ChrisLS at Mayhem in the Moutains

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ChrisLS at Mayhem in the Moutains

Postby ChrisLS » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:05 pm

This is a little delayed, and I still have Day 2 to write up.

Another tournament is behind me and I'm writing in the airport. This one was Mayhem in the Mountains, a still small LOTR Indy GT, but one that is in the top tier of tournaments I've attended. More on that later.

I played a variant of my Throne of Skulls list, a Mordor horde led by the Witch King and driven on by a drummer.

Cirith Ungol

Mordor Uruk-Hai Captain with 2 handed-weapon
Orc Shaman
Orc Drummer

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


The Witch King (2/10/1)

Points: 600
Models: 61
Bows: 17/57 (30%)
Might: 5

This is a good horde list, with a ton of speed due to the drummer. The Uruks, backed by spears and the banner, are my nutcracker element. The orcs are fairly survivable with D5, and the trackers are cheap and decent shooters. The shaman holds them together in the event of a broken force and terrifying creatures. The army, with Morannons instead of regular orcs, and a mounted Witch King, served me very well in the Las Vegas Throne of Skulls tournament, going 4/0/1 and earning the most battle points in the tournament. We'll see how the lower S and D of the regular orcs holds up...
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 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:06 pm

Round 1: Take and Hold
Opponent: Robert Graham


Iron Guards
Khazad Guards
Dwarf Warriors with shield
Dwarf Warriors with 2 handed-weapon
Dwarf Warriors with bows

Models: ~40?
Might: 6

Rob had a very nice looking Dwarf army with two big combat heroes. The scenario, a table-quarter holding mission with a couple of extra objectives for bonus points, didn't favor him as I outnumbered him by about twenty models. I also knew that with the scattered nature of random deployment, I'd be given bite-sized chunks of dwarves that I could isolate and quickly destroy, using my drum to mass quickly.

Rob put his objective back in a corner, and figuring that I'd be able to get there first, I put my objective into the castle in the middle of the board. Rob got priority and ended up bringing in most of his force from a corner where I put Dain, with the rest of his force that I got to place scattered around the board. Gimli didn't come on, though. When my forces came in, I tried to bring them in with friends, particularly trying to outnumber lone dwarves. Rob actually helped me with this, dropping my models down in groups instead of individually. All of my heroes barring the Uruk-Hai captain came on, all near Rob's objective. I got a few shots off, and I think I managed to kill an Iron Guard with archery.

Turn two saw Gimli continuing to not show up, and I decided against putting any of his models behind my main force forming up near Rob's objective. I have to decide whether to bang the drum or not before anyone's movement phase, so I would rather have the movement than taking out a couple isolated dwarves. I did drop off a single spearman into the ruins near Rob's objective so I could claim that. My Uruk still wasn't showing up, but most of my army was on the table now. I managed to surround and kill a few stragglers, though a few more stubbornly refused to die. Rob was also getting a small but significant force (that outnumbered me) on the side of the table opposite his main force.

The next turn Gimli still didn't show up, apparently sleeping off a bender in a ditch somewhere. The Uruk showed up, though, and he led a small force around the back of Rob's force to try to slow them or draw off a few models. My archers also started to pepper the D6 models in Rob's main body, to a small effect. I was finishing off the stragglers everywhere but with the main body and the small group on the opposite side of the table, though another contingent of my trackers were peppering them with arrows. I pulled back the outnumbered orcs from his small force, castling up in a small set of ruins to wait for the gank squads from around the table to start gathering to support them. I also occupied the central castle and prepared for a throwdown.

Rob was bringing Dain and his buddies into the center, but started to split off smaller groups to take on my own small groups around the table. Gimli finally showed up on Turn 5, and Rob threw him at my Uruk-Hai captain, who was rampaging through some isolated dwarves on a table edge. I managed to keep away for one turn before Gimli and some buddies took down my captain. However, Rob's numbers were dropping fast as my numbers were beginning to tell. Dain finally clambered up the stairs to take on my two orcs barricading the doorway, but spent the rest of the game bopping the orcs with his Nerf axe, unable to get past the defended obstacle or wound the orcs (despite his +1 to wound!). In fact, the central castle held out against the dwarves without taking a single wound.

