Thursday, 15 April 2010

Clash Under Ash

Ragnar looked up at the sky, it was covered with ash following the volcanic eruption. Father Njal had told him that this was a good portent for the forthcoming battle, that the violence of the earth itself reflected the violence within the very heart of every Space Wolf.

We rolled up a Seize Ground mission with 4 objectives and Spearhead deployment. I won the roll off to go first but I passed it to Andy.

Ragnar's battlegroup rumbled onto the field of battle. Surveying the scene on his Land Raider's internal monitor he saw how small the arrayed enemy force was. Ha! He thought, the four power cells would soon be in Space Wolf hands. However, he knew that he has sent a squad of Wolf Scouts to operate behind enemy lines and he was sure that the enemy must have something up their sleeve.

Turn 1
With a roar, the two Drop Pods screamed through the atmosphere and landed right in the Space Wolf lines. Heading for the two Space Wolf Predators, they landed bang on target. The Sternguard and the Ironclad Dreadnought exited in good order and trained their Meltaguns on the battle tanks:

One Meltagun and four Combi-Melta shots later and the Predators had been destroyed. From the other side of the field a Land Speeder and the Terminator Squad's Cyclone Missile Launcher took aim at the Lascannon Razorback immobilising it. On the other flank, the other Land Speeder, a Lascannon and the Librarian with Machine Curse all took aim at the Land Raider but failed to do any damage.

The Space Wolves mechanised assault was in danger of being wiped out without having the chance to strike back. The Land Raider moved right towards the Librarian's Rhino and blew it up with its Multimelta. The Assault Cannon Razorback moved behind the trees to try and avoid the fate of its brother by hiding behind the trees.

End of turn 1:

Turn 2

The cloud of ash overhead parted and the third Drop Pod landed in the middle of the battlefield. The combat squad with the Librarian backed away from the Land Raider, while behind them the other combat squad fired their Lascannon at the Land Raider, destroying its Assault Cannons. The nearby Land Speeder also fired at the Raider but couldn't penetrate its thick armour. The second Land Speeder just about managed to draw a bead on the undamaged Razorback and while one missile crashed into the intervening trees the second blew the vehicle to pieces. As the squad inside emerged from the debris they were cut down to a man by the disciplined fire of the Sternguard.

On the Space Wolf left flank, the two Land Speeders moved round to douse the Sternguard with their Heavy Flamers but only managed to kill a couple. However, the real action was happening in the middle of the battlefield as Ragnar Blackmane and his squad charged out of their Land Raider:

Erik the Red, the Wolf Priest hacked down the Librarian while Ragnar himself cut down 5 Tactical Marines. Only the Marine Sergeant was left standing and even though he managed to kill a Blood Claw with his Power Fist he was cut down as he tried to flee.

End of Turn 2:

Turn 3:

Since the Sternguard couldn't get past the Land Speeders to get to the Razorback they decided to charge the Speeders instead. They struggled to hit the fast moving vehicles and only managed to blow the Heavy Flamer off one of them. Meanwhile everyone else in the army shot at Ragnar's squad. Even though a few casualties were caused, they held their ground, made Fearless by the Wolf Priest's Fang of Morkai. The Terminators, realising that something had to be done to prevent that squad claiming the objectives charged into hand to hand combat. However Ragnar was too fast and cut down four of the heavily armour behemoths before they knew what had hit them. The Sergeant was only saved by his Crux Terminatus and managed to strike down a Blood Claw with his Power Sword even as he was being ripped apart by the rest of the squad.

In the Space Wolves deployment zone, the Grey Hunters finally emerged from their immobilised Razorback. As the two Land Speeders provided covering fire they charged into the Sternguard and managed to kill the last of them. Lysander was not so easy to kill though and he crushed the skulls of two of the Fenrisians. The other three were resolute and the combat remained locked. On the Space Wolf right, the Land Raider downed a Land Speeder with its Multimelta and killed most of the Tactical squad using its Hurricane Bolters. Meanwhile Ragnar left his squad and swung his Frost Blade at the other Land Speeder. He managed to immobilise it and cut off its Typhoon Missile Launchers. Erik led the Blood Claws against the Razorback but only managed to blow the Heavy Bolters off.

End of Turn 3:

Turn 4:

The Blood Claws had been rampaging across the battlefield so the Razorback driver did the only thing he could think of to stop them - try to run them over. The Wolf Priest managed to shout at them just in time and they managed to jump out of the way. Meanwhile Lysander killed another Grey Hunter but took a wound himself. He was needed elsewhere, he could not afford to be stuck in this combat much longer.

The Wolf Scouts finally made an appearance and they managed to blow the Heavy Bolter off the already immobilised Land Speeder leaving it practically useless. The Land Raider finished off the last of the Tactical squad on the Space Wolf left with its Hurricane Bolters. In the centre the two Land Speeders sped to help Ragnar and managed to immobilise the Razorback. Ragnar, having re-joined his squad charged the vehicle and blew it apart. Lysnader finally killed the last of the Grey Hunters and stomped up the battlefield towards where the real action was.

End of Turn 4:

Turn 5:

With only Lysander left able to move, he charged into the Land Speeders and managed to destroy one with his Thunder Hammer. The Drop Pod in the centre of the field again fired its Storm Bolter into the Blood Claws but did no damage. The remaining five Tactical Marines knew that their time was up and chose to stand and fire their Bolters instead of charging. However, they failed to cause any wounds.

The Land Raider fired its Multimelta at the Drop Pod in the centre and managed to destroy its irritating Storm Bolter. The Land Speeder and the Razorback both fired at Lysander but failed to take another wound off him. Ragnar lead his squad into combat once more and due to his speed managed to kill all 5 Tactical Marines before the rest of his squad even had the chance to swing their Chainswords.

End of Turn 5:

Turn 6:

In forlorn hope Lysander ran towards the Space Wolves shouting eons old curses. The entire remaining Space Wolf battleline calmly moved to take up better firing positions and let rip with every weapon at their disposal. The Land Raider wounded him and then the Wolf Scouts did likewise. Ragnar raised his Bolt Pistol, an ancient heirloom that had belonged to his predecessor as Wolf Lord. He fired a single shot. Lysander tried to raise his mighty Storm Shield but he was a fraction too slow and he was dead before he hit the ground.

End of Turn 6:

Andy picked up the die and ended the game there. With neither of us having any units within 3" of the objective markers the game was a draw.

Ragnar looked down and saw that the power cells had burned themselves out. He let out a loud curse, he had failed in his mission. His only hope was that his saga would sing of the 14 foes he had personally slain in hand to hand combat and not of this stain upon his record. He knew that Ulf Ironheart, his companies Iron Priest, would be disappointed at not getting any of these precious power cells. Then Ragnar saw it, the mighty Thunder Hammer that the enemy's leader had carried. He bent down and picked it up. Surely Ulf would be more impressed with a gift such as this rather than a dull old power cell? Ragnar smiled and made his way back towards his Land Raider.

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