Brook had won an interesting, but very long, grindfest with Ron, so now we were slated to play in the finals.
I only snapped 3 photos, in part because it was around 2PM when we started playing, and the 5-hour drive to boston was looming.
Special Condition: Bloodlust = all enaged units get (+1) +0/+0Set Up & Strategy
I was a bit cranky when, of the three maps, two had hills.
This one seemed less bad than the one with 3 hills, but maybe I should've done with the other one.
Dwarves, left to right: ShortBeards behind Crossbowmen, 3 BattleAxemen, Militia behind Shortbeards, Shortbeards behind Hammermen. A good, grindy, all Dwarf army. No cavalry for my spears/pikes to neutralize, and no Longbeards to leave the rest of his line critically weak.
Hawkshold, left to right: 2 Scouts, Pikemen, Great Swords, Stack of 3 Peasant Mobs, 3 Great Swords, Spearmen
Much like my first game, the hope here was to "out Dwarf the Dwarves" -- Greatswordsmen are advantaged vs. every Dwarf unit other than Longbeards, though the advantage vs. Battleaxemen is very slight. I stayed away from Swordsmen and (apart from one) Spearmen, as they'd get quickly owned by any regular Dwarf unit.
The special condition deterred me from both archers--as his units which arrived would hit really hard--and from Heavy Infantry, as the extra attack die would make offense-heavy units good relative to defensive ones. Brook had sensed this as well.
I was sad to see Pikemen across from his Crossbowmen, but in general was feeling OK, expecting a quick victory on the right while I delayed on the left and my Peasant Mobs kept his middle unit occupied for a while (I'd really been hoping that they were Longbeards.) Much Ouchy Later...
Let me try to recollect what happened. Left to right...
The threat of a pinch from my Scouts was forcing Brook to hold his units back a bit, though his Crossbowmen were vicious--not caring that they had a move-and-shoot penalty and putting Pikemen into the yellow, which ripped off their Bravery & Disrupted them after I threw an 18. This side was a major CA-drain for both of us (and I never drew The Plan
), so we fought the battle with relative few cards, though most of our line units had Bravery/Uruz. The good news was that my units totaled about 100 points less than his, so
Great Swordsmen killed Battleaxemen, but are thoroughly mauled in return. They'll flank the Crossbowmen, but the fresh Crossbowmen will finish them off.
Had we not been on a hill, my Great Swordsmen on the hill's right side would've been able to pinch the Dwarves on the hilltop, but they were only MC 1.75", so no dice. With the Dwarves on top of the hill totally fresh, my unit was doomed.
GreatSwordsmen have cleaved through Shortbeards and are mostly through the Militia, though they've been taking absolutely brutal damage back (Yes I was feeling sorry for myself.
I made a fateful error not to dump a Mettle card on my Great Swordsmen on the charge turn, fearing those Battleaxemen more if Brook had a good card like Strike. Then the Hammermen hit 8 out of 9 and did 6 damage.
My best battle was the far flank--Spearmen vs. Shortbeards. But my Spearmen couldn't hit the broad side of a short, stocky barn, doing 3 damage (one from a "Cunning") in the first 2 turns, and those Shortbeards passed their first 2 rout checks, at least one unboosted. The Last Gambit Fails
Feeling Desperate, I tried a "Hail Mary" on the left. My Scouts went twos-company on his Shortbeared and one-shooted them when they went into the red. His Crossbowmen flanked & destroyed one of the Scouts, but then the other one and my hapless Pikemen pinched the Crossbowmen. If the Crossbowmen rout, either from the pinch or from damage, I have a chance, but they held. My Pikemen are pinched and wiped out.
Battleaxemen on the hill have easly killled off my wounded Great Swordsmen.
Militia rout from my Greatswordsmen but survive. Hammermen on the right wipe out my Greatswordsmen. Then Brook sends the reformed Militia and the Hammermen to go two-company on my Greatswordsmen. I pop the Militia so that we'll be in pinch-range of my Spearmen, who at long last (8 turns later?) emerge victorious over the Shortbeareds, albeit with under half their hit points left. Then my Greatswords rout and I raise the white flag.
Brook played very well here. By restraining from super-expensive units, he kept the fights very even. Even if Greatswordsmen are slightly advantaged over Battleaxemen & Hammermen, it's probably a 55-45 or even a 52-48, meaning there's an excellent chance it goes the other way.
The grinding combat was close, and a few more command cards would've really helped either of us. In that sense, I made some maneuver errors, where better initial orders would've meant 1-2 more cards. At which point I play "Mettle" vs. those Hammermen (rather than want to save my one blue card), and that flank just might've gone differently.
I also may have overused Bravery, and needed to just accept that I'd have to roll some 11s and 12s in exchange for more cards. Certainly at least one "Brave" unit was kllled on damage alone, though I do recall Bravery making the difference between a rout and non-rout at least 3 times as it was...
Still not sure if I wouldn't have been better off with a pair of Longbowmen, either.
Anyway, that was it. Brook grabbed the "gold" dice, while I got the book.
Much thanks for Marcus for putting the event together. After running Championship twice, it was fun to finally get to play in a long event! And Marcus did an excellent job running it.
And big congratulations to Brook--New Jersy Represents!
Have a Bon Jovi video