(Skip to below the asterisk if you don't care about the preamble)...
So I set up a last minute game. 750 points, single codex, battle forged, random mission. One last go with my Space Wolves before they get the new Codex.
I like to build all-comers lists. That means some fast elements for objective seizing, some lascannons for stuff like tanks, Dreadnoughts, Terminators, etc., some blasts to deal with hordes, and plenty of basic firepower.
At 750 you can only fit so much in...
So I started with a unit of Long Fangs, 2 lascannons, 2 Missile Launchers. Next up was 6 Grey Hunters, 1 with flamer, with dedicated Razorback. Then a dreadnought with Multi-melta. A unit of 10 Grey Hunters. Enough points left for a Rune Priest in terminator armor and, if I dropped the 6 Grey Hunters to 5, a Lone Wolf with TH/SS. 750 on the dot. 3 lascannons, a multi-melta, 2 plasma guns and 2 krak missiles for tough stuff (plus Lone Wolf if he could get base to base), 2 frag missiles for hordes, plus 11 bolters, a storm bolter...I could send out a fair amount of firepower and cover the field pretty well.
I knew he was most likely bringing Necrons which I knew very little about.
We rolled Cloak and Shadows Maelstrom of War which means 3 secret objectives per turn. My Warlord Trait was Lead by Example, giving me 2 vp instead of 1 if the Warlord seized an objective. My Rune Priest got Precognition and Prescience, also the Perfect Timing. Sweet.
He set up first. 2 modest units on my left and one massive unit in the ruins to my right. Apparently there was no dangerous terrain on the table, everything was just difficult terrain.
I put my Long Fangs in the ruins on my left, the Grey Hunters in the forest on the right (not realizing how much it would slow me down), same mistake with Dreadnought, and the Long Fang in the middle of the board.
For the 2nd time in 3 attempts I seized the Initiative.
Space Wolf Turn 1
I got Secure Objective 3, 5, and 5. I measured and if I went flat out with my Rhino. He insisted I make some bizarre roll where if I rolled a 1 it could not flat out. Weird. Anyway, my Grey Hunters rolled poorly and barely even made it out of the forest, same with the Dreadnought.
If you have read my Fantasy reports you know how magic treats me. Lets check out the psychic phase...I get both powers I attempt off and he can stop neither. Huzzah! I will reroll misses and ignore cover with my long fangs.
I do lots of shooting, put down about 6 crons, but he reanimates all but one on 4+. We also have our first debate. Height matters for distance. I carefully put my rhino where it is within 1-7/8" of objective 5 including height. He is trying to argue I am not within 3". For the first time since I started 40k I would not let myself be overruled. I built my entire turn around taking that 2-point objective. I was CLEARLY within 3" even taking the height into account.
On the one hand, very successful turn...I scored 2 objectives and will roll 3 fresh ones next turn. On the dark side...I did one casualty when at full strength shooting with re-rolls on missile launchers dropping blast markers, lascannons, etc...
Space Wolves 2, Necrons 0
Necron Turn 1
He was rolling his objectives in...lets say a questionable way. Instead of designating one die as the "10s" die and the other as the "1"s die, he would roll them, look at the 2 options and take the more favorable. He did this all game. On a completely unrelated note, he managed the "take 2 points from same objective" trick I did every turn...
Anyhow, he glanced Dreadnought twice (mysteriously my dreadnought, who was BEHIND the unit of Grey Hunters and still partially stuck in the forest got no cover save...I argued he should have a save based on the Grey Hunters alone, he finally conceded the point but was clearly upset about it so I did not roll for the cover saves, just accepted the glances) and took out a couple Grey Hunters.
He also glanced the Rhino to death with 4's. I did not think he had that many S6 weapons (I only saw one 6 in all the dice he rolled, 3 4's, he excitedly announced he had glanced it to death so I disembarked my troops and moved on).
Necrons 3, Space Wolves 2
Time Warp; somehow nothing happened in turn 2...or 3...
