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Chris L's GitD 2012 BatReps

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:44 am
by ChrisLS
All right! Going to my fourth Gathering in the Desert. I am really excited to get started this year, as always. I'm running my Cirith Ungol for what will almost certainly be the last time in this format, since we're still using Legions of Middle Earth instead of the new sourcebooks. One interesting thing about this year's event – we're doing a pure Good vs. Evil on two entirely separate tracks. So no dance of the Ringwraiths is possible – I'll only be facing off against those blasted do-gooders like Elves, Dwarves, and Men.

My list this year:

Witch King of Angmar (2/10/1)

Mordor Uruk-Hai Captain w/2 handed weapon
Mordor Orc Shaman
Mordor Orc Drummer

Orc with banner
25 Orcs with shields
7 Orcs with spears
17 Orc Trackers
5 Mordor Uruk-Hai with shields
2 Mordor Uruk-Hai with 2 handed weapons

Points: 600
Models: 61
Might: 6
Bows: 17/57 (30%)

Re: Chris L's GitD 2012 BatReps

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:45 am
by ChrisLS
Round 1: Seize the Artifact
Opponent: Anthony Pigatti – Galadhrim

Last year, Tim started seeding people based upon their previous performance, and this year it looked pretty similar. I was one of the top ranked players, and I got paired with a guy who has won Best General both times I've seen him at the Gathering. The first time I played Anthony I was doing great, sprang a nasty trap on him, and was rewarded with the most amazing run of dice rolls I think I've ever seen, leaving me with a quarter of my force dead in one turn. Major loss on that one. The second one I was supposed to kill his captain, Rumil, who hid behind a wall of Galadhrim, with my Easterlings. I almost managed to get him through some tricky, tricky stuff, but he escaped with a lucky die roll. Minor loss there.

This time, I thought things were definitely in my favor. His archery was limited with the massive (and gorgeous!) Inn of the Prancing Pony gracing the center of the board. With choice of sides, I also had a straight shot up into the center of the table, while Anthony's elves had to weave a little, meaning they wouldn't get to the artifact until turn 4, while I'd be there turn 2 courtesy of my drum. I laid my troops out pretty evenly, while Anthony put his archer into the cover of the woods on his right and split the rest of his force in two, one part going up the middle and the other going up the left.

Things were looking worse for Anthony as I dashed forward and grabbed the artifact, unearthing it on the first try. He wasn't even able to put a control zone on it the next turn. He did try to contain the damage, hopping his left flank force over the hedge to clog up my avenue of escape.

This last part, unfortunately, probably lost him the game. While I was able to engage his troops in the yard, I sent a significant portion of my troops back over the hedge, using a nearby staircase as a launching ramp. I climbed my models up the staircase until I could hop down onto the other side of the hedge, then run up it. This included a hand-off of the artifact to an orc who now put the hedge and a bunch of friends between himself and Anthony's elves.

At this point, it was pretty much over. I continued to beat the drum, running down the sideline with a wall of orcs keeping the elves at bay and the bearer safe. We wrapped up with an hour to spare.

RESULT: Major Victory – 20 Battle Points total

This board and scenario, when combined with my list, made it very, very hard for Anthony to win. However, he could have had a better chance if he'd left his blocking force on the left on the other side of the hedge, instead using it as a defended obstacle, and splitting his archers up to cover either side of the inn. But however I got it, I was more than happy to take a major win over Anthony.

Re: Chris L's GitD 2012 BatReps

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:45 am
by ChrisLS
Round 2: Domination
Opponent: Ward Purcell – Fiefdoms

Ward is a fairly new player, but he had experience playing Legends of the Old West and Legends of the High Seas. His list was pretty solid, with a strong dismounted contingent and a major nutcracker of mounted Knights of Dol Amroth led by Prince Imrahil. I've played against Imrahil a couple times, and I have a lot of respect for him.

This is the modified scenario with three objectives down the center diagonal, and a major victory would be holding all three objectives by having a majority of models within 3”. Ward deployed first, with his cavalry heavy on his right and his rangers grouped on his left. I deployed fairly evenly with my heroes clumped in the middle, trying to take the fortress in the center with my drummer induced mobility. I clumped all my trackers on my right to counter his rangers.

