Battle Report: Blue vs Grey

It’s been a month since this game…  But the worst of my workload is over.  The next game will be posted sooner.

This time out I had the pleasure of another match with Justin, though he and I were both on the same side fighting against Justin’s buddy Mike.  This was Mike’s first game in a long while.  We all brought lists of around 1000 points.  I had come to the store earlier by myself, figuring that there’d probably be another solo army looking for a match.  I think I should avoid that expectation in the future, as everyone else who came to play showed up in pairs, including Justin and Mike.  Fortunately, they were agreeable to a three-player game, with two players on one side.

Blue versus Grey:  Space Marines & Orks vs Space Wolves (1020 pts)

This obviously isn’t a standard battle size.  Justin couldn’t reduce his force to an even 500 points, and in the end it was easier to give Mike an extra 20 points for his Space Wolves.

Forces

The Blue:  Combined Space Marines and Orks

“That it should come to this…”

-Brother Chaplain Seth, Brotherhood of Sleep 

“Shaddap an’ krak some ‘eads!”

-Warboss Grishnak ‘Ardsnippa

The Brotherhood of Sleep (“vanilla” Space Marines) and Mork’s Blue Cheese (Orks) shared a force org chart.  The Brotherhood contributed 500 points, while the Orks made up the other 520 points.

HQ

Warboss Grishnak ‘Ardsnippa, with Power Claw and Shoota.

Brother Chaplain Seth, with Jump Pack, Digital Weapons and a Melta Bomb.

Elite

Dreadnought:  Brother Batillus, with Multi-Melta, Storm Bolter and Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon.

Gorenak’s Mob:  Gorenak (Nob) with Slugga, Power Claw and ‘Eavy Armour.  The rest of the Nobz have Sluggas, Big Choppas and ‘Eavy Armour.

Dedicated Transport (Gorenak’s Mob):  Da Blue Deff, A Battlewagon with 2 Big Shootaz and Armour Plates.

Troops

Squad Wilkinson: Actually deploying as two combat squads.

  • Sgt. Wilkinson with bolt pistol and chain sword, plus 4 Tac Marines (one with flamer)
  • Battle Brother Fulgo with missile launcher, plus 4 Tac Marines

Squad Tholus: Sgt. Tholus with bolter, plus 4 Tac Marines

The Grey:  Space Wolves

“Jeg forstår ikke hvordan en slik allianse kunne skje,
men det vil bli konsekvenser.”

-Runepriest Greylocke Stormfist

HQ

Greylocke Stormfist, Runepriest

Sköll Maelstrom, Wolflord with Frost Axe on Thunderwolf, with five Fenrisian Wolves.

Elite

Wolfguard:  5 Terminators with the following.

  • Assault cannon
  • Thunder Hammer and Storm Shield (Lorne Icehammer)
  • Wolf Claw and Storm Bolter
  • Power Sword and Storm Bolter
  • Power Sword and Storm Bolter

Dreadnought:  Sten Bloodfist, with Multi-Melta, Storm Bolter and Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon.

Troops

Vithet (white) Grey Hunters:  6 Grey Hunters

Svarta Kläder (black) Grey Hunters:  6 Grey Hunters

Setup

Background

Very few records remain available of the cleansing of Londinium.  A supposedly simple operation by the Space Marine Chapter “The Brotherhood of Sleep” to purge an infestation of rare blue orks turned into a protracted campaign.  After nearly a year, the fighting was at a standstill.  Heavy losses on both sides robbed the forces of the mobility needed to overcome each other’s defences.

What happened next is a matter of much speculation.  All that is known for certain is that at some point towards the end of that year, the fighting simply stopped.  A kind of cease-fire came into effect, and rumours circulated of actual co-operation between the Orks and the marines of the Brotherhood of Sleep.  As the rumours grew, the Inquisition made a discreet request to the Space Wolves to send a detachment to Londinium.  Reinforcements were definitely needed, and if the rumours were true, the Space Wolves—long the punitive force of choice for internal Adeptus Astartes issues—would deal with the matter.

The record of the first and only meeting between the Brotherhood of Sleep and the Space Wolves is restricted by order of the Inquisition.  However, it is clear the meeting did not go well, and shortly afterwards the Space Wolves undertook a “disciplinary” action against the Brotherhood of Sleep and their unlikely allies…

Scenario & Deployment

By agreement, Annihilation with Pitched Battle deployment.  Victory determined by Kill Points.

