Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers
Saga of the Wolf King
Introduction <> Battle #1 <> Battle #2 <> Battle #3
Saga of the Wolf
King--Battle #3 batrep
by Kenton Kilgore with commentary by Patrick Eibel
In the first game, my Dvergar had claimed a rather substantial victory on the battlefield, but the Space Wolves had claimed the techno-magical Ring of the Wolf King. In the second game, the fight had been to a draw, but the evil aliens had seized the Ring. Though Kill Points would decide which side won this, the final game, the army that had the Ring at the end would be the campaign winner. And so, let the battle begin!
Space Wolves (3198
(3198 points) by
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.
Because Pat set up, I chose what side I wanted. I took the one with the very nice, very tall bunker so as to keep Pat’s Long Fangs out of it and deny him some excellent lines of sight. I set up my Dvergar Crawlers on my right, the half of the board with more densely-clustered terrain, hoping to protect them from heavy weaponry. I put my Dvergar Regulars and Cave Nomes on my left, where they could hopefully tramp forward and engage the Wolves. One unit of Warp Miners positioned themselves behind the tanks, to follow as reinforcements, and the other unit went atop the well-armored (3+ cover save) tower near the center of my side, to wait for a good time to pounce.
Pat responded by “castling” most of his army into one corner of the board, across from my infantry, and keeping most of his men in their tanks. This deployment meant that my Crawlers had a long way to go to reach their targets. He also kept the Speeders in reserve, to Deep Strike later, as you will see. Finally, he set up his sniper Scouts in front of his army, atop a rocky hill.
Having set up first, I had the right to go first, and Pat was unsuccessful in stealing the initiative. As this was an “Annihilation” mission, my plan—in proper Ghostbusters fashion—was simply to “get ‘em.” So off we went.
Miles away, the Dvergar had finished massing and began their move against the cornered Fenrisians. Chittering Cave Nomes, wincing under the unfriendly sunlight, were driven forward by the electro-prods of their Dvergar Overseers. Dvergar Regulars, mine guns ready, tramped forward over rocky hills. On the right flank, huge mechanical Crawlers, stuffed with elite warriors, clanked ponderously towards the Wolves’ defensive position. Captured Fenrisian Wolves, now slaves to the Ring, ran alongside.
“Launch counteroffensive,” came the curt order, over the commnet, from the grizzled Logan Grimnar. Disappointed with how the campaign was going, the Old Wolf had relieved the Wolf Priest Horsa Drachenbane and taken over operations. On his command, the Drop Pod containing Pack Kvasir touched down and the Grey Hunters targeted the lead Dvergar tank. Across the field, two Rhinos advanced on the Dvergar infantry, and Grey Hunter Packs Njorer and Mimir dismounted.
Kvasir’s melta guns fired, severely damaging the drive system of the lead Dvergar Crawler. Pack Njorer opened fire on the Cave Nomes, killing 18; the sniper Scouts dispatched another one. Mimir’s shooting killed 17 Regulars, and support fire from Packs Skrymir and Fossengrim, who had stayed behind, killed six more Dvergar. The Wolves’ tanks shot, the Whirlwind claiming three Regulars and the Vindicator “Dragon’s Breath” four more.
While the Long Fang’s Razorback could not harm the suddenly-immobilized lead tank of the Dvergar, the Long Fangs themselves targeted the densely-packed swarm of Warp Miners that still lurked atop a sturdy watchtower. Unleashing their frag missiles, the Long Fangs scored 40 hits and 28 Wounds, and killed 8—half the squad.
The Dvergars’ return fire was a tepid volley from the Regulars: one Grey Hunter from Pack Mimir fell, as did a single sniper Scout. More impressive was how the Black Warspar, bearing the Ring, and his Marauders leapt from their halted Crawler and assailed Pack Kvasir, crushing nine Space Wolves and losing one of their own. The survivor’s power fist wounded the Warspar twice, but the Steeljack commander, seemingly built of the same material, did not fall.
Finally! Wolf Guard Hrothgar thought, as his Drop Pod touched down and his men began to bail out. He had wanted to be there to reinforce Pack Kvasir, but buzzing aerial mines, launched by the Dvergar, had necessitated evasive maneuvers that had delayed his craft just long enough. Now all he could do was avenge his friends.
Also dropping in from high altitude were two Land Speeders armed with multi-meltas that proceeded to target Crawlers. Hrothgar spared a glance to his right and saw that the Land Raider Crusader “Thunder Wolf” was rumbling forward, its assault ramp swinging down. A moment later, Logan Grimnar and his Terminator-Wolf Guard stamped out, moments from reaching the Marauders who had mauled Pack Kvasir.
