Monday, December 29, 2008

First game - a win!

Well, I just played my first game with Mithrandir's Errand, and it worked pretty well. My list was as follows:

Gandalf the Grey

King of Men with heavy armor and shield

5 Citadel Guard with spears
21 Warriors of Minas Tirith with shields
3 Warriors of Minas Tirith with shields and spears
8 Rangers of Gondor with spears
6 Rangers of Gondor

The list used a bunch of proxies since I haven't even assembled some of the models. I played a fellow named David who used a Dwarven horde list consisting of:

Balin (no magic axe)

8 Iron Guard
8 Khazad Guard
16 Dwarf Warriors with shields
17 Dwarf Warriors with dwarf bows
2 Dwarf Rangers with 2H axes

Great, outnumbered by Dwarves. I hate that. To boot we got a "kill 'em all" scenario, Clash of Piquets. However, the game ended up going my way. First off, we both put our archers out, though mine were behind a line of my warriors. I was able to start shooting immediately, and though I hit a lot I did little damage. However, he was only able to volley with his 18" bows.

We both got our forces on pretty quick, and I had my main line of warriors backed by spear toting rangers laying into his troops as they approached. He ended up feeding about a quarter of his force into my flank, and I was able to redeploy quickly enough to overwhelm them. He never really got his archers into the fight, and I managed to get him down 19 models by the time we called time. I had lost 10 models, so I was much farther away from breaking and had lost fewer victory points. However you slice it, I won the game, though it probably would have qualified as a minor victory. Filling D6 Iron Guard full of arrows is really fun.

So some of my observations:

1) Gandalf is the bomb! No, really, I mean the bomb! Having a free point of will each turn meant never having to say "Oh, I don't think I'll blast his troops this turn." Plus, with Blinding Light, I discouraged David from bringing his archers in closer than volley fire range for him, which was a major factor in the win. Plus, with F5 and S5 using Glamdring, he was a very potent force in fights, particularly when supported with a spear. Sadly, I could never seem to roll above a 2 with him to wound - except one turn where I rolled three 6s and a 5, and that was against one trapped dwarf.

2) I was wondering how effective bow armed troops would be with spears, and I was not disappointed. The biggest problem with archers is they have low Defense because they can't use a shield, so you don't want to throw them into combat. They end up hanging out on a hill or something away from your main line, and you have to decide when to actually commit them to combat. Well, arm them with spears, and you don't have to worry about it! They travel behind your well armored front line and when the line hits combat they help out with being picked on when you lose combat! This worked great, and I'm going to be incorporating it into my Numenoreans as well. If I can find myself a couple more Warriors of Minas Tirith, I may end up completely losing the shield and spear models in favor of giving the spears to Rangers. Hmmm, perhaps a conversion?

3) The Citadel Guard actually came in very handy. When I was fighting S3 troops, I'd use the Citadel Guard to support the people fighting so their D5 wouldn't get them picked on. When I was fighting S4 troops, I threw the Guard into the combat to use their F4 to help win the fights, since D5 is identical to D6 when it comes to getting thumped by a S4 model. Similarly, throwing a ranger into a combat when the odds were heavily in my favor was another big help to avoid losing on the tied rolls. Having so much F4 while maintaining a front line of D6 is awesome.

4) I like using the King of Men stat line instead of the Captain of Men. The F5 alone is awesome, and having extra Courage and Will is worth the price. I think I'll be changing my list to reflect this.

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