Posts Tagged ‘Moria’

The points system for the current GW Oxford WOTR mini-league gives you 3 points for a win, 2 for a draw and 1 for a loss. This strikes me as a little odd, but I can see how it at least means that less experienced players who turn up week after week and get repeatedly stuffed will at least get points on the scoreboard.

So how, you would rightly ask, is it possible that your correspondent finished last week on 6 points, turned up and played this week and is still on 6 at the moment? Reader, permit me to explain.

Finally BJ and I rejigged our schedules to get a game in. His Moria army seemed bloomin’ enormous, with three Goblin infantry blocks of various sizes, two Goblin archer blocks, and a formation of Wargs. Leading his army was Druzhag the sorcerer. My army was the same I’ve always taken – maybe in December some new stuff will appear, but don’t hold your breath, folks.

We played on a 4×4 (this was unusual, but I don’t think it affected the result) and the game would be resolved on points for killing companies and the army generals. BJ set up in basically a big block with Druzhag’s formation behind a skirmish line of archers, and the Wargs on the flank. I put the Knights on the opposite flank with the Orcs in the centre.

I don’t know whether I just went into this certain I was going to get stuffed and only hoping to give a good account of myself, but in hindsight it should have been blazingly obvious that the central archer line was just bait. Nevertheless I went ahead and stuck both Knight units into it, hoping to Heroic Combat into Druzhag’s unit behind him. That didn’t work out, but the archers all died and the Heroic Combat took out a titchy Goblin infantry unit as well (BJ fielded it as a single company, for no reason I could work out).

Meanwhile on my side of the table the Wargs had charged the Orcs in the front, bounced off (more shocking dice for BJ), and were stranded in front of the Orcs. I was 3-0 up in company kills and starting to entertains hopes of an upset.

However, this rapidly changed as the Wargs redeployed away from the Orcs to charge one Knight unit in the rear, the main and second Goblin block approached the same unit’s flank and front, and some giant spiders summoned by Druzhag took up position on the other flank. The other Knight unit lost two-thirds of its strength to Goblin archery and black magic. Enough of the Morians passed their Terror tests to pulp the Knight unit that was surrounded, but amazingly enough the two Knights who hit Druzhag’s unit in the flank caused enough kills to make the combat a (very Pyrrhic) victory for me. Druzhag himself Epically Ran Away from the Knight Commander’s attempt to pick him off, ending up hiding with the spiders.

With the cutting edge of the army shattered and the game less than half over it was clear that killing Druzhag was my only real hope of saving the match. So I sent the Orcs after him, with the Nazgul in charge. Druzhag ran away again at that point, leaving the spiders to get blattered by the boosted Orcs. The Orcs were looking a bit tattered by now with only 15 models left, so when they were charged by 35+ Goblins the next turn I thought it was probably all over. The only choice was whether to use the Dark Marshal’s Might to try and kill Druzhag, or to make the whole unit Fight 10 and hope that BJ wouldn’t wipe me out, in which case I’d probably win the combat. In the end BJ got the 11 kills he needed to wipe me out and end the game (Druzhag had permanently shattered the Orc shields a little earlier, making his task much easier) though the Orcs gave a good account of themselves and took out more than 20 Goblins.

Hey ho. Well, it was bad tactics that were mainly to blame, though BJ did say that Moria was probably the toughest army for my type of build to face. The elite cavalry force I’ve got relies on hitting hard and doing massive casualties – the problem with Moria is that the Goblins can take massive casualties and still muster enough troops to surround my Knights and drag them down. I suspect the trick would be to pick off one unit at a time, starting with the mobile Wargs, while trying to avoid getting swamped by the Goblin hordes. I can’t imagine BJ would make this remotely easy for me. In the end he gave an excellent display of how to play a horde army against an elite one and deserved his win.

And you’re probably still wondering about the score. Sigh. My previous opponent and I both thought the rules last week had seemed a bit weird and rechecking the book proved we’d been playing them wrong. I would probably still have won, obviously, but in the circumstances I thought it was only fair to have our game redeclared as a draw rather than a win to me. So that knocked my total score down from 6 after two games to 5, with the point from losing to BJ meaning i’d gone from 6 after two to 6 after three. As long as the score doesn’t actually start going down I will not get depressed, honest.


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DftF: random slaughterhouse

You might think that the best way to win a wargames competition was to be better than everyone else competing and not immoderately unlucky. However, it seems to me that – while you can’t live without at least a little luck -all that really counts is to be better than everyone else that you play. With most events being the size they are, there’ll be fewer games than there are competitors.

Here again luck is an issue, and most tournaments I’ve been in have utilised some version of the Swiss system to try and ensure you should end up playing against someone of roughly equal ability. The GW Oxford WOTR league is not so formal as that, which is why I am currently top of the leader board after two games. This is simply because I’ve ended up playing against people even less experienced than myself.

I say all this because I’m uncomfortably aware that the wargames portion of this blog – which I anticipated would be a litany of defeat – is turning into a series of jolly retellings of how I duffed up a succession of young people. Last night’s game was against Javier (yes, of course I’m changing names to protect my victims’ anonymity) and his Moria swarm.

Javier had brought along two blocks of Goblin infantry, a block of archers, and a Troll. I took the same army I’ve always played as I’m still too busy to do any painting. The scenario was an odd one, decided by claiming objectives scattered across the table, and where the formations would turn up on random edges at random times.

I’m sure we must have been reading the rules wrong as I can’t see what’s to stop the second player, with only a little luck, from following his opponent onto the board should both their units come on from the same edge, and flank- or rear-charging them on turn one. This indeed happened in our game as I took the opportunity to stick one unit of Knights into the flank of his main Goblin formation – he’d’ve got the other unit in the other flank had I passed my Double test. That unit and the Goblin general was slaughtered by the end of turn two.

By this point nearly everything had turned up, with the Moria army down one end of the table and the Mordor force in the centre. The Knights grabbed one objective from under the noses of the Goblins and withdrew towards the other end, while the Morannon Orcs, with the aid of Wings of Terror, hoovered up another three. The Cave Troll had grabbed one for Moria but I was still 4-1 up with the game almost half gone.

I could’ve just backed off and sat out the game at this point, but that would’ve seemed a bit weaselly, so I engaged the Morians again – well, just the Troll to begin with, hitting it with the Knights and Orcs simultaneously. The Knights stuck a couple of wounds on it before the Orcs (bolstered by, as regular readers may have guessed, Strength from Corruption) dragged it down and finished it off, giving me all five objectives.

Meanwhile one of the Knight units frontally charged the second Goblin infantry unit and due to the Goblins not having shields slaughtered a bucketload. A combination of various nasty Nazgul spells killed another five leaving them an easy target for another cavalry charge on the last turn, which finished them off.

I take little pride in this win, as the scenario seemed a bit weird and Javier was clearly very, very green. Some cavalry would have furthered his cause considerably and possibly allowed him to grab a couple more objectives. His Goblin¬†infantry weren’t exactly optimised for combat, either – no shields meant I was killing them on 3s when the Knights got the charge, and coupled with their low Fight and Courage (he really struggled with Terror tests) on these occasions I was rolling up to 30 dice a round. I suspect I lost more models to Strength from Corruption than I did to enemy action in this game.

Anyway, my game with BJ has been rescheduled for next week. A punitive beating seems only deserved at this point.


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