Thursday, 8 June 2017

Battle Report 101- 1500 pts Ravenwing vs Space Wolves

During my time at Warhammer Fest, I was able to observe some of the Grand Tournament games and write them up as battle reports. The first game that I observed was Ben's Ravenwing taking on Lewis' Space Wolves.
I'd met Ben at the Birthday Bash, where his Ravenwing army had done rather well in the maelstrom missions. It was great to catch up again and see him use a force very similar to one I would normally field.

The first mission was Crusade with 3 objectives, using Hammer and Anvil deployment.

Ben's army consisted of:
Ravenwing Strike Force
Interrogator-Chaplain- Bike, Mace of Redemption. (with CS)
Librarian- Level 2 Psyker, Bike, Conversion Field. (with CS)
Librarian- Level 2 Psyker, Bike, Conversion Field. (with CS)
5 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 Grav Guns, Combi-Grav, Meltabombs (RB1)
5 Ravenwing Bikers- 2 Grav Guns, Combi-Grav, Meltabombs (RB2)
5 Black Knights- Grenade Launcher, Meltabombs (BK)
5 Ravenwing Command Squad- Apothecary, Grenade Launcher (CS)
Ravenwing Support Squadron- Darkshroud with Heavy Bolter, 3 Landspeeders with Heavy Bolters and Typhoon Missile Launchers. (SS)

Ben's warlord was the Chaplain, who got Furious Charge for his Warlord Trait. One Librarian rolled on Telepathy, getting Invisibility, Terrify and Psychic Shriek. The other rolled on Divination and got Perfect Timing, Prescience and Forewarning.
As I said above, a very similar army to one that I would field with my Ravenwing. I was interested to see how the support squadron would perform with the Heavy Bolters and Typhoon Missile Launchers (I normally go for Heavy Bolters and Assault Cannons). Ben also got a good range of powers on his Librarians and could seriously buff the Command Squad.

Lewis' army consisted of:
Combined Arms Detachment
Wolf Guard Battle Leader- The Wulfen Stone, Runic Armour, Storm Shield, Power Fist, Thunderwolf. (with W or BL)
Saint Celestine (with W or C)
5 Grey Hunters- Meltagun, Combi-melta, Meltabombs (GH1)
Drop Pod (DP1)
5 Grey Hunters- Meltagun, Combi-melta, Meltabombs (GH2)
Drop Pod (DP2)
10 Wulfen- 5 Stormfrag Autolaunchers, 5 Great Frost Axes, 4 Thunder Hammers and Storm Shields (W)

Wyrdstorm Brotherhood
Rune Priest- Mastery Level 2, Bike. (with W or RP1)
Rune Priest- Mastery Level 2, Bike. (with W or RP2)
Rune Priest- Mastery Level 2, Bike, Helm of Durfast, Meltabombs (with W)

Imperial Agents
Ministorium Priest. (with W)

All three psykers rolled on Fulmination. One got Electroshield and Magnetokinesis. One got Electropulse and Lightning Arc. The final one got Electroshield and Magnetokinesis. I think that Lewis was hoping for Electrodisplacement on one of the psykers.

A pretty tough Space Wolves Deathstar army. Celestine would make the unit pretty tough to harm, as she can soak up a lot of wounds. In addition, the Wulfen hit incredibly hard on the charge, with all their axes striking at initiative in the first round. This could be an interesting match up between the two armies- incredibly mobile vs incredibly durable.

Ben won the roll for deployment and interestingly chose the side with none of the objectives. I was surprised by this. Perhaps he wanted to tempt Lewis into trying to kill him and getting him away from the objectives, where his more mobile force could swoop in on the final turns. Lewis won the roll for deployment and chose to go first.

As expected, Lewis deployed the Battle Leader, Celestine, Priest and Psykers in the Wulfen unit and set them up in the middle of his deployment zone.

In reply, Ben set up his Command Squad and Black Knights in the centre, with the Support Squadron behind them. The two units of Ravenwing Bikers went on either flank.

Ben chose not to Scout with any of his units and did not try to seize the initiative. Lewis took the first turn.


The first Drop Pod arrived, crashing to the ground besides the objective on the left flank, the Grey Hunters moving out to secure it. The Support Squadron intercepted the Drop Pod as it landed, destroying it with their Krak Missiles. First Blood to the Ravenwing.

The Wulfen unit advanced on the Ravenwing lines. In the psychic phase, one of the Rune Priest used Magnetokinesis to launch his unit towards the enemy lines.

