Sunday, July 6, 2008

Batrep: 1st Annual LotR Independant GT (Phoenix, AZ)

Cost of models: $60
Tickets to Event: $20
Diesel fuel to event: $20
Assembly and painting time: 2 weeks
Time away from family gaming: 2 days
A Chance for some Great Gaming: Priceless

Honestly, that about sums up my first ever GT experience for any game system (LotR or 40k). It was a great time in an awesome environment. It was nice seeing so many good players and having the opportunity to learn from each and every one of them. Mainly we saw players from across the entire state of Arizona, but also were graced by the attendance of even a Florida player out to also have a good time.

To give an idea of the tournament and my overall performance, here is a brief outline of the events, my opponents, the goods, the bads, maybe a few of the uglys, and overall the outcomes. So sit back and enjoy the ride here. Hopefully this will be only the first of many GTs to come for myself.

First my army: Aragorn’s Return. Basically, I designed this off of a pure Grey Company list using Aragorn with Anduril as the returning King to unite the Northern people of Arnor to his banner.

Army consisted of:
Aragorn (bow, armour, cloak, Andurril)
6x Rangers of the North (3 spear)
22x Rangers of Arnor (8 spear)

Round 1: Reconnoiter
Opponent: Shawn
Army: Easterlings
Outcome: Major Defeat

Overall a great start to the tournament. Even with a loss I was able to see tactical things I did that were mistakes which would help me further along in the GT. Additionally, Sean is a great opponent who is always willing to give suggestions and recommendations when you really do something wrong.

This was a fun game and the goods here was first, I had never fought the Easterling army before, so everything was very new and second, my bowman literally chewed through the Cataphrachs. The bad was the slight error in leaving a de-horsed rider alone and allowing him to escape the table edge for the victory.

Round 2:
Storm the Camp
Opponent: Rob
Army: Angmar
Outcome: Major Victory

Now here was a game I had originally written off as another in a string of major defeats. Storm the camp with only 28 guys on my side, and double that in orcs on the other, not to mention the 3 giant trolls and 2 Barrow-wights on the Agmar side.

Little did I realize that my Arnor Rangers took the Angmar/Arnor hatred to new levels as they killed both wights, 1 troll and wounded another before any models even made physical contact. Then Aragorn did what he does best and carved a way to the light on the other side of the army.

Goods here was the never give up attitude, and the ugly was allowing Aragorn to get trapped not once, but twice. You would have thought I would learn my lesson after the first instance.

Round 3:
Meeting Engagement
Opponent: Carl
Army: White Tower/Grey Company allied
Outcome: Major Defeat

Oops, first good/good fight. Turns out I will play the ‘evil’ side this time. I guess it was bound to happen. Actually, Carl and I had squared off before and so were pretty familiar with each others strengths and weaknesses.

Here I used the terrain to my advantage for most of the game, even funneling his troops in the end through a tight pass limiting what he could actually attach with.

Unlike before, I was able to clear away his entire Gondor force, but couldn’t get enough of his rangers to drop to force the ¾ casualty to him. Alas I eventually lost enough to drop to 7 remaining models. Since he retained 2 Dunedain, he pulled out the Major Victory which was so close to being a Major Victory to myself.

Goods were great bow fire, but bads would be the same from his side. Also the ugly was taking 4 turns to finally drop Denethor.

Round 4:
Seize the Prize
Opponent: Tom
Army: Durin’s Folk
Outcome: Minor Victory

What? Are we even supposed to be seeing this? Two good/good fights in a row, where are all the bad guys? Hmm, wait, oh… he is ‘evil’ this time. Ok. I guess it will be a race for the prize.

Here my tactic was pretty straight forward, move as fast as possible to the center to dig up the treasure and then run, run, run away.

Goods were I got there first. I know, against Dwarves that was pretty likely. Bads, was losing priority and having to waste a might to move first. Luckily I won that and tied up the Dwarven line. This of course leads to the next bad, as I committed too many models (probably 3 more than necessary which allowed the Dwarves to force me to break and claim only a Minor Victory. I guess I will learn from that mistake now. And Ugly was rolling snake eyes for my Aragorn’s courage test when I became broken and nearly losing him but being saved by spending enough might to bump the rolls.

Round 5:
Contest of Champions
Opponent: Dragi
Army: Tower of Ecthelion
Outcome: Major Victory

Ok, Finally I get to the match I should excel in. A match made for Aragorn. How could I not want to do this battle? Here is how, my opponent is fielding Aragorn also. So unfortunate.

So here I had to adjust my tactics again and instead of the normal run for his line and have Aragorn go to town, I instead used the tried and true move and shoot. Retreat and shoot.

Given the opponent it was my only real chance of success, but still vey unlikely given the 6 defense and his Aragorn having a 7.

Well, the good here was bow fire! Succeeded in making Aragorn King lose all his fate and a wound prior to half the board as he advanced. Bad was taking 4 more turns to drop the other 2 wounds.

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