Episode 51: Super Best Friends! (Chaos vs. Space Wolves 2000 Points)

Finally! This will be the week of games as I have three lined up and may go for four, the first of which was tonight. I managed to snag a game against Paul, a local that I don't know very well but who's been in the hobby for many years. He placed 2nd to me at the RTT I attended with a Space Wolf army using a Thunderhawk, Dreadnoughts and some other stuff but this time he was packing a much different build.

I took a heavily revised Chaos list that I wrote a recent Blog Post about, which I'm calling Super Best Friends. It revolves around Abaddon, Mortarin, and Magnus to do much of the work and I was eager to see how it performed. The list is VERY Chaos, raw power but very direct and a particular weakness to fast armies that can kite me. There aren't too many of those that are popular so I made kind of a meta call but guess what Paul was packing.....


Chaos

Abaddon (Warlord w/ Unholy Fortitude)
Demon Prince w/ 2x Malefic Talons, MoS, Intoxicating Elixir, Wings (Delightful Agonies)

40 Cultists
40 Cultists
40 Cultists

Magnus
Malefic Lord
Malefic Lord
Malefic Lord

Mortarion
Malefic Lord
Malefic Lord
Malefic Lord
Malefic Lord



Space Wolves

Ragnar Blackmane
Wolfpriest w/ Combi-Plasma

Loki the Trickster
5 Wulfen w/ 2 TH/SS, 1 Claws, 2 Axes
5 Wulfen w/ 2 TH/SS, 1 Claws, 2 Axes

5 Bloodclaws w/ 1 Battle Leader
5 Bloodclaws w/ 1 Battle Leader
5 Bloodclaws w/ 1 Battle Leader

6 Long Fangs w/ 3 Missile Launchers and 2 Plasma Cannons
Stormwolf
Stormwolf

Imperial Bunker



Scenario and Deployment
ITC Mission 5 | Search and Destroy

For this game we decided to use the ITC Beta Missions per my request, I want to test them this week and I will post a video with my thoughts once I have more experience with them. For now I think they're a step forward but still need more, that may evolve. If you aren't familiar with these they are freely available on the ITC Website.

This specific Scenario is great for me, I'm playing the far more aggressive army and it's unlikely I will ever lose the center. For Secondaries I chose Kingslayer (Wolf Priest), Headhunter, and Recon. Behind Enemy Lines is probably better than Kingslayer but I'm still not familiar with these. Paul chose Kingslayer (Magnus), Headhunter, and behind Enemy Lines. Originally he was going to take The Reaper but then I explained how Tide of Traitors work and that plan was quickly scrapped.

Table Quarters is not a good Deployment for me, Paul has all the mobility and all the long ranged shooting and table quarters is the worst variant to take that on. Paul also brought his open table/terrain which is extremely lacking in LoS block, in a tournament I would not play on this table but for a casual game I soldiered on. Put terrain on your tables, tons and tons and make sure it's tall! Terrain makes 8th Edition a game, never forget that.

I put all my Cultists up front with the Malefic Lords behind and Abaddon/Demon Prince taking the center. Mortarion and Magnus were center back, which is a mistake. I should have left room for Magnus at the tip of my deployment zone as he's the only thing I have against the Fliers.

Paul had very little, putting the Bunker near his Objective and the Stormwolves back a bit. Each Vehicle had a Bloodclaw unit, the Wulfen were split between the Stormwolves as was Loki and Ragnar. The Wolf Priest just hid behind the Bunker.

My goal for the game was to go heavy on Scenario. My big boys should occupy the guns for most of the game and there isn't enough anti-Infantry to clear my Cultists out. Without a coordinated Charge from multiple units it's not going to happen and I can recycle easily. If I go first the game is likely over as I can shrug off the Space Wolf Shooting, put my Primarchs in the middle and the dare Paul to make a move. If I go second the same strategy likely applies but it's less certain. To this end I should have either put both Primarchs as up front as possible, or more likely far back to spare me the Long Fang shooting.

I did end up losing the First Turn Roll and didn't Seize, so we'll see how I can cope with the big guns.


