Monday, April 25, 2011

40k Battle Report: Grey Knights vs. Space Wolves 2,000pts

Despite a hectic weekend, I managed to get my first game in with my new GK army and it was pretty interesting.  Boy was I rusty.  I need to play a lot more, I was forgetting way too many things and making a lot of play errors.

I played my Purifier list as seen here.  My opponent had a Space Wolves drop pod list.  I don't have a paper copy so here it is from my memory...

Wolf Lord with Saga of the Warrior
10x Wolf Guard in Drop Pod
3x10x Grey Hunters in Drop Pod with Wulfen, Banner, Fist, 2 meltas
2x 5x Long Fangs with Missiles
1x 5x Long Fangs with Plasma Cannons

When I saw the list I expected the Wolf Lord to be Logan, but was surprised that it was just a normal Lord.  Maybe shy on points?  I would have figured a way to have relentless Long Fangs.

The missions was capture and control with pitched battle deployment.  I won the roll and chose to deploy and play first.  My deployment was as such...

Grey Knight Deployment
So I castled up around the trees.  I knew the melta pods would be trouble, but I planned to pop smoke turn 1 and have decent cover.  Since I was more than likely going first I thought I could weather the storm.  Crowe was in reserve as I knew at least one of his units would be close to my table edge and Crowe could walk on and charge in.  My objective was placed behind my trees.  My opponent placed his behind the hut, as you can see in the foreground.

Space Wolf Deployment
He deployed his Long Fangs on the hill ready to lay down some withering fire power.  4 drop pods sitting in reserve.

He failed to seize and I went first.

GK Turn 1

I realized there was very little I could do to stop the drop meltas from hitting my Dreads if he wanted to, so I just moved everyone forward.  The Rhinos in the front popped smoke.  The Ven Dreads moved up, popped smoke and ran.  The Psyflemen moved up and took shots at the Long Fangs.  I managed to kill one of the Plasma Cannon Fangs.  After that, I passed the turn.

End GK Turn 1

Space Wolves Turn 1

Two of his GH pods come crashing down, one on each side of my lines.  The GH dismbark and take aim.  On the left flank, his GH melta explode a Rhino and 3 Purifiers die in the explosion.  Holy bad rolling!  The Plasma cannons take aim at the exposed squad, and 3 of them get hot, killing one.  The one who gets his shot off scatters and kills 3 of the Grey Hunters who popped the Rhino in the first place.

The other Hunter Squads fires melta at a Venerable Dread and wrecks it.  The Missile Long fangs shoot at the advancing Rhinos but is largely ineffective due to poor rolling, and my smoke + cover.  He destroys the storm bolter from one of them, the rest are fine.  He passes the turn.

End Space Wolves Turn 1
Grey Knights Turn 2

OK, so now I was ready for action.  Crowe failed to come in, which would have been nice, but I can live with that.  My de-meched Purifiers and Venerable Dread prepare to assault the Grey Hunters on the left.  My Rhino on the left moves 6" to sit in the forest.  My plan is to tarpit the right flank Grey Hunters with a Psyfleman until the Purifiers can get over there, or Crowe shows up.  My Rhinos on the right flank move forward 6" each towards his Long Fangs.

In the shooting phase, my Psylemen and Purifiers torrent his Long Fangs, wiping out the Plasma Squad, and killing the team leader of one of the missile squads.  Here is where I made a big mistake.  I wasn't supposed to shoot one of the Pysflemen at them, because his job was to tarpit the GH.  I forgot and thus gave the GH another turn of freedom.  This could have been bad news.  On the other side, my 5 Purifiers shot into the GH and failed to do anything.  The Ven Dread didn't shoot because he was right on the edge of charge range, and I figured his charge would get boned if he inflicted a casualty.

In close combat I charged the Purifiers and Venerable Dread into the Grey Hunters.  I fail to cast Hammerhands, but still manage to kill a handful of Grey Hunters.  His hits back kill a couple Purifiers.  His fist and Wulfen fail to pen or glance my venerable.  He fails leadership and runs, but I fail to catch him.  I consolidate so I'm still within 6" to keep the two survivors from re-forming.

