Happy Tuesday! As we began Round 1 of the tournament, I was looking at the match-ups, and I was relieved to see that I was not playing against Tiberius and his ringwraith army. For my draw, I was paired against Tavros' Angmoria army for Round 1 on the Ill Met by Moonlight map. This meant that my archery was limited to 12" in range, but that I'd be wounding everyone with a +1 to-wound. This is handy when facing trolls that are D6 and Wild Warg Chieftains that are D5, so of all of the teams I could have hit on this map, I was okay with going against the Monster Mash that was the army of Tavros. The pairings for Round 1 were:
-Ringwraiths v. Isengard on Domination
-Rohan v. Easterlings on Arkenstone
-Grey Company v. Angmoria on Ill Met by Moonlight
Before diving into the battle summaries, I want to give a special shout out and thanks to Tiberius for taking pictures - he's amazing, :)
1. Table One: Tiberius v. Zorro - Domination
For this battle, Tiberius declared that the Uruk Drummer would die (Oath #1). Zorro declared a Line in the Sand with Vrasku, and the battle began!
This game was an uphill battle for Tiberius, as he was down for the count by a substantial margin on models, and the scenario requires you to hold objectives at the end. The only way a Ringrwaith team to conquer on this map would be to break the Isengard army, cause the army to fail Courage tests within their 12" -1 Courage radius, and then hold more objectives than the remaining uruks.
The battle was fierce - a number of spells went off (as uruk captain magic defense is not very strong), and the Undying racked up kills with his Black Darts. The ringwraiths were quickly outnumbered, though, and one by one they began to fall.
I wish I was able to see this part happen (as I was engaged in some pretty serious combat at the time and could not get away from my table - you'll see why in a little bit), but apparently this Uruk Captain charged Khamul, threw a throwing weapon at him (yay for weapon caches), hit the target, hit Khamul, wounded him on a 6, and Khamul failed both Fate saves, leading to his death. That...only happens so many times in our lifetimes...
At the end of the match, the Ringwraiths were overwhelmed, the Uruks had complete control of all five objectives, they were not broken, and they defeated the enemy army leader, resulting in a 20-0 Major Victory for the Reapers. Vrasku fulfilled his oath, and the drummer survived, so Tiberius did not accomplish his oath, resulting in 2 Campaign Points for Zorro.
2. Table Two: Captain Glot v. Duke of Milan - Arkenstone
Captain Glot's Rohan force presented a strong battle line to the Easterlings, and as deployment ended, both armies swarmed the center to take command of the Arkenstone. Glot declared that Eomer would outkill Amdur, and Amdur declared the same oath (gotta love it when both players gun for the most kills for a hero!). The battlefield quickly became very messy as hordes or Rohan cav and infantry hit the solid block of Easterlings headed up by Amdur (who is pictured in the top right portion of the photo, looking ominous with his falchion - nice paint job on that model by the way, Zorro).
Eomer racked up kills quickly, working his way around the flank. Amdur was bogged down in the middle, and was unable to keep up with the Knight of Pelennor. On the final turn, the Easterlings were broken and the Rohan forces were not, both army leaders were still alive, and neither brought a banner to combat, resulting in a 3-0 Major Victory for Rohan.
3. Table Three: Glenstorm v. Tavros - Ill Met by Moonlight
Okay, I usually fight Tavros every tournament (don't know how that works - I just always do), and I enjoy it every time. We are two of the most laid back gamers I've ever seen, and we enjoy a good ole' battle to test lists we both enjoy using. Of all of the missions I wanted to hit Tavros on, Ill Met by Moonlight was the toss-up for me, as it limited my archery at the start in the hopes of getting greater volume of damage in once he closed to within 12" of my lines. I was also unsettled (to say the least) at the thought of 12 Moria Goblin Archers hitting my men on 5s and wounding on 4s. My plan was to take down the cave troll and bat swarm when they came in for close combat, kill the shamans, and then break the army, just counting on slowing down Burduhr through combat and keeping him out of the thick of it.
Burduhr declared that Daerdan, one of my Dunedain, would die, and I declared that Aragorn would live to fight another day. Burduhr went tearing through to the far side where Daerdan was camping out, and I basically said, "Yeah, short of pulling Aragorn over here, we're not stopping that guy," so my hope was to just hold him down long enough to break his army. Daerdan and his small band of rangers ended up dying to the man (which I expected), and took down a cave troll and about a half-dozen goblins with them (couldn't get to the shaman, unfortunately). The important role that these nine rangers played was holding this detachment of the Angmoria force on the far side of the map, away from Aragorn and the rest of the Company. As you'll notice above, I found two sets of shields in the caches on my side, so I got to rock with D6 Rangers of the North and D5 Rangers of Arnor when we went to close combat - that was fun, :)
On the other side, Aragorn and the gang slammed into the goblins, and the Wild Warg Chieftain was fended off to the flank for most of the battle. Aragorn racked up 5 kills in 2 turns, which I was pretty happy about. He pushed almost all the way to the shaman in the back, but was unable to catch him. The result was very few Fury saves (so those didn't hurt me that much), but it also meant that when I broke his army, his army still stuck around because the shamans passed their courage tests and kept their men in a state of fury.
The game would have looked extremely strong for the Grey Company had the Wild Warg Chieftain not gotten around my flank. Per the fact that the WWC is a monster (and not just a cav model), he did two pretty devastating flinging attacks with the new monster rules from the Hobbit Sourcebook (which is one of the new rules we added from the new books). I actually didn't take a ton of casualties from these flings - the result, though, was that I had so many guys on the ground that I couldn't assist Aragorn in getting to the critical heroes. Both forces were broken at the end of the battle, both teams fulfilled their oaths, and since both army leaders were still alive and neither team fielded a banner, the game ended as a 1-1 Draw.
At the end of Round 1, we had a tie for first, a tie for second, and a tie for third - really close heading into Round 2! More on that on Wednesday. :) Stay tuned!
Watching the stars,
"Trivial hurts, tiny human accidents," said Firenze, as his hooves thudded over the mossy floor. "These are no more significant than the scurrying of ants to the wide universe, and are unaffected by planetary movements." ~ Firenze, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix