Thursday, August 30, 2012

Game 5 - Domination: The Fellowship vs. Moria

This is the final game for the Fellowship as we face a new foe each game for five games and five different (new) scenarios. Like last game, this one is set to be really, REALLY tough. This is a warband game of 500 points and today we have a little twist: I will be controlling my army from Moria against my wife, Ellyriana and my son Tamwyn who will be controlling the Fellowship. Here are the forces in today's match:

Amon Hen: 500 points

Legolas with armor - 95 points
Aragorn/Strider with bow - 180 points
Gimli, Son of Gloin - 90 points
Boromir of Gondor with Elven cloak - 115 points
Meriadoc Brandybuck - 10 points
Peregrin Took - 10 points

6 units, 1 Elf bow + 1 bow + 1 thrown weapon + 2 stones, 6 heroes

The Denizens of Moria: 500 points

Durburz, Goblin King of Moria - 60 points
Moria Goblin Shaman - 45 points
Moria Goblin Captain with shield - 40 points
Moria Goblin Captain with shield - 40 points
1 Cave Troll - 80 points
1 Bat Swarm - 35 points
14 Moria Goblin Warriors with shield - 70 points
15 Moria Goblin Warriors with spear - 75 points
11 Moria Goblin Warriors with Orc bow - 55 points

46 units, 11 Orc bows, 4 heroes

The scenario we will be playing is a Domination game on a board that is 48" x 48". In this scenario, the game ends when one force is broken (1 for the Fellowship and 11 for the Goblins). The points are then calculated as follows:
  • 3 points for each objective with 1 or more friendly models and no enemy models within 3", OR
  • 1 point for each objective with more friendly models than enemy models within 3".
  • 3 points if the enemy leader is killed, OR
  • 1 point if the enemy leader takes 1+ wounds.
  • 3 points if the enemy army is broken and the friendly army is not broken when the game ends, OR
  • 1 point to the winner if both he and the enemy army are broken.
The map is set up as follows: we have several ruins scattered across the map and several other pockets of woodland terrain. We alternated placing objectives, indicated by the markers on the table (red, yellow, blue, green, and shiny). The Goblins won priority for the first turn and placed their warbands second.
So with the Fellowship being 2-2-0 in this round of games, I'm interested in seeing how life is facing an all-hero army. I'm putting together a White Council list (another all-hero army), so now I get to view what I want/need in an army from an adversarial stand point. Int his game, I know that if Durburz and the Goblin Shaman can stay alive, I can probably hold three objectives by the time my army is broken and reduced to 25% (as I'm pretty sure they will, seeing as I'm facing the four best heroes the Fellowship list has to offer). If I can keep two objectives from being contested (hopefully both held by Durburz) and another contested somewhere else (with the Shaman) and break the Fellowship (read, kill Legolas and the hobbits), then I can win this game. Any other objectives I can claim will help too, but in any other case, I could lose this game because of the 25% ending point.



Turn 1: The Charge (Priority - Goblins)

So, pictures are sparse on this post. Camera was a bit finicky and decided to quit on us entirely after a few turns. The Shaman, to no surprise, cast Fury and enraged his comrades nearby (1/3W). In the Shoot phase, Legolas leveled a hailstorm of arrows against the Bat Swarm and succeeded in wounding it once (1/4H).



Turn 2: Combat Begins (P - Fellowship)
The Goblins advance...that's about it. Aragorn has charged early, but nothing else of interest happens.
In the Shoot phase, Legolas kills a Goblin spearman on the left flank, far from the rage of the shaman. And so it begins...
In the Fight phase, Aragorn kills 2 Goblins and begins checking the advance (no Fury saves, Aragorn: free + 1/3M). Notice how close he is to the shaman...
Kill count: Fellowship 3/46, Goblins 0/6.



Turn 3: Mighty Heroes (P - Goblins)
The armies are now in all-out war, with even Legolas charging into a nearby set of Goblins. My Bat Swarm has sought refuge from the arrows and can now swoop into almost any fight. My Troll, though, really needs to free my Shaman up, so that will take some time. Nothing happened in the Shoot phase.
In the Fight phase, Boromir calls a Heroic Combat and kills a Goblin with shield. Much to pity, he wasn't saved by his Fury roll.
Boromir goes on to beat and wound both of the Goblins with spears that he fought, but one shrugged off the wound he suffered (fury save, Boromir: 2/6M). Aragorn kills 2 Goblins with shields (no Fury saves), while Legolas kills 1 Goblin shield. Thankfully, Gimli lost his fight, but took no wounds, while a Goblin spear and shield team killed Pippin (Fate save fail, 1/1F, 1/1H).
Kill count: Fellowship 8/46, Goblins 1/6. It was at this moment that I noticed (as you can see in the picture above) that the Shaman is open and exposed...and not far from Aragorn...oops.



