Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Battle Report 97- 2000 pts Deathwatch/Assassins vs Space Wolves

This week's battle report sees my Deathwatch take on Stu's Space Wolves in the Spoils of War maelstrom mission. This battle would sees the inaugural use of my Assassins, that were recently completed for me by Rob (30Kplus40K). Lets see how they would fare against the Sons of Russ. 

My army consisted of:
Combined Arms Detachment
Watch Captain Artemis (with VV)
5 Veterans- 3 Frag Cannons, Storm Shield (V1)
Drop Pod (DP1)
5 Veterans- Meltagun, 2 Combi-meltas, Auspex (V2)
Drop Pod (DP2)
5 Veterans- 5 Stalker Pattern Bolters (V3)
5 Veterans- 5 Deathwatch Shotguns, Storm Shield (V4)
Drop Pod (DP3)
3 Bikers- Power Weapons, Meltabombs (B1)
3 Bikers- Power Weapons, Meltabombs (B2)
4 Vanguard Veterans- 2 Heavy Thunder Hammers, 2 Pairs of Lightning Claws (VV)
Corvus Blackstar- Inferno Halo Launcher (CB)

Assassinorum Execution Force
Callidus Assassin (Cal)
Culexus Assassin (Cul)
Eversor Assassin (EA)
Vindicare Assassin (VA)

The army was based on my force for the upcoming Birthday Bash tournament, but with a few modifications to allow me to take all four Assassins. My warlord was Watch Captain Artemis. 

Stu's force consisted of:
Wolf Lord- Belt of Russ, Frost Sword, Storm Bolter (with GH)
5 Grey Hunters (GH)
3 Thunderwolf Cavalry- Two Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields, Wolf Claw (TC)

Ancients of the Fang (D)
Venerable Dreadnought- Blizzard Shield, Fenrisian Great Axe
Venerable Dreadnought- Blizzard Shield, Fenrisian Great Axe 
Iron Priest- Helfrost Pistol, Servo-arm, Tempest Hammer

Wulfen Murder Pack
5 Wulfen- Two dual Frost Claws, two Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields, Great Frost Axe, two Stormfrag Auto Launchers (W1)
5 Wulfen- Two dual Frost Claws, three Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields, Great Frost Axe, two Stormfrag Auto Launchers (W2)

Wyrdstorm Brotherhood (with T or S)
Njal Stormcaller
Rune Priest- Terminator Armour, Rune Axe, Storm Bolter, Mastery Level 2

Company of the Great Wolf
Ragnar Blackmane (with T or RB)
4 Servitors (with D)
3 Wolf Guard Terminators- Frost Axe and Wolf Claw, two with Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields (T)

His warlord was Ragnar Blackmane. For his psychic powers, Njal got Thunderclap, Fury of the Wolf Spirits and Tempest's Wrath. The Rune Priest got Storm Caller and Jaws of the World Wolf. 

For this game, we chose to use the Empyric Storm cards from the Fall of Cadia book to add some random chaos to the game. We were using the Spoils of War maelstrom missions. In this, you cannot discard "Secure Objective" cards and your opponent has the chance to claim your cards in their turn. 

We set up the objectives as shown below:

I won the roll for deployment side. Stu won the roll for deployment and chose to go first.

He set up the Deathpack on left flank with one of the Wulfen. The Ancients of the Fang went in the centre behind the ruins. The Wulfen went beside them, with the Company of the Great Wolf and Wyrdstorm Brotherhood on the right flank.

In response, I put the Stalker Veteran Squad opposite the Deathpack. One Bike squad went in the ruins to the left, while the other unit went beside the woods in the centre. I then set up the Assassins. The Vindicare went in the ruins to the left. The Callidus and Eversor went in the ruins to the right, ready to take on the combat elements of the Space Wolves. The Culexus infiltrated in the centre of the board, hoping to take on the Wyrdstorm Brotherhood.

I failed to seize the initiative and Stu took the first turn.

In his first turn, Stu drew Objective 6, Blood and Guts (kill a unit in assualt) and Psychological Warfare (force a failed morale test). For the Empyric Storm cards, he drew Psychic Interference, meaning that all psychic powers would require one extra warp charge to cast.

With a howl, the Space Wolves advanced on the Deathwatch. The Thunderwolf Cavalry advanced through the woods, being boosted by the nearby Wulfen (they added 3" to their move by Curse of the Wulfen). The Wulfen and Grey Hunters advanced as well. The second Wulfen unit moved up around the ruins, while the Terminators also advanced.

Njal summoned the eldritch powers of the warp, casting Living Storm on the Vindicare Assassin. The power was successful. but the psychic powers he channelled wounded him in the process. The Assassin was wounded 9 times. I went to ground (for a 2+ cover save) and he took 1 wound.

