Archive for the Battle Report Category

Battle Report: GitD Game 1 – Storm the Camp

Posted in Armies, Battle Report, Dwarves, Gathering in the Desert, The Unexpected Party, Tournament on February 24, 2010 by BrentS

Game 1
Scenario:  Storm the Camp
Opponent:  John Long – Army of the Dead

John is a good friend that I’ve had a chance to play before.  It was both a favorable and also unfavorable match-up for my army.  It was favorable as his army was also “expensive” meaning that he could only field 33 models – I was quite pleased to only be outnumbered 2-1.  It was a bit of a challenge in that two of my armies best defensive weapons my army brings is blinding light and high defense.  Well the army of the dead doesn’t have any archery or shooting weapons so there’s nothing to blind and worse they don’t try to wound against your models defense but their courage instead – so my D6 army now becomes a paltry D4.  The primary advantage I have a higher FV across the army and I have 11 Might in my army compared to his 0!

John starts off by splitting his force into two groups – he leaves the King of Dead and 14 Warriors of the Dead to protect his home territory.  The other 18 models formed an attack force to assault my camp.  He had a few Riders of the Dead that sprinted out to each flank and the rest of the warriors started the slow walk across the board.  I split my force into two groups but neither was separate by more than 6-8 inches.  I knew I was just going to have to try and weather the assault as it came.

Gandalf started the game by casting blinding light… why?  Well as I told John, only because he could.  I’ve never played with Gandalf and not used it so I didn’t want to jinx myself.  A followed that up with Terrifying Aura and I waited for John to get to me.  He managed to spring one Rider of the Dead around the flank to my camp.  I had Bilbo guarding the camp behind some terrain and promptly used Gandalf to Command the Rider right back out of the camp.  Gandalf charged finished him off.

Thorin and his mates battled the army of the dead for many turns, my consistently higher fight value, extra might, and more one-on-one attacks allowed me to win most fights.  I had a number of dwarves (Ori, Dori, and Nori in particular) seemed to fail many of their courage checks so there were many times that I needed to rely on John to charge me to get into combat.  However, eventually I managed to eliminate all 18 of the attackers.  I think I probably only lost 1 or 2 dwarves in the process.  So with about 45 minutes to play, John was broken but with the King of the Dead holding firm, it wasn’t like his defenders were going anywhere.  John and I both entered this scenario thinking that a Draw would be a great outcome but at this time, I needed to get a bit more aggressive and try for a major win.

I started the slow slog of dwarves crossing the board.  I kept a couple of dwarves a but in reserve just in case John thought about trying to break through with a model or two.  While I had grand intentions of trying to march into John’s camp, he played quite defensive and I never really had an opportunity to make a decisive charge into his camp without risking him slipping a few models by me.  I tried to dink in a bit with Gandlaf and Shadowfax but ultimately lost a fight and Shadowfax was killed.  As time was called, I never did get a chance to penetrate John’s camp.

Outcome:  Draw, worth 10 battlepoints.

Going into the tournament, I said I needed to find a way to survive the first two scenarios without getting a major defeats.  So while I firmly believe that I had the superior army, given the scenario and the very high courage of the Army of the Dead, I ended up “settling” for a Draw.  However, against many other armies, I could have easily been overwhelmed by shear numbers so I’ll take the Draw for sure.

Battle Report: The Unexpected Party Travels to the Desert

Posted in Armies, Battle Report, Dwarves, Gathering in the Desert, The Unexpected Party, Tournament on February 23, 2010 by BrentS

“We are met to discuss our plans, our ways, means, policy, and devices.  We shall soon before the break of day start on our long journey, a journey from which some of us, or perhaps all of us (except our friend and counsellor, the ingenious wizard Gandalf) may never return.  It is a solelmn moment.  Our object is, I take it, well know to us all.  To the estimable Mr. Baggins, and perhaps to one or two of the younger dwarves,the exact situation at the moment may require a little brief explanation…”
    — Thorin Oakenshield.
    “The Unexpected Party”,
Chapter One of The Hobbit

Over the next few days I will be chronicling my games at the Gathering in the Desert Indy GT for the Lord of the Rings: Strategy Battle Game.  This is easily one of the best gaming weekends I’ve ever experienced.  There are great players, great painters, and a great venue with beautiful terrain.  Almost all of my LOTR community friends were there so it was nearly perfect.  Now on to the details…

Pre-tournament thoughts

For almost 18 months I’ve been thinking about making an army based on the Hobbit.  I’ve debated army lists on the forums for a while, planed out a few different versions of potential armies and finally last summer settled in on concentrating on making this army happen.  I started with a play-test game at the Chicago Games Day event.  My army build was a bit different than the final configuration and I got trounced.  I set to tweaking my army list a bit and then took a crack at a local tournament.  I ended up with 2 Major Losses and 1 Major Win.  I was definitely worried that the army would continue to post a losing record but each time I played them I learned a bit more about how they performed.  When Tim Kulinski announced the tournament scenarios, I looked them and realized that I had a chance to be at least competitive in many games.  If I could survive the first two rounds which featured scenarios that definitely didn’t favor an army of only 15 models, then I had three scenarios that I felt like I had a shot at winning.  At the end of playtesting, I had played a total of 9 games with the current army build and posted a 5-4 record.  I felt as confident as I could going into the tournament.

