Saturday, March 17, 2012

TMAT GT12: Rounds 1 & 2

Our "dedicated photographer" showed up during the first round and so the pictures for that round are a bit scarce. As a matter of fact, with the exception of a few pictures I posted of my first game on an earlier post, we only have pictures of one game. So...we'll start with the other two games (but rest assured frequent viewers, we'll have better sets of pictures in later posts). In the style of a blog that I really like, I'm going to explain a bit about each game and then show some pictures afterwards...so here we go.

ROUND 1

Table 3: Captain Glot vs. Sir Percy Blakeney

This game was an epic clash between Rohan and Isengard, the fair heads against the unfair head-hunters. During this Domination game, the battle raged over the bridges that crossed the river and Boromir camped out on one of them. Needless to say, the Uruk-Hai didn't fair to well against him. However, elsewhere on the field, the Uruks did very well, capturing two objectives and pressing for a third. The day was cut short when the Warriors of Rohan broke, a dice was rolled, and the game suddenly ended, leaving the Uruks and Rohan with two objectives each (though an army of Uruks were rolling towards them at top-speed).

Draw for both: Good 3 - Evil 3.

Table 2: Tiberius vs. Tavros

Of all the games I played during this tournament, this one had me the most concerned. So I got it over with first...and unfortunately, it was on the one scenario I didn't want to face this particular horde of Goblins on. As it turns out, the Trolls couldn't climb up the stairs or the rocky faces of the High Ground, so they spent most of their time chomping through the Dwarves who were around the hill for much of the game. My army was split into three groups: with Tavros placing his units first, I lined up my Dwarf archers opposite Buhrdur and a team of Goblins and Wargs, while Gimli led a group of heavily-armed Dwarves and rangers against a massive line of Goblins. A Khazad Guard and Dwarf Warrior with shield were always kept with each attacking group, as I needed reliable units to assign volley fire to in later games. In these cases, though, they helped to buttress against the loads of Goblins I was fighting. Balin led the third contingent up the rocky face towards the scoring zone. The battle was close, with my archers nearly shooting Buhrdur to death before getting raked by his allied forces. Gimli slew a Troll and failed to do anything else of interest, as he spent the final few turns attempting to climb the hill and failing. Balin was killed by Durburz on the high ground after really messing up his roll to win the fight. As the timer ran out, we counted up who was winning the fight and the Goblins were leading on the high ground by 3.

Minor Victory for Tavros: Good 2 - Evil 4.

Table 1: Zorro vs. Glenstorm

This classic fight between Elves and a horde of Orcs and Uruk-Hai had both players a little concerned. What ended up happening was a lot of effective Elven archery fire and a fierce melee fight at the end. Since the goal in this game is to drive the enemy to reach 25% of his starting force size, the Elves gained the upper hand early. Once the force from Isengard was reduced to 25%, the question became whether the Elves had a hero remaining. With both Legolas and the Captain alive, the Elves seized a major victory against the Uruk-Hai.

Major Victory for Zorro: Good 5, Evil 1.

The armies met around the building, not risking a fight inside...hmm, that's interesting.
The Orcs rush around the Elven lines after braving the marsh at half-speed. The Elves prepare for a tough fight on this side and are seriously out-numbered.
On the other side of the world, the Elves battle the archers and supporting units of the Uruks and Orcs. With blades flashing, this flank is looking much better than the other side.
There's nothing quite like supporting archer fire from an Elven battle line...especially one that sports Legolas.
Since there weren't many pictures here, let's move on to Round 2...

Table 3: Tiberius vs. Glenstorm

So here is a classic fight between my newly-completed Dwarf army against their ancient rivals, the Uruks and Orcs of Isengard played by my good friend and long-time partner in crime, Glenstorm. These forces have battled several times before and I think up until the tournament, my record against them was 1-2 (maybe worse than that). As we set up for this domination game, I split my army into three pieces: four Dwarf rangers stayed behind to defend my camp, while Gimli took an armored division across the river followed by a company of archers while the Unexpected Company (those who weren't defending the camp) joined Balin and the token Khazad Guard and shield-bearing warrior to claim the distant objective. As expected, the fighting happened just across each bridge, with the Dwarves at first having a rough time against the sheer number of Dwarves. After really messing around for most of the game, Gimli began to remember the point of this excursion as the minutes wound down. Gimli managed to rush into an objective after scoring many kills and a broken Uruk force led to the defender of Gimli's newly-claimed objective running away. All of the nearby allies of this Orc were either in combat, fled, or couldn't reach the objective, leaving the Dwarves with three objectives and the Uruk-Hai with one.

Minor victory for Tiberius: Good 4, Evil 2.

