and here we are back again for Round 3 of the 2015 TMAT GT!
Round 3, Board A: The Host of Rohan vs. The Glory of Erebor
Weary and sore from the drawn-out campaign, the trudging feet of the dwarves are soon drowned out by the sound of hoofbeats as a band of Riders comes from over the hill. Balin swore he would contine to lead his bretheren, and Eomer claimed his mount would carry him past the dwarven lines to victory as the too adversaries prepared to clash. The dwarven brothers wasted no time hacking at the Rohan standards, with Dwalin handidly destroying one and Balin striking a hefty blow against a second. Spurred on by their example, the missiles of the dwarves proved uncannily accurate, felling many skirmishing riders.
|Late game: many of the riders are flanking behind the hill or below the sand|
|Eorl calls a last-turn heroic combat to charge into the dwarven standard and deals two blows, |
but can't quite manage the third
|Iron Guard attempts to chip away at the Rohan standard that Balin damaged|
|Dwalin (lower R) and crew attempt to run down the pesky riders|
Unfortunately for the dwarves, the men of the westfold treasure their mounts more than life, and charged furiously into the dwarven lines, causing such slaughter as to break the dwarven lines in their ride to ruin. At the end of the violent charge, the Rohirrim had fallen to a quarter of their forces, with their valiant leader's bloodied corpse on the sand [Rohan oath failed]. In grief-driven rage, Eorl struck a mighty series of blows against a dwarven standard, but it was not quite enough to bring it to the ground before the remaining dwarves swept the field [dwarf oath kept]. The riders ceded the field, having secured their secret objective.
Final Score: 11-4 major victory for The Glory of Erebor
- - - - -
For yet the second time, it was an army of Rohan that came to defend Hobbiton from the scouring of Isengard. As the two armies faced across the Brandywine, Eomer declared that Mahur would perish, and Saruman claimed his magic could outperform the strength of the Third Marshal. The air was soon thick with throwing spears and sourcerous blasts, the fury of the armies soon turning the river red with blood. However, so close to his prize, the determination of Saruman was stronger than ever, pushing the uruks forward.
|Isengard prepares to cross the Brandywine|
|Rohan prepares to meet the advancing Uruks|
|Rohan push on the flank|
|Saruman blasts the Rohirrim across the ford|
|Eomer very nearly drowns! Saved only by might that was ment for the uruks|
|Mahur (by rocks) and his mauraders prepare to deal with the advancing Rohan troops|
|Rohan troops jump off the (very tall) bridge to pressure the center objective - Stevie doesn't want to go|
|Rohan clings to an objective|
|Isengard holds the center|
|With no Rohirrim in sight|
|Maurader holds the home objective|
|The lone Rohan warrior tries to defend the dunedain camp - but he is outnumbered|
|another objective comfortably held|
Despite their valiant defense, the strength of Rohan was not enough to hold the uruks completely at bay. Many uruks died at the hand of Eomer, but Mahur was not among them [both oaths failed]. The uruks held 3 objectives, and majority control over a fourth while completing thier secret objective. The broken remnants of Rohan's force held onto the fifth objective.
Final Score: 13-3 major victory for Isengard Unleashed
- - - - -Round 3, Board C: The Defenders of Eriador vs. Harrowers of the Riddermark
Newly departed from their homes, the shirelings come across yet more maurading uruks. Determined to teach the denizens of Isengard yet another lesson, Balin swore to put an end to Mahur, and Vrasku claimed his crossbow could outpace the axe of the old greybeard. Both armies made a push for the center, with halfling reinforcements catching Vrasku by surprise in his suddenly-less-secure firing perch.
|The bulk of the uruk force deploys together|
|Mahur and his band are right around the corner|
|Bullroarer and Balin deploy together|
|Farmer Maggot is nearby|
|Uruks waste no time rushing over to get stuck in with the hobbits|
|Mayhem everywhere, while Bullroarer tries to take out the uruk drummer (bottom L)|
The fighting was feirce and many halflings lie pierced by bolts [Uruk oath kept], but Mahur remained alive [Shire oath failed] despite the loss of half his force. The struggle for the center objective was close, but the sheer numbers of halflings gave them an edge. Both armies achieved their secret objectives.
Final Score: 19-12 minor victory for The Defenders of Eriador
- - - - -
With all three rounds completed, the scores were tallied. Final standings were as follows:
1. The Glory of Erebor (36.5pts)
2. The Host of Rohan / The Defenders of Eriador (30pts)
4. Harrowers of the Riddermark (25pts)
5. Isengard Unleashed (18.5pts)
6. Dead Men Walking (8.5pts)
So with my third TMAT GT under my belt at Tournament Director, just a few closing thoughts
First off, major kudos to the Black Prince and Centaur. They both choose atypical armies to sport at a GT and absolutely threw down with them. Centaur's shirelings have been quite prominent on the blog for the past year and a half, and despite him posting nearly every trick and tactic leading up to the tournament, I think they still managed to surprise a lot of our contestents with their resiliance. From my talks with Centaur post-tournament, it sounds like they have proven to be by far one the most dominant civs in our group with something like an 80+% win rate.
The Black Prince's riders had a very respectable second-place showing at last fall's THRO tournament, but there was a fair bit of talk about whether they could hold up to the powerfest that typically surrounds our GTs. Yet the Rohirrim held their own and more - even breaking the hardened dwarves first - and without resorting to the "shoot them all day from afar" tactics that one would assume would come with an all-mounted Rohan force that sports nearly 100% bows and throwing spears. In fact they fought with so much valor that their last game against the dwarves they were sitting on a 5-4 victory until the last turn as Eomer perished and the Riders went from unbroken to 25%, swinging the points drastically in the other direction to an 11-4 dwarven victory.
As for the Dwarves... I had a grand total of three games with the civ prior to the tournament (all in the week-ish before). Tiberius is a huge fan of the civ and you can find many posts here on the blog with dwarf tactica, but generally speaking they really aren't my playstyle. I don't expect my army to grow too much beyond the current collection. . . which started from a few random "really cool model" purchases and got fleshed out so I could run a list with Dwalin (because... you know... Dwalin). But I really can't knock them too much after that performance. They may be slow to the punch, but it certainly is nice to go into a game with the knowledge that your oppoent is just plain going to have a hard time breaking you. Well done sons of Erebor!
That should about wrap things up for now. There are rumors of wars to come this summer... so I'd better air out the TD hat for the next guy.