Sunday, March 18, 2012

TMAT GT12: Round 3 and Standings

So we played 3 rounds of games with 3 Good players, 3 Evil players, and 3 scenarios on specific boards. A previous post has already shown two of those games. This post will close out the tournament, show a few picture highlights that were neat, and discuss how my Unexpected Company did during the tournament.

ROUND 3

Table 3: Zorro vs. Tavros

It was good to have this match-up as the last one of the tournament, since Zorro and Tavros were the highest ranked players at the time and with Tavros behind by 1 point, a victory would secure him the highest ranking army award for the tournament. Zorro, however, was intent on pulling at least a draw on this one and the two fought an epic Domination game. Two trolls on one side and a host of Elven warriors on the other...the clash was epic. Elven volley fire and direct fire was great at reducing the Goblin numbers and in one particular round, the Elves volleyed so that Legolas could use his auto-hit on a lone Goblin within the Goblins' starting objective. The bloke subsequently died and the rest of the archers held their fire. This in turn slowed the Goblin advance, as an unclaimed objective is bad news for one army. As the armies fought to control the bridge, the Goblin force broke and a dice was rolled. The game ended and the objectives were counted, with the Goblins in control of the two objectives on their side (narrowly) and the Elves had the objectives on their side.

Draw for both: Good 3, Evil 3

"The board is set, the pieces are moving." The Trolls and the Wargs stand out in the Goblin army, don't they?
The Elves managed to make it across the river on one bridge, but were promptly met by a Troll, a few wargs, and a host of Goblins. They never claimed the objective, even with archer support (seen at bottom right)...pity that.
On the other side of the bridge, the fighting was tough, with Buhrdur trying to clear/hold the bridge and Goblins and wargs jumping across the river to enter the melee. You can see a prowler in this picture who is really getting into this whole jumping thing.
Another shot from this side. You can see here one of the Dunedain rangers who populated our game tables. Glenstorm is working on a Grey Company army and wanted to show off some of the WIP models he was working on during the tournament

Table 2: Capt. Glot vs. Glenstorm

As opposed to the other table, this battle featured the two players currently in third place on their respective lists. Both had a rough time in previous rounds and so both armies were out for blood. No better scenario to have that fight on than the High Ground, eh? The Uruks and Rohan dominated in different places of the board. The Uruks were strong on both flanks and ran down most of the Rohan Warriors they faced, as the heroes of the Rohan were trudging up the stairs of the hill. The battle went well for the Rohan on the hilltop and as the timer expired, the Rohan had managed to kill all of the Uruks sitting on the hill. As much as we thought getting a major victory on this mission would be difficult, two of the three games in the tournament ended that way. Unfortunately for Glenstorm, most of his units were approaching the rear of the objective and could have poured into the fight if there had been time to get the next turn started. Unfortunately, there was not. Sorry, mate.

Major Victory for Capt. Glot: Good 5, Evil 1

Here is the board set-up: the Uruks are approaching from the north, and would be the first army to try to use the siege ladders you see on the left.
Everyone's getting ready for battle here, with a few Rohan Warriors trying to brace for the on-coming Uruk-Hai attack. You can see their major force heading to attack the archers at the top left.
And there are warriors at the top of the hill! Boromir leads the charge, while Haldir and Theoden lie down (right? they didn't trip or anything, I don't think) to avoid being seen or shot. The battle would be intense up top...
As the attack fills out up top, Rohan has the advantage. The Orcs, however, are forcing the Rohan to retreat around the hill and if time had permitted, probably would have cut into their units on the stairs and trapped them up pretty good. If we had played 90 minute games instead of 75 minute games, it probably would have worked out better for Glenstorm.
Table 1: Tiberius vs. Sir Percy Blakeney

So my good friend Percy visited us all the way from Michigan. He played 3-4 games before the tournament and was happy with the strength of the Uruk-Hai. His list featured 8 units who I like very much (all the guys with long pointy shafts were mine) and a bunch of units that I've been thinking of adding to the army (berserkers and crossbows). Unknown to the other players, I set this game up as my last game because I've been rethinking my investment in Uruk-Hai recently (see a previous post for more info on that) and so I wanted to believe in them again. I know that they don't hold up against Wood Elves and I know they can dominate against Goblins, but the Dwarves are always a close contest. So the point of this battle was to decide if I wanted to try to believe in them again.

Needless to say, Percy did a great job and the two of us fought in the best Urban Meeting Engagement game of the tournament. The Dwarves and Uruk-Hai were evenly matched and we watched as our kills advanced even the entire game. The game requires that one side be reduced to 25%, and it looked like both of us would reach that point at the same time. As it turns out, by the time the timer ran out, neither of us was at 50% of our starting size, despite Gimli racking up over 10 kills (yeah, the other Dwarves were depressing, more on that later). As a player of the Uruk-Hai, I can honestly say there were few things I would have done differently. Percy did a great job and I'm very thankful he was able to make it out to the tournament.

Draw for both: Good 3, Evil 3

The Dwarves and Uruks charge for the tower, as it is the only piece of non-difficult terrain for a long, LONG time. I have the advantage, as I was able to line up my Dwarf Rangers along the side that has rocky difficult terrain (which they pass over without difficulty). What I wasn't expecting was a crossbow team sitting on the other side of it, waiting for me.

