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(Blast from the Past) 300 Point Rivendell Escalation Tournament Report

Editor's Note- this tournament occurred in the summer of 2022 and was the first in the To War! Escalation series. I've since posted the 500, 700, and 800 point tournament reports, but wanted to make sure this was captured here! I previously posted this elsewhere, before this blog was borne. So! Enjoy this blast from the past! To read the rest of the reports in the series, check out my Battle Reports page.

First of all, I am so thankful for all of the events folks are putting on in my area. Really makes me glad I got into this game a few weeks back. This tournament is the first in a series of 4 escalation events where you have to stick with the same army choice. The tournament was hosted at Your Hobby Place in Fredericksburg VA which is a fantastic game store. The staff was friendly, the store is well stocked and clean, and they had a great variety of stuff to spend money on. The tournament was very well run, and I was so appreciative of the tables, the provided lunch, and people volunteering to provide this to the community!

The List:

I decided to go with:
  • Glorfindel on Asfaloth with the Armour of Gondolin
  • 6 High-Elf Warriors with Shields
  • 2 High-Elf Warriors with Shields and Spears
  • 4 High-Elf Warriors with Elf Bows and Spears
Strategically, probably pretty straight forward. The block of high fight, high defense elves are the anvil, while Glorfindel isthe hammer... and what a hammer he is. More on that later. 300 on the nose.
My thinking with Glorfindel over someone else was his sheer ability to deal with a variety of threats. Magic? No worries, we have unbending will. Items that need picking up? Expert Rider and 12" move. Monsters? Armour of Gondolin.

"Glorfindel was tall and straight; his hair was of shining gold, his face fair and young and fearless and full of joy; his eyes were bright and clean, and his voice like music; on his brow set wisdom, and in his hand was strength."

Game One: vs Iron Hills Dwarves in Contest of Champions

The Battle Lines are Drawn

whoof. I did NOT want to face Dain and defense 8 Iron Hills dwarves... especially not when we start right on top of each other! This first game was against John and it was LITERALLY HIS FIRST GAME EVER. How awesome is that?? He really knew his stuff and played super smart; I did my best to make sure his first game was a good experience.

Not a lot to say about this game- I lost almost every single priority and never got a chance to charge... but between Lord of the West and a little bit of luck... in the end Glorfindel slew Dain as dwarves cut through Glorfindel's kin around him.

When the dust settled, I was quartered, but Glorfindel slew 3 dwarves- one of which being Dain. The REST OF MY ENTIRE ARMY slew one additional dwarf.

Glorfindel weeps among the torn bodies of his kin

5 VPs for killing 2 models with Glorfindel

3 VPs for killing Dain

My opponent got 2 VPs for breaking me without being broken.

Result: MAJOR VICTORY!

Dwarves man. You can't move them with strength 3... but Glorfindel really came through for me there. Again, this was John's first game EVER and honestly, if one or two dice throws hadn't gone my way fighting Dain... it would've been his first win. Great game and I truly hope John and I can connect and play more!

Game Two: vs Moria (Assault on Lothlorien LL) in Seize the Prize

I gotta be honest. I'm really loving Moria and I think I may need to invest. Spiders and goblinses seem really fun! I don't remember all of what was in my opponent's list but it was a smattering Orcs, an Orc captain who did some nasty stuff, a heap of goblins with a Shaman who could affect spiders... and 3 spiders!
I really appreciated having terrain on my flanks

We both pushed forward and my opponent (Who's name was Terry- he won best sport and it was WELL DESERVED! I really enjoyed playing him so much) got to the prize first. He seized it early and held on to it with one of his orcs.

Elves hold a gap in the terrain

Elves CUT THROUGH goblins and orcs suffering very few losses. But Terry had wisely hidden his orc with the prize just inside my half of the table but within stand fast range of his captain. He was able to keep feeding goblins to Glorfindel and I was reluctant to spend might. He assaulted Glorfindel with spell after spell, including withering him to str 3!

Elves cleaning up the rabble

In the end, however, Terry failed his courage checks pretty catastrophically after realizing his Shaman's Fury did not affect himself (it only affects spiders for that guy, or something? I am not familiar with them). His ranks fell apart quickly, including the guy holding the football. So... Glorfindel rode Asfaloth in, snapped it up with Expert Rider, and ran it into the enemy deployment zone for a last second win.

