I made my deadline of finishing my 1250 points of Space Wolves in time for the Von Smallhausen tournament that was last weekend :) I finished the army late on Thursday night, so I was also able to have a game with them at my mate's house who I was staying with on the Friday night. This was a refreshing change, as normally (for the last 2 January tournaments I have taken my Space Wolves to) I have been finishing the basing (and sometimes the painting) of the army on the Friday night before the tournament.
Completing the Wolves
When I blogged last week I still had to green stuff the neck of my Cyberwolf, only about 5 of the extra Grey Hunters were finished (apart from basing), and the Wolf Guard were far from finished. Here's a pic of the cyberwolf after green-stuffing and undercoating, as well as 2 meltaguns that I needed for the army:
|[The models to be undercoated, with only a few days to the tournament]|
|[so many guns and eyes still to paint, everything on the paint station was finished apart from|
basing, while everything on the desk still needed work]
During the rush to finish the army, I came across the worst of speed painting. Speed Painting as a concept is fine, and using techniques to get the bulk of your army painted quickly is fine, however I forced myself into speed painting by not giving myself enough time to complete the army. This led to things I did not like, eg. as I was undercoating at night, and I had to move quite far away from small light at my front doot because I did not want red undercoat blowing back onto the white peppledash exterior of my house, I was practically undercoating without being able to see the model too well. This required quick trips back into the light to check my handiwork and then moving back away from the light to catch any bits I had missed. This worked fine apart from on a few models where the undercoat was too think in some places (mainly the bolter and pistols on the wolf guard. Normally I would either bin the model and start again or replace the weapon or arm. However as the wolf guard was only undercoated at the start of the week before the tournament I didn't know whether I would have another dry day to do the undercoating, so I used these models. Now no-one probably noticed these issues (and my mate didn't notice playing against them until I pointed out the few issues), however I will go back and replace the hands of these models. This wouldn't have happened if I had given myself enough time so that I could undercoat at the weekends so I could see what I was undercoating :)
Another issue with not giving my self enough time is that on some models the light colours (the light grey on the weapons, and the light blue) really needed another coat to cover any sections where the red undercoat was slightly visible in places. I quick painting session this week will quickly complete this, however I would have liked to have fitted this in before the tournament.
Here's a quick pic of all the extra models I've painted up for the 1250 point army, and a pic of the whole 1250 point force is the opening pic of this blog post:
Although it was a stretch it was nice that I could get to 1250 points wihtout using any of the old edition models I have. At the bottom of my case I have the old (slightly smaller) edition models of 4 Rhinos, Whirlwind, Predator & Vindicator
The Howl of the Wolf vs the Screech of the Alien
Although my mate had to use the old Tyranid codex for the tournament as it had been released less than a month before the tournament, he relished the chance to try out the new codex.
Now my mate already slaughtered my Wolves over the xmas break, causing a change to my list. The game showed by a lack of low AP guns, and how Rhinos aren't that good. I swapped a Whirlwind (I could already kill light infnantry with loads of bolter rounds and wolves) and a missile launcher to get 5 wolf guard all with combi-plasma. I changed one rhino to a drop pod for the wolf guard, and changed the other rhino to the wolf guard terminator with cyclone missile launcher, combi-plasma & poweraxe (best to make use of the cheap combi before I get a new codex).
The wolf guard is quite flexible, as i can leave them all together if there is a good alpha strike target, or I can detach up to 4 (terminator into long fangs and 3 wolf guard in the grey hunter squads) if there isn't a good target for them.
I was against the following nid force:
|[As the terrain was very Infinity-esque, we played the terrain the hive tyrant and exocrine|
we standing on as area terrain]
Rather than go over a detailed battle report I'll just cover some of my learnings and thoughts on the units we used.
