Saturday, February 28, 2015

WIP: Dwarves of Erebor

So we are fast approaching TMAT GT15 and... no posts?

Yeah, life has been a little crazy, but that doesn't mean the pre-tournament hobbying flurry has been lacking. Due to scheduling, we had a very narrow window of availability for this year's GT and so the tournament got pushed up earlier - cramming the hobbying window to a fairly uncomfortable size. But there is nothing quite like a time crunch to amp up the motivation burner, so yet again I dove into the pile of plastic and metal to bring up a whole-new army for tournament from the halls of Erebor.

For any of our long-time readers, you know that Tiberius is a longtime lover of Dwarves, and has written multiple tactica posts on the civ. Centaur also had dabbled with the longbeards, but up till now I have shied away from the civ. They just don't really fit my playstyle - slow movement, no support, etc. However I do love Dwalin and have been sitting on all three versions of the model and been dying to field him. . . I've also picked up a few stray dwarves here and there due to the "really cool model" effect. So for GT15 I decided to put them off the project pile and throw together an army that Dwalin can take into battle.

and how can you not want an army that looks like this?
I absolutely love the armor of the Erebor dwarves. Although not such a fan of the disheveled look of GW's Erebor warriors set. So I dug out a few boxes of Grim hammers and set to work hacking down some Warhammer bits to size. Unfortunately I didn't think to take WIP shots during the conversion stage. Today's post is just a fast down-and-dirty on progress as I still have a loooot of work to do and things are coming down to the wire (just taking a break while glue and modeling clay dries). So far only have the rough basecoats on. . . still needing to get through washes and highlights, but you get the general idea.

Dwarf Warriors with Bow (and occasionally dwarven dagger)
Dwarf Warriors with Shield on the Left, actual Grim hammers on the Right.

Warriors of Erebor with Spears and Shields

And just to round out the rest of the list...

Balin, Son of Fundin and his younger brother Dwalin
Dwarf Shieldbearer conversion (from old metal Dwarf warrior)

Khazad Guard: Ready to give their lives in defense of the king!

Iron Guard - because what's not to like about twin attacks and throwing weapons?

and the other project on the table - a display board for the army. I don't think
this one is going to make it in time for the GT, but it should look nice on the shelf, yes?

Back to the crafting tables we go...


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Announcing: TMAT GT 2015!

Time to announce the opening of registration for the fourth annual Tell Me A Tale Grand Tournament! This tournament is a small 1-day independent tournament for the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game and will be played on Saturday, March 7, 2014 in Purcellville, Virginia starting at 10am (players are asked to arrive at least 20-30 min early for check-in and setup). LOTR SBG players in the greater D.C. area and beyond are welcome to attend, but are asked to register NLT Feb 28. The tournament is free to play and the rules for the tournament are provided below.

1. Gameplay

(1.1) The ruleset and FAQ/Errata from the One Rulebook (ORB) and warbands sourcebooks will preside over the tournament along with the TMAT House rules listed in the tab above. Apart from the rules adopted in the house rules, the Hobbit ruleset will not be used; however the armies and models may be used. It is the responsibility of the player using the new models to provide their full profiles on the day of the tournament.
(1.2) The tournament will consist of three games - each will have a time limit of 90 min. At the end of 90 min, players will be permitted to finish their current round and tally points.
(1.3) Once started, the time clock will only be stopped if two players have a significant disagreement on a particular rule (line of sight, special rules for a unit, etc.), in which case all games will stop and the other competitors will mediate/look up what the proper ruling is. If a resolution is unable to be established in a short time period, a roll-off will be cast to determine the ruling for that particular game.
(1.4) There will be approximately 15 minutes between games for players to move to the next table, refresh themselves, turn in their scoring data, etc. and there will be a 60 min break for lunch following Round 1.
(1.5) Upon check-in the day of, players will draw a number and be assigned to randomized opponents and boards. The boards you are assigned to will determine scenarios played.
(1.6) Scenarios will be a mix of Warband and LOME based scenarios with minor modifications. See Section 3 for scenario details.
(1.7) Battle Points are earned as follows: Major win: 10pts, Minor win: 8pts, Draw: 6pts, Minor loss: 4pts, Major loss: 2pts.
(1.8) Additional Battle points can be earned by: 1) Accomplishing various Oaths of Battle in-game with your Army leader (see 4.1); 2) Kudos points from your opponent (see 4.2) 3) Secret Objectives completed each round (see 4.3).

