Monday, April 28, 2014

Forge Update: The Horde of Angmar (aka, "The Halloween Army")


Hey Reader!

Welcome back to TMAT!  First of all, I owe you all an apology: I said I'd get this up on Friday, but after arriving home after 11:00 and heading into a busy weekend, I decided to go to bed instead.  So I apologize, :)  So instead, here's a pick-up post for you Monday, :)

Second, we're over 50,000 views - so thank you so much to our loyal viewership!  The following army list is one that I've been thinking about for quite some time, but between a work travel schedule and projects for the GT III in late March, I haven't had a chance to finish the conversions and models until now.  Below is the army list I'll be taking to The Hunters Red October (THRO) Tournament this fall (which conveniently falls close to Halloween each year), but before I show it to you all there's something I need to mention:

I've never been a "scary halloween costume guy" for All Hallow's Eve.

So this army list is a bit out of character for me, :P  That being said, the Angmar selection choices for warriors and heroes is an interesting one, and while I've always run Angmar armies as a hybrid between Angmar and the Hobbit Azog's Hunters force (and other guys in our gaming group really like Angmar + Moria for their list), I've always wanted to do a straight-up Angmar list that doesn't rely on Buhrdur the Troll Chieftain (because that's boring and everybody does it because he's a good deal for the amount you pay, :P ).  So if I was running an Angmar-only list, this is how I would do it, :)

I.  Army Theory and Concept

The army I'm running in October is below:

The Horde of Angmar (Angmar Warbands - though it could be LOME as well)
Warband 1
-The Dwimmerlaik (Army Leader): 120 pts
-3 Spectres: 45 pts
-2 Cave Trolls: 160 pts
-5 Orc Trackers: 25 pts

Warband 2
-Barrow Wight (Methernil): 50 pts
-4 Orc Warrirors w/ shields: 24 pts
-4 Orc Warriors w/ shields/spears: 28 pts
-1 Orc Warrior w/ banner: 30 pts
-3 Orc Warriors w/ 2H weapons: 18 pts

Warband 3
-Barrow Wight (Taradan): 50 pts
-4 Orc Warrirors w/ shields: 24 pts
-4 Orc Warriors w/ shields/spears: 28 pts

TOTAL: 602 pts, 33 units

So the force looks like this:


The concept of the army is pretty straightforward: lots of avenues of attack.  The army has some "anvil" elements in the blocks of F3 D5 orc warriors, and gives some 2H and banner options to give you extra chances at doing damage and winning fights.  But most of the army is a variety of "hammers" to wail on a force's weak points.

The army also has 3 dedicated casters and 6 total casters, using ethereal units (spectres) and undead units (the Dwimmerlaik and the wights) to neutralize enemy heroes and kill enemy models within a 12" radius of the army leader.  With spectres wounding against Courage value instead of Defense value and the Dwimmerlaik providing a Courage -1 radius within 12" of him, most models are going to be wounded by a S3 spectre on 4s (if not 3s, in the case of C2 units like goblins and Warriors of Arnor), including most captain units (which neutralizes the "bunker captain" that people usually build who sports F4 D7, as they are predominately C3 after the Harbinger of Evil penalty is applied).  Add into that the possibility of the Dwimmerlaik cancelling Might, Will, and/or Fate points used by a hero within the same radius, and you present a hard front against enemy units near your army leader.  They also all cause terror, so enemies will charge them on Courage -1, and if they fail you're free to use your magic (which I'll explain in the next section).

Oh yeah - and there are two cave trolls.  Which gives you Monster Attack rules and 3 attacks at F6.  Let's not forget about that part, :P

II.  Strengths and Weaknesses

The list is not designed to do everything, but it is designed to a variety of things.  Since most armies are not well designed to fight against these forms of attack (with the White Council being the exception to this, as you'll see in a bit), it can be a very formidable list in a tournament setting, as armies are static, and are not allowed to make changes/alterations between rounds.  We'll begin by looking at the strengths of the list, and then look at the (sometimes glaring) weaknesses that it possesses.  For some of our readership, the weaknesses may not look that bad; part of the influence of my commentary comes from the selection choices of the guys in our gaming group, so it may not be a universal "problem" with the list.

A.  Strengths: Damage, Damage, Damage

This list is (ironically) built as a "power" list: it's not the strong "beatstick"-style army you'd expect to see, but that's because it hits heroes and units in ways most armies can't do, and thus also gets past a number of the defenses of traditional armies.  The list does three different forms of damage, with options at other weapons.

