GW Alamo LOTR Tournament

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GW Alamo LOTR Tournament

Postby Smeagol » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:44 am

There was a 700 point LOTR tournament in one of the Bay Area GW stores which I was able to attend. I still need some practice with my forces to decide which I like best for the Las Vegas Trip. I decided to take my current front runner for Las Vegas. It's won more games than it's lost and the two losses I can remember have both been to Gary Lane in Meeting Engagement.

I had the opportunity to take my Legions of Isengard/Khandish Mercenary force out for three games today. Ill Met by Moonlight against a Fiefdom/Rohan force was a close run thing for a bit, but in the long run I had my opponent on the ropes and rapidly diminishing on the battlefield. Wounding Eomer twice and eating up all his Fate on turn one was just enough abuse to scare my opponent into not engaging with Eomer for the rest of the game. Despite immobilizing him three times and engaging him on my terms I couldn't manage to put that last wound on him. I could have played a lot better, but I didn't get enough sleep and game one is always a slow start for me.

Game two was Reconnoitre against a Khazad-Dum/Arnor alliance. Durin, a generic dwarf captain and Malbeth stood between me and the opposite table edge. This is one scenario that if I lose with this force it's because I'm brain dead. The cavalry smashed through my opponent's right flank while my infantry bled his center and left flank. I got 7 cavalry models off the table and then sent Saruman back into the fray to help finish off the generic dwarf captain. I purposefully started piling onto Durn and using my two handed weapons and not providing spear support to my lines in order to lose models. It worked and I was soon broken. I was broken and my force reduced to below 25% in the same turn. I love Courage 2 troops. I purposefully caused Saruman to run from the fight, though in Las Vegas I would definitely not do this. I don't need to be giving 180 Skull taker points to my opponent.

Game three saw Gary and I facing off in Meeting Engagement. His White Company has beaten my force in Meeting Engagement in every encounter so far. True to form Gary decided to defend and so I adopted the attacker role. The game was intense (as usual) with me initially out shooting his force of Rangers with my Mercenary archers. Eventually I have to get stuck in so I engaged across the line. I tried to break his left flank with my cavlary lead by Saruman, but it got stopped in its tracks and decimated. Every time I charge in with my cavalry against Gary's lines this happens. I charge anyone else and I cut a bloody swath through their lines and terminal bleeding starts, but against Gary's White Company my cavalry looks more like high speed watermelon collisions with a brick wall. Still the battle was close with me breaking a couple of turns before I finally broke Gary's force. Time ran out on the clock and we had to resort to a points tally to determine the winner. Unfortunately Gary managed to kill Saruman and that alone clinched a win for Gary. High point heroes dying when points determine a victor is a death sentence in LOTR.

I really need a lot more practice with Meeting Engagement so I can get the hang of killing high defense walls of steel and spears with a low defense force. I still seem to be missing something. Of course I'm improving and I could see my mistakes hours later after thinking about the battle, but dice also contributed. Eowyn was shot with arrows left and right and flung about like a rag doll twice and I still couldn't kill her. Beregrond refused to die as well. I never even had a chance at Faramir. Three great games with Gary and I both feeling the challenge of trying to best the other. He was by far my toughest game of the day.
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Postby Guardian of Ecthelion » Mon Mar 28, 2011 2:34 pm

Nice. If it wasn't for Gary would anybody beat you consistently out west? I know Win and CHrisLS play but do you get a chance to play them? When you guys play on fridays do you have the same crowd? The reason I ask is I am currently recruiting some new players and was wondering if you guys set games in advance or do you just show up and wing it?
Thanks
Chris
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Postby Smeagol » Mon Mar 28, 2011 3:43 pm

Gary and Steve are my most common opponents. Wyn and Chris I typically only get to play at tournaments at the moment. I and Gary have tried to schedule a day or two where we can travel down to play against them, but they had to be cancelled due to conflicts in schedules. I missed Wyn in this last tournament, but Gary managed to draw him in round two.

I'm far from invulnerable. I still make mistakes when I play. I have recently started playing the hardest scenarios for me to win based upon mine and my opponent's forces. So I've had a string of losses the last few weeks, but I have found myself improving my playing and each loss is less severe than the last one. I'm hoping that by the time I hit Las Vegas I will have learned how to beat anything in any scenario with the force I bring.

I just bring a couple of forces and play whoever is available. At the moment I'm down to Gary and Steve, but they're both challenging to play so I still get a work out. We've got a few new players, but they don't play as often. Steve and I have on occassion started narrative campaigns that start out small at a couple hundred points and slowly walk through a storyline. These style games can be fun and instructive as you have fewer models to worry about so you can get the basics down pretty quickly and as the campaign escalates in points the games become more challenging and the learning of small unit tactics start.

As a side note. The GW manager of the Alamo store has learned how challenging and fun that LOTR is so he's been pushing the game at his store and it's starting to grow. It'll be nice to have a group of Bay Area players to beat on occassionally. Basically if you have someone championing the game it will attract players.

The Bay Area new players are pretty sharp for their level of experience. they've got most of the rules down pretty good and really it's just skirmish tactics that they need to work on. When I'm in teaching mode for LOTR then I will make recommendations to my opponent on what would be their best moves or how to exploit a position to their advantage. I found myself making helpful recommendations to my opponents while we were playing against my first two opponents. I didn't realize I was doing it until the second game.

I found it very humorous that a couple players were asking to buy "Khandish Mercenaries" after seeing my force in action.
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