So I attended a great 2 day 5 game 1850 tourney over the bank holiday weekend called Clash of the Titans.
Let me first say that this was an excellent event thanks to the combination of the number of people that attended, the venue and the quality of the other players there – and by quality I mean quality of character, not having mad 40k skillz!
I took a list that was considered not too dirty as I wanted to test a couple of things in a competitive environment, namely: Many small units of Thunderwolf Cavalry (MSU TWC) and the Ulrik firebase!
CAD – Codex: Space Wolves
HQ1 – Ulrik the Slayer, Warlord 
HQ2 – Rune Priest (60), Helm of Durfast (20) 
Elite1 – 5 Wolf Scouts (70), Sniper Rifles (5) 
Elite2 – Iron Priest (55), Thunderwolf Mount (50), Bolt Pistol (-), 2 Cyberwolves (30) 
Elite3 – Iron Priest (55), Thunderwolf Mount (50), Bolt Pistol (-), 2 Cyberwolves (30) 
Troop1 – 5 Bloodclaws (60), Stormwolf (215), 2 TL Multi-Meltas (20) 
Troop2 – 5 Bloodclaws (60) 
Fast1 – 3 Thunderwolf Cavalry (120), Bolt Pistol + Chainsword (-) 
Fast2 – 3 Thunderwolf Cavalry (120), Bolt Pistol + Chainsword (-) 
Fast3 – 3 Thunderwolf Cavalry (120), Bolt Pistol + Chainsword (-) 
Heavy1 – 6 Long Fangs (90), 5 Lascannon (100) 
Heavy2 – Predator (75), 2 Lascannon Sponsons (40), Autocannon (-) 
Heavy3 – Predator (75), 2 Lascannon Sponsons (40), Autocannon (-) 
Fortification: Stronghold Assault
Imperial Bastion (50), Quad-Gun (50), 2 Barricades (20) 
Total: 1850 points
The Ulrik Firebase was the bastion at the back end of my deployment zone usually hugging the table edge with a barricade on either side. Barricades would provide 4+ cover to a pred on each side. Lascannon Long Fangs and sniper Scouts inside and on the battlements. Ulrik would join the squad inside and the Helm of Durfast Rune Priest would attach himself to the unit on top and man the Quad-Gun. If facing a lot of Monsterous Creatures the snipers would instead go inside to give monster hunter to them via Ulrik.
Because of Ulrik this Firebase ALL had Prefered Enemy (Everything) from Ulrik, a 6″ bubble which extended from the hull off the Bastion. Furthermore there was a 12″ stubborn bubble emanating also.
The MSU TWC had the options of starting off all separate or joining together and some of them could be held in reserve if desired. They were playing off their inherent value for money at 40 points per base model.
So the idea would be I would shoot stuff like crazy to whittle down my opponents, let them come to me if they were better at combat or go to them otherwise. TWC would be so feared they would take all the firepower (fine), leaving my Blood Claws and StormGrr to sweep in turn 2+ to claim objectives etc.
Post Game Thoughts
The Firebase was epic. Truly. Ulrik via his rerolls probably caused more deaths than all the TWC put together! He was easily MVP. Granted the whole Firebase costs 865 points so it should be capable of doing something.
In all but one of my games the Bastion itself was largely ignored, with it only getting destroyed once by some lucky Wraithknight turn 1 D (using previous codex). The sheer volume of lascannons with PE ruined most things. The preds being preds were ignored with 4 deaths the whole touny.
The Rune Priest was lackluster TBH. I rolled him on Divination and found that prescience was largely duplicative considering BS4, PE and the already twin-linked Quad-Gun. The other buffs were so short range that there was rarely a good target. Furthermore, against any psyker heavy army I was just dispelled for fun – Demons!
