Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Feast of Blades Qualifier: Game #3 Grey Knights vs Space Wolves

Millennium Games hosted a qualifier for the Feast of Blades national invitational this month.  The format would be 2000pt armies with each game having a primary goal (11pts max), secondary (7pts max), and up to 10 bonus points from 5 tactical bonuses and finishing at least 5 turns (28pts possible per game).  15% after that would be painting and 9% sportsmanship.  Each round was only allowed 2 hours.

I decided to take my Grey Knights for a few reasons.  I haven't played them at all since last November when I started my Dark Eldar.  It's a non-comp event so I'm sure every army will have special characters and other things my Nids and DE will struggle against.  The GK are fully (except 1 dread) painted and also have the best chance of playing at least 5 turns in 2 hours.

My list:
Librarian + shrouding, sanctuary, might of titan, quicksilver, warp rift
Hereticus Inquisitor + psyocculum, 1 servo skull
Henchmen (11 + inquisitor here) - 2 plasma cannons, 1 hvy bolter, 2 melta acolytes, 2 naked acolytes, 2 crusaders, 1 assassin, 1 jokaero + chimera w/searchlight
Techmarine + psyko, rad, and defensive grenades
Terminators x5 + psycannon, banner, hammer, stave, halberd
Strike Squad x10 + 2 psycannons, psybolt ammo
Strike Squad x5 + psycannon, 2 halberds, hammer + razorback w/psybolt ammo, searchlight
Stormraven + typhoon missiles, lascannons, searchlight
Nemesis Dreadknight + teleporter, hvy incinerator
Rifleman + psybolt ammo
Rifleman + psybolt ammo

So, after two hard fought battles and major victories I was sent to table #2 to play the captain of our (DaBoyz) 2011 ATC team, Shaun.  He was playing a newly acquired Space Wolf army.  Maybe you've seen it around.

His list:
Rune Priest - LL/Jaws
Lone Wolf + terminator armor, chainfist, combi-melta
Lone Wolf + terminator armor, chainfist, combi-melta
Wolf Guard x5 + power fist x5, combi-melta x5 (one in each hunter squad)
Grey Hunters x9 + power weapon, melta gun, mark, standard, rhino + hunter killer missile
Grey Hunters x9 + power weapon, melta gun, mark, standard, rhino + hunter killer missile
Grey Hunters x9 + power weapon, melta gun, mark, standard, rhino + hunter killer missile
Grey Hunters x9 + power weapon, melta gun, mark, standard, rhino + hunter killer missile
Grey Hunters x8 + power weapon, melta gun, mark, standard, rhino + hunter killer missile
Land Speeder + hvy flamer
Land Speeder + hvy flamer
Long Fangs x5 + 4 missiles
Long Fangs x5 + 4 missiles
Long Fangs x5 + 4 missiles

Interesting contrast in lists huh?  At this point I have a sinking feeling in my gut.  This mission called for 5 objectives, 4 of which were 18" set from each table edge and one in the center of the table.  The secondary goal was kill points.  Deployment was dawn of war.  I'm outnumbered 49 scoring bodies to 20, but I have a slight advantage with kill points.  We roll off and I decide to go first.  Not the best idea in an objective game, but based on lists I doubt I'll have the option to tank shock anything late in the game.  I'd rather get a head start with kill points and try to even the numbers a bit.  I actually did something I don't normally do and made Shaun switch sides with me for different terrain options.  I would need every advantage I could get.

I deploy the 10 man squad split into combat squads.  Both psycannons go into one in a ruin on my right with the cannons near the halfway mark.  The justicar goes with the other half on the left behind a skyshield.  The libby joins the psycannon half.  I fortify a ruin close to my table edge and will roll everything on turn 1.  Shaun elects to deploy nothing.  Jokaero gives the henchmen 12" further shooting.

Everything comes on.  The NDK had an accident as this table had no room for display boards, but his base represents where he is for now.  He jumps up the middle with the chimera and raven going flat out into libby range.  One dread moves on and runs up a level on the right into the fortified ruin.  The other dread is in a ruin on the left.

Space wolves roll on in a solid brick.

The front 3 rhinos pop smoke, the rune priest is in the rear right.  Long fangs are on each side and in between rhinos.  The lone wolves are behind the wall on the right.  One speeder comes on flat out on each far flank behind buildings.  He searchlights some strike marines but the storm bolters don't do anything.

I'm thinking this formation is good for me, but nothing to do except try to pick it apart.

Storm raven shifts 12" to the right behind that nice tall ruin.  Psycannons on foot stay stationary to gain extra shots.  The razorback shifts 6" right to spot a speeder and dumps out the squad for a couple psycannon shots.  The NDK jumps up onto the skyshield.

My dice get hot and Shaun's start the game poorly.  I'm able to explode the lead rhino on the right, then the rune priest's rhino.  The henchmen let loose aided by the psyocculum and I slay a bunch of hunters, but lose a plasma cannon servitor.  Chimera adds a few casualties as well.  Razorback and the disembarked squad wreck a speeder.  NDK shakes a rhino with its incinerator.  Here's a (blurry) pic after my shooting.

Space wolves advance at speed.

Long fangs split fire and the libby shrouds the raven.  I take a couple stun results, but they get fortituded off next turn.

