Round two saw two battles with Space Wolves fighting each other. One involved Dave Symcox (40KUK) against Bradimus Prime (from Sons). The other was John Holland (MC Tic Tac) against myself.
Being tournament organiser I'd been able to look through all the lists beforehand so I knew there were a few I was going to struggle against. One of these was John's:
9 Wolf Scouts w/ Melta
4 Wolf Guard (PF/CM)
2x 9 Grey Hunters (melta) in Rhinos
1x 8 Grey Hunters (melta) in Rhino
1x 5 Grey Hunters (flamer) in Razorback (HB)
2x Land Speeders (HF/MM)
3x 6 Long Fangs (5 MLs each)
Essentially the most solid units out of the codex with Njal tacked on to conform to the compulsory SC rule! Very few armies could stand up to 15 krak missiles a turn and mine is no exception.
This mission was Cleanse from the 4th edition book with Spearhead deployment from the 5th ed. John won the roll off and deployed in his quarter. All of his hunters were out of their transports and the quarter was packed so that I'd have a hard time dropping Arjac anywhere useful. In my quarter was one of Maelstrom's "mega-bastions" which essentially was a huge line of sight blocker that we'd decided should be impassable.
I deployed most of my units in forward positions. I hid my land speeder and on the rhinos behind the bastion in order to do some last turn contesting and claiming. John's first turn wasn't exceptional as he could only kill a couple of long fangs and stun the rune priest's rhino. My turn was similarly poor. Arjac's pod scattered away from their target long fang pack meaning the hammer was out of range and the pod wasn't in the home quarter. The long fangs passed most of their saves and only the squad leader died. I managed to wreck the razorback though. The mobile rhino moved into the otherwise empty quarter and popped smoke. I hoped that this unit would draw a lot of John's fire in the game but sadly they were largely ignored.
John's second turn saw pretty much his entire army turn their attention to Arjac and his hunters. Suffice to say that amount of fire left Arjac on his own. I then proceeded to feed John units from my army over the next few turns with each being cut down before doing any real damage. The long fangs dealt with his land speeders nice and early on but I probably should've charged them with my TWC instead to bring them further up the field (they'd managed to run 1" twice!).
After surviving a bit more fire with a single wound left Arjac was eventually killed with a single lightning bolt from Njal which vapourised him when he failed his 2+ save! The wolf scouts came in and engaged a long fangs pack. The long fangs very nearly won the combat (killing 3 scouts) but the wolf guard's fist put pay to that. This did however mean that they were out in the open and easily incinerated by my land speeder over a couple of turns. The only TWC to make it to John's lines was the power fist who charged into combat but died before striking!
At the end of turn 5 I'd still got my drop pod in the quarter to my left. I blasted my land speeder into John's home quarter to contest it. With my quarter empty apart from long fangs and the remaining quarter contested by rival grey hunters it would've been a draw. Sadly, we got a turn 6. John's firepower easily finished off my drop pod and speeder and he drove one of his rhinos into the quarter with my grey hunters in. The grey hunters therefore had to kill both the squad and the rhino and since they were out of range for combat they had no choice but to just go for the squad with rapid fire. They finished them off but the rhino was out of sight of my long fangs so it contested their objective. This gave John a 2-0 win and with 1,441 VPs to my 729 he claimed another 2 TPs to give him half of the 10 available.
It wasn't the most enjoyable game I've had but then losing when playing badly rarely is. I could've really done with the first turn though so that I'd have been able to get into his lines ASAP. I had quite a lot of bad luck particularly with my thunderwolves saves. I also wasted one of my grey hunter packs by sticking them in a quarter which ended up being contested in the end! Turn 6 was the problem in both of the first two games with Frank winning because of no turn 6 and John winning because we got a turn 6!
In general, I got it all wrong from the start. John's army has far more fire power than mine does since I rely heavily on close combat. Therefore charging into him would always be difficult. However, my army is faster than his so I thought I'd still get to him with enough of it intact to do some damage. I therefore deployed fairly aggressively but with enough of my stuff behind the bastion for protection. What I should've done is put EVERYTHING behind it so that his long fangs would be wasting their time for a few turns. He'd then have to come for me and in an ideal world I could've used my long fangs to bring down his transports and mopped up the occupants with my TWC. If he'd held tight then his only option for contesting my quarter and stopping a draw would be his scouts which are easily dealt with. I'd have my land speeder and drop pod though which could've contested his "home" quarter.
Tomorrow my final battle against Blood Angels and a lot more positivity!