Battle Reports for 2010 Gathering

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Battle Reports for 2010 Gathering

Postby ChrisLS » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:38 am

I had promised myself that I'd be bringing an Evil army this year, since I'd done Evil in 2008 and Good in 2009. However, my first child was born in September, shortly after the last event of the 2009 season, and while I did get a tiny amount of work done on my Mordor army, it was mostly unpainted. Sure, Chris, blame it on the baby.

So I ended up bringing Mithrandir's Errand again. Yep, the dirty old man was back.

The Wizards
Gandalf the Grey

Minas Tirith
Ecthelion (King of Men stat line) w/heavy armor and shield

5 Guards of the Fountain Court w/shields
23 Warriors of Minas Tirith w/shields
5 Rangers of Gondor
9 Rangers of Gondor w/spears

Points: 600
Models: 44
Might: 5
Spells: Oh yeah, baby

Round 1 – Storm the Camp

Opponent: Tim McKnight
Army: Moria

A major improvement over last year’s Gathering was the selection of scenarios. Last year every scenario was a modified meeting engagement, which worked very well for some armies but left others out in the cold. Not so this year. Table assignments were called, and I headed over to scope out the terrain for my Storm the Camp. And saw the goblins. So… many… goblins.

Yes, Tim had managed to max out the model limit, the first time I’ve ever come across it. Even more goblins than the damn hobbits I fought at the Necro. Of course, these guys don’t have Gandalf with them. And they only need to outnumber me in the corner to win.

I quickly arrived at my plan – use my rangers to deny one side with arrow fire, plug up the center using the ruins, and try to sneak Ecthelion and some friends into the backfield and kill enough goblins fast enough to win before the wave of goblins washed the rest of my force away.

Things started off pretty well. My standard spells (Blinding Light and Terrifying Aura) went up, and I managed to get my rangers in place on the left and started off by shooting one of Tim’s trolls, hitting him twelve times, but only getting one wound. I also started plugging up the center of the board, and swung my “mad dash” crew around the corner. I started throwing spells when Tim took his second troll and started him towards Ecthelion’s crew, immobilizing him while a couple more troops went through the ruins.

On the left, the troll wised up and hid behind goblins, and I started mowing them down as well, managing to put another wound on the troll while I was at it. The center was holding pretty well, but Durburz finally got into the act and started whooping up on my warriors. Gandalf managed to squeeze through the ruins while keeping the troll drooling, but enough of Ecthelion’s boys had been shot or slowed down by the blocking detachment that I didn’t think I could overcome the troll and the archers.

In the mean time, Durburz finally leads a charge headlong into my line, but I manage to isolate him and dump nine models onto him. I win the combat, and throwing 18 dice, get exactly… ZERO wounds! YOU HAVE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME! In the mean time, I’m barely holding back a flood of goblins, and I have no models within 12” of my corner. Things are looking bleak.

But time is also running out. After another turn where Durburz manages to win the combat, it takes yet ANOTHER two rounds to finally kill the goblin king. In the mean time, goblins have been chewing up my troops and the twice-wounded troll has finally hit my line and is busy making Gondorian jam with his hammer. Once I finally managed to put down Durburz, the flood of extra troops is welcome but a last ditch effort.

On the other side of the table, Tim has not made the mistake of leaving his goblin archers too far out, and he now has 13 models within 12” with more on the way. I immobilize the troll yet again and jump him with Ecthelion, Gandalf, and the other troops I have back there. The troll does last two turns, but that’s it. The turn after I take down the back troll, time is called, and neither camp is stormed.

RESULT: Draw – 10 points

The only way I could win this game would be if Tim made some serious errors, and while he did make a couple they weren’t critical. Durburz was held back for too long, and he didn’t take advantage of the goblins’ mobility over terrain with their jump checks. He could have easily plugged up his rear by occupying the ruins with just a few goblins, then spearheaded a drive down the center hill with both trolls and Durburz. Instead, he let me whittle him down with bowfire on one flank while spending too much time fighting my force in the middle. But that is what kept him from getting the major win. I don’t know what I could have done differently to win the game – this was just a bad match up, and I hoped I could pull some better draws for the rest of the event.