The Wulfen ran towards the enemy Bikers, launching a multi-assault on the Command Squad, Black Knights and one unit of Bikers. The overwatch fire struck out at the Wulfen, but not a single wound was caused thanks to some amazing Storm Shield saves from Lewis (seriously, Ben and I could hardly believe the rolls). To make matters worse, two of the Black Knights succumbed to their overheating Plasma Talons.

The eagle-eyed amongst you will realise that a unit cannot assault after using Magnetokinesis. Lewis had confused it with Electrodisplacement. The charge held for now, but you will see in turn 2 how this situation was resolved. For now, I will recount how the turn actually went after the charge.

Celestine struck at the reduced squad of Black Knights, wiping them out with her powerful attacks. One half of the Wulfen unit struck at the Ravenwing Bikers, killing four of their five power-armoured foes.
The rest of the Wulfen struck at the Command Squad, killing only one of them after the Interrogator-Chaplain managed to tank the remaining wounds with his Rosarius.

The Black Knights and Ravenwing struck at the Wulfen, but once again Lewis' saves were on fire and not a single Space Wolf fell.

The Command Squad managed to hit and run out of combat, but the lone Biker was locked in combat.


The remaining Dark Angels forces moved down the right flank, advancing on the newly arrived Grey Hunters.

In the psychic phase, the Librarian cast Invisibility on the Support Squadron. I was a bit bemused by this, thinking Ben would want to protect the Command Squad.

The Bikes and Support Squadron turbo-boosted up the right flank to increase their distance on the Space Wolves.

The Command Squad assaulted the Grey Hunters in front of them. Their Hammer of Wrath attacks slew one of the Space Wolves. The Chaplain took out three of the Grey Hunters, while the Black Knights took out the rest of the squad. The Command Squad consolidated 6" away from the Space Wolves.

In the other combat, the lone Ravenwing Biker was easily killed by the Wulfen and they consolidated towards the Ravenwing.


The second Drop Pod arrived, landing next to the objective on the Space Wolves' right flank. The Wulfen unit moved towards the Ravenwing.

In the Psychic Phase, the Rune Priest attempted to cast Magnetokinesis on the Wulfen unit. At this time, both players checked the rules for the psychic power and discovered you could not assault after using it. As a result, the Wulfen would have been unable to charge. Lewis was very apologetic for the error. In order to make things right, he allowed Ben to take back all the casualties from the combat. The Command Squad went back to full strength. The three Black Knights and Bike Squad were returned to reserve and would be outflanking in a future turn.

The Rune Priests attempted to cast Living Lightning on the Command Squad, but failed to manifest the power.

The Wulfen unit charged the Support Squadron. The squadron overwatched, managing to wound one of the Wulfen with their firepower. Thanks to Invisibility, their attacks were hampered, but they were still able to destroy the Darkshroud and two of the Landspeeders with their attacks. The Support Squadron got some small consolation, as the exploding Darkshroud killed one of the Wulfen. Ben's gamble with Invisibility payed off, allowing one of the Landspeeders to survive.


 The unit of three Black Knights arrived on the left flank, moving to engage the Grey Hunters. The second Bike unit also arrived on the same flank, moving behind the ruins in the Dark Angels' deployment zone. The rest of the Ravenwing forces moved away from the Wulfen unit.

The Librarian cast Invisibility on the Command Squad, the other casting Prescience on the unit of Grav gun armed Bikers.

The lone Landspeeder and Bikers turbo-boosted away from the Wulfen. The Command Squad opened fire on the Grey Hunters, killing two with their Plasma Talons and one with their Bolters. The other unit of Black Knights fired on the Drop Pod, causing it to explode with their Plasma Talon shots and killing one of the Knights. Both units failed their morale tests and fled from one another.


The Wulfen unit moved towards the central objectives, while the Grey Hunters rallied.

The Rune Priests cast Living Lighting on the Ravenwing Bikers, killing three of the squad with the combined powers. The squad failed their morale test and fled towards the Wulfen unit.

Celestine attempted to strike down the Landspeeder with her orbital bombardment, but the shot scattered away from the enemy skimmer.

The Wulfen attempted to charged the Command Squad. The Ravenwing opened fire on the unit, killing one of the squad to overwatch. The Landspeeder also managed to kill one of the Wulfen with its supporting fire. The Wulfen failed their 9" charge.


The Command Squad retreated from the Wulfen, moving 18" away from the Wulfen so that they could still fire. The Black Knights advanced on the Grey Hunters.

The Librarian cast Invisibility on the Command Squad once more, the other Librarian casting Forewarning on his unit.

