Battle Report: GitD Game 3 – Bilbo’s Treasure

Saturday
Game 3
Scenario: Bilbo’s Treasure
Opponent: Travis Paul – Erebor featuring Dain Ironfoot and Balin

I’ve seen Travis at all the same tournaments that I’ve played Chris at; however, we’ve never had the opportunity to play. The scenario for round 3 is called Bilbo’s Treasure. It is basically Meeting Engagement with the victory conditions for Major and Minor being defined as having an army broken. In addition, there are 3 bonus points at stake for the player that manages to find Bilbo’s treasure and pull it off the board. I was joking with Tim Kulinski (the tournament director) that since my Army included Bilbo and my display board in fact was taken directly from the scene in the Hobbit where this treasure was hidden, shouldn’t I automatically know where this treasure was buried??? Well, Tim didn’t buy it but it certainly became a running joke for me. As far as the actual scenario, we had a very difficult board to play on as there were several wooded regions but it was dominated by a 3″ wide river that dissected the board diagonally. There was only one clear pass over the river – a little bridge that was about the width of two infantry model bases. I’ll admit that an army of dwarves over 40 strong wasn’t my ideal match-up for a Meeting Engagement army. However, I have play tested against Dwarves and I knew that I could have success if I could split the army and engage on my terms.

The game started as typical with Gandalf using the first two turns to Cast Blinding Light and Terrifying Aura. I was able to get up to bridge first and promptly parked Thorin and Balin at the top of the bridge. If Travis was going to want to cross the bridge, he’d have to fight through those two formidable heroes. I flanked the sides of the river with the rest of the Unexpected Party, with Gloin anchoring the side that Travis’s heroes on one.

Well, at this time, it was clear that I was going to have all the luck in this game and Travis was going to have absolutely zero luck. I managed to fire off a Sorcerous Blast at Balin hitting him with a Strength 5 hit – he ricocheted into Dain and fell back. The sorcerous blast put a wound on Balin and consumed his will as he attempted to resist. The next turn, I managed another Sorcerous blast and at a Khazad Guard that killed him and in the push back hit Balin again. This time the Strength 3 hit put a wound on Balin (rolling a 6 and a 5). Balin failed his fate rolls and was killed before even getting within 10″ of my line. Obviously, Travis was then a bit despondent. At the same time, he’s spent at least 4 turns volleying into my lines and when he did hit a couple, he was never ever able to roll a 6 to wound. He was firing 14+ bow shots every turn and never got a single wound on a dwarf. My throwing axes on the other hand wounded at least 5 Khazad Guard.

There was one marker that was close enough to my position that I could go and look inside to see if it was Bilbo’s treasure. Of course, the way the luck was going, the first and only treasure marker that we looked at on the board was in fact Bilbo’s Treasure. I used the next 5 terms to use Bilbo to drag the heavy box off the board edge. How ironic that Bilbo left the game while the Dwarves of Thorin’s Company and The Dwarves of the Lonely Mountain battled on the field as the burglar scooted off the table.

Meanwhile, on the battlefield, once Travis was close enough to direct fire, he started concentrating shots at Balin up front. However, Travis’ luck never got any better. He could never wound – he rarely even rolled more than 1 or 2 sixes to hit. He cursed his luck and changed targets. He targeted Bombur in hopes to kill the banner bearer. No luck. He targeted Gandalf and finally very late into the game he secured a wound – but only on Shadowfax.

On the left flank Dain started to cross the river but he was constantly harassed by Gandalf being immobilized or commanded back. He eventually wore out of might and will trying to resist Gandalf’s pesky spells. My dwarves were taking down the Khazard Guard in one on one combat. Travis was within 5 models of breaking and his only casualty on my side was Shadowfax. To top it all off his horrible luck, on the one turn where Dain finally got into combat against Oin, he managed to roll three one’s when trying to win the fight.

Travis’s mood had been deterioting throughout the game… and honestly, I don’t blame him one bit. There was not a single die roll that went his way. After the triple snake eyes, he said “I quit”. I told him that his dice could turn around and we should keep playing. However, I told him that I didn’t want him to get any more miserable and he didn’t want to play, I understand. It was a difficult situation. Travis is a good kid and he didn’t do anything wrong in the game. He just has absolutely zero luck. I’ve never seen a game where everything went against them so much. In the end, we shook hands and called it a game.

Outcome: Major Victory – 20 points with 3 bonus points for Bilbos’ Treasure. I was sitting at 40 battlepoints after 3 games.

Unbelievable luck in this game. I thought I had bad luck in my game against Chris, but I had a cake walk in my game against Chris compared to the luck that Travis had. I was happy to get the win but I felt really bad about the whole game.

So at the end of Day 1, I was sitting pretty much exactly where I hoped I’d be sitting. With the bonus points I had the functional equivalent of two draws and a major victory. As is typical, the group of us spent some time working through the battlepoints and adding up where people were standing. The leaders of the tournament were at 55 battlepoints and at 40 I was somewhere in the 5th-8th range. I was leading off the next morning with Contest of Champions, a scenario where my army would like be favored against most opponents for a change.

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