Monday, January 8, 2018

BatRep: 1000pts, Space Wolves vs Deathwatch – Escalation League

So, this was the 1st battle in January. With the new month, the points available for the armies jumped from 500pts to 1000pts.

I thought of keeping the same army and just adding 500 points, but found I couldn’t get a “comfortable” army that way. One thing that my last battle proved was I needed some sort of “Psyker Defense”. For Space Wolves, that meant a Rune Priest. A Rune Priest, by himself, was over 100pts, in any combination I tried. I also saw the need to provide some more transport ability and (ideally) more long-ranged anti-armor. The Long Fangs did well in my 500pt battle, but in a mega battle afterwards, I was forced to setup in a bad location and the Long Fangs had a hard time getting into a better position quickly enough to be useful.

In the end, I decided on a Highly Mobile Force. My force consisted of:
  • Wolf Lord with Frost Fang & Storm Shield (Same as before)
  • Rune Priest with Plasma Pistol & Force Axe
  • 5 Grey Hunters all with Chainswords, Bolters and Bolt Pistols with 1 Plasma Rifle
  • 5 Grey Hunters all with Chainswords, Bolters and Bolt Pistols with 1 Melta Gun
  • 6 Blood Claws plus a Wolf Guard Pack Leader with Frost Fang
  • 2 X Razorbacks with Lascannon & Twin-Linked Plasma Guns (for the Grey Hunters)
  • 1 X Stormwolf Flier with 2 X Lascannons, 2 X Twin-Linked Heavy Bolters and Twin-Linked Hellfrost Cannon

Graham brought his modified Deathwatch force:
(From Memory)
  • Deathwatch Captain in Terminator Armor with Storm Bolter and Lightning Claw
  • 2 X Librarians in Terminator Armor with Storm Bolter & Force Axe
  • 2 X Terminators, 1 With Assault Cannon
  • 2 X Terminators, 1 With Assault Cannon
  • 3 X Terminators, 2 with Cyclone Missile Launchers
  • 1 X Venerable Dreadnought with Heavy Plasma Cannon

We decided to use a 4 X 4 table. This allowed us to use the “Necromunda” Catwalk Table.
We rolled for the Chapter Approved Mission: Eternal War – Dominate and Destroy

Victory Points are scored after the end of a player’s turn. 1 Point for each objective the player has more models within 3” of the center. As well, 1 VP is awarded for each unit destroyed. Finally, 1VP for each of the standard conditions: Slay The Warlord, 1st Kill & Linebreaker.

We had standard 12” deployment zones. After deploying the 6 Objective markers, we picked deployment zones and alternated deploying our units.

I deployed 1 Razorback on my far-right corner with the Grey Hunters in a ruined building over-watching the catwalk, protecting 1 objective. My other Razorback deployed on the Far Left corner, protecting another Objective while the Grey Hunters hid behind the top of a tank on the Gantry on the right side, covering a 3rd Objective.  The Stormwolf deployed in the right corner behind the building with the Blood Claws and the Wolf Lord. Finally, the Rune Priest hid behind the gantry structure, beside the Left Razorback, also beside the Objective.

Deathwatch deployment, on my left was a 2-man Terminator Squad escorting a Librarian. In the Centre, the 3-man Terminator squad with the Watch Captain on top the catwalk, behind an exhaust stack, watching over an objective roughly in the middle of the table, also on top of the catwalk. Finally, on my right, back on the ground level, was another 2-man Terminator Squad escorting another Librarian and the Dreadnought.

Space Wolves won the 1st Turn. Graham tried to steal it, but failed.

Turn 1:

Space Wolves
The Stormwolf, going Supersonic, flew over to the center of the center objective, catching the Deathwatch off-guard! No one else moved.

Psychic phase, the Rune Priest was out-of-range, so didn’t try casting anything.

Shooting phase, the only thing that really had a shot was the Razorback on the far left. Taking a shot with the Lascannon, he hit the Terminator squad, and killed the regular Terminator with the single shot!

End Phase: 4VPs

The Terminators on the upper level came out of hiding to shoot at the Stormwolf before it could unleash its deadly cargo. The Librarian and Assault Cannon terminator on my left ran forward to claim the objective on the ground level in front of them. The terminators on the right moved to keep control of another objective near them and still give the Assault Cannon Line-Of-Sight (LOS) to the Stormwolf.

In the Psychic Phase, the Librarians cast Might of Heroes on himself and the other cast Smite on the Stormwolf, causing 1 Hull Point damage.

In probably the most dismal example of Space Marine shooting in history, one Assault Cannon damaged the Left Razorback 1 point, one (1) Cyclone Missile from 1 Terminator killed 1 Grey Hunter in the ruin and all other shots failed to hit or damage anything else! (I don’t even remember rolling saves here!)

End Phase: 2VPs

Turn 2:

Space Wolves
The Stormwolf went into hover-mode, allowing it to disembark the Blood Claws & Wolf Lord on the Objective, then flew to the left, keeping it closest to the Deathwatch Captain! The Blood Claws moved forward to the edge of the catwalk and into cover, giving them LOS and shortest distance to the Deathwatch Captain! The Grey Hunters in the ruined building ran to get to the bottom floor and out-of-sight of the enemy (and closer the objective in the main level). Nothing else moved.

