As I mentioned yesterday my performance at Blog Wars was a little embarassing. Nonetheless I enjoyed all three games and learned a lot from the battles that I had. Here's a brief report of all three and what I took away from them.
Game One - Space Wolves vs. Orks (Darren - C&F)
So with one participant dropping out at the last minute we drafted in Darren from Claws and Fists and extremely short notice. He threw together an Ork list featuring Old Zogwort as his special character. We only started about 15 mins late which was good. The first game was Capture & Control with Spearhead deployment. Not one that traditionally makes for an exciting game.
Darren deployed and went first keeping his deffkopta, grots, meganobz and warboss in reserve. He advanced his army towards me and had a pretty typically Orky round of shooting, managing to immobilise one of my rhinos. I piled my land raider forwards and proceded to hammer him with long fang fire. I scored 4 hits with frags on one squad picking off a good chunk of orks. The rune priest lined up a jaws attack which killed a shoota boy, power klaw nob AND Old Zogwort. I was only able to stun his looted wagon though which would prove crucial. Ragnar and co. got into combat on the first turn comfortably annihilating a mob but a whopping 1" consolidation move meant I was left a little stranded. After a promising start things started to go against me.
Darren brought in his kommandos and unfortunately my long fangs held on meaning they'd be safely in combat in my turn. The stormboyz polished off a lone wolf and his warboss, mob and meganobz put out a flurry of power klaw attacks which made short work of Ragnar and his bodyguard pack. I was still feeling fairly confident as I had my land speeder in a good place to contest his objective and still had two grey hunter packs to pull back to claim mine. The rune priest tried to jaws 2 boyz, a PK nob and his warboss but all four passed their initiative tests!
Over the next couple of turns I killed off his stormboyz and kommandos and pulled a grey hunter squad back towards my objective. On the other side of the field I again failed to hurt his looted wagon and my land raider fell to power klaw attacks. Just before the final turn I lost my land speeder and with it any hope of contesting his objective. I desperately tried to pull back to my own objective but meganobz caught one squad and a looted wagon battle cannon shot found my other pack stranded. All three models failed their cover save and now my only hope for a draw was if my long fangs could make his grots (that had come on from reserve) run. Since they had a healthy cover save I could only manage to kill a couple and the game ended there 1-0. I only had a three long fangs left which mean Darren score 1,685 VPs to my 1,1170.
Hoping to wipe out enough Orks with Ragnar meant that I wasn't too worried about my objective in the early stages. Ragnar didn't do as well as I'd hoped (partly because I forgot his Warrior Born attacks - despite Gav from C&F reminding me). I should've positioned myself closer and let him come to me firing at him all the time. My land speeder should've stayed in cover the entire time and only come out to contest at the last minute.
Game Two - Space Wolves vs. CSM (Rich - Cupboard of Nurgle)
I felt pretty confident facing CSM as I've played Scott's plenty of times and I feel like I know them quite well. Unfortunately, we got Dawn of War and Annihiliation.
Thanks to the crappy deployment I struggled to find a good position for my long fangs. One squad was in cover but a bastion in the middle of the field gave them little fields of fire. The other squad ended up out in the open so they were hit hard by Rich's defiler which I struggled to take down, allowing it to survive til around turn 4.
On my left flank Rich advanced Kharn and his berserkers. I placed my land speeder right behind the rhino as bait and sure enough he disembarked to have some shots at it. He was unable to do anything thanks to the cover save but now Kharn was ripe for some heavy flaming to the face. With that and some fire from a nearby grey hunters squad I'd thinned them out nicely for my lone wolf to have a go at Kharn. He weathered the attacks and managed to get two chainfist hits on Kharn. I'd only need twos to force Rich to pass a 5+ save or suffer instant death. Brilliantly I rolled a double 1 and Kharn lived to fight on (but not until he'd killed a couple of his own).
Elsewhere Ragnar had disembarked from the redeemer ready to assault some plague marines who had parked their rhino in the open. A combination of assault cannon, krak missiles and meltagun fire could only stun the rhino leaving Ragnar stranded. If I could keep him alive I knew he could do some damage so I was pleased when Rich had an unsuccessful round of shooting. Ragnar and a handful of grey hunters charged into some plague marines and newly arrived deepstriking terminators. Ragnar single handedly killed off the plague marines after a few had succumbed to melta and bolt pistol fire. The rest of the squad killed a single terminator but were finished off by his buddies. Ragnar spent two phases trying to kill them off (I forgot Warrior Born AGAIN) but was ultimately killed with a power weapon.
