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Saga of the Wolf King
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Saga of the Wolf
King--Battle #2 batrep
by Kenton Kilgore with commentary by Patrick Eibel
As you might recall, the noble Space Wolves and the villainous xenos called the “Dvergar” were hunting across an icy, unnamed world for a lost techno-magical device called The Ring of the Wolf King. At the end of the last battle, the Wolves shrugged off heavy casualties and managed to seize the Ring. Falling back towards their landing zone, the Wolves find themselves harried by the indefatigable Dvergar, and are forced to turn and fight once more….
Space Wolves (2504
(2504 points) by
So when it came time to draw up a 2504-point list (Pat went over, so I adjusted my total), it was pretty much as simple as taking the list for the last battle, adding in another Nob mob and a Battlewagon, and hitting the bar for happy hour. Because my Dvergar use the units and rules from Codex: Orks, I name each unit and the wargear they carry in the list below, then give the Ork equivalents.
Two Dvergar Crawlers (Heavy Support Battlewagons) w/ ablative armor (armor plates), assault grenade launcher (stikkbomb chukka), extra power cells (red paint job), and mine cannon (big shoota)
Before deployment, we agreed that rocky areas, hills, and woods were difficult terrain that gave 4+ cover saves, and that figures actually in the river or on its banks got a 5+ save. Because I set up, Pat chose what table quarter he wanted, and—unsurprisingly—he took the high ground afforded by the waterfall. “Capture and Control” requires two objectives, for which we used these skull decorations that I picked up for pennies at an after-Halloween sale. Pat placed his atop the waterfall, and I placed mine on some rocky ground. Pat put his Long Fangs on the waterfall, piled his Blood Claws and HQ into the Crusaders, and loaded his Grey Hunters into their Rhinos and Drop Pod, with the Speeders sheltering behind some trees.
I plopped my skull-objective-thingie atop a rocky mound, crammed both squads of my Dvergar Regulars (Shoota Boyz by another name) around them, and arranged the Cave Nomes (Gretchin) in rear-facing defensive perimeter, anticipating infiltrating, xenos-stomping Space Wolf Scouts coming off my board edges. Little did I know that there were no such Scouts. No matter. I loaded my Warspars (Warbosses), Marauders (Nobz), Flametongues (Burna Boyz) and Steel Troopers (‘Ard Boyz) in their Dvergar Crawlers (Battlewagons), and stashed my Warp Miners (Stormboyz) behind some trees.
Pat won the roll to determine who had the first turn, and decided to go second, forcing me to move my army forward into the teeth of the Wolves. As if that wasn’t my “cunning” plan anyway.
The Warp Miners activated their teleporting packs, disappearing from view and reappearing into the material universe many yards ahead. The Crawlers rumbled forward, but one of them, carrying the Gold Warspar and her Marauder troops—became stuck in the mud of the riverbed and went no further. Make sure that none of the humans attempt to encircle us, the Gold Warspar ordered, and a group of many Dvergar skirmishers and their Cave Nome attendants held back, covering the others’ advance.
The Space Wolves smashed forward, daring the Dvergar. The Land Raider Crusader Thunderwolf splashing across the steaming river, its assault ramp opening on the far side. As the Blood Claws rushed out, Wolf Priest Horsa Drachenbane reluctantly slipped the Ring—it was more like an armband, actually—of the Wolf King onto the sleeve of his armor. I had hoped to present this to Logan Grimnar, he thought, but it seems I’ll have to try it out first. No matter.
Though guided by the Machine Spirit, the Thunderwolf’s multi-melta did not hit the lead Crawler; similarly ineffectual were melta fire from the darting Land Speeders and heavy weapon blasts from the Long Fangs. But then a Drop Pod landed nearby—almost atop the alien tank—and Grey Hunter Pack Kvasir disembarked. Their melta guns were in range, and blasted gaping holes into the Crawler's side, reducing it to steaming scrap.
Horsa’s twin hearts pounded as he felt the power of the Ring seep into him. It was drawing Fenrisian Wolves from the Space Marines’ landing zone; already, they were at the river, and soon, they would be at his side—and his command. He ignored the gunfire as the other Crusader, Dire Wolf, opened up on the Warp Miners behind the trees, killing one of them. All his focus was on remaining calm, fighting the animal within that the Ring had unleashed, as the Black Warspar and his Marauders stumbled from the wreckage of their Crawler.
“NOW!” Horsa bellowed, and he and Wolf Guard Modi and the Blood Claws charged the aliens. Horsa swung his crozius arcanum again and again, finally battering down the defenses of a superb Dvergar Marauder, killing the enemy fighter. At Horsa’s side, Modi slashed with his wolf claws, wounding another. The youthful, grinning Blood Claws hacked down two more Marauders. But then the Dvergar—slower, but relentless—gained the upper hand, taking down 10 Space Wolves with nigh-unstoppable blows from their combat hammers.
“Hold! Hold!” Horsa bellowed, urging his men to stand their ground. Despite the power of the Ring, Horsa began to wonder if perhaps he and his Blood Claws had bitten off more than they could chew….