Play is on a 4’ x 6’ table with actual Warhammer 40K scenery.  Huzzah!

Note:  The victory conditions were decided towards the end of the game when time was close to running out.

Turn 0

The Grey wins initiative, but decides to let the Blue deploy and move first (the Space Wolves hope to steal).

Blue Deployment

  • The ork Nobz and Boss Grishnak ‘Ardsnippa deploys embarked on board Da Blue Deff Battlewagon, towards the left of the Blue deployment area.
  • Brother Chaplain Seth deploys with Combat Squad Wilkinson (which also included the flamer) on the far left, beyond Da Blue Deff.
  • Squad Tholus deploys in the middle of the field, behind the cover of some trees.
  • Brother Batillus takes up a position behind Squad Tholus, on the flank of Da Blue Deff.
  • Combat Squad Fulgo, with the missile launcher, occupies an elevated plateau on the right flank.

Blue Deployment

Grey Deployment

  • The Runepriest Greylocke Stormfist deploy in the centre, in full view of Da Blue Deff.
    • The runepriest deploys his icon atop the ruins of an Imperial temple, commanding a good view of almost the entire battlefield.
  • Sköll Maelstrom and his wolves deploy to the left of the Runepriest’s position.
  • Sten Bloodfist set up to the immediate right of the Runepriest.
  • Squad Vithet Grey Hunters take up position even farther to the right
  • The Wolfguard occupy the flank farthest right.
  • Svarta Kläder Grey Hunters goes to the farthest left, behind the ruins of a bombed out building.

Grey Deployment

The Steal

The Space Wolves attempt to steal initiative, but fail.  The Blue go first.

Turn 1

Blue

“’Ware the wolves, brothers!  Let their fury draw them to us,
where we may best them at our leisure.”

-Brother Chaplain Seth, Brotherhood of Sleep

“C’mon, ladz!  We gets close and smacks ‘em!”

-Warboss Grishnak ‘Ardsnippa

Move

Squad Tholus creeps through the trees up to the wall of the ruins, awaiting a signal to advance further.

Squad Fulgo stays put.  Brother Fulgo spots the Svarta Kläder Grey Hunters at the edge of the ruins and sets up to fire.

Squad Wilkinson heads around the building ruins to stay out of the Wolfguard’s long range weapons.

Brother Batillus steps his dreadnought forward to engage Sten Bloodfist at long range.

Boss Grishnak ‘Ardsnippa decides his best position would be toe-to-toe with Sten Bloodfist’s dreadnought.  Tracks spinning up a cloud of dirt, Da Blue Deff Battlewagon rockets across the battlefield straight for the Space Wolf  war machine.

The Best Defence...

Shoot

Brother Fulgo carefully lines up his launcher and lets fly with a frag missile, hitting the Svarta Kläder Grey Hunters dead on.  Their armour saves them from any casualties, but the Space Wolf tac marines realize they are not as secure behind their cover as they thought.

Brother Batillus opens fire on Sten Bloodfist.  Destruction blazes across the city ruins, but the Space Wolf is just a fraction beyond the range of the dreadnought’s weaponry.

Sighting the Dreadnought

Assault

None, nobody is in range.

Grey

“Dommen av Keiser!”

– Sköll Maelstrom, Space Wolf Lord

Move

Unable to reach their attackers, the Svarta Kläder Grey Hunters take cover deeper in the ruins of the Administratum building.

The Vithet Grey Hunters occupy the ruins of a blasted building.  One brother climbs to the roof to spot targets for the rest of the team and sees the Battlewagon bearing down in their position.

With a feral roar, Sköll Maelstrom and his wolves speed to intercept the Ork Battlewagon.

The Wolf Lord Comes

Shoot

Sten Bloodfist stands his ground against the charging Ork tank.  He plays the beam of his multi-melta across the front of Da Blue Deff.  The weapon leaves a scorched and glowing trail on the hardened armour but does nothing worse.

The Wolfguard advances down the far right flank towards Squad Wilkinson’s position.

