Batrep: Space Wolves vs. Hive Fleet Proteus (1500pts)

Kurt lives about as far as you possibly could from me while still being in Anchorage.  Because of that, we don’t get to play all that much, but he’s managed to swing by two weeks in a row, and this past weekend, we thankfully got a game in.

Lars’ Space Wolf Force with Il-Kaithe Allied Crusade Force

  • wh39kNidsvKurt (1)HQ:
    • Rune Priest (Lars) w/ Terminator Armour, Storm Bolter, Runic Axe, & Wolf Tooth Necklace (Murderous Hurricane & JotWW)
    • Spiritseer (Yolanderas) w/ Rune armour, shuriken pistol & witch staff
  • Elites:
    • 4x Wolf Guard Terminators w/ various weapons in drop pod
  • Troops:
    • 10x Grey Hunters w/ Power Axe, Flamer & Plasma Gun in Drop Pod
    • 10x Grey Hunters w/ Power Axe, Flamer & Plasma Gun in Drop Pod
    • 6x Grey Hunters w/ Flamer in Razorback w/ Twin-linked H. Bolters
    • 5x Wraithguard in Wave Serpent w/ Bright Lance & Holo-fields
  • Fast Attack:
    • 5x Warp Spiders w/ Exarch (Fast Shot & Spinneret Rifle)
    • 4x Hyperios Air Defense Battery

Kurt’s a pretty fantastic guy.  He’s smart, well-mannered and such, but he’s also a great gamer.  This is because he has a fair bit of disposable income, so he has basically everything his army can possibly want, but he also manages to paint it all.  Not only that, but he gets into the thematic/fluff part of the game as well (evidenced by the fact that he named his force and characters–see above).  He’s also the guy that inspired me to get a t-shirt for my marines, because any Apoc game he goes to, he sports a pretty sweet Space Wolf shirt.

His army is pretty solid, and well rounded, with a lot of high strength/low AP weaponry.  He’s also one of the few people that I know who regularly plays with Forgeworld figures (and not always the same ones), so it was nice to see what they can do (spoiler alert: STR8 AP3 twin-linked skyfire/interceptor is pretty fantastic).  I was surprised to see that these count as fast attack for some reason??

Hive Fleet Proteus:

  • wh39kNidsvKurt (2)HQ:
    • Flyrant w/ Maw Claws & Toxin Sacs (Dominion & Paroxysm)
  • Elites:
    • 1x Venomthrope
    • 1x Venomthrope
    • 1x Zoanthrope (Catalyst)
  • Troops:
    • 30x Termagants w/ Spinefists
    • Tervigon w/ Toxin Sacs & Cluster Spines (Catalyst)
    • 16x Hormagaunts
    • 5x Genestealers + Broodlord
  • Heavy Support:
    • Trygon Prime w/ Toxin Sacs
    • Mawloc w/ Toxin Sacs
    • Tyrannofex w/ Shredder Beetles & Toxin Sacs

Wow, it’s hard to believe that I played a list without including some form of fast attack.  I always want to throw gargoyles or raveners in, but somehow they evaded me this game.  I wanted to give the Flyrant another shot (since everyone says how great she is now, and figured Maw Claws seemed to be a worthwhile upgrade).  My Hormagaunts did a good job of staying out in front as a screen in my previous game, so I threw those in.  Likewise, my Tyrannofex did a good job soaking wounds in that game as well, thanks in large part to the Venomthropes, so both of those units went into the list.

I always like to mix things up, so I threw in a Mawloc to see how he fairs.  I know that’s seen as a great/popular choice in this codex and–if it managed to hit–I would agree with that; however, it only hits 1/3 of the time, so it’s too random to get my seal of approval.  Well, at least that’s on paper… so I figured I’d give him a shot.

I was really lucky with my psychic powers, getting the ability to essentially give all of my monstrous creatures FNP.  I did roll up the nova “doom-lite” ability on my flyrant, but opted to switch that out for Dominion because I felt I was a little light on synapse.