The fight started predictably – I seized the center before he had a chance to contest it, holding the defended obstacles and hiding my Uruk captain inside a tower, overlooking my left flank. Ward brought most of his cavalry, Imrahil, and a phalanx of troops around to his right and sent the rest to the left, avoiding the center. I tried to Compel Imrahil into range of my Uruk captain, but he resisted. The next turn, Imrahil pulled back while the rest of his troops advanced. I pulled back, allowing him to charge his cavalry and troops into the area near the objective. When Imrahil came close again, I threw a big Compel at him, used my remaining Might to bump it to a 6, and he failed to resist it with both dice, choosing to keep his remaining might. It was a good move – even though I jumped him with my captain and four friends, all I managed was to kill his horse and put two wounds on him, one of which he saved with Fate.

The other side had devolved into a massive scrum of pikemen stuck in the middle of his line and my troops pouring in around him. I brought my trackers into the fight a turn before he brought his rangers, and the numbers were making a difference. I also managed to take down both of his mounted knights and drop a few models off on the objective. So I was sitting with two objectives securely held and the third contested.

Back on my left, I closed the noose; isolating, surrounding, and destroying about half of his flanking force. As time started winding down, I pushed into the objective with my free models, and Wade just couldn't get enough free to have an effect. I outnumbered him about two to one and even Imrahil and his captain couldn't make enough of a difference (despite my wraith blowing just about every spell he tried to cast on the Will-less Imrahil).

In a last ditch move, with three minutes left, Wade pulled a lone model from the scrum on my left into range of the central objective, contesting it with my wraith. However, we discussed it and decided that since I could just as easily pull far more models from the scrum into the area of the objective, the only way he could get the minor loss would be to slow-play and deny me my move on time, so we agreed that I'd take the major win.

RESULT: Major Win – 40 Battle Points

Wade may have just started, but he did a great job of using his force. The main mistake I think he made was splitting his numerically inferior force in the face of my troops. Particularly with Imrahil giving fat bonuses to almost everyone in his army, the best option would have been to run to one objective, secure it and then try to sweep my army before him, probably keeping a couple knights in reserve to keep me honest on the third objective.

Re: Chris L's GitD 2012 BatReps

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:46 am
by ChrisLS
Round 3: Emissary
Opponent: Brent Sinclair – Woses and Radagast

I knew I'd have to face Brent and his anti-Orc horde list at some point in the tournament. I think I probably drew him on about the best scenario I could have faced him, with the possible exception of Seize the Artifact. The mission was to bring our Emissary into the opposite corner of the table while preventing the other Emissary from doing the same.

Brent gets his choice and deploys his force pretty evenly, with his heroes and emissary in the middle. I deploy similarly, with my emissary towards my right. The drum (which does not affect the emissary), lets me move my forces quickly forward, and I send my emissary and Uruk captain right, while keeping the wraith, shaman, and banner ready to respond to his emissary, which goes to my left. We end up with a stand-off on the left, dancing back and forth as my archers, which were hanging back, had a shooting gallery down a street Brent would have to cross.

My emissary escort gets into a ruin about half-way to the other side when Brent's forces intercept me. Ghan-buri-ghan and Radagast are both nearby, and I castle up in a ruin to try to delay them with my captain and some chubs while the drummer and the emissary continue on. Radagast starts using his Master of Birds ability to start Immobilizing my captain, which at first fails, but later I have to blow all my Might and Will to resist. I figure I can get away with that, since Ghan-buri-ghan would charge me and I'd lose the benefit of my defended obstacle if Immobilized.

In the mean time, the emissary is making progress towards the back area, but the Woses are catching up. I see an opportunity – if I can get priority, I can swing my drummer and emissary around to get a Heroic Combat, which if executed correctly would get me into his deployment zone in one turn. Instead, the Woses go on a killing spree, slaughtering my drummer and most of his buddies. He then wins Priority, which allows him to seal off the path to the deployment zone. So much for that. Insult is added to injury when four Woses jump my emissary and put three wounds on him in a single turn, striking him dead on the spot. OK, playing for the draw.

Which ends up not being too hard. Brent has correctly noticed that the Witch King's gank squad will take the emissary's escort pretty easily and has pulled him back out of range of spells towards his own deployment zone. By the time my emissary dies, his emissary is almost back in his own deployment zone, and is soon lying down behind a wall while his Woses fight off the gank squad and my trackers. With 15 minutes left, we call the game a draw, realizing there is no way Brent can break me in time and even if he did he couldn't get his emissary through my lines in time to win.

