Having wandered round assessing the competition we decided we didn't like the idea of fighting an IG army or eldar with a bike council so we were pleasantly surprised when we found ourselves drawn against a couple of really nice guys (who's names escape me - sorry) playing Wolves and Salamanders. I can't remember a proper turn by turn (as I didn't have time to take notes). Now they only had a laminated copy of the Wolves list and I think they must've taken back the Salamanders one so I'll try and remember what they had:
750pts of Wolves
Wolf Lord on Thunderwolf mount (storm shield, wolf claw, 2 fen wolves)
2x 5 Grey Hunters (power fist, meltagun)
2x Razorback (twin-las)
2x Thunderwolf cavalry (storm shield, thunder hammer)
750pts of Salamanders
Librarian (Might of the Ancients, The Avenger)
Dreadnought (heavy flamer)
2x Tactical Squad (full strength, meltagun/flamer, missile launcher/multimelta)
(I know these don't necessarily add up to 1500pts but I'm trying to piece it together from photos and what I remember - you get the idea anyway)
The librarian would go with one of the grey hunter squads but the judges ruled he'd have to be placed next to the transport and join the squad in the first turn (which seemed to make no difference at all).
The first mission was Cleanse from the 4th edition rulebook. For those not familiar with it essentially you have to have a scoring unit of yours in table quarter without a scoring unit from the other side. In this tournament both troops AND fast attack were scoring.
We won the roll off and elected to go first picking the quarter with the sky shield pad as a nice spot to place our long fangs. The assault squads joined them on the pad with the rhinos in each corner of the zone and the razorback tucked in near the feet of the pad. Our opponents deployed most of their army behind a large building which would make our firing very difficult. The two razorbacks and dread were deployed over to our left in order to come in and claim a quarter.
We started by advancing the rune priests rhino up the right flank and having him cast living lightning on the thunderwolves. This resulted in one dead fen wolf and a wound on one of the cavalry. The long fangs had a very restricted view of the field which meant that only one of the missile launchers could pick out a target. He fired off a krak missile at the vindicator and to start off our first tournament in style he blew it up with the maximum blast radius. This put another wound on the wolves (not bad for a guy I only built a few days before). The blood angels advanced towards the building with Mephiston using his wings to keep up. With the vindicator dead their feel no pain would be very useful. The rhino on the left advanced into the nearby quarter and popped smoke.
Our opponents razorbacks and dread advanced forward blowing up the smoked rhino but failing to do damage to the razorback which passed it's cover save. The rhinos advanced whilst the thunderwolves drew back ready to make a devastating counter charge should anything hit the tac squads.
Sure enough the rune priest fired off another burst of lightning blowing up the rhino and forcing the occupants to disembark. One of the assault squads charged in killing all but a couple of marines. Mephiston and the other squad jumped around the other side of the building to help with the inevitable charge from the wolves. The grey hunters moved into the cover of some nearby ruins as the fled their burning transport.
The remaining salamanders held the assault marines in combat whilst the might wolves charged in. They did so with such a ferocity that over half of the assault squad was cut down. Their glory was short lived however as Mephiston added some powerful S10 attacks to the mix instantly killing off the riders. The remaining. The other assault squad attempted to de-mech the remaining tactical squad but they failed and the rhino's occupants disembarked unleashing a torrent of rapid fire and a blast of flame.
Elsewhere the long fangs were having difficulty seeing targets which meant they only managed to pop one of the razorbacks (with the librarian in). The dreadnought advanced on the grey hunters in the ruins but luckily it couldn't make it into the terrain to charge. The grey hunters charged out of the ruins and with help from the long fangs they ripped the close combat arm from the dreadnought but not without it taking a heavy toll on their number. The librarian and his squad weathered fire from the long fangs and rune priest.
The remaining members of the assault squad that had been in combat with the wolves tried to make a move towards the razorback. Mephiston had to charge the other tactical squad when his brethren lost out badly in combat forcing them to flee. Mephiston wiped out the remaining marines but the assault marines were already fleeing. They made it as far as the grey hunters in combat with the dread but fell victim to the Avenger from the librarian which it was decided could fire through the combat at the blood angels meaning it claimed the lives of a couple of grey hunters.
With time running short we were forced to end after turn 4 so we frantically played on. Our opponents grey hunters charged in to help out the dread and by some miracle they failed to finish them off. A sole grey hunter was left standing in combat with both.
Final result: Our rune priest held a quarter uncontested, the long fangs were alone in their quarter but could not claim it and the other two were contested (thanks to the hardy grey hunter). This gave us a 1-0 win! After adding up victory points were had a difference of more than 500 netting us a further 3 battle points.
With the vindicator and thunderwolves falling early on in the game it looked like it might be a lot easier than it turned out to be. The tactical squads really held on well, with help from some poor rolling by Matt, which slowed up the blood angels considerably. We were very lucky that their grey hunters missed with their power fist and that I rolled well on the armour save for the remaining member of my GH pack. Had he fallen it would've been a draw.
Mephiston was absolutely vital in killing off the thunderwolves and mopping up the tactical squads. Without him both assault marine teams would've been dead far earlier and if the wolves hadn't died they'd have hurt him with their thunder hammer/power weapons. It was certainly the blood angels that did most of the work. I think the early kills made us a bit too complacent which meant we didn't think about our tactics enough. My grey hunters got stranded on the left and weren't in range to shoot anything. I didn't really want to move them out of the ruins as they'd be hard to kill off if they stayed. It's a shame I couldn't kill the dread (my meltagun missed of course!) as it was really deadly in combat.
I think our only real mistake was having that other rhino so far from the mix. It meant the only contribution they made came from the rune priest. Granted they scored us the table quarter but the fight might have been different if we'd been more agressive with them. Having said that they didn't use their razorbacks to great effect. I think that's the difficulty of having assault troops in them. You get torn between keeping the tank safe, so it can fire off the lascannons at meaty targets, and getting them forward so that your grey hunters can get stuck into the enemy.
Our opponents went on to finish second in the tournament so we were well pleased with this win.