Mission & Deployment:

wh39kNidsvKurt (3)Kurt set up terrain while I built my list.  I was originally toying with the idea of playing a Manufactorum Genestealer formation, so I requested that he include at least a few buildings (though I opted not to very quickly because it felt like I was gaming the system if I did).  He was trying to keep the terrain painted so that the overall game looked good.  For mission, we rolled up the one with two objectives (one in each of our deployment areas) deploying on the short table edges.  I won the dice off and chose to go first.

I deployed everything on the line, hoping to get into assault relatively quickly.  The genestealers infiltrated (but I forgot to deploy them) and the Mawloc was held in reserve.  Kurt deployed his missile launchers in the building with a great view of the battlefield, but the rest of his units essentially set up in fear of the Mawloc.  They all hugged close to difficult/impassible terrain so that when the Mawloc was to show up, he would have no hope of doing much damage.

Kurt managed to seize initiative and took the first turn.

Turn 1: Space Wolves

wh39kNidsvKurt (4)He opted to drop two of his pods empty right in front of me, to try to clog up my advance.  Otherwise, movement didn’t consist of all that much, and he went directly to shooting.

His first shot was to cast JotWW at my Tervigon, and promptly destroyed her.  His next shots were from the weapon batteries and the wave serpent, who managed to easily dispatch the Flyrant.

It was at this point where I became demoralized.  I  haven’t gotten a chance to go, and I’ve already lost a third of my army (to three units firing at me, mind you), including half of my synapse, and my warlord.  It was a pretty devastating opening, and I struggled to see how it would be possible to even pull a draw out.  It seemed a forgone conclusion that his next round of shooting would punk my Trygon, leaving me with only a Zoanthrope for synapse.

Kurt, being the great sport that he was, offered to start over or to play another game.  He said that it wouldn’t be any fun for him if I wasn’t going to have fun.  I struggled with being a whiner for a bit, but then opted to accept his offer to start over, knowing that the best I could hope for was a draw (even if I won the game, it was only because I lost this one).

Turn 1: Hive Fleet Proteus (Do-Over)

wh39kNidsvKurt (6)Ok, I’m still kicking myself for not finishing out the game, but what’s done can’t be undone.  Anywho, we reset back to the start of turn one (including pulling off his drop pods, and re-rolling for the various pieces of terrain)–basically everything except letting him seize the initiative again (because that was sort of the point of the do-over).

My first turn wasn’t very glorious, as I didn’t have much in the way of long ranged firepower.  I just lurched forward with my line to get it into range to be shot to hell, and then passed the turn.  The only things aside from movement that I actually accomplished was to put up some psychic defenses (FNP on my Flyrant, Zoanthrope, Tervigon, & Tyrannofex, as well as Dominion on my Hive Tyrant).  Dominion turned out to be a mistake because nothing was going to keep up with her flying across the board, and it might’ve been nice to reduce the WS/BS of nearby units instead.

What really helped her survivability this time was that the forest immediately in front of Kurt’s army granted a 3+ cover save, which would help to keep her alive for a turn.  The run move on my monstrous creatures helped them try to keep pace with the Flyrant, and the rest of the army scampered forward as well.  In total, I didn’t manage to do a single wound, but then again, I don’t think I fired a single shot either.  This army is definitely not the sort for first blood…

Turn 1: Space Wolves (Redux)

wh39kNidsvKurt (8)Unfortunately for my Warlord, she didn’t weather an entire round of shooting.  There was just too much to bear (including his nasty AA platforms), and she found herself laying in a crumple in front of his army.  The good news was that it took almost everything he had to finish her off, so I was able to let the rest of my army survive pretty-much unscathed.

By this point, Kurt had already forsaken his anti-Mawloc deployment strategy and started clumping guys up into a relatively dense formation ripe for killing (though I still didn’t think he had much to worry about).

