In the spirit of the upcoming Curse of Wulfen, we did something similar to the Dark Angels hunting the Space Wolves kind of thing, and as the Space Wolves are fleeing from the Dark Angels, the Draconian Armored Defense Force is hot on their heels after being dispatched to pursue them. So the objectives are power points for the Space Wolves to charge their stuff, or something like that.
We rolled off, I got to go first, and my opponent failed to seize the initiative. Anyway, here's our list.
|Draconian Armored Defense Force|
That's the core of my Cadian Battle Group (think of them as Draconian Battle Group). Battle Group Command is a bare company command squad hiding inside a Chimera, with the company commander holding a Wrath of Cadia pistol. Pointless, he did nothing in the end. Oh well. Anyway, to round the Cadian Battle Group off, I have a super-heavy element - the giant Stormsword super-heavy tank you see up there, in the middle, as well as a Militarum Tempestus Platoon. My storm troopers, or Kamikaze Troopers as they are known in my Draconian fluff. The Militarum Tempestus platoon consisted of a single command squad with 4 meltaguns, who stayed in Deep Strike reserve, a 5-men squad with 2 hot-shot volley guns inside a Taurox Prime with twin-linked Taurox gatling cannon and twin-linked hot-shot volley gun, and a 10-men squad with 2 hot-shot volley guns. Yay.
|Space Wolves - drop pods and drop ships. They're sending in the infantry|
|Space Wolves infantry|
|Emperor's Fist Armored Company|
|Fear the Stormsword!|
I went first, and it was a good round of shooting. Mostly. I was eager to fire off the Apocalyptic Blast template with the S10 AP1 Ignores Cover Stormsword siege cannon...only for the whole thing to scatter off the board. Damn it. Anyway, comhined fire from the lascannons and heavy bolters, as well as from my Taurox Prime which made use of its fast vehicle rule to run 12" up the table, I managed to decimate the Long Fang squad until there was only 1 guy left. Ouch. Poor dude.
On the other side of the table, my Leman Russ Executioner, and combined fire from all my Leman Russ Punishers, wiped out a 2nd Long Fang squad and I got first blood. Not bad at all. Hmm...I think my Leman Russ Vanquisher killed a single Thunderwolf calvary guy with his Vanquisher cannon and lascannon shot, while my Leman Russ battle tank, like his Stormsword superior, scattered his battle cannon blast off the table. Damn it. The Tech-priest Enginseer used Power of the Machine Spirit to get the Leman Russ Battle Tank to fire his lascannon at the last surviving Long Fang guy, but he went to ground and had a 2+ cover save. Oh well.
I had drawn secure Objective 3, and thanks to my Storm Troopers camping inside the building with Objective 3, I scored a point. Add First Blood to that, and I have 2 points. Yay.
My opponent's turn came and he dropped 3 drop pods right in front of my tanks, as you can see below. Unfortunately, the black drop pod carrying his Dreadnaught scattered right off the table, and rolling a 6 on the Deep Strike Mishap table meant it returned to ongoing rserves. Anyway, the 2 Grey Hunter or tactical squads poured out and fired at my tanks. First, the drop pods killed my Tech-priest Enginseer with relentless storm bolter fire, and then the melta and combi-melta destroyed a weapon on my Leman Russ Battle Tank - the battle cannon of all things - and immobilized it with only 1 hull point left while the other squad fluffed their shots. Meaning the meltagun missed the Leman Russ Executioner while the combi-melta rolled a combined value of 4 to be unable to glance the AV13 side of my Leman Russ Executioner. Saved!
I can't remember what my opponent drew. I think it was secure Objective 2 or something, and he had it, so the score was 2-1 in my favor.
|Drop pods in front of my tanks|
I continued destroying the Space Wolves, while drawing Secure Objective 3 and Secure Objective 2. To get Objective 2, I Deep Strike my Storm Trooper command squad into the ruins, but they scattered right outside. Thank goodness for Move Through Cover, because they automatically passed Dangerous Terrain tests. Yay. I pivoted my Leman Russ Punisher around to shoot the tactical squad, and the other guy to get ready to shoot the Thunderwolf Calvary. Meanwhile, my Taurox Prime moved up to capture Objective 6 even though I didn't draw it. Well, that's that, I guess. Huh.