Space Wolf Turn 2/ 3
I get objective 2 twice and objective 6 again. 6 is in his backfield and there are way too many 'crons between me and it, but 2 not only is easy to take, it moves me to good firing position against his large unit to the right. I first roll for my Grey Hunters...yep, they make it, allowing my Lone Wolf to head towards the Crons on the left. Only 1"...crappy rolls. My dread moves back somewhat for no apparent reason and the unit that dismounted the wrecked rhino moves to charge his crons on the left.
Shooting again sees virtually everything I put down get back up. Between cover saves (3+ in ruins? really?) and 4+ reanimation protocols he is incredibly tough to damage.
I shoot his crons with bolt pistols and then charge. His overwatch takes two Grey Hunters out, I still make it in. He has some special thing that does a bunch of S8 hits. I survive them, actually put out a couple of his crons for good. He stands. (
I score 2 points for objective 2 and discard Objective 6 so will have 3 fresh objectives next turn.
Space Wolves 4, Necrons 3
Necrons Turn 2/3
He somehow manages to roll objective 6 three times. Even the way he is picking them that is pretty...fortuitous rolling. Which was not reflected on the die rolls I saw, by the way....there is literally no legal way to have objective six when one of the dice is a 4.
Regardless, his shooting hurts a couple of the Marines from the unit of 10. Combat is a draw.
Necrons 6, Space Wolves 4
Space Wolves 4
Uh Oh. Two "Objective 6" for me (which I cannot reach) and Harness the Warp. I get that off easily, the Lone Wolf charges into the melee on the left, the Grey Hunters pour Bolt Pistol fire into the crons on the right putting a couple down who duly reanimate and go to the rear of the unit...then overwatch shrinks me to 6 Grey Hunters but I make it in combat. My Prescience-aided Long Fangs take out about 3 of his last unengaged unit.
He mind-shackle scarabs a Grey hunter who attacks his mates 3 times, wounding 1 who passes..but now I only have 15 attacks. When the dust settles, I do 1 casualty in those 15 attacks (who of course reanimates). Meanwhile, he is trying to argue that models I have in contact with base Necrons have to attack the Warlord because it is the closest model...uhm, no. he also argued a blast hit not the models it was over but rather the Warlord that was closest to the firing unit...and that LOS was on 2+ thought the rulebook says 4+.
By this time I was frankly a little perturbed at some of his...lets say questionable rulings, to be generous. I did not let the CC "closest" thing stand. The one model touching the warlord and one that was roughly not MUCH closer to a basic cron fruitlessly attack the warlord. Anyway, he then kills a marine and we draw the combat.
On the other side I take the S8 hit for entering combat and survive, then finish off his unit including his Warlord.
I consolidate to put the Lone Wolf in the front, my 3 surviving Grey Hunters behind him,.
Space Wolves 6, Necrons 6
He concentrates fire on the Lone Wolf (who had been wounded earlier...in 2 attempts) and of the 3 wounds he does, 1 gets through. That is right, on a 2+ my Lone Wolf failed 2 of 5 wounds. This is funny because he has been complaining about how lucky I have been and how unlucky he has been all game. He has maybe 10 models TOTAL removed at this point...I have almost that many removed. I think 7 or 8 and 2 glances on my Dreadnought.
Anyway, the other combat goes much better...I put down 2 or 3 crons, he needs a 9...and fails with a 10. (He started to say it was a pass, but I off-handedly commented, "You probably still would have passed if not for the LD deduct", I sweeping advance.
Here is where it gets hilarious. Even though the entire unit was wiped out, he takes a reanimation roll for the character because "he was a separate unit." Remember that in my turn 4.
He had amazingly gotten "Slay the Warlord" thinking the Lone Wolf was my Warlord. Uh, not, the Lone Wolf A) is not a character and B) I am NOT going to take as my warlord a model who GIVES A VICTORY POINT UP FOR SURVIVING. He also had Objective 6...so he scored 1 this turn.
Necrons 7, Space Wolves 6
Space Wolves 5
I drew overwhelming Firepower, Assassinate, and Hungry for Glory. I had 2 Grey Hunters with Plasma Guns and 2 more with Bolters about 2" from him, 4 Long Fangs with nothing better to shoot at, a Dreadnought with nothing better to shoot at...