What he did have going on his side was that the mysterious river turned out to give him FNP on his rearguard, so if the Mawloc was to hit there, perhaps he could shake it off…

Turn 2: Hive Fleet Proteus

wh39kNidsvKurt (10)My Mawloc arrived (despite not having the re-roll granted my by former warlord’s trait), and dumped into the river, killing a handful of marines in the process.  There was some debate as to what the best spot would be, but it seemed that it was generally not a good idea to hit multi-wound models with the blast, because that drastically increased the odds of failing (especially for those with invulnerable saves).  So, I opted to play it safe and go towards the back.

Elsewhere, I managed to get off two successful charges: the Termagants against the Wraithguard and the Tyrranofex against the Wave Serpent.  Kurt had made a calculated move hoping that my armored support choice was going to be too far away from his wave serpent to make a difference, but I managed to roll something like a 10″ for charge distance, and that proved to be too much for the fragile Eldar craft.  The wraithguard, however, demonstrated how formidable an opponent they could be, and actually won several rounds of combat.  I had also chosen to charge the Tervigon into that same combat, but she couldn’t move fast enough through difficult terrain.  Originally, I was worried about the snapshots that could potentially kill her outright, but when we found out that she’d get the cover save from where she started in the charge, it was worth  the risk.  (Have I mentioned that I loved that forest yet?).

The rest of my bugs surged forward, either supporting the Trygon, or basically hiding in that 3++ cover save forest, with nothing else to do, I passed the turn.

Turn 2: Space Wolves

wh39kNidsvKurt (15)

Kurt didn’t like the 2+ armor save of the Tyrannofex, so he dumped a bunch of plasma weaponry into him.  Between some failed wounding rolls and some good FNP rolls on my half, Kurt was forced to commit his terminators into the combat to bring the beast down.  Unfortunately for him, he rolled fairly abysmally, and my ‘fex lasted with a single wound into the next round.

My hormagaunts and genestealers on my right flank weren’t fairing well against the massed bolter fire output of the space marines, but at least they were keeping him busy while my big bugs could work their magic.

During the shooting phase, what was keeping me alive was the fact that I’d parked a venomthrope in the 3+ cover forest effectively giving everything in there a 2+ cover save, and –oddly-enough–I actually was making those saves (which is something I”m incapable of doing with Terminators).

Meanwhile, on the left flank, the gaunts were still flailing around against the wraithguard–occassionally winning a round of combat, and occassionally being set on fire (which never caused a single wound throughout the game–much to Kurt’s dismay).

Turn 3: Hive Fleet Proteus

wh39kNidsvKurt (17)

The Tyrannofex had performed admirably in the previous round, but I just didn’t think he could hold out for another turn (especially with only one wound left), so I charged in the Mawloc and the Tervigon to support him.  Sadly, the Tervigon managed to fail her charge (I’m starting to notice a theme here), but the Mawloc made it.  For good measure, I also threw the Trygon into the same combat, figuring that Terminators can be rather tough to uproot sometimes.  I’m glad that I did because the Trygon actually didn’t do all that much damage–nor did the Tyrannofex (who ultimately was squished by a powerfist), but the Mawloc managed to eek out enough wounds to kill everything except Njal (who failed to wound in his force weapon attack against the untarnished Trygon).

Elsewhere, I had almost no shooting, so the only real thing happening was the ongoing assault between teragants and wraithguard, which–which trudged along at the normal speed…

Turn 3: Space Wolves

Kurt peppered what he could around the board, killing one of the venomthropes (the one out in the open), and eventually slaughtering all of the hormagaunts/genestealers, but he was in a bad way with the big bugs, running out of effective troops to wound them with.  He still had the AA platforms (which I was essentially never going to get to) and the Warp spiders (who were being thinned out).  He hopped around and peppered me with fire a bit, but most things were engaged.

