woensdag 3 juli 2019

Strategy Dordrecht 2019, 10th edition

Strategy Dordrecht 2019, 10th edition

This year it was the 10th annual edition of my tournament "Strategy Dordrecht".
It grew out of a need for more tournaments here in the Netherlands when around 2009 there where only three in our country: at the Ducosim convention, wich was held four times a year Albert used to organise small tournaments aimed at beginners (300-500 points) and at the Spelkwartier Arnhem (now called De Dobbelsteen) they held a regional championship "The Golden Balrog" once a year. Both still exist by the way.

Anno 2019 things have changed, particulary the last two years more tournaments have been held in The Netherlands. The Rotterdam White Scars have been organising tournaments and several newcomers like Larry's tournament and the ones Ronny has been organising in Leiden's Tafelridder.

The thing is it seems the playerbase hasn't really been growing since the inception of the new rules of our glorious game...
Many familiair faces, some newcomers but the same amount of people who leave sadly enough.
All this and some unfortunate private reasons here and there that the attendance of Strategy Dordrecht 2019 wasn't up to par, wich was 24-26, attendants this year.

Although this meant i was a wee bit less motivated i ran the tournament anyway since it was a lustrum!
Everybody got party hats (and a tournament point to earn if they wore it all day long) and there was cake offcourse.

Party hat bonanza!

Due to a last minute no show i had to play at my own tournament because i couldn't arrange a reserve player this year. I had to do this once several years ago and then i fielded 100 points less to assure i didn't win my own tournament. That wasn't really satisfactory so i decided to field a full 600 points Rohan force (Strategy is a 600 points tournament). I didn't wanted to win my own tournament because i think that's somewhat unfair due to the fact that i am also the judge and i chose the scenario's.
Playing at your own tournament is quite a pickle if you're somewhat competitive like i am...

Anyway let's get on with it!

The first round i played Michiel with his high elven force lead by Glorfindel and the sons of Elrond.
The scenario was "A clash by moonlight" wich meant that shooting had a range of 12" but had a +1 to wound.
I fielded an all mounted Rohan Eored with Theoden & Eomer leading Rohirrim and some Royal guards.

 The deployment

On two fronts i was challenging the elves to a shootout. I had more bows and maneuverability but elves tend to have better shooting skills.

Disaster struck as Glorfindel charged Theoden and slew the king of Rohan!

Michiel, elvenmaster

I was winning the shootout and lured the elves out of the woodland. Glorfindel was charging towards my lines (without his horse) and Elladan & Elrohir doing the same on my right flank.

The latter's forces where decimated by bowfire and subsequently charged by Rohirrim

Glorfindel meant business fighting my horsemen

Hi here!

Elladan & Elrohir in trouble

In the end most of the elven army fell, brought back to 25% it was a 6-0 victory for Rohan.
Michiel is a regular at my tournament, even won BPA the second edition years ago, and it was fun to finally play against him. We had laughs and good times.

Round two i faced a debutant in Dordrecht, Alex with his Mordor force lead by Gothmog and reinforced by a dreadful Mordor catapult with a troll and severed heads.
The scenario was "Capture and control": five objectives to well... capture and control.

Alex, general of Mordor

Our deployment

I feared the catapult because i fielded an all mounted force and i had some bad experiences with siege weapons.
My fear was proven right when in the second turn i lost three Rohirrim due to a dead on hit on one and two more ran off in fear of the severed heads.

I wanted to take out the catapult asap and in the centre i was threathened by Gothmog. Luckely i managed to shoot his warg quite fast.

Wargless Gothmog struggling to keep the objective

Meanwhile Eomer was charging the objective on my right flank as the catapult was being attacked by Theoden and my main force.

Eomer was rather succesful

Theoden managed to break through the densive bottleneck and took out the catapult whle the troll killed some of the Rohirrim

In the end Rohan controlled three objectives and Mordor just one and it was a 7-2 victory on my behalf.
Alex played well i think, maybe he should have focused on the objectives more than keeping me from the catapult.
We had a good time and it was a pleasant encounter.


Here are some photo's from another match; Teun vs Ronny.
In this match both fellbeast where annihalated!

After the cake the third and final round of the tournament began. I decided to take myself out of the equation and didn't play for the win. Instead i had a battle with the nestor of the day so we could have an "old geeks showdown".

Dick-Jan, my worthy opponent

DJ, fielded his trusty dwarven force consisting of a variety of well armoured bearded ones lead by Durin himself.
We played "Contest of champions" wich meant only kills by ones leader scored victory points. And Durin with his mighty axe and D9 was somewhat scary i reckoned.

The set-up

I stubbornly tried to pull-off the same shooty stunt i did before but gainst the superior armour of the dwarvenkind it didn't really make a dent (pun intended)

Because this obviously didn't work i tried the gung-ho Theoden kill-steal approach. Wich worked rather well and got me a 2-0 lead.