Greylocke Stormfist sees the explosion over the Svarta Kläder Grey Hunters.  He spies Squad Fulgo on the plateau, readying for another launch.  The old Space Wolf calls upon the Warp and flings an arcing bolt of Living Lightning at the distant marines.  Atop the rise, a young tac marine tackles Brother Fulgo, knocking him out of the way of the deadly energy.  The other three tac marines are hit directly.  Electricity lashes across their armour, shorting out power systems and roasting flesh.  All fall, dead.

Sköll Maelstrom runs at full speed, leaning low in his saddle and readying his frost axe.  His Fenrisian wolves follow, jaws slavering in anticipation of the kill.

Assault

Beast versus Machine

Sköll Maelstrom hits Da Blue Deff hard, his axe scoring deep gouges in the side of the Ork Battlewagon.  The heavily armoured vehicle rocks on its suspension as the Space Wolf attack shakes the crew.

End of Turn 1

Turn 2

Blue

“Stop skratchin’ da paint!”

-Warboss Grishnak ‘Ardsnippa

Move

Da Blue Deff screeches to a halt.  Hatches spring open across the vehicle as orks of a most peculiar shade of blue leap out, choppas and shootas in hand, to confront the Space Wolf lord and his pack.

The Orks Disembark

Brother Batillus loses sight of Sten Bloodfist across the growing melee.  Casting about for a new target, he catches a glimpse of the Wolfguard moving down the flank of the battle.  Turning his massive machine, Brother Batillus marches to meet this new foe.

The two survivors of Squad Fulgo sprint for a nearby copse of trees in the hopes of getting some cover from that unholy lightning.

Squad Wilkinson and Squad Tholus stay put in cover, waiting for the Wolfguard to appear.

Shoot

The Wolfguard stand at the corner of a ruined building, across a street from Squad Wilkinson’s position.  Expecting to find only tactical marines, the lead terminator is exposed.  Too late he sees the lumbering form of Brother Batillus’ dreadnought bearing down.  Too late he dives for cover.  A multi-melta beam catches him square in the chest, reducing him to molten ceramite and ash.

The Wolfguard meets Brother Batillus

The ork Nobz and Grishnak open fire on the Fenrisian wolves, slaying four of the five with close-range pistol fire.  Enraged at the loss of his pack, Sköll Maelstrom hefts his axe and prepares to extract vengeance.

Assault

Sköll Maelstrom meets the orks with chilling battlecry.  He forces his way through the throng straight for Boss Grishnak ‘Ardsnippa.  A blinding fast axe-stroke opens a nasty gash across Grisnak’s chest, but the warboss still stands.  The remaining Fenrisian wolf attempts to get inside Da Blue Deff and wreak havoc on its exposed mechanical innards, but it is driven back by choppa-armed Nobz.

The Nobz surround Sköll Maelstrom.  He blocks and parries with his axe, but the numbers are against him.  A Power Klaw finds its way past his guard, ripping open his armour.  Another shears off the leg of his wolf mount.  Sköll tumbles to the ground and before he can get to his feet the Nobz are upon him, Power Klaws snipping and tearing.

The last Fenrisian wolf sees his master fall beneath the Ork mob.  It turns and sprints towards the Runepriest, but gets only a little way before whooping Ork Nobz catch up and hack it to pieces with their choppas.

“Back ta bizness, ladz!” Grishnak ‘Ardsnippa consolidates his Nobz and they advance on Sten Bloodfist.

End of Blue's Turn 2

Grey

“Herre Maelstrom er død… Knus xenos bastardene!
Blod fur de falne!  Blod!!”

-Sten Bloodfist, Space Wolves Dreadnought

Move

At the news of Sköll Maelstrom’s fall, the Svarta Kläder Grey Hunters move towards the main battle to reinforce their brothers.

The rest of the Vithet Grey Hunters reach the top of the ruined building in time to see the Nobz moving towards Sten Bloodfist.

Snarling foul oaths, Sten advances his dreadnought towards the Ork mob.  This fight he will take directly to these foul xenos.

Behind this fight, the Wolfguard round the corner to face Brother Batillus and Squad Wilkinson.

Shoot

Squad Wilkinson finds itself repeating the Wolfguard’s mistake.  Overconfident with the presence of Brother Batillus, they are out of position and unexpectedly exposed when the Space Wolf terminators attack.  The Wolfguard unleash an explosive volley of storm bolter fire.  The building ruins stop most of the shells, but one visible tac marine takes several hits.  The bolter shell detonations fling his broken body out into the street.