In combat, Njal fell to the surrounding Monstrous Creatures without doing any damage of his own, and in an astonishing turn of events, the Termgants actually whooped the wraithguard.  I did a pittance of wounds, but he managed to fail all of his saves, leaving just a wounded psyker scurrying off the table, so I consolidated my ‘gants towards the objective.

At this point, I was willing to call it, but he insisted we continue because he thought that “there was more than {the Tyranids} could kill.”  He did want to play a bit faster to ensure that he got out early though, so on to turn 4: speedy style.

Turn 4: (Both)

My heavy support creatures charged into his nearby grey hunters, tying them up and thinning them out nicely.  Elsewhere, my Tervigon spawned some gaunts to hold the objectives (actually she did this in the previous turn as well), and the gaunts peppered his other grey hunters and warp spiders with fire, killing a few, but not enough to matter.  He surged in and contested the objective, but could not really affect my objective, so that would end the game.

What I Learned:

wh39kNidsvKurt (22)This particular game I want to chalk up as a loss based upon the fact that I gave up after half a round of shooting.  One could call it a tie because he effectively won that round and I won the replay, but I think the most accurate way to treat it as two games: a win and a loss (with a morale loss to boot).  There’s something to learn from everything though.

  1. Hive Tyrants should have a gun on them.  A heavy venom cannon is a good way to help if they get out of position and an easy way to get first blood (by popping a vehicle).  I think I’ve “learned” this in the past… we’ll see how many times I need to learn it before it sinks in.
  2. You get cover saves from the spot you’re in at the start of a charge, against overwatch shots.  Who’d’ve thunk?
  3. Sportsmanship is something that I’ll likely never master.  It’s an ongoing struggle.  Should I have played that out?  Whatever the case, Kurt showed me what a good sport with his play.
  4. Hyperios Defense Platforms are insane.  Granted, he could’ve had Long Fangs with Missile Launchers for about the same price, but anyone can get the Hyperios platforms.  Giving them twin-linked and AA mounts is just over the top.
  5. The venomthrope did quite well.  That’s two games in a row (sort of).  I’m actually impressed by him.
  6. Likewise, the Tyrannofex did well.  Maybe he’s not as bad as I thought?  Still, it’s a small sample size.
  7. Flyrants have zero durability.  I know common wisdom is that they’re the best unit in the codex, but everyone is wrong.  This is just bad–unless you take a crap-ton of them.

 

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12 comments on “Batrep: Space Wolves vs. Hive Fleet Proteus (1500pts)

  1. I’m surprised by your assessment of the Hyperios Platforms. I don’t remember their exact stats (despite owning two books with their rules), but IIRC they’re BS2 and twinlinked, single krak missile shot each, skyfire, interceptor. The controller lets them split fire.
    Am I misremembering the BS value, or was someone rolling like a champ?

    • I didn’t see the rules specifically, but Kurt’s pretty exacting with that sort of thing, so I trust him. You have the rules relatively accurate, except they’re BS3 and he didn’t seem to have an option to split fire (or at least he never used it). Essentially, they’re about the same price as Long Fangs, but anyone can get them, they come with Skyfire/Interceptor, are slightly more accurate, and are a whole lot tougher. I already rate long fangs with missile launchers as one of the best units in the codex, so any improvement on that is something to gawk at.

      On Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 7:32 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:

      >

      • You have to pay extra for the controller, as well as give up one launcher (you’d have 3 launchers, one controller) to split fire.
        It’s a nice, cheap unit that can knock down fliers, and eats a slot that isn’t typically used by AA assets. I’ve been fiddling with taking some for ages, but they always lost the battle for selection in my bike armies that used up all of their FA slots.

      • Oh yeah, I’d forgotten that they don’t even take up a heavy support slot, so that makes them even better (IMO). Kurt runs them because he says he wanted something in his list to deal with flyers, but I don’t think it’s necessary. If there was just a single flyer, his army has more than enough pew-pew to plink it out of the air. Naturally, if someone plays a crazy hardc0re air-spam list, his list is going to hurt, but what sort of casual player does that (hint, none that either he or I have faced).