Coolly fending off the frenzied attacks of the Blood Claws he was entangled with, the Black Warspar sent a mental command to the Troop Commander of the Warp Miners. They activated their personal teleporters and vanished from sight, re-appearing a heartbeat later behind Horsa’s Blood Claws. Two of them had not survived the jump—perhaps the branches of the trees they had been standing under had interfered with their teleporters’ guidance systems—but grief, like all other emotions, were unknown to the Dvergar, and in any event, lives were literally worthless to them. All that mattered was that most of them had arrived and could fulfill the task their master had demanded.
Far from the fighting, the Regulars—skirmishers in light armor and with longer-ranged weaponry—noted that a pair of Space Wolf Rhinos were advancing, behind cover and far out of range, upon them. There would be time to deal with them later. For the moment, the Regulars opened fire with their hand cannons on the Land Speeders circling the melee between Marauders and Blood Claws. Most of the shots went wide—Dvergar firearms were made for close-range shooting—but a few shots hit one Speeder, armed with a multi-melta, rattling the crew.
Sloshing through the river, the Gold Warspar and her Marauders fell upon Grey Hunter Pack Kvasir, hacking them down and losing but one of their own. The Warp Miners charged the Blood Claws. Horsa and his suddenly-outnumbered men fought valiantly, killing two Miners and another Marauder, but they were overmatched. A heavy combat axe smashed Horsa’s knees and he crumpled; another blow to his helmet sent him reeling into the snow. No, he thought, everything growing dark as he slipped into unconsciousness. No. But the last thing he saw was a black-armored alien with a red beard looming over him. The last thing he felt was hands tugging on his arm.
The Ring! he thought, and then all was black.
Space Wolves do not know fear, but even the most brash Blood Claw paused when word came that Wolf Priest Horsa had fallen. A pause—and then the Wolves redoubled their efforts. The Land Speeders swiveled about and fired, one with a heavy bolter killing a Dvergar Regular; one with a multi-melta exploding a Dvergar Crawler into literally thousands of burning pieces of metal, killing two Steel Troopers who jumped out a second too late.
The Land Raider Crusaders vented their fury. The Thunderwolf’s multi-melta fused the transmission of the Flametongues’ Crawler, stranding them. The anti-personnel guns of the Thunderwolf opened up on the Black Marauders, killing another of them. The assault ramp of the Dire Wolf opened and Blood Claw Pack Gungnir, with Wolf Guard Battle Leader Bregr Hamersmid, emerged, firing on the Gold Marauders, killing one. Another one was wounded by the Dire Wolf’s assault cannon.
Picking themselves up from the snow, the Steel Troopers were sent reeling by more explosions as the Long Fangs unleashed several frag missiles into them, killing two more. Joined by their Fenrisian Wolf allies, Blood Claw Pack Gungnir and Bregr charged the Gold Marauders, cutting down four of the steel-armored warriors. But like their counterparts, these Marauders struck back fearsome blows, killing three Blood Claws and seven Wolves, driving away the latter away.
The Black Warspar and the leader of the accompanying Marauder squad tried to smash through the Thunderwolf’s hull, but it was too thick even for their heavy electro-combat weapons. Activating their signature weapons, the Flametongues charged the Blood Claws, losing three to the blindingly-quick Marines before they could strike. The Blood Claws killed two more Gold Marauders, but once again, the Dvergar would not be denied, smashing nine of the Space Wolves and forcing them, like the Fenrisian Wolves, to flee.
Run them to ground, the Gold Warspar ordered, and the Dvergar trudged after the retreating Wolves.
The Blood Claws and Fenrisian Wolves continued to fall back before the oncoming Gold Marauders. The Land Raider Crusaders and Land Speeders maneuvered to gain better firing positions. The Grey Hunter Rhinos continued to advance on the position held by the Dvergar Regulars.
The Space Wolves unleashed their vastly superior firepower again. Ignoring the closer Warp Miners, the Long Fangs fired three more frag missiles into the Steel Troopers, killing three more of them. Fire from the Thunderwolf and the Land Speeder with the heavy bolter killed five Flametongues, despite the Dvergar using the river for cover. Multi-meltas from the Thunderwolf and the Land Speeders vaporized two Black Marauders, while the Dire Wolf’s guns wounded a Gold Marauder.
At the other end of the field, the Steel Troopers trudged through the forest, the Long Fangs—and the crest of the waterfall—their goal. Losing three more, the Warp Miners teleported ahead. The incidental losses were troubling to their Troop Commander, but there was still plenty of ground to cover, and the Long Fangs had to be engaged to silence their guns so that the Steel Troopers could advance unhindered. The pitiless Order that the Dvergar followed considered no costs; it only demanded results.
Further back, the Black Warspar and his Marauders charged and hammered the Thunderwolf, shaking its crew; the Gold Warspar and her followers charged the Dire Wolf, wrenching off its tracks and disabling the assault cannons.
The Thunderwolf retreated, and the Blood Claws and Fenrisian Wolves continued to fall back as well. At the far end of the field, the Space Wolf Rhinos halted and Grey Hunter Packs Roskva and Nyorer dismounted and fired, Roskva killing 13 Cave Nomes, Nyorer gunning down 6 members of Regular Squad Gold. The Land Speeder with the heavy bolter also shot dead another member of the same enemy unit.