BTW, I'll be putting pics in later. Just not tonight.
Last edited by ChrisLS on Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:10 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby ChrisLS » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:39 am

Round 2 – Domination

Opponent: Brent Sinclair
Army: Unexpected Party

And my hopes came true. Domination (objective markers, not terrain pieces) against a 15 model force. Brent’s army is absolutely gorgeous, the best theme I’ve EVER seen in any miniatures game, and he is also a damn good player. However, in a Domination game against my army, he was toast. And he knew it.

This is not to say he gave up! Much like the last game, he knew the only way he could win is if I made a mistake and he could capitalize on it. I set up in the standard arc, and he clumped up behind some rocks. As I advanced a few models to either side and most in the middle, he started moving his force towards the objective on my right while leaving Bilbo behind to hold his home objective. If I hit him with only a portion of my force, he would eat it for lunch, but if I could hit him with my whole force at the same time he’d be squished.

This resulted in a fine dance as I had Gandalf on my left with half of my warriors, my rangers in the middle shooting into his Blinding Light, and Ecthelion with the remainder of my warriors on the right. Oh and a four warrior gank squad going around the rocks after Bilbo. Those guys relentlessly pushed forward, but as Brent went first left, then right, the back, the rest of my army tried to inch closer to his army without getting close enough to get caught in a Command/Heroic Combat trap.

I got very lucky after a few turns – my Gandalf got close enough to throw a 3 die Sorcerous Blast into regular dwarf who was thrown back into Bombur (the banner bearer) and Gandalf on his horse. I kill the original target and Bombur, and knock Gandalf to the ground. Sweet! A later blast claims another ordinary dwarf.

Finally, I got everyone within about nine inches, and he moved Thorin, Balin, and one other dwarf forward of his line. I took the opportunity to rush my force in, engaging two Iron Guard with multiple enemies, taking them down. The combat quickly dissolves into a scrum, and dwarves are dropping like rocks. Brent is claiming a few of my troops, but it isn’t nearly enough. In the mean time, the gank squad is closing on Bilbo, who is trying to sneak away.

I’ve whittled Brent down to eight models, and he starts falling back to his home rock pile in an attempt to salvage the minor loss. I kill Bilbo, and the gank squad rushes back to try to overwhelm the objective. His Gandalf Blasts one of my troops away, but I manage to get back within three inches, but another falls to thrown axes. I kill another dwarf, and have four models within three inches of the objective compared to three of his. We roll to end, and the game continues.

I’m trying to get models back towards the objective, but Brent is masterfully keeping my people away. I get six models near the objective only to have two killed through axes and combat. Two of Brent’s models are holding me back while four are near the objective. About 20 models of mine are with 9 inches of the objective. We roll to end the game – and it’s over. Well played, Brent.

Result: Minor Victory – 15 points

Frankly, the outcome of this game was never really in doubt. It was only a question of if I made a mistake he could capitalize on, and if I could get enough troops onto the fourth objective to keep it. We discussed the game at length afterwards, and Brent insisted he kept making mistakes. The only one I MAYBE saw was if he had committed to going after one of my forces on the far right and trying to kill it before Gandalf and the other warriors caught up, and I think I could have danced them away until I had the dwarves cornered. Brent has won this scenario before, but it wasn’t going to happen today. I don’t really think I could have done anything differently – I might have been able to put a few more models into the gank squad to hold the objective, but I was pretty sure I’d need as many models as I could get to take out those dwarves.
Last edited by ChrisLS on Wed Feb 24, 2010 8:23 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 Feb 22, 2010 2:40 am

Round 3 - Bilbo’s Treasure (modified Meeting Engagement)

Opponent: Mike Gingold
Army: Erebor

With that win, I’m getting up into the higher part of the rankings. There were a LOT of draws in the first two games, so I’m still hanging in there. We’d been talking about the “53 dwarf list” that someone had seen, and couldn’t figure out who it was. Turns out it was Mike, an Arizona local player. I hate dwarf hordes. They are rock hard, have powerful shooting, and are generally led by Gimli. No disappointments on that score. Lots of warriors with a few Iron Guard and Khazad Guard, ten archers, and Gimli in the lead.

The scenario was a Meeting Engagement with a 3 point treasure randomly scattered around the board, one of six treasure counters. The table was an interesting one, with a ruined wall dividing it diagonally, with gaps regularly placed in the wall and a large gatehouse in the middle. Treasure counters were evenly placed about 6 inches from the centerline. I went heavy right with two man teams assigned to each of the three treasures on the left. Mike put his archers in the middle and about a third of the remaining warriors on my left led by Gimli. The rest he put to the right.