End Grey Knights Turn 2
Space Wolves Turn 2

The pod containing Njal, Wolf Lord and Wolf Guard comes down and lands next to my advancing Rhinos.  He doesn't move very much at all.

In shooting, his Long Fangs shake my lead Rhino... and that's about it.  I think he penetrated it twice, but both rolls were a 2.  This is good.  His Grey Hunter squad shoots at the Rhino thats in my trees in the backline.  Shaken and Immobilized.  No problem there for me, either.  The Wolf Guard/Njal squad I believe shoots and kills the de-mech Purifiers.  No problem.  His Grey Hunters on the right flank who immobilized my forest Rhino failed to charge it, which is fine by me, too.  All in all, not the best turn of shooting for him.

End Space Wolves Turn 2.  You can see the Njal Unit standing next to two fully loaded Rhinos and a Venerable Dread on the other side of the Pod.  The Rhino on its side is still alive, just immobilized, and also ready to send out the Purifiers into combat .
Grey Knights Turn 3

I was really expecting this to be a game-sealing turn for me, but my rolling was pretty poor.  My shaken Rhino disembarked its Purifiers to charge the Njal team, and the Ven Dread moved into charge position.   My forest Rhino team disembarked and prepared to charge the Hunters in my back lines, Crowe walked on and prepared to join the fracas. One of my Psyflemen advanced with his broken Hunters to keep them walking off the table.

In Shooting I softened up the squads I planned to charge with more or less negliable effects.  My still packed Purifiers and Psyflemen torrented his Long Fangs.  One squad broke and fled off the table, the other was reduced to a single guy.

I charged 8 Purifiers and a Venerable Dread into his Wolf Guard, but was only able to get the Dread in Base to base with Njal.  I was hoping to drop him because shutting down my psychic powers was getting old extra fast.  On the other side, I charged my Purifiers into his Grey Hunters along with Crowe.  Here is where I made a big mistake.  I charged with Crowe second, so they were already locked in with the Purifiers and Crowe only got two guys in Base to base.  Had he charged first and gotten 7 guys in base to base, he would have been significantly more effective.  This combat went poorly, Njal shut down hammerhand and I only inflicted a couple casualties, and Crowe killed none.  His hits back killed a handful of Purifiers and I lost combat.  I passed some fearless saves and was left with 2 Purifiers and Crowe locked in with 6 Grey Hunters.

On the other side things didn't fare much better.  I killed 3 or 4 Wolf Guard, but his Lord killed 3 back, and the Wolf Guard killed a couple more.  The Dread did one wound to Njal but his passed his invulnerable and he lived, damn it!  Then the power fist in the unit penetrated and exploded the Venerable Dread.  Bloody combat.  He had two Wolf Guard left (powerfist and Wulfen) and the two characters.  I had 2 Purifiers.  Me not getting Hammerhand off was the big difference.  I would have done 3 or 4 more wounds, and effectively wiped the squad, while simultaneously saving 3 or 4 Purifiers.  Njal's 3+ dispel was quite strong.

End Grey Knights Turn 3
Space Wolves Turn 3

I still had the momentum on my side going into this turn, I felt.  But good rolling for him might turn that around.  I was somewhat dejected because I felt I should have wrapped up the game last turn but rolled poorly enough in combat to keep him in it.

His movement was fast, his broken Wolves kept fleeing.  His last pod of Grey Hunters came in between my two Rhinos and the Long Fangs.

His lone Missile Fang did nothing noteworthy.  His new Grey Hunter Squad only had LoS to the empty Rhino, so they blasted it, exploding it.  In retrospect, he should have played for the win and dropped by his objective and tried to hold me off of it.

In combat his Wolf Lord and Njal slaughtered the last two Purifiers and consolidated.  The other Grey Hunters killed the last two Purifiers in the other squad and surrounded Crowe.  His model count was now perilously low.  I figured at this point he had no models that could capture objectives except for the ones locked in with Crowe, and they were a couple turns away from the objective with some Dreads in between, so it wasn't likely.  I still had 3 fully functioning Pysflemen and a fully functional Purifier squad inside a Rhino.

