Monday, October 19, 2015

Announcing the Glare And Hack Again Tournament of 2015

Good morning gamers,

It is my great pleasure to announce the fourth annual THRO tournament! The purpose of this tournament, like previous THROs, is to try new things and to bring fun armies (very little, if any, prestige attached). The tournament will be held at Patrick Henry College on November 21, 2015. This year's tournament, occurring in November, is going under a different name: the "Glare And Hack Again" Tournament (shorthand GAHA, a play off Bilbo Baggins' classic work, There and Back Again). Without further ado, here are (in my typical style) the Ten Commandments of the Tournament (Rules):

1) Thou Shalt Understand The Canon

The ruleset from the One Rulebook (ORB) and warbands sourcebooks will preside over this tournament, as well as the "House Rules" section on the TMAT website. Errata and FAQs on the GW website for the sourcebooks and rulebooks (both the ORB and the new Hobbit rulebook) will apply, so far as they explain the sources above or explain scenario scoring rules. When in doubt, the ORB reigns supreme.

2) Thou Shalt Honor Thy Lists

All armies shall be worth no more than 600 points (with a 3-point grace limit) and a maximum of 60 units. Any army using the adapted Legions of Middle Earth rules (instead of the new Warband schema) must include at least two heroes cumulatively worth at least 200 points.
    Once a list is submitted on this blog, it may not be edited based on the opponents it faces. The army brought to the tournament must reflect the army lists provided on this blog. For the purposes of this tournament, the only "proxying" that will be allowed is equipment choices on a model - e.g. if you own a Celeborn model without armor, he may take heavy armor in his equipment choices. Players are encouraged, however, to convert their models to have the equipment specified in their army list. Units must also be painted with a least a base coat and one other color in order to be accepted at the tournament.

    TD Edit: Players must submit their army lists on the blog by 11:59pm on November 14, 2015 with a 1 minute grace period. In addition, the player submitting the army list must have played at least three games with this list (or the units in it) prior to the tournament (including, but not limited to, previous TMAT tournaments). As time limits will be a constraint in this tournament (see Commandment 7 below), it is important that each player is familiar with his list in order to reduce unnecessary delays.

    3) Thou Shalt Have Some Surprises

    This years tournament is special in that 150 points of each army will be hidden from view when the postings are made. In some scenarios, these points might be used for special scenario conditions and in others, they may just be hidden intel from your opponent. If a scenario does not have any rules for the 150 points of hidden models, then the models deploy/act normally. Models may be hidden from any warband/attachment and warbands/detachments do not need to follow their creation rules in their absence (e.g. a Legions list could hide one of its two heroes, a warband could lack a hero, etc.).

    Note: some of the scenarios that have rules for hidden models do not require that a player spend all 150 points on the scenario conditions. Players may not drop gear from their hidden models in order to meet point requirements - models are dropped in full, even if the total points spent exceeds the required amount to be paid by the scenario. If, for example, the following army wanted to pay 100 points for the Hold the Keep scenario (see below):

    Eomer, Third Marshal... with horse - 85 pts
    5 Riders of Rohan - 65 pts

    The player cannot reach 100 points without giving up Eomer, so he must drop Eomer. Dropping 1 Rider of Rohan adds 13 points, which brings the total points spent to 98 points. The player must drop an additional Rider of Rohan to bring the total above 100 points (and waste 11 points). The remaining Riders of Rohan would deploy with their normal warbands/detachments. Tournament Director's Note: this isn't unfair - if you don't want to waste lots of points, make sure you can break things evenly with the models you reserve. The player above could have instead hidden the following list and dropped Eomer and one Rider of Rohan with throwing spears and not waste any points:

    Eomer, Third Marshal... with horse - 85 pts
    2 Riders of Rohan with throwing spears - 30 pts
    5 Warriors of Rohan with shields - 35 pts

    The player would then be able to deploy the other Rider of Rohan and the Warriors of Rohan with their normal warbands/detachments.

