first found out that I was playing the hobbits, I thought I was going to be playing on this beautiful table:

Image

I mean, check that out! For one thing, the idea of fighting a Meeting Engagement in the middle of the Shire is a great visual spectacle. Plus, check out all of the defendable barriers, choke points, and cover. This would be a great tactical challenge – how do I manage his vastly greater numbers with my superior troops?

Image

Unfortunately, when I got to the table, my opponent said he didn’t want to play on it, and the judge went with him. Instead, we played on this:

Image

oh sh*t…

This is about the worst of all possible outcomes. I know how this game works. When I was managing a store, one of my customers got interested in LOTR. This was before Legions (or even The Scouring of the Shire), and doing the math he came up with what he figured was the perfect army – Goblins. Point for point, they are one of the best armies simply because you can swamp your opponent. Trolls? Forget it. Durburz? I don’t even know if he was released yet. Shamans? Why bother? In a 500 point game he’d throw 80+ goblins on the table with three captains in place only for the might. I think the biggest game he played used 120 goblins. He’d advance just far enough to get you into volley fire range and rain death on you until you arrived at his lines, when he’d swamp you, turning your flanks with no problem at all. This guy almost stopped playing when Legions came out because his army was “nerfed”. Of course, beating him is still elusive for me…

The one time I remember seeing him beaten was when one of my employees decided he’d build a hobbit army, and for once the Goblins were outnumbered. I think there were about 250 models on the table. Their massive throw down lasted about 3.5 hours and when the dust settled a mere handful of hobbits were on the table and no goblins.

I know hobbits, and I fear them.

In an open field battle like this, they are unbeatable. You have to find ways to reduce their numbers advantage in choke points. Shooting won’t work against them – they have Gandalf and I don’t have a Nazgul. I did a quick mathematical analysis, and in a volley fire duel I should be doing about 3 wounds every 4 rounds, and he should be doing about 1 wound every 2 rounds. Great! All I have to do is sit back and volley fire for 73 turns or so, by which time I’ll have already been defeated, and that’s assuming he never hits my rangers. That sounds like a fun game.

I didn’t take any more pictures. I had too much to do. He deployed in the center of the board, with a few up on the hill to his left. I deployed in my far left area.

I figured I could try knocking him down a few notches through volley fire and seeing if I could draw him into the ruins on my left. I did use my extra foot of range to kill off a few of the little blighters, including killing his signal horn the first time I volley fired. After three wounds on the Shirelings, though, I stopped killing any of them. It was getting really frustrating. Plus, he got into range with 19 archers and started raining his own volley fire on my warriors. I figured – Ha! I have D7 models, which he had about an 8.3% chance of wounding. I start assigning my hits to my Fountain Court. He promptly kills two of them. He is averaging 4 hits each turn and at least one wound. In about five rounds of shooting he has killed seven models. I’ve still only killed three. This can’t continue.

I am not at this tournament on Table 1 in Round 5 to play for a draw and just give the tournament to someone on another table. I’m going to see if I can play the numbers right and start putting them into my favor. I tell my opponent I’m going to embarrass everyone, and yell “FOR GONDOR!” at the top of my lungs, and start charging all of my models across the table. I will note – this was NOT a frontal assault. I was shooting for his right flank – I still hoped I could block the majority of his troops by using the ruins on that part of the table and holding off the flanking force as I cut through his low quality troops.

Eric was a little worried – he started pulling back his flanks, trying to get me to engage the center of his line. Forget it, buster. I kept moving my troops to his right, and I finally started to hit his flank with even combats or even ones in my favor. As I swung Gandalf around, I started launching Sorcerous Blasts – and found out just how incredibly annoying Resistant to Magic was. I cast Blast on a 6: he rolls a 6 for the damn hobbit’s resistance. I Blast a Dunedain instead – he passes his will roll. I finally manage to get another blast off onto the same Dunedain, who was lined up with hobbits as far as the eye can see – I roll for distance – NOT AGAIN!! HOW MANY 1s CAN A PERSON ROLL FOR SORCEROUS BLAST!?!?!?