2. Army building

(2.1) Army size will be 600pts (+0.5% grace with hard limit of 603pts), 60 model limit. Your army must contain a clearly designated Army leader.
(2.2) Armies may be constructed either using the Warbands scheme or using a modified LOME scheme with at least 200 points (33% of total) spent on at least 2 heroes and all LOME alliance restrictions in effect.
(2.3) For the purposes of deployment, LOME armies will be broken into 3 detachments of at least 6 models (if your army contains fewer than 18 models, divide as evenly as possible). These detachments will be treated as warbands for the purposes of deployment and any scenario rules that refer to "warbands." These detachments must be designated prior to the tournament and will be submitted with your army roster. If you have insufficient heroes to provide a leader for each detachment, nominate a model to "lead" the deployment for any detachment without a hero. All models in a detachment will be deployed within 6" of the leader.
(2.4) For newer post-LOME models that do not show up on the old army lists, use common sense to determine which list they would fall under. Feel free to contact the tournament organizer if you have questions as to whether a new model is allowed in a certain LOME list. Please consult the House rules page for the adopted LOME alliance structure for the new Hobbit army lists.
(2.5) WYSIWYG - equip your models appropriately. Proxy models are permitted only if specially purchased/converted/clearly established for that role permanently. (e.g. no "counts as, but only for this tournament" substitutions. If you want to field a particular character, invest the time/$ to do so). Exception: generic Nazgul models may be used as named Nazgul as long as it is clear to your opponent what they represent.

3. Scenarios

(3.1) For all scenarios, scoring rules regarding the opponent's army leader will be modified to the following as applicable: 0 Victory Points are scored for wounding the enemy leader. 2 Victory Points are scored for killing the enemy leader.
(3.2) Depending on the number of participants, the following scenarios will be used (in order of precedence)
(A) Hold the Standard High: Wipe out your opponents and cut down their battle standards to win! Play continues to 25%.
1) Setup: before deployment, each player alternates placing 3 objective markers on their side of the board, within 6" of the center line, but at least 6" apart from each other. These represent the army's battle standards.
2) Deployment: Warbands/Detachments are placed on opposing board edges within 6" of the board edge on the roll of 1-3, and within 12" of the board edge on the roll of 4-6.
3) Scoring: 3 Points for breaking your enemy, or score 5 points if your opponent is broken and you are not. An additional 2 VPs are awarded if the opponent has been driven to 25% of their starting force. Score 2 points for killing the army leader. Score 2 points for having a banner in your army at the end of the game. Score 1 point for each of your opponent's wounded battle standards, or instead score 3 points for each destroyed standard.
Special Rules: Rally to me!: Each of the 3 army standards grants the benefit of a banner to your army (although they do not count as banners for the purposes of scoring). The standard may never be moved (considered to be Strength 7 for the purposes of hurl, sorcerous blast, etc), has a Defense of 7 with 3 Wounds and can only take damage from melee attacks. If your opponent should destroy one of your standards, all benefits from it are lost and it is removed from the board. Any model that moves into base contact with an enemy standard and is otherwise unengaged may attack it during the fight phase. They are considered to automatically win the fight against the standard, however they will never gain bonuses for "trapping" the standard.
(B) Domination: Scenario setup, play and scoring uses the rules from the Warband sourcebooks with the following exception for setup: Opponents select opposite corners of the board rather than board edges. All warbands/detachments are deployed within 18" of their corner.
(C) Hold Ground: Scenario setup, play and scoring uses the rules from the Warband sourcebooks with one exception: play continues to 25%.
(D) Storm the Camp: Advance into the enemy territory and claim it for your own! Game ends at 25%. Setup: Opponents select opposite corners of the board and all warbands/detachments are deployed within 18" of their corner.

Scoring: 1 point if the enemy is broken, or 3 points if they are broken and your army is not. Score 1 point per model within 24" of the opponent's corner at game end.

4. Additional Scoring

(4.1) Oaths of Battle: For each game, after deployment select 1 Oath not previously sworn and announce it to your opponent. If both players achieve their oath: score 1 Battle Point, If neither player achieves their oath: score 0 Battle Points, Only one player achieves: that player scores 2 Battle Points. 3 bonus Battle Points are awarded if a player fulfills their oath each game:
Blood-sworn Enemy: Choose an enemy hero - he is your arch enemy and they must die on the field of battle 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 melee combat for at least one round and survive (die being rolled on each side). 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 in base contact with it at least once during the game.
Battle Prowess: Your army leader must kill more models than your opponent's army leader.

(4.2) Kudos: At any point during your game, up to 3 categories may be awarded by your opponent once per game, worth 0.5 battle pts each (maximum of 1.5 battle points per game). Your opponent is not obligated to give the maximum kudos - or any kudos at all. They must be earned.
Hope Rises: A non-named figure acts in a way that both players agree was awesome. (Example: Your uruk captain just used a might point to shoot into a combat and kill his own troop - thus opening up a previously concealed Legolas to 6 xbow shots!)
Lead by Example: A named hero acts in a way that both players agree was awesome. (Example: Eomer just called 3 successive heroic combats to catapult himself to the rescue of your banner!)
Master Plan: Perform a maneuver that causes your opponent to be impressed (for good or ill) by the strategy. (Your elf cavalry just rode around behind the opponent's line and dismounted in order to shield their opponents into difficult terrain - thus clearing a path to the objective!)
Fortune's Favor: Experience a very lucky streak of dice rolling that is acknowledged by both players (Example: your orc archer just passed 2 in the ways to wound a D7 unit!)
The Dice are trying to Kill Me: Experience a very unlucky streak of dice rolling that is acknowledged by both players (Example: your mounted Nazgul had its mount slain, was thrown to the ground, failed both fate rolls and broke its wraithish neck!)