    4) Thou Shalt Know The Scenarios

    This tournament allows all players to bring an army of Good or Evil and play against any other players - Good armies may face other Good armies and Evil armies may face other Evil armies. After each scenario is scored, the following Battle Points will be awarded:
    • Major victory (10 pts): awarded if one army scores at least twice as many scenario points as his opponent.
    • Minor victory (8 pts): awarded if one army scores more scenario points but less than twice as many points as his opponent.
    • Draw (6 pts): awarded if an army scores the same number of scenario points as his opponent.
    • Minor loss (4 pts): awarded if an army's opponent receives a minor victory.
    • Major loss (2 pts): awarded if an army's opponent receives a major victory.
    The rules for each scenario are provided as follows:
    • Domination:
      1. DEPLOYMENT: 18" from one corner. 5 objectives (or markers with objective being everything within 3" of a marker) on the board.
      2. END OF GAME: enemy is brought to 25% OR 90 minutes elapse.
      3. SCORING: 
        1. 3pts for every uncontested objective OR 1pt for each objective you have more models on; 
        2. 2 pts for killing the enemy army leader; and
        3. 3pts for breaking the enemy without being broken OR 1pt for breaking the enemy and being broken.
      4. RULES FOR HIDDEN MODEL(S): no rules! You just have the element of surprise on your opponent.
    • Hold (Ground) The Keep:
      1. DEPLOYMENT: Players roll to decide who attacks the fort and who defends the fort. One fort in the middle with an objective marker in the center. For directional purposes, the gatehouse is on the "north" wall. Each player then rolls a dice for each of his warband/detachment, with all models within 6" of the hero/hero-equivalent of the warband/detachment (any hero within that warband/detachment may use Might to influence the roll):
        1. Defender deployment:
          1. Reinforcements: The warband/detachment deploys within 3" of any board edge.
          2. North/South Guard: The warband/detachment deploys on the North or South wall (attacking player's choice).
          3. East/West Guard: The warband/detachment deploys on the East or West wall (attacking player's choice).
          4. North/South Guard: The warband/detachment deploys on the North or South wall (defending player's choice).
          5. East/West Guard: The warband/detachment deploys on the East or West wall (defending player's choice).
          6. Flex Guard: The warband/detachment deploys anywhere inside the fort (defending player's choice).
        2. Attacker deployment:
          1. Late Arrival: The warband/detachment moves onto the board edge of choice at the end of the Move phase. It may not charge but may otherwise act normally.
          2. North/South Flankers: The warband/detachment deploys within 3" of the North or South board edge (defending player's choice).
          3. East/West Flankers: The warband/detachment deploys within 3" of the East or West board edge (defending player's choice).
          4. North/South Flankers: The warband/detachment deploys within 3" of the North or South board edge (attacking player's choice).
          5. East/West Flankers: The warband/detachment deploys within 3" of the East or West board edge (attacking player's choice).
          6. Flex Guard: The warband/detachment deploys within 3" of any board edge (attacking player's choice).
      2. END OF GAME: enemy is brought to 25% OR 90 minutes elapse.
      3. SCORING: 
        1. 1pt for each model with at least part of its base touching the "paved square" of the fortress; 
        2. 2 pts for killing the enemy army leader; and
        3. 3pts for breaking the enemy without being broken OR 1pt for breaking the enemy and being broken.
      4. RULES FOR HIDDEN MODEL(S): the defending player must pay at least 100 points to use the fort. The defending player may pay an additional 50 points to add 1 to each D6 roll made by the defending player to deploy forces at the start of the game. For every 50 points the attacker chooses to pay, each D6 roll made by the defending player to deploy forces at the start of the game is reduced by 1 (to reflect an earlier arrival of the adversary).
    • The Road To Weathertop (High Ground):
      1. DEPLOYMENT: each warband/detachment rolls a dice: on a 1-3, deploy within 6" of the player's board edge. On a 4-6, deploy within 12" of the player's board edge. One large piece of terrain in the center of the map.
      2. END OF GAME: enemy is brought to 25% OR 90 minutes elapse.
      3. SCORING: 
        1. 1pt for each model touching/on the top two levels of Weathertop (roughly 6" from center of board); 
        2. 2 pts for killing the enemy army leader; and
        3. 3pts for breaking the enemy without being broken OR 1pt for breaking the enemy and being broken.
      4. RULES FOR HIDDEN MODEL(S): All hidden models deploy as a single detachment before all other warbands/detachments within 3-6" of the center of the map on the player's half of the board (determined by board edge).
    5) Thou Shalt Recognize Remarkable Achievements

    Players may attempt to complete any of the following achievements during a game: upon completion, each will add 0.5 Battle Points. Each achievement may only be scored once per game and a max of three achievements can be scored in any game. Players will receive 2.5 Battle Points if all five are successfully scored over the course of the tournament:

    Slayer of Foes
    : a hero kills at least 5 units, the sum of whose points is equal to or greater than his own.
    Valiant Heart: any units in the army successfully pass three courage tests on the roll of a "natural 10+" (i.e. the sum of the two dice rolled for the courage test is 10 or more). These courage tests could be to charge models with terror, staying in combat after the army is broken, or because of a special rule (i.e. the Horn of Gondor rule).
    Cowardly Scum: a hero fails a Courage test to remain on the field after his army is broken on the roll of "snake eyes" (sum of 2 on the dice).
    Rotten Luck: a hero fails all his Fate points in a single round (minimum of 2 Fate rolls required).
    Loved by the Valar: a hero successfully passes all of his Fate rolls (minimum of 2 Fate rolls required).

    6) Thou Shalt Attempt To Keep Thy Oaths

    For each game, after deployment, select 1 Oath not previously sworn and announce it to your opponent. If both players achieve their oath, each scores 1 Battle Point; if neither player achieves their oath, each scores 0 Battle Points; if only one player achieves his oath, that player scores 2 Battle Points.