The threat from the Nomes and the Regulars negated, Packs Mimir and Njorer mounted up in their Rhinos and began to advance towards the other end of the field, where the action was suddenly shifting. As they drove along, fire erupted again from the Space Wolf “castle” position: the Whirlwind killed 5 Regulars, the snipers shot 2 more, and Rune Priest Harald Torvald unleashed Jaws of the World Wolf, killing 4 other Dvergar. One of the incoming Land Speeders fired, utterly destroying a Crawler and killing four of the Steel Troopers inside.
Fire from the Long Fangs, their Razorback, the other Speeder, and the Vindicator “Dragon’s Breath” failed to harm any of the other Crawlers. Hrothgar ordered his men to turn their guns on the Steel Troopers, who were taking what refuge they could behind the burning wreckage of their transport. Though he and his men were well-trained and their fire was accurate, only one Steel Trooper was killed.
Bellowing in rage, Logan Grimnar thundered forward, his men struggling to keep up. Only he reached the Marauders, and he killed one and wounded another. It was not enough, as the Dvergar elite warriors finished off the lone man of Pack Kvasir and turned their deadly attentions to the Old Wolf.
Lumbering into a charge, the Trowe swatted at the drifting Speeder with their spade-like claws. One of them managed to snag some pipes and cabling, and the hooting Troll gleefully ripped out the underside of the Speeder, sending it crashing to the ground. His fellows joined him in messily devouring the two dazed crewmen.
Waving their yellow banners, the Dvergar launched a coordinated charge against the Space Wolves, with the Warp Miners attacking the Terminators and Pack Angrboda. The Steel Troopers also attacked Angrboda, and, at the other end of the battlefield, the Gold Warspar and her Marauders the power-armored Rune Priest and Pack Fossengrim.
“Fight like Wolves!” bellowed Hrothgar, and Pack Angrboda roared as they ran to face their foes, hacking down a Warp Miner and six Steel Troopers. The Dvergar cut down five Fenrisians, but the nerve of the Steel Troopers broke and they retreated, leaving the lightly-armored Warp Miners to continue the fight.
The Gold Warspar and her elite warriors crashed into the onrushing Pack Fossengrim, losing two of their own and another one being wounded, but the Fenrisians paid in blood: in a heartbeat, all of the Grey Hunters were down and only the Rune Priest was still fighting.
Logan Grimnar turned the Axe Morkai against the Warp Miners, but he could only manage to kill one. The Miners downed three Wolf Guard Terminators, but not before one Fenrisian pummeled a Marauder. Facing off against each other, another Terminator fell to the Black Warspar’s heavy electro-combat axe, but as he died, he smashed the Dvergar commander with his power fist, crippling him and causing the Ring to fall from the aliens’ armored hand.
Swatting aside the heaviest blows of the Marauders, Logan Grimnar waded through the Dvergar and stood over the Ring. Disheartened at the loss of their leader and their prize, the Black Marauders abandoned the Warp Miners and began to retreat.
“Finish off these cowards,” Logan Grimnar ordered, and another Land Speeder dropped in. The Wolf forces rolled forward to engage the stymied Dvergar. The Whirlwind and the Vindicator both missed the remaining Regular forces, but the snipers took down three Cave Nomes. Fire from the Long Fang’s Razorback and the newly arrived Speeder disabled the guns of two Crawlers, and the “Thunder Wolf’s” multi-melta destroyed one of them, killing two of the Flame Tongue passengers as well as a nearby Cave Nome and an enslaved Fenrisian Wolf.
Storm bolter shots from a Drop Pod killed one retreating Steel Trooper, but much more effective were the Long Fangs, whose frag missiles killed seven Regulars who were cowering in cover. The Regulars and the Cave Nomes fled, throwing down their weapons in terror.
Rune Priest Harald Torvald and Pack Skrymir hurled themselves at the Gold Warspar and her Marauders, the Terminator-armored psyker knocking over elite Dvergar fighters to engage the Warspar. His weapon crackling with the power of the Warp, Harald clove the Warspar’s power shield and severed her head from her neck. The stunned Marauders attempted to fight back, cutting down the other Rune Priest.
