Friday, September 10, 2010

Battle Report: Wolves vs Tyranids

Having sat watching Matt systematically demolish Scott's Tyranid army I was worried that the list I'd put together wouldn't be sufficient to deal with them. Mephiston was instrumental in the BA win and my special characters, in the form of Ragnar and Ulrik, didn't really have anything close to the statline of the Sanguine librarian. However, it was too late to do anything about it so I took my chances with the list I'd put together. Scott would be using the same list again since, as I mentioned before, this is all he has painted at the moment.

1250 pts of Space Wolves
Ragnar Blackmane

Ulrik the Slayer

5x Wolf Scouts with Mark of the Wulfen and power weapon

Lone Wolf in terminator armour with thunder hammer and storm shield

9x Grey Hunters with plasma gun, power fist, Mark of the Wulfen and wolf standard

9x Blood Claws with power fist

Land Raider Redeemer with multi-melta

We rolled to see the kind of the deployment we'd use and got Pitched Battle. I won the roll off and placed my Lone Wolf in the centre of the board by the ruined temple. The land raider with Ulrik and the blood claws went on the left flank whilst the rhino with Ragnar and the grey hunters went on the right. The idea being that the Lone Wolf would give some much needed high strength power weapon support to which ever squad was having difficulty. The Wolf Scouts would outflank and come on from reserve.

Scott placed his Carnifex and Hive Tyrant opposite my rhino and on the other side he put Old One Eye sandwiched by two squads of genestealers. As before the Trygon Prime would deep strike in later on.

Turn 1
Ragnar's rhino drives forward at full speed allowing the grey hunters to disembark in front of the 'fex and Tyrant. In the centre the lone wolf advances forward in the direction of the rhino. The land raider fires it's assault cannon and multimelta at but only the assault cannon manages to smash through the hardened exoskeleton of Old One Eye causing a single wound.

Hive Tyrant and Carnifex can only immobilise the rhino
Scott advances the Tyrant and Carnifex towards Ragnar and pushes the genestealers towards the land raider with Old One Eye in support. The Hive Tyrant and Carnifex charge into the rhino but only the 'fex gets a hold on the speeding vehicle smashing it into the ground and permanently immobilising it.

Turn 2
I roll for my Scouts but it seems they're still trying to outflank. The Lone Wolf advances defiantly towards the Hive Tyrant desperate to avenge is fallen brethren. The land raider continues to advance and as it nears the hulking mass of Old One Eye it's assault ramps open and Ulrik's blood claws pile out. The flamestorm cannon incinerates 2 genestealers and another burst from the assault cannon wounds Old One Eye further.

On the right the grey hunters open fire with small arms on the Hive Tyrant wounding him. The blood claws follow suit by firing at the genestealers wounding three as they head into combat. Their position meaning that Old One Eye will not be able to get past them to hurt the land raider with his S10 attacks.

Ragnar unleashes a terrifying lupine howl as his squad charge the Hive Tyrant supported by the Lone Wolf who is caught in the furious charge. The Tyrant's lash whip means four of the grey hunters will assault last but since Ragnar's Insane Bravado means the squad get a punishing +3A bonus the Hive Tyrant is brought down for only a single Space Wolves casualty. On the left the genestealers fail to make any kills as Scott rolls an impressive five 1s from six dice, consequently they were wiped out. 

The Trygon emerged from the earth next to the blood claws firing off it's containment spines at them but with little effect. The carnifex is forced to skulk round the back of the rhino to avoid being charged by the lone wolf. It fires it's stranglethorn cannon at the hunters killing three (including the standard bearer) and wounding Ragnar. Surprisingly the hunters fail their leadership test and conveniently fall back enough to be out of the carnifex's charge.

The blood claws face a horde of Tyranids
The remaining 'stealers and and Old One Eye charge the Ulrik and his blood claws giving them a seemingly impossible challenge. The genestealers proceed to rip five of the young Space Wolves apart. Old One Eye dispatches the Wolf Priest and a further 3 space wolves but falls to the power fist. Only a single blood claws is left to battle the remaining 8 genestealers!

Turn 3
The land raider unleashes the assault cannon and firestorm at the trygon causing two wounds. Ragnar and the Grey Hunters annihilate the carnifex for a further single loss. The Lone Wolf heads towards the Trygon hoping to die gloriously.

The genestealers finish off the remaining blood claw but fail to get into combat with the lone wolf after they consolidate 1" and  also only manage a 1" run. The trygon can only stun the land raider as it scores only two hits due to the land raiders movement. 

Turn 4
The scouts yet again fail to arrive on the scene leading me to give up on them actually doing anything this battle. The Grey Hunters blast three stealers and the flamestorm cannon fries another 3. The remaining genestealers charge in on the Space Wolves but both are killed leaving the trygon alone as in the previous battle. He proves his worth again by wrecking the land raider.

Turn 5
Trygon but their shots struggle to hit. They subsequently charge into combat and Ragnar manages to destroy the remaining Tyranid without the help of either the grey hunters or the Lone Wolf.

Final result: 1250pts Tyranids destroyed for 820 pts of Wolves lost. KP: SW 6 vs Tyranids 5 (as scouts never came on and Lone Wolf survived).

This was by no means as convincing as the BA battle and I was surprised to have done so well with the list I'd chosen. Granted on KP it doesn't look that good at all but 2 of those points come from me messing up and forgetting my wolf scouts and failing to get the lone wolf killed. Scott was pretty unlucky several times and that really changed the course of the battle. I think the three key spots of bad luck were:
1. The appalling rolling when using the genestealers in terms of both their ability to hit things and their ability to run and consolidate.
2. The grey hunters failing their morale check and fleeing out of range of the carnifex
3. The trygon failing to destroy the land raider first time round. This would've saved some genestealers and freed up the trygon to assault something else.

Carnifex is forced to go around the rhino to get at Ragnar
I don't feel like Scott did very much wrong but I certainly didn't make it easy for him by blocking the movement of both the Carnifex and Old One Eye. I have to say I'm very impressed with Ragnar. Furious charge is always nice and can even be used on Counter Attack (which killed the genestealers) and the Insane Bravado gives them an outrageous number of attacks on the charge. The Wulfen guy only rolled a 4 but still came out with 8 attacks at one point!! 

The Lone Wolf provided valuable extra attacks which made defeated the Hive Tyrant quick and painless. He'd have probably died if he'd attacked the Trygon alone but with a 3+ invulnerable save it was by no means certain. 

The blood claws proved their worth but sheer weight of enemy attacks proved to be far too much for them. Their low WS certainly doesn't help but the land raider meant they were certain to get at least one +2A charge (which really helps the power fist out).

Yet again it was a special character that won the game for the marines army. In the Blood Angels case Mephiston did it all by himself but Ragnar's ability to upgrade a squad made them into a super unit. 

I can't wait for Scott to have a more sensible Tyranid army but I have a feeling I might not be soo lucky next time around!

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