Thursday, September 30, 2010

Battle Report: Wolves vs Chaos Space Marines

My "All-Comers" list gets its first trial against Scott's Chaos Space Marines. Let's see if my idea actually works! 

2000pts of Chaos Space Marines

Daemon prince with wings & Wind of Chaos

Terminators (x3) with combi-meltas

Terminators (x5) with 2x power fists, 1x chainfist, 1x pair of lightning claws (Land Raider with Daemonic Possession)

Chaos Space Marines (x9) with flamer

Khorne Berserkers (x10) (Rhino)

Thousand Sons (x6) + Aspiring Sorcerer with Wind of Chaos (Rhino)

Chaos Raptors (x5) with flamer & incl. Aspiring Champion with lightning claws

Chaos Havocs (x5) with missile launcher, autocannon, heavy bolter and lascannon

Chaos Vindicator with havoc launcher

Chaos Defiler with havoc launcher

You'll notice that in the following battle report I mention Scott using some possessed marines. This is because he deployed them thinking he'd put them in. Thankfully, they weren't really instrumental so it didn't matter too much but annoying nonetheless.

The two lists are pretty similar so it'll be interesting to see which performs best.

Deployment
We got Capture and Control with a Spearhead deployment. I got to deploy first and chose the side with some ruined buildings giving Scott the trees and arcane ruins. I stuck my land raider at the back with the two rhinos up from and the blog fangs in the middle of this triangle. The vindicator was on my right to get it in range nice and early. The scouts and land speeder were held in reserve. I chose a rock formation as my objective in the back corner of my zone.

Scott's (bonus) possessed unit rolled power weapons. He put the marines in some trees which would be his objective. His possessed and defiler were close by with the vindicator and transports up front. His raptors were close to the daemon prince so that they could keep it protected as it flew around. The 3 man terminator squad was held in reserve.

Turn 1
My transports moved forward with the grey hunters' rhino deploying smoke. Ragnars rhino was behind a bastion in the middle so I held back on the smoke. The vindicator opened fire first striking down the autocannon from the havocs. The land raider put two wounds on the daemon prince but failed to penetrate the vindicator with its lascannons. The long fangs were more successful but could only shake the vindi, sparing me for a turn. They attempted to finish off the daemon prince with the rest of their weapons but the only wound they achieved was shrugged off.

Scott's raptors and daemon prince jumped towards my grey hunters' rhino but neither cause any harm as the prince couldn't reach with his psychic attack. The defiler ripped apart my brand new vindicator with it's first shot of the game. I had a feeling things weren't going to go my way already. Luckily the havocs failed to bring down Ragnar's rhino but the terminators disembarked and assaulted it instead. It too blew up (I've never known Scott to roll soo many 6s when it counts!) taking down one of his terminators and 3 of my grey hunters!!!

Turn 2
The grey hunters piled out of the rhino and rapid-fired the raptors. Sadly, thanks to some awful rolling I only kill 2. The long fangs immobilise the vindicator (the only result I didn't want!) but the thousand sons rhino makes its cover saves.

Ragnar's grey hunters brought down a terinator with small arms fire despite the meltagun missing the target. I'm relieved to see that their Insane Bravado gives them a whopping +3 attacks. Despite a flurry of initiative 5 attacks, one terminator survives to strike back but fails his re-rolls and doesn't score a single wound. The 6 power fist attacks are more than enough to finish him off. I consolidate back into cover as Scott still has a lot of firepower out there.

Scott's land raider picks off a grey hunter and a further 4 are incinerated by the raptors since some how Scott scores 7 wounds from 9 dice!!! The daemon prince then uses his Wind of Chaos to blow a further 3 hunters away leaving just two which they finish off on the charge but only the champion is left. I'm reeling from how quickly that unit was wiped out! The havocs kill one of Ragnar's hunters.

Turn 3
I decide to bring my land speeder in to try and remove some of Scott's heavy firepower but it's first ever shot (I only just built it) misses the target leaving it pretty exposed. The land raider finishes off the daemon prince but the long fangs do absolutely nothing to the vindicator or rhino. The wolf guard in Ragnar's unit uses his melta shot to wreck the land raider which forms some handy cover. The land speeder again misses the defiler! A pretty good turn but I'm no closer to Scott's objective and it seems he's still got plenty left to stop me doing so. My only hope to capture it is if Ragnar's unit can assault through the havocs and make a charge for the marines in the trees.