We dashed forward, and I found the treasure in the middle of the gatehouse. My two warriors went back towards the table edge while the rest went through the gatehouse and into his warriors. My rangers hung back to shoot at the incoming Gimli and friends on my side of the wall, while the rest of my force went to town on his other forces. I managed to start whittling them down, controlling the action through a lot of priority wins, and then using heroic moves when I didn’t. I also bowled over dwarves with Sorcerous Blast, then charged the prone survivors. Ironically, I took down his Khazads and Iron Guards fastest, while his damn archers wouldn’t die.

In the mean time, Mike was trying to break through two warriors who I had left holding the gatehouse door and just couldn’t do it. I would win combats by shielding or survive his Iron Guard’s two attacks when I didn’t. It was uncanny. Gimli and friends finally started swinging for the rangers (who had been joined by one of the treasure guards after the other took it off the table), and caught them, but they managed to hold them off and even take one or two with them as they were killed.

I was finally managing to trap and kill Mike’s remaining forces on the other side of the table. Gandalf was using Glamdring and his staff to knock down dwarves, and Ecthelion was also taking his toll. I finally managed to break the dwarves, and a series of unlucky Courage rolls really decided things. As Mike’s army started to vanish, I was able to throw eight and nine warriors against single warriors. The Iron Guard finally managed to push (not kill) his way through the gatehouse, only to get brained by Gandalf’s staff. That turn Mike fell below quarter strength, and the game ended.

RESULT: Major Win plus bonus– 23 points

Mike is a great guy, but he made some serious mistakes in this game. First off, he shouldn’t have split his force. If he wanted to go after the treasure, he could send a couple people after the counters while keeping the rest around Gimli. With Blinding Light up, I’d have sent the archers after the treasure while keeping everyone else in a combat block. As soon as the treasure was found, if I couldn’t shoot it down, then I’d just fall back to the block. If Gandalf got close, of course you spread out a little. But mostly you want to close Gimli and the others into combat as quickly as possible.

If I use chokepoints, just hold the line except in one point where the Khazads, Iron Guards, and Gimli are applied until that point breaks, then swarm through. One Iron Guard and a regular warrior in the gatehouse are not enough. Put Gimli on the case, or just go around, and NOT towards my blocking force of archers. He could have also done a fade of his own – as I advanced, he could pull back and bring Gimli and his buddies back to help out. To be fair, having Gandalf up makes that kind of silly, since the idea is to shoot them as the come in. One way or another, he can’t let a small portion of his force get isolated and destroyed by a superior force, particularly if it isn’t supported by a hero.
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 Feb 22, 2010 2:41 am

Round 4 – Contest of Champions

Opponent: Tom Keegan
Army: Far Harad

In the inevitable score contemplation we engage in after the day (or heck, even after a round), we figured out pretty quick I’d be facing Tom Keegan. While there was another fellow who had more points than me, he’d faced Keegan in Round 1. So I knew I was facing Contest of Champions against Far Harad. Against a fantastic player. Yow.

I thought long and hard about it, and had decided to use Ecthelion as my champion while nullifying the Mahud King Tom was sure to use as his champ with Gandalf. I went down to breakfast and started talking to Brent, who despite the drubbing I’d given him the day before offered me the advice that I should use Gandalf, primarily because Sorcerous Blast would be so effective against the combat block he was sure to need. I also realized that as good as Ecthelion is, he’s just a generic hero. The half-trolls, Akhabian Guard, and the king himself still wound him on 5s, and he’s only got one fate. I finally decide to run Gandalf as my champion.

In deployment, I almost screw up again. I win choice of side, and looking for a clear field of fire for the archers, almost put my troops on a hill. Then I realize I have a virtual fortress in the form of three fence pieces backed by a stand of woods on my side of the table. I pick my models up and put them behind the fence.

The game starts off with a scare. Tom shoots volley fire at me, and right off the bat manages to get a wound on Gandalf, which I fail to save with re-rollable fate! But pretty quickly the game starts settling down. I put arrows into his cavalry, dropping a one and unhorsing three more. I try to put some arrows into his king, but the half-trolls in the way leads to the bouncing off harmlessly. I do start taking more down, and when he finally gets close enough, Gandalf lets loose, Sorcerous Blasting a Mahud into three other troops and the king himself. I kill the Mahud and a spearman, putting me up 2-0. Thanks for the advice, Brent!

