Thursday, 22 September 2016

Battle Report - Imperial Fists vs Space Wolves

Dads Rich and Dave played a game this weekend. Rich brought the Sons of Dorn, whilst Dave brought the sons of Russ. There was no real background to the story but maybe there was a misunderstanding between these two stubborn Legions as the Space Wolves headed back to Terra after the Battle of Prospero. The Imperial Fists halted them at the border, strictly following protocol. The Wolves had little patience after completing their cursed task. Tempers frayed, things got out of hand, and here's what happened next...

The game was 3000pts per side using Mission 4: Onslaught from the Horus Heresy Book 1. We felt the mission had some interesting set up rules and victory conditions:

We set up in opposing quarters, the each placed an objective in the opposition's deployment zone. The main aim of the game was to control that objective at the end of the game, with secondary objectives (see the above photo). Dad Dave won the roll to set up and go first, Dad Rich failed to seize the initiative, ending a long run of always going first, and setting the flavour for the ensuing game.

Space Wolves - Dad Dave
Hvarl Red-Blade: Legion Praetor with thunder hammer and volkite serpent
Arne, bearer of the torch: Master of Signal
4x 10-man Legion Assault Squads
2x 5-man Tactical Support Squads, with melt-guns and mounted in rhinos
2x Spartan Assault Tanks

Imperial Fists - Dad Rich
Herald (Centurion)
10 Terminators (half THSS, half PFSB) + Apothecary
15 Breachers (Sgt w TH) + Apothecary + Spartan to transport them with the Sigismund
10 Breachers (Sgt w PF)
10 Tac Marines
1 Contemptor Mortis
3 x Quad Mortars

Turn 1
Dave: You get an extra victory point for anything killed in the first turn, so I was determined to make sure I achieved that. To make sure I got that point, I targeted the Fist’s contemptor with my Fellblade, which spectacularly exploded, with shrapnel taking out half of the Breacher squad it was standing next too! Excellent!
Everything else moved forward, in a sort of pincer movement around the hill in the middle of the board. With everything either in vehicles or with jump packs, the aim is to get as close to the enemy as quickly as possible. I aimed one of my melta-rhinos the Fist’s Spartan, hoping I could get around the flare shield. I left one of my assault squads spread out at the back behind my Fellblade, knowing that Rich had some deep-striking terminators to come in at some point.
Rich: Dave's firepower had left me reeling, but the Fists know better than to let an opening salvo scare them off and launched forward in the Spartan to meet there line, somehow it seemed as if that poor Spartan was taking on his entire line alone! But as he rolled forward the lascannons and quad mortars opened up in support and managed to kill a few marines and a rhino. Sigismund and his squad burst from the Spartan and took on Dave's Spartan. I was about to find out that Spartan's were impossible for me to hurt and despite slapping 10 melts-bombs on it and whacking it with a TH a few times the damn thing wasn't even shaken!

Turn 2
Dave: Rich busted open one of my melt-rhinos, which was a bit annoying, but both of the rhinos managed to protect their occupants this round.
Rich: Sigismund and the Breachers manage to wipe one of Dave's assault units and the Terminator Deep Strike arrives, they use their turn to shoot at the delta squad nearest too but only kill one dude! Dave turns the guns of the Fellblade on the Spartan more Spartan!

Turn 3
Dave: I continued to target the Fist’s lascannon squad, who continued to survive and make their leadership tests! Those Fists really are the stubborn Sons of Dorn!!
The Fist’s terminator squad engaged the last of my full strength assault squads and wiped them out to a man, who subsequently fell back 19”, and then continued to fall back for the rest of the game. He’d obviously lost his nerve and will be disciplined for it later… however, his continued survival did deny the Fists a valuable VP.

Rich: The Breachers fight with the Spartan goes on, I have thrown over 35 meltabombs at it but totally failed to roll a single 6 for penetration in that time! That armoured ceratite is paying off! The terminators and Sigismund are wandering around looking for infantry to massacre, my lascannons pick off the odd target but are surprisingly ineffective, probably because up until Turn 4 I had forgotten they had Tank Hunter USR!

Turn 4
Dave: Turn 4 it suddenly occurred to me that if I parked my Fellblade on top of the objective in my quarter, there was no way Rich could get anything within 2” to contest it! Genius! With 12 hull points, nothing was going to shift it. So that’s what I did.
I fired the demolisher cannon at the Fist Terminators and killed six. Finally, I remembered where the strengths of the demolisher cannon lie…
Rich: I have decided to totally ignore his Fellblade, with 12 HPs, armoured ceramite etc I have nothing to hurt it really so the terminators (minus a few brothers thanks to the Demolisher) set off toward Dave's other Spartan and his Warlord. Sigismund starts to run across to join them. If we can't damage the Spartan we may at least be able to give the Warlord a headache as we hammer on the sides. 

Herald - I took this guy to lead my terminators and wasn't disappointed. He looks cool waving a banner and the +1 to WS he gives everyone around him makes sure my Terminators slaughter anyone they meet. Shame they didn't have any more infantry left around them by this point...