(4.3) Secret Objectives: Each round, a secret objective will be randomly shuffled out to players for the chance to win extra Battle Points that round. These objectives do not impact the outcome of your current game, but add to your overall tournament score. Your secret objective is not to be revealed to your opponent until game end. Each succesfully completed secret obective is worth 2 Battle Points.

5. Registration:

(5.1) Registration is done via the comments below. Post your army list and note your army leader and indicate how it is organized under the appropriate LOME or Warbands rules. Once a list is posted it may not be revised. If the posted list does not comply with the guidelines given, the Tournament Director reserves the right to make minor ad hoc corrections to facilitate compliance.
(5.2) On the day of the tournament you must provide a hard copy of your army roster with: 1) A complete army list organized by warband (or detachment for LOME armies) with the army leader designated; 2) The complete profile stats of all units in your army; 3) Total model count, army broken point and 25% level of your army (all fractions are rounded down - a 31 model army is broken when reduced to 15, 25% when reduced to 7 models)
Players who fail to provide their army roster on tournament day as outlined will not be allowed to participate until they produce the required roster. If this should delay the first game, they will be credited with a major loss and their opponent will automatically be awarded a major win.

For any questions regarding the above, feel free to ask away in the comments below. We're looking forward to yet another great tournament. Let the games (and modeling/painting flurry) begin!

- Z

Monday, February 2, 2015

First Ever PCTPTGTA - Contestant #3

Good morning again gamers,

Our first contestant in the popularity contest (rules in the previous list) was a Goblin list with a dragon and the second contestant was a hardened army of Dwarves. In this final list, we hearken back to a TMAT army I ran two years ago and look to Isengard!
The Scions of the White Hand: Isengard Warbands
Warband 1:
Saruman the Colorful [Army Leader]
8 Uruk Warriors with shields
4 Orc Warriors with spears

Warband 2:
4 Uruk Marauders with shields
4 Uruk Marauders with Orc bows
4 Orc Warriors with shields

Warband 3:
8 Uruk Warriors with shields
4 Orc Warriors with spear

High Concept: Fielding Saruman with just Uruk-Hai tends to mean you either 1) go the LOME route and lose all your other heroes to field him (which is what happened two years ago) or you 2) go the Warband route and have a mid-30s number of guys. With this army, however, we've capitalized on the ability to get cheap spearmen (low defense, low fight value, yeah, I know) in order to max out 3 warbands of guys and buy you time for your Uruks to do their dirty-work. The 12 Orcs in this list cost nearly the same as 7 Uruks, which means the 5 additional units enable you to fight man-to-man against most armies and still have the tricks that Saruman provides.

The three competitors are in, so don't forget to view this page before March 2nd to make your vote count!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

First Ever PCTPTGTA - Contestant #2

Good morning again gamers,

We recently unveiled the first army in the grand "popularity contest" to determine what army I'm taking to tournament. For official rules, please follow the link above to the post from a few days ago. Today's army features the antithesis of Contestant #1 - an army of Dwarves!
The Moria Expeditionary Force: Durin's Folk Warbands
Warband 1:
The King's Champion [Army Leader]
4 Dwarf Warriors with shields
4 Dwarf Warriors with Dwarf bows
2 Khazad Guards

Warband 2:
Balin, Son of Fundin with Durin's Axe
2 Dwarf Warriors with shields
2 Khazad Guards
6 Dwarf Rangers with throwing axes
2 Dwarf Rangers with bows

Warband 3:
Dwarf Shield-Bearer
2 Dwarf Warriors with shields
2 Khazad Guards
6 Dwarf Warriors with Dwarf bows
2 Dwarf Rangers with throwing axes and two-handed axes

High Concept: This army sports the King's Champion - cheap banner support mixed with hgh defense and SO. MUCH. POWER! With the King's Champion, an attached DSB, and a hand-picked retinue of guards, any foe is in for a POUNDING. Balin's crew is once again filled with rangers, capable of harassing the enemy while still fielding 5 high defense warriors to keep the archers protected. This small hit-squad of 205 points is more than capable of killing its weight in points or holding a single objective from several waves of opponents.

Our final contestant will be revealed soon, but don't forget to view this page to cast your vote - views will stop counting on March 1st, so visit often until then!