Saturday, September 1, 2012

Battle Summary: Space Wolves vs. Daemons (1500 pts)

Round 1 of the new league saw my daemons take on a mighty force of Space Wolves.  I thought I was going to lose for sure.  And that was the way it was looking until about turn 2...

Space Wolves Army:
Wolf Lord, runic armour, frost axe, storm shield, thunderwolf, wolftooth necklace
Wolf Priest, runic armour, plasma pistol, wolf tail talisman
Rune Priest, runic armour
Grey Hunters x 8, plasma gun, power axe, wolf standard, mark of the wolfen + Wolf Guard, power fist, combi-plasma + Drop Pod
Grey Hunters x 8, melta gun, power axe, wolf standard, mark of the wolfen + Wolf Guard, power fist, combi-melta + Drop Pod

Blood Claws x 8, power axe + Wolf Guard, pair of wolf claws, melta bombs
Wolf Scouts x 5, plasma gun, melta bombs + Wolf Guard, combi-plasma
Lone Wolf, frost blade
Long Fangs x 6, melta bombs, missle launcher x 5

Daemons Army List:
Herald of Tzeentch, chariot, bolt of Tzeentch, breath of chaos, master of sorcery, we are legion
Herald of Tzeentch, chariot, bolt of Tzeentch, breath of chaos, master of sorcery, we are legion

Herald of Khorne, juggernaught
Flamers of Tzeentch x 3
Bloodcrushers x 3
Pink Horrors x 9, icon, bolt of Tzeentch, the Changeling
Daemonettes x 12
Plaguebearers x 7, instrument of chaos
Screamers x 5
Daemon prince, iron hide, wings
Soul Grinder, Mawcannon Phlegm

Scenario and set-up:
Mission = Crusade (mission number 1 from the 6th ed rulebook), with 3 objectives (all mysterious), dawn of war deployment. 

Handily, my warlord trait is rolled as "Divide to Conquer" which means my opponent has -1 to reserve rolls. 

Early Turns.
Daemons gain the first turn, and their preferred wave (one herald of Tzeentch, herald of Khorne with the bloodcrushers, flamers, pink horrors and daemonettes arrive).  The Space wolves have two drop pods in reserve.  The long fangs take position in the corner of the board, granting a commanding view of the terrain for their fire arc, whilst the blood claws skulk behind cover with the wolf lord.  The lone wolf takes point in an advanced position.  Almost all of my deep striking daemons scatter: but none of them scatter badly.

The daemonettes arrive behind hard cover with no line of sight to enemies and they immediately race up to the first mysterious objective.  It turns out to be a grav-wave generator (meaning any unit attempting to charge my daemonettes halves their charge range).  The daemonettes huddle around it for the moment, daring anyone to come and take it from them.

I place my Khorne herald and bloodcrushers in the open, aiming to charge right for the wolf lord and some of the blood claws.  The horrors scatter backward, so I reinforce them with the Tzeentch herald for the moment.  The flamers meanwhile cunningly hide behind some ruins and wait their next turn to zoom around.

Running my bloodcrushers up the board was probably a bad move.  In my opponent's turn, the wolf lord comes to meet him, with avengeance.  The blood claws pile in and in two combat rounds, its all over.  At least we got to reveal the second mystery objective was "nothing of note" -- i.e. a regular objective that does nothing else.  My bloodcrushers and herald failed to perform -- indeed, the herald went down to the wolf lord in a one-on-one challenge that the wolf lord issued. 

In the rear of the field, a drop pod arrives with the rune priest with a nova power.  He readily whacks my units (horrors, Tzeentch herald) and I fail a good number of saves.  Ouch. The bolt pistols also take their toll, and the Changeling fails to take over their minds.  Darn.

Middle Turns.
At the start of turn 3, its looking bleak for me.  Only my daemon prince has come on from reserve and I've not caused many space wolf casualties yet (one or two from the bloodcrushers who attacked the blood claws, and a few scouts who infiltrated up the field too close to the herald).

To my amazement, my luck changes this turn with several battle turning events.  The first of which is the zooming of my flamers up to the long fangs who have been whittling down wounds on my herald of Tzeentch and daemon prince.  In one fell swoop, the flamers remove three quarters of the long fangs.

Secondly, the Tzeentch herald also uses breath of chaos to see the scouts off and proceeds to daemonic gaze the grey hunters that arrives with the rune priest.  The pink horrors decimate the squad further, leaving only the rune priest and one grey hunter left.

The drop pod of other grey hunters fails to show up until turn 3. This leaves me much more chance to level the playing field.   On turn 4, my plaguebearers arrive from reserve and put a wall of pestilence between the rune priest and my more valuable pink horrors.  Although they will get charged by the rune priest, they can tar pit him for the rest of the game if need be. 

Meanwhile, the daemonettes face off against the blood claws and slaughter them all in one turn, taking only 1 overwatch casualty in exchange.  Although this has taken me off my precious objective, I aim to run back soon.
My second herald of Tzeentch shows up and mops up the remaining bodies (e.g. lone wolf) in the vicinity.  The flamers finish off the long fangs. 

And the wolf lord does something brave: he decides to charge the flamers.  This is where I get a true introduction to 6th edition.  I hadn't realized my flamers could overwatch against a charge.  Apparently they can and score d3 hits on the charging unit in question each. This is rolled as 6 hits.  Now, breath of chaos is nasty: it causes a wound on a 4+ with no cover or armour save permitted.  The wolf lord fails his last two invulnerable saves and gets blasted to the warp as he tries to charge the flamers.  The tide has well and truly turned now.

Late Turns.
The rest of my crew arrive.  The soul grinder launchers a phlegm against the newly arrived second drop pod and kills many.  The daemonettes suffer many casualties as well: down to 4 left.  But the second Tzeetch herald zooms in over the terrain and uses breath of chaos to finish them off.

The plaguebearers finally take down the rune priest, leaving the screamers nothing to charge at.  The daemon prince gawks around and thinks about wrecking a drop pod that has been taking pot shots for several turns, but my opponent concedes at this point with only two drop pods left on the board.

Although first blood went to the Space Wolves (with the slaying of the herald of Khorne and the bloodcrushers), all other objectives belong to the chaos daemons. I still can't help but feel this is a game I should have lost.  I cannot believe that my flamers took down the wolf lord with overwatch shooting.  Heck, I didn't even know template weapons could do overwatch before this game.  I feel like such a noob with 6th. 

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