1.  Strength 6


With two cave trolls (though, realistically, a high-archery army is going to make it so you'll only have one at best by the time you get into combat), you have two monsters rocking 3 attacks at S6, using F6 to win the fight.  Per the new Hobbit Monster rules, you can either use this to do regular damage (which is likely wounding on 4s) against any models in base contact, rending damage (against the Strength of a model, which is almost always wounding on 3s) against one model in base contact, or a throwing attack that can hit tightly compact enemies further down the line.  Since most armies tend to rely on D6 for their frontlines, this means you'll be wounding on 4s against warriors who are usually relied on by an army to stand for a few rounds.  The potential to romp clean through enemy ranks with these trolls is a good advantage that can turn the tide of the fight your way.  And with most heroes being F4 or F5, opponents have to choose between a troll winning ties (and rending the poor hero) and not engaging your heavy monsters.  Both are okay scenarios for this army.  But this is not the biggest form of damage for the army...

2.  2H Attacks

The list also uses 4 2H weapons (three with orcs, and one on the Dwimmerlaik), which are at a -1 penalty to win the fight, but are +1 to their to-wound rolls.  This means that a S3 orc wounds a D6 warrior on 5s (instead of 6s), and the S4 Dwimmerlaik wounds a D6 warrior on 4s instead of the normal 5s.


Now this all sound well and good until you remember that orcs are only F3: how do you win the fight if you're going in on a penalty?  This list does it three ways: opportunities to swarm, the Paralyze spell, and the Transfix spell.  Because the team sports 6 casters (I'll get to the spectres in a bit), you have a lot of ways to either keep the enemy from striking wounds (by forcing them to shield or Transfixing them to keep them from wounding if they win the fight and allowing you to win ties), or you cause your opponent to lose the fight automatically, sparing you from rolling with a penalty to win the fight (via Paralyze).  Since trapping such foes is also pretty easy (on account of their not moving anywhere or they're knocked prone), it means that each of these 2H attacks is now doubled, giving you a better chance to do the killing blow in the flurry of wailing and clobbering directed at the target.

Though not always as helpful as the brute strength of a cave troll, you can spread it out a lot more than the two (or one) set of attacks from a cave troll, which forces you opponent to make hard choices on what he wants to protect/defend, and what he is willing to sacrifice.  But let's say for the purpose of argument that Boromir is standing surrounded by a number of Warriors of Minas Tirith, and even if you were to Paralyze him you wouldn't be able to load up the attacks against him (which means he's probably going to stand up and beat you next turn): what do you do?

Conversion I made from 3 High Elf Warriors, because I had extras lying around.
Per the fact that the rules for spectres say they always use hand weapons, I
used a bowman for one since I've got way to many bowmen lying around, :P
Enter the spectre.  Assuming that you keep the spectres within range of the Dwimmerlaik (which you always should, by the way, as you'll see in the next section), you target the men around Boromir with the A Fell Light Is In Them spell, and force them to take a Courage test (optimally also within range of the Dwimmerlaik, so that they are Courage 2-3 in the vast majority of cases).  When they fail it (because they will fail it primarily), you are able to take a full move with the unit, such that you do not enter an enemy control zone or cause damage to the unit (so no moving them into lava, dropping them off a cliff, etc.), you can move them far away from the place (or person they are supposed to guard).  Suddenly a Paralyzed Boromir of Gondor finds himself surrounded by warriors who are chomping into him on 4s and 5s, unprotected by his men.

Now the one problem with this strategy are bodyguard units: Rohan Royal Guards, Tower Guards, and Khazad Guards will present a problem, but on the whole, when coupled with Transfix and Paralyze, the Fell Light spell is very powerful in opening up enemies for an easy take-down.

But perhaps the most underhanded attack of all...

3.  Spectral Blades

Very few civs (and only one Force of Good) are able to wound against a unit's Courage value instead of their Defense value, and while monsters can wound against Strength, there are a lot of high-Strength opponents who are also high-Defense (uruk captains are a good example of this: S5 D5-7 for 60ish points).  Also, lowering an opponent's Defense or Strength is virtually impossible in a battle, so the values you are fighting are pretty static.

