Tuesday, March 20, 2012

WOLF’S WRATH: A Battle Narrative, Part Two: Combat

So the Space Wolves, led by Njal and Arjac, tracked Prospero’s Corpse to the remains of another world ravaged by the chaos war band.  But despite their cunning, Thoth, daemon prince of Tzeentch, saw them coming...

The battlefield was well balanced with ruins in the corners, a couple craters in the mid-field, and scattered terrain, rubble, and razor wire barricades.  The scout snipers were set up opposite the obliterators in ruined buildings; chaos troops were prepared in rhinos mounted with havoc launchers, their monstrous dreadnought and defiler ready to advance; and the grey hunters, wolf pack, and blood claws, led by a wolf priest, approached on foot, taking cover behind obstacles and running through craters.  The elite chaos chosen waited to outflank their foe, while the mutant spawn were held in reserve and daemons watched from beyond the veil of the Warp waiting for their chance to enter the material realm and claim mortal victims.  

The first move fell to the Fallen, who were ready for the Wolves’ advance.  The defiler belched an explosive shell from its battlecannon and the obliterators fired huge bursts of super-heated plasma across the field, claiming fewer lives than they’d hoped.  The chaos dreadnought became instantly impatient: at the first sign of the enemy, still too far out of reach, it turned on the spot and fired its autocannons and heavy flamer into the rhino full of chaotic berserkers.  Fortunately the mass of firepower only managed to destroy the twin-linked bolter mounted at the vehicle’s hatch.  (Rolled a 1 for dread’s “Crazed” check and he immediately fired his guns on the nearest model, TWICE.  I got lucky on the results, could have been much worse.)  

(taken from GW main pages)

When the smoke cleared it was the Space Wolves’ turn.  The winds howled and snows began to blow.  Njal called on the lightning to be his ally, streaks of electricity arcing off the Thousand Son’s rhino with little effect.  (Njal, unfortunately, was never quite close enough for any of his special weather control effects to reach the enemy troops.)  All heroic infantry advanced, as did the pack of Fenrisian wolves.  The snipers fired at the daemon prince from their ruined building but failed to inflict a wound.  Then something roared from the sky, scattering the cloud cover and slamming into the earth mere meters from the daemonic commander.  A Space Wolf drop pod impacted the ground and burst open.  Five wolf guard in terminator armor exited the craft, led by Arjac Rockfist.  One terminator’s cyclone missile launcher let loose a burst of twin krak missiles that left twisting trails of smoke as they streaked directly into the monstrous chaos defiler.  BOOM!  The metallic creature’s head erupted into flames and the beast slumped to the ground (wrecked result—I never get to use that thing!).  The drop pod’s deathwind launcher fired a huge burst of rockets into the Son’s rhino but only blackened its hull. 

On the far west side of the field was one objective, a tall column of arcane technology, a slumbering, intelligent machine waiting to be awakened.  One unit of grey hunters came to fight for this prize.  The chaos chosen appeared from the mists and joined the chaos dreadnought and rhino of berserkers.  The dreadnought moved and fired its autocannon, causing only one or two casualties over the next two turns.  The chosen came on and tried to stay out of charging range of the Space Wolves, which also left them out of effective weapons range (wasting their melta and plasma guns).  The grey hunters, spared from such fire, moved forward and unleashed their guns, including their own melta and plasma guns, which reduced the unit of 5 chosen to a single model.  This was the chaotic icon bearer, who stood firm to provide a beacon to the Warp.  Renegade wolf lord Thorbolg Wolfsbane and his savage berserker wolves jumped out of the rhino but were not yet able to charge.  Thorbolg, having learned the wicked ways of magic from his daemon prince master, cast warp time on himself, enveloping him in a blur of temporal distortion, and cast a fire ball on the grey hunters (heavy flamer, per huron blackheart).  The flame burst, volley of berserker bolt pistols and a plasma pistol inflicted a few wounds on the hunters.  Then the daemons appeared: seven daemonettes materialized in a puff of purple perfume and danced into close combat with the grey hunters.  Amazingly the hunters dispatched the daemons completely in that one round of combat without taking a single casualty!  (Next time spend less time painting your nails and more time sharpening them, ladies!)  The game would end with Thorbolg and his men, plus a single chosen and untrustworthy dreadnought staring down a rather badass unit of grey hunters (probably 7 or 8 of the 10 hunters still standing). 

