Jamie had been wanting to get a 3K game in against my wolves for a while and we finally got round to it on Saturday. I put my list together without knowing what Jamie was taking. Since it was a lot higher point level than I'm used to I decided I ought to have a few toys in there....
3,000pts of Space Wolves
Rune Priest (Chooser, Jaws, Murderous Hurricane)
Thunderlord (thunderwolf mount, storm shield, claw, Saga of the Bear, Runic Armour)
3x Wolf guard (combi-melta & PF)
5 Wolf Guard (Arjac Rockfist, 2x TDA w/ claw & combi-melta 2x TDA w/ claw & combi plasma)
Land Raider Redeemer (multi-melta)
3x 8 Grey Hunters (melta, standard, MotW, one squad with power weapon)
4 TWC (shield, fist, melta bomb)
Land Speeder (MM/HF)
6x Long Fangs (4xML & 1xLas)
5x Long Fangs (4xML)
Land Raider (Godhammer)
So some nasty deathstars from Logan/Arjac + terminators, Ragnar and his grey hunters and of course the TWC. From a fluffy perspective I suppose Ragnar should be with blood claws but meh.
Jamie showed up and I caught sight of the Dark Angels codex. I've never played them before but having read a couple of the SW novels I've been keen to play them as there's a long running rivalry between the two chapters. Jamie had Belial and interrogator chaplain with termies in a crusader, 2x 5 termies deep striking in and another land raider with veterans in. Elsewhere he had a vindicator, command squad in a razorback, landspeeder typhoon, ravenwing bikers and a couple of dreads.
We rolled Pitched Battle and Annihilation. Jamie won the roll off and deployed fairly centrally with the vindicator, razorback and one of the dreads on my left and the two raiders, the other dread and the bikers on the right. The two 5-man terminator squads would deep strike in.
I shoved Ragnar's land raider on my left flank with a pack of long fangs in a crater, the thunderwolves on my right flank and the two rhinos in front of Logan's land raider in the centre.
Jamie made his scout move with his ravenwing bikers. This landed them right in front of one of the rhinos and frankly I'd forgotten they could do that! He began his first turn by dropping in one of the terminator squads right in front of my long fangs.The terminators opened up on the long fangs but could only kill the squad leader. The bikes, tried to pop one of the rhinos but could only blast off the storm bolter. With help from the dreads the rhino exploded revealing the rune priest's pack. The vindicator scored a direct hit but could only immobilise the other rhino. The other dread fired at the long fangs but they made their cover saves. The land raiders could only rip the twin assault cannons from Logan's land raider. The bikers charged in on the grey hunter pack and thanks to poor deployment by me, Jamie managed to get the power weapon on my rune priest. He managed to get 2 hits through and a double 6 killed off the priest. The squad struck back with inspiration from the wolf standard and wiped out the bikers.
Logan's land raider revved up and delivered the Great Wolf and his terminators right in front of the DA terminators. The combi-plasmas from the squad helped thin it out before Logan charged in and took on the survivors without need of help from his wolf guard. Elsewhere the lascannons on Ragnar's raider managed to shake the vindicator and the long fang packs blew up a dreadnought each.
A second squad of terminators dropped in. The DA land raiders surged forward with the veterans charging the thunderwolves and Belial and co charging the grey hunters who'd massacred the bikers wiping them out easily. The thunderwolves fared better only taking a handful of wounds and killing several veterans. The wolf lord found himself with a single wound remaining though. The vindicator moved forward to find a better position and hid behind some cover. Having tried to repair the immobilised rhino it wasn't surprising that the lack of smoke saw it lacking a cover save and hence it exploded under fire from the land speeder. The thunderwolves finished off the veterans but lost one of their number in the process.
Logan found himself needing to avenge the death of his grey hunters so he charged into Belial's squad. A brutal use of Preferred Enemy meant Belial was now very lonely but only a single wolf guard had lost his life. The thunderwolves headed in the direction of the newly arrived terminators and charged them down with devastating effect. Jamie now had just the squad in the razorback, both land raiders and the land speeder.
As a last consolation Jamie's land raider fired it's multimelta and blew up Logan's land raider. The following my land speeder finally arrived from deep strike only to mishap on the vindicator and suffer a terrible accident. However, by this time the game was already over and I mopped up the remaining DA forces. The land speeder fell to a lascannon shot from the remaining wolves land raider. The long fangs blew up the razorback and the squad inside tried to charge some grey hunters for a cheeky kill point but we're so lucky. The remaining land raider was finished off and Jamie was tabled in 5 turns. I probably got the order of things a bit jumbled up but you get the idea.
One of those games where a bad turn of damage table rolls really hurt. Jamie struggled to get rid of my rhinos and land raiders in the first turn and this really cost him. I was able to get the crucial charges and inflict some serious damage early on. I think if anything had I taken the first turn the outcome might've been different. With Jamie coming to me in a couple of waves I was able to deal with parts of his army without worrying about others. If I'd been the one of the offensive then it might've been a different story.
Above all Jamie had some terrible luck and I don't think the tabling was a reflection of the game. I was certainly worried early on about dealing with so many terminators and having bikes in my face early on. Had the rhinos/raiders blown up and it would almost certainly have been an uphill struggle.
One thing is clear to me, the damage table has too much influence on the game at the moment. Now I'm not saying I've got a solution but it seems that some vehicles are too easy to take down whilst others seem invincible. How many times have you easily dealt with land raiders but struggled to kill that pesky rhino? Now obviously it comes down to luck a lot of the time but I really think the system needs a shake up. It's no easy task mind you, how do you make it so that vehicles don't totally dominate the game without severely gimping them to the point where no-one even takes them?
Still it's always nice for the sons of Russ to stick it to Lion El'Jonson's boys!