    Blood-sworn Enemy: Choose an enemy hero - he is your arch enemy and they must die before the end of the game
    Future King: Your army leader must continue to lead his force at the end of the game, neither slain nor "heroically departed".
    Chivalry in Battle: Your army leader must fight the enemy leader in close combat for at least one round and survive. Your army leader may not use the shielding rules in this effort.
    Line in the Sand: Nominate a piece of terrain within 12" of your opponent's board edge (or place a marker if there is no suitable terrain). Your leader must end its move within 3" of it at least once during the game.
    Battle Prowess: Your army leader must kill more models than your opponent's army leader.

    7) Thou Shalt Not Take All Day

    All games will have a maximum time cap of 90 minutes. Time will be displayed visually for all games and will only be stopped in the event of a "red flag" being thrown. A red flag will be thrown when two players cannot agree on a rule (line of sight, special rules for a unit, etc.), in which case all fights will stop and the other competitors will mediate what the proper ruling is. If a resolution is still not met due to an even number of players voting evenly on the issue, a dice will be cast by one of the competitors not playing in that particular game to determine what the rule is for that game. Should the time limit elapse without the victory conditions being met, the current round will be played and then the game will end. Any player found intentionally stalling the game to make time run out will be awarded a major loss as indicated in Rule 4 above. Between rounds there will be 15 minutes to finish the round, determine the standings, move to the next table, and answer "the call of the wild."

    8) Thou Shalt Fight In Middle-Earth

    Players who have built terrain for a particular themed board (Dwarf Hold, Shire market, etc.) are encouraged to bring their boards to be used in the tournament. The Tournament Director for GAHA will bring the map for The Road To Weathertop and Glenstorm will be bringing the Hold The Keep map. Other players may provide other maps as required. Players should use their best judgment when building their maps to ensure that armies are able to maneuver the map within the time constraints (e.g. having too many walls, doors that must be battered down, difficult terrain, etc. can make a game more tedious than interesting). If more boards are supplied than are needed for the tournament, priority will be given to those posted first.

    9) Thou Shalt Be Gentlemen

    Players must be courteous to their opponents and play these games in the spirit of good fun. Should a player conduct himself in a manner which destroys the fun atmosphere of the tournament, a red flag will be thrown and depending on the severity of the infraction, the player may be issued a warning against future infraction, forfeit the game, or be dismissed from the tournament.

    10) Thou Shalt Not Be Late
    Players who are bringing terrain to the tournament must arrive by 9:15am to set up the tables and register their armies. All other players must arrive by 9:30am in order to get preliminary check-in requirements, set up their armies at their tables, and fellowship with other players. All armies need to have a sheet of paper that provides their complete army list (with profiles), along with necessary unit-count information (total units in the army, how many units are to be lost when the army is broken, and how many units must be lost to be reduced to 25%). The tournament will follow this schedule:
    • 10:00am - 11:30am - ROUND 1
    • 11:45am - 12:30pm - Lunch
    • 12:30pm - 2:00pm - ROUND 2
    • 2:00pm - 3:30pm - ROUND 3
    • 3:30pm - 4:30pm - Tournament Score Summary and Clean-Up
    Looking forward to see the armies that participate!


    Sunday, October 11, 2015

    Workbench Update: Orcs and Elves

    At long last, we're back! October is going to be crazy, but finally got time to pull the camera out and showcase some of the stuff I've been working on.

    Here's the full complement so far - plenty of Ringwraiths, a handful of Spectres (hoping to grow up to 10 of them), and plenty of Orcs. Army is all in dark hues and once I get the basing done, should have a menacing horde.
    Bit closer look at the army - youll see that most of the spearmen don' have their shields yet, but those are coming. Took a few games to figure out that being able to shield after the front rank dies really, REALLY helps. It also helps when S2 archery wounds your second rank on 6s instead of 5s...
    These guys are technically Orc Warriors with Orc bows, but will probably use them as Orc Trackers. I do think Orc Warriors have their place - mostly for their slightly increased resiliency when the enemy gets to them in melee. On all other counts, though, I generally go with the 4+ shoot value. 
    A close-up on a few Ringwraiths and my spectres. Four down, rughly six to go.
    In contrast to the Orcs, the Elves are in clean colors - blue and white (how traditional) - and unlike many of my armies, they don't use spears.
    It will take more than a row of Orcs to take down Erestor and his High Elf guards. That is probably why the Orcs brought a Ringwraith...
    The Elves in white and blue ready themselves for all comers, hiding their bows behind a solid wall of shields. When battle is finally joined, the Elves unleash their secret weapon, Arwen Evenstar, to keep their shield-wall from being wounded for a round (and opening up some prized archery targets).
    Hoping to get some games in with these guys soon (both Elves and Orcs). Keep watching this space in the coming weeks as we test out scenarios for the November THRO-esque tournament of 2015!