RESULT: Draw – 50 Battle Points total

This was a very well fought game. We both had some tactical errors, but nothing serious. I think the main thing I screwed up was using my captain defensively to counter Ghan-buri-ghan instead of using him to try to punch the emissary through the Woses. Radagast would still probably shut him down, but that's the only thing I can think of changing. Well, on second thought I could have been more aggressive with my gank squad, bringing them up on the opposite flank and taking Radagast's attention away from my captain. Radagast does make an excellent defensive wizard, though.

Re: Chris L's GitD 2012 BatReps

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:46 am
by ChrisLS
Round 4: Bilbo's Treasure
Opponent: Rob Brightwell – Durin's Folk

Rob is a guy I look forward to seeing every year when I come out to Phoenix. That's one of the reasons I felt so bad for him here. When we got this match-up in this scenario, we both knew the outcome was in very little doubt. The idea is this – there are six treasure markers on the board in a zig-zag formation, alternating between 20 ½” and 27 ½” from the table edge. One of them has the real treasure, randomly determined before the game but hidden from us. The treasure is a heavy object that can move at full speed with 2 foot models carrying it at half speed with one foot model carrying it. No cavalry may carry the treasure. The game ends when the treasure is taken off of ANY table edge. Our forces start the game off the table and enter on turn 1.

Here's the problem – It will take Rob's dwarves five turns to contact the nearest markers (5” move and all) and six turns to contact the far markers. It will take my models only three turns to reach the near models and four turns to reach the far markers (6” for first turn, 9” with the drum after that). My drum can't cover the whole table, but I can cover enough to hit five of the markers at that pace. Even at my un-drummed pace, I can get to the close markers on turn four. So if the marker next to the side edge close to my side is the objective, it is an auto-win for me. Rob has ZERO chance of winning if that is the case. If the marker is middle objective on his side, he might be able to delay me a bit and bring his flanks in. If it is the side marker near his side, he has a fighting chance, but I'll have the initiative and be in possession of the artifact. Anywhere else the treasure is mine unless I do something colossally stupid.

To counter this, Rob puts his dwarf king on the side with the near marker. His captain, some warriors, and all his archers are on the other side, hoping to get lucky and shoot me down. A line of warriors kept the center area. I lined up with my force heavy right, with the shaman and banner with a group on my extreme right within range of the drum. My archers were on the left side of the drum's range with a few swordsman, and the Uruk captain and Witch King in the center with the drummer and my mass of troops. I had six swordsmen on my left which would get to the edge objective long before the dwarves would. I put so many over there just in case Rob got incredibly lucky with shooting.

My thought was that if it did come up on the far right, I'd be able to get a heroic move off with the shaman's one point of might, getting onto the treasure off before the dwarves could get there, then use the Witch King to neutralize the dwarf king to keep him out of the fight. My Uruk captain would put himself and some troops between the line of dwarves and the center objectives, holding them off while any treasure there would be unearthed.

We got started and things went exactly as expected. Rob's archers, once in range, volleyed trying to take out the drummer to no avail. I didn't even bother shooting, running my archers ahead at full speed. I had to do some jumping down into rims of the pits of Isengard to keep as many of my troops in range of the drum as possible. On turn three, I turned over the first objective, the center one near my side, but it wasn't the treasure. The next turn, I won priority and was able to put my troops on every objective, being careful to stay just outside of the dwarf king's 5” charge range, which would actually force them back a little, since he couldn't come within my 1” control zone.

We turned over the objectives, and the left objective near Rob's side turned out to be the winner. The next turn I pulled the chest back with two swordsmen and withdrew the rest of my troops. At that point, we called the game – catching my troops was now a mathematical impossibility. Rob actually did have some guys fairly close, and if I'd screwed up and left my troops near his captain he could have done a heroic combat to catch up with the treasure, but as it fell out, there was no way it would work.