Greylocke Stormfist reaches deep into the warp and again unleashes his Living Lightning.  Bolts of energy cascade across the Nobz.  Two orks dance a most unnatural dance until their eyeballs burst and smoke rises from their scorched lungs.  They fall dead.

The Vithet Grey Hunters rain down bolter fire, but despite their vantage point only one more Nob falls.

Sten Bloodfist fires his storm bolter at the Orks, but scores no hits.  He is not actually disappointed – it means there will be more Orks to crush with his hydraulically-powered fist.

Assault

Sten's Stand

Sten Bloodfist charges into the advancing Orks.  Like his fallen lord, Sten drives through the mob straight for Warboss Grishnak ‘Ardsnippa.  The massive ork takes the dreadnought’s powered fist enough so his armour bears the brunt of the hit.  The Nobz strike back, tearing at Sten’s armour with Power Claws.  Sten is shaken, and despite his battle rage realizes he may have a problem.  He backpedals, but takes only a few steps when Grishnak strikes with his power claw.  An experienced fighter of dreadnoughts, the Warboss strikes where the machine is vulnerable.  Armour is shredded and the power plant is mangled.  An instant later it detonates.  A glowing cloud of flame washes over the orks, knocking them flat.  As the smoke clears, the Ork Nobz climb to their feet.  Warboss ‘Ardsnippa does a quick head count:  everybody survived the blast.  Bellowing victory, the massive ork leads his mob towards the ruins hiding Vithet Grey Hunters.

End of Grey's Turn 2

Turn 3

“Got you.”

-Brother Fulgo, Brotherhood of Sleep

Blue

Move

Warboss Grishnak ‘Ardsnippa and the rest of the Nobz enter the blasted building, searching for a way up to the roof.

The Orks are in the Building

Da Blue Deff crew spots the Space Wolf Runepriest at the end of the street.  The battlewagon engine roars and the massive vehicle fishtails around and heads for the lone marine.

Back on the flank, Squad Wilkinson breaks from cover and moves to assault the Wolfguard terminators.  It is a potentially suicidal move, but the squad will be eradicated if they wait for the terminators to come to them.

Brother Chaplain Seth separates from his squad.  Jump pack flaming, he vaults the ruined building and heads for the Wolfguard.

Brother Batillus and Squad Tholus stay in position to provide support to Squad Wilkinson’s assault.

A Questionable Decision

Across the battlefield, Squad Fulgo watches through the cover of the copse of trees.  Brother Fulgo sees movement in the distance, past the far end of a skeletal building.  He recognizes Runepriest Greylocke Stormfist and realizes he has a chance for revenge.

Shoot

Brother Fulgo loads an armour-piercing krak missile.  He quickly sights the Runepriest and fires.  Greylocke Stormfist’s attention is focused on the massive, oncoming Ork Battlewagon.  Too late he sees the missile streaking towards him.  The projectile takes him in the side.  The force of the blast flings him through the air.  He hits the ground and bounces once, twice, before coming to rest.  A curl of smoke rises from the Runepriest’s ruptured armour.

Back on the flank, Squad Tholus and Brother Batillus fire on the Wolfguard.  Another terminator is incinerated by the dreadnought’s multi-melta, but the storm bolter fire simply bounces off the armour.  The Wolfguard brace themselves for the inevitable charge.

Assault

Despite seizing the initiative over the Wolfguard, the fight is very one-sided.  Most of Squad Wilkinson falls quickly to the energy-sheathed power weapons of the Space Wolf terminators.  Sergeant Wilkinson survives the first round, but his chainsword cannot penetrate the terminator armour.

Chaplain Seth plows into the lead Wolfguard, slipping past a slow parry and smashing the terminator’s helmet—and the head within it—flat.  The Chaplain pivots free of the collapsing hulk and lands blows on two other terminators.  Both the Wolfguard marines stagger back but their armour holds.  One hefts a massive powered hammer and swings at Seth.  The Chaplain evades the first blow but is caught in a sudden, unexpected back-swing.  With a thunderous crack the Chaplain is hurled through the air, a horrific fracture in his armour.  He hits the ground and lies very, very still.

The Hand of the Emperor Removes one of His Fallen

Warboss Grishnak ‘Ardsnippa and his Nobz sight the Vithet Grey Wolves through gaps in the ruin, but massive, unsteady piles of rubble foil attempts at a charge.

