Friday, March 15, 2013

TMAT GT13 - Rounds 1 & 2

Welcome back for part two of our TMAT GT2013 recap (played Sat, Mar 9). All eight participants were assigned a number, reported to their respective boards and we kicked things off with:

Round 1, Board A: Isengard’s Outriders vs: Defenders of the Forest

The animosity between elves and dwarves is second only for their hatred of orc-folk. So much so that the elves of Lorien found need to abandon the sunlight for the darkness of dwarvern halls in order to face off against the pillaging Vrasku and his uruk horde. As both sides closed upon the chamber room that holds the Arkenstone, Vrasku claimed he would live to fight another day, and Celeborn swore to kill more than the foul uruk could. The dank air was filled with elven arrows and crossbow bolts, ricocheting off pillars and causing carnage on both sides. While the elves defended the Arkenstone mightily and prevented it from falling to enemy hands, it was at a very great cost. Celeborn himself had to be carried from the field of battle, grievously wounded, with his army decimated - the taunts of Vrasku and his army ringing in his ears [Isengard oath passed], and with the bodies of far too many of his elven kin pierced by crossbow bolts [Elven oath failed].

Rumil holds the elven flank
Vrasku and his firing line prepare to return fire
The elves manage to keep the uruks away from the arkenstone (bottom left)
dwarven fires illuminate the underground battle
alas, but in the end the elven numbers are too few to hold back the hordes of Isengard
Isengard killed the enemy leader, and drove the elves to 25% of their starting force while remaining unbroken. Lothlorien, having accomplished their secret objective, ceded the field and left.

Final Score: 9-2 major victory for Isengard’s Outriders

_ _ _ _ _

Round 1, Board B: The Dwarves are for the Dwarves! vs: Dol Amroth to Gondor!

As oft happens when the ill-temperedness of dwarves meets with the pride of man, choice words soon came to blows between the armies of Tavros and Dr. G. Imrahil declared he could outfight the dwarven leader, and Balin was determined to lead his troops another day. The swan knights galloped around the city ruins with ease, taunting the stubby legs of the dwarves, while the Grey pilgrim attempted to knock some sense into the men of the White City. In the main street running through the town, the elite soldiers of both nations were tied up into a massive, disorderly, brawl. Beards were pulled, shins kicked with mithril-capped boots, and the occasional dwarf tossed through a window to raucous laughter (often cut short by a wallop to the glutus maximus). Fortunately the ordeal was over before the injuries on either side became too serious. At the end of it all, the prince of Dol Amroth stood proudly over the egos he bruised, while Balin made some comment about the feeble punches of the tall folk [both oaths succeeded].

Dol Amroth and Gondor set out to claim the city
Gandalf lets loose a sourcerous blast
Dwarves and Men jeer at each other
Dwarven shieldbearer and banner try to assist Balin in the center melee with more fights overhead
End game: Dol Amroth holds the 2 southern objectives and the majority at NW objective. NE is empty 

At game end, neither army was remotely close to breaking. Dol Amroth had full control over two objectives and the majority at a third. One objective remained unclaimed and the center objective was hotly contested by both the dwarves and men. The dwarves accomplished their secret objective.

Final Score: 7-2 major victory for Dol Amroth for Gondor!

_ _ _ _ _

Round 1, Board C: The Chill of Angmar vs: Fire from the East

On the desert board, Centaur's orcs faced off against the Easterlings, marshaled by the Black Prince. Shagrat declared he would outkill the Dwimmerlaik, and in what was probably the gutsiest move of the tournament, as his oath, the Dwimmerlaik declared that Shagrat would die before the end of the game. At D7 with 3 health, 3 fate, and 3 will points to resist incoming spells, most players would have considered such a move ludicrous when you have the much easier targets of a captain and Amdur (2hp, 1 will, 1 fate), but that’s Centaur for you… always charging headfirst. The two armies clashed in the middle of the desert, the savage hunter orcs raining blows upon the shields of the steadfast men of Rhun. Shagrat ran across the battlefield doing what he does best - killing things. Eventually, the spell casters of Angmar were able to work down his will points and the barrow wights put him on the ground. Although they labored long and hard at it, the orc 2h bearers finally managed to punch through the armor of the great uruk, leaving him a lifeless bloodied corpse - next to the trail of orc bodies strewn across the battlefield [both armies succeeded in their oaths].

Angmar takes the field
Easterlings begin the long march across the desert
Both armies advance in staggered formation
Angmar and Easterlings clash with no room for emissaries to make it through
Shagrat meets his end under the hail of 2h weapons
Narzug attempts to take the Corsair emissary around the far flank

At the end of the game, all of the emissaries were still several turns from escaping, neither army was broken, and both armies failed their secret objectives. The only points were for the death of the great uruk, Shagrat.