More of a close-up on them in better res: played with some different
skin tones, a wash, and some odd positions for the hands that look
disjointed because they died once upon a time.
Enter the Courage-based attack of spectres.  In the example above with Boromir, S3 units (like spectres and orcs) are usually wounding a D6-7 unit on 6s.  There are two ways to get around this: either attack with a 2H weapon (in which case the to-wound roll of a 5 is promoted to a 6), or somehow drop the Defense number to a 5.  For spectres, they wound against Courage value, which for most units is far lower than their defense (I'll get to Wood Elves and Dunedain in the next section), meaning that wounding them with a S3 unit (which is on-par with most warriors in the game) will have an easier time wounding people (usually 4s, even against Courage 4 dwarves).  Spectres are only F2 (so you'll have to protect them), but between causing Terror and Courage 6 (in case you ever need to charge someone else that causes terror), they do a fair job of holding their own.

B.  Weaknesses: Defense and Deficiency

The list is a "soft" build as far as lists go: it has a lot of potential weaknesses, and does not use its points solely for power and sustainability.  Some of the more glaring problems with the list are below, and things that I'll be thinking through over the next six months as we get ready for THRO.

1.  Low Courage

Perhaps the largest problem with this army is that it is predominately a low-Courage army.  Since all but 6 of the units (who happen to the be the casters) are Courage 3 or less, facing an enemy army that causes terror (the White Council, for example) could lead to a number of models doing absolutely nothing for you for a good portion of the game.  This problem compounds if your tournament does not require Good to face Evil, and you end up facing another army that sports ringwraiths/dragon/Sauron who reduce Courage near them.

It would also really be rocked by an Army of the Dead list, as all of their guys would cause terror and they would all be wounding my men on 4s or better, including my trolls and entire front line...so there's always that, :P

2.  No Might

At first glance, not being able to promote a 4 to a 5, or a 5 to a 6, doesn't seem all that bad.  The great disadvantage for this army, though, is that you have no chance to call any Heroic Actions, which means that if Priority is not being equitable to both sides (which it has a tendency to do in my games.  Dumb Murphy's Law), you could find your casters not casting magic, your brutes not doing damage, and your front line being swarmed and you are powerless to stop it.

Honestly, it's what you get when you focus on casting power: there are very few casters (and virtually none below 100 points) that have a decent number of Might points, so this is just part of the problem with using casters.  It's part of the trade, so I'm alright with it.  But I recognize the potential problem this can create, and will be planning accordingly.

3.  Wood Elves and the White Council

Both of these lists should be avoided like the Plague, because they both play to the weaknesses of your list.  First of all, Wood Elves are Courage 5-6 for all units in the army, which draws out the fundamental problem with spectres:

You're not allowed to switch between damage types with Spectres.

Per the Spectral Blades rule, spectres always do damage against Courage value.  In most cases, this is okay: even a D4 Ranger of Arnor/Ranger of Gondor/Blackroot Vale Archer (low-defense) who is C3 is wounded on better odds by a spectre.  Same goes for D3 C3 hobbits.  But with Wood Elves, we have the exact opposite problem: instead of wounding against D3 (which would be 4s), we're wounding a F5 warrior (which means we have to beat him with him winning ties for starters) on 5s, and for F6 heroes (good luck winning that one) who are Courage 6, you're wounding on 6s.  I'll give you a hint: it doesn't end very well.

Second, if the Wood Elf player is using Thranduil, you can expect Aura of Dismay to go off for free at some point during the battle, causing his front line to cause Terror for a turn.  And that is going to hurt.  Also, since the entire team is C5+, even if you are within the radius of the Dwimmerlaik, your opponent is still passing Courage tests on 66% at C4, so the Fell Light rule won't help you to flush out an enemy defensive position.  Add in the Blinding Light spell from Galadriel and a lot of archery, and you've got yourself a painful, brutal, and probably short battle using this list.  Oh - and probably Legolas.  Legolas will probably be there, if it wasn't bad enough already, :P

The problems are exacerbated when rolling against a White Council army.  The fact that the army is small (forcing you to concentrate fire on extremely tough guys) aside, the entire army is usually C6+ (so again, no bonus to attacking against Courage), D7 (so trolls are usually not much help), F6/7 (which means tying off trolls or winning ties, not to mention beating everyone else quite handily on Fight value), and high Will stores (for resisting your magic or casting magic of their own) coupled with high Might stores for lots of killing.  You are also required by that small army to basically kill every single person in order to bring him to 25%, and he has good ways to avoid the vast majority of your guys and get away without a scratch as he picks off your men slowly.  Avoid this army at all costs.