On the left the grey hunters made short work of Kharn and his remaining berserkers and the remaining grey hunter squad held out against the other berserkers with help from a nearby lone wolf. One Ragnar was gone Rich was able to steamroll through my army leaving only half a pack of hunters, some lone wolves and a rhino standing at the end of turn 5.
I had some terrible dice rolls, my long fangs may as well have been Orks. Ragnar couldn't hit a barn door and Rich had some amazingly good rolls, passing tons of terminator invulnerable saves. Both of us agreed that my appauling luck was the deciding factor in the game.
For me it all game down to the snake eyes roll from the lone wolf against Kharn who then finished off the loner and not been able to pop that rhino for Ragnar to get off a full charge. The defiler survived too long but that was largely down to me wasting the land speeder on Kharn's squad. I think Rich felt pretty guilty about some of his rolling but sometimes the dice just go your way!
Game Three - Space Wolves vs. Elysians (Tim - A Guardsman's Guide to Glory)
Having barely moved up from the bottom table I was surprised to find myself up against what is essentially an IG list. Needless to say they were gorgeous models and Tim went on to share the best painted army prize. With two squads of long fangs and plenty of meltas/fists I was confident I could deal with the 6 flyers he was fielding (not sure where I'm getting this confidence mind you!). The game was Seize Ground (5 objectives) with Pitched Battle deployment.
I secured the crucial first turn and got some great positions for my long fangs. The land raider would secure the middle field and I had a rhino on each flank with a lone wolf in support. Tim only deployed a couple of vendettas, his commander in a little buggy thing and a scanner squad.
I made short work of one of the vendettas and the scanner squad (which allows one unit to re-roll to hit). Ragnar ordered his land raider forward to wipe out the survivors and proceded to kill off another squad who disembarked from the other vendetta. Tim brought on sentinels and vultures to make mincemeat of my long fangs. The vulture's twin-linked punisher cannon (20 S5 shots) easily killed off one long fang squad but the sentinels couldn't kill a single space wolf. I brought in a lone wolf to help the long fangs finish off the walkers and the long fangs returned to their positions unharmed. Ragnar and co. sat on an objective and took pot shots and the remaining vendetta.
Elsewhere one of my rhinos was destroyed and the other immobilised. The wrecked rhino meant I was forced to disembark right in front of the vultures. Luckily I was able to shake one of them with living lightning so a few grey hunters survived and made a run for the objective in the middle. My lone wolf on that side reduced a valkyrie to rubble and in the subsequent turned charged it's occupants and forced them to flee. The other valkyre came on near the surviving long fangs and struggled to kill them. The lone wolf chased the valkyrie around eventually being in position to kill a couple of the occupants and chase them off after the grey hunters had wrecked the flyer. The land raider charged back to mid field and it's assault cannons brought down a vulture (the other had lost it's punisher cannon).
At the end of my turn 5 I'd killed or was chasing off all of Tim's troops and was holding 3 objectives. Tim moved in his vulture to contest the one near the long fangs, vendetta to contest Ragnars and the last remaining grey hunter in the centre was no match for the fire from the sentinels and command vehicle. At the end of Tim's turn 5 all the objectives were either unclaimed or contested. With a turn 6 I could use my grey hunters melta fire, lone wolf and long fangs to at least kill one of the flyers and secure the win. Tim passed the dice to see if we got a turn 6 to his girlfriend who rolled a 1 sealing my fate.
My luck changed in this game with some very lucky shots on the flyers. However, Ragnar's squad and the land raider really needed to kill the other vendetta but failed ultimately costing me the game. I'd focussed on his troops but ignored the flyers' ability to contest. I can be nearly certain turn 6 would've changed that.
I think my main mistake was that when one of the rhinos was immobilised I left the grey hunters inside hoping to claim an objective late on. With their melta fire earlier they may have killed off the other valkyrie and therefore I'd have won in turn 5.
I can't really complain about my list. The lone wolves were fantastic (if a little unlucky with Kharn) and in all three games made some crucial kills. The rune priest did his job with some nice jaws and lightning attacks. Ragnar could've been a lot better if I'd remembered the Warrior Born bonus attacks but I never seem to remember them! Grey hunters are always reliable, as are long fangs.
I didn't really make the most of the land speeder in any of the games. I decided to bring it on at the start instead of deep striking it. The idea being that it would be another target and hopefully my rhinos would survive longer. I was too indecisive about it's targets. In the ork game it should've hidden and contested, in the chaos game the defiler should've been melta'd and in the final game it should've been on the other side of the table killing vultures.
I picked up a Dark Eldar Battleforce and Archon to make the most of the tournament discount so next time around I might be defecting....