Rune Priest still didn’t have LOS or range for Psychic powers.

The Stormwolf unloaded everything onto the Deathwatch Captain. When the smoke cleared, the Captain was down to 1 wound in spite of a 4+ invulnerable Save. The Blood Claws fired their pistols at the Captain and finally, on the last shot from the Wolf Guard Pack Leader, the Deathwatch Captain failed his save and succumbed to his wounds. That was “Kill the Warlord”, “First Blood” and 1 VP for destroying a Unit in 1 “kill”! The Razorback on the left failed to wound anything on his side, but the Razorback on the right killed a Terminator on the right!

Execution of the Deathwatch Captain!

"Boss? Where are you, Boss?"

And Another One Bites the Dust!

End Phase:
+4VP (4 Objectives)
+1VP (Kill The Warlord)
+1VP (First Blood)
+VP (Unit Destroyed)
+7 VPs (11VP Total)

The Terminators on the catwalk moved to get LOS on the Blood Claws so they could avenge the death of the Watch Captain! The Dreadnought moved around a cargo container to shoot at the right-side Razorback. On the left, the Assault Cannon Terminator moved forward into cover beside the Librarian sitting on the objective.

In the Psychic phase, the Librarian on the left cast Smite but was forced to target the Stormwolf, causing 3 Hull Points damage, then cast Might of Heros. The other Librarian successfully cast Smite on the Blood Claws, killing 3!

Librarian Hijinx 

In the Shooting Phase, the Dreadnought caused a Hull Point on the Razorback on the Right. The Librarian and Assault Cannon on the left fired on the Stormwolf, riddling it with holes and bringing it down to 2 Hull Points! (Glad I unloaded everyone this turn!) The Terminators, firing Cyclone Frag Missiles and Storm Bolters at the Blood Claws numbers down to 2!

Stormwolf looking a little run down..

.. while the Terminators Avenge the Captain..

..Leaving the Wolf Lord Alone on the Objective!

In spite of the War Lord’s Presence and the re-roll from “They Shall Know No Fear”, the Blood Claws failed by 2, killing the last Blood Claw and the Wolf Guard Pack Leader! 1VP for Deathwatch!

End Phase:
+2VPs (2 Objectives)
+1VP (Blood Claws Destroyed)
+3VP (5VP Total)

Turn 3:

Space Wolves
Well, the Stormwolf required 5+ to hit now and could only move 20”, whether supersonic or not. Knowing it wasn’t going to survive this turn, I left it in Hover Mode and moved behind the 3 Terminators on the catwalk, intending to take as many out with it as I could before I lost it. The Rune Priest moved forward, hiding behind a pillar, but staying close to the Razorback on the left. The Lonely Wolf Lord moved to stand on top of the objective and symbolically turned his Storm Shield to the Terminators drawing a bead on him.

The Rune Priest finally did something useful and succeeded in casting Jaws of the World Wolf on the Librarian closest to him, causing 1 wound.

Shooting phase, in spite of cracked and damaged targetters, the Stormwolf wiped out the Terminators on the catwalk (all 3) by himself! (+1VP!) The Razorbacks were unable to cause any damage this turn and the Grey Hunters continued to protect their objectives (or hid, depending on one’s point of view).

The Crippled Stormwolf Attacks (2 Hull Points Left)!

End Phase:
+4VP (4 Objectives)
+1VP (Unit Destroyed)
+5VP (16VP Total)

The Librarian on the left ran and successfully climbed up the scaffolding to get on top of the catwalk!

This Librarian, exhausted and out of breath, managed to cast Smite with a roll of 11, and rolled 6 wounds on the Wolf Lord, killing him immediately!  (Rotten back stabber!  Wolf Lord wasn’t even facing his way!) That was 2 VPs – One for “Kill the Warlord” and 1 for destroying a unit! The other Librarian failed to cast Smite on the Stormwolf.

Death of the Wolf Lord!

It didn’t matter. The Librarian on the right, the Assault Cannon Terminator(s?) and the Dreadnought threw everything at the Stormwolf and finally swatted it out of the skies (+1VP)!

Death of the Loyal Stormwolf!

End Phase:
+2VPs (2 Objectives)
+1VP (Kill the Warlord)
+2VP (2 Units Destroyed)
+5VPs (10VP Total)

Turn 4:

Space Wolves
No movement on the Space Wolves side.

The Rune Priest failed to case Jaws.

Then Razorback on the left shot at the Terminator on his side and inflicted 1 wound (not enough to kill him).

End Phase:
+3VPs (3 Objectives)
+3VPs (19VP Total)

Librarian on the right and the Dreadnought moved forward to target the Razorback while the Librarian on the catwalk ran towards and captured the recently vacated Objective (kicking some of the carcasses out of the way to find it)!

Librarian Claims the Objective!

The Librarians failed to cast anything this turn.

The Dreadnought, Librarian and Assault Cannon Terminators fired everything they had, but failed to damage anything this turn.