His Mahud start to hit my line, but their attacks, when successful, bounce off the barrier. Gandalf throws another blast, killing another Mahud. 3-0. I’m starting to really get some good rolls, and Gandalf throws another blast, killing a spearman who is hit by the throw model. 4-0. Gandalf then jumps into a multiple combat with a Mahud who killed the ranger defending the fence, and despite Tom’s salivating puts Glamdring through his chest. 5-0.

At this point, I’ve built up enough of a lead that I’m getting pretty comfortable. Plus, the king is getting really close. I pull Gandalf back and start hitting Tom’s king with Immobilize. Unfortunately, there are way too many models between my force and his king to try to bum rush him while he’s drooling. I try to reduce his numerical advantage, but he is starting to break through my fortress. Time is starting to run down, and my numbers are shrinking, but so are Tom’s.

Then disaster strikes. My force is on the verge of breaking, and Tom has been calling Heroic Moves with his Harad Taskmaster for some time, getting back the Might due to that damn whip (I think he got about 6 Might back from that whip this game alone). He wins Priority, we both call Heroic moves, and he wins the roll-off. He brings his Mahud King into contact with two models, but then messes up and puts another model into contact. I then fail to Immobilize him, and he ends up killing that model, plus enough to break my force. The next turn, I win priority, but he calls another Heroic (got back the Might) and wins the roll off, getting into contact with two more models. I again fail to Immobilize him, and he kills those two. Then, he kills another model through a Heroic Combat, and of course he gets his Might back from the taskmaster. Gandalf got jumped, and somehow I manage to win the fight and kill a Mahud that attacks him. 6-4.

I went on a string of horrible Courage tests, and lose about seven models just there. The Mahud and friends chew up a huge number of other ones, and I find myself starting at six of my own models in the middle of a horde. At this point, I make the call to Immobilize the King with only my free die, since if I spent the last one I’d keep Terrifying Aura up, making it easier to avoid being charged by the chicken Mahud. I roll a 1. Oh. Crap. Gandalf then gets jumped by some eight models and destroyed, two warriors are killed, and the Mahud finishes off another model. 6-5, with only Ecthelion left on the board. He is promptly leapt upon by the King with a huge number of buddies, and despite rolling a 6 I lose the roll-off for tied fight values and the King butchers Ecthelion. 6-6, and I’m tabled.

RESULT: Draw – 10 points

I’m not really sure what I could have done here. I could have thrown both dice at the king for the Immobilize, but that only buys me one turn. Unless I could kill him, he’s still a threat. I might have been able to try to fail Ecthelion’s Courage test if I’d won priority, but I didn’t. There never really was an opportunity to isolate and kill the king. In the end, we both played as hard as we could, and the dice gave, and the dice took away. My “terrible” courage tests may have saved me from a loss, since it took potential targets away, and the loss of priority several turns in a row was catastrophic. Tom’s taskmaster rolls were just on fire. He could not fail them. I might have been able to go after the taskmaster, but not in enough force to guarantee I took him out. It was the most competitive game I played all tournament, and a huge amount of 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 Feb 22, 2010 2:42 am

I'll post Round 5 tomorrow or something. I need to sleep.
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 BrentS » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:24 am

ChrisLS wrote:Round 2 – Domination

Opponent: Brent Sinclair
Army: Unexpected Party

And my hopes came true. Domination (objective markers, not terrain pieces) against a 15 model force. Brent’s army is absolutely gorgeous, the best theme I’ve EVER seen in any miniatures game, and he is also a damn good player. However, in a Domination game against my army, he was toast. And he knew it.


I will have my REVENGE!!!!!! (some day... hopefully...)

Great Reports Chris!
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Postby Jack Napier » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:14 pm

Great write ups Chris. I really wish I could have been there. I can't wait to see the pics.

@Brent- I'd like to read a write about your experience. Playing such a small army. Do you think you'd try something that small again?
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Postby chicagoSWANknights » Tue Feb 23, 2010 1:32 am

ChrisLS, just curious what is ur army list?
MALBETH!!!
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Postby ChrisLS » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:02 am

Duh! I'll update the first post with my army.
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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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