Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Game 3 vs. Hornblower

I'm going to try a different format for this battle report.  Rather than try to recreate a turn by turn recap, I'm just going to do a pregame and post game analysis.  Let me know what format you prefer.  Unfortunately I didn't bring a camera for this game either (or more accurately I did but forgot about it so you just get this picture of Hornblower's wulfen).

1 kitted out thunderwolf riding Wolf Lord 
5 Thunderwolf Cavalry with lots of options

10 Grey Hunters Pack with Mark of the Wulfen 30, 2 Meltaguns,powerfist 1 Rhino, 35 pts
10 Grey Hunters Pack with Mark of the Wulfen 30, 2 Meltaguns,powerfist 1 Rhino, 35 pts
9 Blood Claws w/ Power Fist

6 Wolf Scouts Pack w, Mark of the Wulfen, Meltagun
1 Dreadnought with heavy flamer
3 Long Fangs Pack with 2 Missile Launchers

Pre-game analysis and unit selection:

Hornblower is one of the top players at the Fortress and I've had the pleasure of playing his Space Wolves a few times before (and we will be playing out the Doom of Mymeara campaign together).  The games are usually a bloody affair for one side that have a very clear winner, although who that winner changes every time.

The first things that I notice from his list is of course the large thunderwolf squad and HQ. 

The second is his blood claw and long fang packs are small.  I'm not sure what the thinking behind this is as I know he typically uses a much larger blood claw pack.  Turns out Hornblower missed that you can't add to units in your fixed list so these showed up as full squads come game time.  I allowed it as it was Hornblower's first game in the league this year and I wanted to get a game in rather than delay to a future time.

I figure he will add at least 1 more long fang pack, a rune priest, and maybe something like a dreadnought in a lucious drop pod.  This turns out to be pretty close.  He added a lascannon long fang pack, filled out the missile launchers, blood claws, gave the dreadnought a regular drop pod and a twin autocannon dreadnought.

I struggled with what to bring.  One option was to take a seer council bike squad.  They can actually matchup  with the thunderwolves (assuming fortune isn't negated by his rune priest) but if they go from winning each round by a fraction of a wound to losing by roughly three.  Not a bad choice, but it would eat all my extra points.  Instead I decide to take a couple of wraithlords and Eldrad.  The wraithlords can pound on the wolves with S10 instant death attacks, and Eldrad can provide general usefulness.  I also take an autarch on a bike with a fusion gun to try and deal with the dreadnought and give me the reserve modification if I don't get turn 1 since I probably can't start on the board with it being covered by long fangs and 24 inch moving thunderwolves.  The other option was taking an Avatar to got with the wraithlords but that would mean taking a regular farseer which I found less useful.

The mission:
When we rolled for the mission we got a mission that was created by Deacon from the 40kfightclub called Death from Above.  This is probably the most original mission in the book.  I've only played it once and the special rules didn't do much.  As with all the missions, it has three objectives worth 10, 6, and 4 points.  The primary objective is to control table quarters.  The secondary is to wipeout units in hand to hand combat.  The tertiary is to control three markers located along the middle of the board.  The interesting part is that at the beginning of each players turn a orbital bombardment strikes a random marker with a S8, AP1 melta ordnance barrage and if no one controls/contests a marker at the end of the game we both lose battle points!

Post game:
Hornblower did win turn 1 and gave me a table quarter with limited cover for vehicles/wraithlords.  As a result I did have to reserve everything.  The mission was kind enough to blow up one of his rhinos, part of a grey hunter squad as it tried to advance and generally harass his units.  Most importantly it pinned his 15 man blood claw pack on turn 7 preventing them blowing up the injured vyper that moved in to contest their quarter.  The thunderwolves did as expected wiping out everything that came near them and the wraithlords failed to have any impact other than forcing 1 save on his lord which he passed.  All of my plans for tying up the thunderwolves failed but he had at least two poor difficult terrain rolls of 2 inches that slowed them down.  Also because he got turn 1 everything was in reserve and that shortened the game.  Deployment was quarter based and the 15 man blood claw pack secured his rear while the thunderwolves swept up everything in their path.  The critical mistake of the game was he retreated his blood claws in order to get a couple of shots and instead of being able to claim two quarters they were only able to claim one.  This left the neutral zone quarter on my side uncontested for a dire avenger unit to sneak into.  Hornblower put a lot of focus into minimizing/killing the jetbikes, which was probably not needed.  The large blood claw unit had effectively forced them (and the rest of my army) into a very small portion of the board.  I can't say that it was a mistake, but I think they got the focus they got more because of past performance than actual threat.

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