End Phase:
+3VPs (3 Objectives)
+3VPs (13VP Total)

Turn 5:

Space Wolves
Grey Hunters continued to guard their Objectives. Or hid. Depends who you ask.  ;)

Rune Priest cast Jaws again but was stopped by the Deny the Witch roll.

The Left Razorback shot and finally killed the Assault Cannon Terminator on the left side, clearing that half of the table (and gaining 1VP while freeing up the Objective). The other Razorback fired at the other Assault Cannon Terminator, but failed to hit in spite of using a Command Point for a re-roll.

End Phase:
+3VPs (3 Objectives)
+1VP (1 Unit Destroyed)
+4VPs (23VP Total)

The Librarian on the catwalk moved to the edge so he was within 3” of the objective, but still able to draw LOS to the Rune Priest hiding behind the column. The other Librarian also moved forward.

The Librarian on the catwalk cast Smite on the Rune Priest, but it was dispelled by the Deny the Witch roll. The 2nd Librarian cast Smite on the Razorback, damaging it for another 2 Hull points.

In the shooting phase, only the Dreadnought caused any damage, to the Razorback on the right.

End Phase:
+2VPs (2 Objectives)
+2VPs (15VP Total)

Graham rolled 1 more game turn.

Turn 6:

Space Wolves
No one moved.

The Rune Priest cast Smite, rolling Double-6! Graham gleefully rolled the wounds, causing 2 to the Rune Priest! However, the Rune Priest survived, so the power succeeded and caused 1 wound on the Librarian on the Catwalk! NOT a fair trade!

In the shooting phase, the right-side Razorback was able to wound the Librarian on his side.

End Phase:
+3VPs (3 Objectives)
+3VPs (26VP Total)

In desperation to grab points, the Dreadnought “ran” (can a dread run?) towards the “freed” Objective, but I honestly thought it was a mistake. There was no way it would make it in another turn (game would be forced to end after turn 7 if we rolled another turn).

The Librarian on the catwalk failed to cast Smite on the Rune Priest, but failed the roll. The other cast smite on the Razorback and shaved another hull point off.

In the shooting phase, well, best not to discuss it.  Graham’s looking for new dice as we speak…

End Phase:
+2VPs (2 Objectives)
+2VPs (17VP Total)

I failed to roll another turn.

Space Wolf Victory!
26VP to 17VP!


Wow!  Nasty Battle!

Graham complained my Space Wolves weren't played properly. He felt I should have charged into close combat with everything I had and not kept the Grey Hunters hidden. I pointed out that Space Wolves are Ferocious, not stupid! I played the mission.

I will admit to to being intimidated by all those Terminators, but that's why I planned a Long-Range game as well as short range. All my Grey Hunters were equipped for both long range (Bolters or special weapons) and close combat (Pistols and Chainswords, with a couple of special weapons in the mix). A squad of 5 Grey Hunters vs a squad of 2 Terminators, escorting Librarians?  Nope, they're not that stupid!

I felt a little guilty taking the that many vehicles at only 1000pts. However, seeing that many Terminators made me feel better about it!  };-)

Sadly, though, the heroes of the match were my Vehicles. The Infantry really didn't do much other than claim objectives (though the Blood Claws and Wolf Lord deserve special mention for grabbing the one and defending it to the death to protect it ).

What I would have changed? I would have liked a larger Blood Claw pack. I would have liked more Grey Hunters, but Razorbacks don't have much room and I maxed out my points at 5 apiece. 

If I wanted to change anything, I think I would have to drop the Stormwolf; it's too many points and the only thing that would free up the points I'd need for another unit of ANYTHING! However, the ability to drop off that many troops anywhere on the table like that is incredible advantage PLUS the ruggedness and the sheer firepower, yeah, I like it a lot!

The other option of dropping a Razorback to increase the Squad sizes of Grey Hunters, maybe not a bad idea, but the Lascannons really made the difference this game dealing with all those Terminators. I basically killed any Terminator that failed its Invulnerable Save. I "Might" drop a Razorback for 1 squad, but not both. At least, not until the 1500pt games next month.

Graham's force was nasty. He followed some of my recommendations (getting an escort for the Librarians, though I had meant a "regular" squad). I also recommended something with a little more armor so the Dread was a good idea (harder to kill), but it really didn't get to earn its points back by either destroying units or grabbing objectives. I wasn't impressed with the Heavy Plasma Cannon it had, but it would have needed to close in a lot more to use a Melta. The Twin Lascannon option might be an idea as well.

I think something faster than the Dreadnought was really necessary for the Deathwatch force (though technically, the Dreadnought with its 6" move WAS faster than all the Terminators with their 5" move).The only transport option for the Terminators would be a Land raider and I don't think he could free up the points for that.  The other option was to Teleport 2 of the Terminator Squads (or a Terminator Squad and Librarian). Possibly keep 1 Librarian with the Fire Support Cyclones and attach the Captain to a 2-man squad, then teleport them elsewhere?  There are so many options with that many Terminator-based characters and units.

Anyway, good game by Graham! I look forward to my next game in the league!

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