Thursday, August 12, 2010

Battle Report: Sanguinary Guard vs. Thunderwolves

by SandWyrm

After seeing me kick butt in last week's game vs. Space Wolves in Raiders, Aaron (who ran last weekend's Hive Fleet Indy tourney) decided that he had see how a proper Space Wolf army would do against the Emo-Wing.

And by proper, he meant an army containing Thunderwolf Cavalry.

Everyone gets a nickname, so I'll call Aaron "Alpha". :)

SandWyrm's List:

225    Dante
250    Mephiston

90    Sanguinary Priest w/Jump Pack, Power Weapon
75    Sanguinary Priest w/Jump Pack

230    Sanguinary Guard Squad w/2 x Infernus Pistol, Powerfist
230    Sanguinary Guard Squad w/2 x Infernus Pistol, Powerfist
230    Sanguinary Guard Squad w/2 x Infernus Pistol, Powerfist
230    Sanguinary Guard Squad w/2 x Infernus Pistol, Powerfist
230    Sanguinary Guard Squad w/2 x Infernus Pistol, Powerfist
    Fast Attack
70    LandSpeeder w/Heavy Flamer, Multi-Melta
70    LandSpeeder w/Heavy Flamer, Multi-Melta
70    LandSpeeder w/Heavy Flamer, Multi-Melta

Total: 2000 Pts.
This is the same list I've been using for a while now.

Alpha's List:

265    Wolf Lord w/Thunderwolf, Runic Armor, Wolftooth Necklace, Frost Blade, Storm Shield, Saga of Majesty, 2 Fenrisian Wolves
265    Wolf Lord w/Thunderwolf, Power Armor, Wolftooth Necklace, Frost Blade, Storm Shield, Saga of Warrior Born, 2 Fenrisian Wolves
100    Rune Priest w/Murderous Hurricane, Jaws of the World Wolf
100    Rune Priest w/Tempest Wrath, Jaws of the World Wolf

155    5 Grey Hunters w/Melta, Razorback (Twin-Linked Assault Cannon)
150    5 Grey Hunters w/Flamer, Razorback (Lascannon/Twin-Linked Plasma Gun)
145    5 Grey Hunters w/Melta, Rhino
145    5 Grey Hunters w/Melta, Rhino

    Fast Attack
345    5 Thunder Wolves w/(Thunder Hammer & Storm Shield), (Melta Bombs, Pistol, & CCW), (Pistol & CCW), (Bolter & CCW), (Storm Shield & CCW)

    Heavy Support
170    6 Longfangs w/2 x Lascannon, 3 x Missile Launcher
160    6 Longfangs w/3 x Multi-Melta, 2 x Plasma Cannons

Total: 2000 pts.
Uh oh, it's a balanced all-comers list that has all the tools to compete with my Mech IG. That means I'm going to have a hard slog on my hands, as the Emo-Wing isn't as flexible in terms of roles. I'll still have my speed, but will that be enough?


We rolled up a Seize Ground mission with a Dawn of War deployment. Alpha then points out something I never realized: With Sieze Ground, you're supposed to place the objectives before you roll your deployment type.

I look it up and he's right. Does anyone play this right? I've always rolled up deployment before placing objectives.

So we place the 3 objectives and then roll up a new deployment. This time it's pitched battle.

Alpha wins the roll for first turn and sets up first on the side of the table with 2 objectives close by.

He places his Thunderwolves in the center, with his Razorbacks and 1 Rhino to their rear. His flanks are held by the 2 Squads of Long Fangs with their heavy weapons. With a Rhino on his left for seizing the objective behind the mushroom tree.

I'm going to have to take at least one of those objectives away from his defensively deployed force. But I also need to destroy Alpha's Thunderwolves ASAP. So I decide to bait him.

I deploy Mephiston in my center, behind the Roman statue. With a Sang Guard unit to his left behind the large rock hut (new purchase) and 2 units of Sang Guard to his right behind the smaller rock hut with the flat roof.

Here's another angle. I put one Speeder with the squads on my right and the other two with the squad on my left. Dante and one unit of Sang Guards will deep-strike in later.

My plan was to perform a general advance around the mushroom tree to my right and attack Alpha's troops there in force. Hopefully though, Mephiston would be tempting enough to lure that 875 point squad of Thunderwolves down to where I could pounce on them with 3 squads (780 pts) of Sang Guards. Once they were gone I could resume my rightward advance.

If the Thunderwolves didn't take the bait and went towards the mushroom tree, then Mephiston would have to do the pouncing with  whatever SG squads survived the Wolves' charge. Possibly with support from Dante and my other deep-striking squad.

Turn 1

Alpha plays it conservative, moving just the one Rhino and taking a few pot-shots at what Angels he could see. Is he too smart to fall for my bait?

My turn.

I keep my left-most squad and Mephiston in cover. While I move the 2 speeders on my left up to pug the gaps that the Thunderwolves need for clear movement towards my right.

On the right, I advance the 2 units of SGs and the speeder. I take shots at the smoked Rhino with 2 of my speeders, but fail to damage it.

Turn 2

Alpha finally moves his forces up.

