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Mordor vs the Beornings LL in Destroy the Supplies at 650.

After my previous defeat at the hands of Connor's Dwarves, I was not looking forward to this matchup! The bears are, some of the boogeymen of MESBG and my "not-so-great" Beast was going to be no match for them! Here we go!

Chris' list. Not a lot of choice in the LL really; just a matter of how many bows you want!

We wound up playing Destroy the Supplies after I veto'd Assassination (Ouch- I don't expect to kill a bear), and Chris veto'd Reconnoitre (His army is so small, getting stuff off the board is tough).

The board after deployment.

On the first turn, I channel Fury with Kardush, while my Great Beast kites a bit taking pot shots into the beornings.

The Great Beast comes back behind the lines to avoid a bear charge or heroic combat into it.

The lines clash with pretty predictable results... I'm able to pick off a few beornings here and there but for the most part I'm just removing orcs from the table.

I'm perhaps a turn late starting my end run with the Great Beast, but it breaks away heading for Chris' deployment.

My right flank just absolutely collapses and before long there's a bear eating the Witch King.

More carnage as bears keep a'chompin

I am not hating wounding on a 5 with orc bows! That's not too common.

Right flank completely decimated.

In the end, the Great Beast manages to destroy one supply, but then fails courage and flees the battlefield, leaving me tabled.

With 3 objectives, a leader kill, and breaking me without being broken, the bears earn 10 VP. I got one objective for 2 VP. Making this one a solid 10-2 to the bears.

Closing Thoughts: Ouch. What can I say? I don't think I could've done a whole lot differently here. Hindsight being 20/20 I wish I had run the Witch King away and he maybe could've gone for some supplies. The bears are fast so it's tough to kite them, but even pulling off one or two transfixes could've potentially swung the game.

Warning: Bear rant incoming. Grab your honeycakes and settle in!

That being said, boy. This army list. I know a lot has been said about them, so my opinion is just one of thousands on the internet... but it's painfully clear to me that this Legendary Legion is beyond the pale. It's OP.

I will say, it is at least not horrible to play against unlike Black Riders or Vanquishers. I actually got to roll wounds and move around! Also, the WAY it plays appeals to me! It looks FUN; it just has to be fun and unique while also playing nice :) 

The legion doesn't feel like it has any true weaknesses. It isn't weak vs magic as everything has resistance. On paper it looks like it's weak on numbers, but I will argue that it 100% is not. Each Beorning for 20 points is a better bargain than any other pair of 10pt models out there. Compare it to, say, a High Elf with shield backed by a Numenor warrior with shield and spear: 
  • The beorning matches on fight (though loses to elven blades).
  • Will almost always be rolling 3 dice with the insane banner coverage in this LL compared to the banners afforded elves.
  • Elves wound beornings on a 5+, Numenoreans on a 4+. Beornings wound both of them on 4+s.
  • Further, and this was not clear to me until playing them, they are not diminished by being wounded once, unlike a battle line.
  • Vs anything with lower fight, these guys automatically win 42% of the time with 3 dice; and still have a much better chance of out-rolling others (especially when they are out of banner range). 
So, hilariously, I'm not even sure it's the bears themselves that are the biggest issue... but the beornings! 

Still, compare the bears to any other monsters in their price range, and their sheer value is apparent. Their speed 8 is the real kicker, not to mention the FAQ ruling on shapeshifting that makes them even more insane- their turn one move is closer to 10". This means they aren't particularly weak to shooting as they can close extremely rapidly.

Now, I will say, I could see a few matchups/scenarios that work against the bears, though the list of such combinations is few and far between... playing with a veto system further exacerbates that to ensure they never have to face those insane combos, while sticking to the enemy/scenario combinations that are more likely to be beneficial to them. Given their inherent strengths and lack of weaknesses, I think this army should be considered for some revisits (I always support a mild hand and iterative approach to swinging the nerf bat). I am also old enough now to realize that any points based game is going to have those lists & models that just rise to the top; but the degree of disparity in competitive lists should remain a top priority for the designers of the game to keep the competitive scene healthy. Thanks for coming to my Ted talk!


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