The Termintors, Wulfen and Thunderwolf Cavalry all run towards the enemy army, hoping to get into range quickly.

The Thunderwolf Cavalry launched themselves at the Eversor Assassin. He fired his needle pistol, wounding once, but the shot was saved by their armour. The Space Wolves made their assault (the formation special rules allow them to run and assault). The Hammer of Wrath took a wound from the Assassin. The Eversor struck at the squad Sergeant, wounding him once. In reply, the Sergeant wounded the Assassin three times and I failed all my saves, losing the Assassin and First Blood.

The Wulfen attempted to assault the Culexus Assassin. I was pretty confident, as Stu needed the maximum charge. I was less confident as he rolled a double 6 and made it in! The Culexus struck at the squad, wounding them twice, but failing to get past their armour. In reply, the Wulfen struck down the Assassin with their Thunder Hammers.

At the end of his first turn, Stu scored Blood and Guts, Objective 6 and First Blood for 3 points. Two first turn charges, one on a double 6 no less, That was a brutal start to the game.

In my first turn, I drew Objective 2, Objective 6 and Overwhelming Firepower (kill an enemy unit in the shooting phase). For the Empyric Storms, I drew Unreality Reigns. This converts all rolls of a 6 to a 1 and vice versa.

The two Drop Pods arrived, both zeroing in on the Wulfen abominations in the Space Wolves' ranks. The Frag Cannon squad went on the right flank, while the Shotgun squad went besides the ruin in the centre. The Bikers moved up to support the newly arrived units and grab the objective. On the right flank, the Callidus Assassin advanced on the Thunderwolf Cavalry that had slain her colleague.

The Deathwatch targeted the Wulfen with their Frag Cannons. They flamed washed over the Wulfen, wounding them 26 times! However, after Stu's Storm Shield and Feel No Pain saves, only a single Wulfen perished as he only failed 3 wounds! Unreality Reigns was brutal for me, as Stu keep rolling 1's for his saves that were converted to 6's! That was not what was supposed to happen. The Frag Cannons should have eliminated the Wulfen easily! The Stalker Marines fired at the unit, but failed to do any damage.

The Deathwatch Squad in the centre fired their Wyrmsbreath Shells (template) at the Wulfen, scoring 20 hits. I rolled to wound and was dismayed as I rolled ten 6's, which were promptly converted to ones. The Shotguns did a single wound, that was then saved.

The nearby Bikers fired at the central Wulfen, doing a single wound that was saved.

The Callidus Assassin fired her Neural Shredder at the Thunderwolf Cavalry, but failed to cause any wounds. She then assaulted the unit, cutting down two of the squad in combat. The last surviving Space Wolf struck at the Assassin with his Thunder Hammer, wounding her 3 times. I failed a single save and the Assassin was killed instantly.

At the end of my turn, I scored Objective 2 and Discarded Overwhelming Firepower.

Space Wolves- 3
Deathwatch- 1

In turn 2, Stu drew Psychological Warfare (force a failed morale test), Objective 4 and No Prisoners (kill an enemy unit). The Empyric Storm was Uncontrolled Mutation, which attacked a random psyker, but no damage was caused.

The Space Wolves continued their advance, the Wulfen moving up on the Deathwatch that had targeted them. Ragnar Blackmane split off from the Terminators to go after a Drop Pod, while the Thunderwolf advanced on the Stalker Marines in the ruins.

The Psykers fired the Living Storm at the Bikers, killing two of the squad. They then fired the Fury of the Wolf Spirit at the Shotgun Deathwatch in the centre, killing two. Finally, they launched Living Lightning at the Vindicare Assassin, killing him as well.

The Grey Hunters fired their Pistols at the Deathwatch in front of them, but did no damage. The Iron Priest fired his Helfrost Pistol at the Bikers, but caused no harm.

In the assault phase, the Wulfen in the centre assaulted the Deathwatch, wiping them out easily. Ragnar charged the nearby Drop Pod, but failed to harm the vehicle.

On the left flank, the Grey Hunters assaulted the Frag Cannon squad. The overwatch fire succeeded in killing two of the squad and they failed the charge. The Wulfen made it in, however, and easily butchered the squad.

The Thunderwolf assaulted the Stalker squad, killing four of them for no loss in return. The lone survivor failed his morale test, but was kept lost in combat.

At the end of his turn, Stu scored Psychological Warfare, Objective 6 and got 3 points for No Prisoners. It was fair to say the game was pretty much over at this point. I had lost most of my army and had yet to kill even a single Space Wolf unit.

This turn, I drew Objective 1, Objective 6 and Supremacy (hold at least 2 objectives and twice as many as your opponent). For the Empyric Storms card, I drew Warp Regeneration- all models on the table recovered a wound. This meant the wounded Wulfen were now back to full strength.