Elsewhere, the Dire Wolf and the Drop Pod fired on the Flametongues, killing 5 of them and forcing the rest to fall back. The Land Speeders with multi-meltas killed another Black Marauder, and the Long Fang’s lascannon shot the Living Ancestor, leaving the Black Warspar the only one standing from that group. Frag missile fire from the Long Fangs deviated, missing the Steel Troopers but killing one Warp Miner.
Activating their teleporter packs again, the Warp Miners finally reached the Long Fangs—who set down their heavy weapons and countercharged, quickly crushing the six Dvergar who had thus far survived fire, blades, and technical mishaps. Unharmed, the Long Fangs resumed their fire support duties.
Elsewhere, the Dvergar forces were faring no better. The Gold Marauders charged the Thunderwolf, but were unable to damage it. The Cave Nomes charged Squad Roskva, losing seven of their number under the knives and boots of the Space Wolves before they managed to drag down and stab to death two Space Marines. Losing their nerve, despite their Overseers’ floggings, they attempted to run, but were gunned down.
Still falling back, the Blood Claws fired, killing one of the Gold Marauders. The Fenrisian Wolves regained their nerve and ran through the river to engage the Steel Troopers. Fire from the Drop Pod wounded a Black Marauder, and more fire from the Dire Wolf wounded the Gold Warspar. A multi-melta shot from the Machine Spirit of the Thunderwolf killed the Living Ancestor of the Gold Marauders; more firing from the Thunderwolf and the Long Fangs slew five Steel Troopers.
Pack Roskva fired on the Gold squad of Regulars, killing one; Nyorer fired on the Black squad, killing four. Then both Grey Hunter units charged, with Roskva wiping out the remnants of the Gold squad and Nyorer killing seven of the Black and losing one of their own. The Regulars held their ground as Roskva converged on them.
At the other end of the field, the Fenrisian Wolves charged the Steel Troopers, who killed four beasts and lost a warrior. Their confidence shaken again, the Wolves ran off, tails between their legs. Crestfallen, Bregr Hamersmid sounded the retreat, and the Steeljacks were too battered to pursue. Many had fought, many had died, but neither side could claim victory.
Post-Game Analysis by Patrick Eibel
of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that …
The Space Wolves was one of the first armies I ever owned and I like to play them in true Viking fashion, rushing headlong into battle, consequences be damned. For the second game in a row, I am reminded that this tactic may not always be the most prudent. Kenton’s Dvergar are not your typical Ork army (which is good, since they don’t actually look like Orks), and I should stop expecting them to act like one.
My nominal plan was to send the two large Blood Claw units into the center to tie up the bulk of his forces while my two Rhinos of Grey Hunters snuck around the side to claim the objectives. My plan almost worked, but it was painful to watch my Blood Claws crash into Kenton’s forces and break like waves on a jetty. Still, had I killed a couple more of the buggers on the objective, they might’ve ran off, leaving me with the victory.
I have to give MVP honors to the Long Fangs this battle. Not only did the missile launchers make up for their lack of accuracy last game, but the squad rebuffed an assault from Stormboys. Kenton was apoplectic, to say the least, about how easily his guys were brushed aside.
The Dvergar now get control of the Ring and, by the same token, the pack of Wolves. I have one game in which to reclaim the Ring and win a game, else all—and by all, I mean the Ring and the campaign—will be lost.
Post-Game Analysis by Kenton Kilgore
to me about moral victories and things of that nature. We didn't get the
I certainly enjoyed going toe-to-toe (again) with the Space Wolves and beating them at the close combat game (except for the epic FAIL of the sucktastic Warp Miners vs. the Long Fangs), but the point was to capture Pat’s objective. Once he had destroyed or immobilized all my Crawlers, I had little hope of doing so. Purchasing grot riggers for my tanks from here on out will help.
Speaking of the aforementioned Miners/Stormboyz, I lost nine, over half the squad, by having them bop in and out of difficult terrain. Though I knew it was dangerous to do so, I had to move them quickly to bail out the Black Marauders/Nobz and to take pressure off the Steel Troopers/’Ard Boyz: they didn’t have time to walk anywhere, which again, relates to two of my Crawlers being immobilized.
For several turns, I forgot to fire the guns on the stuck Crawlers, which, given my BS 2, probably wouldn’t have made much difference, but was still a mistake. My Cave Nomes/Gretchin were way out of position at the beginning of the battle, expecting Wolf Scouts that never came, but I managed to get them in front of Grey Hunter Pack Roskva and bloody their pointy, furry snouts by killing four of them.
The terrain around my objective gave my Regulars/Shooty Boyz cover saves, but also hindered their shooting. Pat’s objective (atop the waterfall at the opposite corner of the board) was too far away for me to get to in a 5-turn game when all my transports were knocked out by Turn 2. Whatever: the final game is a kill-or-be killed mission, and when it’s over, I intend for my guys to have their steel boots on the Space Wolves’ necks.
Posted December 2009
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