Looks like the Wolves are getting ready for a charge!

Here comes a Rune Priest.

Alpha's shooting takes down a speeder. Mephiston takes a wound from a lascannon.

And then he charges Mephiston, rolling a 6 for the Wolves' assault through cover. I was kinda hoping they'd come up short.

Now in retrospect, I should have popped Mephiston's Str10 power and attacked the squad, as this would have killed any wounded Cav models outright (assuming he failed his 4+ rune weapon dispel first). But I decided to direct all his attacks on the nearest Wolf Lord, hoping to do a wound and kill him outright with Mephiston's Force Weapon.

Mephie did 3 wounds on the Lord with the 3+ invul, but he passed all his saves.

The Wolf Lord then did 4 Power-Weapon wounds and killed Mephiston. Ouch. But at least this put the Wolves right where I wanted them.

My turn.

Wolf Lord 1: Um... Scoob?

Wolf Lord 2: ...Ruh Roh!

Dante's can't tear himself away from the Glee reruns long enough to show up. But the other squad comes on. I drop them close to the Wolves for a little pre-assault fire support.

I miss again with the speeder (sigh).

I shoot up the Thunderwolves before charging in, killing all the Fenrisian Wolves and putting 3 wounds on various Cav models. The Angels then assault. Thanks to the Sang Priest I'm at Initiative 5, so only one wolf lord gets to fight back (the other is Dante-cursed).

I wipe out the squad and one Wolf Lord, leaving the other alive with a single wound. This is actually good, because I'll probably kill the Wolf Lord on Alpha's turn. So I'll be safe from shooting and free to move/assault on my turn.

Not everyone can consolidate back into combat though, so three of my models hug the statue.

End of Turn 2

Turn 3

Alpha is a bit demoralized at losing his Wolves, so he stays conservative, trying to maximize his long-range fire. He kills my last speeder and a couple of SGs here and there.

My turn.

This is great! I'm perfectly positioned to pound face on Alpha's center. All I need is for Dante to drop in behind the Rhino and Razorback in the center and help my pop one so I can charge in.

But Dante still doesn't show. Not even on a 3+ with a re-roll. Arrgh!

Since I can't go up the center without the Chapter master's help, I decide to jump on the Rhino to my right. If I can pop it, I can gang up on the guys inside and then sweep my way across Alpha's lines.

So I move up and... fail to pop the Rhino. I only manage to immobilize it and knock off the Storm Bolter with my Infernus Pistols.

This is not going well.

So I assault the Rhino with 2 squads and finally manage to wreck it. But that means the squad inside will get to shoot and assault me on Alpha's next turn.

Turn 4

Alpha moves his disembarked squad around and lines up the Rune Priest for a "Jaws of the World Wolf" psychic attack. But not to worry, he should only kill 2 models, right?

Wrong, he kills FIVE models. The other two then get sniped off by Multi-Meltas from the Long Fangs on the other side of the Rhino. My advance is now stopped cold. Stupid Jaws!

My turn.

If I'm going to pull off a victory now, I'll need to be sneaky.

Mephiston's ghost drifts up to the circling Storm Raven and turns off Glee. Dante then finally drops into the battle. I put him on my only objective to kill the Razorback that's parked there.

The two SGs I still have on the right walk up into the mushroom tree and hug the trunk.

So that they can't be seen unless the Rune Priest's squad moves back about 5" (and away from the objective).

The two SGs I have in the center jump behind the large stone hut. I'm all set now, assuming that everything goes my way.

Dante's squad pops the Razorback. Now to wait and see what Alpha does. If everything goes as planned, I can still win.

Turn 5

On my left, the disembarked Razorback squad moves up to contest the objective and shoots, but doesn't assault me.

While on the left, Alpha decides to move the Rune Priest's squad back toward the objective. He also brings up another squad and spreads everyone out so that I can't simply jump on the objective. Smart. I'll have to assault one of the squads and hope things go my way.

My Turn.

This is it. Let's see if I can get some luck...

Dante's squad jumps towards the far objective and runs into cover. Part 1 is successful.

They leave behind their Sanguinary Priest, who joins up with the SGs I had hiding behind the large hut. They assault the Razorback squad and wipe it out, consolidating back onto the objective. Part II is now successful. If the game ends here I have a draw. Whether or not I get a win depends on the next bit.

The two SGs hiding in the tree jump down and assault one of the Grey Hunter squads. They kill 2 models. But Alpha does 4 wounds in return. Both of my guys pass one save and roll a 1 for the other. So much for Part III. I'm hoping the game ends here.

Turn 6

But it doesn't.

Alpha focuses all his fire on Dante's squad, killing everyone but the Chapter Master himself. But that's OK, I'll just pass my LD check and... CRAP!

Mephiston's Ghost: "Master Dante ran away..."


Mephiston's Ghost: "Bravely ran away away...."

Dante: "I didn't!"

Mephiston's Ghost: "When Danger reared its ugly head,
He bravely rolled a twelve and fled..."

Dante: "Not at all!"

Mephiston's Ghost: "Yes 'ol Dante jumped about
Then gallantly chickened out.."