Bah.

The other Gandalf is also launching Blasts at my very non-resistant warriors, but he’s not killing any, just slowing me down a little. After a turn in combat, I’ve managed to finally go into the lead in the raw number of casualties, though I’m still behind from a percentage view. I’m engaged on his left flank pretty well and Ecthelion is hacking his way into the line about eight inches away from his flank, supported by Fountain Court. I’m hoping I can bite out the chunk with his Dunedain and Gandalf – if I can break him and remove most of his heroes (oh, just that?) then his force can start dissolving from Courage checks.

But there is a big danger – Eric swings his entire left flank towards me like a door. I shoot into it with almost all of my rangers, and despite them being outside of Gandalf’s light I don’t kill a single model. I think long and hard – if I allow them to rush in with that mass I’m screwed. But in his current configuration he’s three deep – I can trap and kill some models, and he’s got no spear support. I go for broke and charge the block, getting a spear supported ranger onto two hobbits apiece with a couple of warriors protecting their flank from a swarming attack. I need to kill off several of the hobbits and then win priority so I can pull them out again before they are swamped.

Neither one happens. These aren’t hobbits, they’re Morannon Orcs! I bounce off the wall, losing almost all of the 2-on-2 (Fight value in my favor) and getting a couple of my rangers killed. I think I killed two hobbits, and I lost at least that many rangers. Eric then wins priority and promptly turns their flank and starts getting 6-on-1 hobbit beat downs set up.

At this point I know I’ve lost. Ecthelion is isolated inside of the hobbit lines by spear supported hobbits and Farmer Maggot and goes down in two turns, particularly after being Immobilized by Gandalf and me whiffing my will save. My flank attack on his left is getting several won fights, and an unending series of 1s and 2s to wound.

Eric has also thrown Gandalf into the fray to try to stop my flank attack. OK, bring it, old man! I throw my OWN Gandalf in – THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE! We’re both spear supported, and whoever gets priority and brings friends in to help out gets them peeled off by the other guy. Here my luck changes – I win three out of the four rounds of G vs. G, and Glamdring manages to cleave the false, hobbit loving Gandalf. I killed Gandalf! WOO-HOO!!! The next turn my force breaks.

Eric then engaged Gandalf a few of my other troops, and several of my troops fail their courage tests. Eric kills off several of the models he had engaged, and after the next turn the game was over. We decided to keep fighting it out, and Gandalf managed to survive for about another five turns, and one particularly stubborn Fountain Court Guard kept fighting off and trying to kill Farmer Maggot. Unfortunately, the rustic hobbit kept bringing a posse with him. That’s just how he rolls. The Guard lasted three turns.

Result: Major Loss

There just wasn’t a lot to do about this. With the terrain, there simply weren’t any options. If I hit his other flank, I still get swamped. If I stand back and shoot, he is still winning the numbers game. Eric said he didn’t see any real mistakes that I made – just bad dice rolling. And I have to lay some of the blame there. Just like some of my victories can be attributed to the tears of 6s I would roll, this was partly attributable to my inability to wound D3 models with multiple S3 attacks. I wasn’t kidding about these being Morannon Hobbits. When I won, I couldn’t hurt them. When they won, even in straight up fights, they slew my warriors.

One thing that Tim Hixon brought up in the extensive de-brief we had after the game was that I could have advanced my rangers into direct fire range. While I’m still hitting on 6s, I’m the one choosing the casualties now, while he’s still randomizing. That’s an option, particularly if I’m picking on his hobbit archers or Dunedain from behind my own warriors. I’m not sure if that would have helped that much – I’ve still only got 14 rangers (only?!?), so I’d be averaging less than one wound a turn.

