It had been quite a while since I’ve dusted off my 40k models, so with some friends out of town, we opted to forgo the regularly scheduled game night so we could play some 40ks…
Sean’s Space Wolves:
- Bjorn, the Fell Handed (Warlord)
- Arjac Rockfist
- 5x Wulfen inc. 4x Thunder Hammers & Storm Shields and 1x Lightning Claws
- 5x Grey Hunters w/ Plasma & Banner
- 5x Grey Hunters w/ Melta & Banner
- 5x Grey Hunters w/ Flamer & Banner
- 6x Long Fangs w/ 5x Heavy Plasma
- 1x Stormfang Gunship
I’m not 100% sure of the breakdown of units and loadout–or that they’re necessarily lumped into the correct categories, but that’s essentially what he had. Arjac forgot to come out during the photo shoot, but trust me, he was there. He also apparently paid to upgrade a single sergeant to a wolfguard battle leader in terminator armor, but forgot to put him on the table.
This is probably a good time to point out that neither Sean or I have played 40k in entirely too long, so this game involved a bunch of looking up rules, general misremembering, and an ultimate realization of how out of practice we were…
- Sergeant Chronus (Warlord)
- Chief Librarian Tigirius
- 5x Tactical Marines w/ Multi-Melta, Plasma, & Powerfist/Plasma Pistol
- 5x Tactical Marines w/ Heavy Bolter, Melta, & Powersword
- 5x Tactical Marines w/ Lascannon & Plasma
- Fast Attack:
- 1x Attack Bike w/ Multi-Melta
- 1x Attack Bike w/ Multi-Melta
- Heavy Support:
- 1x Land Raider w/ Lascannons & Heavy Bolters
- 1x Storm Talon w/ Assault Cannons & Lascannons
- 1x Storm Raven w/ Assault Cannons, Hurricane Bolters, & Missile Launcher
- 1x Rhino
I wanted to play bugs because I’m more familiar with them and I feel like I have more options. But I’ve clearly played an imbalanced number of games with them so far this year, so I figured I’d dust off (literally) my boys in blue and give them a whirl.
I started with my HQ’s and just decided to go with some models I hadn’t played before. I’m pretty sure that a Land Raider hasn’t seen the table for me in quite some time, and I can’t recall ever playing with Chronus, so why not smash them together? I was going to have him fly the Storm Raven, but apparently he doesn’t know how to do that, so he stuck to the raider.
I mixed in flyers because they also don’t see the table much. The original draft included some scouts, but I had to downgrade them to tactical marines in the end in order to conserve points for the Rhino (which I figured was insanely durable for it’s cost).
Mission & Deployment:
The mission we rolled up was the one with concealed objectives. Sean had forgotten his cards at home, so we considered re-rolling (or an impromptu trip to his house to pick them up), but ultimately decided that he would just write them down on a piece of paper I couldn’t see. For deployment, we rolled up one of the arrow-head options, which was promptly shot down by Sean, so we rolled again and got board quarters.
He got to choose his side, and picked the side with more objectives on it. I deployed first with the mindset of keeping far enough back to be out of range of his wulfen, and bunched up enough that whatever he charged had supporting units that could pour fire into them. Sure, it’d been a while since I played 40k, and much longer since I played against the wolves, but fear of that unit had been burned into me.
I finished deploying first and won the roll for first turn and took it. Unfortunately, Sean seized the initiative.
Turn 1: Space Wolves
With his first turn, everything surged forward to escape his deployment zone (and thereby earn him his first victory point), and then he opened fire on my army. His first shots were into my Storm Talon, which stood absolutely no chance against the sheer fire output of the Storm Wolf. Seriously, it had four multi-meltas, two lascannons, and some other huge cannon that didn’t even get a chance to fire because it frankly didn’t need to. This immediately became target #1 of mine.
He also managed to melt down my Rhino by popping an ability that allowed him to re-roll ones on his long fangs, and then overcharging them. 6d3 attacks that only overheat in 1/36 shots isn’t bad at all. So much for the durability of rhinos, eh?
Score: Space Wolves: 2+1 vs. Ultramarines: 0
Turn 1: Ultramarines
All of the cards in my hand involved scoring objectives this turn. One, I managed to grab by scampering my lascannon onto a nearby crater, but the other two seemed unlikely because they were both in my opponent’s backfield. I flew my Storm Raven onto one, but didn’t want to drop off it’s payload for fear they’d be quickly overrun. I also wasn’t sure as to whether the flyers counted as scoring units (nor did I want to tip my hand to my opponent as to what I was doing), so I didn’t tip my hand.
I seem to recall there was an FAQ in the new edition that said the equivalent of “zooming flyers” couldn’t hold objectives. If memory serves, this was specifically due to storm ravens in this edition–but I could certainly be wrong.
The last objective I had to score was beneath the long fangs–and I ultimately wound up tossing this one, figuring I wouldn’t likely unseat them and get to their spot for a while.
For shooting, I focused fire on Bjorn (a character, much less the Warlord, in front of the army is a tasty target) and was able to reduce him to 2-3 remaining wounds. More importantly, I put as much firepower as possible into the Stormfang and sent that crashing to the ground.
In total, I earned one point, and hopefully set myself up for a better turn 2.