I guess it's time to make my stand.  I start with quicksilver from the libby to the terminators in the raven, which moves up 12" and unloads.

I also drive up the chimera and unload it to get melta shots on the lead rhino.  The razorback re-loads its squad and shifts 6" left.  The NDK shunts to Shaun's table edge where his rune priest is the only thing that even has a chance of killing it.  The dice gods decide to even things out and all of my heavy weapons fail to open up the lead rhino.  Riflemen and meltas all wiff.  If I remember correctly, one rifleman rolls 4 misses and then 4 more after the twin link.  NDK burns long fangs, but they also make every save.  Terminators multi-assault the grey hunters on foot and rhino.  Only 1 hunter remains and runs, but I can't catch him with terminators.  The hammer only stuns the rhino.

Shaun advances his lone wolves.

The raven is still there, I just took it off the base to move models around better.  All the other wolves come out to play.

Carnage ensues.  The two disembarked units on the left shoot down the combat squad in between them, but allocation and fickle dice leave the justicar alive.  However, he fails morale and runs.  Long fangs split fire again and the dice decided the chimera would die, but the raven would live.  Both lone wolves assault termies and we exchange wounds but lock.  I botched up badly here and forgot rad and defensive grenades.  The central hunter unit pops its standard and assaults the libby's unit and henchmen, we exchange casualties, and I lose the whole strike squad and libby but henchmen stubbornly hold with a few models.  Rune priest assaults the NDK in a last ditch effort, but pays with his life.

I'm quickly running out of bodies so I need to throw everything into the mix.

The raven shifts 12" left.  Razorback squad disembarks and prepares to charge.  The NDK jumps between two long fang units.  Both dreads leave their ruins to add what they can to the melee.  Justicar continues to fall back.

The raven drops 6 missile templates on the freshly disembarked hunters in the middle, causing 32 hits and only 3 survive after all the dice fall.  The razorback squad rolls in hot and finishes off those grey hunters saving the remaining henchmen.  My termies let me down tho, going down before the techmarine finishes off the lone wolves.  The dread on the left survives a phase against the embedded fist and mark that rolls up 8 attacks.  The NDK also wiffs and locks with long fangs.

We're running out of time due to the insane amount of dice we're throwing at each other and the intense assaults with initiative steps from 6 down to 1.  We agree turn 5 will be our last and pick up the pace.

Shaun loads up the 3 survivors from the middle squad and drives behind the skyshield.  The rhino from the unit locked with the dread drives over the skyshield to try and contest.  The lurking speeder also makes a break for the middle.  Long fangs fail to bring down the raven.  A surviving grey hunter with a melta gun fails to drop the techmarine.  Hunters on the left finish off the rifleman and consolidate onto that objective.  NDK finishes off one unit of long fangs and heads for the rhino unit on the rear objective.

This will be my last turn so I need to move for the win if possible.

Justicar falls back again.  The raven goes flat out onto the skyshield and hopefully contesting range.  The NDK jumps up to the rhino and onto that objective.  The razorback squad drives onto the right objective.  If I can just hold for one more turn, I win.  Combined shooting and assault destroys every single rhino and the speeder.

Shaun's last turn begins and a lone grey hunter jumps out from behind a ruin with no windows.  He was a survivor with the rune priest that broke off turn 2 and hid, and I had forgotten about him.  He runs onto the top right objective.  Shaun puts 8 missiles and 2 melta guns into the raven and finally brings it down.

The game ends due to time.  Shaun has the bottom left and top right objectives, I only have the bottom right objective.  That's a minor victory for Shaun and 8pts.  We tally up kill points and I've got it 10-7 which is a major victory and 7pts.  We each earned a few bonuses and it tallies up to 15-13 in Shaun's favor.

Wow, what a game!  I had no confidence going into this based on lists alone and I know Shaun very well.  Dice screwed him in the beginning and me in the middle.  We both made some mistakes as we started to speed up the game to get through 5 turns.  It was downright sloppy at the end.  Either way, it was great fun and the perfect way to end the day.  I was elated to earn a draw against an optimized tournament list with my fluffy list.

Courtney and Chris P also had a very close game on table #1.  When painting and sportsmanship were added in, the final results were (out of 19 players + 1 ringer):

Courtney (GK) - 1st overall - FoB Qualified
Shaun (SW) - 2nd overall - FoB Qualified
Aaron (ME) - 3rd overall - FoB Qualified
Chris P (Nids) - best general
Dean (Necrons) - 4th overall

It's also interesting that Courtney had ~92/113 and I ended up with ~87/113 so less than 5% difference from 1st to 3rd.  All those little bonus point modifiers actually would have mattered at the end if I would have put more effort into capturing area terrain.  So, I qualified for the finals in Colorado but it's doubtful I will go at this point.  Anyways, great event and format.  The missions are intense with so many scoring elements to keep track of.

Thanks for reading as always, hope you enjoyed following as much as I did playing.


  1. Great report and great looking army. Thanks for that. Hope you can find a way to make it to feast its going to be a fun time.

  2. I hope you make it too. I plan on showing up. I am tempted to bring an every unit different Grey Knight build to the alamo to see how I like it.