Tyranid Star Performers
Flyrant: With no anti air he was not surprising very good and did most of the heavy lifting, killing the thunderwolves (when they were tied up by gaunts), and a full squad of grey hunters on his own. Knowing he was a threat to my thunderwolves I put them the other corner of my lines, however the flyrant went across his deployment zone on turn 1. I got lucky and grounded him with a lucky snap fire from the long fangs which took a wound, and then he was grounded and lost another. However my mate had placed him so that he fell into terrain near a venomthrope so he then had a 3+ cover save. My mate was trying out a more combat orientated tyrant with the Ymargall ability to give himself +1 atk, 2+ save or a few other options, plus the getto (only in combat) preferred enemy. Talking over the tyrant's performance we agreed the Ymargall ability was a bit expesive at 40pts (although the possibility of 2+ save was nice) while the getto preferred enemy was ok for 15 pts, as against T4 it's reroll to wound, and it's reroll half the tyrant to-hit misses. We think the optimum build will be wings, getto preferred enemy, a single twin-linked devourer and the last weapon slot being either bonesword+lashwhip or a second twin-linked devourer.
Venomthrope: If you can get these guys out of line of sight or into some ruins for a 2+ save they are great. Monstrous creatures with gaunts in front having a 3+ cover save are a pain to get rid off. Unfortunately I think the two top armies, Eldar & Tau have very effective ways to get rid of them (ie.Wave Shields & Smart Missile Systems which both ignore cover saves).
Zoanthropes: The cheeky tactic of putting one zoanthrope in line of sight to fire all the warp blasts in nice, but the 2nd power gives them great flexibility (particular if they have catalyst or dominion). The drop in points is welcome, and I can see them being in most people's lists.
Exocrines: Not surprisingly these were very nasty. I was considering 2 Mawlocs and a Exorcrine as the best heavy support layout, but I think it's 2 Exocrine & 1 Mawloc will be better. The Exorcrines blasted my marines (and even in cover the casualties kept on flowing) and one charged my fenrusain wolves and eventually broke them when the wolves stopping getting lucky and wounding the monster.
Wolves Units of Note
Wolf Guard: For this game I put the terminator with a plasma armed Grey Hunter squad, while another wolf guard joined the other plasma armed wolf guard. I was scared that the drop podded wolf guard would be killed easily, so reduced their size, however I think this meant they found it hard to do their job of killing a key unit. The remaining 4 that came down in the drop took 5 wounds from 3 strikes but eventually died to the remaining 2 strikes (the unwounded strike charging ahead of the other to eat the overwatch). I think the unit is still good and they proved their worth over the tournament, but most of the time they need to drop at full strength. For example in one game they dropped and wiped out a 6 man bike squad with 2 grav guns and a combi grav as well as taking the attached captain on a bike to a single wound (the terminator also held up the captain in combat for a while as the captain had a relic blade, which I was surprised to find out is only ap3).
Anti-Air: Conspicuous by it's absence. This is a general problem that Space Wolves have, having no anti-air in their codex at all. A defence line and quad gun could help, prescience on the rune priest to twin-link long fangs could help, however until the Wolves get a new codex (luckily rumoured to be the end of this year) I am going to build up some Space Marines allies, mainly to take a Stalker and Skytalon which combined with a Quadgun should be fine anti air.
Long Fangs: As always 115 pts for 4 missile launchers were good, but with only 1 unit due to the tournament comp I was lacking in long range firepower (more a fault of my list design than the comp because I could have had a predator with auto cannon & 2 lascannons). Any increase in my army size will immediately put in another unit. Although I am jealous of the marines devastators who are now cheaper and can get free buffs with chapter tactics, eg. 5 devs with 4 missile launchers with (Imperial Fist's) tank hunters is 110 pts, and only 130 pts with 4 lascannons (Long Fangs with 4 Lascannons are 175).
Thunderwolves: While the fenrusian wolves were great with their huge number of attacks for their cheap price, the expensive thnderwolves were a bit inconsistent and never really shined for their points costs. I think this was probably due to their WS4 which is quite poor for an elite assault unit. I think putting my Rune Priest on a bike so he has the option of joining them and giving them precience could make them more reliable. At the end of the day I think while 50 pts each was good when they were were first released they are now a bit expensive (especially when you can get 3 space marines bikes for the less points). However if I take the thunderwolves out of my list the fenrusian wolves (which sometimes rely on the ld reroll given my being nearby the thunderwolves) should also go, meaning I would be better served changing the army to Vanilla Marines. So I will stay with Space Wolves and try to make them work. However that won't stop recruiting some Vanilla marines to help out other parts of the list.
That's all for now, next post will detail my performance and learnings for the tournament, and the next steps for my Wolves.
|[Picture by MMDFakewings18 (link)]|