Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Foul Taste of Victory

So I got my first game in for the Tale of Four LotR Gamers challenge.  I took 175 points of High Elves against 175 points of Tim's Goblins.  You saw how pretty they looked in an earlier post.  Now see how well they played.

We played on a smaller board with lots of terrain.  For once I welcomed the forests.  I didn't use the forests to my advantage.  But I welcomed them, which is more than I usually do.  The scenario was rolled up, "Seize the Prize."  I had Arwen leading 8 swordsmen and three archers.  Let's do this!

So a blow by blow will probably bore you.  I just moved up to the prize and took some shots along the way.  Shooting was OK; I had three bows and killed about one goblin per turn.  As Tim later illustrated for me, I was picking the wrong targets.  I was knocking out normal goblins and not the Prowlers.  That would hurt later on.
Since Elves move faster, I got to the artifact first.  I thought I should probably screen the swordsman who was digging for it.  So I moved all my guys up into a line that ran between the ruins and the woods.  This meant I put all my guys in open ground, not in the forest, and obliged the goblins by moving into a convenient spot for them to overwhelm me.  I kept archers back to deal with the pesky harassment team coming around the far side of the ruins.  I continued to shoot at all the wrong things.  So many mistakes were made.  But, the Elves looked damn pretty throughout the whole fiasco.

The artifact was buried deep, and didn't come up on the first try.  What also didn't come up was a good round of combat for the Elves.  They won a lot of fights and killed nothing.  I mean nothing.  Zero.  This repeated a few more times, until the Elves started to become trapped and that Prowler backstabber rule started killing off the Elves.  (Who were beautiful even in death.)  Luckily, I got the artifact unearthed before the goblins could catch me.  Unfortunately Durburz broke my line in two and goblins were everywhere!  Elves continued to be ineffectual.  I wasn't using Elven blades, being too chickenshit to lose a fight.  I should have used them, since winning the fight and not hurting anything was driving me nuts.

So the artifact carrier was running away at a good clip.  All his buddies were surrounded and dying.  But Arwen finally got to cast Nature's Wrath without it being countered.  So at a very opportune moment, all the goblins were knocked down!  A lot just got up again, but they were slowed down and those I engaged remained down.  I even killed a few this way.  Here's a shot of them all on their backs.
But after this point, all the Elves died.  They all died.  All of them.  Dead. Except for the Elf with the artifact; he lived. My artifact carrier managed to keep up his courage and continue to run.  A goblin was trailing him, and thanks to winning priority a number of times, was able to catch up to the artifact carrier.  They fought for a couple of turns and the Elf won each time.  I got priority, passed my courage check, and exited the board.

Minor Victory for the Elves.

I call this battle report "the foul taste of victory" because I really disliked the game.  (Nothing on Tim, as he was a great player and host; in fact he had to put up with me pitching a fit. Sorry Tim!)  I wonder if Elves are really my thing.  They were even more frustrating than my "defense three" Corsairs were to play.  This is probably just me reacting to a total change in play style.  I'm not used to being outnumbered and having no margin for error.  Well, I've put time and money into these posers.  So I'm going to learn to like them!

Since the games go fast at this points level.  We played another 175 pt scenario, "To Kill a King".  But this time Tim took a Spider Queen and three giant spiders.  Spooky!
I'll make this short.  We ran at each other and a few Elves died before they killed all the spiders, including the Spider Queen.  Arwen stayed away and lived.  So major victory for the Elves.  I still played the scenario like a dufus.  For one, I refused to use Elven blades where they would've been useful.  Maybe I'll learn to play these Elves, but apparently that won't be any time soon!

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