Touchdown!

This was a GREAT game and just felt so swingy and thematic. Really enjoyed it, and I LOVE that the enemy LL made us fight in the dark!
  • 5 VPs for having the artefact in my opponent's board half
  • 1 VP for causing a wound on the enemy leader (He then failed courage and fled- I assume I don't get that credit right? Seems worded pretty clearly so we ruled you do not)
  • 3 VPs for breaking the opponent while not being broken
RESULT: MAJOR VICTORY
Wow! Elves vs goblins was awesome to witness. The elves were just cutting them down with (what I thought was a very clever) front rank of feinting swordsmen backed by spears... till someone commented that it was "the tried and true elf tactic". I guess great minds think alike... but so do elf players'.

A picture of Terry's army which was my personal choice for the best painted of the day!

Game Three: vs Laketown/Mirkwood Rangers in Storm the Camp

Hrumph. This was a tough one. It was a long slog to face so many bows and deal with so much terrain... perfect for those rangers and their elf cloaks! I played against Bill who was very good at the game. I appreciated his analytical, declarative approach to the game and I really learned a lot playing him.
Bill's list was led by Percy and contained 12 humans- 4 bowmen and 8 dudes with shields. He then had Tauriel and 6 Mirkwood Rangers in support. That's a lot of bows to face down, and with cover everywhere I was sweating this one...

Loved the board... except for how hard it made shooting!

Honestly, I floundered here. Having not faced this much bowfire in my MESBG journey I really didn't know how it would shake out. My casualties mounted as Bill picked off my bows while a small flanking force was working towards my camp. Glorfindel set off on his own to push the rear camp, but Bill had cleverly filled it with shlubs who were spread out making it very hard to capture!
In hindsight, I think I needed to ignore my own shooting (Rivendell Special rule sucks, just saying it out loud) and push in. Glorfindel did Glorfindel things and slew Percy before hopping from human to human clearing out the enemy's camp.

In the end, I was quartered and Bill grabbed my camp with 3 models to my 2 remaining. Really good game, and again I so appreciated playing Bill. He was a great opponent, super knowledgeable on the rules, and great at declaring absolutely every action so there was never any confusion.

Glorfindel in the Lake Town camp, sword covered in blood but there's just too many of them!

Facing that much bowfire was rough- I won't say demoralizing cause I did not have a bad time, but it led to some real indecision on my part which I think cost me my chance of pulling it off. Had I commited Glorfindel earlier and gone in with the troops I don't think I would've been worn down so efficiently. BUT that's why I'm here! I'm in the honeymoon phase of this great game and loving every lesson.

3 VPs for killing the enemy leaderRESULT: MAJOR LOSS
Bill had 6 VPs for the camp capture and 3 VPs for breaking me without breaking. This earned Bill a Major Victory AND he took first place in the tournament! Anytime you lose to the guy who both played better AND who went on to win the tournament; there's really no reason to be bummed.

In the end, I still managed to secure 3rd place out of 14- which was a shock!

Army Takeaways

Do I.... hate my bows? Maybe having only 4 is rough? In my first game the scenario made them all but useful. In the 2nd game my opponent's LL special rule had them only get one round of firing... and in my 3rd game elf cloaks and terrain made them sitting ducks.

The Rivendell special rule seems cool but it's really not great. I'm usually moving, and re-rolling 3s to have a chance to roll a 6 to wound most targets isn't a HUGE boon. Conversely, having D5 really hurt when taking return fire to Elf Bows. Something to noodle on.

GLORFINDEL is AWESOME. I guess that's why the Valar sent him back. I mean... he SLEW A BALROG. He went toe-to-toe with all 3 of my opponent's leaders and always came out the victor. In my first 2 games he won the scenario and in my 3rd he was poised to do so given enough time. I love him. I am not ashamed to admit I have a framed picture of Glorfindel by Magali hanging in my game room, so I'm an OG Glorfindel fan and I'm glad they got him right in this game.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Honestly, I love this game. I loved this tournament. HUGE thanks to all of my opponents, the organizers, and my buddy Chris for making the trek. #Elfbuds Really looking forward to more in the future!

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