Over with the small force, I was able to swamp it with elements of the gank squads and my main body, then shifted the forces back into the table-quarter that Rob's main body started in. I had finally broken his force, but these are dwarves – they don't run. He didn't lose a single dwarf to Courage tests. I started playing a little more conservatively, focusing on keeping my orcs alive so I could challenge table-quarters, and moved as many as I could into the dwarf-heavy one. After a few turns, we finally got the die roll to end the game, leaving me holding two quarters uncontested, outnumbering the dwarves in the rest, and holding both objectives.

RESULT: Major Win plus 3 Bonus Points (23 total)

Rob has a solid list that was behind the eight-ball on this scenario. I heavily outnumbered him and he couldn't get the mass needed to prevent my troops from surrounding and crushing him. He did make a few mistakes, such as not surrounding some of my troops when he could have and putting my own troops down in large groups, but that didn't make that big a deal. The biggest mistake I think he made was splitting his main force and taking them out of the on quadrant he did control after his force was broken, making it easier for me to outnumber him there. I don't think it would have made that much of a difference, though, since I had enough forces nearby I could have rushed the table-quarter anyway.
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 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:06 pm

Round 2: Seize the Artifact (modified)
Opponent: Anthony Flores

Witch King on Fell-Beast (3/10/1, Morgul Blade)
Gothmog on Warg
Orc Shaman on Warg
Orc Captain on Warg

11 Warg Riders (1 with banner)

Models: 15
Bows: 0
Might: 9

Two cool things were thrown into the mix this scenario. First off, we were all given a packet of three Bonus Cards, which we could play once in any of the next four rounds. This meant the bonus points would be determined by our decisions on when to play these cards. The scenario was also updated by adding not one but two conventions I've seen used to improve the base “Seize the Prize” scenario: You have to take the objective off the other guy's board edge, and there are three objective markers, only one of which contains the actual artifact.

Anthony's army was almost everything I didn't want to see in this scenario. The entire force was fast, he had a powerful Nazgul, and a Shaman to guarantee his force held together if things went pear shaped. Oh, and Gothmog. Goody. At least I knew I would outnumber him by 4-to-1 and, as it turns out, this was his second game of the LOTR SBG (he played War of the Ring a lot). Anthony deployed first, and went heavy on his right flank, with all of his models minus the shaman and four warg riders, which went to his left. I figured I could cover the artifact on my right pretty well with archery, so I'd send my main force into his main force and count on tying it up.

Things started off badly for Anthony. When the forces closed, Gothmog was at the head of his army. I Compelled him five inches forward and then closed my drum-driven force completely around him. I couldn't charge him that turn, but the next I laid into him with 11 attacks including my Uruk captain and destroyed him. Anthony had never had that done to him, and I'm guessing he won't forget it again, either. Also, the objective marker where the majority of his force was did not contain the artifact.

I next cast Sap Will onto his Witch King with my own Witch King. He resisted it, but it cost him four of his ten will, and he spent more doing the same thing to me, which I wasn't able to successfully resist. Oh, well, 85 point Witch King for Gothmog? That's a win in my book. I also started laying archery into his warg riders, but couldn't hurt them. I advanced more of my foot troops up, and outnumbering him five to one on that flank made me feel pretty confident I had him.

Things then started to go his way. I dug up the artifact for real, and it was in the middle of his warg riders. I jumped all over him, and a rash of awesome dice left my right flank on the ground or dead. His shaman, who had lost Fury, then called a Heroic Move, scooped up the artifact and was off to the races. I chased him, shot at him, and otherwise did my level best to slow him down, including throwing troops into his Witch King to keep him busy and further drain his well. I proceeded to annihilate the rest of his force, but couldn't catch his shaman. Anthony won every Priority roll after picking up the artifact. He dodged my arrows and otherwise completely prevented me from stopping him, and he was off the board. He had 6 models left, but the game was his.

