I took the Eldar, Lee took the Space Wolves.
Yes, I have an Eldar army! But more on this in another post.
I'd spent quite a while devising 2 army lists which would have synergy, compensate for one another's weaknesses, maximise on each race's strengths and generally kick arse.
And I confidently feel, that without resorting to outright cheese, that this was one of the best tactical lists at the event.
We were allowed to take 800pts each, a Minimum of 1 HQ and 1 Troops choice and no more than 1 Lord of War.
So here's what we took.
Lee's Space Wolves: 800pts
Wolf Guard Battle Leader: (Warlord)
Thunderwolf Mount, Runic Armour, Storm Shield, Thunder Hammer
Thunderwolf Mount, 4 Cyberwolves
3 Thunderwolf Cavalry:
3 Storm Shields, 1 Powerfist
3 Thunderwolf Cavalry:
3 Storm Shields, 1 Powerfist
5 Blood Claws:
Adam's Eldar: 800pts
Jetbikes, Singing Spear, Spirit Stone of Anath'lan
2 Heavy D Cannons
The Blood Claws are there to hold an objective. The Thunderwolf Cavalary, Wolf Guard Battle Leader and Iron Priest are all there to be fast, tough and hard hitting in close combat. The perfect parallel to the fast, fragile and firepower focused Eldar.
The Jetbikes are there to fly about at the back and lend covering fire the Thunderwolves, taking out threats that the wolves cannot reach at range.
The Warp Hunter was taken to target the units we cannot see with its Barrage D3+1 D-Flail.
Finally, the Wraith Knight was designed purely to move 12" and fire its Heavy D Cannons in order to eliminate artillery, tanks, Knights and artillery that could case the Thunderwolves problems. And he absolutely excelled in this role.
Because both armies can move 12" this is a very fast force which we deployed with a 'feint' or sudden change of direction in mind.
After all, why batter your 1600pts of your army against your opponent's 1600pts 'wall', when you can reposition to one flank and throw your 1600pts at 800pts of the enemy to secure victory instead?
Game 1: Big Guns Never Tire
Armies: Elysian / Astra Militarum
Players: Tom / Sam
Tom and Sam were so much fun to play against. Just what we needed for our first game!
We were facing an army of Elysian Drop Troops in Valkyries, with a Vulture, 2 buggies, Drop Sentinel and a variety of Astra Militarum tanks, led by Tank Commander Pask in a Punisher.
Basically, we expected to get shot - a lot!
We won the roll off, deploying first and taking the first turn.
The Thunderwolves surged forward, do the left flank, while the Wraith Knight blew Pask's tank apart in a spectacular explosion!
A squad of Jetbikes zoomed up the right flank, securing an objective, while the Blood Claws claimed another objective.
The Imperials were on the ropes from Turn 1 and their forces were decimated by the end of Turn 3.
However, we ran out of time and the Imperials had done better than us on claiming objectives by the end of the game, resulting in a draw.
Had the game run it's full course, we expected to have completely wiped out the Astra Militarum.
Game 2: Purge the Alien
Armies: Tyranids / Tyranids
Players: Simon / Jack
Having faced Tyranids many times before, I knew that we would need to pick our targets carefully.
Take out the big stuff, but ensure we don't get swamped by the little stuff.
Simon and Jack had brought a Hive Tyrant, flying Hive Tyrant, 2 Tervigons, 1 Trygon, 2 broods of 30 Hormagaunts, 2 broods of 30 Termagaunts.
We won the roll off, deploying first with the Wraith Knight in the centre, flanked by Thunderwolves, flanked by Jetbikes. We took the first turn and meant a serious dent in the Tyranid battle line.
The Thunderwolves surged forward in the centre, while the Wraith Knight leapt to the top of the spire in the centre with a roar of its jump pack, before blasting one of the Tervigons apart with its Heavy D Cannons.
Meanwhile the Jetbikes took the Hive Tyrant down to a single wound with their Scatter Lasers.
The Thunderwolves welcomed the charging Tyranid swarms and counter-charged, hacking their way through countless creatures.
Meanwhile, the Wraith Knight leapt from the spire, to land in front of the large ruins on the right flank and fire at the next Tervigon. One of its Heavy D Cannons, caused multiple wounds, while the other shot missed due to the heavy cover.
The Jetbikes whittled down the advancing sea of small Tyranid creatures, while redeploying to the right flank.
