So it's finally Saturday and time for my Wolves to face off against my friend using my Tau army. I've already listed the armies in a previous post so I'll get straight onto the battle.
Since my friend is new to the game we decided to keep things simple and play an Annihilation with Pitched Battle. The board is my homemade Realm of Battle style modular board. We used 6 of the 2'x2' sections. This meant the Tau had plenty of room to deploy and that I wouldn't be able to just sweep from unit to unit towards the end of the game.
I deployed my long fangs in the back corner up on a hill and my grey hunter rhinos at the edge of the deployment zone with the squads behind ready to embark. Obviously my Dread was in his pod in reserve. Sam deployed two of the Fire Warrior squads with the Hammerhead on the left. The Broadsides, Crisis and Shas'el in the middle and the Kroot, Pathfinders and remaining Fire Warriors on the right.
|Long fangs survey the early clashes between the two forces
In my first turn I dropped the dreadnought's pod right in from of the two fire warrior squads on the right. It scattered a little but not enough to bother me. The grey hunters embarked and both rhinos drove forward popping smoke to obscure their advance.
The dreadnought burst from the drop pod and engulfed 5 of the fire warriors in a burst from the heavy flamer, killing a further two with the assault cannon.
|Dreadnought makes light work of the enemy
The Long Fangs had an appalling round of shooting. They failed to score a single wound with heavy bolters on the Fire Warriors and the lascannon shots didn't make it past the Hammerhead's disruption field.
The Tau returned fire with the Hammerhead's mighty railgun ripping the close combat arm from the side of the dreadnought. The pathfinders embarked in the Devilfish (in my opinion a bad decision). The Kroot advanced towards cover. The combined fire from the Broadsides and Crisis suits was sent in the direction of the Rhinos but the smoke did it's job leaving one of the rhinos unable to shoot but still rolling.
The Grey Hunters' Rhinos advance towards the enemy and their passengers disembark. The Rune Priest's squad manage to kill one of the broadsides and wound the other with their combined fire power. Sadly they aren't in range to assault. The Wolf Priest's squad open fire on the Kroot who are caught in the open reducing them to a single model. Fire from the Long Fangs only manages to take down to Fire Warriors with the Hammerhead making it's cover saves AGAIN. The dread wounds on of the Crisis suits but I misjudged the charge range so it fails to do any more damage. It'll be lucky to survive now it's exposed to the Broadsides. Sam manages to make all three of his morale checks.
|The Kroot take heavy casualties
Railgun fire from the Broadsides turns the dreadnought into a smouldering crater but the blast is sadly too small to reach the nearby Fire Warriors. The Hammerhead fires at one of the Rhinos but misses it's target. The Crisis suits manage to take down 3 Hunters with me managing to fail all three saves!! The Shas'el adds another two to the tally including the Wolf Standard. The Fire Warriors manage to kill 2 marines from the other squad with some more woeful saving throws from me.
The turn starts in an annoyingly similar fashion with the heavy bolters doing nothing and the Hammerhead making it's cover saves. The storm bolter on the drop pod kills a fire warrior but the two remaining tau are unshaken. Small arms fire from the Grey Hunters kills all but two of the Pathfinders which had only recently emerged from their transport. The losses are too heavy and Sam finally fails a morale check causing them to fall back, never to return.
The other Grey Hunters squad charges into the Crisis suits and the combination of the Rune Priests power weapon and rending Wulfen attacks brings the hulks of metal down. Leaving the storm bolter on one of the rhinos to fell the remaining Kroot.
After some awful rolling from Sam and some proper power armour rolling from me, the Tau only manage to slay a single Grey Hunter.
The Rune Priest tears open a chasm in the planet's surface with the remaining Broadside and a single Fire Warrior falling victim. The heavy bolters kill a handful of Fire Warriors and the Grey Hunters charge into another squad wiping them out without reply.
A combination of fire from the Hammerhead and Shas'el leaves the Rune Priest feeling very lonely but some more poor rolling means little else happens this turn as the Fire Warriors fail to kill any Long Fangs.
|Devilfish is wrecked by GH power fist
The Shas'el manages to avoid the deadly Jaws of the World Wolf. The Grey Hunters charge into the Devilfish wrecking it with a blow from the power fist, leaving the drones to disembark. The lascannon, now firing on the side armour of the Hammerhead manages to immobilise it. Heavy bolter fire kills off one of the fire warrior squads.
The only success for the Tau is the Shas'el vapourising the Rune Priest with melta fire and a single Long Fang finally falls.
Sam rolls to see if we get a Turn 6 but the game ends there.
Final result: Space Wolves kill 680 pts of Tau whilst losing 525 pts themselves (7 vs 5 in KP). A fairly narrow victor for Fenris' finest!
Sam felt like he was being pretty comprehensively slaughtered by my Wolves but it was actually a lot closer than it looked. Whilst it seemed to take a lot of fire to bring down marines the kills he made relinquished quite a large number of points. My inability to take down the Hammerhead certainly made it closer than it perhaps should've been. I think Sam should've concentrated his railgun fire on my transports a little more which would've yielded some easy points.
I think his biggest mistake was putting the Pathfinders into the Devilfish which meant that they didn't fire a single markerlight. BS5 Fire Warriors are surprisingly deadly at 12". The Jump-Shoot-Jump of the Shas'el made him very slippery and meant that other things go taken down before I could get to him. He was lucky not to fall victim to Jaws though.
My Long Fangs had a shocking game which is pretty uncharacteristic for them but my Grey Hunters more than made up for it. I enjoyed the game but I'm sure Sam didn't enjoy removing handfuls of models much.
Had he used the markerlights more effectively this could've been very different. My dreadnought was always going to struggle against railguns but I think that without it I'd have certainly lost more Long Fangs. I'm also glad I included him to bring a bit of variety to the list. Another squad of Grey Hunters would've perhaps been more effective but I enjoyed using the drop pod for the dreadnought.
I hope you've enjoyed reading this report. I think Sam is going to start looking at getting his own army soon (probably Daemons) so there'll be plenty more skirmishes in the future. My next battle is probably going to be the campaign vs Matt but my housemate Scott might be tempted into a Wolves vs. Chaos battle before then.