Space Wolves Turn 1

Movement Phase
Befitting the small army Paul has he moves the Storm Wolves up and the rest of the army huddles in the Binker. The Wolf Priest Advances up a bit although seemingly without a goal for the moment.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Without Psykers Paul starts his Shooting, putting all the big guns into Magnus and the Heavy Bolters Hellfrost Cannons into the Cultists/Mortarion. Magnus takes 1 Wound with both of us using a re-roll, I made an Invulnerable and Paul re-rolled Damage for a Krak Missile which stayed a one. I lost a few Cultists and two Wounds from Mortarion, overall extremely acceptable casualties.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
None of this on Turn 1 so we pass over to me.








Chaos Turn 1

Movement Phase
My army surges forward with an Advance from one Cultist unit while the others just follow behind. I make sure to bubble wrap my Characters as I've learned my lesson against Fliers, although there may be a play to bait Paul in. I don't think he'd fall for a few Malefic Lords, maybe the Demon Prince? I considered it but it felt like a reach.

Magnus moved towards the Storm Wolf at the top of the board while Mortarion kind of just hung out in the center. I should have Advanced him and made a line for the bunker, Mortarion can't catch the Storm Wolf so I should just go eat that Bunker on Turn 2-3 since that's most of the Space Wolf shooting.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
My Psychic Phase goes well with Magnus and Mortarion getting their self-buffs up, I also do 3 Wounds to the Storm Wolf with Smite and Warptime Magnus within 1" of it. Delightful Agonies fails to go off.

Shooting is very little, I do 1 Wound to the left Storm Wolf and two to the top, thanks Abaddon! Unfortunately my guns have very few targets this game unless I can crack a Vehicle.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Magnus Charges the Storm Wolf without taking any damage but leaves it on 2 Wounds with some bad rolls. I missed a hit, even with the re-roll, and failed three Wound rolls even with a Command Point, needing 2's. At least the Storm Wolf is hitting on 5's now but my plan was to crack one open and start enabling the Cultists. Oh well.






Space Wolves Turn 2

Movement Phase
The damaged Storm Wolf hightails it back to Paul's corner, as does the other. Before that the Wulfen disembark, hoping to help with Magnus. Paul is clearly on the kiting plan and seemed to not expect my threat range, although I control the entire board now.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Shooting goes all into Magnus and I fail several key Invulnerable Saves which leaves me with 12 Wounds. It could have been worse but the Wulfen hit extremely hard with multiple damage and high Strength on most of them, they also have Storm Shields to tank my hits.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
The Wulfen Charge and do a monstrous 7 Wounds to Magnus, leaving me on just 5. My Attacks back only kill one Wulfen as Storm Shields absorb three Wounds and some good Feel No Pain Rolls absorb two. This did kill the model with the Claws, I guess Paul figured his luck on the Shields was running out and wanted to keep them around for their flat 3 Damage.

Score | 3-0 for Space Wolves




Chaos Turn 2

Movement Phase
I consider Falling Back with Magnus but it won't make a difference so we press on. Mortarion moves on top of the large building while my Cultists keep moving forward. I leave 1-2 Malefic Lords exposed this time as a minor bait but I do cover some angles to be on the safe side. I think I should have Advanced Mortarion but I was hoping for an ~8" Charge.

I'm also able to grab the center Objective so I can start scoring that which is one of the advantages of going second in the new ITC Missions. I also grab all four table quarters for Recon which stays true to my goal for the game.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Again the Psychic Phase is great as I melt 3 Wulfen and Death Hex the remaining two with Storm Shields. Delightful Agonies goes on the NW Cultists and Mortarion/Magnus get their buffs up yet again.

Shooting doesn't do much, I put 1 Wound on the Bunker which is meaningless.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Magnus dismisses the remaining two Wulfen as their Storm Shields turn off and he Advances 3" towards the Storm Wolves. Unfortunately Mortarion failed his Charge so he's really struggling to get up the board. In hindsight I should have swapped Warptime onto the Demon Prince with Chaos Familiar and moved him up, I just didn't think of it at the time.

I score Recon and the Bonus Objective which will be hard to shift me off of for the rest of the game.

Score | 2-3 for Space Wolves




Space Wolves Turn 3

Movement Phase
Loki and his Bloodclaws get out of the damaged Storm Wolf which moves back to the very corner of the table. The other flies across to my table quarter, probably hoping to drop off its cargo before it's too late. The Infantry that got out head for Magnus, Paul is getting desperate to bring him down.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Again every big gun goes at Magnus although Paul makes a positional error and is out of range with both Hellfrost Cannons, one goes at Cultists but the other has no targets. Magnus passes every Invulnerable Save, also shrugging off some Plasma shots and Bolt Pistols from the assembled Infantry. I do lose a few Cultists but they're still under no threat.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Both Loki and the Bloodclaws fail their Charge into Magnus and Paul decides against using any re-rolls. Magnus still being alive is really starting to tilt the game, Mortarion is barely scratched and the game is half over!