The Warp Hunter (after immobilising itself in some ruins!) finished off the Hive Tyrant.
The flying Hive Tyrant and Hormagaunts arrived from reserve, while the Trygon did not.
Simon and Jack had hoped that the Trygon and Hormagaunts would all arrive together, bursting from the same hole, behind enemy lines. But this was not to be.
By now the battle was over as the Thunderwolves swept towards the right flank, away from the newly arrived Tyranids and through the swarms of Termagaunts, cutting down the last Tervigon.
The 'psychic backlash' from dying Tervigons had greatly aided our clearing out areas of the Tyranids swarms.
We won the game 10-2, which was pretty spectacular!
Once again, we ran out of time and the game ended on Turn 3.
Game 3: The Relic
Armies: Iron Hands / White Scars
Players: Martin / Nick
Martin and Nick had a Space Marine biker army, backed up by 2 Thunderfire Cannons and 2 Scout squads in Speeders.
I knew that the Thunderfire Cannons would cause problems for our mobility. Especially for the Thunderwolves.
I also knew that (no matter how awesome they are!) we couldn't send all our Thunderwolves to take on an entire army of bikes. They would certainly get shot and killed.
So I knew we had to take out the enemy artillery quickly, then use our speed to reposition ourselves and whittle down the bikes with Jetbike Scatter Lasers before committing the Wolves in force.
We won the roll off, deploying first with the Wraith Knight in the centre, flanked by Thunderwolves, flanked by Jetbikes.
Are you seeing a pattern emerging?
Our opponents created a long battle line of bikes with a Thunderfire Cannon on each flank, in bolstered ruins. They then Infiltrated and Scout moved their Scout bikes over the ruined fortress, to claim The Relic.
So rather than meet their wall of bikes head on, we moved everything to the right flank. Meanwhile, one pack of Thunderwolves charged the Scout bikes and tore them to shreds.
The Wraith Knight destroyed the Thunderfire Cannon on the right flank, while a squad of Jetbikes were able to inflict 2 Wounds on the Thunderfire Cannon on the left flank (I did my maths and knew it was a statistically average chance!).
The Warp Hunter and Jetbikes took out squad of Space Marine bikes.
The wall of bikes advanced, firing at the Wraith Knight, inflicting 3 wounds with their grav weapons.
The Thunderwolves started munching their way through the line of bikes, starting on the right flank. The Wraith Knight failed to charge in (I only needed to roll a 5!) and join the fun, which led to his undoing.
The Wraith Knight took 3 Wounds from the Attack Bikes that had been a low priority and I failed all my saves. He was dead!
The battle took a strange turn from this point as the only enemy units left on the board were the Scouts in Speeders and the Iron Hands Captain in Artificer Armour with some kind of special relic Gauntlet that gave him Eternal Warrior and 3+ Feel No Pain, bolstered by +1 Feel No Pain, which was his Warlord Trait - So he had a 2+ Feel No Pain roll.
This one model then bogged down the Thunderwolves and the game ended half way through Turn 4, because we ran out of time.
Had our opponents played their final turn, the Iron Hands Captain would certainly have been killed (he was on 1 wound).
Despite having played Warhammer 40K for 22 years, this was the first time I had ever played in a doubles tournament. And so I learned some very valuable lessons.
First and foremost, that doubles games take a LONG TIME to play.
Mostly, this is because you have twice the players, therefore twice the conversations.
So, were I to play another doubles tournament, I would base my strategy on playing 3 turns. I would also take note of the start and finish times for each round and keep an eye on the clock.
Had we been able to play every turn of our games, I am extremely confident that we would have wiped out our opponents!
Unfortunately, it was the lack of turns played that caused us problems. Despite these minor frustrations, I've felt my passion for 40K rekindled!
I've really enjoyed playing Eldar and I'm very pleased with my overall strategy and the synergy of our army lists during this tournament.
I will, of course, continue to play Space Wolves with Lee. We'll probably end up borrowing each other's armies for and swapping sides for battles and tournaments in the future.
But playing such a fragile army has also made me see the Wolves in a very different light. Rather than trying to get them into close combat and weather the enemy's fire, I'm now trying to run from them and gun then down before I get ripped apart by their fangs!
In the meantime, Lee and I will continue working on our armies.
So stay tuned for more Wolf & Eldar action!