Battle Report: Space Wolves vs. Ultramarines (500pts)

In preparation for the impending local 500 point tournament, I’m toying around with various lists.  The sleeper list that I was hoping to run consisted almost entirely of landspeeder storms.  This week, my game featured that list up against a hodge-podge of Space Wolves.

Space Wolves Force:

  • Troops:
    • Grey Hunters x5 w/ flamer
    • Grey Hunters x5 w/ flamer
  • Elites:
    • Lone Wolves x3
  • Fast Attack:
    • Thunderwolf Calvary w/ frostblade
    • Landspeeder w/ Typhoon launchers & H. Flamer
  • Heavy Support:
    • Longfangs x5 w/ 4x Missile Launchers

Cole’s list brought a smattering of everything to the battle.  The idea of including lone wolves without any additional wargear came as a bit of a shock to me, but it was a great idea.  At 20 points each, they provide some much-needed punch to the list, along with providing flexibility in the fact that they’re effectively independant characters. 

Aside from that, the muscle in his list was definitely the long fangs, along with the thunderwolf–who, at strength 6 and toughness 5, was effectively a Monstrous Creature.

Ultramarines Force:

  • Troops:
    • Scout Squad w/ CCW & Bolt Pistols
      • Lead by a Sarge w/ Powerfist
    • Scout Squad w/ CCW & Bolt Pistols
      • Lead by a Sarge w/ Powerfist & Combi-Melta
    • Scout Squad w/ CCW & Bolt Pistols
      • Lead by a Sarge w/ Powerfist & Combi-Melta
  • Fast Attack:
    • Landspeeder Storm w/ Heavy Flamer
    • Landspeeder Storm w/ Heavy Flamer
    • Landspeeder Storm w/ Heavy Flamer

PROXY ALERT:  You’ll note that the models are a little out of place, but they’re all supposed to represent the list above.  Also, throughout the batrep, you’ll find one particular sarge keep showing up in the photos… he wasn’t the one that was necessarily supposed to be there, but he was the most photogenic, so as my squads died, he kept getting swapped out…

If this list seems familiar, it’s probably because I reviewed it last week, here.  Since I went over it there, I won’t delve much into the thought behind it in this post.  Needless to say, the ideas revolve around manuverability…

Mission & Deployment:

Our resident TO likes to mix things up with missions, so I was fine with playing whatever Cole wanted.  He opted for a modified “capture & control” that deployed three objectives in roughly the center of the board.  Since we played a smaller game, we opted to use a smaller table, reducing the size to 4’x4′.

Dicing off for first turn, he won and opted to go first.  I reserved everything (outflanking–though I forgot to tell him that I was outflanking) and failed to seize the initiative before the game commenced.

Turn 1: Space Wolves

With nothing to shoot at, he simply advanced upon the objectives.

Turn 1: Ultramarines

Ho hum.. everything in reserve.

Turn 2: Space Wolves

More advancing…

Turn 2: Ultramarines

By this point, I had almost forgotten that we were playing a game.  To this point I could have been found wandering around the room, looking at other games in progress and talking it up with various players.  Granted, I could’ve sat and watched Cole move, but I trust him implicitly.  Frankly, I’m of the opinion that it doesn’t matter who my opponent is, I should feel comfortable walking away from the table, and letting them make moves, roll dice, etc.  The way I see it, is that if the person feels the need to cheat at a game, it’s obviously more important to them than it is to me.  Likewise, if I’m there watching, and they’re any good at cheating, I probably wouldn’t catch them anyway.

That isn’t to say that I enjoy gaming with known cheaters–on the contrary.  I just don’t waste my time in casual atmosphere doing so.  The one time I came up against one in a tourney, I spent 80% of my game away from the table.  No sense in making it an abbrasive atmosphere… I’m here to have fun, not to argue…

But I digress.  At this point, two of my speeders came on, and they rolled opposite sides for outflanking (or rather, one rolled left, and the other I got to pick–but I wanted it on the right, so that it could setup a first turn charge).  The speeder on the left, moved flat-out for a cover save–since it wasn’t going to be close enough to allow an assault.  I opted to keep it more than 18″ away from the enemy, as even bolter-fire could bring it down.  This left him really with just the long-fangs and the speeder as viable units to shoot the speeder down.

On the right flank, I removed one of those units from the equation by charging my scouts into his long-fangs.  On the way in, I fired my bolt-pistols, but not the combi-melta (figuring I’d need it for either the speeder, or the thunderwolf at a later time).  In combat, I realized how sick space wolves really are.  

My scouts charged in with 12 attacks + 3 powerfist swings–which, when combined with some pistol shots, and the heavy flamer, is typically enough to put a hurt on a squad.  I’d forgotten that his long-fangs (or rather, his entire army) gets counter-charge though, which gave him 11 attacks in defence.  Considering he had a higher weapon skill and better armor, that took me down a peg. 