After the bold attack i returned to panzy mode and avoided the dwarfs as much as possible even killing of a rare dwarf with a potshot here and there

I took full advantage of my maneuverability versus the somewhat slow and small action radius of my opponent and forced them into a cornerned position

Taking some risk so Durin also got a kill

This seemed to be worth it as Theoden, king of Rohan teamed up with Eomer, marshall of the Riddermark and wreaked havoc amongst the dwarven lines

On the other side of the encirclement Durin was kept busey. Some Rohirrim fell but overall it seemed an healthy trade-off in my perspective

Dwarves in a pickle

Durin, lord of Moria even got charged by my dynamic duo

This crappy photo depicts the epic battle that ensued.
Durin fell at the hands of Eomer...

This heroic stand of the last three dwarves was the end of it 

We had a jolly good game as the old chaps we are. It's always a pleasure to play Dick-Jan, who is a very good sport.

After all this wargaming violence it was time for the awards ceremony of the 10th annual Strategy Dordrecht.
First the Best Painted Army (BPA) was announced. For the first time only two armies got votes and most of those votes went, well deserved, to the magnificently painted Fellowship army of Niek.

Niek's "Breaking of the Fellowhip" army thematically set up next to an Amon-Hen scenery piece

BPA 2019 winner Niek van Waveren
(the prize was a, since 2005 OOP, metal orc archer)

And finally tensions rose as the overall winner was declared.

Jeroen Felix was the winner of Strategy Dordrecht 2019 with his "Return of the King" army with Aragorn, offcourse leading the Army of the Dead from Dunharg

Jeroen managed to win BPA once (or twice?) in the past and now got the other trophy as well! Chapeau!

Well, i was somewhat less motivated this time due to a lower attendance and soe very late cancellations but we managed to make it as "gezellig" (yes you, google that) as always.
Wich is rather splendid and the primary goal for me as the TO.

I would like to thank all participants for making it a fun day and maybe untill next year.

maandag 8 april 2019

Tournament Tafelridder Leiden April 2019

Tournament Tafelridder Leiden April 2019

Last weekend i went to Leiden where my friend Ronny Kost organised a 750 points MESBG tournament for the 2nd time at the Tafelridder (great gaming venue and shop).

After two consecutive tournaments of not reaching the top three and feeling i didn't really got 'my game on' since the new edition (okay, top three in Antwerp in December and won the doubles in The Hague with Ronny, but still...) i thought about a radical change.
Although people have stated that after hurl, magic and Nazgul being nerfed, the Flying circus armylist (all Nazgul on fellbeasts) wasn't that good anymore i chose to play it anyway.
I didn't play Flying circus in a wee bit more than a year now and having a busey work/study and familylife i only managed to practice once, the day before the tournament and i lost that teat run on the Capture & Control scenario vs a Fiefdoms list.

Enough of that and on to the tournament.

As i said i fielded the flying circus consisting of: The Witch King (WiKi) on armoured fellbeast with the crown of Morgul (3-19-3), Khamul, Shadowlord and the Undying.
The first round we played Fog of War (protect a  hero other than your general, capture a terrainpiece on the other side and trying to prevent your opponent from doing the same but both are unknown to eachother).
My opponent was Armand, who brought with him the legendary legion of The Return of the King meaning warriors of he dead and their king of the dead and offcourse Gimli, Legolas and Aragorn. Aragorn who counted as a banner and having Anduril for free. The king of the dead caused -1C due to the Harbinger of Evil special rule.

Armand's set up

And mine

My opponent, Armand

I had chosen the Undying to protect, Legolas to kill and a hill with ruins to the left to claim as my objectives.
Legolas was hiding, as a pointy ears type of fellow, behind the bushes and Armand's army and my flapping force closed in on eachother.
I sapped Gimli and cast a Black dart on him as a diversion.

Soon Legolas was threatened and attacked by some winged wraiths

And dealt with

In the meantime some warriors of the dead where heading to my side to claim a terrainpiece while the King of the dead, Gimli and Aragorn speeded to my forces in a vain attempt to rescue the pointy eared elven prince

I casted some spells on my opponents forces from a distance

Compelled some to come near and charged them with Khamul and the Undying

Several times... Although this meant Aragorn was closing in (i wanted to break his force for extra victory points (VP's))

On the other side of the battlefield the Shadowlord and the WiKi Black darted and compelled some warriors of the dead out of their supposed objective

Aragorn managed to charge the Undying

Who had enough will as fate left to prevent harm done to him

In the end i claimed all my objectives and denied his terrainpiece objective

The only thing i should have done differently is maybe taking the cjance on the Undying but then again it did work out well.
The result was a 12-3 victory for Mordor, Armand had wisely chosen Gimli to protect.

It was a good match and good fun too playing the Flying circus again and i do love it when a plan comes together.
Armand was a new opponent to me and it was a pleasure getting to know him.

