Last Thursday Jonathan and I played my first game of the league. It was a reprise of the game from the week before, his Galadrim led by Glorfindel and Rumil against my Haradrim. I was tripped up at the last second by the League rule that you can only ally one faction into your army, a rule I believe we should change, by the way. Consequently I was forced to drop my Far Harad and went with a list that consisted of Bob the Budget Nazgul, a Haradrim King, a Haradrim Chieftan, a Haradrim Task Master, a banner, a hornblower, six fat guys (Abrakhan Merchant's Guards), fourteen archers and the rest spears for a total model count of 56. We played Domination with the MitM change of only three objectives.
I had a big hill in my deployment zone. there was a ruins between my
zone and the objective to my left. The rest of the terrain, of which
there was a lot, did not really factor in the game so I'll leave it off.
I made a lot of mistakes in this game. Jonathan only made a couple.
He, again, got a well deserved win with a minor victory. One more turn
would have given me the minor but two more would have made it his game
again. This was a real nail biter and I found myself thinking about it
quite a bit the next day, which is the mark of a great game, to me.
We started off with a general advance on the part of the elves towards
the left and center objectives. The elven phalanx headed towards the
left while the cavalry and archers, with Glorfindel riding along, went
towards the center. I left my archers behind the hill, firing in
volleys most of the game (mistake number 2, I waited way too long to
start firing directly). I split my force with a strong infantry force
heading towards the left objective and a smaller force going over the
hill and towards the center, (mistake number 1. I shouldn't have split
them the way I did and had too many high value units in this group with
no meat shields.)
My volley fire was average over the course of the game but started out
strong. I killed both knight archers and another model in the first
round. I got rid of most of his highly prized archers over the course
of the game with volley fire. Jonathan killed all of my fat guys with
arrows, a very disapointing development but well deserved the way I left
them hanging out in view.
I pushed my infantry up into the ruins, about twelve inches short of the
left objective, and stayed there. This was where Jonathan made the
only real mistake of the game. He brought his phalanx up and charged
me. Between the wall bonus and some good use of transfix/compel, I kept
Glorfindel out of the fight, killed Rumil and managed to bounce the
phalanx. Jonathan realized that he didn't need to fight me and pulled
back to the objective, still too strong for me to sally out and contest
He also shifted his archers and remaining knights to hold the other two
objectives. this is when I realized that the reason I was feeling
outnumbered was that I had 15 models hiding behind the hill. I marched
my archers out to contest the center and right objectives. Killing
Rumil had made me a happy little Haradrim. I had also put a wound on
Glorfindel with a Black Dart, something generally frowned upon in
tournament play. Most players consider it too risky for too little pay
off. Now Glorfindel found himself facing down a haradrim gatling gun of
fourteen poisoned bow shots. This is where I made mistake number 3. I
rolled all the dice at once. I killed the hell out Asfaloth but didn't
have enough left to finish off the elf, though I did put another wound
on him. I would have been better off taking the individual shots. The
reason I did this is becase it was almost 2100 and I had Rhys (7yrs old)
with me. I had already gotten a testy phone call from Mama and 2100 is
closing time, though Chris very nicely and characteristically offered
to keep the store open for us. So I was rushed. I took another turn to
kill Glorfindel. Another moral victory in my eyes.
I managed to take the right objective and was one turn away from having
more models on the center objective. I had broken but my hornblower
more than paid for himself. Jonathan was one model away from breaking.
I had moved my Nazgul up so his phalanx would be taking break tests
with no heros on a -1 courage. He was moving troops up to the center
objective, who would start arriving a turn after I controlled it. We
survived the roll on the first turn after I was broken but the second
one ended the game.