Hey there my fellow mutants, heretics, and traitors. Old Man Chaos is back with another exciting blog post... wait... do I hear snoring? Ok- so maybe I think my posts are more exciting than they actually are. But hey, its my blog, so I can think what I want. Tough audience...
Anyways, I have been fortunate to have the time to play at my local store. I have been going more frequently than I used to- I am now playing once a week, give or take. That is more than I have played in a long time, and I have learned so much about 6th edition, and my own armies, in particular. I have also had a blast. Win lose or draw, the games have been fun, frantic, and fast paced. I also learned to hate Centurions (lethal to Marines and such... I'll have to swamp them with zombies when I have the chance).
For the past two weeks, I have played against Frank "the tank". Or rather, Frank "the drop pod". Frank plays Space Wolves, and he plays them like I have never seen. He has their special characters all in ONE SQUAD. They are the ultimate killers, ready to take on just about anybody (Logan, Njal, and Arjac, plus two terminators for good measure). Frank also uses the Thunderwolf cavalry to great effect. Oh, and he drops his guys down in drop pods.
So, as I said, I played 2 games with Frank. The first game I played against him with my Khorne Bezerkers, led by Kharn himself. The game was a ton of fun, and filled with a lot of back and forth throughout (a tense and close game is just the way I like it- very exciting).
I discovered that Space Wolves are more than equal to Khorne Bezerkers. I had a very very tough time with his Thunderwolves in particular. Since Bezerkers only get +1 S on the charge only (thanks Codex nerf), I simply didn't have the strength to tear through them (that's what they did to me). His Thunderwolves killed everything they ran into pretty much. His magic also did a number on my Heldrake. Ugh.
I gave as good as I got though. There was an epic duel in which Kharn went toe to toe with Logan- and they killed each other at the same time! Khorne cares not from whence the blood flows, as long as it flows, I suppose. I ultimately won due to linebreaker, but it was just too damn close.
Then, we decided to play again in 2 weeks... he would tweak his Space Wolf list, but he wanted to face off against my Plague Marines. I decided that I would take a very different list from what I'm used to though. I took Typhus and 75 zombies (3 squads) for a start. I figured I would just try to swamp his units and drown them in flesh eating undead. I also copied something a Space Marine player did against me- I took 3 Dreadnoughts (excuse me, Hellbrutes) with Lascannon and bolter/cc weapon. I had two squads of 5 Plague Marines each with 2 Rhinos. Finally, I had the requisite Heldrake, and I decided to take a Vindicator (shouldn't they call it a "Hell-dicator" just too keep up the Hell theme?). But that left me a lot of points shy of 2000. So, I chose to take Deamonic allies. 14 Plaguebearers and a juicy Great Unclean One, complete with a Greater and Exalted Gift (which I rolled Unholy- allowing me to re-roll failed inv svs- excellent).
The game was afoot, with the mission being the Emperor's Will. I placed my zombies all over my board edge- with Typhus and a squad of zombies on the objective, placed near the center of my deployment zone. With the tanks and hellbrutes filling in the rest of the spots, he was unable to drop the pods BEHIND me, as he did last game. However, dropping them in front of me proved to be almost as disasterous. His Longfangs and Rune Priest took pot shots at my Dreadnoughts, destroying one the first turn, the next turn (the 3rd was safely on the other side of the board, and was OK).
In my turn, I fired a lot at his HQ killer squad, to little effect. They even made their inv svs against the demolisher cannon (which I fired waaaay too clost to Typhus, luckily no drift). My 3rd dread destroyed his Rhino, stranding his 10 men on the far side of the board (too far from their objective, but nowhere near the action). I moved one Rhino the left flank, while my other Rhino unloaded its men and they shot at the HQ killer squad (again, no effect). My left flank zombies moved up (with the Rhino). Typhus and the zombies charged the triple threat HQ squad and challenged Arjac. Neither fell in the first round, and zombies died, but the 2 terminator guards were taken down.
Turn 2, his other drop pod comes down, behind the zombies I had advanced- which at this point was fine with me, as the zombies couldn't make it to his objective opposite the field, and Typhus would need all of the zombies at his disposal- better to concentrate all the heavy action on my end so I could respond faster and time him down. His Longfangs killed the 2nd dread, and destroyed the vindicator (damn split fire). Then, it was combat time. Typhus and Arjac continued to piss each other off but couldn't land the killing blow, while Logan seemed reluctant to kill any zombies. Meanwhile, the Thunderwolves charged my Plague Marines. They had been able to run through my Bezerkers in the last game, but with the Plague Marine toughness of 5 and blight grenades denying them their +1A on the charge, the wolves only managed to kill 2 Marines.