The Uruks arrived before I did at the ruins. As you can see, they got shields an pikes into the doorways quickly and that really hurt later on. Still, Gimli was a real trooper and fought his way through wave after wave of Uruks, rolling 6s to win the fight most times.
You can see here the Dwarf Rangers and a Dwarf Warrior with shield charging at the Uruk crossbow team. I got really close to charging them, but those Uruks cut me off and did a real number on this attack team. To the left the shot was a pair of Khazad Guards who couldn't climb over the wall during one turn (that really stunk).
The first Dwarf to enter the ruins was a Dwarf with shield. He managed to not die during the whole fight and fought against the Uruk with shield that you can see in the center of the shot. The Dwarves never made progress on this front, and two Uruk-Hai successfully stopped 4 Dwarves from entering the fight and assisting Gimli (that's 20 points worth of Uruks distracting 42 points worth of Dwarves).
Final Standings:

Armies of Good
1st Vanguard of Rivendell (Zorro): 13 pts, awarded the Best Good Army award and Highest Rank award
3rd (T) Host of Erebor (Tiberius): 9 pts, awarded the Domination award (highest score in scenario)
3rd (T) Free People of the West (Capt. Glot): 9 pts, awarded the Come From Behind award

Armies of Evil
2nd Mountain Alliance (Tavros): 12 pts, awarded the Best Evil Army award
5th Isengard Unleashed (Blakeney): 7 pts, awarded the School of Hard Knocks award (for playing the least amount of games in preparation for the tournament)
6th Raiders of Isengard (Glenstorm): 4 pts, awarded the Better Luck Next Time award and Most Unique Scenery Additions award (for adding fun to our games with Dunedain rangers)

Special Events during the games:
You can see here the great Goblin king Durburz, lying face down in a river. As it happened, Durburz died by drowning during the game (pushed in I think after losing a fight?). Since the Goblins were losing their units pretty quickly, this was quite a blow...sometimes Lady Fortuna doesn't smile on your army.
Earlier in the fight (as you can see with Durburz standing there), the Troll chief Buhrdur managed to kill the Elf Captain of Rivendell, the first player to pull off that feat during this game. Of course, there were still lots of Elves to challenge him and keep him from getting to any serious objectives, but still, quite a feat.
My final highlight is from the clash between Uruk-Hai and Dwarves during the Urban Meeting Engagement game. You can see here an Uruk Warrior with shield holding off three Khazad Guards. The guards won almost every fight for 5 or more rounds, but the barrier's in the way roll blocked each and every one from landing (and the Khazad Guards would have wounded him on a 5+ without two-handed weapons if they could have gotten to him. Oh well...
The Unexpected Company
So what about Thorin and Co? I posted several notes on their development as the tournament drew near and made an investment in rangers instead of Dwarf Warriors...what were the pay backs? 
The Dwarves with throwing axes (6 of them) were the most effective, killing 16 units during all three rounds (an approximate total of 93 points total). While this doesn't pay for them, the throwing axes were a huge boon to my first two games. In the last game against Isengard Unleashed, the throwing axes were useful against the crossbows, but not much else. By class, however, this group of Dwarves killed more than any other group (runners up being the 12 kills scored by the Dwarf Warriors with Dwarf bows). Kili got his first kill in the last game and promptly died after scoring it, but Fili scored 4 kills during the games, bringing up their tally to about 1 kill each game for the pair of them. Less than stellar, but S2 bows have a problem killing D5-6 units anyway.

The two-handed weapon Dwarves had it rough, as they sat out of the conflict during the Domination game and tended to be used as arrow magnets to protect the throwing axe-carrying Dwarves of the company. Still, they scored 4 kills in the first game, which was really good. The other games, they were scoreless so far as I can remember and poor Bifur never got a kill during the tournament (the only one to not score a kill, actually). Balin's games were on and off, but his best performance was during the Domination game, where he led most of the Unexpected Company against the most daunting of the Raiders of Isengard's forces (the one with Vrasku and his team of archers on the other side of the river). He scored 4 kills that game (same as Gimli) and 8 kills during the course of the tournament (maybe 9, don't remember if I killed two people in the last round of the last game and forgot to mark that). All told, the company did alright, and the 3+ shoot value with throwing axes and the equivalent of normal bows was a real threat to the foes as well (even if their kills were less than spectacular). The conversion potential also made it worthwhile and I've really enjoyed preparing a new set of scenarios to use with these Dwarves, so keep watching to see what those are!

So, that was the tournament. We really enjoyed it and are looking forward to having another one. I heard back from one of the comment-makers on this blog that he lives in the northern VA area and hopefully we'll get in a game with him soon, but if you are also in the area, I'd really like to hear from you!

1 comment:

  1. actually, durburz didn't quite drown - but he had to use a might point to keep from drowning when he jumped. That shot is him clinging desperately to the river bank.

    And the elf captain sacrificially held Buhrdur on the bridge for 4-5 rounds to keep him from pummeling the rest of the lines before finally being beat down in the last round (that picture actually comes after the "drowning" shot)

    the very turn that the goblins broke, we rolled the 2 to end the game. It was very sad for the elves. For kicks we started the next round - in which most all of the goblins and the troll on their "home" side of the river fled (as expected), leaving one objective empty and ceding the other to the elves. *sigh* one pip on the ending die roll was the difference between a draw and a major victory.

    Well fought Tavros. Well fought indeed. That was definitively my favorite game of the tournament.

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