End of Space Wolf Turn 3.  You can see a surround Crowe (just where he wants to be) and the two characters menacing my last intact Purifier squad in their Rhino.
Grey Knights Turn 4

I disembarked my Purifiers and moved them between the characters and the newly dropped Grey Hunters.  My plan was to shoot the hell out of the characters and if they lived, charge them and try to wipe them out at Initiative 6.

Luckily in the shooting phase, my Psyflemen did the trick.  12 Str 8 wounds were enough to put a wound on each of them passed their armor.  INSTANT DEATH.  Boom.  Dead Njal, dead Wolf Lord.  Man Pysflemen are good.  Those two terrors dead, my Purifiers unloaded on the Grey Hunters and killed a few with shooting.  They then charged them.

In combat, Crowe killed all but one guy who was in base to base with him, and didn't get touched back, then he ran that man down and killed him.  On the other side, with Njal gone, I cast hammerhand and gave those Hunters an ass beating.  I wiped them and consolidated towards his objective and his lone missile Fang.  

We called the game at that point, since he had one model left, who would have surely died on my next turn.

End GK Turn 4, End of Game.
So it ended with me having a functioning Rhino, 8 Purifiers and 3 dreads left and him basically tabled.  Not bad for my first time out with the new army.  I think on average my rolls were pretty bad the first few turns, and they were exacerbated by the two big mistakes I made which cost me significant damage both times.  Had I not made those two mistake I would have hardly lost anything.

It's a bit too early to say my feelings about how individual units played, except that Psyflemen did excellently.  The Purifiers were somewhat off their game, but that was due to not getting Hammerhand off when it mattered thanks to Njal, and also some pretty below average to mediocre rolling.  Plus, against Marines, Cleansing Flame is useless.  It will be interesting to compare how they do against non-3+ armies.  I expect significantly better.  We shall see.

Anyway, hope you enjoyed this report.  Plenty more to come as I hope to start getting several games a week in with them over the next few months leading to NOVA.


  1. Hey, not to offend but why did you pick to go first? Going second you could just deploy wherever his long fangs were not to negate them (especially plasma) for a few turns. Also, did you consider castling up with your units surrounding the dreds in a semi circle touching the boar edge to keep them from being close range meltad? It looked like a good game and I hope you enjoy the cool list!

  2. I had no idea what list he was playing prior to deployment, so I found out about drop pods when he said "everything else is in reserve in drop pods." By then, I had already deployed.

    I knew that he would have long fangs and I figured that getting the first turn would give me a chance to pop smoke and get 12" closer, but your tactic is a strong idea. If I had known he was going to be playing drop pods it would definitely have changed things.

  3. That first SW turn was amusing. Three "1"s with the plasma cannon and the other one scattering and killing 3 Grey Hunters! Madness!

    Seems like a good game. I wonder how could Crowe get into base to base with 7 models though?

  4. It might have only been 5 or 6 in actuality.

  5. Lol now thats a hell of an advantage! I would go second all day if I could unleash my list on deployment.

    Well nevermind then, your deployment makes sense and I think you played pretty well!

  6. Hm, interesting to see the matchup between the Purifiers and Grey Hunters. I would have expected the Purifiers to have the advantage (as well they should, being what, 10 points more than the average GH?), but you said you rolled poorly, and I believe it. Still, nice to know that Grey Hunters can at least (kind of) hold their own against the GK's.

    Now that GKs are here, I fully expect everyone who can take psychic defense, will. I certainly plan on it. Being able to shut down your Hammerhand as you said, was huge. Against other GK lists, psychic defense will be even more important. And Orks just get to be more and more sadfaced :-p

    Good report though, keep 'em coming :)

  7. Mathhammerwise, it's pretty close between Purifiers and GH, assuming no Hammerhand. Add Hammerhand into the mix and Purifiers come out ahead pretty nicely.

    If the GH get the charge it's pretty rough for Purifiers either even with Hammerhand.

    Where Purifiers win is the ability to shoot Storm Bolters and Psycannons into them to soften them up first. Assuming they don't break from the shooting or remove casualties to nerf your ability to charge, that shooting is key.

  8. Fun report, tense battle.