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LotR Tournament 2014: Victory!

Alas, here is the long awaited report on the Lord of the Rings/Hobbit SBG tournament report. Sorry for the delay but many Wood Elves and Dwarves were trampled by Mumakils in the effort to bring us this information.

The first tournament of 2014 was held back in March. Charlie, the tournament coordinator, decided to make this a ‘doubles’ tournament which meant each team comprised of two players with 500pt armies each.

My esteemed teammate was Ted with his army of white-primed Dwarves. I took my usual Wood Elves but changed up the list a little bit. I left me in a hurry to paint them up but I got the whole group ready for play just in time.

Most of this report is from Ted. I’ve made some changes to his original report but credit should go to him for the write up.

The tournament lasted three rounds. Over the course of the day, we fought two Cave Trolls, a Dweller-in-Dark, thousands of Goblins and Orcs, and were chased around the map by a raging Mumakil.

When the dust settled, only one team was head and shoulders above the rest. That's right! We were #1, all others were #2 or lower!

Somehow or other we managed to pull out a victory. I'm going to write about some of the highs and lows of the games. First off the worst part was playing with a primer white group of dwarves. I'll be putting some paint to them this week.

Always talk about the positives first and I already blew that.

  1. LOTR is a really fun game for the most part the guys in the tournament tend to be good sports.
  2. It is always fun to meet new people and see new armies.
  3. Charlie always does a good job of putting on events and there is always a chance of winning something even if you lose the tournament.
  4. (probably should be #1) I had a great partner...thanks Mark!

Negatives
  1. People like to win and that is ok but there are a few where winning means too much, 5 of our 6 opponents fell into the let's play to win but at the same time let's be good sports.
  2. I'm getting too old to be on my feet for 9-10 hrs.
  3. Legolas must have been out partying Friday night because he couldn't hit squat!

We played three games. As mentioned before our lists were pretty straightforward, I brought Balin, some Khazad Guard, Gimli and some warriors and a dwarf captain, with a banner and some warriors. Mark had Legolas, a wood elf captain, lots of elves with bows, blades and spears and Boromir. We could have used some cavalry. They were both 500pt forces.

Here are the lists:

Ted's Dwarves

Warband #1
Balin w/ Durin's Axe 85 pts
8 Khazad Guard 88 pts

Warband #2
Gimili son of Gloin 90 pts
6 Dwarf Warriors w/ bows 54 pts
3 Dwarf Warriors w/ two handed weapons

Warband #3
Dwarf Captain w/ two handed axe 65 pts
6 Dwarf Warriors w/shields 54 pts
1 Dwarf Warrior w/ banner 33 pts

496 Total

Mark's Wood Elves

Boromir of Gondor - Fellowship 105pts "Armor, Shield, Horn of Gondor" included

1st warband
Legolas 95pts w/ elf bow included, add Armor
3 Wood Elf Warrior w/ elf bows 9pts each
8 Wood Elf Warrior w/ spears 8 pts each
1 Wood Elf Sentinel elf bow, cloak included, 25pts

2nd warband
Wood Elf Captain w/Elf Bow 75pts
3 Wood Elf Warrior w/ elf bows 9pts each
4 Wood Elf Warrior w/ spears 8pts each
3 Wood Elf Warrior w/ elf blade 8pts each
1 Wood Elf Sentinel elf bow, cloak included, 25pts

Total 499pts 26 figures

1st Round - starting positions
First game was against Ken and Alan with an odd pairing of Orcs and Minas Tirith dudes (Good and Evil on the same side). It really didn't work for me. They were two new players so there was some coaching and helping on our side. Boromir and a platoon of Elves ran to the left to hold off a charging Troll, Dol Amroth Knights charged the center of the board while another warband of Warg riders charged the right. With all this cavalry moving ahead, they forgot to leave someone behind to guard the objective. Failure to walk a couple dudes onto an objective marker cost them a win so we ended up in a draw.



2nd round - full map view
Second game was more traditional with us facing off against a force of Goblins and Uruk-hai, it was a blood bath as both sides fought along an extended front. The objective was to push your stands and escape off of the opposite map edge. The Dweller in the Dark kept the wood elves tied up, while most of the dwarves were able to sprint to the map edge. Two really good opponents, Will and Nathan, ended up in 2nd place. They were two guys I'd happily play again.

Game three was the one that almost sent me home. We fought against Nate and Andrew with goblins and a Mumakil. The only model Andrew had was the Mumakil. I looked it up at home and realized that he had pretty much every upgrade and addition to the model. It actually cost him; he could have skimped on upgrades and probably had enough to buy a small warband.

It was a four-corner scenario in which we had to capture and hold base camps, one in each corner of the map. The scenario called for a reinforcement roll which made it hard to get stuff on the table. I got fairly lucky and was able to place Balin and his guards anywhere in my quarter of the map, the Mumakil came out there as well. By the end of the second turn, the Mumakil had eliminated Balin and was going after Gimli. I asked our opponents a simple question..."Could the Mumakil enter the woods?" The guy playing the Mumakil, who said something like 5 words the whole game,  said, "No". I then ran Gimli into the woods with his warband and there they stayed the entire game. He then sent the Mumakil after my warband defending my camp, I let it get close and then heroic marched the warband out of my camp and towards his. The dwarves managed to out run the elephant.

Meanwhile, Mark was marching towards the goblins and pretty much whittling them down with massed ranged attacks. Gimli was fighting in the woods with his warband and eventually got to a break point. We rolled for how long the game would go (1+d3) and ended up with 4. This actually played in our favor, Mark and I broke the goblin player and the Mumakil made a dash for Mark's base camp. Once the goblin player broke, things went south fast. Pretty much each of his heroes failed courage tests and off they ran. The goblins and a troll meanwhile needed to kill dwarves and thankfully dwarves don't die easily. His dice rolling was hot and cold as goblins managed to kill dwarves and it took 4 turns and 12d6 to finally kill one dwarf that was fighting his troll. Our victory in this battle was decisive and scored us enough tournament points to claim first place!

We were both dreading this Mumakil battle, but once it was clear that Ted's dwarves could avoid the monster, we were in much better spirits. While the Mumakil is large and dangerous, it can only attack one objective at a time. We were horribly confused about how to deal with it at first, but I think the other team was even more confused about how to deploy it. It started moving toward one side of the board, and then turned around, then around yet again, trying to avoid the trees. With each turn, the guys riding on top needed to pass a climb test just to hang on. Meanwhile, the elf archers were able to shoot all the unarmored goblins despite the horrible dice rolls.

Yes, Legolas had a bad day, but luck will turn around for the next battle.
Mark holding the award! Ted had to leave before the award was presented.

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