Saturday, July 30, 2011

Space Wolf Razorspam vs. Horde Orks- a Vassal Report

The wife had to run out for awhile today and the boy went down for a long nap, so I decided to have a bit of fun as I have probably played 2-3 games of 40k all summer.  I decided to have a diversion from my Blood Angel Sanguinary Guard army by taking my Templar Wolves out for a spin on Vassal.  I scored a game against a nice guy who played a horde Ork army.  For those of you who don't know, horde Orks work on the premise of giving up transports and upgrades for large masses of bodies.  In this case, my opponent has 188 nasty Ork bodies on hand to go up against my Wolves.  He took:

Warboss-power klaw, attack squig, warbike

8 Nob Bikers-power klaws, cybork bodies, painboy with grot orderly, warbikes

30 boyz- 3x rokkits, Nob with big choppa
30 boyz- 3x rokkits, Nob with big choppa
30 boyz- 3x rokkits, Nob with big choppa
30 boyz- 3x rokkits, Nob with big choppa
30 boyz- 3x rokkits, Nob with big choppa
30 boyz- Nob with big choppa

So there you go, 188 Ork bodies ready to run helter skelter across the table in order to smash as much as possible.  Now, this is nowhere near an optimal army, but I will talk about that at the end.  Unfortunately, being able to lob 14 frag missile templates per turn really messes this army up.  I took:

Rune Priest- living lightning, jaws of the world wolf, chooser of the slain

Rune Priest- living lightning, murderous hurricane

5 Wolf Scouts-meltagun, WG with/power sword and combi-melta
5 Wolf Scouts-meltagun, WG with/power sword and combi-melta
6 Wolf Guard-2x combi-melta/power sword, 3x power sword/bolt pistol, 1x terminator armor with cyclone missile launcher- All in separate squads

5 Grey Hunters- meltagun, WG with bolt pistol/power sword, las/plas razorback
5 Grey Hunters- meltagun, WG with bolt pistol/power sword, las/plas razorback
5 Grey Hunters- meltagun, WG with bolt pistol/power sword, TL las razorback
5 Grey Hunters- meltagun, TL las razorback

Thunderwolf Cav- powerfist/storm shield
Thunderwolf Cav- thunder hammer/storm shield

5 Long fangs- 4x missiles, WG in terminator armor with cyclone missiles, TL las razorback
5 Long fangs- 4x missiles, TL las razorback
5 Long fangs- 4x missiles, TL las razorback

As you can see, I have enough high strength, low AP weapons to handle his nob bikers and enough frag missile templates left over to handle quite a few boyz.  Then when they get close, I have the counter assault to handle the remainders.  The one thing that I probably didn't use well as there weren't many good uses for them were the scouts.  I basically sacrificed them to hang up a flank unit and keep it from supporting the midfield units.  Anyway, here are the pictures of the match.

As you may be able to determine from the picture above, we played capture and control with dawn of war deployment.  My objective disappear somewhere, but it was in the middle of the ruin in my deployment zone.  My opponent gave me first turn.  I decided to deploy 2 razorbacks up 7 inches in case he deployed something, so that I could use them to pick up walking squads, move up, searchlight and allow my army to light it up.  However, my opponent walked everything on turn 1.
As is always the case with DoW, not much happened turn 1.  I smoked and covered things in case he tried to use his rokkits and/or move his nobs up aggressively.  He did neither.  So we set.  I did run long fangs into advantageous positions, Otherwise, nothing.
Turn 2 saw some good shooting on my part.  My frag missiles started accounting for ork boyz.  I also got a unit of scouts on the left board edge.  They shot the left boyz and then assaulted in only to wiff epicly and die.  I was able to shoot down 4 nobs with lascannons, but they passed morale.  My opponent moved up only managing to shaken a central razor and stunning the one on the forward right side.  Otherwise, the scouts were my only casualty. I didn't know what to do with them as they had to come in on my left (rolled a 1) and there were no tanks.  I suppose I could have deployed them on my side to help contain the left flank, but they did manage to help hold up the grey squad of boyz. 
Turn 3 saw more of the same.  My other unit of scouts came in and again had to come in on the left (another 1).  They shot and assaulted the grey boyz again.  This time, 1 scout survived and passed morale to hold them up much to my opponent's chagrin.  This time, I killed two more nobs and they failed morale.  I didn't know and my opponent forgot that you can't rally when below 50%, so they rallied in his turn.  Other shooting saw almost every boyz squad take casualties as they approached. My opponent eventually killed off the second scouts and managed to immobilize and weapon destroy my central razor and stun the forward right one again.  Otherwise, casualties were light on my side of the board.  My opponent gets full credit for continually taking 14 templates and various other shooting while he crossed the board.  He kept good spirits and was patient the whole time.
Turn 4 is where I finally started making headway.  In shooting, I managed to make the purple boyz squad fall back never to return.  I shot up the black squad and then assaulted in with my 2 thunderwolf cav eventually taking care of it in my opponent's turn for the loss of my thunder hammer TWC.  I sucked his green boyz squad into a combat against my orange long fangs with terminator and a grey hunter squad.  They had to move through terrain to get to me, so I killed 8 before they could swing and then they only killed 3 marines back.  They had exactly 11 models left, so took a handful of fearless saves.  In his shooting, my opponent finally exploded a central razorback and then assault and only wrecked my forward right razorback (with 13 glances and 4 pens, no explodes!).  That brought us to turn 5.  Notice my opponent had moved away from his objective to get to grips with me.  His teal squad would be my main target next turn to insure that he couldn't get them back to his objective. 
That's when he conceded.  He realized that my shooting capacity was only minorly diminished and he didn't have a good chance to take my objective with too many blocking units available to me to keep him away from my objective while killing off anything that was close to his.  This turn would have seen me finish off the green squad and level all shooting into the teal squad and then assault the remnants with my last thunderwolf cav to insure that I could clear out his objective for the win.  That would leave a diminished grey squad, the orange squad, a single nob and the warboss to take on the majority of my army. 

So, another game with Orks and another fairly easy win. Again, my opponent took a very sub-optimal list and my list happened to have an easy answer to his.

This game really interested me because I have always thought that a player could game the metagame and have an advantage in a game.  This game proved to some extent that you can't always do that.  My Templar Wolves are a good all-rounder army.  That helped me to pull out the win.  However, I have always thought that if an army deliberately went against the meta, that it could stand a chance of surprising an opponent.  5th edition 40k is the edition of mech armies.  Against a typical light mech spam army, I think this Ork army might have stood a chance.  My answer was the 14 frag templates.  They helped to quickly thin out his ranks.  Had I taken a similiar mech Marine list with predators, I don't think I would have stood a chance.  The torrents of shooting wounds made the difference.

So, I ask.  If an army can break the meta, does it stand a chance?  If I hadn't had 14 missile launcher shots, could I have won as easily, if at all?  I am thinking no.  However, this game just happened to go my way.  Thanks to my opponent, Bo I think his name was.  He was an awesome sport even when the game just didn't go his way. 

Check out my next article as I am thinking how light mech Space Wolves could possibly do really well at 'Arboyz. 

Other Space Wolves battle reports:
The Templar Wolves Ride Again: The Severe Beating of A Blood Angel Army
Wolves vs. IG

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