Scotts raptor champion assaults the long fangs but only manages to kill the squad leader before he's taken down. He manages to miss with both pie plates and it's a similar story for the rest of his shooting. Unfortunately his rhinos are getting too close to my objective for comfort. Luckily the rest of Scott's shooting doesn't achieve much more and his possessed marines can't hit the land speeder and only manage to shake it.

Turn 4
I blast the land speeder away from Scott's troops and park it next to the vindicator. Ragnar heads towards the havocs with his squad in tow. My shooting is again shocking as the full firepower of my entire army can't destroy the thousand sons' rhino. Logan and his squad burst out of the land raider and can only wreck the rhino even though I was hoping they'd assault the unit after my shooting destroyed it.

Scott brings in his terminators from reserve but they're out of range of my land raider. The thousand sons kill three terminators with their rapid fire shooting and psychic attack (I'm beginning to hate Wind of Chaos). He doesn't achieve a lot else however only claiming one of Ragnar's squad.

Turn 5
I bring the scouts on to remove the terminators from my objective. Combined with fire support from the land raider and a flurry of Wulfen attacks I bring them down for a single Wolf Scout loss. Yet again my land speeder fails miserably to take out the defiler. The multi-melta misses it's target and miraculously the heavy flamer penetrates it's rear armour but can only stun it. Thanks to Daemonic Possession this is ignored!

Ragnar and his unit close in on the havocs and for some reason I decide to try and thin them out with small arms fire before charging in (they'll pass a morale check at Ld10 right?). Of course they run off meaning they'll trouble me no more but Ragnar's unit is stranded and nowhere near Scott's objective. Logan and the remaining terminator charge into the thousand sons leaving the sorcerer and a single follower.

Scott's defiler opens up on the stranded GHs and kills two. His possessed do nothing to the land speeder again. In the assault phase Logan finishes off the Thousand Sons but he'll have to deal with a whole horde of berserkers in the next turn.

I roll to see if we get a badly needed (for me) sixth turn and a score of 2 ends the match there.

Final result: Scott holds one objective and only my Wolf scouts are in range of mine. 1-0 to Scott!

Conclusion
So there we have it Scott's first victory at 40K. He said himself that it felt hollow as it was an objective game not annihiliation but I have to say he played it a lot better than I did. Granted I killed more of his army than he killed of mine but that isn't useful unless you can get something onto the objectives. I've learned a lot about objective games from this clash.

What went wrong then? Well to start off with I should've left Logan, his terminators and their land raider parked squarely on the objective ready to fight off any would-be contests. Instead I decided to go all out and push for his objective, hoping I could send something back to mine if needed. I never even got close to Scott's objective and having left mine unguarded it was never going to go any other way.

There were also a few more minor (but no less significant) mistakes on my part. For starters I should never have disembarked my GHs from their Rhino. This wouldn't have been so much of a problem had I focussed all my fire on the daemon prince early on. The raptors were never really likely to trouble me so I should've ignore them in favour of the prince.

In the end the defiler hurt me far more than the vindi and the myriad shots I wasted on the AV13 of the vindi would've been more damaging to the defiler. Obviously Ragnar's unit should've never shot at the havocs as I would've easily dispatched them in close combat and the resulting consolidation move should've brought me into range to contest Scotts objective.

My reserves didn't perform the function they were intended for. The land speeder should've easily destroyed one of his vehicles and then moved in to contest. The Wolf Scouts coming on near his objective could've supported the speeder in clearing the objective while Ragnar came in to claim.

I'd have been very interested to see how a further turn or two would've changed things. However, the way it was going I don't think the result was in any doubt.

So what about the matter of Scotts "free" unit of possessed marines. Well in the end they made very little difference so I can't pretend they were the reason I lost. I'll just have to keep an eye on him in future! 

PS. There's some photos to go along with this report but for some reason Blogger insists on putting them at the top instead of where I tell it so I'll try to put them in again tomorrow.

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