Elsewhere, Logan Grimnar smashed another Warp Miner, but their leader leveled him with a grievous blow from his heavy electro-combat axe. A lesser man would have died on the spot, but Logan was a warrior eternal, and he merely gritted his teeth and stood back up. The other Warp Miners struck down the last Wolf Guard Terminator and swarmed on Logan, but he could tell that they were bewildered and their nerve was fading.
“Our lord is in danger!” Hrothgar yelled, and his men quickly hacked down the rest of the Miners on them. “To Logan!” Hrothgar roared, and, echoing his battlecry, his men followed him to save the Old Wolf.
At one end of the battleground, the Gold Marauders—minus their commander—battled Pack Skrymir and Rune Priest Harald Torvald. Harald smote down two Marauders and the Grey Hunters wounded another one, but Dvergar chopped down four Fenrisians and the melee continued. At the other end of the battleground, Logan Grimnar waved off the oncoming Pack Angrboda and hacked down four Warp Miners on his own. The two remaining blanched and fled.
Grimacing from the nigh-mortal wound to the abdomen that he had suffered, Logan bent and delicately picked up the Ring. Even through his massively-armored gauntlets, he could feel it thrum with power. He nodded in satisfaction as Hrothgar and his men approach. “Take this,” Logan said, handing the Ring to Hrothgar.
“My lord,” Hrothgar whispered, kneeling at the honor.
“Make sure that no matter what happens, you do not lose this,” Logan rumbled. “The only way the Dvergar get this is if they step over your body to claim it.”
“Yes, lord,” Hrothgar said.
“Good,” Logan muttered. He pointed at the “Thunder Wolf.” “Mount up and let’s get after these little bastards.”
They clambered aboard and the Land Raider Crusader retreated, firing to no avail at the oncoming Crawler with the Trowe. More successful were the Long Fang’s Razorback, which immobilized a Dvergar transport, and a nearby Speeder, which destroyed another.
“We have taken much of their mo—” Logan began to tell Hrothgar, and then was thrown to the floor as a tremendous explosion rocked the “Thunder Wolf.” “What in Oth’s name was THAT?” he demanded.
It had been an errant shot from the Vindicator “Dragon’s Breath,” meant to hit the clustered Flame Tongues. Anti-personnel fire from several units was more successful, killing a retreating Steel Trooper and, unfortunately, four of the Fenrisian wolves the Dvergar had enslaved with the Ring. The last wolf ran off.
“Keep fighting!” Rune Priest Harald Torvald bellowed, as he struck down another Gold Marauder. Alas, the fearsome Grey Hunters of Pack Skrymir were little match for the Dvergar’s best, and another three of them fell. But the Wolves never lost their courage, and were slowly grinding down the evil aliens.
Hrothgar was thankful for the autolenses in his helmet, which allowed him to see during the blast, which threw him several feet. He and Logan staggered upright: his remaining three men did not. The Trowe stamped forward, one of them stupidly oblivious to the fact that it was missing half its face, blasted off in the explosion. Nearby, the Flame Tongues scrambled over the wreckage of a destroyed Crawler but could not reach their target, a Space Wolf Speeder zipping by.
At the other end of the battlefield, Rune Priest Harald cut down another Marauder. Again, his men failed against the Dvergar. Again, the aliens took two of his men. Still, they held. Keeping his footing though the ground was slick with blood, Harald kept fighting, took out another xenos. The Marauders axed his last man, and surrounded him.
“Remember what I said,” Logan told Hrothgar, as they met the Trowe. Land Speeders went by, firing at the Space Trolls: no effect. No effect either from the Long Fang’s missile launchers. The monsters were seemingly invulnerable—or so it seemed. A lascannon shot from the Long Fang’s Razorback blew off the head of the wounded one: amazingly, the decapitated brute took a few more, halting steps, its torso twisting here and there as if looking for its head. Then it fell over.
The Whirlwind and the Vindicator combined fire and killed seven Flame Tongues; a bolter shot from a Drop Pod took down another. Logan waded into the Trowe, Hrothgar right behind him. Logan cut down two of them before the rest grabbed him and began to pull in opposite directions, his mighty Terminator armor beginning to rend and spark and smoke even as the Old Wolf faced his death silently.
Hrothgar put the Ring on his arm, held it aloft for the monsters to see as he rushed at them. His blows bounced off their iron hides, but the Trolls suddenly lost their nerve, terrified—Of the Ring? Hrothgar realized. Yes. Yes! Laughing, he fired his boltgun again and again, chasing off the Trowe.
He knelt beside Logan Grimnar. “My lord, the Ring is safe. And you—?”
