Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Jump!I

This man doesn't need a jump pack
So, I actually managed to play a game four weeks ago but I haven't actually written about it until now. To give you an idea of how long ago it was, Andy subsequently changed his list and then dropped out of playing last weekend's Indy GT altogether. No pictures unfortunately but here are some hazy recollections. First up, let's look at the two armies...

Space Wolves

Rune Priest, Chooser of the Slain, Living Lightning, Murderous Hurricane
10 Wolf Guard, 8 Combi-Meltas, Wolf Claw, 2x Cyclone Missile Launcher, Drop Pod
5 Wolf Scouts, Meltagun
5 Wolf Scouts, Meltagun
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
5 Grey Hunters, Meltagun, Rhino
6 Long Fangs, 5 Missile Launchers
6 Long Fangs, 5 Missile Launchers
6 Long Fangs, 5 Missile Launchers

This seems to have evolved into my preferred 1750 point list now for Wolves.

Blood Angels

Mephiston
5 Sanguinary Guard
3 Sanguinary Priests, 1 Jump Pack
10 Assault Marines, 2 Meltaguns
10 Assault Marines, 2 Meltaguns
2 Multimelta Attack Bikes
2 Multimelta Attack Bikes
5 Devastators, 3 Missile Launchers, Lascannon
5 Devastators, 3 Missile Launchers, Lascannon

Looking at this army as Andy unpacks it from the case, there are a couple of things I'm really worried about - Mephy and the Nipple Guard. They are just going to shrug off all of my long range AP3 firepower and while that's happening, 20 Assault Marines are getting in my face.

The Game

So, we roll up Kill Points with Spearhead deployment and Andy wins the roll off to go first. Not good; that's  going to give me a turn less of shooting to deal with everything coming at me. Then he announces that the Assault Marines are going to Deep Strike in. Suddenly things are looking up. Then both Devastator squads get put into cover with their attached Priests. However, both of these pieces of terrain are a long way away from my deployment zone. In fact I can place two of my Long Fang packs out of range of the Devs, allowing me to shoot away at everything else without taking any long range reprisals.

As for my deployment, I decide that the 8 Wolf Guard with Combi-Meltas are going to sacrifice their lives to take out Mephiston. Some people will say that using two Kill Points to take out one is a quick route to defeat. However, I knew that if Mephy got into my lines then he'd carve his way through my 5 man squads and there would be very little that I could do to stop him. The two Scout packs went Behind Enemy Lines in an attempt to team up and mug one of the Devastator squads. I also reserved 5/6 of the Rhinos, reasoning that they and their squads would be more useful later on, once the Blood Angels were a bit closer.

Early Turns

On Andy's first turn, his Bikes Turbo-Boosted forward, Mephiston failed to cast "Wings" so he had to walk while the Sanguinary Guard made haste towards my lines. The Devastator squads opened fire on the only Long Fang pack in range and managed to take out a couple of them despite them being in cover.

The Wolf Guard did their job by killing Mephiston while their Drop Pod managed to block off the shooting of one of the Devastator squads following a fortuitous scatter. My Long Fangs also took out three of the four Attack Bikes.

The Sanguinary Guard turned round to deal with the Wolf Guard which they did with aplomb. The Drop Pod was also wrecked. On the other side of the board the two Assault Squads arrived.

Frag Missiles and Murderous Hurricane thinned out the Assault Marines while a Wolf Scout Pack kept one unit of Devastators tied up.

Middle & End Turns

The Assault Marines got held up in combat by the Long Fangs which stopped them getting shot but it did mean that they could be assaulted by my Rune Priest and a couple of units of Grey Hunters. By the time that the Sanguinary Guard arrived the battle was pretty much over and even they were finally put down (although 2+ save and FNP does require a lot of firepower!)

We totted up the Kill Points and I'd won by two. Let's have a quick look at what I did well and badly:

Deployment

Reserving half my army worked out amazingly well. I knew that I couldn't deploy the Rhinos too far forward because they'd get charged early in the game. I also knew that if I deployed them too far back in my quarter then I would be cutting down on LOS for the Long Fang Packs. I also did something else I never normally do - deployed two Long Fang Packs out of cover. After seeing where Andy has placed his Devastators I knew that I could put them out in the open and not face any long range reprisals. It also meant I had great firelanes over the areas that I thought Andy would be attacking from.

Actually, my overall play was pretty good and I managed to make the most of a couple of mistakes that Andy made (see below) However, I too made a couple of silly mistakes (yet again!)

Play The Mission

Behind Enemy Lines is a brilliant rule. It allows your Wolf Scouts to sneak up on your opponent's heavy weapons and wither keep them tied up for a couple of turns or wipe them out altogether. However, a 5-man unit with no special close combat weapons is really going to struggle against a Devastator squad with attached Sanguinary Priest. Yes, I managed to keep them locked in combat for a couple of turns but I was never going to be able to wipe them out due to that FNP. In a war of attrition I was onto a loser. Now, in a normal game this wouldn't be a problem. However, in this game it cost me a Kill Point and nearly cost me a second one in order to tie up a unit that didn't really have anything to shoot at anyway.

Split Fire

I hate to waste shots. It really annoys me when I fire five guns at two guys and do five wounds because I feel I've "wasted" three wounds. It caused me some issues last month against Graham and I went and did the same thing here. In turn 1, the only really viable target for my Long Fangs were the Attack Bikes. Instead of firing one Pack at one unit and a second Pack at the other, I tried to do some fancy fire splitting in the hope of firing some shots at a third target. Net result? One Bike still left alive. Of course I managed to finish it off later in the game but that could easily have cost me a Kill Point.

Turning my attention to the other side of the table, Andy made a big mistake in deployment and a smaller one in turn 2 that exacerbated it:

Deployment

As I said near the start of the article I was really worried by the thought of 20 Assault Marines, 5 Sanguinary Guard and Mephiston jumping towards my lines. Keeping the Assault Marines off the board limited my targets and hence limited the chances of me picking the wrong one. With the Guard and the Attack Bikes out front at least one of the units would have had cover from any long range shooting I sent there way. The Assault Marines could also have used the Sanguinary Priest that was attached to the Sanguinary Guard. As it was, most of the fire that went into the Guard would have ignored the FNP anyway while the Marines needed both that and Furious Charge to be more effective.

Playing The Mission

At the top of Turn 2, Andy turned around the scary Sanguinary Guard to go and deal with the Wolf Guard. They comfortably wiped them out but this meant that they were seriously delayed in getting to the business end of the game. When they got stuck in they did some serious damage but by then they were the only target that was left to deal with. If they'd turned up earlier, while there were some Assault Marines around, I would have had some serious problems. Yes, my Wolf Guard would probably have taken out a Devastator squad but I think the Sanguinary Guard  could have covered that spread.

I really like Andy's list and think he could have done pretty well with it at the Indy GT. The only change Id make would be maybe trying to get another Jump Pack for one of the Priests since I think it would be more useful having Priests with both Assault squads rather than both Devastator squads. As for my list, I was really happy with the way it played. I'm pretty tempted to stick with it through the dogs days of 5th edition but now I've got some Thunderwolves I'm going to damn well use them!

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