May Tournament Wrap-up: First 3 games with Space Wolves Ever…

Tournament - Space WolvesHello again everyone,

As you can probably guess from the title of this entry, this is not a tale of how the Sons of Russ swept all before them to emerge victorious in our monthly local tournament. However, these three games did give me good insights into how Space Wolves play (having never even played against them – shocking I know) and how I play Space Wolves.

The format for this monthly tournament was a little wonky. Bring a 1500 point legal list with 2 500 point “sideboards.” You would choose one sideboard after seeing the terrain, mission, and your opponent’s 1500 point core list. You would choose your 500 point sideboard in secret and reveal it along with your opponent just prior to deployment. Since my Space Wolves are in their infancy, I decided to go with a straight 2000 point army split into 1500 and 500 increments. Here is the list I took.

Njal Stormcaller
2 Dreadnoughts – twin-linked lascannons, heavy flamer
4 Wolf Guard – 1 with combi-melta, pfist, 1 with pfist, 1 with combi-flamer, pw, 1 with pw
8 Grey Hunters – wolf standard, melta, wulfen, pw
8 Grey Hunters – melta, wulfen
5 Grey Hunters – flamer, wulfen, pw
5 Grey Hunters – flamer, wulfen, pw
2×1 Typhoons – TML, heavy flamers
2×5 Long Fangs – 4 MLs
2 Razorbacks – twin-linked las
1×5 Long Fangs – 4 heavy bolters
1 Razorback – twin-linked assault cannons.

Scenario 1 was Attack and Defend, a mission created by our very own Thor if I’m not mistaken. Basically, you needed to get scoring units into the other guys deployment zone. Pitched battle deployment. I was playing against a nasty Black Templar list that included (from memory)

Grimaldus with 3 cenobytes
EC with accept any challenge
4×5 5 man squads with las/plas
4 Twin-las Razorbacks
2 big (20ish) Crusader Squads – pfist, melta etc…
2 Typhoons
1 5 Man Termie Squad – 2 CML, tank hunters

The story of this game is horrible dice rolling on my part, and some mis-deployment on my part as well. I mis-deployed my heavy bolters and one Long Fang squad which were basically forced to shoot at bad targets the entire game.

Turn 1 night fight saw me fail all my night fight rolls except 1 even with acute senses. He made all his night fight rolls (I think the lowest he rolled was a 27″). That destroyed alot of my razorbacks (even through smoke screens). He rolled up the field with his crusader squads while his las/plas units picked off my vehicles.

The game came down to a giant scrum at midfield between his two big crusader squads and my grey hunters. The Grey Hunters held on, but really had no answer to Grimaldus with his 5 attacks re-rolling to hit. At the end of the day, I had my two long fang squads, some damaged vehicles, and a beat up squad or grey hunters left. He still had 2 las/plas squads, his typhoons, a single termie, and his razorback in his backfield while he had 1 Crusader in my deployment zone giving him the massacre.

Lessons learned here is to make sure you read the scenario fully (night fight kicked my butt), and that cover (for marines) isn’t as important as it is for my Tau. I should have deployed my long fangs in better firing positions, even if the cover wasn’t as good. Also, Njal is not a combat character. The drop to AV11 over my usual AV12 d-fishes is HUGE. My transports are so much more vulnerable to fire.

So anyway, safely out of the running for 1st place, I focus on trying out different things for the next couple games. Game 2 saw me faced up against another Space Wolf player. Whereas I’m running MSU, he’s running 4 full squads of Grey Hunters (3 in rhinos and 1 in an LR), a Auto/Las pred, some scouts, and Logan with 4 Termie Wolf Guard in a Drop Pod.

The mission is basically a single objective in the center of the board that you get points for controlling every turn. Secondary is controlling terrain pieces with scoring units and tertiary Kill points. The terrain is dominated by a huge Imperial Bastion in the center of the board with scatter hills and ruins around the periphery. The deployment zone is a weird triangle with about 24″ of no man’s land. I deploy heavily on the left flank with some long range fire support on the right to keep him from hiding totally. He deploys as close to me as possible on my left although he does have a lot of cover. I go first.

