Sorry for the short absence, the reason for this being that I have had literally nothing to talk about over that period of time. And now we enter the main thrust of the Throne of Skulls preparation season. My first game of this period of time came today, against a Raven Guard army. I can't really remember the army exactly but an approximate list of what my opponent had can be seen below.
Shrike, a Chaplain, a squad of Terminators with a Sergeant with Power Weapon. 10 Assault Marines, a 10 man Tactical squad with a Sergeant with a Power Weapon and Rhino, a 10 man Tactical Squad with a Meltagun, Plasma Pistol and Krak Grenades, a Venerable Dreadnought with a Twin-Linked Lascannon, a Predator with Heavy Bolter Sponsons and Autocannon and a Devastator Squad with 4 Missile Launchers. There.
We rolled for mission and got Dawn of War, Annihilation. This was possibly the worst combination that I could have hoped for, I know I can out shoot this army, so ideally I would have wanted to start my Long Fangs on the field ready to lay down some fire, now that that is not a possibility I will have to roll on first turn and set up getting ready for the second turn.
I won the roll off for first turn but gave it to my opponent. Looking back on it I'm pretty certain that I made a mistake here. What I was thinking was that when Shrikes squad came on from outflank I would be able to bring on my scout squads behind and jump on it with the scout squads and maybe a Grey Hunter pack. But this would have depended upon my reserve rolls and such a gamble is silly.
He deployed his Rhino full of Tac marines, and I was left to deploy my Rhino full of Grey Hunters, with my main Rune Priest being inside it (the first ToS prep thread for my list).
The first turn set the tone for the entire game really, in fact, you could probably sum it up in the first shot. My opponent rolls his whole army on with the exception of Shrike, the Chaplain and the Assault marines (which he has formed into a kind of hammer unit). He then proceeds to fire his Predator's Autocannon at my lone Rhino. Both shots hit, both shots penetrate, I fail both cover saves (as I parked it supposedly safely behind a building) and the Rhino is wrecked, thankfully, I'm not pinned, so at least there was a bonus.
I'll just break the game down in terms of kill points now with a few bits of craziness thrown in. My opponents Devastator squad managed to get 2 kill points and not die, although neither of these kill points were achieved through shooting, I ran my 2 squads of Wolf Scouts behind them with the intention of munching on the Devastators and then overrunning into a big section of my opponents army, one squad of scouts came on on turn 2 along the side board edge thanks to a 1 but still managed to charge the Devs, whilst the others came on the next turn and blew up the Predator before turning their attention to the Devs the turn after. The Devastators then proceeded to beat up both squads of scouts, losing only 3 of their number the entire game.
The Tac squad jumped out of their Rhino and munched on a squad of Long Fangs, only for the 2nd Rune Priest and his buddies to jump out of their Rhino and mince them in return. My Dreadnought came down first turn and proceeded to blow apart said Rhino after my main Rune Priest failed to hurt it with Living Lightning, only to be bashed around by the Venerable Dreadnought, the Drop Pod being ignored and surviing until the end of the game. One of the Long Fangs blew both arms off the Vendread later on but counted as a kill point after running away from another somehow crazy squad of Tac marines who showed them who was boss in close combat.
The Rune Priest and his Grey Hunters squad did ok. They came close to felling a Terminator squad, the Rune Priest and his remaining Grey Hunters had 1 turn to kill a single Terminator, failed, got punched until only the Rune Priest and a lone Grey Hunter remained. The started running, but got far enough to rally and shoot the Terminator in the face with a Bolt Pistol, which somehow did kill him were power weapons and mounds of attacks failed.
The tipping point of the game was the assault squad arriving, and nothing I could do could seem to stop them. To just give you some perspective, they came on, blew up my Rhino full of Grey Hunters, of which Shrike killed 5 by himself, I roll for my 15 attacks, 2 hits, no wounds......great. This trend continued as they then proceeded to eat the Grey Hunters squad, a pack of Long Fangs, another Grey Hunters squad and a Rune Priest. My attacks were just bouncing off them, as was my shooting and psychic powers, Murderous Hurricane, a Grey Hunters squad and a pack of Long Fangs failed to do anything to that squad in an attempt to fend them off after eating the Grey Hunters squad, including the dangerous terrain move. I did manage to single out the Chaplain and kill him though, which was a pleasant bonus.
Now, I very rarely blame the dice in games of 40k, and yes, there were mistakes that I made in that game, but if my dice had been just average, I reckon that that would have been an entirely different game. I'm not bitter about the game at all, my opponent played well, and I made some mistakes as I still have teething issues with that army, so he probably deserved a win, but in the end I slumped to a 9-4 defeat. It was a fun game though, we had a good laugh about my dice and I learnt a lot more about playing Space Wolves. But hey, a defeat is a defeat, everyone loses a game once in a while, and all you can do is pick yourself up from it and move on. Speaking of which, I have a practice game lined up next Thursday, against Draigowing. Should be interesting.