My Stormsword moved up and fired a huge blast down on the Thunderwolves calvary, and the S10 AP1 scary thing actually obliterated 3 of them. Instant Death! Woohoo! Unfortunately. I rolled a one, so one survived. On the other hand, it also meant my Leman Russ Punisher was out of range from the last guy. Whoops. Well, no worries.
My Leman Russ Executioner glanced himself with one roll of one, but he killed 3 of the Grey Hunters that had tried to shoot him earlier. Hah! The Leman Russ Battle Tank fluffed his lascannon shot and did absolutely nothing, so it was up to the 2 Leman Russ Punisher to kill 3 of his tactical squad, because they made most of their saves. Ouch. Only 3, despite all that dakka.
My Leman Russ Vanquisher then fired on one drop pod and absolutely wrecked it with his Vanquisher cannon and lascannon. Hooray!
The Taurox Prime, aftering securing Objective 6, killed the last remaining Long Fang. Unfortunately, the worst thing happened - my Storm Trooper command squad fired their melta guns into the Rune Priest, who sneered at them and made all his cover saves. WHAT THE HELL!?
Anyway, I earned one point from here, for securing objective 3. 3-1. For now.
My opponent's turn came. Then everything changed.
2 Drop Pods made it, with 1 not coming in. Both didn't scatter and landed right in front of my Chimera and Storm Troopers, with a 10-men Grey Hunter squad and a Dreadnaught lumbering out. My opponent had drawn Kingslayer, you see, and he was out for blood. Wow. I think he had another secure the objective thing, which he got. Anyway, BOTH his Stormfangs came on. And this was where everything went to hell for me.
In just 1 round of shooting...yes, just 1 round...both Stormfangs fire all 4 of their twin-linked multi-melta guns into my Stormsword, and with so many Explodes! results, they tore through all 9 hull points of my super-heavy tank and blew him up. Vicious. Utterly vicious. I couldn't help but stare in disbelief.
His Grey Hunters didn't do much to the Chimera, but it was his Dreadnaught that blew it up with his multi-melta, then incinerating all 4 company command squad dudes with his heavy flamer (1 died when the Chimera blew up). I lost a couple of my Storm Troopers to both that heavy flamer and the storm bolters as well, and they failed their morale test and fled 5". Right to the tip of the table. Wow. Scary.
The Thunderwolf Calvary, the last guy, came charging in and tore my Leman Russ Punisher apart. Ouch. The 2 survivors from the 2 squads each charged my tanks, but while one ripped apart my poor Leman Russ Executioner tank, the other 2 did absolutely nothing to my Leman Russ Vanquisher despite hurling their krak grenades at him. Hah!
The Rune Priest, having casted Prescience on himself, killed a guy with his storm bolter, and then charged the Storm Trooper Command squad. We did absolutely nothing to him in combat, and he wiped out all 4 of them by himself in a single assault phase. And despite overewatching with 4 guys, I rolled all ones and twos, and not a single six. What's worse, a single six (and a subsequent 2) from a meltagun would have instant death the guy. Damn it. Just damn it.
Kingslayer brought my opponent D3 points and he rolled a 5, meaning he has 3+1+1. That meant he had 5 to my 3 points. That turn was brutal and just turned everything around.
My fleeing Storm Troopers rallied and managed to move back 6" into Objective 3. I drew a few more Secure Objective cards, one of which is Secure Objective 5, so I moved my remaining Leman Russ Punisher up to capture Objective 5. My Taurox Prime gunned away from the Stormfangs, trying to escape their merciless multi-meltas. Argh. I hate those things. I should have brought anti-air, but I was banking on having one of the objectives be a Skyfire nexus, and I didn't get that. Oh well. That sucked.
I tried to retaliate as best as I can, with my Leman Russ Vanquisher ramming the drop pod and stripping one hull point off it. But that was all I could do, though the combined ram and tank shock tossed the 2 guys who failed to hurt him with their lousy krak grenades away. Ha ha ha! However, after ramming the drop pod, the Leman Russ Vanquisher fluffed both his Vanquisher cannon and lascannon shots, with me rolling twos for BOTH of them! Did the targeting system go haywire after ramming or something?
My Leman Russ Punisher punished the surviving Thunderwolf calvary guy for killing his other Punisher buddy by hosing him with so many S5 shots the guy finally wilted, thus earning me Objective 5. Hah!