RESULT: Major Win – 75 Battle Points total

There was nothing more to be done about this scenario, and we weren't the worse ones. Another table was done in 15 minutes. Only one table fought it out to the end – most tables ended with whoever found the objective nearest their side was able to pull it off with little difficulty unless one of them had cavalry. The exception was Kyle Toth and Anthony's game, where the 22 Mahud raiders on their camels were pretty effectively stopped by the elves, who had the treasure on their side. All in all, I can't say I like the scenario. It gave an extra 5 points to the winner above the normal BPs, and the winner was determined mostly by a random die roll or by force match-up. I just got lucky here.

Re: Chris L's GitD 2012 BatReps

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 12:47 am
by ChrisLS
Round 5: The Head of the Snake
Opponent: Andre Florez – Army of the Dead

During the break, I mentioned to Andre, hearing he'd pulled a Major Victory in the Bilbo's Treasure scenario, that he might be facing me. “No, I don't want to play you last round!” was his response. I can't say I blame him. We played before in Denver at Mayhem in the Mountains, where he beat me by getting the artifact off with his all mounted Warg and Nazgul army against my same list. This was another hard draw for my opponent. Andre is outnumbered two to one, and he has no might to counter anything squirrelly I throw at him. He also has no ranged weapons, so he has to break through my lines to get at the Witch King, and he has no spear support to help him with that. To make matters worse, I have my shaman, whose Fury allows all of my orcs within 6” of the shaman to ignore the Terror caused by his troops. This is not going to be an easy game for him. On the plus side, my army is particularly vulnerable to his, with low courage across the board (except the Witch King). Fury also doesn't affect my Uruks, and their higher strength is useless against D7, though their high fight value will be useful.

We start out with my army laid out in a straight line, archers on the left to cover any attempt to bunker up in the tomb with a single entrance. The Witch King and all of my heroes were in the center. Andre deployed his entire army on the right side. I advanced with the drum, going half speed with the archers to shoot while Andre advanced at full speed ahead. I volleyed into his army, and got a lucky 4 hits. One went on his king, one on his banner, and two on his troops. His troops and his king weren't hurt, but I managed to kill the banner. He didn't have anyone else in contact with it, and it fell. This game is definitely not going Andre's way.

We close pretty quickly, with me getting some troops in front of the entrance to the tomb. Andre closes with them, and we get a few small combats started. He is developing a pretty long line, and I can only guarantee charges where my one shaman is. I take a chance and beat the drum on a turn I win priority. I don't get to charge, and Andre can pick fights that turn, but it also allows me to almost completely envelop his flank and put several troops behind his lines. I also managed to get line of sight to his king and Sapped his Will.

I was chewing through his army pretty good, and while I was losing a respectable number of troops, it wasn't at the ratio Andre needed. My shaman was creating havoc by allowing one half of my army to charge, then moving to the other side and allowing them to charge. He tried to pull his king back, but I again got line of sight and Black Darted him, and he failed his Fate roll. The next turn I did it again, and again he failed his Fate. Well, that's pretty much that. We played on for a little while longer, but I broke his force and it was clear there was no way on Earth that he would get through my lines to get to my Witch King. However, since I didn't kill his king with my own king in hand-to-hand, I only got a Minor Win.

RESULT: Minor Win – 90 Battle Points total

I've always wondered how Army of the Dead would fare, and this game pretty much matched my expectations. They are heavily outnumbered without the Fight or spear support to counter that. Their only hero has no might and isn't very effective in combat, either, Yeah, his one attack is a doozy, but it is only one attack. He never got engaged as he was a high value target which I would have thrown everything at. I was able to pick him off one or two at a time with traps and my Uruk captain getting some great shots in with his two-hander.

Final Thoughts

I had a fantastic run of luck – I went undefeated with 3 Major Wins, 1 Minor Win, and a Draw. Of course, three of these I have to attribute to lucky draws in the pairings, much like my win in Las Vegas. But that's the way these things go, and with my rash of unlucky draws in previous years and different tournaments, I was more than happy to accept Best Overall.

Re: Chris L's GitD 2012 BatReps

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 1:20 am
by Guardian of Ecthelion
Sounds like you had some interesting games. Congrats on the win, the Vegas tournament was that 2008? I was hoping I could count on you for Bat Reps. Thanks. Man I can't wait to play some more games.

Re: Chris L's GitD 2012 BatReps

PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2012 8:34 am
by ChrisLS
Thank you! Yep, I took Vegas in 2008. Great event, and I got lucky with some match-ups there as well.