Sunday, October 30, 2011

Take and Hold: Wood Elves vs. Goblins

So Gaius and I are playing Round 2 of our tournament and each of us has been given a Good force and an Evil force. Hence, today's game will be between my Wood Elves and my Goblins (with me controlling the green skins). The scenario, as was detailed in the last post, will be a "Take and Hold" mission. The armies are as follows:

The Denizens of Moria: 400 points

Durburz, Goblin King of Moria - 60 points
16 Goblin Warriors with shields - 80 points
16 Goblin Warriors with spears - 80 points
13 Goblin Warriors with Orc bows - 65 points
1 Cave Troll - 80 points
1 Bat Swarm - 35 points

48 units, 13 bows, 1 hero

Host of Lothlorien: 402 points

Galadriel, Lady of Lothlorien - 130 points
8 Wood Elf Warriors with Elven blades and thrown daggers - 80 points
4 Wood Elf Warriors with Elf bows- 36 points
12 Wood Elf Warriors with Wood Elf spears - 96 points
6 Galadhrim Warriors with Elf bows - 60 points

31 units, 10 bows + 8 thrown weapons, 1 hero

The scenario we will be playing is a Take and Hold game on a board that is 24" long by 24" wide. No models are deployed at the beginning of the game, but will move onto the board as follows: on a 1-2, the unit doesn't arrive. On a 3-4, the model moves in from any edge of the player's side chosen by his opponent. On a 5-6, the player may choose where on his table edge the unit arrives. Models may move normally, but may not charge. When one side is broken, roll a dice during each End phase - on the roll of a 1-2, the game ends and the team with the most units with their complete bases within 3" of an artifact in the center of the map wins.

The map is set up as follows: in the center is a box of treasure, which will serve as our "artifact." Around the artifact (with no piece being within 12" of the center are four woods, a ruin, a marsh, a rocky outcrop, and a hill. The Goblins won the roll off and have chosen to select their board edge (the northern edge), ceding priority to the Elves for the first turn. To tell you the truth, I'm a bit concerned, seeing as the last time I played a "Take and Hold" game, I won with my Wood Elves...and that's the only time I've ever played this scenario. Also, I had high-defense Dwarves for that game...not Goblins. This should be very, very interesting.
From the last few games between the Goblins and the Wood Elves, I learned how important it is to shield my Bat Swarm from Elven archer fire. Thankfully, this fight requires that all of us be in the very center of the map, so I need to get my bats quickly into the foray and support them with lots of Goblins, who will then tie in Fight Value the Wood Elf Warriors. The greatest fear I have, then, is from Galadriel, who could move them 6" with "Command", which is likely to be enough to get the Bats away from any cover/protection they have.



Turn 1: Forming Ranks (Priority - Goblins)

The armies move towards each other. Galadriel successfully casts "Cast Blinding Light," which doesn't protect her units now, but will later. Both armies form volley teams, but only the Elves team can shoot (because my Goblins would be out of range and need to get closer in order to be helpful in this fight).
Gaius unleashes a barrage of arrows, landing two hits. I assign one to the Goblin with shield (who promptly died) and he assigned one to the Bat Swarm, who unfortunately didn't benefit from cover and one great bat fell dead (one wound of four taken). I don't like facing Elves very much, as they wound my Goblins on 5+ and my Bat Swarm on 4+ at range.
Kill count: Goblins 0/31, Elves 1/48.



Turn 2: The Charge Begins (P - Goblins)

The armies continue to advance. Both sides volleyed, both scored one hit, and both failed to wound. Nothing else interesting to mention about this turn.
Kill count: Goblins 0/31, Elves 1/48.



Turn 3: The Charge Continues (P - Elves)

The armies continue to move and fail to score any wounds with their volley teams (though each again scored one hit).
Kill count: Goblins 0/31, Elves 1/48.