The Storm Troopers killed 3 of the Grey Hunters with their AP3 shots, but I already knew they wouldn't survive the heavy flamer from the Dreadnaught. Well, they already did me a massive service by earning me 2 invaluable VPs by securing Objective 3 twice. I can't ask for more.
I then had my Taurox Prime fire his Gatling cannon and hot-shot volley gun at the Rune Priest and killed him under the weight of so many shots. He finally died! Damn bastard. That earned me Slay the Warlord, and I at least took revenge on my opponent for achieving Kingslayer the last turn. Argh.
Unfortunately, that was all I could do. I had drawn Secure Objective 2 and Objective 4, both of which were firmly in my opponent's grasp...until I slaughtered the Rune Priest, so Objective 2 is actually open now. Yay. I did get Objective 5, so that was one point, and with Slay the Warlord, I earned 2 points to bring my tally up to a meager 5.
Unfortunately, my opponent continued to destroy me. His final, remaining drop pod landed right in front of Objective 5, and with their melta gun and combi-melta, they immobilized my poor Leman Russ Punisher who was sitting right on top of it. NOOO!
He moved 2 of his guys up to capture Objective 1 as he drew that, and I think he drew Objective 3 as well, and Objective 5.
The Stormfangs split up, with one flying toward me and destroying my immobilized Leman Russ Battle Tank. The other dropped to hover mode and blew up my Taurox Prime, and the explosion, as well as storm bolter fire from the drop pod that just landed on Objective 5, killed about 2 of them. Ouch. They passed their leadership, I believe. Anyway, the worst thing was still my poor Storm Troopers. They got incinerated by the Dreadnaught's heavy flamer, and the only 2 guys remaining were taken down by melta and boltgun fire from the tactical squad. So they got wiped out.
My opponent earned 3 points in this turn, thus turning the score to 5-8 in his favor.
Well, the game was winding up and we both knew it was my loss, but we decided to play one last turn for fun to see if I can do any more damage. Yay.
I had drawn Secure Objective 1, so I had my Leman Russ Vanquisher tank shock the 2 Space Wolves sitting on Objective 1 and chase them off while grabbing it. He then fired on the hovering Storm Fang, but unfortunately didn't do anything - I scored a penetrating hit, but it made its cover save since it was hovering behind some Ruins. What....
My 3 surviving Storm Troopers walked, and then ran to Objective 2, securing it for me in the absence of the now late Rune Priest. My Leman Russ Punisher fired off one last round of defiance, taking out about 3 of the Space Wolves that had immobilized him earlier. With these guys being my only models left on the table, there wasn't anything for me to do, but I at least earned 2 points to plug the score 7-8.
My opponent didn't draw many cards that he could use - for example, I had no buildings or bulwarks and he was required to destroy them. I also have no Psyker, while he had kill the Witch or something. The only thing he could actually get was Tank Hunter or something, if he was lucky, so we called the game. It was clear that it was his victory. I had not enough units left to overtake him, and while I decimated the infantry, his 2 flyers were in ascendancy. Oh well.
The game then ended 8-9, because both of us have Linebreaker. Small consolation, that. Oh well.
So the Space Wolves, despite suffering horrific casualties in the first couple of turns, managed to claw their way back to victory (claws and wolves), and once both their flyers came onto the board, their ascendancy was never in doubt. Losing that Stormsword was a big blow for me. Perhaps next time I should bring my 3 Vendetta gunships in place of a Stormsword. They might be able to take down the Stormfangs and kill the Dreadnaught and stuff. I hope. I'll never know. Sigh.
Oh, and the Cadian Battle Group isn't as bad as most people say it is. Sure, it's not competitive, but it was fun, it was fluffy, and it did a good job. This game was much closer than my last Imperial Guard game where my Guardsmen were absolutely slaughtered and torn apart by the Space Wolves. They put up a good fight here and did quite a lot of damage. The Storm Troopers, especially, were awesome. With the exception of the melta command squad, which was a huge fail (how did 4 meltaguns not kill a single Rune Priest?!), they actually punched above their weight and took out a lot of Long Fangs and the Rune Priest, as well as a sizeable number of Grey Hunters. The Taurox Prime epecially was very useful, running from Objective to Objective and unleashing heavy firepower. I should have more of it! It was great!
We'll continue to see how this Cadian Battle Group (or Draconian Battle Group) continue to perform in the near future. I really like this army, and I'm looking forward to playing more with it!
For the Emperor!