I've been slacking. I not only haven't been updating the blog but I haven't really been doing much, at all, hobby wise. I started a new job July 1st. It is killing my soul. I have no energy left at the end of the day. I'm getting to be in great shape, working off all of the angst though.
Today I got in a game of LotR. Keith had an, unexpected, day off and gave me a call. I arranged to meet him down at the shop for a game. He brought his Dwarfs and I brought my Gondor, with a twist. I have been trying the new Faramir, Captain of Ithilien. I changed out all of my Warriors of Minas Tirith for Osgiliath Veterans. This means they have fight 4 within six inches of Faramir. Along with this he acts as a banner for them and the rangers within 12 inches. I had to drop my horn, Cirion and my knights to get him in but he seems to be worth it.
Keith and were play testing one of the Scenario's for Mayhem in the Mountains. This is the one I wrote a battle report about earlier, on the Bree table. Each player divides their army in half. Hero's have to be evenly divided. One half deploys between 18 and 24 inches in, the other half up to 3 inches in. This puts half of the force toe to toe with the enemy. Night fight rules are also in play so bows and crossbows can only shoot 12 inches but they get plus one to their roll to wound. This makes bows MUCH more powerful than normal.
We were also playing with table layout for the Osgiliath table. We have five 12 inch squares of ruins, which work well, but we both think we need some barriers, walls and barricades as well as some difficult terrain we can throw down. We also need to bevel the edges of the MDF that the ruins are based on as the square edges caused us quite a bit of positioning problems over the course of the game.
I only have one hero, so had to place him up front. I also front loaded all of my rangers into the forward force, with the rest filled out with Veterans. I placed them as far back as I could, but they were easily in charge range of the Dwarfs, if Keith got Priority. Keith had Dain and Gimli, with Gimli forward. He also had a mix of Khazad Guard, Iron Guard and Dwarf Warriors. At the last minute I convinced him to try Dwarf Warriors with bows instead of Rangers. I'm not sure how well that worked out, since the plus 1 to wound made all shooting better. More play testing is probably called for.
Happily, I won priority. Gimli promptly called a heroic move, countered by Faramir, who won the roll off. One Veteran engaged Gimli, putting an end to his move. Everyone else fell back while Faramir repositioned to a more central position, closer to where Gimli was. There was some combat to Faramir's right, and my rangers started picking off Dwarfs like it was cool, which it was with me.
Keith had 40 models in his army, while I had 50. From the first turn on, I was ahead in the body count pretty much the entire game. Dwarf armies rely on their awesome armor saves to stay alive. With the shooting rules in this scenario, that is not as much of a factor for them.
Combats were going my way, my reserves were moving up faster and I had fire superiority. Keith's front line was not holding up very well and Gimli was not killing anything. By the time Dain and his boys got up there were not many of the first line Dwarfs left. Dain managed a Heroic combat into Faramir. Sadly, for Dain, Faramir had charged that turn, though a different model. This gave Faramir four dice, instead of three, letting him win the combat, knock Dain down and put a wound on him after using up his fate. This was the only charge Faramir got in the entire game, getting charged by Dain or Gimli every turn after that. Dain died in the next round of combat but Gimli lasted the rest of the game.
Once I broke Keith his Dwarfs started to fade, though slowly. It took several more rounds of combat for me to kill enough to get him to 25%. It is actually easier to kill Dwarfs with shooting, in this scenario, than it is with a sword. That plus one on the die roll is better than the +1 strength of a hand weapon over my shooting.
I walked away with a major win. Any time I get anything better than a loss against Keith I'm thrilled. He is a great player, probably one of the best in the country, since he took second at Adepticon.
I think we are both very happy with the scenario. We have played it twice, on different tables, and it worked very well on both. It changes the game a lot, forcing players to think on their toes and develop new tactics on the fly. The table needs some more work, but it is going to work out well once we add some more terrain to it.
I needed a good game to take my mind off of work and this, as always against Keith, was a great game and a lot of fun. I feel very good about where we are with the tournament preparations. I hope we have people actually show up.