Grey

“Kom, xenos dyrene! Kom ut og lek!”

-Brother Vithet, Space Wolves

Move

The Svarta Kläder Grey Hunters advance towards the fallen form of Greylocke Stormfist.  The Sergeant holds his battle brothers back from a suicidal all-out run, well aware of the Battlewagon roaring down the street towards them.

The Vithet Grey Hunters hold position on the roof of the building to maximize their defense against the orks stumbling around on the main floor.

Shoot

The Vithet Grey Hunters pour bolter shots down on any ork who wanders into view.  Plasteel and rockcrete detonates spectacularly, keeping the orks off balance on the shifting rubble.  The same rubble, though, takes the brunt of the Space Wolves’ attack.  Only one Nob is wounded in the onslaught.

Assault

Like the orks before them, the Vithet Grey Hunters attempt an assault through the debirs.  The ruins prove too difficult an obstacle to overcome, robbing the Space Wolves of the chance to close with their foes.

Back towards the Blue lines, Sergeant Wilkinson battles on alone against the Wolfguard. 

Brave, At Least...

He is purely on the defensive now, dodging and parrying blows.  A feint draws him out, leaves him open to a blow from a thunder hammer.  He raises his chainsword to block, but the mighty hammer shatters the shrieking weapon and knocks Wilkinson sidelong into the wall of a ruined building.  He lands in a heap.  The wall totters for a moment and then comes down on top of him.

End of Turn 3

Final

“Vi er såret, brødre. Vi må trekke seg.
Måtte Keiseren tilgi oss.”

-Lorne Icehammer, Wolfguard

Free from their melee, the Wolfguard step back to cover and issue the orders to withdraw.  The Vithet Grey Wolves abandon the rooftop and fall back.  Boss ‘Ardsnippa and the Nobz are too bogged down in the ruins to follow.

The Svarta Kläder Grey Hunters execute a daring maneuver, snatching the body of Runepriest Greylocke Stormfist from the crushing treads of the Battlewagon.  They disappear into the ruins of the city.

Left to their own, the Brotherhood of Sleep collects their fallen and departs the field of battle.

The battle was actually called because we ran out of time to play.  Mike had to get going, as he worked an evening shift.  In the end, we decided to use kill points to determine the victor.  Blue won over Grey, 4 kill points to 2.

Lessons Learned

Who dares not, wins not.  After the Runepriest roasted Squad Fulgo, I left Squad Tholus in cover.  I originally intended them to go after the Svarta Kläder Grey Hunters, but they had a long way to go with next to no cover and a Runepriest that could, with just a few steps to his left, wreak the same kind of havoc on that squad.  The net result was Squad Tholus sat there for most of the game doing nothing except plinking a few shots off some terminator armour.  On the bright side, Svarta Kläder Grey Hunters also did nothing for most of the game.  I’m not sure why, but I was glad of it.

To further illustrate the lesson, those wacky orks who got in the Space Wolves faces right off did well.  Granted they were all elites (and they did get lucky when withstanding that first multi-melta shot), but they still took down foe after foe because they could get into melee range.  The only thing that slowed them was the ruined building as it hampered their ability to move within assault range.

Rock beats scissors.  I knew Squad Wilkinson had little chance against the Terminators.  Realistically, I should have pulled them back and let Brother Batillus’s multi-melta torch the Wolfguard one at a time.  However, it was late in the game and I was overcome with a sense of bravado at the losses suffered by the Space Wolves.  Plus, this being my third game ever, I wanted to see if I could win against Terminators.  I have to admit, for one, brief shining moment it looked like I might have done some real damage as Chaplain Seth landed hits on all the terminators in reach and the first terminator failed his defensive save.  Would luck be with me?  Well, no.  The rest of the Wolfguard made their saves, promptly wiped me out and earned two kill points (since I split the chaplain from the tac squad).

Say What?

All the Space Wolf quotes are Google-translated into a combination of Norwegian and Swedish, as are the unit names.

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2 Responses to Battle Report: Blue vs Grey

  1. Mike says:

    Awesome report Paul. I thoroughly enojoyed all the quotes and descriptive writttings on each scene. I look forward to another game sometime.

    • War Disciple says:

      Thanks! Sorry this took so long…

      I won’t be around the store this Wednesday, unfortunately, but probably the next. Real life intrudes. Again.

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