Final Score: 2-0 major victory for The Chill of Angmar

_ _ _ _ _

Round 1, Board D: The Fist of Isengard vs: The Treasure Fleets of Abrakhân

As the Abrakhân convoy travels north, the lushness of the forest leaves an impression only slightly less memorable than the howl of the wild warg. Soon the sound of uruks-hai thundering through the underbrush adds yet another new experience for the travelers far from their desert home. As the armies of Tiberius and el Zorro attempted to avoid the wild creatures, the proud Saruman claimed his sorcery would wreak more havoc than the blade of the Golden King, while the Abrakhân lord pointed to Mauhur and claimed his life forfeit. With wargs stalking their flanks, both armies drew up battle lines around a newly-vacated troll cave (it's former occupant still dazed and bleeding out). Although the uruk-hai are strong, the money of the Abrakhân king was well spent, and savageness of his guards makes short work of the denizens of Isengard. Yet the superstition of the desert folk prevented them from slaying the White wizard, instead offering him gold and jewels in order to leave them in peace. Taking advantage of the distraction, Mauhur fended off his attackers and fled - following his master back to Orthanc. [Neither oath achieved]

Both armies advance, trying to avoid the lairs
the bloodthirsty creatures tear into the haradrim right from turn 1, killing both a reaver and an xbow! 
Rogue troll and wargs slam into the uruk lines
Fortunately for Isengard, Saruman's immobilize makes short work of the troll - which failed to respawn
Harad battle line prepares for an uruk assault
a lucky round or two of harad archery from close quarters really sets off the numbers. From that point , fight value and sheer numbers would take their heavy toll on the Isengard lines. 
Game end: Mauhur makes his escape from the field after having been trapped between the GK and his corsair allies on the turn prior - bringing the game to a close
Saruman departed the field with 4 massive chests of treasure leaving his army reduced to 25% while the Haradrim remained unbroken. The Abrakhânis also accomplished their secret objective.

Final Score: 11-0 major victory for The Treasure Fleets of Abrakhân

_ _ _ _ _

At the end of Round 1 the standings were:

  1. Isengard’s Outriders (12.5 battle points)
  2. The Chill of Angmar (11.5 battle points)
  3. Dol Amroth to Gondor!/The Treasure Fleets of Abrakhân (11 battle points)
  4. -
  5. Defenders of the Forest/Fire from the East (3.5 battle points)
  6. -
  7. The Dwarves are for the Dwarves! (3 battle points)
  8. The Fist of Isengard (2.5 battle points)

After a quick break for lunch, people cast their ballots for "Best Themed" and we dove right into round 2!

_ _ _ _ _

Round 2, Board A: The Fist of Isengard vs: Dol Amroth to Gondor!

The sound of hoof beats echoed in the deep as Imrahil lead his forces through the maze of pillars, trying to find their way to the artifact. The glint of uruk armor warned them that their prize was in danger of falling into the wrong hands. Spurring his troops onward  Imrahil swore to cut a line through the uruk forces to their deployment zone. Across the hall, the silver tongue of Saruman rang through the claimed his army would bring him the head of one of the Gondorian captains. As the alliance of men pursued the uruks through the caverns, the lack of attention to the Arkenstone itself indicated the likelihood of a hidden agenda by both armies. In his zeal for battle, Imrahil forgot to explore from whence the uruks came, and despite the glorious acoustics of the cavern, Saruman’s incantations could not produce a Gondorian head. [Neither oath succeeded]

Dol Amroth deployment
Uruk deployment
Dol Amroth and Uruks clash over the Arkenstone
As the battle wages on, the knights put a beating on the army of Orthanc
the Arkenstone is all but forgotten as the bloodlust overtakes Dol Amroth

Both armies accomplished their secret objectives. Isengard was driven to 25% while Dol Amroth remained unbroken.

Final Score: 9-2 major victory for Dol Amroth to Gondor!

_ _ _ _ _

Round 2, Board B: Isengard’s Outriders vs: Fire from the East

As the current leader after round 1, The General Will’s uruks marched into the ruined city to search for spoils. Unfortunately for them, Shagrat already had his eye on this particular ruin, and the race was on to claim as much loot as possible. Wrathful over the competition, Vrasku claimed the head of the Easterling captain, and Shagrat in kind swore that one of the Uruk captains would not live to see another day. With crossbow bolts raining down from rooftops and every street bristling with pikes, the crazed beserkers clashed with the methodical Dragon Guard. As the pillaging continued throughout the day, the precision of the men of Rhun began to take its toll on the Isengard armies. In the midst of the battle, Shagrat tossed the head of the uruk captain at Vrasku - emblazed with the family crest of the Easterling captain [Easterling oath succeeded, Isengard oath failed].

Vrasku's uruks deploy
Easterlings press forward into the city
Crossbows cover the center objective as the uruks set up an ambush! 
Dragon Guard (bottom) shield desperately to prevent the uruks from gaining a foothold in their objective
the fighting is fierce in the streets
Shagrat attempts to clear the center bridge for the Easterlings
 Uruks and Easterlings hold their own, Easterlings manage to gain upper hand in center
At the end of the day, the city was fairly evenly split with both armies holding control of two objectives. The Easterlings managed to claim majority control over the center objective. Additionally, the Easterlings accomplished their secret objective while breaking the uruks.

