There have been many famous rivalries which have echoed through the ages, Alexander and Darius, Caesar and Pompey, Pepsi and Coke. Today, a new chapter is added in the battle of Good Wolf and Bad Wolf.
The mission was Capture and Control, or as it is better known, that draw mission. The deployment was Pitched Battle, which generally benefits Space Wolf players. In this case, neither side would gain undue advantage.
Good Wolf has focused on three Rhino-borne Grey Hunter squads, tooled for close combat. Three of these are backed by Rune Priests and all have tooled up Wolf Guard. The fire support is provided by three units of Long Fangs and two Land Speeders.
Bad Wolf has a slight Razorspam ethos. Three squads of Long Fangs provide fire support, alongside their twin-linked lascannon toting Razorbacks. Two Grey Hunters squads in Rhinos are joined by Rune Priests. Two smaller Grey Hunter squads have twin-linked assault cannon Razorbacks and there is one small foot squad of Grey Hunters to babysit home objectives. Two scout units with requisite Wolf Guard fill out the force.
“Sir, this layout makes no sense. What deranged urban planner designed this bizarre and inefficient settlement? “
“Shut up, trooper, ours is not to question the Emperor, just gather the rest of the squad. We’re going take that hilly ruined city industrial farm complex. For the Emperor.”
Good Wolf goes for a more aggressive position. Placing his objective almost directly across from its counterpart and as far forward as possible. His axis of advance is now clearly highlighted. Will his bravery be rewarded?
On his left, Bad Wolf deploys a Rhino, packed with Grey Hunters and a Rune Priest with three TLLC Razorbacks in close proximity. His Long Fangs take advantage of the hilly terrain and dig in.
On the left, an identical Rhino is supported by two TLAC Razorbacks. The remaining Long Fangs move into a wheat field. The Scouts are held in reserve and ordered to outflank. His deployment clearly intends to create a killing ground in the space between the objectives. But the deployment of the Rhino squads forward also suggests that an advance is intended.
Not pictured: Bad Wolf Commander not remembering that wheat fields only grant a 5+ cover save.
The hills are alive with the sound of missiles being loaded into launchers. Two Long Fang squads spread out to minimise losses. Behind the hill, two Rhinos carrying Grey Hunters and Rune Priests, skulk alongside a Land Speeder. Going second has forced Good Wolf to use whatever cover is available.
The Good Wolves grab what cover they can even at the cost of splitting their force. Another two Rhinos, containing large Grey Hunter squads tooled for assault, position themselves to screen from incoming fire. The last Land Speeder slips in behind a vehicle and the Long Fangs spread out, ensuring at least half of the squad is in cover.
Not pictured: Good Wolf Commander not realising that he’s blocked his own advance with the Long Fangs.
Bad Wolf moves his forces forward and blasts away with rockets, psychic powers and lascannons. The assault cannons thankfully fall short of their targets. On the left, one Rhino is wrecked and the other is stunned.
On the right, the lead Long Fangs are lashed by Living Lightning and missiles, losing their sergeant and three men. The central squad loses a single man. The Land Speeder explodes, a Rhino is immobilised and the other is stunned. The Good Wolf offensive is throughly suppressed but losses could have been heavier.
With their vehicles completely stalled, Good Wolf decides that a shooting match is the only recourse. The Grey Hunters disembark, allowing their Rune Priests to begin casting Living Lightning.
The surviving Land Speeder rush forward on the left, to gain a cover save from turbo-boosting and threatening to flame the Long Fang squad on the Bad Wolf right.
The Good Wolves steady themselves and systematically tear apart the vehicles in the open. The confident advance of Bad Wolf has left his vehicles rather exposed. Good Wolf finds angles that deny cover and this coupled with lucky rolls on his psychic powers has a devastating effect. Both Rhinos are wrecked, spilling their passengers into the open and ending the possibility of assault troops reaching Good Wolf’s line. Two Long Fangs are lost from the central squad to opportunistic fire. The lead TLAC Razorback explodes, killing a passenger and its partner is wrecked, causing the passengers to become pinned.
Bad Wolf has lost all his short-ranged transports and is now committed to a static defence.
His scouts fail to arrive and Bad Wolf focuses on forming a battle line and he deliberately targets Good Wolf’s mobility. The Land Speeder jinks through heavy fire, relying on excellent luck to survive but eventually loses its heavy flamer to a missile.
Good Wolf’s losses are limited to a single Rhino as the enemy fails to hit home. This does however leave the Grey Hunters trapped on this hill. Any advance into the open will see them decimated by krak missiles.
The Land Speeder turboboosts into the heart of the enemy to draw further fire. Good Wolf needs to eliminate the Long Fangs to safely advance. His firepower has the desired effect and Bad Wolf’s Long Fangs are shredded. Only two survive on the right as krak missiles punish them for their poor cover saves.
Losses on Bad Wolf’s left are also severe as only five missile launchers survive between both squads and a Razorback loses its main armament. The damage was again inflicted by a combination of living lightning and krak missiles.
A single squad of Bad Wolf Scouts arrive on the right flank and move to attack the greatly reduced Long Fangs. The result is a draw as one Long Fang is hacked down and one Scout falls in turn. The lack of power weapon on the Wolf Guard is to blame. However, Bad Wolf indicates that a drawn combat suits him well.
The Land Speeder again, ducks missile after missile. A melta gunner suffers a dangerous terrain mishap and dies attempting to reach it. But his squadmates finally bring it down with rapid-firing bolters.
A unit of Grey Hunters attempts a rescue, the Rune Priest peels off to join the nearby Long Fangs, and the troops surge forward. Too late to save the last Long Fang, they settle for revenge. The Scouts are wiped out and the Grey Hunters retake the objective.
The previous turn saw Good Wolf create a “Long Fang Gap” and the end result can be seen above. The Long Fangs in the wheat are eliminated and their colleagues fall back after taking losses.
The Grey Hunters are in position to begin an advance but without transport, it will likely be too slow.
With his units largely hiding behind cover and limited opportunities to fire back, their hopes rest with the two functioning Razorbacks. Having watched its efforts to self-repair with alarm, they fire on the best target. The long immobilised Rhino finally explodes, into wreckage rather like a piece of paper. Eerie.
Snecting weakness, Good Wolf throws in an offensive. One foot slogging squad advances on the right and another hops into the remaining Rhino and drives forward. His shooting phase is kind and most repositioned Long Fangs are blasted to goo. With the enemy’s ability to stop him reduced to one Long Fang and one Rune Priest, he hopes for a long game and a chance at victory.
Bad Wolf: Turn 5
Good Wolf: Turn 5
With his remaining transport brought to a halt by enemy fire just inside the central forest, the Good Wolf orders his Grey Hunters to disembark and advance on front. They cannot reach the enemy objective but perhaps they can get within shooting range and hope for a miracle.
Good Wolf: Turn 6
Good Wolf maintains the advance and attempts to clear a path to the objective. A damaged Razorback explodes leaving its contents in the open. But the passengers hold their ground despite the loss of a marine. The harassing Rune Priest on the left is finally put down by missile fire.
With the game at an end, Bad Wolf focuses on clogging the objective with as many bodies and vehicles as possible. Good Wolf advances into shooting range but after a game of lucky shots, the Emperor can do no more and the various weapons rattle against power armour and armour with no effect. The game ends in a draw with Good Wolf scraping a 12-8 win on VP totals.*