|Top of turn 2 - not much left to kill|
10 Veterans in a Chimera
Aegis line with comms relay
3 Warrior acolytes
2 big squads of death cults and crusaders
This was going to be tough. Our best chance of winning was to wipe out the Imperial Guard before the flyers could arrive and win by default. If they managed to get even one of the flyers on it was going to be VERY difficult.
We again got first turn and with Coteaz cancelling Coteaz they didn't manage to Seize. This would give us two turns to kill off the guard before the flyers and the nastiness inside arrived. We deployed everything in a similar fashion to game 1 and they stuck 3 acolytes on top of a derelict bastion with the aegis line abandoned (they used a wall of martyrs as you can see in the picture). The chimera and manticore went on the other flank.
So we knew what we had to do. The drop pod came in and unfortunately only wrecked the chimera. One dreadknight jumped forward and incinerated the acolytes on top of the bastion (able to hit level 3 thanks to being a jump unit - worth remembering). The dreadknight managed to incinerate a handful of guardsmen but they passed their leadership test. Lucky for us they were pinned thanks to their emergency disembark (the back door of the chimera was against the table edge). The manticore killed the drop pod and a handful of grey hunters. We now had turn 2 to get rid of a handful of guardsmen and the manticore. This was achieved with a combination of the outflankers arriving (a bit too early for my liking) and blowing up the manticore and then the dreadknight killing off the guardsmen with help from the grey hunters without needing to charge.
So far so good really. We'd have preferred to kill everything on turn one but they had just enough on the board to stop this happening. Even so if by some chance they didn't get a flyer on we'd still win at this point....
Obviously they managed it with one stormraven and the vendetta coming on. We'd deliberately placed our army as far forward as possible to try and make it difficult for them to hit us. So this is where the argument comes in. The vendetta wasn't really an issue but the stormraven was going to be easily able to kill our dreadknights thanks to Mindstrike missiles. They brought it on at a pretty shallow angle but when they started to shoot at our dreadknight I questioned whether or not it was in their arc. I've already talked about the argument but suffice to say once the ref had ruled in their favour it all started to go wrong. They managed to hit with all their shots and with help from the vendetta they dropped the dreadknight. Now obviously it's difficult to know how significant this was but I'll get to that in the conclusion.
|Why would we do this? No matter how good it looks.|
With the flyers on the board our only hope for killing them was the psycannons or charging them when they hovered. Matt got off Prescience and fired the psycannons at the stormraven. Sadly although he hit twice he failed to penetrate only scoring a glance I think. We were pretty worried about the loss of the other dreadknight and the fire from the flyers hurting the thunderwolves so we stuck them together in a ruin. I decided this looked cool so took a picture and ironically it allows me to show you our biggest mistake of the tournament.
They hovered the stormraven and vendetta whilst the second stormraven blasted on. With them hovering our wolves and remaining dreadknight should easily gimp them with S10 attacks. Sadly we'd put them right next to each other allowing the deathcults to drop out and multi-charge. Granted we forgot they shouldn't have got the charge bonus but with rad grenades and hallucinogen making us Initiative 1 it wasn't really going to end differently and we were easily wiped out.
|This picture pretty adequately shows our problem here.|
From this point forward we were left with only one chance. With our Coteaz now dead (thanks to the other Stormraven - which we'd again failed to kill) they'd got Slay the Warlord and would easily have Linebreaker. We'd got First Blood and Linebreaker. If we were lucky we could keep the second squad of deathcults (with Coteaz) away from our objective and use the Space Wolves to contest theirs giving us a 5-2 win. Slim chance but you have to play for it.
Sadly it didn't pan out. The grey hunters failed to move far enough through terrain to get close enough to contest and the death cults swept through our lines and contested our objective. With the other deathcults on their objective they took victory 5-2.
A very hotly contested but enjoyable game. The only reason for this was Sean and Darren's good humour about the argument. I'm not sure Darren was quite as amused as Sean but even so they could've been a lot more hostile and made the game miserable to finish out. We had a great laugh with them and it was easily our closest game all weekend.
|All over from this point forward|
Ignoring the debatable dreadknight kill, the deathcults definitely won the game for them. We threw it away by leaving our two best chances of killing the hovering flyers so close to each other. From that point on we were clutching at straws and never really had much chance of winning. We were unlucky not to down the second stormraven once we'd hit (although it still isn't likely with S7 vs AV12).
Once the guardsmen and tanks were dead the space wolves didn't really take part in the battle. The grey hunters spent most of their time out of range of everything and the thunderwolves were cut down easily in combat with the deathcults. They stuck their objective centrally which really hampered our outflanking. I don't think we did too much wrong (except what I've mentioned) and we left the game feeling cheated by a frankly incorrect decision.
Nethertheless we'd taken 2 points despite losing and even if it had been Swiss pairs we'd have expected to be in this position after game 2! Once again, thanks to Sean and Darren for an enjoyable game even if it was for strange reasons!