Conclusion

Like all lists, this one has its weaknesses.  That being said, I think this is going to be a fun list: it has that nice mix of conventional warriors, magic users, bruisers, and a bit of archery to provide some protection for the flank.  It may not be tournament winning material, but that's okay - it will be a lot of fun, and I think it will highlight some of the advantages with thinking outside of the F4 D6 box that tournament lists tend to prize.  It will also be a good army to use with new players, as it will help them learn the ins and outs of casters, monsters, infantry, spear support, 2Hers, archery, courage testing - all of the basic game mechanics sans Might points (which they'll definitely be bringing to the table), so I hope to use it as a teaching experience as well for the newer guys in our gaming group (and I've learned over the years I really do have a heart for teaching, probably even more than I do playing the game).

I'm hoping to get in a game with Tiberius sometime next week after he finishes his masters program (congrats, Mr. M.A.!), and another post should be up on May 1st, so until then, you'll know where to find me,

Watching the stars,

Centaur

"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

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Battle Report: The High Ground: Goblins vs. Wood Elves


Hey Reader!

Greetings again from all of us here at TMAT!  Things have been a bear over here for all of us, and I was extremely excited to get together with Tiberius over the Easter weekend to get a game in with him.  Because he has been working on a Weathertop map and we haven't done a High Ground scenario in ages, we elected to do a High Ground mission.  I wanted to test out his goblins (as I've never run goblins, I like a good challenge, and there's a small side of me that just wants to see how they run firsthand), and he brought out his wood elves (which he hasn't used in ages).  Here are the forces:

Drums in the Deep (Moria, Warbands): 600 points
Warband 1
Durburz - 60 points (Army Leader)
5 Goblin Warriors with shields - 25 points
5 Goblin Warriors with spears - 25 points
2 Cave Trolls - 160 points

Warband 2
Goblin Shaman - 50 pts
6 Goblin Warriors with shields - 30 points
6 Goblin Warriors with spears - 30 points

Warband 3
Wild Warg Chieftain - 75 pts
4 Goblin Warriors with shields - 20 points
3 Goblin Warriors with spears - 15 points

Warband 4
Wild Warg Chieftain - 75 pts
Bat Swarm - 35 pts

36 units, 6 Might, 4 Monsters

The Protectors of the Forest: 603 points

Galadriel, Lady of Lothlorien - 130 points
*Legolas with armor - 95 points
Thranduil, King of Mirkwood - 90 points
11 Wood Elf Warriors with Wood Elf Spears - 88 points
8 Wood Elf Warriors with throwing daggers - 72 points
3 Galadhrim Warriors with shields - 27 points
5 Mirkwood Guard with Elf bows - 55 points
3 Galadhrim Warriors with Elf bows - 30 points
1 Wood Elf Sentinel - 25 points

34 units, 11* Elf bows + 8 thrown weapons, 3 heroes

Deployment

The scenario we will be playing is a High Ground game on a board that is 48" x 48".  We played around with the rules a bit, adding in a special rule for Weathertop.  Warbands will deploy 6-12" from the board edge normally, but in addition, the following special rule will be in effect:

Special rule: During short spans in the game, mist covers the highest parts of the map. On any turn where the roll for priority is tied, two rules are in effect: units that attempt to shoot models via direct fire that are on the high ground (regardless of where they are on the map) must pass an in-the-way roll on a 6 (King's Huntsmen pass on a 4+). In addition, due to the distortion of the light in the mists, all units on the High Ground count as causing Terror (units that already cause terror may force a reroll of one courage test to charge for each charging attacker).

Scoring

Scoring for this game will work as follows:
  • 1 Victory Point for each unit that is "on" the high ground (within 3" of the center of the terrain piece);
  • 1 Victory Point if the enemy is broken (or 3 points if the enemy is broken and your own army is not broken); and
  • 2 Victory Points if the enemy army leader is killed
After rolling and deploying, the map looked like this:


The Goblins won the roll off and have chosen to select their side, ceding priority to the Elves for the first turn.