While I played more games play-testing this army than any other, the real time was spent pouring into the appearance.  I set out a goal to make sure each and every model was converted.  I wanted to as faithful the color details as I could from the Hobbit (primarily with beard and cloak covers).  I also had plans of building a tehmeatic display board that featured the three Trolls – Bert, Tom, and William that the Unexpected Party encountered on the way to the Lonely Mountain.

All the preparation was complete… all that was left was to play the games. 

The Army

Gandalf the Grey (Gandalf the Grey Profile), Shadowfax
Bilbo (proxied by the Pippin Profile)
Thorin Oakenshield (proxied by the Gimli Profile)
Balin (Balin Profile)
Gloin (proxied by the Dwarf Captain Profile), Throwing Axes
Oin (proxied by the Iron Guard Profile)
Fili (proxied by the Iron Guard Profile)
Kili (proxied by the Iron Guard Profile)
Dori (proxied by the Iron Guard Profile)
Nori (proxied by the Iron Guard Profile)
Ori (proxied by the Iron Guard Profile)
Dwalin (proxied by the Iron Guard Profile)
Bofur (proxied by the Iron Guard Profile)
Bifur (proxied by the Iron Guard Profile)
Bombur(proxied by the Dwarf Warrior Profile) , Banner
598 pts. 15 Models. 11 Might.

The Scenarios

Game 1, Storm the Camp – This strategic ground has been contested for many years, with two rival encampments each vying for control. Now the time has come to decide the dominant power in this land once and for all by sezing the enemy’s foothold and scattering it’s defenders.
Game 2, Domination – The battlefield must be held! The army that controls this area will be at a distinct advantage in days to come. Dominance here can only be achived by driving the enemy back from several key points, failure is not an option.
Game 3, Bilbo’s Treasure – Bilbo is ready to return home, he needs to find his treasure chest of gold and return back to Hobbiton.
Game 4, Contest of Champions – It is the turning point in the war, and the leaders of both sides know that they must inspire their followers to great deeds. With a rousing speech they lead their armies onto the field of battle, striving against the foe with all their might…
Game 5, The Artifact – An Ancient and powerful item has been discovered in the wilds of Middle-earth, a token mighty enough to swing the tide of war. Within hours of it’s discovery, two armies redirect their march to it’s location, seeking to claim it for their own cause.

War of the Ring DEMO Game

Posted in Battle Report, LOTR:WotR News, Rohan on March 7, 2009 by BrentS

I finally got a chance to get to my local Games Workshop and try a demo game for War of the Ring.  Dave ran me through their standard demo game featuring Rohan vs Mordor with a couple allies for each army.  I chose to play Rohan (woohoo!) – My army was:

Three Companies of Riders of Rohan (6 Models), Two Companies of Oathsworn Militia (16 Warriors of Rohan), One Company of Oathsworn Militia w/bows (8 Warriors of Rohan), Two Companies of Army of the Dead (16 Models), and 1 Ent.  I was facing a similar army comprised of a Mordor Troll, 6 Haradrim Raiders, 24 Mordor Orcs with Hand weapons and 8 Mordor Orcs w/ Bows.  Comparing across the stat-lines, I’m pretty sure the Good Models had a huge advantage.  However, it didn’t really matter as it was just a Demo Game.

The mechanics of the game were pretty easy to pick-up.  It will take some time to get used to separate Moving and “Charge” Phases of the turn.  It will also take some time to get used to the new statlines for some of the models (especially the Rohirrim).  I like the rules allowing the winner of the Priority Phase to chose whether they want priority or want to defer. 

The rules for using archery were interesting in that depending on how far you were from your target, the strength of your weapon decreases.  Makes sense I guess.  Absent it seems were rules for volley fire.  I made the mistake of trapping my archery formation behind my lines and had no line of site for the first turn.  On the flip side, I lost a Rider of Rohan to archery from the lowly orcs.

