Saturday, September 27, 2014

Genesis Chapter vs. Space Wolves Battle Report

My assembled force in its entirety 
I had my first full fight yesterday with my Genesis marines against a hungry Space Wolf force. Although the result was disappointing, and my marines didn't exactly fight well (decades of penance when we get back to Newfound), I had a really good time just rolling the dice and getting a better taste for the gaming side of 40k.

My first mistake though was a gross miscalculation of points. For some reason I had in my head that the Captain was 190 pts total, when actually is only 135, so my force was well short of 750 pts, weighing in at 685. I believe I can rectify that temporarily by modifying my Rhino into a Predator to make up the necessary points until I can finish the Predator. The first round of escalation league ends this weekend though anyway, so I only need a temporary solution.

Jumping in right into the action, a full blow by blow report would be tedious and take too long to describe everything that happened in the battle, especially as much of the action was repetitive. We rolled off for our mission type and got Purge the Alien, so no objectives, just kill points for units totally destroyed. Slay The Warlord, LineBreaker, and First Blood were the other possible Victory Points.

I kept my assault squad out of the line of fire.
Hopefully I would be able to take the left and pivot toward
the center.
I deployed in what I considered a pretty standard battlefield deployment, spreading out my forces to cover the width of the board so I could turn a flank. I put my heaviest Tac Squad in the center, a combat squad and Captain on the right, and then the Rhino with loaded combat squad, Assault Squad and my Scouts (after infiltrating) on the left. My goal was to hold the left flank with the Scouts long range fire and pivot around their position with the Rhino and Assault Squad to hit the center hard and roll up the enemy line.

My opponent had a large unit of Blood Claws led by a Wolf Priest on my right, a 10 man detachment of Grey Hunters in the center, and a 5 man squad of Long Fangs in the back right hand side. I had deployed first, and my opponent had effectively counter deployed, staying away from my overloaded left flank and giving his Long Fangs command of the battlefield with their heavy weapons.
The Blood Claws proved to be my undoing

I was slated to go first, but my opponent seized the initiative, but he wasn't able to do much damage as my armor saves shrugged off most of the damage. He ran his Blood Claws straight toward my middle, and I knew that they posed a serious threat. His Long Fang missile strikes scattered and missed (as they did most of the game) and my line survived intact.

The Long Fangs commanded the battlefield
For my first turn I didn't want to move closer to the Blood Claws as I was heavily outnumbered if the fight got to hand-to-hand. My Scouts failed spectacularly from the beginning, which was disappointing. Throughout the entire game they only landed just 1 or 2 hits without causing a single wound. With more accurate fire I could have at least thinned out the Space Wolves' ranks or neutralized the Long Fang threat but instead I did neither. Needless to say, none of the Scouts will be given their power armor anytime soon.

The Grey Hunters move into cover
Here come those smelly Wolves

Scouts were disappointing

A turn after the initial attack

Blood Claws coming up the middle

Suppressing fire was ineffective

On his own

Fighting to the last
I focused my fire on the Grey Hunters, which perhaps wasn't the best strategy, especially considering the threat posed by the Blood Claws. I felt that because the Grey Hunters were fewer in number I could eliminate them quicker and focus on the Blood Claws, but that didn't happen. The Grey Hunters plasma weapons also worried me.

I inflicted a few casualties in the shooting phase, but not as much as I was hoping for, but such is to be expected with Space Marine power armor.

My Rhino storm bolter picked off a Grey Hunter, and I shot down two more with my Tac Squad in the middle. That was my first tactical mistake, as I should have focused on the more dangerous threat, the Blood Claws. With so few units on the board, if I shot everything at the Wolves' largest unit and broke it, the battle would be effectively over.

The mission type also played to my disadvantage. With no take and hold objectives, my main source of victory points would be eliminating whole units, which would be difficult would his large number of Blood Claws. I had several 5 man units for tactical flexibility, which offered easier victory points for my opponent.

But such is the nature of war sometimes, and I still should have been able to advantage of my superior numbers.

The second turn for both of us consisted in simple shooting attacks, but my Scouts suffered. They suffered sufficient casualties to take a leadership test, which they failed and fell back out of their cover.

I opted for a more direct approach with the Scouts gone, and jumped my Assault Squad over the now empty building and slammed into combat with the Grey Hunters. I had also moved the Rhino up on the left and disembarked the combat squad to soften up the Grey Hunters before the Assault Squad charged in.

My Assault Squad lost a Marine to overwatch, but won the first combat. Of course, Space Marines can't be caught by a sweeping advance, so the two units stayed locked in combat for the next three turns. Imagine the fierce combat as Marines slug it out with Marines. During one turn no casualties were suffered by either side.

The Blood Claws closed the distance and I shot everything I had at them to no avail. Don't want to make an excuse, but it was frustrating how ineffective my shooting was. I had a lot of guns blazing, but my dice rolls did not do well, and the Wolves made a lot of armor saves. Power Armor is strong, so I'm guessing this is what it's like to play against Space Marines.

Once the Blood Claws joined combat with my Tac Squad the battle got even more difficult. I only killed one in overwatch and suffered the wrath of 40+ attacks. Suffered some bad dice rolls again, as I only killed one Blood Claw but lost 8 Marines. I simply could not stand against the Wolves.

Eventually the Blood Claws cleared the Tac Squad, or what was left, just one Marine at this point and moved toward my Captain and the combat squad. I only took down 1 Blood Claw through shooting, which is a point black shot from the melta on my Captain's combi melta. I charged in several units or what was left of them eventually, but all told I lost 17 Marines in hand to hand combat against the Blood Claws while only 2 or 3.

My Captain had an epic slug fest with the War Priest and didn't give an inch. His artificer armor was excellent in shrugging off damage with 2+ save. Although the Captain scored many wounds, the Wolf Priest also had a 2+ save. Eventually the Captain was the last one left and somehow failed his leadership test and of course fell back 10 inches which put him off the board and eliminated from the battle.

The only bright spot was my Assault Squad finally winning their combat and destroying the last of the Grey Hunters. My Sergeant with his power sword and AP 3 hitting power proved invaluable, and he racked up most of the kills during the close quarter fighting.

This was the end of turn 5 and the end of the battle. Despite my heavy defeat I really enjoyed playing an actual game, as I said before. Even though the dice rolls were frustrating, I learned a lot through this small battle and had a good time. Definitely looking forward to more battles in the future.

In the meantime, I have made some progress on the Predator, which I will have updates on later this weekend, but I do need to go do some painting for a bit. Hope you're having a great weekend!