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The Richmond Open Tournament Report Part One (of 2)

This past weekend I had the privilege of playing in the Richmond Open Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game Grand Tournament! This was especially awesome because Richmond is my home town- pretty rare that I can hit a big event and sleep in my own bed! There were just shy of 30 players over a 5 game event. 

Before I get into it, a HUGE thanks to Robert for running the event. His tireless dedication is a real driving force in our local community. Big thanks also to Chris who was his XO, and a friend of mine who really helped cement Andrew and I getting into the game. Thanks also to Josh who volunteered his time to help run the event as well; ditto to all the folks who brought terrain tables.
My list was pretty standard Rivendell fare. Honestly, nothing else was exciting me at the moment. I considered Iron Hills after my recent run but... to be totally frank I find them kinda boring. Andrew was running Minas Tirith, which only left Rohan and Mordor in my collection, so elves it was! Well, elves and the mightiest son of Gondor!
On a fun personal note, the first day of the tournament was exactly one year since getting into the game! On May 5th, 2022 I walked out of my LGS (Battlegrounds) with the Pelennor Fields box in hand. It's been a super fun journey, and I am just loving the game!

Without further ado, on to the tournament day one report! I'll post pics of all the tables as an appendix at the end of this post.

Game One: Lords of Battle vs Tyler's Mordor

This game was a DOOZY! Tyler had an awesome list with the Witch King, The Shadow Lord, a whole bunch of Black Numenoreans and Spear support Morannons and... a Great Beast of Gorgoroth! I was really excited to see that thing on the board.

The tournament was using the veto system by pool; and the first pool rolled was "Kill the Enemy Scenarios". I can't remember who veto'd which, but I am pretty sure Tyler killed Contest of Champions while I nixed To the Death.

The board had a number of walls that would slow down an advance- which allowed me to position my army on a smaller frontage while Glorfindel heroically charged the Great Beast.

I then proceeded to lose quite a few priorities and heroic roll offs so the beast did some work on tramples! But, I was able to get a lot of elves on it two-handing and feinting.

But Tyler hit Glorfindel, and I stupidly spent a lot of fate points on Asfaloth... which eventually did not bode well for Glorfindel. A final trample saw Glorfindel reduced to 1 wound, no fate, no might, no will from constant barrage from the Witch King and Shadow Lord, and no horse! To add salt to the wound, orcs from the howdah felled Cirdan with wicked barbed arrows! The start of the game was not going well for Rivendell.

Finally, the Great Beast died, but Glorfindel paid for it with his own life. As the Great beast collapsed, many of the archers also died on the way down which caught me up quite a bit on the ol' kill tally.

Boromir lost his horse to a black dart (I think?), but by now the elves were fully engaged and giving about as good as they were getting. 

Honestly the final rounds of the game are a bit of a blur to me now, but I know we broke Mordor and I discovered that for literally one year I've been treating the Witch King as a Hero of Valour (I mixed it up since.. he's the KING OF ANGMAR, yet only a hero of valour!). Pretty sure Erestor died somewhere in there. Finally, as time came to a close, Rivendell was in a good position under the steady leadership of Boromir.

I scored 3 VPs for having killed more models (I did 29 wounds to his 23 I think) and 3 VPs for breaking Mordor without being broken. Meanwhile, Tyler scored 2 VPs for killing Glorfindel. This made the first game a Major Victory for Rivendell, but only just!

Thoughts: I really enjoyed playing Tyler. It was a very technical, friendly, exciting game. I really liked his list and absolutely loved facing the Great Beast. What a fun model! Hoping I get to play Tyler again in the future!

Game Two: Retrieval vs Dan's Rivendell/Lothlorien/Boromir

Heading into my last game was an interesting mirror-ish match up! Dan had Glorfindel, a bunch of Riv Knights, Boromir, and the lady herself- Galadriel with a contingent of Lothlorien wood elves. Dan played hyper aggressive, and rushed right in with Glorfindel and Boromir, killing 6 of my elves on turn one! Yeowch!

This was a really fun, highly mobile swirling combat of a game. My Boromir was just a heroic move machine as Galadriel focused her attention on him. He was transfixed every single turn of the game- I don't think he made a single strike all game! Glorfindel and his Knights had to run deep defense against Dan's Knights. They just barely managed to protect the football.

Glorfindel on his triumphant return after protecting our own backfield objective. Dan's Boromir and Glorfindel were doing WORK. 

As my force broke and time was nearing, Dan left a crucial opening and my Glorfindel rushed to the backfield and killed Galadriel. Meanwhile, I had one Knight pushing Dan's objective!

Heartbreakingly, on the first turn the game was eligible to end- it did! Had I had one more turn AND managed to win priority, my Knight could've made an end run and cinched the win... but alas it was not meant to be! Those individual, impactful die rolls is what I love about this game, so I can't be mad about it!

This means as the game came to a close, Dan scored 3 VP for breaking me without being broken, and I scored 2 VP for killing Galadriel, his leader. A minor loss for me after a really tough game!

Thoughts: This was a great game; though I had the perception that my dice were failing me spectacularly... that may not have been true as Dan was really bullying my lines with Boromir and Glorfindel and I was losing bodies left and right. Still, with how close it was at the end- its a reminder that in this game no battle is done until it's truly done. Really enjoyed playing Dan; and this really makes me want to add a Lothlorien contingent to my collection!

Game Three: Hold Ground vs Robert's Kingdom of Khazad-Dum

Game two was the Maelstrom pool, with Robert and I veto'ing down to Hold Ground. Robert had Durin with a ton of Hearthguard, a King's Champion group with a ton of warriors, and a dwarf king. He also had a dwarf ballista- something like 40 models in total! With Maelstrom, I knew I'd want to get the jump on the Ballista, and that's exactly what I did.

I spent a total of 3 might but got my entire army on in one fell swoop. The Ballista was not long for this world, and died on turn 2.

From here it was a long walk for both armies to converge in the middle. Rob called a march with his King which had one warband arrive before Durin. I was able to focus my army on his smaller group before Durin got in and hit my flank. It was a brutal combat in the middle with Glorfindel trying to focus down the King's Champion, and Boromir killing what he could. Durin chopped through elves and it was just bloody.

One of Glorfindel's wound vs the King's Champion. He survived this as he had so dang much Fate available to him!

When time was finally called, I had just broken the dwarves and managed to have just a few more models within the central point than Rob. This secured me 3 VPs for having more models in the center, and 3 VPs for breaking him without being broken. Rob scored 1 VP when the King's champ stripped Glorfindel of his fate and put a wound on him.

Thoughts: As with my previous opponents, Rob was a joy to play. It was a fun, clean, gentlemanly but intense game! It was a real nail biter right to the end.

Day One Closing Thoughts: Quite an exhausting but fun day! I was so beat as I left the convention center, but was excited to head into day 2. With 2 major wins and 1 minor loss, I was pretty happy with my games so far!

Quick photo dump of some of the tables:

Two cool looking Star Wars Legion Tables:

Thanks for reading! Check back soon for Part two :)


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