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Iron Hills vs Minas Tirith in Fog of War- 800 points.


Having recently completed a good bit of Iron Hills; and ahead of the Richmond Open, Andrew and I wanted to throw down with two 800 point lists to warmup for the coming weekend tournament. Andrew is running Minas Tirith with Gandalf at the event. I am opting to revisit Rivendell, but decided I didn't need much practice with them so was excited to put the dwarves on the table for the first time!

That's a lot of Dwarves.

Gandalf 'n the boys

The mission today was Fog of War! 

I chose Hurin as my kill target, my Siege Veteran as my protected hero, and the grey Temple in the top left as my terrain. Given that there was very little area terrain, we ruled that any of the larger terrain pieces were acceptable for being base to base. Technically not RAW but would make for a more interesting game.

First time putting the ol' twirly whirlies on the board.

Dain and company.

The Minas Tirith lines.

Turn one just saw us advancing across the front. The Ballista failed to do anything. Gandalf channeled a blinding light... but in true Andrew dice fashion proceeded to roll a 1 on casting. Two might gone from Gandalf, but the protection from the Ballista is probably worth it.

Turn two sees the battle lines converging. Andrew tries to sorcerous blast my banner, but fails the casting. This is a common occurrence for Gandalf this game... The Ballista targets the bolt thrower; and scatters into the siege veteran. Andrew passes his fate.

With the exception of the top of turn 3 where he blasts a dwarf into Dain, costing me my beautiful pig.

The lines get all stuck in in two little pockets. Hurin wades into the sea of dwarves. The Ballista kills a Knight.

On the left flank, my Goat rider Captain and one of his cav slam into the Minas Tirith flank; while the other cavalry repositions to catch up to Dain who, having been knocked prone earlier, can't quite make it into a combat.

The Goat rider captain calls a heroic combat, and tramples the Ranger before slamming into Andrew's banner.

Hurin also calls a combat, slays his dwarf, and wraps the lines.

The following turn sees the lines continue to smash into each other- with Minas Tirith suffering much worse casualties than the dwarves. Strength 4 D7 is just a nasty combo vs Strength 3 D6 (where shieldwall is challenging to achieve). Hurin does some work, though.

The following turns play out pretty similarly. Minas Tirith is losing bodies, but dwarves take some losses here and there. Gandalf pretty much can't hit anything with Sorcerous blast.

Hurin busts through the lines and, suspiciously, nestles up to a terrain piece. Dain has been just out of reach.

As the game devolves into scattered combats, Minas Tirith drops past the breaking point. The game ends on a 1 or 2 so both of us are jockeying to nab points. If the game ended on turn Andrew broke, it would have been a draw... but the dice are not meant to be. My Ballista, despite blinding light, scores a hit on the bolt thrower taking it down and knocking down its crew.

With the possibility of the game ending, I lock down Gandalf...

And go for my terrain piece!

Hurin faces a horde of Dwarves but fights valiantly.

The scattered fights as the game moves into its final acts.

Gandalf blasts the dwarf captain off the terrain piece, and a Knight follows up.

Dain and the boys bring down Hurin, earning the Iron Hills 3 VPs.

Very few Minas Tirith characters remain, but the game just keeps going.

Gandalf drops blinding light to spend his last will on a sorcerous blast... and the ballista slams into him. Gandalf barely survives- having to spend all 3 fate to not die- even with his ring of power rerolls!

Finally, after many rapid fire turns the game comes to a close... on the final turn Gandalf was surrounded and killed, with the fate he lost to the Ballista being gone being the deciding factor.

Minas Tirith scores:
  • 3 VPs for protecting Irolas
Iron Hills scores:
  • 3 VPs for killing Hurin
  • 3 VPs for protecting the Siege Veteran
  • 3 VPs for breaking Minas Tirith without being broken
  • 1 VPs for killing Gandalf
Making the game a 10-3 for Iron Hills.

Closing Thoughts:
This is a TOUGH matchup for Minas Tirith, and Andrew's dice were pretty cold. Still, I think it could've been closer than the score represents- the game went on for probably 7 turns after Andrew broke; but every turn it went on got worse for him. Iron Hills are cool but, if I'm being honest, not super interesting to play. I'll give them a few more runs of course, but I'm not sure they super align to my playstyle.


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