The main battle was about to take place on the other side of the field.  Thoth flew over the drop pod and cast a few spells of his own: warp time and wind of chaos.  Rays of multicolored light shone from his clawed hand, warping all that lay in its path.  Two of the five wolf guard succumbed to the spell, their armor and flesh becoming one and twisting into a fatal art form.  The Thousand Sons and their sorcerer disembarked from the rhino and unloaded their inferno bolts on the terminators, but ammo that would shred powered armor had no effect on the termies.  Two monstrous mutant wolves (spawn) came howling from the back field and charged Arjac.  At the same time, Thoth engaged another of the wolf guard terminators, attacking the remaining heroes from two sides.  The daemon prince killed two Space Wolves before they could react and the spawns’ multitude of teeth and claws scratched every inch of Arjac’s armor, but failed to hurt him.  Instead the titanic Space Wolf swung his mighty hammer and killed both wolf spawn in a single blow!  (Arjac took 4 of their collective 6 wounds but his S10 hits caused instant death.  When the combat ended only Arjac and the daemon prince remained but they were more than 2 inches apart and so we decided they were no longer engaged.)  The wolf priest brought his raging unit ever closer, one blood claw snapping off a plasma shot that wounded the daemon prince (I think the only wound he took all game).  The obliterators punished the blood claws with retaliation plasma, and the sniper scouts avenged that volley by wounding one oblit.  Arjac flung his hammer at Thoth but the daemon prince’s immaterial nature resisted even the deadly Foehammer (passed his invuln save).  Then the Space Wolf champion charged Thoth along with the pack of Fenrisian wolves (which I believe had been slightly diminished by the obliterators by this time).  Thoth’s preternatural speed and warp time aura enabled him to strike the fatal blow to Arjac and two wolves before the champion could bring his hammer to bear.  The wolf pack routed and never recovered (was under half strength). 

(also taken from GW main pages)

The wolf priest and his blood claws continued to advance, spurred on by seeing Arjac’s death.  Njals’ storm raged at the rear of the field, deadly lightning striking.... somebody (i know he threw more lightning but can’t remember at what).  Then a different kind of lightning hit the field: a greater daemon decided to enter play.  The Tzeentch sorcerer of the Thousand Sons became a beacon of purple and blue electricity and was torn asunder as the terrible daemon used his body as a means of entry into this world.  (At the time, I screwed up and had the GD run and then assault the blood claws, but later realized he could not have done this.  Didn’t really matter as the game ended right about this time.)  The blood claws suffered wounds from the Sons’ inferno bolts, which ignored their armor, and then were attacked by the daemon prince Thoth, who blew a terrible kiss in the form of wind of chaos and then assaulted.  In the end only the wolf priest remained (who, fortunately, had picked Monstrous creatures as his favored enemy). 

The game ended halfway through Turn Three due to the store closing up earlier than expected.  At the finish Thorbolg and his berserkers were facing off with the grey hunters, along with the absent minded dreadnought who seemed to attack random targets; Njal and his grey hunters were on their way but not within range to do much by this time; the snipers and oblits continued to harass targets from afar; and the daemon prince (joined or soon to be joined by the greater daemon) was locked in combat with the wolf priest.  It looked bleak for the Space Wolves but who knows what Fate had in mind for Turn Five?  Too bad we didn’t get to find out.    

(taken from Warhammer Fantasy pages - model I use for Thoth)


  1. Awesome blog! My Wolves were going to be on the receiving end of a massive beatdown, had I not been saved by the bell. I was so impressed by your Tzeentch-themed army that I'm now considering one of my own!

    I'm looking forward to our next game.

    1. Thanks, J! Don't go buying anything quite yet though. if you're like me than the very next game you play will make you want those too! Then you'll be stuck with miniatures from everywhere, like me. Woe is me...

  2. I realize now too that when Arjac and Thoth were so far apart they should have both made 6" pile-in moves and continued the battle. next time we'll know better.