At the bottom of turn 2, all my reserves arrived. My Heldrake clawed at his drop pod squad at the back, then moved and torched his retreating Rhino squad, killing a handful. My Plaguebearers arrived, but scattered very far away- and into difficult terrain, and 3 died! Bad luck, but since I had the instrument and banner, I brought in the Unclean One 6" from them- still far, but he could reach the Thunderwolves in a turn or 2. I continued to move the Rhino up the left flank, being protected by the Heldrake now (and my dread was still available to cover them too). Speaking of, I pivoted my dread to fire at the rear drop pod squad, and then they were charged by my zombies. Meanwhile, my last zombie squad charged the Thunderwolves, now ensuring that they would be tied up for a while too. Now, all 3 zombie squads were in combat. Unfortunately, at this juncture, Typhus got killed. So Frank now had First Blood (the first dread) and now slay the warlord, and Linebreaker too. However, his Thunderwolves, drop pod squad, and HQ killers were all tied up in an endless tide of the undead.
Turn 3 was the "turning point", ultimately. Frank made a tactical mistake early on (I made plenty myself- leaving my dreads and vindicator far too exposed, just for example). He left NO troops with HIS objective. It was in a ruin, with his Longfangs/Rune Priest on the roof. At this point Frank began to realize what I was doing. With 3/4 of his army fighting zombies, I was racing the Rhino to his objective. And, covered by the Heldrake, this would be a real problem for him. He moved his ex-Rhino squad near the ruin. Meanwhile, he split his Longfang fire- he shot at my GUO- and he mocked them with his re-roll of inv svs. He also fired at the Heldrake. Even with the casting of prescience, he could not roll the 6s that he needed. That was where it ultimately hinged- he should have hit the Rhino instead- it would have meant that my Plague Marines would have been stranded a bit too far out to get to his objective. His combat was more of the same as before- he killed handfuls of zombies, but they took a few of his guys down too (even whittled down one of the Thunderwolves). In my 3rd, I pressed forward with my plan. The Heldrake burned his whole Longfang squad, with only the Rune priest surviving. But not for long- my 3rd dreadnought fired his twin las and vaporized him- great shot. Now all that remained was the ex Rhino squad near the objective. I also advanced my GUO and he charged the Thunderwolves- killing their leader (he was a character too I think... too many characters). They finished off the last Plague Marine, but the zombies held on. The zombie slaughter continued, but Arjac fell to them. Finally, the drop pod squad was slowly being wiped out (his squad leader just couldn't get enough attacks).
Turn 4, Frankie had his ex-rhino guys at the objective, ready to fight any interloper. The close combat went on in my zone, BUT- his HQ squad killed the last zombie in that assault- this was a problem for me, as they could go and tip the balance of either of the other 2 combats. The Thunderwolves continued to suffer against the GUO. But- in a bit of great luck, the drop pod squad bit the dust, and the zombies did feast- and they were free to move in my turn. In my half, my Heldrake did the only thing it could- it incinerated the last of the ex Rhino squad. Now my Rhino had a clear path and parked near the objective. My now unengaged zombie squad moved toward MY objective. The GUO and Thunderwolves continued to hurt one another, but this combat wasn't going anywhere.
Turn 5, Frank split his HQ squad up, sending Njal after my zombies, with his spell/effect electrocuting some of them, but not enough. Meanwhile, he had Logan charge the GUO- and it was another battle of attrition. In my half, I pulled my men out of the Rhino, and claimed his objective. I had my zombies move in toward my objective, but Njal was close enough to contest- my dread had fired at him, but couldn't pull off the same miracle twice, and Njal's inv sv shrugged the las shot off.
The fight was over. I won, 4 to 3. He had slay, linebreaker, and first blood. I had 3 for his objective and linebreaker. The game was intense, and just one different choice by Frank's longfangs could have changed the whole game. It was a blast to play, and both participants were good sports and honorable warriors.
Frank is a great player and a strong painter. His Thunderwolves look amazing, complete with the snow effect base. I can't wait to see him paint the rest of his army. And, Frank has challenged me to another fight- he wants his Grey Knights to go against my Daemons. I think he just wants revenge, but how can I refuse? Haha! That will be a heck of a battle!
Until next time...