My lovely wife made me a bentobox so lunch was good

During the lunchbreak people where given the opportunity to vote for best painted army (BPA).
Here are some of the contending armies:

Lars' Fiefdoms

Dirk's Rivendel army

Some douchebag's flying circus (photo went blurry due to cheesyness i reckon)

Larry's Mordor powerhouse

Stefan's Mirkwood army

Durk's Return of the King legendary legion

Next round was Captured & Control, the scenario i was least confident about and i thought i would be happy acquiring a draw since 5 objectives to claim with 4 models is a challenge versus an opponent who would likely be fielding lots of models more than me.

My opponent would be Durk, who i have played numerous times and was a two times European Team Championship teammate.
He brought with him almost the same army i encountered in round one! (Save for Gimli)
Well then, that doesn't happen everyday...

Plus point was, he didn't have a horde army to hold the objectives on the other hand facing Aragorn again was exciting.
Rending the warriors of the dead worked well last match (striking on S instead of D8, rolling a mere 3) so i intended to carry on doing just that.


Both our deployments in and/or near the centre

In the centre warriors of the dead closed in on my flying terrors trying to steal one of my objectives and defending the central one while capturing one in his rear

On the left flank the WiKi and the Undying where capturing an objecting while Aragorn and his pale looking friends closed in

My Nazgul moved all over the place to disrupt the plans of my opponent while sapping Aragorn. This with giving up my objectives

Some weird chap

The objective on the left flank got captured again and Aragorn got Black darted to death

And the one on my side also got reclaimed

In an attempt to reach yet another objective the Undying got shot at by Legolas and stormed by warriors of the dead

And, striking on C instead of D6 the Undying's fellbeast was slain

The Undying fought for his unlife and the WiKi defended the left objective

Khamul was fought for his objective

Trying to reach yet another objective the Shadowlord was charged by the King of the dead but survived

In the last turn in a well placed heroic combat Khamul reached the central objective claiming one more and winning the game for sure

  • While being happy with a possible draw my plan to dominate the battlefield ultimately worked out just the way as i imagined it and ended up with a 8-4 victory.

I must say the Dicegods smiled upon mebut hey that's part of the game i reckon.
Durk played well and i don't know how he should have played it otherwise.
As allways it was an exciting game playing him and we even had some shits and giggles.

An impression of the tournament

I didn't complain after two rounds everything looked rather peachy.
Next and last stop was Lords of Battle... When looking at the rulespack this seemed like a giveaway for the Flying circus. Scoring more wounds than your opponent while having 4 models with a total of 16 wounds myself with D6 (D7 on the WiKi's fellbeast) and D8 on the Nazgul was looking like a good prospect.

I faced Stefan, who had beaten me last time at the Golden Balrog Arnhem, with his shooty Mirkwood force lead by Thranduil on elk and supported by Legolas and Tauriel.
Vengeance had to be had for Mordor!

Stefan's set up ended in the most densely overpopulated forest in Middle-Earth
He chose to dismount Thranduil's elk to not having to been seen by the flying ringwraiths... something we debated in the train home.

My flip-flop-flapping army behind a forest

Stefan, master of Mirkwood

I had to score at least one wound so in the first turn, under cover of the Shadow Lord's Pall of Darkness, i killed one woodelf

And flew away after that

This forced the elven army to leave their comfortable wooden stronghold

And my army hiding behind a hill. Stefan was very happy with that

Thranduil and his happy little treefriends where marching towards the hill

Shooting away but without any effect due to having to roll 6 to hit and an in the way roll of 5-6 and when finally hitting having to roll a 6 or 6/4 or 6/5 to wound.

Thranduil and his palace guards hid behind a tree and i threatened to fly onwards

Resulting in him having to break up some of his units 

And me killing off another elf with Black dart

After whitch the Nazgul hid behind the hill again

This game of hide and seek continued for a very long time and in the end i killed 7 elves and Stefan managed to score one wound on the Shadowlord's fellbeast.
For give and take 16 turns we played the Elves had an average of around 20+ shots one wounded..
That's just ludicrous...

This was my view during alot of these turns

In my point of view it was a very effective game winning with 7-0 but it wasn't really fun for the both of us. I had to contraint myself in going gung-ho charging the elves for the epicness and fun of it and for Stefan it was quite frustrating being sniped and shooting that much without effect.

Let's play that fluffy game soon at my home, Stefan!

Okay, time for the award ceremonies then.
First off was the BPA award that went to Lars and his Fiefdom army showed before

And the top three of the tournament with yours truly winning it and Larry as first runner up (Ronny didn't go for the prizes as organiser)

Well, it seems the Flying circus still works. I endured five wounds with one fellbeast killed without any Nazgul falling (a wee bit lucky okay) in three matches.

Had a great day and many thanks to my opponents, everybody who attended, Ronny Kost for organising and judging and Rober from De Tafelridder Leiden for being our host. 

And thank you offcourse for reading my blog!

Strategy Dordrecht 2019, 10th edition

Strategy Dordrecht 2019, 10th edition This year it was the 10th annual edition of my tournament "Strategy Dordrecht". It gr...