Night fight round 1 again totally screws me. I fail all but one night fight rolls. My twin assault cannon razorback sees his predator but fails to do anything. His return fire smack two razorbacks down. Logan and Co. land right in my backfield. Turn two sees a alot of fire and JOTWW cast against the WG/Logan unit followed by a charge. He make a horrendous amount of saves and we go into combat. Logan kills off Njal and his 8 man unit of grey hunters while the 6 man unit holds on for another turn. His WG are wiped out though. I decide to simply drive away from logan and make for the center. Eventually my firepower takes it’s toll and I destroy all his rhinos over the next couple of turns. The game devolves into a huge fight in the center between his grey hunters, my grey hunters, and my 1 remaining dreadnought. The dreadnought holds up his rune priest and a grey hunter unit for 6 assault phases while my remaining two grey hunter units go on a rampage. My typhoons and long fangs decimate his other units. It’s a bloody time had by all. At the end of the game (turn 7) I’ve got 4 grey hunters, 5 long fangs, a razorback, a dreadnought, and two speeders left. He has an immobilized land raider with a heavy bolter left and Logan who has been happily munching on long fangs all game. I end up with the massacre as I’ve got the primary and secondary objectives while he take teritary.

Lessons learned – Remember your wargear – In my combat against the wolf guard, I failed to pop off my wolf standard which would have significantly helped as I rolled a horrendous amount of 1’s. I may have still lost but I feel Logan would have at least lost a couple of wounds which would have made him manageable and I probably wouldn’t have failed my LD check with Njal and Co. Also, Always remember the objectives – my opponent took a significant amount of his combat power and deployed it away from the objective – although Logan and company eventually accounted for 4 KPs by themselves, they were out of position for the fight that really mattered – the objective battle. I think my opponent also learned that Grey Hunter squads need something to deal with walkers in close combat. I tied up a full grey hunter squad and a rune priest because he simply could not kill me with krak grenades.

Round 3 saw me fighting a newbie grey knights player running Draigo, Librarian, 5 paladins, an eversor, 10 GKTs, 10 Interceptors, and a DreadKnight. The scenario was table quarters with a unit marked for death being worth double KPs. He chose Njal while I chose his Dreadknight. I had first turn. He deployed mostly out of sight with the exception of his dreadknight which I destroyed turn 1. He shuffled around and basically hid for his turn 1 waiting for his termies to come in turn 2. I popped smoke on everything turn 2 and spread out to deny him drop zones. I also removed all his servo skulls this game. His Paladins/Librarian mishaped and killed themselves which basically sealed the deal for me. Over the next few turns his units came in piece meal and I destroyed them with concentrated fire as they dropped in. I lost a dreadnought the entire game while wiping his army for full points.

Lessons learned – I need more anti-TEQ firepower. 4 twin-lascannons, an assault cannon, and 2 meltas was not enough. I had serious trouble killing 5 terminators with shooting. Luckily I had dreadnoughts in position to charge each unit as they deep struck. I’ll be switching out to las/plas.

Overall, I am extremely happy with my Space Wolves. The Grey Hunters are really fine troops – a far cry from my usual firewarriors and kroot. The list itself was solid, but I feel I lacked ranged anti-TEQ and an answer for close combat characters like Logan, Grimaldus, and Draigo.

I also think I’ll be replacing Njal with a standard rune priest and use the left over points for a TWC lord. Most of the other units (heavy bolter fangs, dreadnoughts, etc.) did alright although they didn’t really have ideal matchups. the HB fangs will be replaced with missile fangs though as soon as I get more MLs.

  • The bitch of dealing with Paladins is the 2 wounds. Plasma guns and cannons are nice but only S7 so no instant death. I think it just comes down to a healthy mix of plasma, melta, and las (if point effecient), for obvious reasons, and then things like assault cannons and autocannons for the easy wounds. The GK Termies aren’t so bad being only 1 wound though.

    Good day of gaming though. I know when I first took my Marines to the tournament and got stomped and went 0-3 I seriously reconsidered everything. At least you had a positive outcome to the day and I’m sure your lists are only going to get uglier (in a good way), as we lead up to ‘ard Boyz.

    • Anonymous

      Yeah, the next step is certainly some close combat punch. Rounding out my list will be some tweaks to the firepower and getting those last 4 ML Long Fangs online.

      The Templars were a nasty shock though. I “knew” about the update they had gotten, but they really have some good stuff going for them. Army wide Preferred Enemy is nasty.

    • TheRhino

      Unless the Paladins are geared for wound shenanigans, it’s not actually that hard to kill them with plasma.  You still have to remove full models from wound groups.  So long as you’re not mixing armor-savable shots in with your las and plas fire, you’re just fine. 

      • Like Nobz, they’re always wound abused. They can’t go as crazy as Nobz can but they can abuse pretty well.

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