Whilst on paper the ignores cover, twin-linked, prefered enemy, S7 AP4 quad-gun looks great, there were many armies that just weren’t scared of it. Yes it wrecked Venoms. Yes it kept Eldar jet bikes 48″+ away from me. Yes it scared my opponents. However really it did nothing of any note. Snap shooting at ground targets sucks. There are not many fliers in the meta. And hiding from it with your squishy objective takers was too easy. I consider the RP+QG to have been a sub-par use of 130 points – especially when the Bastion blew up!
The only good thing about the RP was the deny rolls however. IF only i’d taken a psychic hood and the whole Firebase would have had a 4+ deny which would have helped a lot against all those flickering fires, melta beams and Eldritch Storms hitting me!
The MSU TWC were good and bad. Because they were bare bones I quickly found them to be no hard enough to take most things on. Consequently the first 2 turns were spent with me hiding them near to my deployment zone and using them as a counter attack force. This they excelled at actually. However, they NEED storm shields. Their regular attacks rock a S5 rending so my intention in future is to give them all a shield. 7 1/2 points for a 3++ per wound is well worth it. Their ability to Look Out Sir wounds all over the place was brilliant too as I was able to save so many models from death with this. THC combined with Thunderwolf Iron Priests and Cyberwolves are brilliant but this is nothing new.
The fear factor of the TWC really played into my hands though as my opponents were chucking everything at them leaving my Firebase unscathed. Played reservedly they proved very resilient, T5 and 3+ with 4+ cover when not rushed straight into the fray was tougher for my opponents to deal with that I expected.
Oh and IP Runic Armour rocks. They can at times tank like a boss.
My second MVP was surprisingly the StormGrr. Now whilst it did not kill a lot, the fact that it was an Objective Secured flier straight out won me two games that I would have lost if it hadn’t have been for this surprising little devil with last turn objective grabbing/stealing! This was partly because my opponents didn’t factor this into their plans.
It became apparent to me that this list had some significant weakness above what I have already mentioned above.
No first turn scalpel – In most games you can really use a T1 pod of plasma/melta death in your opponent’s deployment zone to get that scary tank / Wraith Knight / Keeper of Secrets.
Limited access to the backfield – You need units that can rock up in your opponent’s backfield unopposed to clear him off objectives. I’m thinking outflanking, deep striking etc. The TWC just didn’t get that far without hitting something on the way.
Demons – My 2 losses were both to demons. Some combination of Plague Drones, Heralds, Flying Demon Princes, Keeper of Secrets and Screamers in my face with cheap backfield objective hunters in the form of Nurglings or infinitely summoned Horrors! I got totally owned from T1 on both occassions. It was too hard to hurt them through their invisibility (even comped so you can only hit on a 6), Endurance (4+ FNP), Shrouded+jinking 2+ cover, toe in terrain 2+ cover and 2++ rerollable Tzeench invulnerable saves. Other than getting into his back field I do not know at this time how to best face demons and I will probably ask for help on this in another thread.
All in all a brilliant tourney which saw me firmly beating a Dark Eldar ravager, venom, jet bike, deepstriking winged haywire / melta things and raiders with Slith and blasterborn. A Deathwing Terminator and Landraider army, a tactical victory over an Eldar triple Wraith Knight with Serpents list and losing to the aforementioned two demon players.
All the players were great fun to play with and I must apologise again to Matt Edmonds who had to wait 30 minutes for me to turn up for my game LATE! I apologised at the time by letting him wipe me……… er yeah.
Also a thanks to Sam who introduced me to Turkish Pizza when 10 of us went for food together in Finchley after the 1st day of gaming and to Overlordian Jason who aptly inferred that I was a ball bag when I suggested he may have enjoyed the lamb testicles on the menu.
Thanks again to Titan Chris who organised the even at Titans Wargaming Club and thanks to everyone else there.
See you all next time.
Be sure to check out the Titan’s facebook page where they have posted a lot of fantastic pictures from the weekend. Chris does some amazing work that beats much of what even Visions created! My StormGrr bearing down on Paulie’s Dark Eldar Raider full of Slith for example!