Score: Space Wolves: 2+1 vs. Ultramarines: 1
Turn 2: Space Wolves
Arjac and the Wulfen jumped onto the table and attempted some risque charges. The wulfen charged first, declaring the land raider and the tactical marines as targets, but not making it far enough to hit the land raider (even in consolidation). Arjac then attempted as well against the raider. With all of those shots (28), I didn’t manage a single hit. No surprise, the Wulfen annihilated the five tactical marines, and Arjac scored four hits on the land raider.
Luckily, I saved three of those and only took a single wound (which would be regen’d next round, thanks to Chronus).
The rest of his army surged for the middle of the table and another objective, but failed to quite contact it. In the meantime, they swarmed around Bjorn to form a protective barrier.
He scored another point for–well, I forget what, because he didn’t have cards that I could take pictures of, and I forgot to take a picture of my scoring sheet. Doh!
Score: Space Wolves: 3+1 vs. Ultramarines: 1
Turn 2: Ultramarines
My objectives all dealt with holding specific points on the table again, but luckily I was dispersed enough to be able to do just that. I started by having the Storm Raven drop off it’s cargo on one objective (earning two points for the round) and then positioning itself so that it could snipe Bjorn in the one spot I could get to to make him the closest model. Sure, it required coming out of fly mode with a squad of long fangs at his back, but I had a plan.
Sean’s previous turn of shooting was just abysmal, but my turn was just as lousy to make up for it. Sure, I managed to kill off Bjorn, and a bunch of random tactical marines, but I couldn’t manage to hurt his heavy weapons or the Wulfen at all. Additionally, I had four lascannons point blank at Arjac’s face and failed to hurt him because I simply didn’t think to put Tigirius nearby enough to use Null Zone.
The last move of my turn was to declare a charge with the Storm Raven against his long fangs. Sure, I was going to have to weather a turn of overwatch, but it was far better than dealing with an actual shooting phase. In total, I think they managed to do two wounds on the way in, but it meant I was going to be able to pop out and shoot something else next turn.
I did earn an additional point for slaying the warlord though, and was able to tie things up, so it wasn’t all bad. I also slyly slid a unit of tactical marines onto another objective under the pretense of spreading my army out, while they really had to defend that objective. I spent the next movement phase sheepishly telling him to ignore my Land Raider and charge those marines, but he ignored my suggestions… to his dismay!
Score: Space Wolves: 3+1 vs. Ultramarines: 3+1
Turn 3: Space Wolves
The one thing about ignoring my tactical marines was that the Land Raider stood absolutely no chance against those Wulfen. He did far more wounds than I could’ve hoped to have saved, and it crumpled into a pile of rust. Meanwhile, Arjac made insanely short work of Tigirius.
The dying land raider resulted in an ejected Chronos, who couldn’t hope to get out of consolidation range of either the wulfen or Arjac, so he chose the latter.
Sean scored one point for holding the center objective, keeping him in the thick of it, while I scored two points for defending an objective for two turns with my tactical marines.
Score: Space Wolves: 4+1 vs. Ultramarines: 5+1
Turn 3: Ultramarines
My turn started off buy drawing two objectives I was already on and kingslayer, securing four points to start off. Well, technically, I was on the objective with the long fangs, and they outnumbered me (despite my flyer squishing two of them in the combat phase), but after thinning them down in shooting and them swamping them with attack bikes, I was able to hold that objective.
The storm fang put an ungodly number of overkill shots into Arjac, ensuring he died the death, and then pumped all of it’s small arms fire into the Wulfen, reducing their numbers drastically. Still, even two of those models can cause quite a ruckus.
Score: Space Wolves: 4+1 vs. Ultramarines: 9+1
Turn 4: Space Wolves
As a last act of defiance, Sean snuck a unit into my deployment zone (his Wulfen) and managed to whiff fairly well against my tactical squad, reducing them to just two models. That did score a point, and he scrounged up another point somewhere else, bringing what would be his final total to 7 points.
Score: Space Wolves: 6+1 vs. Ultramarines: 9+1
Turn 4: Ultramarines
I swooped the Storm Raven over and pumped shots into the Wulfen until they were no more. I scored a final point for ejecting Chronos and then running three units into my own deployment zone after killing the wulfen.
The turn ended with Sean having a single model on the table, surrounded by space marines as the screen faded to black.
Final Score: Space Wolves: 6+1 vs. Ultramarines: 10+1
What I Learned:
- I’m rusty. This is something I “learn” from time to time–or rather, after every game I play after a protracted lapse from the game. I don’t think there’s any way to avoid this really without committing time to playing, reading the rules, or listening to podcasts.
- 40k is fun–if a bit long. The length is surely tied in part to our lack of memory of how to play. It is fun though, and we should do it more.
- Storm Ravens are pretty solid. That was a lot of firepower for a flying unit that had good defense against assaults. I really think he overperformed this game.
- Stormfangs are ridiculous. Granted, I only saw one round of fire out of it, but I didn’t need to see any more. That damage output reminds of my Apoc level units.
- I need to remember rules better. In previous games I used to try to take back subpar moves or adjust things–not so much in this game. I stuck with the “Burned hand teaches best” method and hopefully will remember in the future things like Null Zone and such.