The Corvus Blackstar arrived, moving on over the Wulfen for a bombing run, The remaining Bikers advanced on the Wulfen in the centre of the field.

The Corvus unleashed its payload, its bombs detonating in the ranks of the Wulfen and slaying one of them. The Bikers added their firepower, killing another of the squad.

The Deathwatch flyer targeted the Terminators. The Assault Cannon bounced off the Terminators' armour. The pilot then loosed two missiles at the unit, wounding twice, but Stu made both his 5+ invulnerable saves and the unit was unharmed.

The Bikers assaulted the Wulfen. The lone Biker was cut down by their overwatch fire. The Wulfen easily slaughtered the Bikers before they got to attack.

The lone Thunderwolf killed the last of the Deathwatch he was engaged with. Ragnar Blackmane also took out the Drop Pod, suffering a single wound from the resulting explosion.

At the end of my turn, I scored no points and discarded Supremacy.

Space Wolves- 8
Deathwatch- 1

This turn, Stu drew Objective 2, Objective 4 and Objective 5. The Empyric Storm card granted the Stormseer Overwhelming Power, boosting his characteristics to greater levels.

With little of the enemy left on the field, the Space Wolves moved up on the objectives.

In the psychic phase, the Stormseers attempted to blast the Corvus Blackstar with their powers, glancing the jinking flyer first.

The Wulfen assaulted the Drop Pod, blowing it up and wounding one of the Wulfen.

At the end of his turn, Stu scored his Objective 4 and my Objective 1 and Objective 6.

This turn, I drew Behind Enemy Lines, Ascendency and No Prisoners.

The Drop Pod arrived between the Wulfen on the right flank. The Corvus Blackstar went into hover mode, as Artemis led the Vanguard Veterans against the enemy warlord.

The Deathwatch fired at the Wulfen, killing two with their Meltaguns. Artemis fired his Flamer at Ragnar Blackmane, killing the two wolves accompanying him.

He then led the unit in assault on Ragnar Blackmane. Artemis attempted to use his Stasis Grenade, but he missed his attack and took two wounds himself. Ragnar struck at the Deathwatch warlord and killed him. The Vanguard Veterans struck down the Space Wolves warlord.

At the end of my turn, we both scored Slay the Warlord.

Space Wolves- 12
Deathwatch- 2

At this point, I decided to call it there. There was little point in continuing the game, as my army would be dead next turn.

Thanks to Stu for inviting me into his home to play on his awesome new board, and for the thorough whooping he gave my Deathwatch!

I am normally one to blame my dice when I feel they deserve it, and boy did they deserve it in this game! It seems like I could not roll anything decent, whereas Stu was rolling up a storm in the game.

The Assassins definitely suffered from new model syndrome in this game. This was their first game since Rob completed them for me. Around 600 points for four Assassins accounted for two dead Thunderwolf Cavalry and that was it. The two first turn charges on the Assassins were painful, especially the 12" charge! This was a case of not knowing or remembering the rules for the Wulfen and the formation. Had I known they could run and assault, I probably would have deployed a bit further back to try and prevent the charges.

The Unreality Reigns card from the Empyric Storms also hurt me a fair bit. This cards add a lot of randomness to the game. Unfortunately in this game, Stu managed to reap a lot of the benefits of these cards- making a bunch of invulnerable and FNP saves on his Wulfen, as well as regaining wounds on them. I will probably try the cards a few more times before I pass judgement on them. 


  1. Ouch! I think the random elements of the game really hurt you this time. It happens when you introduce things like that into the game, sometimes you just get that perfect storm of cards that supports your opponent's play and makes a mockery of your own. Without that Unreality Reigns card it sounds like that turn would have gone very differently for you and could easily have balanced the game up.

    Forgetting the additional range of the wulfen units was unfortunate, but even so the successful charge goes to show that the dice really just weren't on your side this time!

  2. Yeah, it was a pretty brutal game. Not really sure what else I could have done to be honest, the dice were just not with me on this occassion.

    Pity it did not showcase Rob's awesome paint job on the Assassins.

  3. Yeah, sometimes the dice conspire against us. Wulfen can be brutal. I've been on the receiving end of those feral warriors a few times.

    1. They should be so easy to shoot off the board, but when they get to your lines they are brutal!

  4. Space Woooolvessssss! For Russ and so on! Thanks for the batrep, I hope the slaughterfest will make you ditch the Deathwatch and move on to Genestealers a little bit sooner :D

    In all seriousness, when the dice go against you it can make for pretty unfun games, I know this would've been one for me, so better luck next time.

    1. Yeah, I don't think I was having much fun after turn 1!