By that logic, I should do roughly 2.25 wounds to his squad, but he’ll likely do 2.33 wounds to me (figures courtesy of the Hamulator)!  I look at these scouts as a shock-assault troop, and they generally do a pretty good job at it, but when they’re outmatched assaulting into a devastator squad, that’s just sad…

As the statistic predicted, we did equal wounds and tied the combat.  The problem with that resolution is that he had more units nearby to add to the combat, and I had just a stranded speeder…

Turn 3: Space Wolves

This turn was dominated by the assault phase.  A few shots from bolters and a missile launcher poured into the other speeder, but it emerged unscathed.  Aside from that, there was minimal rearranging of troops near objectives, but the focus was definitely on assault.

His thunderwolf sallied past my scout squad to ensure he could charge the landspeeder (which he did) in the hopes he could do damage (which he didn’t).  As for the scout squad, he was suddenly facing combat from two lone-wolves, and the last long fang.  I managed to fend off all but one attack–but that was enough to kill him…

Turn 3: Ultramarines

My other reserve came on: again on the left side.  With no immediate charge targets, he moved flat out to the back of the board, and the other speeder joined him.  My empty storm, moved to flame 6 models across four units–all of which made their armor saves.

And my turn was over already.

Turn 4: Space Wolves

Cole’s landspeeder finally hit home and wrecked the storm with a combi-melta.  The guys poured out into a hail of bolter fire, but they all managed to survive.  The other storm survived unscathed.

The unmanned storm on the right side of the board wasn’t so lucky.  He was multi-assaulted by lone-wolves and grey hunters after they immobolized it in the shooting phase.  Autohits + Krak grenades = my 2nd dead speeder.

By this point, I’d managed to lose half of my force, and only killed off four of his marines.  I think this is officially the point where I could say “It doesn’t look good for our hero.”

Turn 4: Ultramarines

My transportless scouts advanced, but wouldn’t have been able to make the charge.  Instead, they fired the combi-melta into the nearby speeder, but missed the shot.  The other storm moved around the back of the board and opened fire on the thunderwolf before charging.  When the smoke had cleared, he had taken a single wound–which was good enough for me.  12 attacks + 3 powerfist swings later, and the thunderwolf still stood…

The dice gods were not pleased with me for this game.

The powerfist lived through this turn of combat, but would die the next.

Turn 5: Space Wolves

At this point I was down to 7 models on the board: 1 speeder, 1 soon-to-be-EX-powerfist scout (engaged with a thunderwolf calvary), and five scouts in the open.  This turn the single scout would die to the MC, and three of the other four would die to a heavy flamer.  Oddly, none died to bolter fire–likely because they were focusing on the storm–and managed to shake it.

Turn 5: Ultramarines

With only two models left to do anything with, I did what I had to: charged them into a nearby grey hunter squad.  While they managed to kill off my normal scout, my powerfist took of his opponents out before they broke and he “ran them down” (meaning he killed another one due to ATSKNF).  It was at this point that I started getting a weird twinkle in my eye, knowing that I’d be decimated in the game, but it might be possible to pull off a win…

Sadly, it was close, but no cigar.  Cole piled in a few lone-wolves into the combat, and my scout sarged promptly squished their heads (pshaw, go buy a power weapon, fools), leaving him in combat on the very last turn with one grey hunter and that infernal thunderwolf.  Six power weapon attacks at strength 6 makes for a nasty fortune.  Only two of them managed to wound, but that was enough to officially table me on the last turn.

For giggles, I rolled the “what would’ve happened dice” to find out if I could’ve won the combat otherwise.  True to form, I put one attack on each, and would’ve killed them both off–giving me enough consolidation move to hold an objective.  The end result would’ve been a tie–despite the fact that I’d been absolutely ravaged all game.

But, would’ve, should’ve, could’ve doesn’t ultimately matter.  Cole was certainly victorious in this fight…

What I Learned:

  1. I need to remember to declare my speeders as Outflankers.  While Cole had no problem with me forgetting, some people in a tourney aren’t bound to be so nice.
  2. Space wolves are yucky.  When their long-range attack force outdamage the best assault units in my army, that’s something to reconsider… They’re going to be a tough opponent, no matter what army list I play.
  3. I have to remember that I can fire my combi-meltas (and bolt pistols) from inside the storm as it moves.  I never play with open topped vehicles, so it’s easy to forget, but it’s a handy little tool…
  4. While I love my little units, they’re probably better when used in combined /multi-assaults.  For that reason, if I get them in, I should pair them up as best as possible, and keep them out of site for as long as I can.  Really, this army might work well using the traditional Eldar tactic of hiding all game, and them blasting forward to force opponents off objectives on the last turn.  Granted, it won’t be using tank-shock, but scouts in combat with 3 heavy flamers backing them off, should be able to kick most anyone off an objective…

One comment on “Battle Report: Space Wolves vs. Ultramarines (500pts)

  1. Pingback: Battle Reports for 5th Edition: A Summary | Warhammer 39,9999

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