Final Score: 12-6 major victory for Fire from the East

_ _ _ _ _

Round 2, Board C: The Dwarves are for the Dwarves! vs: The Treasure Fleets of Abrakhân

Lost and far from their halls, Balin and his vanguard trudge through the sands, trying to get messengers to their allies. Across the desert plain, the Abrakhân army is on an escort mission of its own. Exhausted, yet determined to get his messengers through, Balin claimed his blade was more deft than that of the Golden King, and the Golden King swore that his reign would continue. With the hot sun beating down upon them, the dwarves moved slowly in their heavy armor, loosing volley after volley at the lightly-armored haradrim, trying to get them to break off and leave their band alone. For their part, the Abrakhânis took full advantage of the heat to belabor their overdressed adversaries, with the Golden King matching Balin blow for blow. [Harad oath succeeded, Dwarf oath failed]

Dwarf deployment
Harad deployment (top group failed to deploy)
Dwarves advance with caution. Harad emissaries (2 bottom) make a break for the flank.
Gandalf lined up for a sorcerous blast against a corsair reaver - at which point the haradrim learned the ills of having such dangerously armed troops at the forefront. The unfortunate corsair scythed through the air, impaling himself, the spearman behind him and landing a debilitating cut on Dalamyr (who failed all 3 fate rolls!) before landing at the feet of the Golden King.
battle is joined and the dwarves fight mightily against the desert hordes
The harad emissaries took off at a sprint across the desert, bypassing the even-slower-than-normal heatstricken dwarves to make their escape.
Both armies broke each other on the last round, yet with the escape of 2 emissaries, Harad’s victory in the coming war was assured. Harad also accomplished its secret objective.

Final Score: 13-1 major victory for The Treasure Fleets of Abrakhân

_ _ _ _ _

Round 2, Board D: The Chill of Angmar vs: Defenders of the Forest

Venturing to the forest eves near Angmar, Celeborn and his cohort are investigating the recent increase of wargs and trolls that have been reported in the area, only to find the Dwimmerlaik leading an army of orcs down from the mountains. The Dwimmerlaik dared to cross blades with the elvish lord, and Celeborn swore that his people would exact vengeance on the Barrow Wight that had haunted them. Shortly after the battle commenced, the fell spirit perished to the music of elven bows [Elven oath succeeded]. As the battle waged on and the lorien elves faced off against overwhelming odds, Celeborn was plagued by the magical onslaught of the enemy, eventually falling to the paralysis of the remaining wight, as the Nazgul gloried over his foe. [Angmar oath succeeded]. From there, it was only a matter of time before the elves would be forced back into the trees.

Angmar deployment - far from the rogue wargs
Lorien deployment
a lone elven archer in the tower distracts the wild wargs.
having cleared out the troll, the two battle lines close on each other
battle is fierce with orc and elven blood
Celeborn is paralyzed, while Rumil tries to come to his aid
the elves fought valiantly, but the sheer numbers of orcs held them back
Both armies were broken, but with the loss of their leader, the elves were routed (25%), but not before accomplishing their secret objective. The foul banner of the orcs remained to claim the field.

Final Score: 9-5 minor victory for The Chill of Angmar 

_ _ _ _ _

So after two rounds of combat, the standings had shifted a bit:

  1. The Treasure Fleets of Abrakhân (24 battle points)
  2. Dol Amroth to Gondor! (22 battle points)
  3. The Chill of Angmar (21 battle points)
  4. Fire from the East (16.5  battle points)
  5. Isengard’s Outriders (15 battle points)
  6. Defenders of the Forest (9 battle points)
  7. The Dwarves are for the Dwarves!/The Fist of Isengard (6 battle points)
  8. -

Stay tuned for the Round 3 and some final thoughts on TMAT GT 2013!


  1. As a brief point of clarification, in the Round 2 match between The Fist of Isengard and Dol Amroth for Gondor, Imrahil didn't _forget_ to scout out the enemy land - priority didn't allow him to move before the Uruks and he stopped 3.5" away from the terrain piece nominated. This was the only really good thing I did the whole game. :)

  2. Good write-up, Zorro: entertaining as always, :) I agree: nominating Shagrat was a bit more gutsy than I had to be, but eh, orcs go for glory, what can I say, :)

    Looking forward to your write-up on our fight in Round 3!

  3. These are enjoyable battle reports to read. Very well done. Dwarves are the best though. We all know that :)

    I would like your feedback on my painting of my Gandalf miniature, as well as the slight modifications I made. Nathan's Fiction Sphere

    I'm also thinking of doing a monthly post where people email me a picture of a model, models, they've painted within that month and are most proud of. It will be displayed on my blog with name, owner name, their thoughts etc, as well as link to their blog. Just wondered if you would be interested?