page id: 189 Battle Report VIII (Take and Hold): Gary's Space Wolves battle Jim's Black Templar in a marine-chapter feud taken to the extreme. By Jim K.

Day of Reckoning

Turn 6: Black Templar

In an attempt to steal the objective away from the oncoming horde of Space Wolves, the Black Templar Crusader roared forward, covering half of the air duct with its massive bulk. The Champion's rhino also raced forward, slamming into the side of the Crusader, its rear hatch flew open onto the air duct and Emperor's Champion Crenshaw leapt out, ordering his men to stay in the vehicle. One of the templar landspeeders also zoomed forward, hovering between the Crusader and Champion's rhino.

Chaplain Atkins led the terminator squad toward the objective as well as other Templar squads who slung their heavy weapons over their shoulders now that the center of the field was about to dissolve into a massive brawl.

Champion Crenshaw, Chaplain Atkins and the Terminators assaulted the three Grey Hunters responsible for killing the Marshal's squad and exacted a bloody revenge. After cutting them down, the Champion swept forward, making contact with the unit of Blood Claws advancing between the building and oil tanks. The Terminators also consolidated in that direction, blocking the Grey Hunter Squad's advance, effectively sealing off the corridor for the sixteen Space Wolves attempting to reach the objective from that direction.

Templar terminators and Emperor's Champion Crenshaw halt the Wolves advance, but can they hold out against the coming onslaught?


Turn 6: Space Wolves

The Space Wolf Landspeeder finally made its move, darting forward and hovering mere feet from the armored hull of the BT Crusader, its multimelta ready. The Grey Hunters with meltagun also advanced toward the Crusader, while the Rune Priest with three remaining Bloodclaws, and Olin the Old move in position to assault the Templar Terminators.

Numerous rapid-firing bolters and Thrain Darksky's plasma pistol claimed one terminator's life and caused a wound on Chaplain Atkins. Olin the Old immobilized the partially hidden rhino with its lascannon. Finally, the Crusader was targeted by two close-range melta weapons, from the landspeeder and Grey Hunter squad. One pierced the thick armored hull and hit a vital fuel cell, blowing the turrets off and turning the tank into a raging inferno. The intense red flames cast an eerie light on the battle's final moments.

With the thunder of its massive feet shaking the ground, Olin the Old charged into combat with the terminators. Rune Priest Darksky and the remainder of his Blood-Claw escort joined the melee with the Black Templar terminators as well. The ancient Dreadnought smashed two of the Elite Templar warriors to the ground, broken and bloody. Thrain Darksky wounded three more terminators with his mighty frostblade. Amazingly, the tactical dreadnought armor turned the power weapon's blows and not a single terminator fell to the priest's frenzied assault. Chaplain Atkins slew only one of the Blood Claw warriors facing him and took no wounds in return.

"Wolf Lord Solvar Greyfell, meet me in single combat, if you are worthy," came the challenge from the vox-speaker of Emperor's Champion Crenshaw. A hush fell over the field as the massive Wolf Lord strode through the ranks of his men, a confident gleam in his eye. Sparks flew as two ancient blades of unrivaled power clashed. The Champion's Black Sword parried all but one of the Wolf Lord's blows, which was deflected by the force field of the iron halo he wore. In return, a single attack from the Champion slipped in under the Lord's glowing frost blade and pierced the aura of the Belt of Russ he wore, wounding the great hero.

Wolf Lord Solvar "The Slayer" Greyfell looked incredulously at the blood running down his armor and raised his blade for another furious series of blows when the scream of incoming ordnance interrupted him. Both marine heroes turned as a massive explosion tore into the ground several yards to the south of them. In the distance an armored column was rumbling toward them. The once Imperial vehicles were adorned with nauseating glyphs and symbols of chaos.

The tattered remains of two once-powerful marine forces scrambled to muster a defense against the oncoming enemy. Wolf Lord Solvar Greyfell took a moment to transmit a message to the Black Templar Marshal via the vox-link in his power armor. "This isn't over Dermott," he growled.

"Anytime, anyplace Greyfell," came the response.

A roll of 3 ended the game at six turns. With a rhino containing a 9-man Black Templar squad touching the objective, Jim's Black Templars earned the victory. After the game was over the (ever helpful) Master of Melee, Wilson, pointed out that the Grey Hunters who had blown up the Land Raider with a meltagun in the bottom of the last turn were just-barely close enough to assault the Black Templar rhino. If they had done so, they would have ended the game on top of the objective, taking the win by a fraction of an inch. Needless to say, Gary was not happy about this "helpful" pointer.

Endgame; the final massive melee.

Black Templar Post Game

Now that was a close, exciting game. The clash of two hard-ass armies like BT and Wolves was awesome. Winning the strategy rolloff for attacker/defender was my first windfall, but an important one. By forcing Gary to defend, he could only start with troops and heavies on the table while my whole force moved on in turn one. He elected to place two of his troop choices (in razorbacks) hidden behind buildings close to the objective. Luckily for me, I could see the rear of one of his razorbacks and wasted no time in blowing it up (with a glancing 6). That set the tone for the whole game.