The Uruk-Hai gained control of a nearby bridge very quickly. The archers you see here, guided by Vrasku, managed to nail quite a few Dwarves during the game - especially those trying to cross the other bridge or Dwarf Rangers who ventured too far from their cover. The Orcs and Uruks crossing this bridge went straight for the approaching Dwarves and kept them from crossing the bridge the entire game.

The other bridge saw a lot of action. The Dwarf archer team followed across the bridge not long after and helped drive the Uruks off the bridge and away from the Dwarf base. The rest of the Dwarves had a really, really rough time clearing out these Orcs and Uruks until Gimli got on top of his game.
The fighting got really tense as the battle raged on. Here you can see Gimli at the rear of the enemy lines and getting ready to pummel forward to the objective.
At the other objective, you can see Balin leading his company of Dwarves.  Those pictured here include Thorin Oakenshield, Kili, Fili, Dori, Nori, and Ori. Most of these Dwarves paid the ultimate price before the game ended, as the Dwarves were also broken during this fight.
Table 2: Zorro vs. Sir Percy Blakeney

This fight pitted a choke-point war between High Elves and Uruk-Hai. Of all the armies to fight in this particular scenario, the army of Blakeney was probably the toughest for the Elves to fight, as their pikes and Strength 4 provided a real battering for the Elves. From what I am told, the game was very, very close, with the Uruks gaining control of a tower early in the game and raining crossbow bolts down on the nearby Elves, preventing a counter-attack on their flanks. A long and bloody conflict at the top of the high ground was waged until the final few turns, when a few good priority rolls for the Elves allowed them to get the upper hand on the Uruks and kill all of the Uruks on the hill. Legolas did his part, sniping Uruks engaged in fights and shooting down supporting pikemen.

Major victory for Zorro: Good 5, Evil 1.

Legolas and his archers kept the Uruks busy off of the hill. The shields of the Uruks made killing them difficult, but when Elves with bows have a mind to do something, usually they do it in the end.
Scaling the high ground is difficult without the stairs and as you can see, the Uruks were swift to distract many Elves from climbing up the rock face, even though it placed them directly in the firing line of the Elven archers. Their charge spared many pikemen from being killed early in the game.
The fighting was fierce, with Uruk-Hai warriors, Berserkers, and their captain attempting to break through the line of solid Elven defenders. The Elf captain here did a stellar job of keeping the Uruk-Hai back, thanks to his Fight value of 6.
The battle on the high ground was rough for the Uruks and the Elves finally defeated the last foe on the mountain, a berserker as it happened to be.
ROUND 2

Table 1: Capt. Glot vs. Tavros

The Meeting Engagement games seemed to be the most fun, but this game was going to be a bit one-sided. On the one side, Boromir of Gondor stood impregnable against most of his adversaries unless he really, REALLY messed something up. Being supported by Haldir and Theoden certainly helped. On the other side, however, the skulking but bulky Durburz and his Troll friend Buhrdur would take some effort to defeat as well. In the end, killing all of the enemy heroes would be a tough endeavor. The Goblins gained the advantage quickly, utilizing the Wild Wargs and trolls in their army against the weaker Rohan units. The sheer number of Goblins stopped the heroes from being as effective as they should have been and the rampage ended with an overwhelming number of Goblins running through the ranks of the Rohan until they reached 25%. With both heroes alive and well, the Goblins were the undisputed champions of this game.

Major Victory for Tavros: Good 1, Evil 5.

The armies prepared for a bloody battle, racing towards the ruins to utilize its defenses. You can see both trolls forming up on the same side to the left of the picture.
The Goblins reached the ruins first and claimed a few defensible spots. Little did they know that the powerful heroes of the enemy would be swiftly approaching.

Here's a close-up on the Goblins, and particularly a prowler who seems to be rejoicing at their good fortune. Can't wait to see what happens when Haldir and Theoden show up...
But alas, the interesting parts of this tale are with the Trolls. These great beasts walked unchallenged for the most part through the men of Rohan, scoring numerous kills along with the packs of wargs you see on the right.
So...that was the first two rounds of the tournament. The standings thus far were as follows:

Armies of Good:
Vanguard of Rivendell (Zorro): 10 pts
Host of Erebor (Tiberius): 6 pts
Free People of the West (Capt. Glot): 4 pts

Armies of Evil:
Mountain Alliance (Tavros): 9 pts
Isengard Unleashed (Blakeney): 4 pts
Raiders of Isengard (Glenstorm): 3 pts

A later post will explain the third round and the consequent rankings that followed. As a close-out to the Unexpected Company posts, I'll be making a short epilogue to the upcoming post about how the company did and who were the stellar members of that group. I'll be placing this within the greater context of the army in general and particularly highlight how well the heroes did. Until then, I leave you...

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