Really this just came down to list building. There aren’t a lot of ways to deal with that army without running a list that can specifically deal with it. One option that we came up with was using a Mordor Catapult with a troll. Yeah, I’m only hitting one in three times, but when I hit it is going to HURT. Want to volley fire? You’ve got to stay together. Want to spread out? You’re not going to stay under Gandalf’s light, which means I hit more. Add in the Shadowlord, an Orc Drummer, and a bunch of Orc Trackers. They can advance together, Sap Will on Gandalf, and then stay out of range of the hobbits as you shoot them to pieces while getting two shots every turn with the catapult. Fall back until you’re back around the catapult, and when you’re out of room rush in with the troll, using the edges of the board to protect your flanks. It’s a cheesy way to win, but to be perfectly honest, so is playing hobbits.

I can take some comfort in the fact that I lost to the Best Overall recipient. He had a very nice army, with a bunch of awesome conversions, including a hobbit riding a ram and another one on top of a keg. He was also a friendly, easy to get along with player who, even when things might not be going his way was pleasant. He definitely deserved the Best Overall. However, I think at next year’s Necro I’m going to be gunning for him.
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Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself. - Mark Twain
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Postby ChrisLS » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:25 am

BrentS wrote:Nice reports Chris. I enjoyed reading them a lot.

One point of logistics for you... Frank is the two-time defending Circuit Champ for LOTR (2007 and 2008). Someone I know finally managed to knock him off this pedestal this season though.


Hmmm... I wonder who that might be...

Having two of the four tournaments in the circuit in your home town certainly helped. *8) Thanks, Gee-Dub! Is it still a circuit if only three events are a part of it. Still, I can't think of anyone else I'd rather see win it. Great job!

Point about Frank noted, I'll change that. Thanks for the kind words!
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Postby Amdur » Tue Jul 28, 2009 9:34 am

Aye, excellent reports, a very, very fun read! Love the pics, as well!

Congrats on games well-played and reports well-done! :)

-Tim
Wheels within wheels in a spiral array, a pattern so grand and complex.
Time after time we lose sight of the way, our causes can't see their effects.
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Postby BrentS » Tue Jul 28, 2009 10:28 am

ChrisLS wrote: However, I think at next year’s Necro I’m going to be gunning for him.


While you are gunning for him, I'm gunning for you. I've got two losses against you to avenge. :twisted:
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Postby BostonNazgul » Tue Jul 28, 2009 12:09 pm

nothing against him, but seems kinda quirky to be able to swap tables at a whim, specially with the tournament on the line. I am super protective of my models too and it sucks when they fall but, idk, it is a tournament, roll with the punches idea... could you have played the terrain differently to make it more "playable"?
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Postby tjski » Tue Jul 28, 2009 3:02 pm

BostonNazgul wrote:nothing against him, but seems kinda quirky to be able to swap tables at a whim, specially with the tournament on the line. I am super protective of my models too and it sucks when they fall but, idk, it is a tournament, roll with the punches idea... could you have played the terrain differently to make it more "playable"?


Hmm, I was thinking the same sort of thing. What was the reasoning for not playing on the assigned table? I would have loved to play on that Shire board. And seeing how the other table was wide open, I don't know. I would have rather played on the Shire table knowing I was facing a hobbit army, just fits the theme better.

But if the organizers were fine with it and so were the players then its all good. It's just a shame that you did not get to play on it.

One other question, did other folks play on it all weekend?

Great report Chris...

Tim K
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Postby Guardian of Ecthelion » Tue Jul 28, 2009 5:44 pm

Good reports Chris.

I am with Brent and I am starting to petition the wife to Disney(Necro) next year.

Congrats on the finish.
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Postby Smeagol » Tue Jul 28, 2009 6:39 pm

tjski wrote:One other question, did other folks play on it all weekend?
It was used for the top two players for Rounds 4 and 5. Personally I think the ornate tables make for a good challenge. Frank and I played our first game against each other on one of those tables and it caused me no ends of issues of how to advance on his lines.
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Postby BostonNazgul » Tue Jul 28, 2009 7:36 pm

im pretty sure you and i are experts on those types of tables tim!
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