Saturday, January 23, 2010

Gondor play test game #1

Thursday night I actually played a game with my Gondor.  I was playing against Keith's Fiefdoms army with Imrahil, Beregond and a mounted Captain of Dol Amroth leading four Knights of DA, a bunch of foot Knights, some Rangers of Gondor, guards of the fountain court and Men-at-arms of Dol Amroth. 

We played  scenario from Legions of Middle Earth in which you start with a corner, 18 inch deployment zone and the game ends when one side had more models in their enemy's deployment zone than they do.  There was a big hill right in front of my zone with a couple of odd pieces of terrain in the middle of the table and a big stone arch on the edge of his zone.

I had WoMT on my left flank with the Knights behind them.  The rest of my army was on my right with my Rangers grouped up so they could volley the first turn or two.  Keith had a couple of Knights, Beregond and a block of mixed foot on my left with Imrahill and two thirds of his foot on my right.

With eighteen Rangers I was putting out a lot of shots a turn.  The first two, with volley fire, I accomplished very little, but once they were able to shoot normally they started to take a toll on Keith's models.  He was rushing across as fast as he could to minimize my shooting.  On my left we settled into a Mexican Standoff and really didn't do much until the last turn, when he charged just because the game was almost over.

The real action was on my right.  Everything in his army had fight 4, which meant he won a lot of the fights.  He also had great defense which meant I was wounding on 6's for almost everything.  Imrahil was a monster, of course.  This fight eventually sucked in most of my Knights and Rangers in addition to the WoMT and Captain who were supposed to be the battle line.  Imrahil just blasted through, though he was out of Might and still had a ways to go to get the objective. 

Keith did get one Knight to within an inch of my deployment zone but he was shot off of his horse just short.  I had my horn blower in position to get into it and one Knight in the zone in position to charge his, now dismounted, Knight of DA.  I won priority the last turn and we called it because we had reached the two and half hour time limit.  We did not figure out the points losses but he was closer to breaking than I was, though I was no where near his deployment zone.

I learned a lot about my army in this game.  The Rangers did about as well as I hoped and had an even greater psychological effect than I had expected.  Keith is a very experienced player, including quite a few tournaments.  If he was afraid of my shooting than it is probably good to go.

I had too many of my troops on the left flank.  This side didn't really matter so I should have placed more strength at my most important point.  I did have a lot more models than Keith which was big advantage to me, even with his better troops.

I used my Knights as a mobile reserve, which worked out well for me and kept me from losing the game.  They do not hit a lot better than Rohan, but they are better protected and do have Lances, which makes them more likely to get a kill if they do manage to win a fight.

According to Keith there are likely to be a lot of horde armies there.  My model count is just about average.  I was hoping that there would be more small, elite forces.  I can not horde as well as Tim's Moria Goblin army with 75 models.  My only real advantage is my horn, my Ranger shooting and my good defense.

The other thing Keith said, which was discouraging, is that one of the scenario's will be Contest of Champions.  This is won by the player whose best hero gets the most kills.  My Captain will not be very good at this one.  I may have to invest the points in a better hero.  Not only will I need to buy and paint that guy but it will cut down on my model count as well.

The last bit of scenario info was that we will be playing one of the scenario's with an important modification.  There is a scenario where you have to get an objective marker and get it off of your board edge.  Tim Kulinski, who is the organizer for this tournament, and I played it last spring, when he came out to visit.  I won a major victory even though he killed all but a couple of my models.  This was because my Rohan army was able to get to the center of the table quickly, grab my objective and move it off quickly.  After that it was all about keeping him off of his objective long enough to get away.  This scenario will be modified so that you have to get the objective off of your opponents table edge.  According to Keith this is a direct result of the game Tim and I played.  If true, that makes me feel pretty good.

I will have to do some list testing and, probably, buy some new models, but all in all I am pretty happy with what I have.  Still a lot to do, and I have not gotten any painting done the last two nights.

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