The fun (for me) was the Charge phase.  Your charging range is based on a random die roll + a static number based on your model type.  So for instance, the cavalry can move up to 10 inches during the move phase and then they can charge D6+6 inches in charge phase.  In addition, if you roll a 6 on your charge, you can get an “Unstoppable Charge” which gives some addition bonuses.  Conversely, rolling a 1 means that your charge falls apart and you can’t move at all.  Sigh.  This happened a few times to me.  I felt like I was rolling my friend Jeremy’s dice!.  Anyway, back on topic… when I did get my first Cavalry charge into the Mordor Orc Formation, I was rolling 36 dice to wound – needing only 4s to cause the wounds.  Needless to say, it was a bloody mess for the Orcs.  The lost a bunch of models and then failed their courage test and became disorganized (never again to find organization).  As I hope to ultimately have a Cavalry formations into the 40-50 model range, I think I’m going to have to invest in many, many, many more dice.

Wounding is slightly different in that your model has a “resiliency” statistic that must be overcome with wounds before it is removed from play.  Resiliency isn’t cumulative through a turn either.  Most infantry models are resiliency of 1 but cavalry is 2.  That means that even though 3 wounds were caused, only 1 model was removed.  In addition, that “extra” resiliency doesn’t carry over to the next phase or next turn.  The wound is just wasted. 

Combat with the monsters was very interesting.  We got to a phase of the game where the Mordor Troll was facing off against the Ent.  Although I had a superior stat line, I ended up whiffing on 4 rolls to wound (only needing 3s mind you!) while the Troll wounded me all four times.  Monsters don’t have “wounds” per se.  They are only wounded through rolls on the “Hard to Kill” or “Very Hard to Kill” table.  That means every time you cause two wounds (corresponding to two resiliency) then you roll 1 dice on the Hard to Wound Table.  Adding wound counters are some of the results that could occur on these tables.  For every wound counter you have, you add one to your die roll on the Hard to Kill table.  Eventually, you’ll net out the “6” that is required to kill him.  So, back to my game… The troll managed cause two wounds and rolled on the Hard to Kill table.  He rolled a “6” and instantly killed my Ent.  Sheesh.  Just for fun, I charged two Cavalry into the Troll and managed to secure 4 wounds.  Two rolls on the Resiliency Table yielded 2 wound counters for him. 

Our game ended after three turns.  I’d eliminated all his orcs while he’d killed all my Warriors of Rohan on Foot, my Army of the Dead, and my Ent.  All he had left was the Troll. 

Obviously, we played a very simplified game.  However, I can see how this would be fun.  Having never really played a game based on “movement trays”, I was unsure how maneuverable the models would be.  I wasn’t sure how much tactical knowledge would be useful.  I can say, that I think there will still be a lot of tactical maneuvering in full fledge games.  As LOTR players, we’ll need to get used to playing on 4×6 boards however!!  I think adding in Heroes and Magic will make the game a lot more tactically challenging. 

I’m very much looking forward to expanding my own Rohirrim to a full-fledge WotR army!  I’ll also be expanding my Haradrim to represent an WotR army.  Definitely two major projects for the summer!

Download Available 

For what its worth, Games Workshop has provided some downloads for Quick Start Rules.  Check them out here: QuickStart Rules Downloads

Gathering in the Desert

Posted in Armies, Battle Report, Gathering in the Desert, Harad, Rohan, Tournament on March 4, 2009 by BrentS

Post Tournament Wrap-Up

So that was it, the Gathering in the Desert had come and gone. My final count was 3-2-0 with 2 Major Victories, 1 Minor Victory, and 2 Minor Losses. All in all I was quite happy with my performance. I’d made some crucial mistakes in each of the last three games I played. However, for the first time in a major tournament, I’d managed to avoid the dreaded Major Loss and kept earning points, even in the scenarios where I was losing ground.
When the final results were tallied, I ended up third overall in battle points, second overall in appearance judging, and in the top cluster of sportsmanship scores. All this netted out as a Best Overall award! Now, Anthony still finished with the highest point total buoyed by going a staggering 5-0. However, as I described before since he hadn’t painted his army, he wasn’t going to be eligible for the Best Overall award.

The Prize Support was great, for Best Overall, I won a Rohan War of the Ring Battlehost Set – the equivalent of 48 Warriors of Rohan, 18 Riders of Rohan, and King Theoden.  For those that have followed my blog, you know that I’m a huge fan of the Rohan armies (even if they aren’t competely competitive) and this was a great prize for me.  I had every intention of building up my Rohirrim to 1500-2000 point force ready for War of the Ring.
Finally, I have to reiterate again,  I really think the Gathering of the Desert was probably the most fun gaming weekend I’ve ever had. Tim and Dean did a great job running the event and I absolutely loved the venue. Being able to spend time with so many of my hobby friends was just the icing on the cake. We had group dinners each night and Jeremy, Tim, and I (along with John and Keith on Saturday) stayed up late just shooting the breeze each night. Thanks to everyone for a great weekend!! 

Thanks again to Tim and Dean for running the event.  Thanks to Kyle for hosting the event as his great store.  Thanks to all the sponsors for their generous support and finally thanks to all the great players who made this a great event.



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