RESULT: Minor Loss, no bonus points (28 total)

It is tough to come up with a match-up in armies less favorable to me than this one. It is the ultimate mobility scenario, and his was just about the ultimate mobility army (OK, maybe a Flying Circus would have been more mobile). I think the only mistake I really made was in digging up the artifact before support arrived. My mass of troops easily bottled up his force, so digging up the artifact early gave him the opportunity to take it from me without him being contained or even slowed down. To boot, the rash of die rolls that went against me at the end of the game was just atrocious. Of course, I've beaten very good players the exact same way (Brent Sinclair comes to mind...), so all in all: we play dice games. Sometimes it just happens that way.
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 » Tue Sep 27, 2011 11:09 pm

Round 3: Domination
Opponent: Tim McKnight

Witchking with Morgul Crown on Fell-Beast
Mordor Troll Chieftain
Mouth of Sauron

Morannon Orcs with shields
Morannon Orcs with spears

Might: 7

It's my host! This is actually the second time we've played a game, the first being at Gathering in the Desert, I think in 2010... Anyway, I know him as my host for this and the last Mayhem, and he's a great guy. Doesn't mean I'll go easy on him, though... and this scenario doesn't look good for him. I outnumbered him more than 2-to-1, and with my drum I've got the mobility, though his Witchking can do some serious hurt with that Fell-Beast and the crown. He deploys first, putting his Witchking on his right, the troll and Mouth of Sauron in the center, and a lighter force of Morannons on his left. I go pretty balanced, with my archers in the center and my Uruk-Hai on the right, figuring I'll hit all of the objectives, drop off a model or two to hold them, then sweep around Tim's flanks as he hits me in the center across the river bed in the center. The Uruks in particular would try to collapse the weaker side.

Tim shakes things up a little right off the bat, as he shifts his Witchking into the center, for a full-throated assault on my center. I send my drummer left to keep the group with the longest march in the fight, and prepare to receive his charge from across the river. I do manage to throw a Sap Will onto the Witchking with my own WK, and he resists it at the cost of four Will. Between his WK and Mouth of Sauron, he Saps my Witchking, so that model goes poof. The next turn I gun down the Mouth with bowfire.

Shortly afterwards, Tim hits my line. I bring my Uruks in to help out while sending a contingent around the right side to circle him, and my Uruk captain steps up with spear support and my banner nearby ready to deal some F5 S5 smackdown. Then Tim's Witchking comes in and kills my banner, my Uruk captain rolls 2-1-1 to win his fight, and the Morannons score three wounds on him with four attacks. Well, that sucks! Tim's rock-hard fighters are starting to chew the hell out of me, and I'm starting to think I'm going to lose this fight.

But I do now hold two of the three objectives, and the flanks are being turned. My drummer leaps down off a cliff to help out my troops, lending his S4 to the effort to take out the D6 Morannons. On my right, the F4 S4 Uruks are starting to make their presence felt as the orcs fall. The Witchking is tearing me up, but I'm also threatening to surround and kill him, so Tim pulls him out of the center and threatens my right objective. The troll is being stymied by well positioned individual models or Fury driven individual sacrifices, so at least that isn't killing me. I manage to hold off until my far left orcs circle around the back and start taking out the D5 spear-orcs and getting traps.

The tide finally turns, and Tim brings his WK back into the center to try to rack up some kills and break me before I break him. My shaman is giving him fits, allowing me to charge his Terrifying creatures with impunity, but he can't beat the guy in combat due to all of the help I bring in for him. I finally manage to surround and kill the WK's Fell-Beast, and then break his force. I'm pouring troops around the troll and the last objective, and on the second chance the game ends, with me holding all of the objectives.

RESULT: Major Win with 2 bonus points (50 total)

This was a hard-fought battle, and the result was not guaranteed in the least. I did have a few things going for me, namely that I didn't spend the extra points on D6 models, so I had Tim heavily outnumbered. But until I could bring those numbers to bear I was in trouble. The F4 Uruks did great work for me, particularly when spear supported. They really gave Tim fits with winning the tied dice rolls and taking down the Morannons when they won. But the shaman was probably the VIP, allowing me to minimize the impact this troll had and throwing enough troops at the WK on Fell-Beast to keep him honest. One thing Tim brought up after the game was that he made a mistake taking the WK out of the fight in the center, so he wasn't doing as much damage as he could have been. This is a possibility, but the other thing he could have done was play to the scenario and commit to challenging my left objective with the WK and a few other models. That would have forced me to stretch out my troops, reducing my numerical advantage in the middle.
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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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