Turn 5
Dave: I finally took Sigismund down with two more lascannon shots to the face. I cannot believe how tough that man is! Rich had another go at melt-bombing my Spartan.
For the fourth turn in a row the Fists failed to take all of its hull points. I’m glad Rich told me to by that Ceramite armour now! My other Spartan took out the remainder of the Fist’s terminator squad
Rich killed off the remainder of my assault squads. They hung in well and generally did what I needed them to do. I’m glad I split them in to 4 ten man squads now rather than 2 twenty man squads.
Rich: Sigismund dies in a desperate attempt to reach Dave's Warlord who is bravely hiding on his own in a Spartan. They only know he's in there because of the smell and constant crys of "Mummy! Get me out of here"!

Im hanging on here by skin of my teeth here, my hope is to deny Dave the VPs on the obj on my side and to try and keep the unit kills equal.

Oh, rolled another 12 melta bombs on Dave's 6's!

Dave rolls for Turn 6.....rolls a 2! End Game, time for tea and medals!

Wolves: 7VPs Fists: 5VPs

Dave: the game was fun, and the first I’ve won in a long time. When you analyse it, it was actually closer than you think, the difference only being the +1VP in Turn 1 for destroying a unit, and +1VP for Slaying the Warlord. And Sigismund really made me work for that one!
No one got the +5VP for claiming the opponent’s objective, but that could have swung the game the other way if the Fists had managed it.

Man of the match for me is the Spartan that survived 4 rounds of melta-bombs. That just goes to prove how tough those transports are! Glad I got me two of them.

I liked the way my army worked, in a way that I have not liked my army composition for a long while. It’s a good mix of fast-moving troops and armoured might. Just the way I imagine the Wolves like to fight. Get up close and do as much damage as quickly as possible. I’ll definitely be working with variations of this force going forward. The only change might be to actually mount something in the Spartans. That was a bit of an oversight, but a happy one, and they did keep both of my HQs safe for the entire game.

I imagine the melta-armed tactical supports squads mounted in Rhinos are a bit like the fire ships Vikings would send towards the enemy. The rhinos managed to survive long enough to get the heat to where it needed to be.

The Fellblade was as good as I hoped. I’ve wanted one of those ever since seeing one in Collected Vissions. Parking it on an objective was a stroke of genius, if somewhat dirty, and I’m ashamed to say I didn’t think of this straight off the bat. Nothing was going to shift that and it was big enough to make sure no enemy could get within the required distance to contest it.

Rich: Great game, loved seeing this huge wave of mechanised Space Wolves charging at us! But what did I learn.

Well first off I screwed up big time with the rules for melts-bombs. I assumed they had the USR melta which means that anything with armoured ceramite denies them the additional d6 for armour penetration. However, melta-bombs are armourbane which means they still get the extra d6 for penetration. Doh! Its funny as by the end of the game i must have hit that Spartan with 40-50 melts-bombs and still didn't roll a 6 to glance a single time - fate was against me whatever that time!

The 15 Breachers with Sgt TH and an Apothecary plus Sigismund are fearsome against infantry, and they are good against armour too (when you remember the armourbane rule!!).

My terminators are brutal in CC too, they decimated any units they touched and it was great to see them ruling the day, until that pesky demolisher round had me taking 6 off the table at once! (Great shot Dave!).

This was my first game with the Quad Mortars. They got off a couple of turns hammering Dave's troops. Sadly for me Dave targeted them relentlessly with the Fellblade and they didn't make it past turn three. One thing to note is that they need to be within 36" of enemy so you have to much them reasonably far forward. I must say I liked them, if they had been left unhindered I think they would have made a fantastic support weapon, as it was they got a few kills and kept Dave's big guns away from my troops for a few turns - not bad.

Lascannon team - this game was almost enough to convince me to out them in a bunker. Although they lasted throughout and killed a few things. They are super pricey and I may field less than ten in the future.

All in all v happy with my force and if I can remember the USRs that are important they will do just fine I think! Well played Space Wolves!


  1. Nice to read a report with two forces I really wanted to see on the field. Spartans bug me though, they are too good at everything it seems.

    1. Well to be fair Rich could have actually got me with the melta bombs if we'd read the rules right! Haha
      Spartans are nice to paint tho and pretty useful on the table.

  2. I am in the 'Spartans are cool' side of the fence. They will almost always get your assault units into the fight. Its a lucky shot that will drop one before it has had chance to dump its cargo of assault.
    I think that the dominance of shooting needs a counterbalance like this and I think the Spartan helps level the field. At the same time it's 350 ish points to field one and that's no joke!
    One of the things I like about 30k is the options for assault and I am looking at having a force with outflanking veterans, deep striking terminators and Spartans chasing across to really knock my opponents gameplan!

    1. At the same time, it does have twice as many lascannons as a land raider and better armour, so 350pts doesn't sound that unreasonable.
      On the plus side, as I took two of them I didn't actually have to paint that many miniatures to fill the points up :-)
      I like them, I just need to put more in them. If they had fire points I would have mounted my tactical support squads in th and used the 70 points from the rhinos on something else

  3. Rich I can't remember your spartan lasting more than 2 turns against my guard!!! They're not all that....

  4. Urgh - guard gun lines are something else though! Nothing gets past them!