Strategy for Glenstorm: So, last time I tested out a new civ that I'd only fought before, it went decently, but I got squashed, :P  I'm not expecting to beat a high FV, high archery/throwing weapon army with a goblin force, but with F6 trolls, 2 F5 high-damage 10" move monsters, and Fury up on my goblins, I should be able to do some decent damage once he reaches the top.  I'm also curious to see whether I'd take shamans, as they are almost purely support heroes and lack the typical captain firepower in close combat.  The plan is to park the trolls near the bottom of the platform just to keep the heroes busy (and to prevent those heroic combats), and then I'll ram the Wild Warg Chieftains into his forward guard just to keep him back from the top as long as possible.  The plan then is to swarm over the top objective (climbing rule bonus should help me get up there quick), and then we'll quickly fall to 25% while I'm the only one in scoring distance, which should outweigh his points if his army is not broken.

Strategy for Tiberius: Goblins are tough to play on "High Ground" scenarios, because though they're below average in their attack stats, they are cheap with an average defense profile. With Fury keeping a few more alive (no Groblog, thank goodness), it'll require a lot of archery to kill these blokes. I also need to make sure that my melee warriors are charging straight to the top of the mountain. If not, I could be killing way more Goblins than I lose and still lose the game by a lot.



Turn 1: (Priority - Elves)

Both armies moved up, the Bat Swarm got into base contact with the top objective (I'm in the lead! :D) (It's early...just you wait!), and the elves moved up their volley team 3" and prepared to fire.  The goblins made a push to the high ground and start a flanking attack along the right with the WWCs.


In the Shoot Phase, the elves took down 1 goblin with shield,  and two wounds were put on one of the Wild Warg Chieftains, which cost Legolas a Might point (1/3M) (a point well-spent, though: that WWC is basically on a timer now.  Bummer...) ("Let your arrows sing!").



Turn 2: (P - tied, Goblins)


The armies move up, there are a number of jump tests, and the Wild Warg Chieftains charge into the forward guard of the elves ("Brace!").  The shaman attempts to cast Fury and fails on a 1 (1/3W) (lame...).  The elves advance, with two warriors now in scoring range.


In the Shoot Phase, one of the spearman was killed by the volley fire, and a goblin shield on the other side of the board was killed by Legolas (five wounds so far with archery; so not cool) (that's a lot of guys who will be scoring next turn...).


In the Fight Phase, the uninjured WWC won combat and killed the Galadhrim warrior he was fighting, and the other WWC lost combat, was wounded once, and Fate saved it (1/1F) (that was close, :P) ("GUYS!" *looks sneakily at his small hit-squad that is moving up the mountain*).



Turn 3: (P - Goblins)

A lot happened in this Move Phase.  Galadriel called a Heroic Move and I opted not to counter it (something about not being able to stop the caster, and only moving 2 people with precious Might points), targeted the WWC on the stair with Immobilize (Free+1/6W), and got a 6.  I opted to use 2 Will to attempt to resist, rolled a 5, and boosted it with Might to resist it (2/3W, 1/1M) (lame).  Galadriel's force then surrounded the WWCs as both armies reached the top of the fort.  My shaman spent another Will to attempt to cast Fury, and failed again on a 1 (2/3W) (lame again).


In the Shoot Phase, the volley team and Thranduil combined to get a wound on one of the goblin spearmen (Thranduil: 1/3M), and Legolas scored two wounds on one of the cave trolls (aaaaand, now I've got two almost-dead monsters, :P ) (Note to other players: archery works - use it).


In the Fight Phase, both of the WWCs lost combat, but no wounds were dealt.  Which brings us to the usually bloody Turn 4...



Turn 4: (P - Elves)


The injured WWC calls a Heroic Move (1/1M), Tiberius opts not to counter it, and the two WWCs charge the guys up top.  The elves then charged with the archers (primarily to get Thranduil into the action), and the sentinel used his madrigal on a goblin with shield, who passes his Courage test (Courage: 12) (also lame).  Galadriel then attempted to transfix the healthy WWC (Free+2/6W), got a 5, and he resisted it on a 5 (3/3W).  The goblins move up, swarm the top scoring area, and one of the trolls got into combat on the ramp.  At the top of the lower section, one of my spearmen attempted to hold the ramp against the enemy for a turn (he's not going to last long, but I've got to slow them down now that they're past the monsters), and my shaman attempted to cast Fury again and rolled a 1 (3/3W) (Okay: each time I rolled a 1!!!  Wow...just, wow... :-/ ) (Every Goblin-loving part of my body is very, very sad).


In the Shoot Phase, the four archers at the top left killed the spearman (yeah...no stopping that...), and Legolas killed the weakened troll (2/3M) ("They shall all fall!").  That makes 7 kills and 11 wounds so far with archery for the elves (which, in four rounds, is not bad) ("Soften them up, lads!").


