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Rivendell vs Mordor in Retrieval. 800 Points.

The fourth and final phase of the To War! escalation event sees armies rising up to 800 points. Andrew had settled pretty well on a list for his 800 points, and I've been waffling on what to add to mine. I wanted to give the Twins another shot after their disastrous first outing where they both died to and replenished the might of Gulavhar. So, we put lists together and rolled for scenario, landing on Retrieval.

The Rivendell force. The astute reader will note that I am definitely over on my bow limit. I was working on lists until the last possible second; swapping in and out Elrond for the twins and clearly forgot that I had a few too man bows on the Rivendell Knights! I blame being a wee bit hungover Sunday morning... thankfully having too many bows made little to no impact this game!

Andrew's perfectly legal, honed, well balanced Mordor list. I was pretty stoked to see Kardush on the table.

The board state after deployment. I love how the relic on my board edge is at the top of some temple stairs. Pretty cool and thematic!

The forces of Rivendell hold fast in the face of the oncoming terror.

The oncoming terror.

Rivendell Knights are fast becoming one of my favorite units.

The elves have one round of shooting before the lines clash. I could back up and shoot a second time; but I don't want to be fighting so close to my own objective. 

3 of 6 Orc trackers die to elf shooting in the opening rounds. Cirdan's blinding light negates any return fire.

The lines clash! The witch king compels my banner out of the fight, and Kardush fireballs Glorfindel's horse. Ouch!

The twins and one Rivendell Knight heroic combat slingshot off a single Orc, and Elladan takes down Kardush. Whew, no more fireballs!

The large Mordor force is able to start wrapping around my left flank.

The twins and the Knights try to force a breakthrough on the Elvish right flank... but start slowing down.

Andrew has a clutch play with the Witch King. He Compels my banner out of range... then charges it. Calls a heroic combat, and eats the banner before charging Cirdan and eating him. Ouch! Glorfindel and the Troll chieftain exchange combats but Glorfindel just cannot punch through his armor.

The elven line starts suffering. Really at this point, I start losing every single duel and quickly there are more dead elves than dead orcs! The Troll chieftain really keeps Glorfindel in place and the rest of my line starts suffering. I am trying so hard to get my Rivendell Knights to punch their way out.

At this point the Elves are nearing their breakpoint. I am trying to just hold on the left flank, but a contingent force of Black Numenoreans has looped around the fallen statue head to make their way to the temple objective.

Glorfindel is able to wrap around the Troll; in a bid to get the Witch King. A heroic Knight charges the Witch King to at least hold him in place. The twins continue to flounder on the right... against Guritz...

If the Twins were doing their job well, I could roll up this flank and have my Knights make a break for Andrew's objective... but freaking GURITZ is holding them up. In fact... shortly after this picture was taken... Elladan DIES to Guritz. Now Elrohir is enraged. 

Glorfindel is sandwiched between the Troll and the Witch King. Sucks for Mordor.

A small force of Elves is doing their best to tie up the breakaway force and protect their precious relic.

Elrohir charges Guritz, heroic challenges him and... DIES. Guritz killed both Twins! I will say... it wasn't until after the game that I remembered they had 3 attacks each which is a big mistake, but man. This sealed the elves' fate as Guritz recovered two might making him a heroic move machine.

The Elves are broken. Glorfindel charges the Witch King and wins the fight- stripping him of his fate but not able to seal the deal.

The elves continue to fight valiantly, keeping the Black Numenoreans on the objective tied up. Our only hope is to kill the Witch King and have the game end before he can grab my objective.

But... it is not to be. 
Darkness falls across the land as the Elvish Relic is sullied by the hands of evil men.

In the end, Mordor scores 6 points. 3 for breaking Rivendell without being broken, and 3 for having possession of the relic.

Closing thoughts
First and foremost- Andrew played this superbly. He has been playing Mordor for a while and is an absolute master of the Witch King now. Andrew was playing at the top of his game, and the mistakes were all mine!

First and foremost, my original plan was to send my three knights wide and head straight for his relic. Not doing so saw them get tied up and eventually cut down despite having some luck in duels. 

Secondly, forgetting all game that the Twins should have 3 attacks may have made a big difference on that flank!

Thirdly, I allowed Glorfindel to be tied up with that troll the whole. dang. time. Glorfindel embodies elvendom in MESBG. He wins duels but struggles to wound the beefies. Cirdan's enchanted blades can help a lot but... Cirdan was Nazgul food.

Finally, our game took quite a while. Granted, it was a leisurely Sunday morning so we weren't exactly hustling... BUT we don't often play big games and timeouts are a thing we don't often account for. 2/3 of my games in the last tournament went to time. Something to keep in mind.

Super fun game, and despite it not going my way spectacularly, I really had fun with it. Love how thematic the fight up the stairs to the temple was. Awesome!


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