There was no doubt I had superior long-range firepower and I used that threat to keep Gary on the defensive (perhaps even bordering on the paranoid). By keeping all his rhinos jammed up behind the building and oil rigs, I was able to shuffle my troops forward to make a run for the objective in turn 5, all the while keeping him in line with potshots from my lascannons and missile launchers.

My five assault terminators performed spectacularly, wiping out a whole unit of wolves in a single assault phase without a scratch in return (my trusty chaplain helped a bit). Then, they plugged up the corridor between the building and oil tanks, effectively cutting off the path to the objective for sixteen space wolves. Finally, they took on a venerable dread, a unit of Grey Hunters, some Blood Claws and a Rune Priest simultaneously in hand-to-hand and still had termies standing when the dust settled (by making three of five invulnerable "terminator saves"!).

Gary played very well (if a bit cautiously for Space Wolves). In hindsight, he probably would have been better off dumping most of his army on the objective early on and made me try to push him off, simultaneously assaulting my firing line with a unit or two of nasty troop choices accompanied by those feared SW characters. That would have kept my shooty troops busy, especially once they were reinforced by his wolf scouts. Then again, I was not on the other side of the table facing all those heavy weapons including not one, but two dreaded plasma cannons!

The only thing I wish I had done differently was covering the objective better in turn 5Ė half with my landraider and half with my rhino. Leaving that window of opportunity for Gary to take the objective in the last turn was negligent on my part. Luckily, Gary did not see the move just as I did not see the best final position for my rhino.

Space Wolf Post-Game

I was worried that the game was going to end prematurely without much action. When we rolled the dice for the game to end the first two times, I was positioned to win but I was hoping that the fight would continue. Jim and I went to a lot of trouble to get this report done and I wanted it to be a memorable one.

I was very pleased with how I played (except for the last turn) and I believe I picked a good army to face Jimís Black Templars. Even with my horrendous rolling, I was positioned the whole game to win. If I had to point to one mistake I made, it was probably not moving my men soon enough to the objective.

I was pleasantly surprised on how well my Venerable Dreadnought did. It destroyed one razorback with twin-linked lascannons and an expensive dreadnought with twin linked lascannons and rocket launcher; it disabled another dreadnought and killed three terminators in HTH. Usually my Venerable Dreadnought gets targeted early and blown up before it can kill very much.

I had to give Jim credit for the way he played. First he took me out of my element by forcing me to defend instead of attack. There was virtually no cover near the objective and he set up a substantial amount of firepower to make me think twice about moving in too early. Anything near the objective was subject to 2 plasma cannons, two missile launchers, four lascannons (two were twin-linked), an assault cannon, 2 heavy bolters and the fire from his Landraider Crusader. Plasma cannons firing at bunched up space marines can be devastating. In the first turn Jim was able to kill one of my razorbacks while it was hull down with a glancing 6 die roll. (Gary: "Jim how can you see the razorback?" Jim: "I have direct line of sight to the hair of the gunner on the turret.") In the ensuing explosion I failed 3 armor saves. This is how my rolling went for most of the night.

Jimís army was well designed. He was able to split his force into two parts, one that laid down an unbelievable amount of fire and another that brought fierce HTH capability. If I had to criticize Jimís army at all, I would say using the Emperorsí Champion, a Chaplain and a Marshal might be considered a little beardy (but only a little). Jimís strategy and tactics were also excellent as usual. He knew just when to move on to the objective. Once near the objective he positioned his troops very effectively. He was able to block two of my squads with his terminators and Emperorís Champion, denying me access to the objective at a key time.

On what was to be the final turn, I moved my Rune Priest on to the objective and then pondered what to do next. I could have stayed on the objective and hoped the dice roll would be a 1, 2 or 3. However, if the roll were 4, 5, or 6, Jim would have charged me with all his attacks with his remaining terminators, Emperorís Champion, Marshal and Chaplain on the next turn. With the crowd chanting "kill terminators", and my men shouting for vengeance against the cowardly BTs who had sniped at them all game from far away, my squads broke and assaulted into the BTs. My Wolf Lord, who has six attacks with his Frost Blade (strength 5, no save), but has failed me at critical points in battle lately, only wounded the Emperorís Champion once (which Jim saved). My Venerable Dread killed three terminators and my Rune Priest wounded 3 terminators. Jim then took the wind out of my sails by saving all three with a 5,5,6 roll!!!

By this time in the game, I was totally drained. I was focusing too hard on the HTH with Jimís remaining terminators, Emperorís Champion, and Chaplain. I then made a critical mistake by not moving my other Grey Hunter squad (which was over 50%) into HTH with Jimís rhino next to the objective. I just forgot to do it. Had I moved them into HTH with the rhino, I would have been closer to the objective by about 1/8 of an inch. All game I was good about keeping the objective in mind when I moved. This turn I failed to consider it. Wilson then rolled the dice and with a 3 rolled, the game ended, Jim beating me by a fraction of an inch.

Oh well, it was a loss by the slimmest of margins. Jim played very well and deserved to win. The important thing was both of us had a blast and the game turned into a great battle report. Jim has not seen the last of my Wolves. I will get another chance to spill more BT blood.

Created by: system. Last Modification: Monday 26 of January, 2009 03:29:40 PM EST by ZiggyQubert.

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