Dante: "All lies!"

My turn.

Dante's only 5" from the Las/Plas Razorback, so he runs again. Taking any hope of a draw with him for this turn.

Turn 7

And the game goes on...

Alpha focuses fire on the Priest and 2 SGs guarding my objective. Leaving one SG alive. He also moves up a Razorback to contest. I Wreck it, but I still need Dante to contest something or I'll lose.

Dante finally finds his courage and rallies. Jumping towards the far objective and then running during the shooting phase. He comes up half an inch short of contesting.

Winner: 2-1 Alpha


Well, this shows the weakness of the Emo-Wing against a proper all-comers list. To win, I have to do everything perfectly and not get too shafted by bad luck. I feel that my Strategy and Tactics were good, but the luck gods were not with me at all. First, Mephiston went down when he should have survived the Wolf charge, then Dante failed to show when I needed him, then I failed to kill a Rhino and got 2 squads beaten down by Jaws. THEN, Dante failed his morale check and ran when I needed him to stay put and assault the Long Fangs.

So the superior list won. Alpha was able to absorb the loss of his Cav, whereas I couldn't afford to lose 2 SG squads with all that long-range fire on the table. More Kudos to Alpha for playing it smart on the right flank when I badly needed him to make a stupid mistake late in the game.


  1. I thought Jaws didn't work on JP/flying models?

  2. Also, that list is very illegal. Wolflords have the same wargear, and RP's have the same powers.

  3. I thought so too, but there is no exception explicitly stated in the rules. We checked the FAQ, saw that Jet Bikes were listed as valid targets, and decided that if Jet Bikes can be targeted, jump infantry can be targeted too.

    Now that I'm looking at the wording more carefully though, I see that the valid targets are listed as:

    Monstrous Creatures

    So presumably, since "Jump Infantry" isn't listed, I should have been immune.


    Now I don't feel so bad for the extra SG attacks I mistakenly had when taking down the Thunderwolf Cav. :)

  4. @Chris.B

    The Wolf Lords are different. One has Power Armor, the other has Runic Armor. They also have different Sagas.

    The Rune Priests had different powers too. That was a typo on my part (now corrected).

  5. Hmmmm... I have still yet to face off against the Emo Wing.

    Does it knock down to 1500 well? I may have to conduct a raid on these strange, crying winged things.

  6. It's playable at 1500, but without Mephiston I don't have a good hammer unit to soak up fire and attention.

  7. There is nothing that states that jump infantry are not affected by Jaws. It states that jaws affects bikes and therefore also jet bikes. It also states it affects infantry. I can see where the disparity is because in the rule book it seperates the two units of jump infantry and infantry. I apologize for missing that. I will be more than happy to rematch you.

    The list is not at all illegal as the rune priests or lord's are not the same as indicated. 15 extra power weapon attacks at initiative 5 strength 5 not rolling would have left me 2 more thunderwolves standing including my thunderhammer which would have netted me at least 3 auto kills lowing my leadership check needed to make a 7 instead of 4. I also had the re-roll and rolled a 6 the second time. It would have made a difference. You did also forget to mention the 2nd wolf lord rolled 4 ones to kill 4 Sang models when he was charged when all he needed was 2's, which would have had me winning the combat but who is counting.

    Overall all I learned alot from playing against the emo wing. Sandwyrm did a great job and challenged me more than I have been challenged in a long time. I look forward to our next meeting. My wolves long to taste the blood of your birds again.

    I will also throw out a challenge to anyone who wants to play my 2000 thunderwolves. You beat me and I will buy you lunch. (I am stealing this idea from someone), but I am confident if won't happen.


  8. I know the rules state that Dante's deathmask affects one character model chosen before deployment, but does anyone else think thats just stupid?

    The deathmask is supposed to scare/curse one model into debuffed stats, but how does that make sense since Dante didn't even come onto the board until...what Turn 4 was it? I mean, if he's not in the game how is it supposed to scare an enemy unit?

    Matt Ward's a genius. Why make a rule that makes no sense whatsoever when he could have just, you know, made Dante a more beastly character?(he is the oldest and most experienced Chapter Master alive today after all)

  9. Love the Emo Wing and I agree with your assessment. For all the 2+ saves and power weapons, it's a very finessy army.

  10. @An Enemy

    Well, I'll agree it's kind of dumb. But I think the rule is also there as a sort of story link to the Sanguinor, who has a similar (but better written) rule.

    I just see it as an "Oh crap! HE'S coming?!?!" type of thing.

  11. @Spaguatyrine/Alpha

    The pic at the top, BTW, is how you should paint your wolves. Blue-Grey on the bottom, and orange on the top, with black patches throughout.

    With an airbrush you could have the pack done in a night and then dipped for next week.

  12. Each new post makes me want to face against the Emo-wing that much more

    @spaguatyrine: I havn't played at 2k in a long time, but I'm always up for the challenge/practice/free lunch. haha

  13. Gravemind. Email me to set up a date. or 317-752-4920

  14. Dante gives the other guy nightmares before the battle. Need to squint your eyes while reading an illegal copy of the codex to see that hidden bit of fluff.



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