The two Black Knights fired on the Grey Hunters, killing them. The Landspeeder fired at the Wulfen, killing one of the squad. The Command Squad fired at the unit, wounding them twice with their Plasma Talons, but the Wulfen passed both their Feel No Pain rolls.


The Wulfen unit decided to split up to tackle the Ravenwing. Celestine led the Geminae towards the Ravenwing Bikers, while the Wulfen went for one of the objectives, while the Rune Priests and Battle Leader moved towards the central objective.

In the psychic phase, the Rune Priests fired Living Lightning at the Command Squad, killing one of the squad and wounding the Chaplain once.

Celestine assaulted the Ravenwing Bikers, easily wiping out the unit in combat.


The Ravenwing Bikers moved up towards the objectives.

The Librarian cast Invisibility on the Command Squad, but the effort was blocked by the Rune Priests. The Librarian perilled in the attempt. Ben rolled a 1 on the table, then failed his Leadership test! The Librarian was killed along with the second Librarian and the Chaplain was wounded.

The Command Squad opened fire on the Librarians and Battle Leader, wounding the Leader once. One of the Black Knights fell to the overheating Plasma Talon.

The Landspeeder opened fire on the Wulfen, killing one of the squad with its Missile Launcher.

The Black Knights charged the Librarians and Battle Leader. The Chaplain and Black Knights attacked the Battle Leader, but was unable to get past his armour save. The Leader attacked, killing one of the Black Knights, while the Librarians killed another.


Celestine moved up on the objective, while the Wulfen moved to support the central objective. The Rune Priest turbo-boosted towards the enemy deployment zone to gain Linebreaker.

The unengaged Rune Priest cast Living Lightning on the Ravenwing Bikers, wiping out the unit with the powerful psychic attack.

In the assault phase, the Chaplain struck at the Battle Leader, killing him. The Rune Priests struck at the Chaplain, wounding him once, but he passed his Invulnerable Save.


The Landspeeder moved to grab the final objective. As it moved, it fired at the Wulfen, killing two of the squad.

The combat in the centre was to decide the game. The Interrogator-Chaplain was on a single wound. If he died, the Space Wolves would grab the objective and win the game.

The Chaplain struck at the Rune Priests, killing one of them. The remaining Rune Priest struck at the Chaplain, wounding him once. All eyes were on Ben as he rolled his Rosarius save. He made it and the Chaplain survived.

With that, the game ended.
End of the game.

Space Wolves- 4 (Objective and Linebreaker)
Dark Angels- 5 (Objective, Linebreaker and First Blood)

That was a hell of a game to watch. It really did come down to the final die roll to decide the winner; if Ben failed his Rosarius save, Lewis would have claimed the central objective and won the game. As he did not, Ben won by a single victory point in the end. Thanks to Ben and Lewis for allowing me to observe the game and annoy them during it!

I think that Ben used the only tactic that he could in the game- strategic running away. After shooting at the Deathstar, he was doing very little damage thanks to some amazing saving throws from Lewis. Ben's only real option was to run away and try and grab the objectives at the end of the game, while taking out the "easy pickings" of the Grey Hunters and Drop Pods. I was quite concerned for him in turn 4 when his Librarian went Nuclear and took out a lot of the Command Squad. I thought that was the turning point of the game there.

Lewis was also unlucky in some parts. Had he rolled Electrodisplacement for one of his Rune Priests, the game would have been over very quickly. Being able to multi-assault on the first turn would have been brutal for the Ravenwing and would have ended the game very quickly. This isn't even speculation, as that actually happened in turn 1 thanks to an error with the Magnetokinesis power.

Despite all the problems and messes with 7th edition, this game showed that two reasonable players with a great sense of sportsmanship could still do well. After discovering the error in turn 1, both players discussed what had happened and came up with a nice and simple solution between themselves rather than calling over the judges and making a big arguement of it.

Towards the end of the game, I did think that Lewis was going to get the win. I would have been inclined to send Celestine after the Command Squad in the final turns. Even if she did not kill them, she may have been able to hold them up long enough to keep them out of grabbing the objective at the end (if they would fail their Hit and Run). His other mistake, which he said himself after the game, was not sending the Wulfen in to support the Rune Priests against the Chaplain in turn 5. They would most likely have easily killed off the Interrogator-Chaplain and won him the game.

Overall, it was a great game to watch. I was convinced that Ben would struggle to win the game at the start, but he played it very smart and managed to snatch the victory.

This will be one of my last battle reports for 7th Edition. I am hoping to get maybe one more game in before the release of 8th edition, then look forward to a whole bunch of new 8th edition battle reports using most of my armies to test out the new rules. 

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