“I’ll live,” the Old Wolf growled. “Summon the Wolf Priests to fetch me. Order the withdrawal—the Dvergar are beaten. And hold on to that Ring no matter what.”
“Yes, my lord,” Hrothgar said, bowing his head.
“What’s your name?” Logan demanded.
“Hrothgar Voinenkellsson,” the Wolf Guard replied.
“Hrothgar Ringwinner,” the Old Wolf corrected him. Beneath his helmet, Hrothgar allowed himself a smile.
Rune Priest Harald Torvald once again summoned the power of the Warp to strike down another Marauder with his force weapon, but daemons of the Warp clawed at his mind, causing him to scream and fall to his knees. That was all it took: a single Marauder struck him down, and though he was not dead—not yet, anyway—he would take no more part in this battle.
The Space Wolf Land Speeders, which had bedeviled the Dvergar transports all day, circled the Crawler bearing the Flame Tongues and unleashed their multi-meltas, destroying it. Storm bolters from the Wolf Drop Pods killed two Flame Tongues as they leapt clear. Rolling forward, the Vindicator fired at the Black Marauders, but they had taken cover and were unscathed. The snipers fired at the few remaining Gold Marauders, but could not stop them from rushing their position. The Long Fangs fired all their heavy weaponry into them, and the Living Ancestor fell, leaving a single Gold Marauder alive.
The roar of Thunderhawks filled the air, and the few surviving Dvergar finally saw the futility of their cause. They willed themselves to die, as the Dvergar are known to do to avoid capture. The day—and the Ring of the Wolf King—belonged to the Space Wolves.
Post-Game Analysis by Patrick Eibel
will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon"
In this case, a soldier will fight tooth and nail for a magical ring. I am pleased with the way the game turned out. After two battles of smashing my forces against the wall that was the Dvergar in close combat, I learned my lesson. I was able to do to Kenton what he did to me previously – split up his army into nice, small, easily chewed up pieces.
That is not to say that I did not make any errors. The whole strategy of dropping the Grey Hunter squads in to take out the Crawlers was a risky gamble, and almost fatally backfired. Had Kenton stopped the advance of all of his forces to focus on the troops I conveniently dropped on his doorstep, I am not sure what I would have done. However, in this battle, it was the Space Wolves that had the maneuverability to add reinforcements where needed, and that made the difference in several combats.
Increasing the potency of my shooting was a no-brainer and worked to great effect. I used a trick I learned from a White Dwarf battle report (no, really) and attached a Wolf Guard in Terminator armor with a cyclone missile launcher to the Long Fangs. This increased the shootiness of the unit and helped to offset the small squad size.
The Long Fangs’ attached Razorback was disappointing, as it got only one real good hit in the entire battle. The Vindicator and Whirlwind provided much-needed bulk-killing to thin out the hordes of little buggers. The Vindicator almost epically failed when its shot deviated onto the Land Raider, but the dice spared it that ignominy. Finally, Jaws of the World Wolf is just a beautiful power to use against Orks (even proxied ones) as they are not likely to make too many Initiative saves.
The campaign was thoroughly enjoyable, and although I wanted to win the last battle, I really didn’t care who won the campaign. I feel Kenton and I created a very strong narrative that will form the basis of future battles, and we both had a great time in every game. We talked through any issues that came up during the game (according to the FAQ, Wolf Guard count as being part of the squad they get attached to: who knew?), and concentrated more on the spirit of the campaign rather than trying to win at any cost. It is campaigns like this that remind me why I am still playing with toy soldiers well into my forties.
by Kenton Kilgore
Deployment is my weakness, and I did myself no favors in this game by forming my tanks into an armored wedge on one side of the board: Pat merely “castled” diagonally from them, and I had to maneuver around all kinds of terrain to get to him. “Castling” is one my favorite tactics against Orks, and I should have seen that coming. Going into this fight, I was a bit too smug about my army’s muscle and toughness, and I put little thought into what I was doing: I played as if I were a thuggish Baltimore Raven instead of a well-disciplined Pittsburgh Steeler. For a Steeler fan like myself, there can be no greater shame....
Congratulations to Pat on winning the game and the campaign. I, too, had a lot of fun, and I’m actually kind of happy I lost: the Space Wolves are one of the few “good guys” in the 40K universe, and shouldn’t the “good guys” win in the end? Why, yes—yes, they should.
Posted January 2010
Codex <> Tactics <> Gallery <> Allies and Enemies <> Tales of the Tigers