In the Fight Phase, the healthy WWC kills both of the elves in his combat, and the other WWC is killed by Thranduil and company (yeah, baby).  The troll kills his man, and the goblins downed both elves up top (aaaaand we're scoreless up top...time to get some more guys up there).

Casualties: 7/36 Moria (11 from break), 6/33 Elves (11 from break)



Turn 5: (P - Elves)


To kick off the Move Phase, one of the elf swordsmen charged the WWC, and wounded him with a throwing dagger (1/3H).  The bat swarm was hit with the madrigal, and passed Courage test (Courage: 12) (Really? Twice passing on Courage 2?).  The rest of the elves charged the cave troll and rammed toward the center, as the goblins swarmed down the objective to fend them off.


In the Shoot Phase, not much happened; Legolas took down one of the goblin shields (7 wounds and counting...), and we moved to the Fight Phase.


In the Fight Phase, the WWC lost combat, took a wound, and failed his Fate save (2/3H, 1/1F).  The goblin shield on the ground near the base of the steps survived his fight after losing combat, two elves were downed up top (still keeping them out of scoring range - keep it up, guys!), 1 goblin spearman was killed, and the troll completely botched his roll (rolled 3 1s against a 6 for the elves), and was wounded once (1/3H).

Casualties: 9/36 Moria (9 from break), 8/33 Elves (9 from break)



Turn 6: (P - Elves)


I called a Heroic Move with Durburz (1/3M) and Galadriel challenged it (2/3M).  Galadriel won, she moved up the ramp, and cast Immobilize (Free+3/6W) and got it off (3/3M) on the troll (well, that sucks, :P ) (At what cost, though?).  Thranduil then followed up by casting Nature's Wrath, and since I had no Will points in range, the spell was successful and knocked everyone over (wow, we're going to get owned this round, :P ) (In the words of my friend Kellar, "FOOOOOM!").  A goblin spearman was killed with a throwing dagger on the charge, and one of the goblin shields was moved by the madrigal after failing his Courage test (Courage: 8) (That's how it's done!).


In the Shoot Phase, the elves killed 1 spearman, and Legolas downed a spear and a shield (3/3M) (Paid for him in kills - now it's all gravy!). The Wood Elf Sentinel and co. shot at the loner shield (under the madrigal), and failed to wound him (come on...).


In the Fight Phase, the troll loses his fight (again), but escapes without a wound (pity).  Thranduil handily polishes off the WWC (Paid for him in kills), and 2 goblin shields are also killed.

Casualties: 16/36 Moria (2 from break, 11 from game), 9/33 Elves (8 from break) 



Turn 7: (P - Elves)


This was a desperate turn for me, as Durburz was needed in a position where he could call "Stand Fast!" next turn.  Durburz called a Heroic Move (2/3M), Tiberius opted not to counter it, and the goblins poured over the wings into the elves.  Galadriel casts Immobilize (Free+4/6W) on the troll successfully, so he won't be a factor this round for damage count.  The sentinel used his madrigal against the same shield as last time (who fails it, Courage: 9), and the elves ran up.  In the Shoot Phase, the elves killed a shield and 2 spearmen, which means my army is now broken.


In the Fight Phase, Durburz called a Heroic Combat, won it handily (yay for bat swarms), and polished off the elf swordsman on 4s.  The army then rushed off to engage more targets in a desperate effort to break the elf army, and Durburz ran up top to prepare for a "Stand Fast!" next round.


In the rest of the Fight Phase, we managed to kill one Galadhrim and an elf spearman, and Thranduil handily took down the cave troll (which...pretty much means we're in trouble, because there goes our damage dealer/meat shield, :P ) (4 monsters down, but hardly any Elves in scoring range...).

Casualties: 20/36 Moria (broken, 7 from game), 13/33 Elves (4 from break)



Turn 8: (P - Goblins)


Centaur's plan: Okay, it's a long shot, but believe it or not, we can still win this game, :)  If we can keep the elves out of scoring distance and quickly fall to 25%, we can stick 4 people on the top (which is easy with Durburz up there calling "Stand Fast!") and win the game 4-3.  So my plan is to tag as many people as possible, quickly drop to 25%, and beat him on speed.

Tiberius on Centaur's plan: the sad thing is...that will work. Archers, please kill somebody in scoring range...