Turn 4: Flashing, Flying Steel (P - Goblins)

The armies have neared each other, though the Troll got closer than  the Goblins to the Elven line. He was promptly targeted by a "Command" spell by Galadriel, who sent him running backwards 3". I hate having to charge an Elven spellcaster, but there's nowhere to hide from her on this map. So, my hope is to rely on my Troll's Defense 6 to keep him alive while the squad of Goblins on the far left move around the flank and attack Galadriel before she casts magic. We'll see if that works or not.
The Elves really come into a world all their own in the Shoot phase - particularly Wood Elves. With 10 Elf bows and 8 throwing weapons, a Shoot phase right before combat can be incredibly deadly. In this case, Durburz' bodyguard contingent was reduced to one unit after 7 warriors were killed by throwing daggers and arrows (3 kills and 4 kills respectively). After losing the last game, I really wish I had been using the Elves in this one.
Kill count: Goblins 0/31, Elves 8/48.



Turn 5: The Battle Rages (P - Goblins)

We have combats! Unfortunately, Galadriel cast "Immobilize" on my Troll this round (she used two Will points - 1/6 - to make sure that it worked). This places him against 5 Elves (one using his Elven blade as a two-handed weapon) and will probably mean that he loses the fight and takes a wound or two (hopefully not three, but we've seen that done recently). Thankfully for me, the throwing daggers of the Elves didn't kill anyone this round.
Also thankfully for me, my small raiding band of three Goblin archers shot into the blinding light and scored one hit, which promptly turned into a wound! As with the last game, this model will be substituted with one of the Wood Elf archers who is waiting to be converted into a Wood Elf spearman.
In return, the volley team of Elven archers turned to fire at my archers, preventing them from volleying ever again. Two Goblins fell to their arrows, which is a bummer for me.
In the Fight phase, I won most of the combats against the Elves on the left flank, but only managed to wound one of them (come on, guys!). The Elves beat the troll, but he suffered no wounds (huzzah) and during all the fighting, I only lost two Goblins. With two sneaky teams of Goblins on the way, my units just have to hold...
Kill count: Goblins 2/31, Elves 12/48. The Elves will break the Goblins when they kill 12 more units, while the Goblins need to kill 14 Elves before they break...oh dear.



Turn 6: Around The Objective (P - Goblins Again!)

The Elves consolidate their position as Galadriel casts Immobilize yet again on my Troll (1 Might used with her free Will point). My first division of flankers have engaged one Elf and continue to press on towards Galadriel. I just need my lines to hold for one more turn or so...
My flankers are shot at and lose two units to Elven bow fire. Grrr...
Another Goblin archer is shot down. I'm starting to figure out at this point that shooting at the Elves in either position isn't worth it for my archers, so I'm going to charge them towards the objective soon. Hopefully I won't attract those bows though. I'm kind of in a classic "Sun Tzu wouldn't be too happy with my gereralship skills right now" position until my flanking troops arrive.
I don't ususally call heroic combats with Durburz, but I need to rack up Elven kills right now. I take a chance, call the heroic combat, win, and slay the trapped Elf (yaye!). Durburz and his spearman friend engage the two Elven bowmen (spearmen proxies in this game) just below them, with me choosing to split off the red Goblin spearman and the Green Elf spearman to the right into their own fight).
Pardon the blurry picture, but nothing happened to the right of the Troll (no one died, Duburz lost his second fight, etc.). The Troll lost again, but escaped uninjured yet again. Three Goblins fell (which is really not good) and one Elf was killed in return (whose token will be shuffled around to the other side of the board where proxy Elves are still present).
Kill count: Goblins 4/31, Elves 18/48. 6 Goblins away from breaking...12 Elves away...oh no...



Turn 7: Pushing For Victory (P - G.O.B.L.I.N.S.)

So here we are on Turn 7. My Goblins have charged again, with the Bat Swarm pushing deep into the ranks of the Elves. Galadriel casts Immobilize on the Troll again and side-steps to attack the Bat Swarm (trapping it with the help of another Wood Elf). I'm a bit concerned right now, as my trapped Bat Swarm is what I'm depending on while my Troll is out of commission. My Goblins, as you see, are cutting across the plains towards the objective to try to get more bodies there, but despite my bad position, I've kept most of the Elves out of scoring range.
Three Goblins die, but not the foremost one in the charging division. I don't know how he escaped the three arrows that were shot at him, but none even hit...incredible.
In the Fight phase, Durburz calls another heroic combat, this time fighting all by himself. He won the fight (surprisingly) and moves on to fight elsewhere (the swordsman on the left).
There was a lot of death in the Fight phase (which I'm usually a fan of in these games, as it makes them shorter). Four Goblins were killed, as were two Elves. My bats were not very lucky and lost their fight, promptly getting hacked to ribbons by the Lady of Lothlorien and her Elven guard. You can also see that the Troll was wounded (1/3 Wounds), which isn't good as my force was broken this turn.
Kill count: Goblins 7/31, Elves 26/48. The Goblins are broken. The dice was rolled and on the roll of a 5, the game continues.