Score | 2-3 for Space Wolves





Chaos Turn 3

Movement Phase
Well I didn't expect Magnus to last after the Turn 2 beating he took but not I hope to leverage him as much as I can. To that end both him and Mortarion move up, two of my Cultist units turn back to defend the Characters and screen for the Charges likely coming my way from Ragnar and Co. I do keep moving one Cultist unit forward with the Demon Prince, Abaddon is centered to keep the Morale bubble going and give re-rolls to my backline.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
My buffs go up again in the Psychic Phase while Smites from Magnus and Mortarion kill all the Bloodclaws. I put as many Smites as I can into the unharmed Storm Wolf but leave it with 4 Wounds, some spikes could have dropped it but I'll take the result. Delightful Agonies goes up once again on the front Cultists.

Shooting strips 1 Wound off the Storm Wolf to drop it to BS 5, which effectively makes it useless. I do have the cargo to deal with but my Primarchs essentially run the board now and Mortarion is certainly never going down.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Magnus makes a Charge into both Loki and the Wolf Priest, taking no damage. Mortarion fails again and I have no opportunity to fish for a re-roll.

Magnus puts 3 Attacks into each target and kills both, Paul used a re-roll on the Wolf Priest but still failed the Invulnerable. Loki's bomb special rule failed to go off, I had a re-roll saved for it but it wasn't needed. This nets me 2 Points for Headhunter and 2 Points for Kingslayer. I also still hold the center Objective and Recon so I'm starting to rack up the points.

Score | 8-3 for Chaos


Space Wolves Turn 4

Movement Phase
Everyone gets out of the barely flying Storm Wolf who enters Hover Mode and moves right in front of Abaddon for a desperation run. The other Storm Wolf also moves away from Magnus, a bit south of the Bunker.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
Once more the Long Fangs and the Storm Wolf pour into Magnus but he survives with 1 Wound! Paul is not pretty on tilt which I cannot blame him for, he does throw some shots into Abaddon but they all miss. I lose a couple Cultists to Pistols and Heavy Bolters but I'm still not worried for them.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Two Malefic Lords get Charged by the Wulfen while Ragnar and the Bloodclaws Charge the Cultists. The Storm Wolf also Charges the Cultists to absorb their Overwatch, taking no damage. Abaddon and two Malefic Lords Heroic Intervention onto the Storm Wolf.

Paul starts with the Bloodclaws knowing I can attack with the Cultists if he doesn't, I take 11 casualties but manage to pull Ragnar out of combat. Both Malefic Lords die and the Storm Wolf does nothing before Abaddon punches it with his Powerfist, losing a Wound to his sword. Fortunantely the Storm Wolf doesn't explode.

Score | 8-6 for Chaos








Chaos Turn 4

Movement Phase
Time to put the nail in the coffin. Magnus and Mortarion move towards the Bunker while I move my Cultists into Rapid Fire range of the remaining Space Wolves. The far unit continues to hold the center, I really having nothing to do with them.

My Cultist unit in Combat recycles out of Combat and into Rapid Fire range of the Space Wolves on my side of the table.

Psychic & Shooting Phase
My buffs go up and Mortarion gets Warp Time to stop 1" from the Bunker and the Storm Wolf. He Smites the Storm Wolf to death, it doesn't explode. Smites kill all the Wulfen and all the Bloodclaws, leaving just Ragnar remaining.

Since it was getting late I skip shooting.

Charge, Fight, & Morale Phase
Mortarion Charges the Bunker and reduces it to rubble, it doesn't explode. Three Bloodclaws die in the wreckage. I attempted to Charge Ragnar with Abaddon but fail, taking no damage.

Score | 10-6 for Chaos




Remaining Turns

Paul uses his last turn to try and kill Magnus. I tank all the shooting and Bloodclaw attacks, using my last Command Points to interrupt the Chargers and kill all but 2 Long Fangs. In a fitting end to the game the last two manage to kill Magnus.

On my turn Mortarion kills all the Space Wolves on the left with Psychic Powers and Ragnar dies to Smite after having chopped up one more Malefic Lord.

Victory for Chaos!




Post-Game Thoughts



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