Turn 4: Consolidation (P - Fellowship)
So, of course, the last picture the camera took before it promptly died (why do I never have enough batteries around?!?!) is sideways. The Fellowship has priority and promptly charged a great many units (though Legolas went back to Plan A and faded into the trees). Gimli, for his part, killed a Goblin archer with his throwing axe and promptly charged two others. My other Goblins nearby are racing towards the objectives and counting on, perhaps, being broken and outnumbering.
In the Shoot phase, Legolas killed 2 Goblins with spears, making life a bit better for Merry this round. In the subsequent Fight phase, Aragorn dedicated his efforts towards killing the Goblin Shaman, who failed his Fate save (rolled a 2!!!) and suffered 2 wounds (2/2H, 1/1F; Aragorn: free M). Boromir killed a single Goblin spearman after blowing his horn and winning the fight automatically and Gimli killed both the archers he was fighting. Though the loss of the shaman is a HUGE blow to my army, the Goblin spearmen and Bat Swarm managed to wound Merry twice, making his Fate save irrelevant.

Kill count: 
Fellowship 15/46, Goblins 2/6. Um, we're 4 turns in, and I've lost 15 guys (including my shaman)...need to get some kills coming now!



Turn 5: The Might of Gondor (P - tied, Goblins)

Nothing of importance happened in the Move phase, besides the fact that I couldn't get my Troll and my Bats in the same fight (stupid Goblins). As such, they split forces and I sent the Bats to fight Boromir, despite the fact that they really do nothing there, while the Troll went lolloping over to Aragorn to make that fight a bit less fair. Nothing happened in the Shoot phase either, despite the fact that Legolas was shooting. In the Fight phase, Boromir blows his horn, wins automatically, and promptly kills the Bat Swarm without spending Might. Ouch. On a completely unrelated note (besides the fact that it puts my team down some more), Gimli killed yet another Goblin archer, further depleting the force I have down at the lower right objective (still got a Captain and and a few more archers though).

In Aragorn's fight, Aragorn loses to the Troll and Goblins and takes *drum roll*...1 wound...from the Goblins. My wonderful Troll managed to roll two 1s and a 3...I am so mad at him. Aragorn rolled for his first Fate point and failed it and my gracious opponent decided to just take the wound. I imagine this is out of pity for my team, but it did score me a point (which I reminded her about and she was okay with that). Yaye team...

Kill count: 
Fellowship 17/46, Goblins 2/6. The Goblins are 6 away from breaking, while the Fellowship is 1 away from breaking...oh, Cave Troll?!?!?!? At least we got a point already, so we're kind of winning...



Turn 6: Cutting Down to Size (P - Fellowship)

In the Move phase, the Fellowship brawlers in the center of the map readjust to compensate for a few mismatches, having Boromir charge the Troll and Aragorn charging a Goblin Captain. Nothing of interest happened in the Shoot phase, as Legolas is once again in combat.

In the Fight phase, Boromir blows his horn, the Troll passes his Courage test, and no one on my side rolls higher than a 4...so of course, Boromir wins and promptly kills the Troll (3/3H, Boromir: 4/6M). Could things get any worse? Oh right...Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimli managed to kill one Goblin each, further ringing up their kill total (Aragorn: free + 2/3M).

Kill count: 
Fellowship 21/46, Goblins 2/6. Two away from breaking and I've lost my killing units. Time to get down to 25% and hold three objectives...yeah, that's the plan...it'll work.



Turn 7: The Slaughter Continues (P - Goblins)

I sent a few Goblins over towards the objective that Gimli is camped out at and hope to pile on the numbers before he can kill them all. The other heroes in the center of the map, I'm just trying to outnumber - there is no other strategy. Legolas is engaged yet again with a lot of Goblins near his base, so there is nothing happening in the Shoot phase.

In the Fight phase, Gimli calls a heroic combat, wins his fight, and promptly kills 2 Goblin spearmen (2/3M). He then charges the other guys at his objective and loses (but of course, is not wounded). Aragorn, Boromir, and Legolas keep up their streak of killing one Goblin each to make sure my army is really, really small.

Kill count: 
Fellowship 26/46, Goblins 2/6. Goblins are broken (at least 1 point for the Fellowship), so we'll see what happens now...thankfully, two completely uncontested objectives will be held in place by Durburz thanks to his 12" Stand Fast! Yaye, at least we have something...and that's not counting the three other objectives that I outnumber the Fellowship on (but not by much, so that could change).



Turn 8: The Rally Cry (P - Fellowship)

In the Move phase, the Fellowship ties down both of my Goblin Captains to force me to pass Courage tests with my warriors. Legolas charges someone, but lets the other Goblins see how happy they are. Durburz passes Courage test after rolling a sum of 3 (2/2W, 1/3M), and keeps two of my objectives happy (four Goblins on those objectives and another Goblin at the center objective). 5 Goblins failed their Courage tests and run from the field. Once again, there is nothing going on in the Shoot phase.