        Those launchers are just nightmares to Monstrous Creatures though. Since bugs can’t get invulnerable saves, there’s about a 22% chance that a flyrant dies outright to a single turn of shooting (excluding cover saves). That doesn’t seem like much I s’pose, but for something that’s as theoretically hard to kill as a flying monstrous creature, that’s pretty rough. S8 AP3 vs. anything other than a Tyrannofex just melts away wounds. Considering this is a 100ish point Fast Attack choice, and any monstrous creature is generally pushing 200 points (or more), that’s just rough.

        Perhaps I shouldn’t complain about the Hyperios launchers, and instead go back to saying that Tyranids are direly lacking any sort of durability, but it feels like I’m beating a dead horse there.

        On Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 8:27 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:

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      • We actually had a very lively discussion about FMCs in general on my FLGS’s forums. The general outcome is that Nid FMCs suffer due to the power of Daemon FMCs. Even something as small as giving them a Jink save would help out Nid FMCs. Daemon FNCs are tougher, and get invulnerable saves. Of course, any BRB rule you give to Nid FMCs would grant the same to the already rock-hard Daemon FMCs.
        It’s funny. Any list build to take out flying threats can nuke Nid FMCs with impunity, but any list that takes half-measures against flyers gets hosed by the FMCs. I’ve been on the receiving end of some brutal beatings at the hands (claws?) of multiple Flyrant lists and multiple flying Daemon lists.

      • I haven’t played much against FMC’s, so I’ll take your word on the durability of Daemons. I know Nid flyers are pretty craptastic though, but the lack of durability is a common theme that runs through the codex. In my opinion, the Nids were created as a very thematic army that dies in droves. While it does make for great battle reports, and good scenic movies, it sucks to play the army whose special purpose in the game is to die.

        On Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 10:34 AM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:

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  2. I think it was the right call to restart the game. It wasn’t a tournament, so the (only) point of the game is to have fun. And that typically requires a challenge. If you could both see in turn one exactly how the game would pan out, then what would have been the point in finishing?

    Great looking game though – the armies, and the scenery, look fantastic.

    • Well, though it was really dire for me, it wasn’t hopeless. Although, pulling anything out would’ve taken a HUGE amount of luck. Still, I’ve had some pretty rough openings before, and actually pulled out a victory. For instance, in the game vs. Brandon on 9/16/2013, he scored 5 KP on the first turn (after I did a whole lot of nothing). This included taking out my Warlord, and practically killing three more squads. That was a full half of my army (that was deployed) that died without doing anything. How much different is that than losing a Tervigon and a flyrant? Granted, it was half my synapse, and about a third of my total points, so it sounds bad, but I dare say it wasn’t too far off. I guess the problem was that I was still so far away from him, and was going to take at least another round of shooting from Kurt’s highly shooty force before I was to ever see combat.

      Playing against Kurt was nice because of the painted models though. He held himself to only playing painted figures as I did to make the battle report look better. One of these days I’ll finish off the terrain to really make it stand out.

      On Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 4:30 PM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:

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  3. I agree with you. The important thing is not so much whether you’d have had a chance of victory if you’d played on, but would the game have been interesting and fun? As you say, you were still a long way away, so it’s pretty predictable what would have happened. It’s not just that you’d have lost, but that you both knew more or less how you’d have lost.

    I think it’s also relevant that it was right at the beginning of the game. If this had happened turn 3, I’d have said ‘play on’. Or concede, I suppose. But you’d owe it to the narrative as well as to each other to see what happened and to see if you could pull something out of the bag. But right at the beginning of the game? What would have been the point? You were right to restart and have a closer, less predictable and more fun game.

    • I appreciate that. But one can have fun without winning, right? I’m wondering if I wouldn’t be a better person if I could lose more stoically?

      On Wed, Apr 2, 2014 at 5:01 PM, Warhammer 39,9999 wrote:

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