Turn 8: Gaining Difficult Ground (P - Elves)

The Elves reform their lines, trying to keep the Goblins from advancing further. My final flankers went too far out of the way, as they are just now nearing the Elven ranks. If I wasn't broken by now, I'd probably be arriving at the right time. Galadriel put my Troll under a spell yet again and I'm a bit frustrated with how the battle lines are looking. After the Fight phase for this round was resolved, Gaius and I realized I didn't test for my Goblins' courage. As he had almost as many Elves as I had Goblins, he was fine with that (and I think he felt bad about my position in the tournament).
The Shoot phase was relatively uneventful. One of my Goblins shot at Galadriel and scored a hit (rolled a 6), then scored a wound (also a 6)! She turned to look at the oncoming arrow and deftly dodged the shot (rolled a 6 for her Fate save, 2 Fate points remaining). With a cry of anguish, the archer attempted to notch an arrow on his bow as one of his companions fell to an Elven arrow.
The Fight phase was brutal. The Troll was beaten yet again and suffered another wound.  Two Elves fell, while four Goblins were killed. Durburz lost his fight and suffered a wound as well (no Fate used). At this rate, my goblins aren't going to be very strong when their reinforcements arrive.
Kill count: Goblins 9/31, Elves 31/48. The Goblins are broken. The dice was rolled and on the roll of a 2, the game ends. With a score of 5-3, the Elves win a minor victory.



Assessment by Gaius:

2-0 in the tournament so far...who would have thought. :-P I really like Tiberius' Wood Elves, but the Goblins are the easiest team to fight out of his civilizations (only 2 Defense 6 units, while the Uruk-Hai and Dwarves have Defense 6 standard in their armies). I owe a lot to the archers in this game, as they consistently cut down Goblins - especially in Turn 4.

Assessment by Tiberius:

Games like these bite. Hard. I was thinking near the end of it that it might have been wise to charge the Troll and Durburz at the archers instead of the main line so that Galadriel wouldn't have had any good targets to use magic on and the archers would need to shoot at difficult targets coming their way (or be consequently mauled in the upcoming fight). At the end of the day, though, you can't do anything about the casualties the Elves inflicted with their bows and even if my power troops had been on the perimeter and away from Galadriel, the Elves would have still killed a lot of units in the center and there would be no units to challenge them there. Classic victory, Gaius, well done...

Stellar unit for Wood Elves: Galadhrim Warrior with Elf bow

Keeping track of who killed which unit during archer is really hard, but the archers in this game scored 17 kills. Of those kills, the Galadhrim and Wood Elf archers killed roughly the same amount of units (about 2 per archer), which means that the Galadhrim killed at least 10 Goblins. That nearly pays for them (and probably does if they killed 12). In addition to their effective archer this game, they cleared out scoring units more adeptly than the infantry in the center - which is really good, as they are unable to shoot at units in combat.

Stellar unit for Goblins: ????

There weren't really any stellar units for the Goblins (I mean, 9 kills isn't much). Of those kills, the Goblins with shields killed 4 units (1 of those with the help of the Bat Swarm), the Goblins with bows killed 2 units (one at range, one in close-combat), and the Goblins with spears killed 2 units (one in single combat and one in a heroic combat with Durburz). Durburz scored 1 kill (and another one with a spearman), so our choices are quite limited really. Hence, I give the game title to...the cave troll. he killed no units (but not of his own choosing) and successfully tied up the spellcaster and between 2-5 Wood Elf warriors. All told, the cost for tying down this monstrous beast was twice his cost. It is not his fault that the rest of the team didn't capitalize on this power play (and I feel really bad for him).

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