In the Fight phase, Aragorn calls a heroic combat, kills a Goblin spear, charges another spear and kills him easily. Ouch. Boromir wins his fight against the Goblin Captain he charged, but does not manage to wound him. Gimli kills the Goblin archer he's fighting, making the fight down to him on the other Goblin Captain) and Legolas loses his fight but suffers no wounds (because, of course, my Goblins can't roll 5s).

Kill count: Fellowship 34/46, Goblins 2/6. With 12 Goblins left, I last for one more round...but likely only one more, as I just need to lose 2 guys to be down to 25%.



Turn 9: The Cry Falls (P - Fellowship)

Spoiler: the entire game goes down the drain in the Move phase. As a statistics nerd, I can tell you that there is a 1/12 chance of rolling a sum of 3 on two dice for two consecutive Courage tests. Apparently I've already played 11 games, because Durburz rolls another sum of 3 for Courage test and cannot pass it. He subsequently flees and is followed by five other Goblins including three archers who were holding one of my uncontested objectives. That gives the Fellowship 3 points for killing Durburz (effectively) and takes away 3 points I would have had for holding the objective uncontested. Also, my force is now down to below 25%, so the game will end after this round.

To add insult to injury, Gimli wounds the Goblin Captain with his throwing axe, rolling the required 6 to wound (1/2H, failed Fate save, 1/1F). Nothing happened in the Shoot phase, but Gimli manages in the Fight phase to wound the Captain again and kill him, clearing out all of the Goblins on his objective. Legolas killed the Goblin with shield he was fighting and Boromir beat his Captain but failed to wound him. He did, though, keep my Captain out of scoring range (he and Aragorn together made a good screen to prevent me from running in range of the objective).

Kill count: Fellowship 42/46, Goblins 2/6. With four Goblins left, the game ends and we count up the scores of each army (counting objectives, then status of army leaders, then breaking the foe)...

Objectives:

#1 (center): Fellowship holds uncontested with Aragorn and Boromir.
#2 (top left): Goblins hold uncontested with one Moria Goblin Warrior with Orc bow (who thankfully passed his Courage test after Durburz fled).
#3 (bottom left): Goblins hold contested with 2 Moria Goblin Warriors against Legolas.
#4 (top right): Unattended - no points scored.
#5 (bottom right): Fellowship holds uncontested with Gimli.

Score: Fellowship 6, Goblins 4.

Army Leaders:

Fellowship scores 3 points for Durburz fleeing the field.
Goblins score 1 point for wounding Aragorn.

Score: Fellowship 9, Goblins 5.

Breaking The Foe:

Fellowship scores 3 points for breaking the enemy and not being broken.
Goblins score 0 points for failing to break the enemy.

Score: Fellowship 12, Goblins 5. Major victory for the Fellowship!



Conclusion:

Assessment by Tiberius:

So, I'm conflicted. I really like my Fellowship list and all, but winning like they did in this game was just embarrassing. I mean, this was the second game where they were not broken and the second game they ran the table as far as scoring points. It's nice to see them win and all (especially when it's my wife winning), but it doesn't keep a crowd around. So...rather sad way to end it, but a good game in some respects.

Stellar unit for the Goblins: Moria Goblin Warrior with Spear

The thing about fighting an all-hero army, is that unless you kill one of the prominent heroes, you wonder who you give the title of "stellar unit" to. I can't give it to the Troll because he lost one fight and couldn't win the other. I can't give it to Durburz, since he didn't fight and still failed two Courage tests (effectively). I can't really give it to the Shaman, who saved one guy before he died. I can't give it to my archers, who failed to wound in the first round with their volley and otherwise failed to halt Gimli. So my options are: Goblins with shields and Goblins with spears. Since 3 of the 5 units responsible for killing the two Hobbits were Goblins with spears, I give them the gold star today. A really unimpressive game for the Goblins, but hopefully they'll get a better game soon.

Stellar unit for the Fellowship: Boromir of Gondor

The Fellowship always has one of its four mega-heroes who doesn't kill enough and two or three who do a great load of work. In this game, Legolas really didn't get a chance to come out of the woodwork and only scored 44 points worth of kills (if you add the 1 Wound he did on the Bat Swarm). Gimli scored 80 points (nearly his cost) and Aragorn scored 85 (a good respectable amount). Boromir though, thanks to the Troll he killed solo, scored 126 points and comes out ahead of his cost (in this game, 115). If you give the three melee heroes credit for the units that fled because they broke the enemy, their points rise even higher. On the whole, though, the heroes killed the same number of units, so that's not a huge boon to anyone. But, slaying the Troll and the Bat Swarm in one round each gives Boromir the glory title today.

So, with a final record of 3-2-0, the Fellowship is victorious. I'm rather happy and psyched about these all-hero armies. So here's what we're doing for the next hobby month: we're going down to Goblin Town in anticipation of the new Hobbit movie and I'm going to be writing up posts on the White Council list that I'm putting together. I'm also hoping to focus a bit on the terrain that I've been working on and get some of those projects done. So, watch this space!

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