My 3 surviving Grey Hunters went towards his last unit in an attempt to drive them off objective 6.
I obliterated his character with shooting. Remember this moment...
I shot his Crons with bolt pistols, 1 died, his overwatch them took out 1 marine but I made it into CC. Then I managed to kill just one, he killed both my Grey Hunters to wipe out that unit. :-(
I went to take the point for Overwhelming Firepower.
He argued I had not wiped out a unit that turn because the character was part of a larger unit. I don't even know where to start with this.
1) It does not say "unit at starting strength". It says unit. He had a unit on the table at the start of the turn.
2) He just claimed it got to reanimate because it was a SEPARATE UNIT. How can it be a separate unit but part of the unit it is separate from?
Wrong answer Junior Woodchuck. I didn't argue it but you can bet your bottom dollar I count both Overwhelming Firepower and Assasinate...I killed a character that turn.
Space Wolves 8, Necrons 7
he shoots and misses
Space Wolves 8, Necrons 7
Space Wolves Turn 6
He thinks my Grey Hunters do not have LOS to his guys huddled behind the hill. I would note that, with height being an issue, there has been 1 turn all game where they were within 3", and that just barely. Fair enough, I move to get Linebreaker and still have no LOS.
Space Wolves 9, Necrons 7
He huddles up close to objective 6 which, shockingly, he had for the 5th try in 6 turns. That is nice rolling...
His shooting is inconsequential.
Space Wolves 9, Necrons 8
The roll is a 1 to continue so the game ends.
What Went Right
Twice I rolled up duplicate objectives that were reachable, though I knew going in that pushing my Rhino that far forward. He failed effectively a LD9 check and lost about 20 'Crons (because they kept #$%^ reanimating every time I put them down). I had essentially free rein in the Psychic phase and it helped a bit, though nothing game breaking.
What Went Wrong
When I charged in and garnered 15 attacks needing 4 to hit, 4 to wound, he needed 4 to save, I only did one wound. I made a ton of saves in this game but failed a lot that mattered (Lone Wolf, for example...) and on two turns had 1 achievable objective while his rolls for objective landed him 2 per turn.
Overall, I LOVE Maelstrom missions. It was fast, back and forth. If you ask him the scoreboard is different...I never bothered to mention Linebreaker or Assassinate because I was so shocked his reanimated as different unit, no wait you don't get overwhelming firepower because it is part of the unit combined with NUMEROUS rolls where a 1 hit or a 3 wounded or a 3 saved pretty much let me know the game meant far more to him than it did me. He also felt extremely unlucky on the sweeping advance that wiped out his whole unit (and that WAS bad time for that roll).
If we actually measured Objective 6 the way he insisted on measuring Objective 5 back on turn 1 he actually scored about 2 points off that objective, and if the 4s that glanced my Rhino were counted as not hurting it as per rules he loses Big Game Hunter and First Blood as well.
Instead we have about the perfect outcome...we did not total the points and I heard a reference to something like "9-5 win, but I almost got tabled" (he had one unit with a character and 10ish Necrons left) so in his mind he has the win. If I scored it hardcore vicious the way he was, call off say...half the illegally rolled objectives I win in a boot-stomp of about 9-2. But I would much rather call it a tie or narrow Space Wolf win and honestly, that is what it goes in my record book as because it is my blog :-) 9-8 on the Space Wolf swan song until the new codex.
Overall, I enjoyed the game despite how this might read. I worked hard to ignore some of the shortcuts based on a couple things. I have seen him guide new players before and he does not have a firm grasp of the rules. This is a new codex for him, winning matters to him live (to me it matters in writing I guess) and I was enjoying seeing the mission in action and learning the rules a bit better. I would play him again, but not often...
because at the end of the day, I would much rather play my brothers Fullur and Fixed Dice, my good friends K-Pasa Man or Space Monkey, or another guy from the shop...but the Starving Crazed Weasels are always my preferred opponents anyway.
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