Durburz passed his Courage test to stick (Courage: 14), and...then it hit me that the only way to guarantee that all of my guys near the top stuck around was to move forward, moving myself out of sight of the guys in the lower section, which was the majority of my army, :P  I opted to move him up (as I needed to box him out first and foremost), and started testing for my shaman and my warriors below.  The shaman ran away (useless...completely useless...), and consequently 2 spears, 2 shields, and the bat swarm also fled the field, which dropped my army to 25% (no we'll see if my evil plan will work!).  Galadriel cast Immobilize on Durburz (Free + 6/6W), gets it off on a 6, and I dumped all of his Will on the roll and got a 5 with no Might remaining (2/2W), so he will not be striking wounds this round (which means...I think one of the guys will still be in base contact with the top.  So maybe a tie) (yaye - a better chance!).  The sentinel targeted one of the spears with the hymn and he fails (Courage: 5).  Tiberius opted not to move him out of scoring range (honorable man, that Tiberius) (I can't deprive you of your master plan, buddy), and set him up for archery instead (which is perfectly fair) (and a lot more fun!).


The elves killed the spearman in the Shoot Phase (it's karma: thanks for giving me a shot at scoring with him, Tiberius, and well-shot!) (sorry man, shooting is what we do), and we moved into the Fight Phase.  Ironically, most of the combats didn't really matter, since only the guys in base contact were factors in the final result...


By the end of the Fight Phase, the elves killed 2 shields, and the goblins killed 1 elf spear and shielded one of the Galadhrim off of the mound (and out of range), though it was not enough to force a draw.  Final casualty count:

Casualties: 29/36 Moria (Game), 14/33 (3 from break)

With 3 goblins and 1 elf still in scoring range and 3 points to Tiberius for breaking my army without being broken, the game ended as a 4-3 Minor Victory for the Elves.



Conclusion:

Assessment by Tiberius: It's always interesting to play against a Goblin army on a map that prizes body-count. In this game, I lucked out with the Shaman failing to cast Fury and I got a lot of priority rolls throughout the game. My heroes did wonders, weakening one power hero after another (or killing them outright with archery) and bought enough time for my light units to finish off their foes on the way up to the top. I liked the map and look forward to finishing the piece in the next month. Big kudos, by the way, to Glenstorm trying out a four-monster army and I look forward to seeing what he does with his "Halloween" list!

Assessment by Glenstorm: Wow - well, that was interesting, :)  Running with Moria is interesting, and I'm grateful that Tiberius gave me a map that allowed me to use the goblin climbing bonus, and played a strong team that forced me to keep thinking on ways to outmaneuver him.  I enjoyed using the "monster mash" list, focusing on WWCs, cave trolls, and the bat swarm to reduce FV in key fights, and I'm also a big fan of Durburz as a cheap way to get both the support options generals prize and 3 Might with a decent FV and Strength.  I was disappointed by the shaman (read: terribly disappointed, to the point where I'm childishly thinking of never running a goblin shaman again to spite them), though I'm sure the readership will tell me it was just an off day for them (I mean, who fails to cast Fury on a 3+, with a Might point, three times?).  But I had a lot of fun running the greenskins, and I will likely try them again.

Stellar unit for the Wood Elves: Thranduil. I generally try to not give this award to heroes, but Elven armies tend to be hero armies.  Elves are great units, but Thranduil finished off two Wild Warg Chieftains, one of the Cave Trolls, and bought my men a turn of not being wounded thanks to Nature's Wrath. He also got a few wounds in archery. Though he shoots incredibly accurately, I actually view him as one of the more powerful melee heroes that the Elves can get - the Elven cloak makes sure he's safe during the early phases of the game and his spells make his foes more easy to wound (and the foes of his friends nearby).

Stellar unit for the Goblins: Definitely the Bat Swarm.  They don't tend to do much on paper, though getting elves down to F2 against my goblins gave me a sizable advantage, especially in fights with Durburz.  I've fought these things many times before, and while positioning the swarm is hard, it's a ton of fun to do, and I really enjoyed using them.  I'll likely field them again.

On Friday I'll be doing a WIP post on my "Halloween" army for Angmar, so I look forward to posting again tomorrow!  Until then, you know where to find me,

Watching the stars,

Centaur

"I know that you have learned the names of the planets and their moons in Astronomy...and that you have mapped the stars' progress through the heavens.  Centaurs have unraveled the mysteries of these movements over centuries.  Our findings teach us that the future may be glimpsed in the sky above us." ~ Firenze, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix