Monday, 17 June 2013

Cry of the Wind Tournament Report - Game 2

I spent the lunch break eating burritos with the friend that I went to the tournament with. He had just faced the Dark Eldar list that I really didn't want to face. The guy who was running it thought that facing my army wouldn't be as clear cut as I thought it would be, however I remember the last time I faced this kind of army, when I first met Nathan at Battlefield Birmingham (I was tabled turn 4). All the Dark Eldar player would have to do would be to kill my Long Fangs then sit at 36" range sipping tea and shooting things. In addition, we had both scored 9 points in our previous game, so I knew that a showdown was highly likely.

Luckily however, we were joint for 2nd place at the time, meaning that one of us would have to fight it out against a Wraithwing army on table 1. This meant that I would not be facing Dark Eldar this round. Instead, Space Wolves with Allies. Almost a mirror match, Vanguard Strike deployment, the Emperor's Will mission.

My opponent was using a combination of  Space Wolves with Dark Angel allies. His exact list was a Rune Priest, a squad of 15 Blood Claws in a Land Raider, and then his list more resembled a 5th edition MSU Wolves list, with 4 Assault Cannon Razorbacks with 6 Grey Hunters with Wolfen and Meltagun, plus 2 individual thindercav. In his Dark Angels contingent he had a Librarian, a squad of Scouts with camo cloaks (so no shortage of troops) and a squad of Devastators with 4 Missiles with Flakk.

Psychic powers wise, both my Rune Priests got Prescience and Precognition, whilst the Primaris got some crap that I can't remember.

He won the roll off for deployment zones and then the roll off for first turn, which he gave to me. Night Fighting was up.

In terms of strategy, First Blood was critical, which is why I believed giving me first turn to be a mistake, as my opponent was unlikely to get to my objective as I could just stack my Guard blob around it, which I promptly did, his only chance being getting the Blood Claws into it, with Prescience up.

I deployed the Long Fangs and Rhinos up to my deployment zone, but stayed at least 6" away in case I was seized again, didn't want too many Assault Cannons on me.

He set his Scouts on his objective, with a Razorback with Grey Hunters behind to counter should I get too close. He then placed his Land Raider with the Blood Claws and Rune Priest in it, with the 2 Thundercav, the Devastators with the Librarian in an adjacent ruin, and one of the Razorbacks on my right. The other Razorback went opposite my Rhino on the left and the other opposite the Rhino in the centre. Heads up, the terrain was pretty dense.

He attempts to seize, but fails. I go for it, aggressive style, the Lone Wolves run up behind 2 seperate buildings, one on the right to slow down his hammers, and one on the left should things get ugly. The leftmost Rhino scootches up to get into range to get its searchlight off, and I forget to Deep Strike my Drop Pod which is hiding under the table (top quality play folks!), so we agree to put it into ongoing reserves.

All I need to do is fire some things, run the leftmost Lone Wolf into his Deployment Zone incase he also gets Linebreaker and it's game. The Manticore fires a Thunderwolf Cavalry, hitting the 2 squads and the Land Raider, although its second shell scatters onto the Land Raider only. These 2 proceed to glance and penetrate it, stripping it of half its Hull Points, but even better, they immobilise it, making it much harder for him to get me off my objective. As for the Thunderwolves, I fail to wound both of them. Ouch. A successful wound and failed save would have meant dead puppies, not unlikely with 2s to wound.

No matter, I still have more things. I light up the left Razorback, the Long Fangs fire at it, I penetrate it once and stun it. End of shooting phase. Oh dear.

My opponent starts running  his left flank up with his Land Raider now immobile, the Blood Claws get out and charge up behind the Thunderwolves. The Razorbacks shuffle around a bit, but the real kicker is that the stunned Razorback shoots my Rhino, and despite having a 4+ cover save for a ruin, he kills it for First Blood. I'm in trouble.

Change of plan, my opponent now has First Blood, and I can't rely on slaughtering his entire army due to there being so many different targets to prevent him from getting Linebreaker too, especially with him having the 2nd turn jump. Therefore, I need to contest his objective.

This does not begin well, as the Grey Hunters from the exploded Rhino are pinned. The Lone Wolves however are on the case, the left one attempting to make a charge at a Razorback to get the extra movement, but failing, the right one ignoring the hammers, leaving them to the blob and other Grey Hunters, and charging up himself. The Long Fangs glance some stuff, killing the offending First Blood Rhino, and the Manticore pummells the Blood Claws and kills one of the Thunderwolf Cavalry (a turn too late sir). The Drop Pod comes in, shoots at the Scouts but to no avail.

In my opponents turn, his remaining Cavalry charges my Rhino, and kills it, spilling out Grey Hunters, who are also pinned. His Blood Claws continue to push up without their Transport, with a squad of Grey Hunters piling out of a Razorback behind to refill their numbers. A few Grey Hunters are killed in the Drop Podding squad, reducing them to 4, but the Morale check is passed.

My turn 3. The 4 Grey Hunters charge the scouts, killing 1 but remaining locked in combat. The leftmost Grey Hunters move forward, but due to a terrible difficult terrain roll look unlikely to make the charge and so shoot the newly disembarked squad instead. The Lone Wolf on the left moving around the side of the building and the rightmost one starting to get close now (I should clarify, my opponent has been shooting them, I'm just making saves). The Grey Hunters on the right shoot the Thunderwolf, and kill it despite snap firing. The blob and the Manticore severely strip down the numbers of the Blood Claws, leaving only a couple and the Rune Priest left.

Opposing Turn 3. The Rune Priest bails from the Blood Claws and dives into the Grey Hunters. The Blood Claws attempt a charge against the Grey Hunters but fail, although the Wolf Banner is wasted in the process. It's pretty much a cert that I'm going to hold my objective now, as I still have the Platoon Command Squad even if he pulls the blob off it. Razorbacks shoot some Long Fangs, reducing a pack to 1 Missile remaining. The Scouts finish off the Grey Hunters on the opposing objective.
The Lone Wolves charge in to save the day

Turn 4. The Lone Wolves pile in, one into the Scouts the other into the Grey Hunters, at this point the Hunters manage to finally put a wound on a guy whose objective is to die a Glorious Death. The remaining Blood Claws are cut down whilst the Grey Hunters behind lose a couple of their number and my Grey Hunters move in for the charge. Meanwhile, on the left flank, the other Grey Hunter squad charges another Grey Hunter pack, winning combat but remaining locked in. This is while the previous Grey Hunter squad loses combat but only slightly. A Grey Hunter pack piles out of his remaining full Razorback ready to charge.

Opposing turn, we stay locked in combat on all fronts bar one. The Lone Wolf kills the Scout squad and gets ready to pile into the remaining Grey Hunter pack on the objective, although it is already contested and has been since the combats started. A number of Grey Hunters are killed by Long Fangs and Guardsmen, leaving just the Wolfen.

In my turn more combats start to end. The Grey Hunter combats both finish, the one on the left with my Grey Hunters victorious, who immediately consolidate towards my opponent's objective, the one on the right his, consolidating towards the blob. The Lone Wolf charges into the Grey Hunters and they're all killed, leaving his objective Troop free.

Opposing turn 5. The Wolfen charges into the blob, who swiftly shoot him in the face, but he takes the shots for the Grey Hunters and Rune Priest piling in behind, who are all killed in close combat giving me Slay the Warlord. Devastators and a Razorback shoot one of the Lone Wolves to no avail.

The game carries on. The Lone Wolves charge a Razorback and kill it, and the remainder of his force shoot Guardsmen for a turn, until we run out of time and the game ends.

In short, I won the game 5-1. Again, it was an enjoyable game and really dicey for periods, especially after I lost that First Blood, but once I got the Lone Wolves onto his objective it was pretty much game. In the end he had 2 Razorbacks, 1 immobilised and 1 on a single Hull Point, an Immobilised Land Raider with 2 Hull Points and a pack of Devastators with a wounded Librarian left.

Unlucky to my opponent though, by rights he probably should have killed one of the Lone Wolves as they wandered across the field, but he was a great sport and I'd love to play him again.

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